WOTC’s OGL Fiasco

Well, WOTC did the one thing no one thought they could do. They united the RPG community! Is that what OneD&D is all about?

In all seriousness, I’m not going to rehash the info I am sure all of you already know. If you have stumbled on this blog, I don’t think it’s possible to not know the mess WOTC has created for themselves and the RPG community.

What I have to add to the conversation is, “I stand with the 3rd Party Publishers impacted negatively by WOTC’s OGL 1.1 disaster.”

Hell, I am a freelance writer with numerous credits for D&D 5E, Pathfinder 1E, and Starfinder. I’ve worked for 3PP. I’m friends and good acquaintances with many folks in the 3PP market. What WOTC has done is abhorrent.

Inevitably, we are going to lose some companies. There are folks whose lives are about to get very difficult and they will struggle. Some may not even survive in the RPG sphere and will have to move on to other work. Keep your eyes and ears open. Help these folks when you can. Spread awareness. And always remember, the blame for this falls on WOTC.

As much as the last few days have been defined by existential dread, I am starting to see those rays of sunshine break through. Don’t get me wrong. This whole process is going to be a painful one for everyone. However, there is hope.

The #OpenDND movement has burst to life and is quickly growing. Content creators everyone are spreading the word and encouraging folks who disagree with what WOTC is trying with OGL 1.1 to sign the Open Letter to WOTC found here: https://www.opendnd.games/.

Kobold Press has announced they will finish up their current and upcoming 5E products and Kickstarters. In the meantime, they have begun to build a new core fantasy system codenamed Project Black Flag. Kobold Press is one of the companies I have been watching closely to see how they react. Find out more about Project Black Flag and upcoming playtest info here: https://koboldpress.com/raising-our-flag/

Onyx Path Publishing has announced Pugmire 2E, aka Realms of Pugmire, which launches on Kickstarter shortly, will run on a new system of their design called Onyx20. http://theonyxpath.com/old-grey-labrador-monday-meeting-notes/

Pinnacle Entertainment has launched Savage Universe (http://savageuniverse.com/), a website to assist 3PP to promote their Savage Worlds products and to find PEG’s licensing info. They’re also hosting a virtual open house this Thursday, 12 Jan 2023, to meet with 3PP to help them get started.

The Arcane Library is dropping the OGL for The Shadowdark RPG and will be launching the game with its own system. In fact, Kelsey tentatively plans to share her system for others to use.

Basic Fantasy RPG is being reworked to be OGL-free.

There are many, many more. Keep your eyes open. Support your favorite 3PP as they work to overcome this challenge. Spread the word and awareness of worthy projects.

Forget WOTC. We don’t need them and we don’t need the OGL.

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Michael is a writer, gamer and life long fan of all things science fiction and horror.

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