JP On Gaming

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

FOE Signing open letter to WotC #OpenDND

You may or may not know, but there is a new edition of D&D coming, called either 6e or OneD&D. There was much excitement about it with an active playtest of the new rules available online. Wizards of the Coast (WotC) promised a lot of things: backward compatibility, virtual table top, online support, etc.

I followed the development and did not make any official comment other than being optimistic by what I saw. The rule tweaks presented so far are interesting and are, overall a matter of personal preference: bonus feat at level 1, aid action requiring training, and redux of exhaustion being but a few. I think they were doing the right thing and were heading for a massive win. Those new changes could easily be home ruled.

Then, the new OGL 1.1 was leaked out...

... and the internet went NUTS.

If you do not know what the OGL is, it is a license that allows publishers to use and copy parts of the game rules and use them in their own publications. For over 20 years, the previous OGL 1.0a made the game thrive and expand from the sole domain of nerds to something almost mainstream.

You can read the Open Letter co-signed by many industry leaders (which I am happy to attach to my name and FOE's).

The Ogl 1.0a was about 900 words and was included in most all products using it. The new one balloons to 9,000 words and includes provisions for paying royalties to WotC and giving them full access to anything created.

So what does this mean to FOE?

In short, I either write and maybe get a few dollars here and there until WotC come and take it all away. I like what I do and being able to use these gains to feed my addiction for more product.

FOE is not a money-making venture, I pay for too much art... I am revenue-neutral and I appreciate being able to have artists make my crazy ideas come to life. FOE pays for my Gencon hotel and most of the trip.

So what does this mean to you?

Today, most of these third party publishers (3pp) offer games to showcase their products and ideas at local conventions and in their local areas. I expect many will either close shop, stop running D&D in public, or either move to their own system or to another one with a true open license.

So this decision will affect more than just the publishers. It will affect YOU, too.

But JP, I have the same group since 1982 Okay, you might be safe from this change. But if your groups breaks apart or changes or anything happen...

So the #OpenDND is trending. Make sure WotC sees it.


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