What a cap to the end of this week! After a long month, Wizards of the Coast seems to finally be relenting in the OGL fight. However, that hasn’t stopped other publishers from posting astounding sales with their systems. Even if WotC totally steps back and is totally transparent moving forward, there’s a lot of goodwill that has to be re-earned. Meanwhile, other games like Pathfinder are thriving. So what does the future of tabletop RPGs look like? That’ll be up to the community and how we vote with our wallets. For now, let’s look at what the present state of things is.
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Dungeons & Dragons OGL 1.0a To Go Untouched
In a surprise D&D Beyond announcement this morning, WotC stated that it will not deauthorize the OGL 1.0a. Additionally, it placed the entire SRD 5.1 under a Creative Commons license. These two actions together should protect third party creations for 5e in an irrevocable way moving forward. It also ends talk of things like royalty payments and restrictive VTT rules that WotC was experimenting with in drafts of its proposed OGL 1.1 and 1.2.
With this the matter seems well and truly closed. WotC is leaving the original OGL in place and will no longer try to deauthorize it. For now, at least. Many players are still skeptical of the company’s motives, and those of parent company Hasbro. Rumor has it that Hasbro wants a digital future with One D&D that will bring in more recurring payments from players. And the D&D Beyond statement does bring this up:
“So, what about the goals that drove us when we started this process?
We wanted to protect the D&D play experience into the future. We still want to do that with your help. We're grateful that this community is passionate and active because we'll need your help protecting the game's inclusive and welcoming nature.”
So perhaps there are still plans for new restrictions once One D&D comes out. But for now, the TTRPG community can breathe a sigh of relief that 5e creators are safe for the foreseeable future. And that future decisions concerning D&D will happen with the fans in mind.
Pathfinder Is Selling Out Faster Than A Monk With Boots Of Speed
In the time it took WotC to make this happy D&D decision, fans have been looking to other games. Pathfinder has likely seen the biggest benefit from this D&D exodus, as confirmed by some amazing numbers reported by publisher Paizo. In a series of tweets, Paizo mentions that it sold through an eight-month supply of its Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook in the last two weeks. Printing and shipping are working overtime to meet demand as a result, but that’s a good problem to have!
Here at StartPlaying, meanwhile, we’ve seen a 66% increase in demand for Pathfinder 2e games. To accommodate all this interest, we’re hosting a Learn to Play Pathfinder event this weekend! Our pro GMs are running Beginner Boxes and new campaigns for seasoned and new players alike, and there’s still a few seats open. Check it out here!
Critical Role Charms Amazon Into Signing New Multi-Project Deal
One group that has been under a lot of watch during all this D&D mess is Critical Role. While the group gained their fame playing D&D on livestream, the brand has since grown into its own thing. The company has run one-shots in different systems, vocally supported independent creators, and even created its own games under the Darrington Press label. And of course, there’s the Vox Machina animated series on Amazon that makes sure to not include licensed D&D content despite being an adaptation of Critical role’s first D&D campaign.
Now it looks like Critical Role is continuing to forge its own success, with some help from Amazon. Variety reports that Amazon and Critical Role signed a multiyear TV and first-look film deal. The first product of this union will be an animated series based on Mighty Nein, the second Critical Role campaign. While shorter stories like Exandria Unlimited could be made into films, there’s interest in stories “both in and outside of the Critical Role universe” according to the announcement.
And that’s some of the big news of the week! Thankfully, there’s a lot of good news to send us off into the weekend. Get some rest, and feel free to look us up if you want to StartPlaying!