I go away for a month during the holidays and ALL THIS happens!? StartPlaying is back for another weekly roundup of TTRPG news, so let’s dive right into the quagmire that is Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast, and the OGL.
Or if you’d rather just forget all this mess and play, StartPlaying Games has many professional GMs who can help you start a new campaign or even a whole new game!
Wizards Opts For Creative Commons In Surprising Move
The latest development in the D&D OGL story sees publisher Wizards of the Coast unveiling a new approach based on fan feedback. The core D&D game mechanics from the SRD (think rolling d20s for skill checks with certain modifiers, advantage/disadvantage, etc.) will now be covered under the Creative Commons, a free license run by a third-party nonprofit. This is essentially a statement from Wizards saying that they mean to keep the core D&D rules available to fans forevermore.
That said, the main issue of the OGL is still up in the air. Under the current OGL, third-party creators can make modules, tokens, monsters, and more without needing to pay royalties or worry about Wizards’ legal teams banging down their door. Wizards (and parent company Hasbro) are more invested in utilizing the D&D brand in the near future, however, and are making moves to legally protect it. As such, the new statement recommits to changing the OGL to a binding document that prevents use of D&D for things like NFTs or bigoted content.
For many fans, the Creative Commons move is a positive indication that Wizards is feeling the heat and listening to our concerns. But many are also picking the new OGL draft apart to find wordings that seem suspect, such as an attempt to stop virtual tabletop software from utilizing spell animations. Wizards has since addressed these concerns and announced intent to incorporate fan feedback into future drafts of the new OGL. In fact, a new survey was posted today that allows fans to give feedback on OGL 1.2.
Start Pathfinder At A Discount
Meanwhile, many TTRPG hobbyists and creators are taking this opportunity to try new game systems. Paizo’s Pathfinder has been a frontrunner due to its similarity to D&D and the generally good ethics of the company. For one, Paizo took action to establish an Open RPG Creative License (ORC) and gathered 1,500 tabletop publishers to commit to a shared universal license in opposition to Hasbro's OGL actions. Paizo has capitalized on this buzz by offering some of their beginner-friendly books for discount and even free!
Pathfinder players new and old can go here to claim a free copy of the Lost Omens World Guide, the premiere setting book for Pathfinder’s world. Using the code OPENGAMING at checkout will net you a PDF copy up until January 25, and will also give you 25% off the Pathfinder Beginner Box or 2nd Edition Core Rulebook.
What About Indie TTRPGs?
A lot of TTRPG enthusiasts might not want to hop on the Pathfinder train due to the game’s complex rules. Or they might prefer to support a smaller indie publisher in light of Hasbro’s big corporate antics. So where does one find a good indie TTRPG that matches their style? Polygon’s got you covered with a nice list of upcoming indie TTRPGs. There’s post-apocalyptic epics, wholesome Ghibli-style meditations, and city-building projects. The worlds of RPGs is vast, and you’re sure to find something that will create the same wonderful stories you get from D&D!