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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What If the Free Basic Rules WAS the SRD and What If WotC Already has a System in Place to Distribute 3rd Party 5e Products?

Think about it.

Everything beyond what will soon be in the freely distributed Basic Rules for 5e is, essentially, optional. If the core books are optional, they do not constitute the SRD.

Official adventures from WotC will use the Free Basic Rules - anything else required to run the adventure will either be included in the adventure book itself or available as a free download.

The SRD would include character generation rules, making it not just a System Resource Document, but also a full set of playable rules. Being available as a downloadable PDF, I suspect it will be updated and added to over time.

With the relationship WotC has with OneBookShelf via the DnDClassics webstore, I suspect it wouldn't be too hard for them to distribute the rules as a print on demand softcover or hardcover if the demand were there.

It also means WotC could have a system in place to distribute 3rd party 5e products under a controlled license through the DnDClassice webstore, and take a percentage of sales right off the top. Probably better than the GSL, not a loose as the OGL and ensures WotC gets a piece of the pie. Larger publishers could probably purchase a license to publish directly and not go through the WotC webstore.

Food for thought...


  1. Replies
    1. I think the SRD thing is pretty much on the mark. I have seen similar thoughts on it.

      Monetizing 3rd party sales for WotC seems a no brainer to me

    2. Great minds think alike. And ours too. ;) I posted a pretty near identical conclusion on EN World yesterday, among some other speculations.

  2. Damn. Just read your post. Yep, if we both thought of it independently, it must be truth.

    I never get past the front page of ENWorld these days. I stop by for news. I forget there are forums there. ;)

    1. Once a week or so I venture in and look for interesting threads. Slim pickings most of the time. OGL-related threads are all that really interest me anymore. Or threads about best books you've read/recommend.

  3. I think your assumptions (well guess) are correct Tenkar.

    My Gut tells me they will go the iTunes/Google Play store "middle road" model between the GSL & the OSR. Selling all D&D5E 3rd party content through their DriveThruRPG store and taking a small cut from each sale.

    A cut big enough for them to earn a fair bit of revenue (with dozens of publishers listing their products in the WotC store) But also small enough to not discourage anyone from producing product for said store.