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Thursday, May 29, 2014

WotC Talks "5e OGL Plans" - 2015 at the Earliest


(offered without comment - edited and trimmed from the full original, so as not to violate any of WotC rights)
As we gear up for previews of the upcoming D&D products, I wanted to take a moment to address a common question we receive about the Open Gaming License and what it means for the future of D&D...
When it comes to the mechanism by which we want to empower D&D fans to create their own material and make their mark on the many, exciting worlds of D&D, we're taking the same approach. While we are not ready to announce anything at this time, I do want to share with you some of our goals. 
To start with, we want to ensure that the quality of anything D&D fans create is as high as possible. The Dungeon Master's Guide will contain the guidelines for creating many elements of the game, from adventures to monsters. While Basic D&D will cover the basics that DMs need to create and run campaigns, it won't go into details on the thinking behind the rules and the consequences of tinkering with them. Basic D&D is aimed at new players or people who aren't looking for a lot of mechanical complexity or depth. It's enough to create adventures for use at your table, but not for material that you want to share broadly. For that reason, we don't want to launch anything at least until the Dungeon Master's Guide has been released in November. 
Moreover, it's not enough simply to launch anything the day the DMG hits shelves. It'll take time for everyone to absorb the rules and how they all interact. The R&D team can also share what we've learned while working on the game and the traps and challenges to avoid in design. 
Therefore, we want to share the timeline we're working with. While the details are still in flux, we can say that we plan to announce the details of our plans sometime this fall. After that announcement, we plan on launching our program in early 2015. 
Until then, we hope you will familiarize yourself with the new edition as the products are released, learn how and why it differs from past editions of the game, and dive into your first campaign. There's no better way to learn the game's intricacies than by digging into it through play. Once the community has some experience with the game, both we and you will be ready to creating the next wave of material for it. 

10 comments:

  1. Well fark me.
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?355286-So-5e-OGL/page17&p=6306550&viewfull=1#post6306550

    Last paragraph.

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  2. Unless I misread it, this kinda says...nothing.

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    1. It says nothing about 3rd party publishers, that's for sure:

      When it comes to the mechanism by which we want to empower D&D fans to create their own material and make their mark on the many, exciting worlds of D&D, we're taking the same approach. While we are not ready to announce anything at this time, I do want to share with you some of our goals.

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  3. I am going to cling to my fantasy that the Basic D&D PDF will be published under the OGL. (Printed in the back, all proper like.)

    As an aside, my inner grammar nerd tingled briefly at the word "mechanical" instead of the very wrong and overused word "mechanics".

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  4. It makes some marketing sense for them to control the brand at the start. Let;s face it fans already have options and they probably don't want to have to compete inside the exact same brand space during the first several months. There were 3e compatible hardcovers available and on the shelves before all of 3e was available.

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    1. Especially with the staggered roll out of core books.

      Don't want some other company picking off low hanging fruit like a monster manual.

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  5. They probably want to have some kind of control over the sheer amount of 3rd party stuff that gets out there. The glut of options that came out with 3E is one of the biggest complaints I hear from that edition's detractors. In their minds, it became a huge miasma of crap that no one wanted to wade through. Regardless of the fact that no one said you have allow ANY of that stuff in your game, it is a huge complaint. I'm sure WotC may tighten the reins a bit on what can be legally published in connection with 5E.

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  6. My answer got so long that I had to put it up as a blog post. For the record, I'm a supporter of 5e for reason I mention at the end of my post. Mainly though the post is about how this recent announcement indicates the first existential threat to D&D 5e. http://swordsandwizardry.blogspot.com/2014/05/5e-dont-trip-now-it-has-been-going-so.html

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  7. Shit. Looks like my pirate printing of Dungeons $ Drogons will have to be sold from China on eBay.

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