• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

Ryan S. Dancey

OGL Architect
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Ryan S. Dancey

Ryan S. Dancey

OGL Architect
Two decades ago I helped create the Open Gaming License which helped save Dungeons & Dragons. Today that license is at risk of being changed by Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast. I am hoping that a coordinated response by the community might make them reconsider their plans. Please join me in signing this petition on change.org. The more people who sign, the more visible this effort will become...
Hi! I was the brand manager for Dungeons & Dragons and the VP of Tabletop RPGs at Wizards of the Coast from 1998 to 2000. I can answer this question. There were plans to do a Magic RPG and several iterations of such a game were developed at various times. After Wizards of the Coast bought TSR, there were discussions about making a Magic campaign setting for D&D. After the release of 3rd...
After Vince Calouri was pushed out of Wizards of the Coast he was replaced by Chuck Heubner. Chuck basically had to manage Wizards on the downslope from the Pokemon salad days. Hasbro has been through many boom & bust cycles in the toy business and they have a standard response when it happens: cut headcount and reduce overhead. Since Wizards was de facto the only part of the business that had...
As many of you know, the Escapist has recently run a 3-part series on the past, current and future of Dungeons & Dragons. The ENWorld coverage begins here. I contributed some insights to that column and wanted to take this opportunity to expand and clarify some of my thoughts on this topic. Who Is This Guy Anyway? I [Ryan Dancey] have been involved on the business side of hobby game...
“The party is currently split ... in two different dimensions. Mei Ling is "mostly dead" and being dragged like a meat balloon through zero gravity tunnels by Marteen and Bog. Temper is very badly injured and "Dimissed" herself back to the Prime Material Plane a melee round before being turned into Shoggoth kibble.” -- Paul Jaquays Unwinnable Does Not Mean Bad One of the complaints that I...
Undermountain Update Since my last column we have played 4 sessions of Undermountain and I am happy to give folks an update. If you’re unfamiliar with the Undermountain concept you can read more about it in my last column, but in summary it’s a stripped down version of Pathfinder optimized for simple dungeon crawling and light rules. There Is No Ruler The first major change I’ve made since...
The past six columns I’ve been laying the groundwork to talk about my own personal home game and why I think it will be interesting to the people reading this column. I haven’t played in a tabletop RPG group since I stopped living full time in the Seattle area about 10 years ago. During the time I’ve been gone I’ve played a handful of pickup one-shot games and played in several convention...
The bulk of this month’s column is going to talk about development choices and marketing for tabletop RPGs. There is an important part that relates to our objective of getting more fun out of the 4 hour game session, so I’ll lead with that and those of you uninterested in the business analysis won’t have to wade through it to get to the good stuff. Before anything else happens at your...
Lets Have a Flamewar! I have, from time to time, been accused of making comments designed to inflame passions and ignite debate. That may be true to some degree, but when it comes to the art of driving people crazy with terminology, I tip my hat to the people at Global Underwater Explorers. In the 1980s this group became the stewards of a project designed to map the underground water...
Notes for Every GM and Player A Call to Action for GMs! I have a couple of old 1st edition modules covered in badly obfuscated handwritten notes from my earliest days of playing. I can remember constantly having to improvise various things as we played because I couldn’t remember exactly what we had done or said in previous sessions. In the mid-90s I ran a lengthy Dark Sun campaign. I...
Realtime and the Game When we were working on 3rd Edition, one of the questions that we thought a lot about was “how long do you play the game in one sitting”. Most of us remember marathon games that lasted so long nobody bothered to track the hours played. But we also know that lots of groups play for very defined time blocks. One of the most accessible was the RPGA, which designed...

4 Hours w/ RSD: Who Am I?

Who Am I & How Did I Get Here? Greetings! It’s been a while since I’ve been an active member of the ENWorld community or actively involved with publishing tabletop RPGs so I may need to make a few introductions. Almost 20 years ago I created one of the first ecommerce businesses, RPG International, to supply tabletop hobby games to players without easy access to a local game store. While...
Who Is Sitting At Your Table? This might seem like a simple question to answer. Usually, you play with a group of friends whom you’ve come to know quite well. Even if you find yourself in a hastily assembled game at a convention or store, you usually have a lot in common with the other folks you play with. But if we consider all the people who may be playing a tabletop RPG at any given...
The purpose of the OGL was to act as a force for change. In that sense I think it is an unquaified success. It changed the relationship of fans to publishers - any person with an idea could participate in the market if they wished. It changed the relationship of developers to publishers - instead of having to make "Fantasy Heartbreakers", developers were free to show their creativity using a...
The following is a proposal I intend to submit to GAMA and the Academy for review. Following the widespread dissatisfaction with this year's ORIGINS Award process, I believe rapid, significant change is necessary to rebuild the stature and interest in the Awards that is required to make them meaningful and relevant.
In the winter of 1997, I traveled to Lake Geneva Wisconsin on a secret mission. In the late fall, rumors of TSR's impending bankruptcy had created an opportunity to made a bold gamble that the business could be saved by an infusion of capital or an acquisition with a larger partner.

This Week in TTRPG


Reviews

For its first book of D&D's 50th anniversary year, Wizards is going big with a multiverse-spanning, multiverse-threatening adventure where players will face off against one of the game’s most legendary villains.
A great monster book on its own but also useful as a supplemental guide to pre-existing fantasy worlds.
Play a vampire and kill nazis in WW2!
You won't survive this tragedy of doomed heroes!

Dungeons & Dragons

Gold dragons no longer have wings--just like they used to be!
Hasbro CEO plays in an Eastern Adventures D&D campaign.
Figments of imagination that make for deadly encounters or very, very cool familiars.
For its first book of D&D's 50th anniversary year, Wizards is going big with a multiverse-spanning, multiverse-threatening adventure where players will face off against one of the game’s most legendary villains.
360+ page hardcover which delves into Dungeons & Dragons' various worlds and settings.
Alternate Player's Handbook cover art by Wylie Beckert.

Industry News

D&D-powered cartoon fun from Cryptozoic Entertainment.
Developer tool released under Open RPG Creator (ORC) License.
SRD 5.2 will be released under Creative Commons next year.
One of only two TTRPG creators with four separate million dollar Kickstarters!
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