Critical Role A key part of Linda Codegas Critical Role Interview

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
But, I don't think that seeking an alternate creative commons or ORC or any other idea that's been proposed which will basically allow the industry to continue to prop up some version of D&D as the dominant product in RPGs is really the best idea. Perhaps if everyone who was going to make 5E products instead made something else, it would lead to more variety in the hobby. And it would also, perhaps, force WotC to be more creative themselves. Like they won't be able to rely on the creativity of others along with their market position to do the heavy lifting.

Maybe that would all be a good thing.
It's absolutely a good thing. I think the likelihood that the ORC will result in ash RPG durbatulûk is actually pretty slim. I believe, at least, that the ORC is important because the most important thing the loss of the OGL is taking away from independent creators isn't the D&D SRDs, it's a common license.

There's a ton of open game content licensed under the OGL that isn't owned by Wizards, and the deauthorization immediately makes that content closed right along with the D&D SRDs.

Individual publishers can and will re-release their proprietary open content under a new open license, but unless everyone does that under the same license, it is going to shatter the web of interdependency that the OGL supported and erect barriers to collaboration and the sharing of ideas. That, not D&D compatibility, is the biggest casualty here.

So what the ORC facilitates is that interdependency. Some roughly D&D-compatible SRDs are inevitable, but there's no way we all agree on one, and that's fine. There will be dozens or hundreds of SRDs, each doing their own thing, with their own strengths and weaknesses. And they'll recombine with each other under the ORC, and a bunch of games with shared or similar mechanics and rules will be produced from which each of us can pick and choose one that best fits our table. Or design our own.
 

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hawkeyefan

Legend
I expect it's going to be written to easily slot in where publishers had been using the OGL with as little muss and fuss as possible now that the existence of the OGL is threatened. Other, similar agreements might provide the same kind of rights and coverage... or they might not and I might not have the time or money to do the research myself. I would expect a license like ORC, written specifically to replace the OGL, to do so.

Right, this is pretty much what I was saying. Mostly this is about maintaining use of the stuff authorized by the previous OGL, or bypassing any obstacles to using it, perhaps.

This is what I had in mind when I expressed some concern, and why I thought that concern may possibly be expressed by Mercer and Marisha's comments (though, frankly, the comments are vague enough to be interpreted several ways).

It's absolutely a good thing. I think the likelihood that the ORC will result in ash RPG durbatulûk is actually pretty slim. I believe, at least, that the ORC is important because the most important thing the loss of the OGL is taking away from independent creators isn't the D&D SRDs, it's a common license.

There's a ton of open game content licensed under the OGL that isn't owned by Wizards, and the deauthorization immediately makes that content closed right along with the D&D SRDs.

Individual publishers can and will re-release their proprietary open content under a new open license, but unless everyone does that under the same license, it is going to shatter the web of interdependency that the OGL supported and erect barriers to collaboration and the sharing of ideas. That, not D&D compatibility, is the biggest casualty here.

So what the ORC facilitates is that interdependency. Some roughly D&D-compatible SRDs are inevitable, but there's no way we all agree on one, and that's fine. There will be dozens or hundreds of SRDs, each doing their own thing, with their own strengths and weaknesses. And they'll recombine with each other under the ORC, and a bunch of games with shared or similar mechanics and rules will be produced from which each of us can pick and choose one that best fits our table. Or design our own.

This would be my hope, as well. I hope it helps set a community and industry standard. My concern is that it may result in simply further fracturing the D&D-alikes into ever smaller subsets, and maybe doing the same for a couple of other notable systems.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Right, this is pretty much what I was saying. Mostly this is about maintaining use of the stuff authorized by the previous OGL, or bypassing any obstacles to using it, perhaps.
Yes, but the stuff people are allowing under the OGL isn’t just D&D. Other games maintained their own ecosystems with their own rules using the threatened OGL. So it’s not about furthering D&D-family dominance, per se. It’s about giving everyone using the OGL an alternative no matter what game’s SRD/open content they used.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Yes, but the stuff people are allowing under the OGL isn’t just D&D. Other games maintained their own ecosystems with their own rules using the threatened OGL. So it’s not about furthering D&D-family dominance, per se. It’s about giving everyone using the OGL an alternative no matter what game’s SRD/open content they used.

No, I get that... and I agree. But the D&D dominance kind of goes along with it all, doesn't it? It's a big part of it, if not the entirety.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
No, I get that... and I agree. But the D&D dominance kind of goes along with it all, doesn't it? It's a big part of it, if not the entirety.
D&D’s market dominance would accompany any license following up 20 years of a very successful and generous OGL, ORC or not. WotC would have to screw that pooch even harder to achieve the dubious goal of driving everyone away from D&D(-ish) support.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
D&D’s market dominance would accompany any license following up 20 years of a very successful and generous OGL, ORC or not. WotC would have to screw that pooch even harder to achieve the dubious goal of driving everyone away from D&D(-ish) support.

I think there are plenty of people that seem to think that's where things are at, no? My personal opinion aside, I see plenty of talk that folks are done with D&D. Plenty of people asking about other games and other systems.

And while I'm perfectly fine with folks finding alternatives that still scratch the same itch... I'm hoping we see a proliferation of new systems and ideas rather than just variants on the old ones.
 


ThorinTeague

Explorer
One thing to note in Codega's article is Mercer calling WotC's OGL v1.2 + CC moves on D&D "a grandiose step in a grandiose direction":


Now I'm not a native speaker so maybe I'm understanding it wrong, but isn't grandiose a rather negative term? Kinda like something that has a lot of pomp but not because it deserves to have it, but is big only to have an air of greatness?

If that's the case, Mercer's comment seems like an incredible backhanded compliment. I'd almost say he's dancing around the non-disparagement clause...
It could be interpreted as negative. But for a billion dollar company, making grandiose moves is probably pretty much a given.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I think there are plenty of people that seem to think that's where things are at, no? My personal opinion aside, I see plenty of talk that folks are done with D&D. Plenty of people asking about other games and other systems.

And while I'm perfectly fine with folks finding alternatives that still scratch the same itch... I'm hoping we see a proliferation of new systems and ideas rather than just variants on the old ones.
I can't say that I'm too hopeful. In the wake of the OGL 1.1 announcement, several 3pp said that they were working on their own system. Sounds great. The problem? It sounds like it's more of the same. I don't want to disparage them too heavily, but a fair number of these "Screw you! I'm making a new game" creators seemed to just be reinventing the wheel, with some flagrantly tracing over the pre-existing design plans.

Kobold Press basically implied that it would be D&D 5.1. Some others already had quickstarts and previews, and these were basically just D&D variants too. One I saw looked pretty OSR, but nothing really stood out as to why I should pick this OSR game over the myriad of other OSR games already out on the market that are competing for the same exact niche.
 
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hawkeyefan

Legend
I can't say that I'm too hopeful. In the wake of the OGL 1.1 announcement, several 3pp said that they were working on their own system. Sounds great. The problem? It's sounds like it's more of the same. I don't want to disparage them too heavily, but a fair number of these "Screw you! I'm making a new game" creators seemed to just be reinventing the wheel, with some flagrantly tracing over the pre-existing design plans.

Kobold Press basically implied that it would be D&D 5.1. Some others already had quickstarts and previews, and these were basically just D&D variants too. One I saw looked pretty OSR, but nothing really stood out as to why I should pick this OSR game over the myriad of other OSR games already out on the market that are competing for the same exact niche.

Right, there are already X flavors of D&D. And WotC can't stop those from getting into people's hands, even if they can disrupt the companies who publish them. They're already out in the wild, and people will continue to find them.

What I'm not excited to see, and what I'm worried about, is that we're going to get Kobold's version of 5e and Goodman's version of 5e and so on. And yeah, maybe they'll all be compatible in a kind of loose OSRish kind of way.... but that's kind of the problem... the OSR already exists, and so do other D&D alternatives. Do we need more? I know I don't, and I'd argue that the hobby would be better off if people started devoting times to non-D&D or D&D-alike games.

I hope my concerns turn out to be totally unfounded.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I can't say that I'm too hopeful. In the wake of the OGL 1.1 announcement, several 3pp said that they were working on their own system. Sounds great. The problem? It sounds like it's more of the same. I don't want to disparage them too heavily, but a fair number of these "Screw you! I'm making a new game" creators seemed to just be reinventing the wheel, with some flagrantly tracing over the pre-existing design plans.

Kobold Press basically implied that it would be D&D 5.1. Some others already had quickstarts and previews, and these were basically just D&D variants too. One I saw looked pretty OSR, but nothing really stood out as to why I should pick this OSR game over the myriad of other OSR games already out on the market that are competing for the same exact niche.
The idea is that something will emerge as the 'replacement' for 5E. It's not supposed to be different. It's about taking ownership of the hobby. Having many creators doing it is natural; over time, the number will be whittled down, and one or two will emerge at the fore. Patience!

If you want non-5E games, there's a thousand out there. Take your pick! That's not what these folks are doing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I know I don't, and I'd argue that the hobby would be better off if people started devoting times to non-D&D or D&D-alike games.
The people should start buying them. The industry doesn't need more non-D&D games. There are thouands of them. The industry needs people to buy the existing non-D&D games.

I'll start. Here's mine!

 

Aldarc

Legend
The idea is that something will emerge as the 'replacement' for 5E. It's not supposed to be different. It's about taking ownership of the hobby. Having many creators doing it is natural; over time, the number will be whittled down, and one or two will emerge at the fore. Patience!

If you want non-5E games, there's a thousand out there. Take your pick! That's not what these folks are doing.
I do agree that forerunners will emerge when it comes to the 5e clones, though I don't understand why "taking ownership of the hobby" requires a cloned 5e replacement as opposed to anything else. That also doesn't really explain, IMHO, the OSR-style hacks that are a part of this wave. There are already established forerunners in the OSR space: e.g., OSE, SWN/WWN, C&C, DCC, etc.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I do agree that forerunners will emerge when it comes to the 5e clones, though I don't understand why "taking ownership of the hobby" requires a cloned 5e replacement as opposed to anything else. That also doesn't really explain, IMHO, the OSR-style hacks that are a part of this wave. There are already established forerunners in the OSR space: e.g., OSE, SWN/WWN, C&C, DCC, etc.
I don’t really understand the question. People make 5E stuff because that’s the stuff they want to make. Other people make non-5E stuff. Some, like me, make both!
 





TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I do agree that forerunners will emerge when it comes to the 5e clones, though I don't understand why "taking ownership of the hobby" requires a cloned 5e replacement as opposed to anything else. That also doesn't really explain, IMHO, the OSR-style hacks that are a part of this wave. There are already established forerunners in the OSR space: e.g., OSE, SWN/WWN, C&C, DCC, etc.
I imagine because the only sort of game that could actually become a new tentpole for players and 3pp to rally behind is a game that is basically 5.X.
 

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