Community Posts Open Letters To WotC About New OGL

Over the past week there have been several petitions and open letters posted regarding the upcoming Open Game License v1.1, asking Wizards of the Coast to reconsider its current path.

This Open Letter, posted under the social media hashtag #OpenDnD, has already been signed by over 4,000 people, including many small publishers. Behind it are Mike Holik (Mage Hand Press) and Noah Downs (an IP lawyer).

If this new license gains wide adoption, the tabletop industry will shrink to a fraction of its current size, shuttering the small businesses that populate your local cons and putting a stop to their creations. Innovation in the gaming industry will evaporate; your favorite games will be trapped in the past, instead of being allowed to migrate to your phone, virtual reality, and beyond. Diversity in the industry will shrink away, as projects from marginalized creators are effectively written out of the future.

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This isn't the only such Open Letter -- there's another one authored by Jon Brazer Enterprises which has a number of signatories from various OGL publishers.

As small publishers and individual creators who create considerable content under the OGL 1.0a, we the undersigned call upon you to reverse course in regards to the leaked, alleged text of OGL 1.1. As the leader of the tabletop roleplaying game industry, your direction guides us all. We believe that this new version of the OGL will hurt both us and, by extension, you, and we ask that you hear our concerns.

There are also several petitions on
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Art Waring
It should be a petition to drop it, and even then it doesn't matter. WotC has shown us what they think of the OGL and the Open Gaming ecosystem. Unless there is a major leadership change, we have to assume that is their agenda going forward, no matter what backpedaling they do in the immediate future.
I agree completely, that they are probably moving forward regardless, but I at least have to try something, rather than sit by and watch the scorched earth policy unfold.

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It should be a petition to drop it, and even then it doesn't matter. WotC has shown us what they think of the OGL and the Open Gaming ecosystem. Unless there is a major leadership change, we have to assume that is their agenda going forward, no matter what backpedaling they do in the immediate future.
Yes, that is why the only thing that will bring me back to WotC at this point, I think, is an update to the OGL that adds the words "irrevocable" or "non-revocable" or something equally air tight. This whole thing has left a very sour taste in my mouth.


@Morrus, may I suggest putting this thread or at least this petition on the front page. This is to important to be buried in the general news IMO. Over 4000 people have signed, including quite a few 3PP.



Signed, sealed, deliver! I'm not a Hasbro!

The money crap is why I am abandoning all but a select toy companies and starting my own, A.C. Gilbert said it best "Magic and toys can often do more than surgery or pills for a sick child, it can bring them hope!" Dash Terrier Creations is going to start small, but when it is big no boot licking money wanting schemer will advise me to change a tack to more money cheaper product!

Only those who believe in the greatest phrase Einstein said "Imagination is more important than knowledge" will lead my board and only the ones I truly trust will get into my higher departments.

Damn it it is not the Pop Culture we have made but will make that is important! A bill of monetary value is worthless to the dead. But watching over all futures is worth everything to a man, woman or what you call yourself to see grow from that window in heaven.

Oh and I said certain franchises and companies above, Mattel will get not a penny from me on anything save Hot wheels and Matchbox toy cars until they cancel all engines go and bring back "Thomas and Friends!"


Crafter of fine role-playing games
I don't much believe in online petition, but I've signed it. Unless I missed them (entirely possible), there are none of the bigger companies among the signatories.
That's fine, WotC already knows who the big ones are. This will help them find the small ones. :devilish:


Might of been hasty, I accidentally uh sent my name twice I thought it was a glitch so only one example of Joseph Tripp Nimmo should be on this. Sorry my dad also signed as he know DnD is cool.

I agree. I also think the only voices that matter to bean counters and shareholder-capitalists at Hasbro are the responses of major 3rd party publishers.
The thing is, that attitude really, REALLY misjudges the gaming community.

I'm sure this is an outgrowth of that shareholder's conference call last year that was reported on, where a Hasbro exec said "D&D is under-monetized", and they're trying to find ways to extract more money from it.

. . .but they're doing it in the most ham-fisted, inept, tone-deaf way that reflects no knowledge of the field. This sounds all like some exec with an MBA but zero knowledge of gaming going "Companies are making add-ons to our products, or even competing products, from a license we put out? Revoke that license and replace it with one where we get royalties!"

They've got no clue how the OGL has helped the hobby grow over the last 22+ years, and just want to be able to tout the money coming in from those royalty clauses (or from contracts signed with 3pp's) as accomplishments to help them get promoted in the corporate hierarchy.

. . .and the long term damage it does to the industry is something they don't care about both because it won't really show until after they're on to another job, and because it can't be as easily quantified.

There's several people who have written official 5e material on the list.

One of the harns of 1.1 is that it shrinks the incubation of future talent.

One of the 5 lead designers came directly to that role from a 3pp. Multiple other designers came from 3pp. Almost all of the editors do full time work at 3pp.

Names like that showing up these lists, and the thousands of others will have their personal development hamstrung are a long term issue that the creator of 1.1 clearly didn't account for


Disclaimer: I know very little about how small publishers work and the margins they have to operate under. I assume they can be razor thin so any amount of time not gaining revenue and having to come up with new material out of the blue may be difficult and have major ramifications on their business. I've also despised DnD and it's model for the last few years. That said:

As much as I recognize it really sucks these other companies have employees who need jobs and this may hurt those people I am hoping they are able to shift. A part of me thinks DnD and WotC's steam engine needs to be knocked down a peg and hope if they go through with this it is. This could be an opportunity for other games to flourish and get content from publishers who's whole platform is all 5e compatible. Since the OGL has raised the whole hobby up maybe that momentum will stay if DnD is removed as the favorite and the community can bring more games to the front. Wishful thinking.


It auto-signed me as soon as I filled in the information, with the result that some wrong autofilled data is now on the petition. Anyone know if there's a way to undo my signature and re-do it with the correct data?

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