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Level Up (A5E) de-OGL-ifying Level Up?


Craft homebrewer
Sorry to inflict a OGL thread here, but today's EN Publishing tweet has given me hope that something positive may come of this OGL mess:

"So what are we doing re #opendnd? Still having crisis meetings but our thoughts are along the lines of (a) de-OGL-ifying Level Up and moving to a true open license; would need work but luckily we didn't use SRD text we wrote our own (b) investing more in WOIN our in-house system."

A de-OGL-ified Level Up wouldn't just be an epic boon to us (and one that I would happily re-purchase all my books for), but also a huge uniting resource for the wider OGL 3PP community: a new d20-adjacent platform that plays better than 5e and has more trusted guardianship. A step above what even Pathfinder did when GSL 1.0 came along.

I don't feel it would be right for me to post a poll on this but my vote is Option A
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While I'm excited for Project Black Flag, Level Up is the D&D-ish game I want to see succeed. I love the Destinies, I love the Culture-Heritage split, I love the plethora of exploration abilities for all classes and maneuvers for martials, I love the monster design (and Paul Hughes's fantastic ability to understand the math behind 5E monster design and improving on it to make every monster insteresting!), I love the new fiddly rules that give depth to previously stubby fields like Journeys and Downtime and Strongholds... Seriously, Level Up has everything I ever wanted from D&D (well, except social encounter rules but I just nabbed those from 5E) and I've been singing its praises to anyone remotely interested in D&D.

So if they de-OGLify the game and re-release it? I'll buy it on Fantasy Grounds (as much as I love you guys, paying for the books in GBP is too much for my Turkish budget!). If they switch to Project Black Flag's new open license? I'll use the current A5E rules based on that. That said, I hope the d20 fanbase doesn't splinter to a million pieces, so I'd rather A5E hitched their wagon with the best-looking 5E-clone and moved from there. But I'm guessing Morrus & co. are giving this far more thought than I am, so I'm not worried about their next step.


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Right now, the entire Designer Discord is chaos and ideas. Changing terms and names and the like to break free of OGL for future use.

It hasn't been decided that's what's happening. But we're all trying to figure it out and do it in advance, so if Russ chooses that path we're already 50 yards down the 100 yard dash.


I love the new fiddly rules that give depth to previously stubby fields like Journeys and Downtime and Strongholds...
I'm actually also wondering how easy it would be to rewrite things like this for other systems as well. I was looking at my regions and encounter challenges for the book I really hope I can get out very very soon and thinking it wouldn't be hard to re-tool it for SWADE. After all, the encounter challenges mostly just need a system that has the potential for crit fails and hits, and the only real D&D parts to it is advantage and disadvantage--at least using those terms.

While I know the Level Up team has their work cut out for them, updating the game to a non-OGL format, perhaps they might think about selling some of their designs for other systems to use as well.

I'm curious if "we didn't use SRD text" simply means re-writing entries so they use different phrasing (I know nuttin' about legal stuffs). Because in that case... well, my book that I'm hoping I can get out very very soon is simply new regions and exploration hazards. I was going to include some cultures, heritages, and monsters but it would take me weeks or months to get all the text and art finished. Do I even need the OGL for that?

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