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

rules.mechanic

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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Ondath

Hero
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.
 





Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
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.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
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?
 



Scribe

Legend
They could almost certainly become just "angel-blooded" and "devil-blooded." Even if aasimar and tiefling are fully open (they're not listed as forbidden in the OGL or anything), it might be better to de-D&D-ize them as much as possible.

Yeah thats the kind of stuff I dont know/understand well enough.

I know they are in the 3.5 SRD, and thats why (I assume) they are in Pathfinder, and Pathfinder 2, via the Advanced Player's Guide, and 5e SRD (I think?), and therefore Level Up.

Just calling them Angel Blooded, or Heaven-Touched, or whatever, would be simple enough, but I guess thats why this whole dust up is such a mess.
 


lichmaster

Adventurer
I'll expand here what I wrote on another thread: I absolutely love LU, and I'm 100% certain that it will become the D&D system for me in the foreseeable future, so removing any threats for product viability or future expansion is probably a must, even by just considering how much effort was put in it. I honestly hope you guys at ENP made a decent amount of money with it because you absolutely deserve it, it's crazy how much better your products (core and adventure paths) are wrt WOTC.

That said, I think WOIN could have even more potential because it's an original and brilliant system (with some kinks that may need some ironing out maybe), it's 100% proprietary, and it's not bound to any back-compatibility issues. This means it could be expanded in any direction possible (heck it was designed as such!), and it already has a license that should incentivate creating new products based on on.

What to do will be Morrus choice of course, and it will be dictated by many considerations I can't even begin to make, but if it's viable given the size of the team and its finances it could be a great strategy to both reignite support for WOIN and removing any OGL references to LU.
 

Jahydin

Adventurer
I want nothing more than for Level Up to succeed. The creative additions, expanded rules, and deeper gameplay is exactly what I was anticipating 5E to become as it matured.

Every group I've showed it to has since switched over. I thought releasing it right before the next the 1D&D playtest was unfortunate timing at first, but now I think it couldn't have been better. Nothing that's been shown of the new version has made us more excited than what's already been done in LU. The Beyond and OGL shenanigans has just further pushed us away. Pretty clear LU will be our 5E replacement from here on out.

The dream would be for all the other indie developers to tell WotC to pound sand and make content for LU instead. Hope to see it!
 

xiphumor

Hero
So while I have a strong idea of what you could publish under the OGL 1.0a, I’m fuzzier on what you could publish without it while still being largely confident that you’re avoiding litigation. Could someone give me a rough list of what changes would be required to de-OGL-ify A5e?
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So while I have a strong idea of what you could publish under the OGL 1.0a, I’m fuzzier on what you could publish without it while still being largely confident that you’re avoiding litigation. Could someone give me a rough list of what changes would be required to de-OGL-ify A5e?
"Spell Level" is part of the SRD. We could change it to "Spell Circle" for example. A 9th Circle spell and a 9th Level spell are the same thing, but a 9th level spell is WotC's territory to use against us.

"Bonus Action" is part of the SRD. Quick Action is not. Reaction to Reserve Action.

Things like that. Lots of renaming things. For some systems lots of -REWRITING- things. But Level Up, happily, had writers write out the rules in their -own- words, rather than a copy-paste from the 5e SRD. So the vast majority of what is written in the Adventurer's Guide, for example, is already written in such a way as to avoid being bound up in the OGL.

Monster and Spell Names are going to require a lot more attention, of course. But the function of the spell, and the monster's abilities, will be largely unchanged... I think.
 



Micah Sweet

Legend
I'll expand here what I wrote on another thread: I absolutely love LU, and I'm 100% certain that it will become the D&D system for me in the foreseeable future, so removing any threats for product viability or future expansion is probably a must, even by just considering how much effort was put in it. I honestly hope you guys at ENP made a decent amount of money with it because you absolutely deserve it, it's crazy how much better your products (core and adventure paths) are wrt WOTC.

That said, I think WOIN could have even more potential because it's an original and brilliant system (with some kinks that may need some ironing out maybe), it's 100% proprietary, and it's not bound to any back-compatibility issues. This means it could be expanded in any direction possible (heck it was designed as such!), and it already has a license that should incentivate creating new products based on on.

What to do will be Morrus choice of course, and it will be dictated by many considerations I can't even begin to make, but if it's viable given the size of the team and its finances it could be a great strategy to both reignite support for WOIN and removing any OGL references to LU.
I am sticking with LU. I've invested too much in it, both time and money, to switch to another game, even one made by the same company.
 


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