Don't Give Ground


At what point is the fight over?
When everybody stops using OGL 1.0a. That's not a likely outcome, since there will always be small, amateur or not-for-profit publishers producing TTRPGs and related content. If they find something in an OGL 1.0a-licensed work they want to extend, they'll be doing that even if everybody bigger has moved on to the ORC or closed content.

Hasbro/WOTC has a history of abandoning closed license plans for D&D after a few years (d20 System Trademark License, Game System License). OGL 2.0 is a closed license.

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Really, their best bet at this point is to just release a 1.0b with the word "irrevocable," ask for suggestions on how to make sure it's extra-super-duper-for-realsies-this-time set in stone, and then make 6e actually significantly different with a GSL 2.0.
Hasbro/WOTC could publicly abandon its plans to modify the OGL, ask Ryan Dancey to set up the Open Gaming Foundation as a real organization and give the copyright of the current OGL to the foundation.


So really, at this point? That's it for me. In my estimation, WotC and I are at the fork in the road where we exchange Mutual Screw Yous. It's not new to me -- it's happened twice before during my time as a gamer. Indeed, I have spent much more of the past 43+ years NOT playing D&D (and playing some other FRPG game system) than I have playing a D&D branded product. (Roughly only 1/3rd of that time actively playing some form of D&D branded game).
I actually don't see any dissonance between this response and not giving an inch. I'm largely in total agreement with everything you just shared.

WotC probably isn't persuadable on the non-negotiable stuff for the community, but that doesn't mean we need to stand outside WotC offices with pitchforks. Honestly, going somewhere else and having a great time sends a stronger message. For myself, I'm either playing Level Up or EZD6—I haven't run a game of 5e in years, and I haven't played a game of 5e that wasn't heavily hacked in years. I'm mildly miffed that I might lose some disposable income if the OGL issue prevents me from continuing to write for Level Up's Gate Pass Gazette, but "mildly miffed" isn't nearly in the ballpark of "spending more than a moment's energy on this particular concern." I also don't have a DnDBeyond subscription, never intended to get one, and I'm going to keep writing content for fun as the whim strikes me, whether or not I have an outlet to monetize that writing.

In essence, I think "fighting the good fight" for most people is literally just, when the situation comes up, saying "OGL 1.0(a) or nothing," and then getting on with their lives. Of course, I very intentionally avoided telling people how to stick it to WotC in my original post because I think most everyone's different methods are equally "right," at least for that individual, and it wasn't my goal to get everyone on a particular train looking to collide with WotC headquarters. I was just trying to do what I hoped was painfully obvious and raise the standard: OGL 1.0(a). We don't need WotC to carry on the spirit of the OGL 1.0(a); we sure as heck don't need Dungeons and Dragons as a brand to carry on a culture of sharing and creativity, or to have awesome adventures; so that standard for some people might be a literal, direct goal, while for others it's a mindset that, hopefully, will be carried on elsewhere (ORC, perhaps), and it would be nice if WotC decides to join in and play nice, but certainly not necessary.

I imagine this response isn't nearly as impassioned or combative as some might expect, based on my post that started off this thread, but I don't think this is a fight that needs to be combative. It's best fought by people with a firm commitment to the community and culture we love going where that culture is strongest and where we find the most enjoyment and collaboration. I think the people who are fighting for compromise (with WotC specifically) don't realize they are fighting for an environment that will actively stifle that, and will hurt them more than anyone else if they stay there. (Maybe. I, of course, don't know any of them personally. Perhaps they don't need the warning and enjoy standing in the shadow of surveillance.)

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
They could also make a new edition that is great and has everything you always wanted. They could actually make an online platform that is great and works for everyone. They could give me plastic houses and jetpacks we all were told were coming as well. Are people not going to play it if it is that cool?

I gather a lot of people here will still say no, never, where is my pitchfork. I also think that a lot of people will convert.

Of course, we will be back to the thread of the designers and if they look at the playtest feedback or have their blinders on.
I don't actually think they're capable of making a new edition that is great and has everything I want, and even if they were, I know they're not going to.


In my opinion we need to accept nothing less than a perpetual OGL 1.0a for the 5E SRD. A nice gesture would be to put the whole 5E SRD into creative commons or ORC as a show of good faith that they won't try to back out again.

Moving 5E (and 3E) to a new more restrictive license represents a breach of trust and a betrayal to the community.

Moving 5E out of OGL 1.0a is unworkable anyway because of the number of sublicensed products. Level Up for example is built off of OGL 1.0a and WOTC said existing products could still be published. So ENWorld can't build new Level Up products that leverage WOTC 5E content, but they can sell existing products. Now what if I am another 3rd party and I build supplements for Level Up? I am using OGL 1.0a, but I am sublicensing through a product that is not a WOTC product. Theoretically I can't use WOTC material going forward since they are pulling it, but I wasn't referencing WOTC material anyway, I was basing it off of ENWORLD material, that already exists, and that material is allowed to keep being sold!

That said, I think this argument is 5E specific. It is within WOTC's right to come up with a new closed "Open Gaming License" for ONE. And it is within the communities right to stay with 5E as many did with 3E/Pathfinder 15 years ago or so after WOTC published 4E under the GSL.
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"there is no monopolization or attempted monopolization, "

It seem like almost everyone analysing the situation conclude that this is a move to try to ensure effective monopoly in the ttrpg digital tooling space?
They would be wrong (except that is not what everyone analyzing the situation has concluded). Hasbro is trying to control the digital tooling space for graphics intensive Dungeons and Dragons simulators. Which is their own IP. That is not remotely the same as trying to control all of VTT space. Another company could make their own VTT all day long, for example, and as long as they aren't using Hasbro's IP, Hasbro couldn't say "boo" about it. That is not a monopoly.

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