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Hypothetical question for 3pp: 5e goes OGL what would you publish?

Gundark

Explorer
First off would you publish for it?

You have the Amethyst setting for dndnext being kickstarted now. Bold move.

Second, What products would you make?
 

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delericho

Legend
Hypothetically, if I were a 3pp publisher...

I'd start with adventures, with a view to getting something out as close to release day as possible. In fact, I'd probably be writing it now, using the playtest rules.

Once the game is out, I'd take a close look at the provided rules modules, and come up with a list of areas that aren't yet covered. I'd probably cross the biggest few off my list (since WotC would probably be working on them already), and of course anything WotC have already announced. And then I'd look at the possibilities of supporting the others - especially any that are more old-school in nature.

I'd think very carefully about doing a setting, although I might drop some hints of one into my adventures, for later use (or not).

Incidentally... whether it's officially open or not, I'd actually be very surprised if it wasn't possible to support 5e using the OGL. After all, it was possible to do so with 4e, and everything we've seen so far seems to indicate that 5e is closer to 3e and/or the retroclones (which are OGL). And, where there are new mechanics, they seem to have deliberately favoured terms from 'natural' language, such as "advantage" and "challenge", which they can't really control. Though, of course, it would be nice if someone at WotC recognised this likelihood, and officially opened the game - much easier, and less risky, that way.

(And, since it really does need to be said: I am not a lawyer.)
 

Mercurius

Legend
If I was a 3PP I'd create a combination of adventures and a setting in which they take place (as default) to flesh them out. The adventures would include two types: One-offs ala Dungeon Crawl Classics, and adventure paths ala Pathfinder.

The setting would start out with little detail - perhaps a 64-page gazetteer to get things started, with maybe a 4-page primer in each adventure as an insert; 2 pages of general overview, 2 pages specific to the region the adventure is set in. Then I'd publish expansion regions - either 32 or 64 pages, and then adventures for each. Eventually, if it was successful, I'd create a hardcover or boxset campaign world product.

I'd also publish a few books of short adventures and pre-made encounters - stuff that DMs could throw in when they need to spice up a session. And maybe one or two boxset mega-adventures/mini-campaigns.

So again, I'd combine qualities of both Dungeon Crawl Classics and Pathfinder. I'd probably stay away from splat books, although mainly because they don't interest me as much as setting and adventures. 3PPs should stick to what they love, which increases the chances of a quality product.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
How does that work? No final rules, no license. I'm curious.

There have been entire settings published that are rules-agnostic, have there not? So, you start with all the materials you can write without rules. You sketch out some things based on what is seen in the packets (like, "King Haggard is a high-level fighter type"), and leave details for last...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
There have been entire settings published that are rules-agnostic, have there not? So, you start with all the materials you can write without rules. You sketch out some things based on what is seen in the packets (like, "King Haggard is a high-level fighter type"), and leave details for last...

I suppose. It's not really for D&D Next then, in that case. But yeah, I suppose you could skate round the edges and hope for a license and hold off publishing till you have it and a final ruleset.
 

I'd publish a series of fantasy time travel adventures that use books to hop between eras the way Myst used them to hop between worlds.

And I'd write a flexible magic system (something I never got around to doing for 4e).

And I'd probably end up doing a conversion of ZEITGEIST and War of the Burning Sky.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I suppose. It's not really for D&D Next then, in that case.

Well, not yet, anyway. This is how you get a kickstarter and start work before you have the license. If they never give a license, obviously you cannot put "for 5e" on the cover. But, since it is kickstarter, all the folks have already ordered it, so you aren't so worried about that marketing aspect any more.
 

Gundark

Explorer
How does that work? No final rules, no license. I'm curious.

I've spoke to Chris in the past and he seems pretty optimistic about 5e having some kind of 3PP licence that he feels he can work with. In fairness he's now included 13th Age and Savage Worlds as part of the kickstarter.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Well, not yet, anyway. This is how you get a kickstarter and start work before you have the license. If they never give a license, obviously you cannot put "for 5e" on the cover. But, since it is kickstarter, all the folks have already ordered it, so you aren't so worried about that marketing aspect any more.

My worry is that no such license appears; in which case you've Kickstarted and taken money for something you can't legally provide. It seems like it could risk upsetting people. There's delivery dates of Feb 2014 on that Kickstarter. ((Then again, I'm sure folks would be understanding and wait longer for the DDN stuff - most Kickstarters, including my own, don't meet the schedules).
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
That said - hypothetically - there would be Kickstarter from me for DDN versions of our three adventure paths, and possibly a new one.
 

Gundark

Explorer
My worry is that no such license appears; in which case you've Kickstarted and taken money for something you can't legally provide. It seems like it could risk upsetting people. There's delivery dates of Feb 2014 on that Kickstarter. ((Then again, I'm sure folks would be understanding and wait longer for the DDN stuff - most Kickstarters, including my own, don't meet the schedules).

you do run the risk, that's for sure. Most of the rules he is advertising he can in theory deliver on, only 5e is up in the air.
 

DiasExMachina

Explorer
I've mentioned it on the Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1894400580/amethyst-fantasy-and-technology-collide) that we have it on authority that there will be at least an SRD and probably an OGL for D&D Next (5E). You would have to have a major regime change at WOTC to cast doubt on that. WOTC is committed in rebuilding their 3PP base after 4E. DEM was the first to sign (so goes the rumor) to the GSL, and we’re even more confident now. That was point one.

Point two is that we stated that when D&D Next is released, we'll then release the version of Amethyst for it. So obviously, we'll be waiting for the final rules before releasing that edition. It won't be a rules-free version--it will be a fully adapted setting using D&D Next. Our release date indicated refers the due date for the majority of the content (4E, Fate Core, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds). I added in an update that both 5E and 13th Age will take a bit longer. If the KS succeeds, content will start being released as early as Christmas and will continue steadily the weeks and months to follow.

Our third point is that if by some weird voodoo circumstance a SRD is NOT released, there are still ways to create a compatible supplement for 5E. I learned that from Joseph Goodman. :)

I hope that clears up any doubt. I remember fielding similar concerns when DEM started mucking around in the 4E sandbox. WOTC never tried to take our IP away. They never flexed copyright or frowned on us breaking philosophy. Of course, they could have done better in their relationship with 3PP, and they know that...

"We aim to create a more cohesive tie between WotC and third parties"

So yes, there will be a fully realized version of Amethyst for 5th Edition. It will happen.
 


darjr

I crit!
I've mentioned it on the Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1894400580/amethyst-fantasy-and-technology-collide) that we have it on authority that there will be at least an SRD and probably an OGL for D&D Next (5E). You would have to have a major regime change at WOTC to cast doubt on that. WOTC is committed in rebuilding their 3PP base after 4E. DEM was the first to sign (so goes the rumor) to the GSL, and we’re even more confident now. That was point one.


That's a huge scoop. And really good news. I just wish they'd yell it from the mountain tops. I think it would only be good for them.

edit: [MENTION=58907]DiasExMachina[/MENTION];

I'm not doubting you. I'm just floored. And very curious.
 
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DiasExMachina

Explorer
That's a huge scoop. And really good news. I just wish they'd yell it from the mountain tops. I think it would only be good for them.

...probably because they haven't finalized the rules. I am sure there will at least be an SRD. Even though I was told there would be an OGL, that I am less certain about...but that doesn't concern me to be honest, since I plan on sticking close to WOTC in regards to 5E.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
...probably because they haven't finalized the rules. I am sure there will at least be an SRD. Even though I was told there would be an OGL, that I am less certain about...but that doesn't concern me to be honest, since I plan on sticking close to WOTC in regards to 5E.

Yeah, like @darjr says, if you have that information somehow, you have the hugest scoop in RPGs right now. That's information nobody else has, except you.

Could you cite your source on this? I mean, I consider myself fairly well informed (not like I used to be, but even so) and have not heard a whiff of this.
 
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DiasExMachina

Explorer
Morrus, I'll respond to your privately since answering here may cause issues with the NDA restrictions. I know I probably crossed that line already.
 

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