Black Flag Kobold Press' Black Flag System Reference Document Released

Developer tool released under Open RPG Creator (ORC) License.

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The System Reference Document--called the Black Flag Reference Document or BFRD--for Kobold Press' Black Flag roleplaying game system--launched as a reaction to the Open Gaming License crisis caused by Wizards of the Coast in 2022/2023--has been released under the Open RPG Creative (ORC) License, a viral share-alike license designed to replace the Open Gaming License.

A System Reference Document is a tool for third party developers, and contains the rules text that those creators are permitted to use, along with examples of how certain rules elements--such as subclasses--work.

The document includes lineages, heritages, classes, spells, monsters, and more.

The BFRD is the second major third-party 'alternate 5E' SRD to be released, following the Level Up: Advanced 5E SRD (A5ESRD) from EN Publishing.

Wizards of the Coast announced this week that the 2024 core rules of Dungeon & Dragons would be added to their own System Reference Document in 2025.

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I mean, I can answer those questions. Suffice it to say I have, and we put our entire game out on

Maybe that will have to change over time. But right now, it works.
I think, it works, because people still buy your books because they really like your forum and want to support you.
And of course the game is great.

Maybe WotC could get away with it too. I think despite reddit hate and so on, many people support WotC because D&D 5e is a great game too.

And actually WotC allows their whole rules to be found online without any problems. But they don't allow it officially, because they don't want anyone to make money out of their full rules by just copying them.

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Distracted DM

Distracted DM
It's market of more than 200 milion people, decent amount of it is in EU, purchasing power is rising. People are willing to pay for products. Just not for a product that is available for free. If you have decent srd as a tech demo which shows good side of your game, people will buy it.

It's pshychological thing and off topic.
It's really not off-topic... You suggested that an SRD'd product wouldn't sell because it's free.
A5e's core books are entirely in an SRD. Most of their other stuff is making its way into SRD. People still buy the system, even though it's available for free.

Argyle King

Are there at documents that compare and contrast D&D 5e with the various versions of

I don't feel that I have much, if any, idea about what these products are offering as changes or improvements.

Marc Radle

One good place to start is to download the free Tales of the Valiant: Conversion Guide (PDF)

This is taken directly from that free PDF:

General Changes

The Tales of the Valiant roleplaying game includes a host of changes from the 5E rules. Many of those changes are relatively obvious and easy to recognize, while others are subtler. To help facilitate an easy transition between the two games, here is a list of some of the larger changes that can impact players, many of which are fully defined in Chapter 6: Playing the Game in the Player’s Guide:
  • Ability scores are now abbreviated in almost all situations where an ability score or its modifier is referenced (e.g. STR instead of Strength).
  • Alignment has been removed from the base game.
  • Doom is a new, optional resource for GMs to increase the challenge of any encounter.
  • Hiding is now a specific action with unique rules, parameters, and uses.
  • Luck is a new PC resource that replaces Inspiration.
  • Magic items are in the Player’s Guide for easier reference.
  • Magic items now include gold piece (gp) prices with each item.
  • Monster stat blocks are streamlined for quick reference. Individual blocks no longer display skill proficiencies, saving throw proficiencies, proficiency bonus (PB) notations, or the experience points (XP) gained from defeating them. Instead, this information is combined into a single set of modifiers that are easier to use in the heat of encounter gameplay. General reference information for how these figures are factored into overall statistics is included in the Monster Vault.
  • Monster weaknesses to specific materials, such as silver, have been removed, and those effects are now represented as special properties of weapons made from those materials (i.e. werewolves aren’t weak to silver; silver is extra effective against werewolves).
  • PC race options have been split into lineage and heritage. This split is discussed later in this conversion guide and further detailed in the Player’s Guide.
  • Resistance can now also apply to conditions. A creature resistant to a condition has advantage on the check or save against that condition.
  • The overall number of tool proficiencies is reduced, and multiple tool sets were combined to make each more useful. Tools also include clearer uses, example tasks, and example save DCs for using them.
  • Vulnerability can now also apply to conditions. A creature vulnerable to a condition has disadvantage on the check or save against that condition.
You can also check out for lots of great info as well


Are there at documents that compare and contrast D&D 5e with the various versions of

I don't feel that I have much, if any, idea about what these products are offering as changes or improvements.
I mean I an exhaustive catalogue of differences would take a long time to make, but I can give you an overview.

  • Races are split into Heritage (ancestry) and Culture. ASIs come from Backgrounds.
  • Martial classes get a system of combat maneuvers similar to 4E martial exploits or Battlemaster maneuvers and fueled by Ki Exertion points.
  • New skills and skill specializations, which utilize Expertise Dice (bonus dice akin to bless or Bardic Inspiration)
  • Barbarian, Monk, and Paladin are renamed Berserker, Adept, and Herald. Marshall (Warlord) is added as a core class.
  • All classes get Warlock-esque optional features and more choices in general.
  • A lot of extra granularity in equipment.
  • All monsters and many spells got a new balance pass.
  • Whole game is in OGL, ORC, and Creative Commons.

  • Races are split into Lineage (ancestry) and Heritage (culture). ASIs are assigned like post-Tasha's 5E races.
  • Classes are redesigned with unified subclass progression. The fighter kicks ten kinds of ass; the Monk's changes are relatively small. A 13th Class called a Mechanist is added (non-magic artificer).
  • Feats are renamed Talents and only require you to give up half an ASI, but you can only take Talents from your class group.
  • Spell levels renamed Spell Circles, and all classes choose from four spell lists instead of class spell list. Rituals and Spells are separate things as they were in 4th Edition but otherwise use the 5E spellcasting mechanics.
  • Weapons all have weapon actions that can be used as a bonus action or with an attack.
  • Luck points have replaced Inspiration.
  • All monsters and a few spells got a new balance pass.
  • The SRD is released under ORC

TLDR: A5E is 5E but with a lot of extra complexity. TOTV is no more complex than 5E but with some QOL improvements. Ironically, A5E is more compatible because subclass levels are the same.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Are there at documents that compare and contrast D&D 5e with the various versions of

I don't feel that I have much, if any, idea about what these products are offering as changes or improvements.
Hopefully someone does a really good blog post -- preferably with one column per 5E version -- putting these all side by side some time soon.

(Videos aren't ideal for this kind of detailed info, IMO.)

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