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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SlyFlourish

SlyFlourish.com
Supporter
I'm not saying they don't have value for everybody. They have.

Yes, they make money on books. But full free version of game is eating into the profits. And how much they make on dead tree products is more and more questionable, even for big companies,with rising cost of transportation and logistics. Question is, how much would full free game in srd eat into the sales of core books and is Kobold press big enough to afford it?

If they could shift from dead tree model to online subscription model, companies would jump to it. And they will eventually, when prime target demographic becomes generation that grew up on streaming platforms.
You know that Morrus both sells A5e books (which are fantastic) and released all of the mechanics of those books under a CC right? He has direct experience in this.
 

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GrimCo

Adventurer
You know that Morrus both sells A5e books (which are fantastic) and released all of the mechanics of those books under a CC right? He has direct experience in this.
Nope. Didn't have a clue. I'm just discussing merits of different business models and possible pros & cons. A5E wasn't on my radar. Will download free stuff tho and have a look. But looking at price tag ( with shipping) of 77 euros. Ouch. 😅
 






mamba

Legend
Cool. I'll check free stuff from their page first. Is there anything in paid PDF that's not in free stuff? Mechanics wise i mean. If not, i'll stick to free stuff. 😊
no idea, never compared the two, I assume pretty much everything mechanics wise is in the SRD. At a minimum it is a pretty extensive SRD compared to what 5e offers
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
How much?

I am curious what your experience is that makes you so certain.
First,i have friend in publishing industry. Profit margins on books are rather slim.

Second, i know mindset of tipical consumer/customer in eastern and south eastern Europe (aka post comunist states). "Why pay for something that you can get for free" is common tought. Plus, intelectual property isn't really conisidered real property. It's changing slowly, but it will take couple of generations to change that completly.

While your average American or Western European might still buy pdf or book to support commpany even if there is full free version online, your average E/SE European wont. What can i say. We hate paying for stuff that we can have for free.

Cultural and economic differences and all that jazz.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
First,i have friend in publishing industry. Profit margins on books are rather slim.

Second, i know mindset of tipical consumer/customer in eastern and south eastern Europe (aka post comunist states). "Why pay for something that you can get for free" is common tought. Plus, intelectual property isn't really conisidered real property. It's changing slowly, but it will take couple of generations to change that completly.

While your average American or Western European might still buy pdf or book to support commpany even if there is full free version online, your average E/SE European wont. What can i say. We hate paying for stuff that we can have for free.

Cultural and economic differences and all that jazz.
Interesting. It sounds like folks likely wouldn't be paying for it even sans an SRD, just pirating it instead. So why would the publisher even considerbthat market in making decisions?
 

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