News Digest for the Week of January 20

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! OGL v1.2 draft released, new Star Trek Adventures Mission Briefs, glittery liquid dice from Fanroll Dice, and more!

For a quick summary of the week’s news, Jessica Hancock will bring you up to speed with EN Live's This Week in TTRPG every Friday.

Don’t forget, you can keep up with all the week’s gaming news in detail with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk. This week, Morrus, Peter, and Jessica talk about the controversy surrounding the Open Gaming License.

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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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The OGL saga continues! When we last left the story of the changes to the Open Gaming License, mainstream media outlets outside of gaming picked up the story and generally portrayed Wizards of the Coast in a negative light. This prompted Wizards of the Coast to post a statement retracting many of the terms from the leaked version of the OGL v1.1. Gizmodo reported that the change of heart came after massive cancellation numbers for D&D Beyond subscriptions. Gizmodo also revealed a leak of the “sweetheart deal” terms provided to some third-party publishers to sign on to the OGL v1.1, including a lower royalty rate and marketing on D&D Beyond. Of course, one of the biggest questions from those outside the gaming industry is why the OGL v1.0a did not include the term “irrevocable” if that was the intent (though the same questions aren’t asked about the Creative Commons license which did not add the term until 2013 with Version 4.0 International). On Wednesday, Wizards of the Coast posted a second apology and a statement that the new revised version of the OGL would be released by Friday along with a survey through D&D Beyond to get community feedback. This led to a claim online from “insiders” that the feedback on D&D Beyond surveys is not read, which was then refuted by current and past Wizards of the Coast employees. The official D&D Beyond Twitter account further refuted several other online rumors reportedly from “inside sources” claiming $30/mo subscription plans, AI DMs, and charging extra to use homebrew content which D&D Beyond dismissed as “misinformation”.

Wizards of the Coast beat their own deadline by releasing the draft version of the OGL v1.2 on Thursday afternoon. This updated license deauthorizes the OGL v1.0a and claims that no products may be produced using that license after a date which has not yet been set. Wizards of the Coast has not stated whether or not they believe this clause applies to creators who do not agree to the OGL v1.2 and wish to continue using the OGL v1.0a, which was the opinion of Wizards of the Coast stated in 2006 and has been a sticking point in debates within legal circles over the OGL changes.

The license is a perpetual, irrevocable license that can only be modified by provisions under Section 5 (“You Control Your Content”) and Section 9(a) (Miscellaneous – Notices). The new license does not include any royalties nor any claim of license or ownership of third-party content created under the license. It does include a morality clause in Section 6(f) titled “No Hateful Content or Conduct” that allows Wizards of the Coast to terminate the license if they at their sole discretion decide that the work is ”harmful, discriminatory, illegal, obscene, or harassing” as well as from any creators who “engage in conduct that is harmful, discriminatory, illegal, obscene, or harassing”. None of those terms are defined within the license and the license removes any ability for an external review or appeal by saying “you will not contest any such determination via any suit or other legal action”. The license under Section 9(e) also requires parties waive all right to participate in “any class, collective, or other joint action” if there is a dispute over the license, so no class action lawsuits. Creators may include the “Creator Content” logo seen above on their OGL v1.2 licensed material.

The OGL v1.2 will also release select portions of the SRD 5.1 (the System Reference Document for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition) under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. The specific portions are p. 56-104, 254-260, and 358-359. These pages include rules for ability checks, combat, the equipment table, monster abilities, multiclassing, backgrounds, and conditions but does not include any classes, subclasses, races/species, spells, magic items, or monster stat blocks.

The OGL v1.2 PDF file also includes a second document, the “Wizards of the Coast LLC Virtual Tabletop Policy”. This is a FAQ that states what is and is not allowed for VTTs, specifically stating that VTTs may only recreate “the experience of sitting around the table playing D&D with your friends”. It prohibits animations as that’s “more like a video game” along with a prohibition on NFTs.

D&D Beyond on Twitter addressed some concerns in the hours following the OGL v1.2’s release. The Twitter account states that anyone with an OGL v1.0a project in development can continue developing it “as we get feedback on the OGL 1.2”, but does not state any timeframe for the revocation of the OGL v1.0a or address what will happen if a project is still in development at a time when Wizards of the Coast sets an effective date of the revocation. The account stated that they are looking at releasing content from previous editions under both CC and OGL v1.2, a concern as works based on the SRDs for 3rd Edition, 3.5 Edition, and D20 Modern would not allowed as they are only released under OGL v1.0a.

The survey for customer feedback on both the OGL v1.2 and the VTT Policy will go live on Friday, January 20, 2023.

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In other open gaming news, several companies have announced intentions to release products under an open license or are creating their own. Mongoose Publishing announced they will be creating a new Traveller SRD released under the Open RPG Creator (ORC) License using the 2022 updated core rules alongside the licensed Travellers’ Aid Society content creator program for the official setting through DriveThruRPG. EN Publishing announced a new starter set for the What’s OLD is NEW system, and that the WOIN System will be released under “as open a license as we can find”. Free League announced they will create two new open licenses, one for the Year Zero Engine and one for the upcoming Dragonbane system. The YZE OGL will allow include an overhauled SRD and allow for creation of full third-party systems, while the Dragonbane system will be limited to creating supplements for the Dragonbane system and will not allow for full standalone games.

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Modiphius released a new Mission Briefs for Star Trek Adventures titled Ancient Civilizations. From ancient ruins and artifacts to beings with technology and abilities far beyond our comprehension, your crew in the Original Series era (or other eras with some modification) will encounter civilizations far older than any other in the Federation. This 16-page module features ten mission briefs can that be used as stand-alone adventures or played in order to create a loosely connected campaign. The PDF is available now on DriveThruRPG as pay-what-you-want with a suggested price of $0.00.

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Metallic Dice Games announced the retail release of their Elixir Liquid Core Dice line of dice. The dice have a glittery liquid core that spins and shimmers when rolled. The core comes from a bubble made during the molding process and the liquid is constantly moving, so does not have an effect on the fairness of roles according to the Fanroll Dice website. The full-size polyhedral dice also feature sharp edges to improve fairness of rolls versus rounded edges. Prices start at $12.99 for a single d20 to $74.99 for a full 7-dice set with a scheduled release date of March 1, 2023.


That’s all from me for this week! Don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at news@enpublishingrpg.com, and you can get more discussion of the week’s news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk every week. You can follow me on Twitch to get notifications when I go live, follow me on Mastodon for RPG chat and general nonsense, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube for videos on gaming history, RPG reviews, and gaming Let’s Plays, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon, Humble Store, Humble Bundle, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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