OGL: Kobold Press 'Raising Our Flag' For New Open RPG

Kobold Press has announced its plans regarding the upcoming new OGL v1.1, which involves a new, open game codenamed Project Black Flag.

BlagFlagKoboldLogo-1536x864.jpg

Kobold Press has been and always will be committed to open gaming and the tabletop community. Our goal is to continue creating the best materials for players and game masters alike.

This means Kobold Press will release its current Kickstarter projects as planned, including Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns (already printed and on its way to backers this winter).

In particular, Deep Magic Volume 2 will remain fully compatible with the 5E rules. We are working with our VTT partners to maintain support for digital platforms.

As we look ahead, it becomes even more important for our actions to represent our values. While we wait to see what the future holds, we are moving forward with clear-eyed work on a new Core Fantasy tabletop ruleset: available, open, and subscription-free for those who love it—Code Name: Project Black Flag.

All Kobolds look forward to the continued evolution of tabletop gaming. We aim to play our part in making the game better for everyone. Rest assured, Kobold Press intends to maintain a strong presence in the tabletop RPG community. We are not going anywhere.


 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I don’t think any of this is about D&D Beyond. Or rather, it might be, if they decide to call their new VTT “D&D Beyond.”
I think the strategy would be the same for both of them. If you make it hard to add third party content to their online tools while also making those online tools extremely attractive to groups, you are making them less likely to want to spend money on third party content they can't use with those tools.

But WotC is choosing violence. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Retreater

Legend
I expect so. KP have a vast amount of sunk cost in 5e and not a vast amount of staff to update it all. They won't be wanting to obsolete their entire back catalogue at a stroke.
Well, WotC's OGL v1.1 just obsoleted the entire back catalog for the entire OGL-based industry. So Kobold Press, Paizo, et al, don't have a choice other than to sign v1.1, have a lengthy and costly legal battle, or re-write and re-publish their catalog. And honestly, it's probably easier to start over than to feign backwards compatibility (and risk litigation, because if it's backwards compatible enough, it's close enough to get sued over.)
 

ECMO3

Hero
Well, WotC's OGL v1.1 just obsoleted the entire back catalog for the entire OGL-based industry. So Kobold Press, Paizo, et al, don't have a choice other than to sign v1.1, have a lengthy and costly legal battle, or re-write and re-publish their catalog. And honestly, it's probably easier to start over than to feign backwards compatibility (and risk litigation, because if it's backwards compatible enough, it's close enough to get sued over.)

The problem for Kobold press is in the "Kobold" not the backwards compatibility. The game mechanics can't be copyrighted.

Kobold press has more to fear in building a game, any game, with Drow, Dueregar, Purple Worms and Red Dragons than it does building a game with actions, bonus actions, reactions, 3d6 ability scores, proficiency bonuses, skill checks etc.

They can make their game completely backwards compatible and even identical mechanically as long as it does not use WOTC IP.
 

Snute

Villager
The problem for Kobold press is in the "Kobold" not the backwards compatibility. The game mechanics can't be copyrighted.

Kobold press has more to fear in building a game, any game, with Drow, Dueregar, Purple Worms and Red Dragons than it does building a game with actions, bonus actions, reactions, 3d6 ability scores, proficiency bonuses, skill checks etc.

They can make their game completely backwards compatible and even identical mechanically as long as it does not use WOTC IP.
Kobolds, Dragons and Worms are mythological creatures, to which WotC certainly does not have any claim whatsoever.
Drow and Duergar are, afaik, indeed claims they have.
 

Kobold press has more to fear in building a game, any game, with Drow, Dueregar, Purple Worms and Red Dragons than it does building a game with actions, bonus actions, reactions, 3d6 ability scores, proficiency bonuses, skill checks etc.
I'm not a lawyer so I'm not even going to wade into the whole debate about copyrightable game mechanics, but in Midgard, Kobold Press's in-house campaign setting, drow are almost extinct, I don't remember any duergar (though there are derro), and the major underground bad guys are ghouls. And midgard uses flame/wind/void/etc dragons rather than the standard D&D metallic/chromatic array.
 

Snute

Villager
The problem for Kobold press is in the "Kobold" not the backwards compatibility. The game mechanics can't be copyrighted.

Kobold press has more to fear in building a game, any game, with Drow, Dueregar, Purple Worms and Red Dragons than it does building a game with actions, bonus actions, reactions, 3d6 ability scores, proficiency bonuses, skill checks etc.

They can make their game completely backwards compatible and even identical mechanically as long as it does not use WOTC IP.
Kobolds, Dragons and Worms are mythological creatures, to which WotC certainly does not have any claim whatsoever.
Drow and Duergar are, afaik, indeed claims they have.
 

The problem for Kobold press is in the "Kobold" not the backwards compatibility. The game mechanics can't be copyrighted.

Kobold press has more to fear in building a game, any game, with Drow, Dueregar, Purple Worms and Red Dragons than it does building a game with actions, bonus actions, reactions, 3d6 ability scores, proficiency bonuses, skill checks etc.

They can make their game completely backwards compatible and even identical mechanically as long as it does not use WOTC IP.
So it just has to make a game with Dark Elves, Deep Dwarves, Indigo Wyrms, and... Red Dragons?

(Surely you can't copyright a red dragon?)
 

dave2008

Legend
Well, WotC's OGL v1.1 just obsoleted the entire back catalog for the entire OGL-based industry. So Kobold Press, Paizo, et al, don't have a choice other than to sign v1.1, have a lengthy and costly legal battle, or re-write and re-publish their catalog. And honestly, it's probably easier to start over than to feign backwards compatibility (and risk litigation, because if it's backwards compatible enough, it's close enough to get sued over.)
Technically they haven't yet as they haven't released the OGL 1.1. I am hoping they seriously reconsider, but I'm not holding my breath!
 



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