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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Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Well, WotC's OGL v1.1 just obsoleted the entire back catalog for the entire OGL-based industry.
I don't think this is the case. They can keep printing and selling items that were released under 1.0(a) prior to 1.1's implementation date (currently looking like Jan 13 2023). They cannot make new products in those lines from old SRDs though, which is a big problem for many companies. And they cannot make new material for 5e unless they switch to 1.1 or get a special license with WotC.
 

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mamba

Legend
I don't think this is the case. They can keep printing and selling items that were released under 1.0(a) prior to 1.1's implementation date (currently looking like Jan 13 2023). They cannot make new products in those lines from old SRDs though, which is a big problem for many companies. And they cannot make new material for 5e unless they switch to 1.1 or get a special license with WotC.
that looks like what WotC tries to imply, but that does not actually make it so. Anyone can continue publishing under 1.0a, at that time it becomes WotC's move what they want to do about it. Some argue all the 1.1 does is disallow those who signed on to continue using 1.0a but everyone else can, which makes some sense, as anyone not signing on to 1.1 is not really bound by anything 1.1 has to say on the subject.
 

JEB

Legend
We don't yet know whether the de-authorization of OGL 1.0 in OGL 1.1 means:
  • OGL 1.0 is a defunct license once OGL 1.1 is published, and therefore no past or future OGL 1.0 products may continue to be published after that date
  • OGL 1.0 products are fine up until the date of OGL 1.1's publication, and may remain available, but none can be released thereafter unless you sign up for OGL 1.1
  • OGL 1.0 is only deactivated for adopters of OGL 1.1 (a "poison pill" clause), so OGL 1.0 publishers are fine as long as they don't sign up
  • etc.
I've seen all these interpretations suggested here and/or by third party publishers. The actual legal effect is probably only going to be decided in court.

However, if I had to guess, Wizards probably wants people to think the first option is the correct interpretation. And they're either confident that interpretation would prevail in court, or believe that no one will be willing to challenge them on it.
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't think this is the case. They can keep printing and selling items that were released under 1.0(a) prior to 1.1's implementation date (currently looking like Jan 13 2023). They cannot make new products in those lines from old SRDs though, which is a big problem for many companies. And they cannot make new material for 5e unless they switch to 1.1 or get a special license with WotC.
That's up in the air from what I can tell. They are revoking the license. I haven't specifically seen that they will come to Paizo's warehouse and give Cynthia Williams a document shredder to destroy every copy of Pathfinder and Starfinder in storage. But from what I can tell, many publishers are thinking that they will not be able to provide PDFs of 1.0(a) material. Some look like they're forging ahead with existing print runs, but I don't know if things can be reprinted (or offered as POD).
If a publisher is wrong, well, that's potentially thousands (if not more) dollars worth of a mistake.
 

twincast

Explorer
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.
TSR have certainly claimed the rights to those two words in the past, but frivolously so. I'm 99% sure that the OGL included them and not just their more generic names dark elf and gray dwarf (which I actually prefer) because WotC knew they had no leg to stand on, cf. renamed spells.

drow is a Scots cognate of troll
duergar is a Norse cognate of dwarves
D&D duergar are actually just like mythological dark elves.
And D&D-like dark elves are all over fantasy (most notably Warhammer).

The only thing in the quote that WotC might have had any (dubious) claim on is the usage of the word kobold for small lizardfolk. But given how many non-OGL lizardly kobolds they've let run around over the last two decades, they've clearly abandoned ownership if they ever had it.
 






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