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.

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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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Dausuul

Legend
Indeed! I'm just saying that because we don't know anything yet... those people who are right now jumping into this Project with both feet in order to thumb their nose at "The Man" just need to be careful-- they might be accidentally subsidizing another eventual D&D and WotC-adjacent project after all.
Nobody's subsidizing nothing just yet. All that happens if you sign up is that you go on their mailing list for notifications and updates.
 

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Reynard

Legend
In case some folks haven't or can't click thru:
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As Dungeons & Dragons moves toward the 50th anniversary of the game, foundational changes are afoot in the tabletop roleplaying game arena. While we wait to see exactly what shape the Open Gaming License might take in this new era, Kobold Press is also moving forward with some clear-eyed work on keeping the 5E rule set available, open, and subscription-free for those who love it: the Core Fantasy experiment. To receive future announcements and to register to playtest this ruleset, please sign up using this form.

When the new Open Gaming License and an updated System Reference Document are made public, Kobold Press will review the terms and consider whether they fit the needs of our audience and our business goals.

The kobolds are looking forward to the continued evolution of tabletop gaming, and we aim to play our part in making the game better. Rest assured Kobold Press intends to maintain a strong presence in the tabletop RPG community.

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I am cooler on this than I was on the front page of the announcement. First off, I don't know how they think they are going to legally pull it off. Secondly, do we need this?
 



Dausuul

Legend
In order for Project Black Flag to be what you describe, WotC would need to severely backtrack on the path that they are currently on.
Not necessarily. There is actually quite a lot that can be done to create D&D-compatible material, maybe even functional D&D clones, without using any kind of OGL.

The problem is that in doing so, you are leaving the safe harbor* of the OGL and wading into the exceedingly treacherous waters of IP law, which is even weirder and more confusing than most forms of law. You more or less have to have a lawyer with relevant expertise review every. single. word. And that ain't cheap.

So, in practice, this route is seldom taken except when the creator happens to be a lawyer with relevant expertise. KenzerCo, for example, went this route with Kingdoms of Kalamar during the 4E era (Dave Kenzer is an IP lawyer).

*Recently sacked by the Hasbro Navy.
 




DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Nobody's subsidizing nothing just yet. All that happens if you sign up is that you go on their mailing list for notifications and updates.
And that's cool. If some people would intend to get involved with anything new that Kobold was to publish anyway, then this seems like an interesting new product.

I just got the impression though by the way some people were commenting that they were doing it more as a statement against HasbrotC rather than a statement for Kobold Press. And that's where folks might find themselves ending up back to being part of the problem later on if their statement gets turned around on them.
 

Reynard

Legend
Did we need Pathfinder? "Need" is kind of a loaded word.
More importantly, was Pathfinder a positive force on the overall market and community at the time?
I think there is a significant difference in this situation, though, because 1D&D does not appear to be particularly far removed from 5E in the way 4E was from Pathfinder. As such, it seems especially difficult a) for Kobold to get away with it if WotC really clamps down on the new OGL, and b) to create a niche outside of 1D&D for the continued support of 5E or a 5E like.

As to "need" I would argue yes, in fact, there was a need for Pathfinder, given the circumstances of its birth. What we need isn't a serial numbers filed off 5E game but a solid, open fantasy game that fills the same need but isn't constantly in the crosshairs of WotC. I am sure Kobold could design one and I would rather see them do that than just create a wiki of 5E rules with a few search/replace terms.
 

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