OGL Potential Positive Outcomes of the OGL Fiasco (+)

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We see hundreds if not thousands gamers (mostly gamemasters and many creators) looking right now a multitude of game systems and rpg companies for their new games.
I am one of them and I feel both excited and liberated!

I am not so sure a diaspora to other games will be as positive a development for the community as folks may think, in the long term.
Fundamentally, I think that is the question that the OGL tried to answer in the first place* -- is having a bunch of the TTRPG creative energy outside of D&D-proper dedicated to things built on a D&D-like framework better for the flourishing of the TTRPG community than for the same energy to be going into individual other-systems like GURPS, Runequest, White Wolf, and so on?
*beyond just preserving d&d in case D&D failed and left the scene

In terms that will fit the (+) premise of the thread, I think it is absolutely a positive time to test the waters: let's see if -- given the huge amount of new blood in the hobby -- now is the time for some non-class/level/D20-based game systems to try to edge their way into the fore. To my knowledge, we've only ever had non-d&d* take a large slice of the gaming pie when gamerdom as a whole had retracted and D&D in particular was waning. Let's see what happens when the holders of D&D lose the ball when they are ascendant and gamerdom as a whole has been steadily growing.
*counting Pathfinder as a part of this category.

To my knowledge, we've only ever had non-d&d* take a large slice of the gaming pie when gamerdom as a whole had retracted and D&D in particular was waning.
The billion dollar question is whether those two are causally connected. The Skaff Effect states that any activity in the RPG space will accrue to the benefit of the market leader. Is the inverse true? Does the "waning" of the market leader cause decreased activity in the RPG space?

To keep this (+), let's say no!

The recent events show that the public want DnD to have a fair OGL.
It’s a part of the marketing and the image of DnD that people want, even if they don’t use or buy any third party products.

So DnD can use the OGL to make his own promotion and can go public like actual play test for the rules to make any change for the OGL. DnD can reverse the actual situation and be the promoter and explain carefully the OGL and any change they want to do directly to the public. That way they will bypass the third party that claim the OGL for their own.

I hope we see smaller RPG systems rise
some new some old...

I keep pimping TORG. It's one of those systems that is really linked to it's story and world... BUT it doesn't have to be. A group of TORG players can peal out the system and run there own fantasy or sci fi or modern game.
In fact I could run the Deadlands game world, the Shadow Run game world the Vampire/Werewolf/Mage world just fine... I can run a superhero game (including doing a DC or Marvel one) with the core book and cards.


CR 1/8
  • Several 3pps are already severing themselves from the OGL, especially ones who don't have any real need for the safeharbor for using D&Disms.
  • Hopefully, this will a relatively quickly provoke a definitive resolution to the status of OGL1.0 materials, especially for future works based on them.
  • Hopefully, the hubub will encourage more gamers to explore beyond D&D, and maybe help push other RPGs, genres, and designs into the mainstream.


Doing the best imitation of myself
It seems likely that there will be another Pathfinder situation where a "clone" or similar system comes to the forefront. From my perspective, I hope this will be a game more in touch with what I want out of a game, and one that use what, to me, are better design elements. Additionally, depending on who is creating the clone, it is likely to have much better adventure support too.

So I guess I'd say a mainstream game more to my tastes would be a positive development. And with the groups that are stepping up, that seems pretty likely.

With D&D being THE game, it brought people with conflicting desires together. This forum is full of the battles where these desires collide.

If the defacto monopoly D&D has is broken, people could go play the game that best suits their desires instead of having to fight to change D&D it into what they want.


I am not so sure a diaspora to other games will be as positive a development for the community as folks may think, in the long term.

Yeah the smaller games don't have the marketing and monetary owner to keep an influx of new players and money. WotC's D&D is what gets people into TTRPGS and allow them to swap to lesser known games.

A eventual but sad net positive is that many RPGs will fade and the survivers might pick up the refugees to pump up the publishers to the point that they can be an entry point instead of siphoning off D&D entry point.


Well, a big PLUS is people might start to play OTHER RPGs.

D&D is great, but it's only a fantasy combat adventure, but does not do a lot of things well.

The players get all excited to play a dark game where they are scoundrels.

BUT all the players REFUSE to play anything EXCEPT D&D 5E. So they make their combat heavy characters that have Stealth. Then we play the game....and, well, it's not as much "Fun" as the players hopped.

Many a D&D like me would say "Guys, the Blades in the Dark game is MADE for this type of game. Lets use it." And the players just say "We must only play D&D 5E".

Getting 'new' players that have only ever played D&D 5E, to try Call of Cthulhu, Traveler, Scum and Villainy, Shadowrun, Star Trek Adventures, and Paranoia was near impossible...

.....not now, though


I agree with what others have said. Diversity in this hobby is a good thing, and if nothing else this mess has prompted more games to come out. Love that.

So solely taking the "accentuate the positive" approach:

1) Without the OGL/SRD, it's very likely that people will work out that they can make very D&D-like RPGs without problems. Either will sue one company, maybe take them out, but will be forced to show the hard limits of their IP (copyrights, trademarks), or WotC will be too afraid of that and associated extreme bad press (which wouldn't be a one-off it'd come back every time something happened with the case - it'd basically be the OJ Simpson trial but for D&D, and people like io9 would probably be reporting on developments/arguments weekly), and definite loss of some copyrights/trademarks, which will essentially show people can do what the hell they want so long as they stay away from the most obvious WotC stuff.

This will free up the 3PP market in the longer-term.

2) ORC will probably become the default share-alike licence for TTRPGs, and will actually be protected, unlike the OGL.

3) People will increasingly discover RPGs outside of D&D. I disagree with anyone saying this isn't a long-term positive. In the short term, it might be a negative, but in the longer term, it'll make RPGs much more likely to survive as they'll be diverse. If say, 40m people are playing RPGs now, and 30m of them are playing D&D, then even if say, only 25m people were playing, but they were playing a much more diverse selection of RPGs, I think it's more likely that TTRPGs would continue exist in a real way in say, 2040 or 2050, than if the 40m situation, where it's very possible D&D would basically vanish for some reason or another (not least some kind of boneheaded decision by whoever owns the IP then), leaving a lot of people really scrambling in a way that is likely to see a lot more of them fall out of playing RPGs.
Destruction of d20 die as primary generator of RNG.
Yes let us pray.

Not many of us praying for this but good god I wish it was gone for everything but combat/saves at the least.

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