D&D 5E Ray Winninger, in charge of D&D, states his old school bonefides.

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dave2008

Legend
No, they don't. Those links you posted are for old WotC/TSR products that are available for download (or POD). I'm talking about letting people write original materials, the way they currently do for the 5E rules and lore, with the rules and lore from pre-5E.
You can't currently use rules from older editions, but you can definitely use lore from older editions, as long as it is from a setting that is allowed on the DMsGuild. You are not restricted to the 5e version of the lore when you publish something on DMsGuild. With more old settings coming the assumption is these will become available on DMsGuild too. I think that is more generous than any previous stewards of the game have been.

From the DMsGuild FAQ:

"What can I use in my titles on the Dungeon Masters Guild?

When you create your own title for the Dungeon Masters Guild, you get access to a hoard of resources. Your work can use any of the 5th Edition D&D rules published by Wizards of the Coast, plus decades of published material for the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, Ravnica, and Theros settings. "
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I don't know about using rules from older editions, but you can definitely use lore from older editions, as long as it is from a setting that is allowed on the DMsGuild. You are not restricted to the 5e version of the lore when you publish something on DMsGuild.
No, but you are with regard to what rules you can use, which makes it kind of a moot point. I don't know if you're allowed to publish a rules-free product on the DMs Guild, but when I mentioned using the "rules and lore from pre-5E" (emphasis mine here) I wasn't being figurative; I was referring to using both in the same product.
 

aco175

Legend
I always liked Ray's Dungeoncraft articles back in Dragon Magazine. He must be old school since it was published on paper and mailed to your house by this company called the post office- for you young people.

Side note for us old people that are a bit computer illiterate. Place a @ symbol before someone's name you are trying to quote. This will bring up the names as you type the first few letters and you can check off the one you are trying to name. This will also alert them that someone used their name.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
But the game's vision has changed quite a bit since it first came out, and it seems pretty clear with each new release that getting back to "the good ol' days" is no longer a priority. In fact, it almost seems like they're embarrassed of the past now, spending a great deal of energy rewriting the wrongs for a new audience.

So I think for many, WotC's marketing going from "Please come back, we made it cool again.", to "Wow, D&D was awful back then, am I right?", is cause to be a bit grumpy. :)
Huh?

So, WotC's slow steps towards inclusiveness, avoiding systemic racism and sexism embedded in their products, is somehow disrespecting the OSR crowd? Only the ones who don't mind racism and sexism in their gaming, I suppose. I'm okay with that.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
They don't necessarily have to actually put out old-school-style products to show support to old-school fans. A good alternative, one which would cost them very little (if anything), would be to open up the DMs Guild for people who want to write pre-5E D&D products.

If they're worried about that watering down what's available on the DMs Guild, then they could just have OneBookShelf set up a sister site for pre-5E materials. Either way, I think that would make a lot of the old-school fans happy, and it would be a tangible show of support from WotC (as opposed to a statement with no force or effect) that wouldn't require that any resources be diverted on their part.
While generally I find the OSR-crowd complaining tiresome, this idea I can support. Open up all of D&D's classic settings on the Guild, and open up all of the classic rulesets as well!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
4th edition is locked down - no OGL.
4th Edition is not locked down. While it doesn't have an OGL, it does have a GSL (Game System License). The GSL isn't as open as the OGL, but it's still open. Besides, everything prior to 3rd edition is "locked down" . . . . yet the OSR community manages to make plenty of games based off of those rulesets.

And there isn't anything preventing WotC from making those older rulesets open under the OGL if they decide to. It's simply a matter of will, and a degree of dedicated manpower on their part.
 

Mercurius

Legend
That's neat and all...but, 1) doesn't he have better things to do...like literally anything involving life, and; 2) why give the whiny gatekeepers the attention?
Why do you assume that all those interested in old school gaming are "whiny gatekeepers?" This attitude seems to be rather exclusionary. It also seems to be a rather uncharitable interpretation of his rather innocuous statement. I mean, maybe he's just saying, "All are invited to the table?" Is that what we should be shooting for, a big umbrella approach to the game and community?
Speaking as someone who plays an awful lot of OSR games, and considers themselves a fan of the OSR as well as other sorts of games, I do not see how Wizards can reasonably make a game that appeals to old school sensibilities more than 5e without ignoring large swathes of their existing audience. Besides it's not like OSR players need Wizards of the Coast or have ever needed them. There's such a staggering amount of quality OSR material available today. Great games. Great modules. Great communities. Who needs Wizards to deliver some compromised product?
I think their massive success gives them a bit of leeway and allows them to diversify the product and not just market everything for the "young uns." And with the expanding line, to at least 5 books--if not 6 or more--then they can offer a more diverse range of products.

Certainly, the bulk of the new fan-base are new players, but even if only, say, 10% are are TSR era gamers, that doesn't mean anything vaguely "old school" wouldn't be of interest to younger folks. Not to mention, that 10% still makes up a larger percentage of money spent, at least double. These folks are older, tend to have a bit more disposable income, and also buy books just to have them.

I mean, the entire game is a throwback. The nature of it is that it doesn't require screens of any kind, just human imagination, books, dice, and pen and paper (or the digital versions). I think that's part of why it is so popular now: younger folks craving a more organic, imaginative--and social--experience.
 

dave2008

Legend
No, but you are with regard to what rules you can use, which makes it kind of a moot point. I don't know if you're allowed to publish a rules-free product on the DMs Guild, but when I mentioned using the "rules and lore from pre-5E" (emphasis mine here) I wasn't being figurative; I was referring to using both in the same product.
I guess I missed that qualification. My point still stands that this group has been more generous than any previous stewards of the game have been. You can use all their lore with your own products and you can get PDFs and POD of a ton of old books. They have never been more inclusive to older editions than they are now.

PS - yes you can have lore only books on DMsGuild
 

dave2008

Legend
Side note for us old people that are a bit computer illiterate. Place a @ symbol before someone's name you are trying to quote. This will bring up the names as you type the first few letters and you can check off the one you are trying to name. This will also alert them that someone used their name.
You can also just hit the "reply" button and it automatically quotes them.
 

dave2008

Legend
No, but you are with regard to what rules you can use, which makes it kind of a moot point. I don't know if you're allowed to publish a rules-free product on the DMs Guild, but when I mentioned using the "rules and lore from pre-5E" (emphasis mine here) I wasn't being figurative; I was referring to using both in the same product.
I will point out that there are a ton of DMsGuild products that introduce new rules, and some of those rules look a lot of older edition rules! Yes, you need to make things for the 5e ruleset, but you can add things to 5e that make it look more and more like older editions. Like new death and dying or rest and recovery rules for example.

So in essence you can get old school rules and lore together - you just can't call them that ;)
 

Mercurius

Legend
Huh?

So, WotC's slow steps towards inclusiveness, avoiding systemic racism and sexism embedded in their products, is somehow disrespecting the OSR crowd? Only the ones who don't mind racism and sexism in their gaming, I suppose. I'm okay with that.
Let me try to offer a slightly different perspective. I won't even try to speak for the folks who actually don't want such changes to occur, but I think it is a misunderstanding to think that anyone who doesn't like every single change that is implemented is inherently against the underlying goal of those changes (that is, towards inclusiveness, etc). I think what some protest is A) The broad-brush through which things are labeled as racist, sexist, etc, and B) Any erasure or re-writing of the past, be it older products or even older gamers and game designers, without understanding the context of the time in which it was published, or said people grew up.

As for A, what is and is not racist, sexist, etc, is not set-in-stone. Meaning, just because someone cries "problematic," doesn't mean something is what they say it is. Otherwise there's a danger of getting rid of everything, because anyone can cry "problematic." Not only is our understanding of such things in a constant state of change, but there is no one-size-fits all understanding of what is or is not problematic, racist, sexist, -phobic, etc.

As for B, this is a common error that people make: applying current views to the past. We do it all the time with our family and ourselves, even. "I was so stupid back then," seemingly without realizing that one's 20-year old self shouldn't be judged by the same criteria as their 40-year old self. Everyone has a relative that uses cringeworthy words and phrases that are no longer considered acceptable, at least by many. But assuming that a 75-year old means the same thing when they use a certain word as if they were 25, lacks any understanding of history or context. This doesn't mean that it is OK, just that it is important to understand the context in which that 75-year old grew up.

(This happens all of the time with my 79-year old father. He's a very liberal guy, came of age in the 50s and 60s and embraced the socio-cultural zeitgeist of the time, but is still a product of his time, with certain biases and assumptions that I certainly don't have, and that wouldn't be viewed as acceptable by most younger folk).

Or to put it another way, a lot of such (older) folks aren't opposed to greater inclusivity and such, but just don't understand and/or agree with every interpretation or change. To use my father as an example again, he's often surprised when I point out that something he said is no longer considered acceptable. It isn't that he is resistant or wants things to stay the same, but that he doesn't mean it in the way that the newer understanding implies.

And of course WotC has to find the balance. They don't want to "cancel" the history of the game, nor do they want to exclude old school gamers as a whole, but they also recognize the changing demographic. So while I expect them to continue to move in the direction that you're saying, I do think that some skillfulness and care should be taken, and that they shouldn't fall into the trap of addressing every little grievance or complaint that comes up, but be somewhat measured in how they proceed. Or to put it more simply, they need to find a path somewhere between the extremes on either side, of "change everything!" and "change nothing!"
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Why do you assume that all those interested in old school gaming are "whiny gatekeepers?"
I don't. I'm taking the tweet at face value.

"Noticed a group of fans demanding WotC demonstrate it cares about "old school"."

1) a group of fans; 2) demanding WotC; 3) demonstrate it cares; 4) about old school.

The only fans who care about old school are old school fans. Within the old school fans group there is only a small subsection that even cares about WotC and what it's doing. Of those, who would demand WotC demonstrate it cares about old school?

What group of fans would demand WotC demonstrate it cares about old school?

Whiny gatekeepers.
This attitude seems to be rather exclusionary. It also seems to be a rather uncharitable interpretation of his rather innocuous statement. I mean, maybe he's just saying, "All are invited to the table?"
I trust that, as a writer with years of experience, if Ray Winninger wanted to say "all are invited to the table" he would have simply said "all are invited to the table".
Is that what we should be shooting for, a big umbrella approach to the game and community?
Up to a point, yes. There are clearly toxic elements within the community that don't need to be included...racists, sexists, -phobes of all stripes. Beyond that, everyone is and should be welcome.

Now we just need to figure out what it is we're all doing with this "roleplaying game" thing. As a community we can't even agree on what that even means. And most attempts at defining it are automatically labelled as exclusionary. Which is a really weird take when trying to define what a word means.
 


Mercurius

Legend
What group of fans would demand WotC demonstrate it cares about old school?

Whiny gatekeepers.

I see your line of reasoning, I just think it is an assumption that I wouldn't make. You're still making a leap to "gatekeepers," as if somehow those voicing their desire for old school stuff and those involved in gatekeeping are somehow intrinsically released.
I trust that, as a writer with years of experience, if Ray Winninger wanted to say "all are invited to the table" he would have simply said "all are invited to the table".
Well, he's "stating his old school bonafides," to quote the thread title, which implies that he's also saying "We aren't leaving you behind," to old schoolers.
Up to a point, yes. There are clearly toxic elements within the community that don't need to be included...racists, sexists, -phobes of all stripes. Beyond that, everyone is and should be welcome.
Yeah, but the problem I'm pointing out is the broadness with which this is applied, both in terms of making assumptions as stated above, but also what constitutes "toxicity" or various isms and phobias.

I think the truly, demonstrably toxic elements tend to be weeded out on their own, and selected out - especially if WotC continues to foster a truly inclusive environment.
Now we just need to figure out what it is we're all doing with this "roleplaying game" thing. As a community we can't even agree on what that even means. And most attempts at defining it are automatically labelled as exclusionary. Which is a really weird take when trying to define what a word means.
And what's the problem? Why must this be collectively figured out? Why must we agree upon what roleplaying is? A truly inclusive, umbrella approach would encourage a diversity of approaches, and individuation in terms of approaching those questions.

I mean, isn't part of the fun of D&D--and RPGs in general--that we get to customize it to our hearts content, and play the game we want to play?

All I hear Winninger saying is that he's not leaving the heart of what old school is behind, or out. I don't see a problem with that, at least if we don't see "old school" as intrinsically linked to all sorts of baggage that it isn't (imo) intrinsically linked to.
 

darjr

I crit!
I will point out that there are a ton of DMsGuild products that introduce new rules, and some of those rules look a lot of older edition rules! Yes, you need to make things for the 5e ruleset, but you can add things to 5e that make it look more and more like older editions. Like new death and dying or rest and recovery rules for example.

So in essence you can get old school rules and lore together - you just can't call them that ;)
Huh. This is an interesting loophole. Do you have any examples of folks doing this to get older rules into their products?
 

Oofta

Legend
Huh?

So, WotC's slow steps towards inclusiveness, avoiding systemic racism and sexism embedded in their products, is somehow disrespecting the OSR crowd? Only the ones who don't mind racism and sexism in their gaming, I suppose. I'm okay with that.

So everybody that prefers OSR games* is sexist and racist? Really? Can't possibly be that it's just a preference for a style of play and a different set of rules.

*I'm not a member of the OSR crowd myself, I prefer 5E.
 

Huh?

So, WotC's slow steps towards inclusiveness, avoiding systemic racism and sexism embedded in their products, is somehow disrespecting the OSR crowd? Only the ones who don't mind racism and sexism in their gaming, I suppose. I'm okay with that.
So everybody that prefers OSR games* is sexist and racist? Really? Can't possibly be that it's just a preference for a style of play and a different set of rules.

*I'm not a member of the OSR crowd myself, I prefer 5E.
How do you possibly interpret "Only the ones" as "everybody"?
 

I mean, you can be into OSR because you dislike the social changes in the past few decades, or because you prefer the old rules for a variety of other reasons (I can see preferring 4 classes to 12 easily), because you'd prefer to dungeon crawl, because you have fond memories of playing the game in the early days, because you have simulationist or gamist rather than narrativist leanings, or reasons I haven't mentioned. So you're going to see a correlation with those views, but it wouldn't be the majority of OSR players.
 

Mercurius

Legend
How do you possibly interpret "Only the ones" as "everybody"?
I think he's pointing out that Dire Bare implies that only people who don't mind racism feel that old school is being disrespected, when some of them--even a majority--could just be older players who feel their preferences are under-represented by what WotC is offering.
 

Oofta

Legend
How do you possibly interpret "Only the ones" as "everybody"?
The implication to me is clear: the only reason you don't like new directions in the game or feel disrespected is because you're racist and sexist.

Honestly, I don't know where the tweet came from, what the thought process was, or what subset of players it's targeted at. But I also don't think it's fair to lump people who don't happen to like some aspects of the current changes a group of misogynistic racists.
 

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