D&D General So...How many D&D clones/SRDs are we going to see?

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
With the whole 1.1 debacle, even if WoTC backtracks, it seems like everyone and their grandma's dog will create their own SRD/attempted clone of D&D using either their own license, or Creative Commons.

I wanted to try to compile a list of the biggest efforts. On the plus side, it gives a lot more choice. On the negative side, with too many options, no one gets noticed in the pile. IMO, in order to be successful, it needs to be one or two systems that everyone else uses. Only a unified system is going to leave any lasting mark and allow that system to grow and be successful. As much as I'd love to put out my own CC system, I know collaboration is the key.

And that's the hard part. We designers all have things we love, so in order to be successful, you'll have to set pride aside and leave your favorite mechanic on the cutting room floor if necessary for collaboration.

So what do we have out there?
IIRC Mark Borg doesn't use the OGL but it's own system.
Same with Chaosium
A handful of industry professionals and I are working on a CC system.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
As I understand it cloning the OGL/SRD is fine but cloning D&D could be a lot harder.

A simple cease and desist can more or less shut you down unless you want to fight it.

Basically your "clone" would have to avoid D&D mechanics to be totally safe.
 

payn

Legend
I could see a bunch of third party folks coming together to make a new OGL. I dont think we will see a bunch of them rising up on their own. There just isnt market share for that to work out as the existence of OGL 1.0 attests.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I could see a bunch of third party folks coming together to make a new OGL. I dont think we will see a bunch of them rising up on their own. There just isnt market share for that to work out as the existence of OGL 1.0 attests.
I agree there isn't market share, but I'm reading from a lot of folks who are doing it. And as you say, I fear 99% of these will be lost in the chaff. Heck, I've been approached by no fewer than three other 3PP wanting to know if I would collaborate on one. I did choose to work with someone I've worked with in the past, and he brought on board a half dozen or so other experienced creators/publishers. So depending on how things shuffle out in the near future, we might be working on one.
 

dave2008

Legend
Couldn't Paizo do this with PF2? I don't think they would have to change that much to divorce if completely from the OGL and then they just need to write a CC license. I mean for all intents and purposes PF is D&D.
 

Couldn't Paizo do this with PF2? I don't think they would have to change that much to divorce if completely from the OGL and then they just need to write a CC license. I mean for all intents and purposes PF is D&D.
They certainly can, but I’m not sure PF2 is really the game to capture the current player zeitgeist: it’s not really a game where you can play as an isekai protagonist.

My best guess: it’ll be like the mid-to-late 80’s where there were dozens of games around and half a dozen actually played in your local community. This is overall a good thing because players will get used to the idea of trying new games from time to time. Until eventually someone hits the new zeitgeist just right a la World of Darkness and/or we get another odd-numbered DnD edition bringing people back to the roots.
 

dave2008

Legend
They certainly can, but I’m not sure PF2 is really the game to capture the current player zeitgeist: it’s not really a game where you can play as an isekai protagonist.
But it is possible it could be. The whole point is to let the community expand what it can do. Just like 3PP took 5e in a lot of directions WotC didn't, couldn't, or would not. The 3PP community could do the same for PF2. I know I am think about how I can convert my 5e game to PF2 and how I can convert my upcoming/planned 5e update to the BECMI "Immortals" rules to PF2. It has been a while since I looked at PF2, but I feel like there is a lot of room to modify the game to accomplish many different styles of play. Possibly even more than 5e has to offer.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Not as many as one would expect as a lot of the ones I've seen bandied about are 1) lots of creators coming together instead of going alone and 2) the D&D fanbase will call 'not D&D'..
 



overgeeked

B/X Known World
On the negative side, with too many options, no one gets noticed in the pile.
That's what will happen.
IMO, in order to be successful, it needs to be one or two systems that everyone else uses. Only a unified system is going to leave any lasting mark and allow that system to grow and be successful. As much as I'd love to put out my own CC system, I know collaboration is the key.
I doubt that will happen. 5E was a big tent holding several distinct groups together artificially. Each of these groups wants different things out of the game and want different levels of complexity and have different preferences re: simulationist, gamist, narrativist, OC-focus, etc. No one game is going to appeal equally to all players of all preferences. Not even 5E did that. It was name recognition, critical mass, and all the OGL 3PP that propelled them.
We designers all have things we love, so in order to be successful, you'll have to set pride aside and leave your favorite mechanic on the cutting room floor if necessary for collaboration.

So what do we have out there?
There's the FKR. Savage Worlds. Fate. Etc. There's not likely to be a D&D killer. We're in the fantasy Heartbreaker 2.0 era.
 


Vckp1974

Villager
With the whole 1.1 debacle, even if WoTC backtracks, it seems like everyone and their grandma's dog will create their own SRD/attempted clone of D&D using either their own license, or Creative Commons.

I wanted to try to compile a list of the biggest efforts. On the plus side, it gives a lot more choice. On the negative side, with too many options, no one gets noticed in the pile. IMO, in order to be successful, it needs to be one or two systems that everyone else uses. Only a unified system is going to leave any lasting mark and allow that system to grow and be successful. As much as I'd love to put out my own CC system, I know collaboration is the key.

And that's the hard part. We designers all have things we love, so in order to be successful, you'll have to set pride aside and leave your favorite mechanic on the cutting room floor if necessary for collaboration.

So what do we have out there?
IIRC Mark Borg doesn't use the OGL but it's own system.
Same with Chaosium
A handful of industry professionals and I are working on a CC system.
Have you checked out Core d20 at core-d20.ca and reddit.com/r/cored20/ ? It is a Creative Commons licensed system, to be backwards compatible with D&D 5E. Its current beta release is 0.45, with new updates every day or so.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
There's not likely to be a D&D killer. We're in the fantasy Heartbreaker 2.0 era.

And the term is important - those games were not that good (in the original heartbreaker period) and were not terribly successful. I suspect many of these new systems will go the same way.

It is already the case that people are refusing to consider pathfinder (too crunchy). Perhaps some storytelling or social intrigue system will be able to capitalize on the turmoil and the subgroup of 5e players that really don’t want to play a dungeon crawl game of any type will move to that. But other, additonal, dungeon crawl systems? The market space looks overfull already to me.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Have you seen Level Up! yet...? >.>

The Designers have been De-OGL-Ifying it and mostly aiming at naming conventions since everything was rewritten. And now the core mechanics are going into Creative Commons (which honestly they practically already were but now WotC is acknowledging they can't defend it and won't sue people over it) the workload just got -way- lighter.

It'll probably be the most "5e" game on the market, and be ready to go as soon as the lawyers say 'okay' if they do...

MIGHT have a leg up on some of the competition.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Yeah, it would probably be my pick, but I imagine it would be hard to stand out among all the others.

At least, for someone that doesn’t find their way here!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
And the term is important - those games were not that good (in the original heartbreaker period) and were not terribly successful. I suspect many of these new systems will go the same way.

It is already the case that people are refusing to consider pathfinder (too crunchy). Perhaps some storytelling or social intrigue system will be able to capitalize on the turmoil and the subgroup of 5e players that really don’t want to play a dungeon crawl game of any type will move to that. But other, additonal, dungeon crawl systems? The market space looks overfull already to me.
That speaks to one of the things I've been saying for a little while now, 5E is a big tent holding in several distinct factions together. Once the tent starts to collapse, the people inside are scattering. They're not going to all shift en masse to one other system. As you say, PF2E is too crunchy for a lot of 5E folks. So they'll go elsewhere. If Kobold's Black Flag is compatible with 5E (and it looks like it will be), then some of the people who know about Kobold and like their stuff will go there. If MCDM's game is good and people like the funky dice, then some people who are aware of it will go there. Repeat that for all the various publishers. The one exception, I think...well two...would be if Critical Role publishes their own RPG then a heap of people will jump on that. Talk about free advertising. They put out a half-way decent RPG and they're immediately the 3rd or 4th largest RPG publisher considering their millions of loyal fans. The other exception would be if the folks behind ORC do the unthinkable and put out one system and everyone starts supporting it like they did with 5E. It's far more likely CR will take up the slack than the whole of the 5E ecosystem simply pivots to one new system. Or both. CR publishes and the whole 5E ecosystem goes with them.
 


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