OGL Statement on OGL from WotC

Wizards of the Coast has made a short statement regarding the ongoing rumors surrounding OneD&D and the Open Gaming License. In a short response to Comicbook.com, the company said "We will continue to support the thousands of creators making third-party D&D content with the release of One D&D in 2024. While it is certain our Open Game License (OGL) will continue to evolve, just as it has since its inception, we're too early in the development of One D&D to give more specifics on the OGL or System Reference Document (SRD) at this time."

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It's not clear what WotC means when they say that the OGL will 'continue to evolve' -- while there have been two versions of the license released over the years, each is non-rescindible so people are free to use whichever version of the license they wish. Indeed, that is written into the license itself -- "Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License."

During the D&D 4th Edition era, WotC published a new, separate license called the Game System Licence (GSL). While it was used by third party publishers, it was generally upopular.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Yeah that's...a non-statement.

Which means it should have a non-impact. Whatever concerns I had before aren't changed by this lack-of-a-statement. The only thing communicated here is that WotC wants us to know that they know people are concerned. That's it. That's the sum total of the content here.
Well, if they're pretty sure they're not going to change anything, what is there to say? "We would like to assure you the books will continue to be available in English." They really can't be expected to release a statement about every conversation they're not having because someone on YouTube needs clicks.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Well, if they're pretty sure they're not going to change anything, what is there to say? "We would like to assure you the books will continue to be available in English." They really can't be expected to release a statement about every conversation they're not having because someone on YouTube needs clicks.
The fact that they had to bother because YT culture is kind of sad, actually.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
What? I hope this is a joke that landed poorly. The people who write the game fluff are not the people who write the licenses and contracts!

If you are going to arbitrarily decide bits of game text are reasonable ways to interpret how corporate business policy is conducted, there is precious little reason for them to say anything, because you will be able to twist it around any darn way you want.

It is a joke yes.

BUT

PR is nothing more than PR. The actual rules is what is going to matter, not the fluff. The text of the licence, not this announcement. That's not a joke.

The fact that some of 5e rules illustrate that principle? Yeah, that is a sad joke.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
It would be far worse for the 3pp if they gave an answer now, and then found they had to change it in a year and a a half because we rushed them.

Not to mention that 3pp are already allowed to use the core of D&D's creative product for free. Now... the complaint is that they aren't being assured of rights to more free stuff fast enough?
For better or worse, most people follow the leading edge of WotC's D&D. As soon as they announced changes, it throws the 3pp community into disarray. A long lead time like this is going to be hard on folks who make stuff for 5e.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Well, if they're pretty sure they're not going to change anything, what is there to say? "We would like to assure you the books will continue to be available in English." They really can't be expected to release a statement about every conversation they're not having because someone on YouTube needs clicks.
But, they did release a statement (which certainly surprised me). Why bother with that?
 

Why would you take a press release from a for-profit, publicly traded company at face value? You don't have to assume they're lying necessarily, but you do have to assume that they think whatever they're saying will help them make more money. Understandable to read into it through that lens.

I am sorry that you look at it this way. For me this is a way too depressing way to look at life.
I have not seen a statement from the actual developers that they would kick the fans where it hurts, if that would generate more money in the short term.
They really have built a lot of trust in the last 10 years (with me). What other people at wotc do with magic is not my concern whatsoever.
 



For better or worse, most people follow the leading edge of WotC's D&D. As soon as they announced changes, it throws the 3pp community into disarray. A long lead time like this is going to be hard on folks who make stuff for 5e.
No, wrong. Most D&D customers do not follow the leading edge of WotC's decisions. Compare the number of customers to sales numbers, YT watches, Tweets or any metric you want. You will find that very few D&D customers and players actually follow things to the level of detail you are suggesting. A very small minority, like ENWorld etc, actually follow this stuff.

Yes, 3PP content providers are aware of this (mostly?). But has been shown in other threads, the OGL does not go away. The ability to create 3PP content for One D&D really does not change. Heck, we don't even know what One D&D is yet. It hasn't been published yet. It's a stragey, not (yet) a set of rules.
 

Scribe

Legend
Most D&D customers do not follow the leading edge of WotC's decisions. Compare the number of customers to sales numbers, YT watches, Tweets or any metric you want. You will find that very few D&D customers and players actually follow things to the level of detail you are suggesting. A very small minority, like ENWorld etc, actually follow this stuff.

Most D&D customers, probably dont have the faintest clue what the OGL is, or even DMsGuild.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
No, wrong. Most D&D customers do not follow the leading edge of WotC's decisions. Compare the number of customers to sales numbers, YT watches, Tweets or any metric you want. You will find that very few D&D customers and players actually follow things to the level of detail you are suggesting. A very small minority, like ENWorld etc, actually follow this stuff.

Yes, 3PP content providers are aware of this (mostly?). But has been shown in other threads, the OGL does not go away. The ability to create 3PP content for One D&D really does not change. Heck, we don't even know what One D&D is yet. It hasn't been published yet. It's a stragey, not (yet) a set of rules.
What I mean is, if WotC changes the game, customers will follow where WotC leads.
 

Bolares

Hero
Yes, well, they did choose a business model that makes then dependent on another company. That entails risk.

A short lead time, where they are surprised that changes are coming, wouldn't be better.
Yeah this. I'm all for WotC having third party designrs in mind and not turn their backs to them. But I really don't expect third party products to take priority in their decision making. If taking a long time would benefit their product I don't think they are obliged to change that because it will make the suplemental market suffer.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
WotC also tried to claim 3.5 wasn't a new edition. Nobody bought it then either.
I'm reminded of what Shannon Appelcline wrote for his product history of D&D 4E's Player Essentials: Heroes of the Fallen Lands (affiliate link):

What a Difference an Edition Makes: The Compatibility. When Mearls began working on Essentials, one of his main priorities was keeping it totally compatible with previous 4e books. With the release of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, players could now see that changes were indeed pretty minimal, involving: errata; updated Feat and Magic Item systems; and updated philosophies for building characters. Of these, the difference between the character builds was the largest, and had the most possibility to be incompatible.

But the designers felt they weren't

Mearls paraphrased designer Rich Baker when he said, "the choice between a traditional build and an Essentials build would basically reflect different play styles". Baker expanded on this, saying "It’s perfectly ok if, at the same table, Joe is playing a Fighter straight out of the Players Handbook, with all of the power selections that he would ordinarily have had, and Dave, sitting next to him, is playing a Slayer, out of Essentials. Those Characters, essentially, are built the same, and are transparent to each other".

But that's not at all how the D&D roleplaying community treated the new rules. Between late 2010 and early 2011, 4e players seemed to fracture into "traditional" gamers and "Essentials" gamers. At first there were edition wars over whether Essentials had replaced the core rules, then for the next year each new D&D book was scrutinized for whether it was Essentials or traditional.

So, there's no mechanical reason not to use core and Essentials products together, but you could similarly have said that 3e books could be used with D&D 3.5e (2003) with almost no problem. In both cases, the roleplaying community disagreed.
 

darjr

I crit!
Not yet, but unless things change quite dramatically there is going to be.


WotC also tried to claim 3.5 wasn't a new edition. Nobody bought it then either.
They literally put 3.5 on the cover.

This is getting ridiculous.
 

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Reynard

Legend
They literally put 3.5 on the cover.

This is getting ridiculous.
I think folks are talking past one another and putting different definitions in the same rhetorical space, which can't turn out well. If one person thinks the definition of a new edition is defined entire by what is printed on the cover or designated by the publisher, and another thinks is is a matter of content and compatibility regardless of what the Publisher says, those two people aren't ever going to be able to agree and discussion is pointless.
 


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