D&D 5E The OGL -- A Lesson for 5E

wedgeski

Adventurer
I honestly do not see a license as permissive as the OGL coming out of WotC for the next edition. There's no better argument against OGLv2 than the Pathfinder Core Rules book; I'm sure it's the talisman that represents a lot of what went "wrong" with 4E to the guys holding the money and they'll want to do everything they can to recover control of their brand.

My own opinion is that we'll see a 4E GSL-type license, but released much earlier and in stronger partnership with prospective licensees, resulting in a few high-profile 3PP releases in support of the next edition (I think the 4E GSL might well have worked that way itself if not for the utter train-wreck that was its release).

If they open the digital tools at all, the license will almost certainly have to be higher-tier to support the overhead of validating and integrating third-party data into the back-end.
 

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Cybit

First Post
Not only that, but some people support both game systems. How many products has Wayne's art been on from both companies? It's a very small pool and let's remember folks, WoTC tends to use freelancers almost as much, if not more than Paizo.

There is a lot of legitimate beef between Paizo and WotC due to how things were handled with 4E. Maybe they'd struggle their way back to something if 5E was a super super resounding success, but the few Paizo employees I've talked to...not so much.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
If you're right and the OGL means that all future editions of D&D need to be compatible with the 3e OGL material, then I hope the OGL dies in a fire before it murders Dungeons and Dragons forever. Stagnation is death.

One of the purposes of the OGL is to ensure the fanbase doesn't get offered the choice of "use a monopololistic product, or stop buying the kind of stuff you like." It's not to stagnate the game, and the OGL is anything but stagant. If I wanted, right now, I could make an OGL product that incorporated the core d20 mechanic, a modified FUDGE skill system, a modified spell point system from the Runic SRD, the combat stunts from Iron Heroes, and several new mechanics to fill in gaps and enhance the system, and release the whole thing as Open Content, and the thing would have as little to do with d20 as VW Beetles have to do with Ferraris. More to the point, I could do it with NO CHANCE of being sued, assuming I followed the license.

If it's good, and gets picked up by the gamer community, someone else takes it, modifies it, releases something else even better, and the whole community is enriched. What it DOES do, is ensure that if I release crap, then those mechanics get dropped by said community, and they keep playing what they want. Forward movement is not necessarily progress, and in my opinion the OGL ensures that forward movement for the sake of forward movement is curtailed, without stagnating progress.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
There is a lot of legitimate beef between Paizo and WotC due to how things were handled with 4E. Maybe they'd struggle their way back to something if 5E was a super super resounding success, but the few Paizo employees I've talked to...not so much.

Even beyond that, Lisa Stevens said that they no longer want to hitch their cart to an external company that determines their future success or failure, which is what the GSL would have done. Even if 5E were totally awesome, I could see Paizo doing some accessories/supplements for it to test the water, but not very many, ever.
 

Yora

Legend
I think Paizo is one of the cases where the company is more important to the customers than the product brand. Even if they wanted to, it would be a very bad idea for them to drop the Pathfinder brand and switch to producing 5th Edition material. They have a very vocal fan base that really likes Pathfinder not being D&D or in any way connected to D&Ds owner. Dropping Pathfinder would probably seen as selling out and I think many of their best customers wouldn't buy anything more from them, regardless of the rules their publications work with. And it is the "fanboys" that generate a huge deal of the publicity Paizo and Pathfinder get. If they would be pissed off, Paizo would probably be back to a small not well known company very quickly.

Yes, it's snobbism, but when snobs constitute a great deal of the foundation on which your success rests, you can't ignore that.
 

JonWake

First Post
From what I understand, Paizo makes the majority of their money off of their Adventure Paths. That means that if 5e has anything remotely like an OGL (which is the one deal-breaker I have as a filthy copyleftist, creative common's fanatic), it would be foolish of them not to publish 5e compatible rules.

4e screwed the pooch with regards to the OGL. Pathfinder's success is entirely on WoTC's head.
 

Cadfan

First Post
One of the purposes of the OGL is to ensure the fanbase doesn't get offered the choice of "use a monopololistic product, or stop buying the kind of stuff you like." It's not to stagnate the game, and the OGL is anything but stagant. If I wanted, right now, I could make an OGL product that incorporated the core d20 mechanic, a modified FUDGE skill system, a modified spell point system from the Runic SRD, the combat stunts from Iron Heroes, and several new mechanics to fill in gaps and enhance the system, and release the whole thing as Open Content, and the thing would have as little to do with d20 as VW Beetles have to do with Ferraris. More to the point, I could do it with NO CHANCE of being sued, assuming I followed the license.
If 30 years from now the published version of D&D is still a game where someone can fire this Acid Arrow at this Arrowhawk without any mechanical gears crashing, then stagnation has occurred.
 

Yora

Legend
If some things change and some things remain similar, that's not stagnation. You don't need to replace 100% of everything to avoid being stagnant. You don't need complete invention, just some innovation also goes a very long way.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
If you're right and the OGL means that all future editions of D&D need to be compatible with the 3e OGL material, then I hope the OGL dies in a fire before it murders Dungeons and Dragons forever. Stagnation is death.
You are confusing the OGL, OGC, and the SRD. The SRD is the rules, OGC is Open Game Content - including that of other publishers, and the OGL is the license. The D20 STL was a trademark license, and has been discontinued, I think WotC thought that would help 4e sales.... (They were wrong.)

The 5e rules do not need to be compatible with the 3.5 SRD in order to be under the OGL. There are games that don't even use a D20 that are under the OGL.

And, if WotC insists on not being OGL... it is likely that D&D will burn to the ground before the OGL. D&D is already almost burned to the waterline, while the OGL based Pathfinder is still under full sail.

At this time WotC is hoping to salvage their ship before it sinks, and if using the OGL helps them to do that, then they should use it.

The Auld Grump
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
From what I understand, Paizo makes the majority of their money off of their Adventure Paths. That means that if 5e has anything remotely like an OGL (which is the one deal-breaker I have as a filthy copyleftist, creative common's fanatic), it would be foolish of them not to publish 5e compatible rules.

4e screwed the pooch with regards to the OGL. Pathfinder's success is entirely on WoTC's head.

Let's not 'blame' all of Paizo's success on WoTC eh?

They know how to layout a product.

They know how to attract the eye with good design and good artist.

They know how to cater to customers and have very good lines of open communication.

They sell other companie's products on their own website and even promote them there.

While we can say that Paizo's decesion to create Pathfinder is WoTC's doing, we can't 'blame' WoTC for their success. Paizo did that all on their own. If we look at other OGL products, it's not like Mongoose stepped up to fill the void with the pocket player's handbook for example or any number of other OGL variants. Pathfinder success if for a variety of reasons and a lot of them have to do with talent and dedicated customer service.
 

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