D&D General Trademarking "THE WORLD’S GREATEST ROLEPLAYING GAME™"

Art Waring

halozix.com
So I have seen this pop up in a few places, and if you look at the new dragonlance cover on google, it has the phrase in all caps and with a TM at the end at the bottom of the cover.

I don't really have an opinion on it, since you can just claim "5e compatible" or simply put "5e" on your book cover and people will understand that it represents compatibility with d&d 5th edition.

However, a significant number of older books published under the OGL 1.0(& 1.0a) have the same or a similar (Edited for clarity) title on or inside their books, because it wasn't trademarked yet. Will this affect older books? (possibly, they may have to remove the phrase to keep the books available in print?).

I guess the next question is, did other people notice this, and are you concerned?

Is this an attempt to stop 3pp publishers from claiming compatibility going forward with 6e? And if it is, why do it? The OGL already prohibits direct claims of compatibility, why go the extra mile?
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
So I have seen this pop up in a few places, and if you look at the new dragonlance cover on google, it has the phrase in all caps and with a TM at the end at the bottom of the cover.

I don't really have an opinion on it, since you can just claim "5e compatible" or simply put "5e" on your book cover and people will understand that it represents compatibility with d&d 5th edition.

However, a significant number of older books published under the OGL have the same title on or inside their books, because it wasn't trademarked yet. Will this effect older books? (likely, they may have to remove the phrase to keep the books available in print?).
They’ll have to remove the phrase or add a note about it being a WotC trademark in future printings.
I guess the next question is, did other people notice this, and are you concerned?
Someone did notice. I’m not concerned.
Is this an attempt to stop 3pp publishers from claiming compatibility going forward with 6e?
If it is it’s a feeble attempt. Slap a 5E circle on your cover and you’re good. Write “compatible with the world’s oldest RPG” instead. Or world’s most popular, etc.
And if it is, why do it?
A way to flex legal muscle at people.
The OGL already prohibits direct claims of compatibility, why go the extra mile?
It’s not about principle or whatever, it’s a pure power grab. They can so they will. Simple as.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I haven't done a survey or anything, but I feel like I don't see "greatest" as opposed to "oldest" or "most popular" being used on 3PP stuff as much.
 







I guess I don't see it as anything so sinister. I think they just want a brand-building motto, and this is it. It's their "The happiest place on Earth."
I'd buy that if it hadn't been used extensively by 3PPs in the past.

But it has. Since the original OGL. In fact as @Morrus pointed out, it's kind of fallen out of favour, perhaps in part because it has the potential to annoy customers who disagree lol.
 

Art Waring

halozix.com
I haven't done a survey or anything, but I feel like I don't see "greatest" as opposed to "oldest" or "most popular" being used on 3PP stuff as much.
Thank you for pointing that out, I will edit the OP to say "same or similar" to clear up any confusion.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Thats a phrase already in use that they have no way of proving applies exclusively to DnD, so going to be nigh impossible to enforce. Not that enforcement is required just the threat of litigation
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Not really relevant, but this makes me think of how Marvel's Fantastic Four billed itself as "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" starting with the third issue, despite not really hitting its stride until its 3rd year.

Some things are just marketing hyperbole, and for a 3PP to use the phrase doesn't make much sense in my eyes. If it were really the "greatest" would a 3PP need to be selling alternate rules for it? :LOL:
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I haven't done a survey or anything, but I feel like I don't see "greatest" as opposed to "oldest" or "most popular" being used on 3PP stuff as much.
Yeah, my Necromancer Games' Necropolis and Kobold Press' Tome of Beasts, both use their own variation of "5e compatible." So does Galder's Gazetteer and a few others on my shelf.
 

So I have seen this pop up in a few places, and if you look at the new dragonlance cover on google, it has the phrase in all caps and with a TM at the end at the bottom of the cover.

I don't really have an opinion on it, since you can just claim "5e compatible" or simply put "5e" on your book cover and people will understand that it represents compatibility with d&d 5th edition.

However, a significant number of older books published under the OGL 1.0(& 1.0a) have the same or a similar (Edited for clarity) title on or inside their books, because it wasn't trademarked yet. Will this affect older books? (possibly, they may have to remove the phrase to keep the books available in print?).

I guess the next question is, did other people notice this, and are you concerned?

Is this an attempt to stop 3pp publishers from claiming compatibility going forward with 6e? And if it is, why do it? The OGL already prohibits direct claims of compatibility, why go the extra mile?
Do you have a link? I see a Dragonlance cover with the phrase all in caps but can't find one with the TM
 

Quickleaf

Legend

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