OGL WotC To Give Core D&D Mechanics To Community Via Creative Commons

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Wizards of the Coast, in a move which surprised everbody, has announced that it will give away the core D&D mechanics to the community via a Creative Commons license.

This won't include 'quintessentially D&D" stuff like owlbears and magic missile, but it wil include the 'core D&D mechanics'.

So what does it include? It's important to note that it's only a fraction of what's currently available as Open Gaming Content under the existing Open Gaming License, so while it's termed as a 'give-away' it's actually a reduction. It doesn't include classes, spells, or magic items. It does include the combat rules, ability scores, and the core mechanic.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

tsadkiel

Explorer
All-new would be the operative word there. Whether Kobold's Darakhul Ghoul 5e PC race is all-new is not clear, or how much they would have to modify to make it all-new. Whether they can use the same race format, or the same race powers that were derived from the 5e SRD ghoul, or even to what extent the concept is copyright derivative of the srd ghoul are not covered by the CC material safe harbor.
In this specific case, the PC Darakhul race doesn't have a paralyzing touch or anything of the sort - they're just undead flesh hungry ghouls and reasonably distant from D&D specific ideas. the monster versions generally do have a paralyzing touch, but not PCs.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
No. It’s nowhere near half. It’s about 15% of the 5.1 SRD that’s going to be put into CC. Races, classes, monsters, spells, and magic items are not included. That’s a lot of the SRD left out.
Yeah. That's the point.

They gave you just enough to make an RPG. They did not give you enough to clone a version of D&D. They gave you what you need to make a d20 system game (like Star Wars Saga, the One Ring, etc) but not enough to make Pathfinder. They're not stupid. They want you making D&D related content under the eye of OGL 1.2.

That said, this is a tremendous opportunity for the community to quit making D&D clones and do something interesting. All new classes and species, new magic systems, interesting monsters.

"But that's hard to create all new stuff!"

Yup. It's a lot easier to find your favorite D&D and clone it. But maybe this creates more Arcana Evolved style games that don't just rely on replicating the classic tropes.
 


Scribe

Legend
That said, this is a tremendous opportunity for the community to quit making D&D clones and do something interesting. All new classes and species, new magic systems, interesting monsters.

"But that's hard to create all new stuff!"

Yup. It's a lot easier to find your favorite D&D and clone it. But maybe this creates more Arcana Evolved style games that don't just rely on replicating the classic tropes.

The idea that D&D 'owns' Fighters, Barbarians, Clerics, Rogues, Bards, Paladins, Druids, Wizards, Rangers, and even Sorcerers, is revolting.

PS: They can keep the Artificer. PLEASE. :ROFLMAO:
 





Remathilis

Legend
The idea that D&D 'owns' Fighters, Barbarians, Clerics, Rogues, Bards, Paladins, Druids, Wizards, Rangers, and even Sorcerers, is revolting.

PS: They can keep the Artificer. PLEASE.
They own those specific expressions of them. The barbarian that rages, the cleric that turns undead, the druid that wild shapes, the rogue with uncanny dodge, etc.

Ditto races, spells and monsters. They might not own the concept of fireball, but they can claim the expression of 8d6 fire, Dex save for half.
 

Haplo781

Legend
It's not a bad class, but it's weird to have a class that is meant to build things and not have any official rules to do so. It's a problem we have run into pretty recently in playing an Eberron game.
Artificer was created in 3.x which explicitly had item creation rules.

It worked pretty well in 4e as well, as a "your powers temporarily enchant everyone's weapons/armor or create single-use gizmos" deal
 


mamba

Hero
They own those specific expressions of them. The barbarian that rages, the cleric that turns undead, the druid that wild shapes, the rogue with uncanny dodge, etc.
no, they definitely do not, none of this is original to them, well, maybe the rogue is

Ditto races, spells and monsters. They might not own the concept of fireball, but they can claim the expression of 8d6 fire, Dex save for half.
no, too generic still, certainly the save for half is, the 8d6 is somewhat theirs, but so minimal, I doubt they would even try. You would need to copy substantially more for them to have a case. This is like saying one song violates the copyright of another because they share one note
 

Scribe

Legend
They own those specific expressions of them. The barbarian that rages, the cleric that turns undead, the druid that wild shapes, the rogue with uncanny dodge, etc.

Ditto races, spells and monsters. They might not own the concept of fireball, but they can claim the expression of 8d6 fire, Dex save for half.

Nah, they ripped all that from prior sources. All of it.
 


They own those specific expressions of them. The barbarian that rages, the cleric that turns undead, the druid that wild shapes, the rogue with uncanny dodge, etc.
They really don't.

WoW's Druid, for example, does literally everything a D&D Druid does (in broad terms), particularly the Wildshaping. As others have said, holy men "turning undead" is mythological and not specific to D&D. Berserkers are well-recorded throughout history. WotC could probably argue a claim on some of the wackier Barbarian subclasses, but the more "normal" they are, the more "on-brand", the less they could. Men who are sneaky, pick locks, and dodge attacks have been staples of fiction for like 150 years? More?

I can go on. Warlocks - fit historical portrayal of witches/warlocks and are even predated by some kinda-similar classes like Dark Age of Camelot's Warlock (they also have a pact, but with a specific named being). And fantasy fiction is full of dudes will ill-advised bargains with beings of great power.

Wizards? Vancian casting is nicked though maaaaaaaaaaybe WotC could try to claim they own the whole spell slot thing? I'd kind of love it if they won that and everyone just stopped using bloody Vancian magic to be honest.

Bards. Hahaha no. There are a million Bard classes in countless games who combine song, spellcasting, and maybe some degree or melee or ranged aptitude.

Paladins. It'd be way too dangerous to try and claim this because too many Big Boy videogame companies use Paladins and call them Paladins, even if the historical inspiration angle is limited. You want to mess with Activision-Blizzard and Microsoft? I mean come on. Sony too.

I mean, I guess you get the point. At best WotC might be able to put a rope around some subclasses and the names of things.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I am just waiting for someone to make an RPG that decouples HP into Stamina, Morale, and Meat so we get a core Warlord healing class baby.

I'll do it myself if I have too.
 

Dreamscape

Crafter of fine role-playing games
Wizards? Vancian casting is nicked though maaaaaaaaaaybe WotC could try to claim they own the whole spell slot thing? I'd kind of love it if they won that and everyone just stopped using bloody Vancian magic to be honest.
Or one could develop an actual Vancian magic system*, as opposed to the many-times-removed interpretation used in D&D over the decades.

* Mythras Lyonesse already has one example, that still leaves Dying Earth.
 

Or one could develop an actual Vancian magic system*, as opposed to the many-times-removed interpretation used in D&D over the decades.

* Mythras Lyonesse already has one example, that still leaves Dying Earth.
Having read Vance's books I don't see why anyone would want to do that unless they were trying to emulate them, specifically, though.

It's a very weird and wacky approach to magic which gels poorly with mythology and the vast bulk of fantasy fiction.
 

Dreamscape

Crafter of fine role-playing games
Having read Vance's books I don't see why anyone would want to do that unless they were trying to emulate them, specifically, though.

It's a very weird and wacky approach to magic which gels poorly with mythology and the vast bulk of fantasy fiction.
Which would work for someone wishing to create a less run-of-the-mill magic system, but my point was really that the common perception of D&D having "Vancian" magic doesn't really hold up. It's very easy to step away from the way TSR/WotC have handled magic. Alternative magic systems were very popular right from the mid-70s.
 

Remathilis

Legend
no, they definitely do not, none of this is original to them, well, maybe the rogue is


no, too generic still, certainly the save for half is, the 8d6 is somewhat theirs, but so minimal, I doubt they would even try. You would need to copy substantially more for them to have a case. This is like saying one song violates the copyright of another because they share one note
Nah, they ripped all that from prior sources. All of it.
Then it doesn't matter that it's not in the CC and you can emulate 5e perfectly. All this haranguing about the OGL is a waste of time.
 

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