WotC Unveils Draft of New Open Gaming License

As promised earlier this week, WotC has posted the draft OGL v.1.2 license for the community to see.

A survey will be going live tomorrow for feedback.


The current iteration contains clauses which prohibit offensive content, applies only to TTRPG books and PDFs, no right of ownership going to WotC, and an optional creator content badge for your products.

One important element, the ability for WotC to change the license at-will has also been addressed, allowing the only two specific changes they can make -- how you cite WotC in your work, and contact details.

This license will be irrevocable.

The OGL v1.0a is still being 'de-authorized'.
 
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The Scythian

Explorer
Not familiar with a Tomb of Horrors monster book. I'm assuming it was a 3PP book that replicated some AD&D monsters? I guess my answer would be: still no difference. Just create a monster with the new SRD the same way it was created the first time. If an AD&D monster was created using the 3e SRD, you can do the same with 5.1 SRD--in both cases you're only using some terms but are creating a stat block and abilities and name different than what is in the SRD you used to emulate what first appeared in AD&D. Note: No SRD ever allowed you to use IP that wasn't part of the SRD, so you couldn't use the 3e SRD to create a clone of unique monster in AD&D using the same name regardless.
The Tome of Horrors is a monster book that was published by Necromancer Games in the early days of 3e. It includes a lot of classic (A)D&D monsters that were released as OGC under 1.0a (or maybe 1.0) by special arrangement with WotC, and there are special instructions in Tome of Horrors for how to credit them in the OGL. (Each monster has to be listed separately, for example, and the author of the Necromancer Games version has to be credited alongside the original author, like this: Cave Cricket from the Tome of Horrors, © 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors Scott Greene and Clark Peterson, based on original material by Gary Gygax.)

The monsters in the Tome of Horrors include most of the creatures from Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, most if not all of the demodands, a bunch of demon lords (including Juiblex, although his name is misspelled as Jubilex, which means that you have to misspell it too if you want to use him), and a lot of monsters from the 1e Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II.

All of the stuff about the SRD is irrelevant because, as I said in the post you're responding to, the monsters that I'm talking about were released as OGC under one of the existing versions of the OGL and aren't part of any SRD. They will no longer be OGC if they're revoked.

And, like I said, there are a lot of things (spells, monsters, magic items, whatever) that have been released by OSR and non-OSR publishers that are OGC that aren't part of any SRD. These aren't things that clone anything from any edition of D&D. They are original creations released as OGC under the OGL in good faith. They will no longer be OGC once the existing versions of the OGL are revoked.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
This line of thinking seems to eschew any acknowledgment that reasonable people can have wildly different ideas as to what constitutes bigotry (or other aspects of what is and is not moral, acceptable, hateful, etc.), and that when that happens there is no moral absolute by which to judge who's "right" or "wrong."

Is it racist to assign fantasy races negative ability score modifiers? What about assigning positive modifiers to specific ability scores? What about using the term "race" for non-human creatures at all? These are areas where there is no widespread consensus, and a lot of room to be for or against them without it being an issue of bigotry.

It is patently false to say that the answers to these questions, questions which have never been clear or easy, are in any way obvious, self-evident, or otherwise uncomplicated. Which is why WotC's heavy-handed, unnuanced, absolutist take on this issue is unsatisfying for so many, especially since there's no recourse for those targeted as having made "hateful" content.

That's not even getting into issues of what's considered bigoted changing (e.g. "sure, your content wasn't considered hateful five years ago, but it is now, so we're revoking your right to use the OGL"), and that this also applies to personal conduct as well as what you create.

Anyone saying that "decent people should have no problem with this" is being highly disingenuous.
Mod Note:

Since the news of the new OGL dropped, a lot of people have decided to rehash the issue of inadvertent/negligent/deliberate bigotry & racism in RPG products in many of the SIXTY+ threads on the topic. This after dozens of threads on that exact topic over the past couple years. Every time this has happened (that we know of), someone has issued a general warning to the thread. Some individuals have gotten personal warnings.

Apparently, that’s not working. A new thread pops up, more dogwhistles, more sealioning.

So now, it’s time to be a bit more direct. The time of issuing warnings about this is done. Consider bigotry in RPGs a “third rail” in the OGL discussions: I see it, you get threadbanned.

Repeat offenders will be given sitewide vacations.

Are we clear?
 
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see

Pedantic Grognard
That's not a lie. That's just their truth that people don't want to hear.

They don't want to have their brand (the non-CC parts) in any way associated with certain types of content going forward. I think people can justifiably argue that this isn't an open license, but I'm reasonably certain this this might be Hasbro's red line- it was never really about the royalties, and it was never really about the license back (which was likely overzealous drafting), but they weren't lying about this.
Maybe. Or maybe it's just a subtle lie.

If you read the license, you'll notice that there is not a single mention of "Open Game Content". Which means that there is no way to use Open Game Content in accordance with this"OGL 1.2", which means you cannot move such content forward despite Section 9 in the OGL 1.0/1.0a. Between that and the de-authorization of the OGL 1.0 & 1.0a, Wizbro is taking the entire universe of the last 23 years of SRD-derived Open Game Content and make it off-limits for new products.

You want to put out a new monster book or adventure for OSRIC? Sorry, bub, you can't use OSRIC's Open Game Content under the OGL 1.0a because that's been deauthorized for new works (at least ones based on Wizbro SRDs, which OSRIC is). And you can't use OSRIC's Open Game Content under the OGL 1.2 because the OGL 1.2 doesn't have any provision for using Open Game Content. Hope you have fun trying to navigate the law on derivative works, because the safe harbors are all closed!

But if Wizbro doesn't explicitly say that they're deliberately blowing up the ability to build on the last two decades of work, everybody can get into an argument over the "hateful content or conduct" clause, and Wizbro's opponents can be painted as pro-Nazi.

Me, I figure if WotC is going to set us all back to Year Zero on 3rd party content, the things to do are to 1) boycott Wizbro, 2) hope Paizo will save us by vindicating the OGL 1.0a in court; and 3) go with ORC and Black Flag if they can't.
 


Fendulum

Explorer
There's a lot of people here saying it's impossible to decide if something is racist or not, despite Twitter, Facebook, Google, ENWorld, Kickstarter, Reddit, and endless other groups having policies on acceptable and unacceptable content.
I think having a content policy for a platform is fine. I do think it's different when we're not talking about one platform declining to host something, but about an open space that has been functioning for 20+ years suddenly being subject to the censorship of an image- and brand-conscious corporation.

It's not that it's impossible to decide if something is racist or not. It's about whether you trust WOTC enough to give them power over the whole community, over what products can be offered on any platform or even off platforms altogether. And, critically, the language goes way beyond "racist": "You will not include content in Your Licensed Works that is harmful, discriminatory, illegal, obscene, or harassing"
 

ilgatto

How inconvenient
I mean, depending on what they mean by the core content exactly, callooh callay oh frabjous day!

But, shedding some darkness on that upbeat point, I would say that the particular examples of "Magic Missile" and "Owlbear" as things that belong to them are a little problematic. Owlbear is a straightforward chimera of bear and owl with a basic name. Magic Missile is an unerring missile of magic. I almost used the latter as an example a few days ago of something they would have a somewhat dubious claim to. In both cases I think you could safely use the thing under a different name, or the name for a different thing, and that it is only both having your chimera of owl and bear called "owlbear" that puts it in the danger zone.
No worries. If they're gonna claim the word "owlbear", you can still use the "owl bear" and stay within D&D canon.:)

owl bear.jpg


EDIT: Smiley added just to be on the safe side.
 
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