Dungeons & Dragons released a statement today saying that the future of its open gaming license will include its core rules being placed under the purview of the Creative Commons. The Creative Commons is "a nonprofit dedicated to sharing knowledge, and it developed a set of licenses to let creators do that," says the newest update from Kyle Brink, the executive producer at Dungeons & Dragons.
This decision is a direct response to a lot of the fears the community had after io9 reported on the initial OGL 1.1 draft on January 5. The CC license will cede Wizards of the Coast's control over the base rules and mechanics of D&D to the nonprofit that stewards the license, which means that Dungeons & Dragons and WOTC will be unable to touch it and will not be able to revoke it. Likewise, content that goes beyond the remit of using core rules will fall under a new OGL, dubbed 1.2, which will contain specific language denoting the license as "irrevocable"—a massive pressure point for creators who used the original OGL 1.0 and were worried about the implications of the 30-day termination clause in the OGL 1.1.
[...] Wizards of the Coast seems committed to having a firm stance on bigoted and hateful content—something that people praised in the leaked draft. "If you include harmful, discriminatory, or illegal content (or engage in that conduct publicly), we can terminate your OGL 1.2 license to our content," reads the statement. [...]
Additionally, Brink states that "what [Dungeons & Dragons] is going for here is giving good-faith creators the same level of freedom (or greater, for the ruleset in Creative Commons) to create TTRPG content that's been so great for everyone, while giving us the tools to ensure the game continues to become ever more inclusive and welcoming." [...]
The new Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License, a document which allows a vast group of independent publishers to use the basic game rules created by D&D owner Wizards of the Coast, significantly restricts the kind of content allowed and requires anyone making money under the license to report their products to Wizards of the Coast directly, according to an analysis of a leaked draft of the document, dated mid-December.
Despite reassurances from Wizards of the Coast last month, the original OGL will become an "unauthorized" agreement, and it appears no new content will be permitted to be created under the original license.
The original OGL is what many contemporary tabletop publishers use to create their products within the boundaries of D&D's reproducible content. Much of the original OGL is dedicated to the System Resource Document, and includes character species, classes, equipment, and, most importantly, general gameplay structures, including combat, spells, and creatures.
[...] One of the biggest changes to the document is that it updates the previously available OGL 1.0 to state it is "no longer an authorized license agreement." By ending the original OGL, many licensed publishers will have to completely overhaul their products and distribution in order to comply with the updated rules. Large publishers who focus almost exclusively on products based on the original OGL, including Paizo, Kobold Press, and Green Ronin, will be under pressure to update their business model incredibly fast.
Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast will abandon attempts to alter the Open Gaming License (OGL). The announcement, made Friday, comes after weeks of virulent anger from fans and third-party publishers caused the story to make international headlines — and on the eve of a high-profile movie starring Chris Pine.
The OGL was developed and refined in the lead-up to D&D's 3rd edition, and a version of it has been in place for more than 20 years. It provides a legal framework by which people have been able to build their own tabletop RPGs alongside the Hasbro-owned brand. It has also buoyed the entire role-playing game industry, giving rise to popular products from Paizo, Kobold Press, and many individual creators. But proposed changes to the OGL, leaked to and first reported on by io9 on Jan. 5, seemed like they would create an adversarial relationship between Wizards and its community. The story has since made headlines around the world — including a nearly 10-minute segment this week on NPR's All Things Considered and lengthy write-ups by organizations such as CNBC.
- Dungeons & Dragons' New OGL Will be 'Irrevocable' and Bring Mechanics to Creative Commons
- Dungeons & Dragons' New License Tightens its Grip on Competition