Open Game Licence for D&D Next

I believe that one of the main reasons why 3.X Edition is so popular, despite all those balance mayhem and stuff, is that the "core of core rules" are open-source and free to use as long as you don't forget to paste & follow a certain official license that lets you do so except using "product identity" materials, which is for D&D as most fans already know about, beholders, illithids, giths, etc.

Especially here (offline) in the Far East, after a certain legal issue between the Japanese publisher of TSR materials and a popular mangaka, no one would use D&D material on fan works and stuff for at least a decade, until the d20 SRD was introduced via the Internet.

The 4th Edition era failed to do this altogether, and no one over here is seen min-maxing eladrin wizards overtly on their blogs and fanfic portals, despite the fact that the 4th Ed. rules at least do work elegantly as a cool tactical game of its own.

Now, I wonder if WotC ever decides to work on a new & improved OGL, which I believe would be very nice for both fans and publisher (especially with advertizing "images" of D&D) in the long run.
All dragonborn psions, unite!
Not sure. This is a touchy subject for Wizards I'm sure. I do think, though, that the OGL was a great addition, and 4e was a bit more limited but was still somewhat functional. But it's really up in the air atm. I've asked more than once on the Q&A about it, but it isn't a real development or rules question so it really isn't the purview of the Q&A anyway.

I know that DDI had a lot to do with 4e's lisencing being tighter. As well, we are all pretty sure that DDI, or something like it, will make a return. So that might make them limit it a bit. A bunch of 3rd party content not supported by DDI might draw people away from it.

But on the other hand, they just released all those PDFs which they had previously completely yanked. So this might be a sign that they are getting a little laxer.

Who knows, but we can all hope for healthy third party support.
My two copper.
Not going to happen.  The reason Pathfinder exists is because of the OGL - they aren't going to let other people take their IP for free and turn into a competitor again.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Not going to happen.  The reason Pathfinder exists is because of the OGL - they aren't going to let other people take their IP for free and turn into a competitor again.



This. Open source is wonderful for many things...making money by selling the thing you just gave away for free isn't one of them.

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I see you point Mand12 but I thought Patherfinder exists more because of 4e than 3x?  Patherfinder never competed with 3x.  Pathfinder was the answer for those that didn't want to switch to 4e.  It's mostly a reboot which WOTC could have just as easily done had they not given up on 3x and moved to 4e.

I think OGL was a major reason 3x spread and became so popular.

Boy I hope so. The OGL is the best thing that WOTC ever did. Their mistake was in abandoning it.


That's one big thing about open source is you can't ever really go back. I can see why businesses find it scary.

Actually pathfinder came into being because of the lack of an OGL for 4th ed. Hasbro decided they didnt want other companies making money without giving them some. End the end it actually hurt their sales. Paizo just needed a system to make their adventure paths for and with wizards cockblocking every company, thay went their seperate ways.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I think we should agree a thing about open licence: 

All creatures from reality, animals and prehistoric beasts (dinosaurs and from Ice Age) should be open licence. 

Other matter, almost off-topic. Copyright is until 50 yearns, isn´t it? That is the reason Alan Moore could get classic character to create the mash up of League of Extraordinary Getlenmen.

Could WotC use creatures from fiction whose copryright has expired? For example the morlocks from H.G. Wells "The Time Machine". Those should be open licence.



Morlock, from Pathfinder Monstrual Manual.

Or for example races from the first comics of Flash Gordon.

 http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/turoksonofstone/public-domain/75-18531/

Those fogorten pulps superheroes could be used for a possible future d20 Spectaculars.

Other monsters of public domain could be from John Carter´s adventures or the pulp magazine Weird Tales... If those characters and creatures are adapted to d20 system should be open licence.

What about creatures from classic folklore like witchs? Europe has got lots of them. Should they be open licence?

 http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Alien_Species

 http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Monster_Characters

 http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Horror_Characters

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Considering that pathfinder will be kinda old with an already old system by the time that next comes out, maybe paizo and wizards can kiss and makeup( a dream I know) since wizards cant make adventures worth dick and paizo cant make their own systems.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I don't think D&D could copyright creatures from mytho-historical sources if they tried. Copyrighting dinosaurs is equally dubious.


I mean they can put the word "copyright" after anything but being able to successfully assert that copyright is a whole other thing. Plus there are loads of exceptions to copyright.



I hope WOTC doesn't go down the road of Games Workshop and try to persicute anyone who tries to use such common terms as "space marine" with baseless legal threats.

I would thank Paizo and Wotc try true efforts to improve their relation. Cooperation could give more profits to both. If Marvel/DC has been possible in the past... why not..?

What about copyright of creatures published in Dragon Magazine by Paizo? For example the Hex dragon and the tome dragon from Dragon Magazine #343. Whose is the copyright?

Can WotC use the open licence of things created by Paizo? For example the new classes.


 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Like I said in a couple years paizo is going to need a new system as well. I think hasbro is the problem because its their lawyers wrote up the gsl which IMO is the true killer of 4th.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

Like I said in a couple years paizo is going to need a new system as well. I think hasbro is the problem because its their lawyers wrote up the gsl which IMO is the true killer of 4th.

It's my understanding that the OGL came about through a narrow majority on the WOTC board in the first place and a lot of the people who supported it in WOTC had left by the time 4e came about, so the OGL lost enough support to be axed. The gsl was a waste of paper.

Like I said in a couple years paizo is going to need a new system as well. I think hasbro is the problem because its their lawyers wrote up the gsl which IMO is the true killer of 4th.

It's my understanding that the OGL came about through a narrow majority on the WOTC board in the first place and a lot of the people who supported it in WOTC had left by the time 4e came about, so the OGL lost enough support to be axed. The gsl was a waste of paper.




I agree. Hasbro changed the way wizards ran the company after third so that they had less say in what they could do.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

well like I said about open source, generally: you can't really go back once you open source your project. I think that's scary for IP holders because they feel they want total ownership of their project. I get that way when I had a project over to a student. Suddenly, it's got lots of their stuff in it and it's not really my work anymore.


The thing that the OGL did for WOTC was it brought a bunch of folks on board doing work for them, which made the community explode and the D&D fandom go mental. People were buying D&D stuff and the brand gained a lot of strength as a result.


It's sad that the company couldn't understand that, but it seems that DDN is mostly about branding and selling their brand with this new system as part of a much greater whole that is D&D so maybe they've learned their lesson.

D&D is at its best when everyone was able to show their version of it. If you didnt like someones vision you could look elsewhere. 4th ed. was hurt by only having wizards narrow view.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

WotC wouldn't touch a new OGL with a ten foot pole.

if they work with third-party publishers, it'll probably be on a case-by-case basis that involves a much more stringent set of conditions. 
WotC wouldn't touch a new OGL with a ten foot pole.

if they work with third-party publishers, it'll probably be on a case-by-case basis that involves a much more stringent set of conditions. 



The problem is they scared those companies away with the GSL. It wasnt wizards that dropped the OGL, it was hasbro.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I don't think we can separate WOTC from dropping the OGL so cleanly. After all, it was WOTC's board of directors that decided how to license 4e, not Hasbro.


I think we'd be naive to not think Hasbro had input, but the ultimate decision would have been WOTC's.



Anyway the thing about the OGL is it's here whether WOTC wants it or not.


I don't think we can separate WOTC from dropping the OGL so cleanly. After all, it was WOTC's board of directors that decided how to license 4e, not Hasbro.


I think we'd be naive to not think Hasbro had input, but the ultimate decision would have been WOTC's.



Anyway the thing about the OGL is it's here whether WOTC wants it or not.




Actually the old board was replaced with hasbro employees , so it equates to hasbro making the choice.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I would thank Paizo and Wotc try true efforts to improve their relation. Cooperation could give more profits to both. If Marvel/DC has been possible in the past... why not..?

What about copyright of creatures published in Dragon Magazine by Paizo? For example the Hex dragon and the tome dragon from Dragon Magazine #343. Whose is the copyright?

Can WotC use the open licence of things created by Paizo? For example the new classes.


 



WotC controls the copyright for all materials published in the Paizo-licensed magazines, and yes, they could use OGL Paizo classes if they abided by the terms of the OGL.
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That's the beauty of open source: it's open. As long as you're abiding the terms of the license, you could take all the body of work done with anything ever produced under the OGL and sell it on yourself. WOTC could use this as a huge crowdsourced pool of designers working for them for free if they really wanted to, and then sell it back to their crowd and we'd thank them for it!
WotC wouldn't touch a new OGL with a ten foot pole.

if they work with third-party publishers, it'll probably be on a case-by-case basis that involves a much more stringent set of conditions. 



This.
They will likely have a staff of in-house developers and a select number of freelance contributors.
They gave up too much control with the OGL.
They didn't give up nearly enough control with the GSL.
I'm not sure if they're going to be interested in doing either for DDN.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I feel like the fact that an OGL system is a serious competitor means there's not much to lose now with a return to OGL. The worst possible thing has already happened, there's nowhere to go but up.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
I feel like the fact that an OGL system is a serious competitor means there's not much to lose now with a return to OGL. The worst possible thing has already happened, there's nowhere to go but up.

truedat. Plus it allows you to then absorb a lot of the ideas from the serious competitor.

Never give your product to your competitors for free.

Never give your product to your competitors for free.

Never give your product to your competitors for free.

I hope WoTC/Hasbro can someday learn this very basic lesson.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

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"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

I hope they would come up with some midle ground system.

There are things that you don't want 3rd paries develop and thare ate things you would want 3rd paries to develop.
You don't want them to develop gaming systems that closely resemble your own creating a competitor.
You do want 3rd paries developing adventures that can be played using your game system.


 
If in the past there were Marvel/DC crossovers I suposse WotC could..

Let me tell you a thing. There is a videogame, ArmA 2, a military simulation. When a player created a mod with zombis, Zombie Dayz, the number of sales rose.

A now the market is full of D&D retroclons..what could WotC lose? 
 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

If in the past there were Marvel/DC crossovers I suposse WotC could..

Let me tell you a thing. There is a videogame, ArmA 2, a military simulation. When a player created a mod with zombis, Zombie Dayz, the number of sales rose.

A now the market is full of D&D retroclons..what could WotC lose? 
 


Nothing but the company is unlikely to change to OGL from the look of things at the moment.
The facts are the ogl helped 3rd ed and the gsl hurt 4th. Some products you might want too keep a firm hand on, but D&D is better when you let the community contribute.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

Although I agree that the OGL is currently bitting them in the but due to Pathfinder, I'd like to point out that Pathfinder didn't really start 'stealing' the competition until WOTC left behind 3E and moved on to 4E.

Meaning third party publishers were using the OGL as a means to enhance the brand, to publish their own settings and supplements to ADD to the experience, not TAKE away from it.

Pathfinder is the only real sucessful product that outright replaces 3.5 and it never would of happened had WOTC continued to support 3.5 or simply made their own 3.75.


If not Pathfinder, something else would of filled the void to appease to the 3.X fans who simply didn't like the style of 4E.
     An OGL is accepting being a small fish in a big pond instead of a bit fish in a small pond in the hope that you can grow more.  By most accounts, it worked pretty well for WOTC with 3rd ed.  But it did mean WOTC was no longer a monopoly, which really hurt when people didn't like 4e.  WOTC will have to be very confident that 5e will sell great [or that it has no monopoly power to lose with Pathfinder doing well] before it will use another OGL. 
I would thank Paizo and Wotc try true efforts to improve their relation. Cooperation could give more profits to both. If Marvel/DC has been possible in the past... why not..?

What about copyright of creatures published in Dragon Magazine by Paizo? For example the Hex dragon and the tome dragon from Dragon Magazine #343. Whose is the copyright?

Can WotC use the open licence of things created by Paizo? For example the new classes.


 



Well, people from Paizo have outright stated that there is no bad blood on either side and that they leave the whole edition war thing to players.  Paizo guys have said that they didn't see each other as in competition with 4e, and never wanted it to fail or anything like that... they were just doing different things than WotC and they feel like the gaming universe is big enough for the both of them.  Its hard for me to imagine those sentiments going the other way, though.  Its easy to be magnanimous when you are the ones on top and all evidence points to you staying there.  

I am generally less interested in these two companies teaming up...  I would rather have two games compete with each other to be better.  There has never been a lot of push for improvement in TTRPGs except from players.  When your market share is on the line, then you will be motivated.  I would love to see the market shift back to D&DN and then shift back again to pathfinder 2.0 and back and forth like this.  It means that we will get better games in the long run.
The OGL was ultimately a bad thing in general, as it lead to a glut of subpar product that lead to the d20 bust.  While it could be argued the good thing about the OGL was it encouraged "Anyone can make product!", the bad thing was, well, anyone could make product.  And the quality of that product was, on average, middling, with a few utter stinkers.  The only gems I could think up was Green Ronin's Mutants and Masterminds, and that wasn't so much a d20 product to add to your DnD Experience, but a new game.

Also, the OGL lead to, not only Pathfinder, but two prior books made (back in the 3.x era):

Mongoose's Pocket Player's Guide: They literally took WotC's SRD and printed it.  They were competing against WotC with their own product.

The d20 Book of Erotic Fantasy:  This stupid thing got printed.  Ultimately, that's all that needs to be said.

I think if WotC wants to bring 3rd Party Product back, they need something similiar to Pinnacle's license, which IIRC was "here's some guidelines, let us check it out before you go to print."

Porbably an over reaction though Bud. Where are the Pocket Players Guide and Book of Erotic Fantasy now days? AKA now no one cares. I doubt the PPG sold more than 10 000 copies.

 Over reacting and driving your customers away to a 3.5 clone. Now thats a screw up. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 Fear is the Mind Killer  

I don't know if I would boil things down to "OGL GOOD, GSL BAD" or the other way around. I would say that, as a whole, Wizards and D&D are the brand front and center in this industry. When D&D does well, the industry does well.

However, what I would mention is that there was generally a good time had by all from ~2000-2007 when everybody and their brother were able to make games/adventures and they were all mostly compatible. What (seems to have) happened now is the fracturing of the fantasy sector of the industry, and just about everyone is suffering until quite recently.  What is happening now is a slew of "boutique" publishers each providing edition/system specific material and minimal cross pollination. This is perhaps the strongest point of the OGL: open material could always be lifted and transplanted into another publisher's print.

The competing licenses make this much more difficult, and I would highly recommend the Green Ronin podcast about Open Gaming with Erik Mona. It's biased, but I was quite happy with the analysis. greenronin.podbean.com/2008/05/29/episod...
Market fragmentation makes it harder on 3PP in general. If one in 50,000 players of the compatible game are going to buy your 3PP product, having one game dominate the market can easily make the difference between a product being viable or non-viable. That's why, even though they totally can, 3PP produce only a tiny, tiny fraction of material for PF than they once did for 3.5. 3PP is an extremely low-margins industry, one that most people are in as a labor of love. Selling half as many copies because your potential customer base is half as big can easily make the difference between covering expenses with a little extra change left over and a product being not remotely viable.
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Not going to happen.  The reason Pathfinder exists is because of the OGL - they aren't going to let other people take their IP for free and turn into a competitor again.


I don't think you can blame it solely on the OGL.  The SRD is a big part of it too.  That being said, based solely on how few 3pp products I saw for it, 4e's GSL was definitely too restrictive.  They'll probably have to do something between the OGL and SGL.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I'd like to see it only because the OGL is the best thing about 3rd edition.

Yes, I'm serious, and yes, I'm including in that assessment all the subpar 3rd party supplements and the splitting of the market with PF. Those ARE actually good things for D&D as a product.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

it will never happen because then it lets pathfinder use 5th edition rules and split the market even more. they wont let it happen again.
It is hard to determine if the OGL made Pathfinder popular, because all they did was fill a void. OGL can also water down a brand name, and that is one of the reason I stopped playing 3.5 even before 4E was on the market. There was too many choices. If 5E is popular and has an influx of players, then as long as the license they implement promotes third party support, it won't matter if they use OGL.