After much hullabaloo, the open licensing for D&D Fourth Edition (4e) has been unveiled – kinda.
Wizards of the Coast is pleased to announce that third-party publishers will be allowed to publish products compatible with the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition game system under the new Dungeons & Dragons 4E Game System License (D&D 4E GSL). This royalty-free license will replace the former d20 System Trademark License (STL), and will have a System Reference Document (SRD) available for referencing permissible content.
The D&D 4E GSL will allow third-party publishers to create roleplaying game products in fantasy settings with the D&D 4th Edition rules, and publishers who register with WotC will be granted the right to use a version of the D&D logo that denotes the product as compatible with the D&D 4th Edition Roleplaying Game, in accordance with WotC’s terms and conditions. The effective start date for sales of D&D 4E GSL publications will be October 1, 2008.
The license associated SRD will be available on June 6, 2008, at no cost. A small group of publishers received advanced notice and will receive these documents prior to June 6, at no cost, in order to prepare for publication of compatible materials by the effective start date. If you haven’t already been contacted by WotC, you will be able to access the documents on the Wizards website beginning on June 6, 2008.
Wizards is also working on the details of a second royalty-free license, the d20 Game System License (d20 GSL). This license will allow third-party publishers to create roleplaying game products in non-fantasy settings with the 4E rules. The exact details for the d20 GSL will be released as they become available.
I’ve posted some questions to get clarification – it’s not clear what this means for individuals and also begs some questions about how restrictive it’ll be. More as I get it!
I would like to say kudos to Wizards for going open. I might even buy 4e now despite what I see of it not being all my cup of tea. (Though I may wait till June to make sure the open license really is open.)