In an ENWorld thread about their Amethyst Kickstarter, Chris Dias of DiasExMachina claims to have it “on good authority” that D&D Next/5e will be released under an open license, possibly the OGL.
If true this would be huge, and possibly bring D&D back into the living mainstream of gaming from the weird blind alley it’s been coursing down. I’ve been reading the next playtest docs and it’s OK – but not OK enough for me to bother with if it’s not open with a SRD and third party support (especially for adventures). If it is actually open, and distinguishes itself enough from Pathfinder (ideally by being way more simple and D&D Basic like), then it might just have a place at my gaming table after all.
When I got my copy of Third Edition at Gen Con 2000, it was the Green Ronin Freeport module that was the first thing we ran, and their (and other 3pp’s) rapid adventure support after that was what kept us in avid 3e gaming goodness for quite a while. If Next can pull off the same thing, then it could light WotC’s D&D back up!
I think to be successful they are going to have to do more than just an OGL, If it were me I would also give the 3pp a sandbox to play in one of the campaign settings that they know they are never going to do support for again. (Birthright, Planescape, Council of Wyrms, Jakandor) give them more than just a rule set give them IP to play with.
I don’t know that giving an obsolete one helps anyone, but they could do like they did with the newest Traveller, where they actually had a license where one sector of the galaxy was open for 3pp development… If they decide “Realms is the thing for 5e!” then let people plug into the Realms…
I have an unfinished post on my dashboard saying exactly that: I won’t ever play D&D Next without OGL, because the legal insecurity that is doing fan work to freely share for a closed system is not want I want anymore. Especially with WotC…
It won’t make any difference… you can open source a dog turd, doesn’t mean anyone going to play with it.
The D&D players that wanted to be D&D writers got there chance with 3E & then had it taken away from them for the better part of a decade when WotC changed their mind & there product. Those players either quit or transferred across to Pathfinder where at the very least you had a game that felt like D&D & not like a WoW Final Fantasy mash-up.
Open sourcing it is unlikely to do anything for the game this time round… Because who wants to develop a 3rd party setting or product line for a company that will render the system obsolete in less than 5 years & then to be told you can no longer produce further product lines because we are taking the OGL away?
No, not this time: The day of D&D being “THE” game has gone the same way as Champions being “THE SUPERHERO GAME.” I doubt it will ever be so again, as WotC drift further out of touch with what players actually want, as they pander to a smaller & smaller subset of players & other better companies on the up & up find new ways to give those other players what they want. After all there is a reason why Paizo‘s profit margins were once again higher than WotC’s was this year.
D&D is dead.
It’s time we stop trying to resurrect it.
Punk’s not Dead!
… but seriously, I doubt that having still a solid place up there in sales, with a lot of history and a recognizable brand (THE recognizable brand, actually) means you are dead forever.
And why should I want it to be so? If WotC starts to release OGL content that I can use to play with, that’s wonderful. I like some of the Ideas of D&D Next (like the flattened boni accumulation). 🙂
But without having the ability to show without fear on my blog what I have done, I wouldn’t bother. I like that part of my hobby a lot. 😉