Thursday, January 12, 2023

The OGL is Dead! Long Live the Open RPG License!

The last few days have been fascinating to watch. I think Hasbro vastly underestimated their customer base and the Dungeons and Dragons brand has been severely damaged. It will be interesting to see how they try to repair it.

In the meantime, 3rd party publishers like Kobold Press, Frog God Games, and Autarch have all officially declared that they will not be signing the OGL 1.1. Basic Fantasy (one the the pioneers in the world of Retro-Clones) is currently getting rid of all the OGL language in their products. There have been several statements that even if the original OGL can be upheld in court, Hasbro has shown itself to be a bad actor and can no longer be trusted. I don't see how any publisher going forward can use the OGL, even if Hasbro walks back on OGL 1.1. For all intents and purposes, the OGL is dead.

Enter folks like Kobold Press and Autarch who are moving forward with non-OGL game systems and Paizo hosting a website dedicated to creating a new Open RPG license that can used by anybody, and Frog God Games calling for publishers to band together to create these systems and this new license.

I will echo the words of Bill Webb of Frog God Games: if you care about this hobby, buy some books from publishers you like so they can keep their lights on long enough to get these things done. I have.

Godspeed to everyone who is trying to put food on the table. May the apparent darkness of today lead to a very bright tomorrow.


Rob Toth said...

Hello! I'm a longtime reader of the blog, and wanted to thank you for your years of thoughtful, incisive work. Also sorry to hear about your medical issues; best wishes for a quick recovery.

The talk about the OGL etc. reminded me of something I meant to post long ago: Have you ever thought of editing some of your posts into a book? I'm thinking particularly about the religion posts (multiple series of them). They knocked me flat and made me rethink what was possible in gaming but also (not to over-share) gave me insights into faith. It's terrific work and I think deserves a much, much wider audience.

Take care and God bless.

JDJarvis said...

The fans and publishers can move one, they are under no obligation to play or even discuss a particular game edition they have yet to release.