Is Wizards Banning Homebrew Content for OneD&D?
A rumor is floating around that WotC is not renewing the OGL and SRD for OneD&D, meaning that third-party creators couldn't create commercial content for D&D anymore.
OGL? More like NO-GL, am I right?
According to a new leak/rumor, “Wizards of the Coast does not plan on using the Open Game License to create a new free-to-access Systems Reference Document for One D&D.”
This means that creators like Kobold Press, MCDM, and others who sell their own 5e content on their own storefronts, through DriveThruRPG, or fund them through Patreon or Kickstarter won’t legally be able to anymore.
This is bad juju
I am straight-up not a fan of cutting the Open Game License (OGL). Not having an SRD for 4th edition is part of the reason it didn’t do well—there wasn’t additional content for it to change/fix things players didn’t like.
It cuts into what just about everyone uses to enhance their games. Of the dozens of DMs and GMs I know, I know of one that doesn’t use or look at third-party materials.
This move feels like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
BUT…the rumor doesn’t mention the CCA (DMs Guild)
But one thing that keeps getting glossed over is that the rumor only mentions third-party content licensed by OGL, and not the CCA (community content agreement).
Many people don’t know the difference, but the community content agreement is what Dungeon Masters Guild works under.
In my eyes, the rumor that the OGL is being nixed means one thing: they’re going to funnel people into their own marketplaces. While WotC doesn’t own DMsGuild, they do get a big share of the profits.
They do not get a big share of the profits from, say, a Kobold Press Kickstarter.
Hasbro is making a lot of decisions based entirely on profits, and I think this is one of them. If it’s true, homebrew isn’t dead—it’s just going to have to go through a sort of walled garden.
Also, with D&D having bought D&D Beyond and started working on their own VTT, they’re definitely going to want, at the very least, a share of the profits from third-party content.
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This probably won’t affect me—much
As a creator, all my stuff is on DMs Guild anyway. I have thought about doing OGL content in the past, but really, it’s just been better for me to stick to the existing user base that DMG has.
Still, I don’t like it
Gutting the OGL and SRD seems like a bad move to me, even if I do understand the business reasons behind it. It’s a bad-faith move for the community, and I think there’s going to be a lot of backlash.
What do you think? How much do you use third-party content and how much of it is from Dungeon Masters Guild versus DriveThruRPG or a publisher’s own storefront?
This newsletter is brought to you by the letters D, M, and G. Thanks to them, you can find my D&D 5e content at DMs Guild. (At least for the time being, haha.)