Category Archives: Self-publishing

OGL a gogo

So Wizards of the Coast have posted an update on their OGL plans.

While putting core mechanics in the Creative Commons may seem like a gift to the community, the reality is it’s probably stuff that they couldn’t restrict others from using anyway.

More significant is their continued plan to deauthorize 1.0a, so that all future publications will have to use OGL 1.2. Is that so bad? See for yourself.

Schrödinger’s OGL

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the current owners of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG, Wizards of the Coast, are busy tickling the dragon’s tail. It’s even hit mainstream media.

Firstly they indicated to shareholders that the brand is “under-monetized” whilst being one of the largest, if not the largest, source of revenue for their corporate overlords Hasbro.

Then came an announcement heralding a bespoke virtual table top for playing D&D in a “walled garden” which would facilitate the kinds of micro-transactions that have made certain videogames extremely lucrative.

A subsequent leak of a proposed draconian revision of the Open Gaming Licence – a licence which has allowed 3rd party publishers to produce D&D compatible work that includes open gaming content for over 20 years – claimed that:

“You agree to give Us a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sub-licensable, royalty-free license to use that content for any purpose.”

OGL 1.1 leak on Pastebin or in PDF on

This, amongst many other restrictive and punitive additions to the Open Gaming Licence has made many in the RPG community anxious and annoyed. The question is, can Wizards of the Coast revoke OGL 1.0a, that has widely been perceived as irrevocable since its inception, and force creators to accept a worse deal? Ryan Dancey, one of the architect of the OGL, certainly seems to think not.

I’m no lawyer but here’s my thoughts on the OGL issue:

“Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.”

OGL 1.0a at

OGL 1.0a was authorized (that is, not a draft). So even if the OGL is updated you can use previous versions of the OGL, including OGL 1.0a. Ok fine.

“VIII. TERMINATION. This agreement may be modified or terminated.
A. Modification: This agreement is, along with the OGL: Commercial, an update to the previously available OGL 1.0(a), which is no longer an authorized license agreement. We can modify or terminate this agreement for any reason whatsoever, provided We give thirty days’ notice.”

OGL 1.1 leak on Pastebin or in PDF on

“Content already released under 1.0a will also remain unaffected.”

An Update on the Open Game License (OGL) on the D&D Beyond website

A license is either authorized or not. If content can exist under OGL 1.0a, then the sub-text is that OGL 1.0a is in fact authorized, despite their claims to the contrary. And given the amount of corporate doublespeak on display in the full D&D Beyond statement, you shouldn’t trust them to be 100% honest about this. They’re in it for the money. Oh and to eliminate the competition.
According to Wizard’s statement on the D&D Beyond website one of their core principles is:

“to ensure that the OGL is for the content creator, the homebrewer, the aspiring designer, our players, and the community—not major corporations to use for their own commercial and promotional purpose”

An Update on the Open Game License (OGL) on the D&D Beyond website

All except one major corporation of course.

They are trying to strong-arm people to change licenses, from an open, irrevocable one to a restrictive, revocable and onerous one. Why would anyone agree to have less rights? I wouldn’t.

Writing my first RPG adventure

Although I’ve run homebrew RPG adventures, I’ve never created a definitively finished thing. I have a proven track record of not finishing anything. So when I heard that the Storytelling Collective were running a workshop to help folks write their first adventure I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s designed to help you write, produce and publish a one-shot adventure over the course of a month. Hopefully it’s just what I need to help me get over the start line, never mind the finish line. Fingers crossed!

It’s day 1. So far, so good.

If you’re interested, you can find all the info here: