February 3, 2012

5E Friday

-OGL. So far there has been little from WotC other than a short "We're working on it". However, I think 5E requires an OGL similar to 3E. Beyond the obvious implications, such as community investment into the system and keeping the buzz going, 5E may wither and die without third-party support. There is simply no way WotC can support 5E by themselves. With the concept of multiple styles of play within one system it will be impossible for one company to produce enough material in a timely manner to support all those styles. And if a "line" of add-ons is not supported it will wither and die.
There are a large number of companies and individuals out there capable of writing good material and with good distribution methods (on-line and print). Yes, similar to 3E, crap will be written and published, but from what I saw with 3E the crap will sink and the good designers will rise to the top. The internet is excellent for vetting crap; quick reviews will shine the spotlight on the good and the bad.
The point of the OGL is to put 5E at the forefront of everyone's mind and to keep it there. WotC needs outside people to do this. And for this they need to make people want to participate. In this new age of internet publishing and ease of print if a designer does not buy into 5E they will put their talents into something else, drawing potential 5E customers away. WotC needs the good designers to work on 5E even if they are not working for WotC. Without a strong (strong as in greater freedoms) OGL, 5E may not last long.

-OGL. Yes, same topic, but different thought. Is the 3E OGL enough to cover 5E? Is there no need for a 5E OGL because it will be easy enough to simply use the 3E version? As it is, the retro-clones are using the 3E OGL to produce 1E material already. Would a 5E OGL only be needed for 4E type of material?

1 comment:

Victor Von Dave said...

Completely agree. One of the worst decisions WOTC made about 4e was dithering around with the restrictive GSL instead of just continuing the existing OGL. That lost them a lot of community support and entangled the public perception of 4e in a bunch of stuff that had nothing to do with the game.

About the retro-clones - I have no idea how they use the OGL to publish them. I've been curious about that myself, if it's actually legal or if its just convenient and nobody wants to pursue legal action.