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5e Dungeon Masters Guild, the OGL, and a new SRD!

 
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:23 am    Post subject: 5e Dungeon Masters Guild, the OGL, and a new SRD! Reply with quote

Hello all,

This bomb dropped today...

There is now a 5e SRD under the old OGL and a safeharbor to publish (for free or profit) 5e material (including adventures set in WotC's Forgotten Realms IP).

From the FAQ for the DMs Guild:
Quote:
Is this going to remain Forgotten Realms only, or are other settings/IPs to be considered in the future??

We intend to open up additional settings and IP as time goes on. However, for the time being, we will remain focused on the Forgotten Realms.


From the D&D Website:
DUNGEON MASTERS GUILD NOW OPEN

SYSTEMS REFERENCE DOCUMENT (SRD)

Haven't had a chance to dive into it, but this is a very welcome surprise. We can all thank Chris Lindsay for spearheading this at WotC.

Enjoy.

Edit 1: Clarified information on OGL, the uses the original from 3e. The SRD is new. Also, info about IP beyond FR.


Last edited by Saracenus on Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's certainly great news for all the third party publishers (3PPs) out there. Cool

SirXaris
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the Guild is set up to allow anyone to publish electronically.
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vestcoat
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Joined: Jul 29, 2006
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Location: Dantredun, MN

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about the DM Guild. While the current model of fanon publication isn't great -- either scratch the serial numbers off of your product and sell it (e.g. Casey Brown's A Page of Scrolls) or write for a setting and give it away for free (DM Prata's The Tower of Azal'Lan) -- at least the author has control over their work and the freedom of future expansion. And we have a healthy online community and diversity of independent publishers.

The comparison checklist in the SRD (linked above) indicates that Hasbro owns the copyright to DM Guild publications. Can anyone verify this? Also, how does the author's 50% cut compare to selling on RPGnow.com independently?

I distrust Hasbro's fickle control over what materials and editions gamers can legally access. And corporate copyrights have screwed over plenty of authors.

Consider Hasbro's shutdown of the Paizo store that made all of their electronic documents "out of print" for several years. They only gave Paizo and their customers a couple day's notice. If your HD crashed and you didn't have the PDF's you bought backed up, you were screwed.

Consider the thousands of gamers that spent years developing Living Greyhawk only to have it killed and all of the IP locked up.

Consider Trigee pulling all of Gygax's IP upon his death and doing absolutely nothing with it since 2008.

What if Hasbro shuts the Guild down while an author is in the middle of a series? What if 6E comes out and Hasbro decides to ween gamers off of earlier editions?

Dungeons and Dragons players don't need Hasbro any more and they know it. While it would be nice to see more of our peers make a few bucks and get some recognition, the intent of the DM Guild is to control and profit off of fan works and user content.
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me address the Living Greyhawk mess as someone who produced content for it and played the hell out of that campaign. The way that the original writing contracts were a mess. When they did away from purchasing the rights to content it made it impossible to publish material because you had to secure the rights to the work from each individual author in order to republish it, fat freaking chance.

Was it a shame that years worth of content have faded from existence. Yes. But that was not all on WotC, I know the author who's actions led to the complicated mess of ownership of LG material. It cut both ways.

As to your lack of trust in Hasbro/WotC not to do something stupid in the future because of their behavior in the past, I got nothing to placate you. I think that WotC and the D&D Brand group have done a lot in the past 2 years to change that...

Back to the topic at hand,

Here is why the new SRD under the OGL changes things...

You have two publishing routes:

A) OGL without using WotC IP.

B) DM Guild using select WotC IP.

Both allow you to profit from your work.

Further, you no longer have to use 3e for choice A because you have a new SRD for 5e content. That means you can now publish material that will work with the current version of D&D.

Option B now allows you to use more than just the SRD but you are bolstering WotC by playing in their backyard.

This is a huge shift and I think its healthy for the hobby. It will allow new writers and developers to hone their craft.

If the concern is complete control over one's content, then you go to option C and publish your own work.

I am just glad there are new options out there.

And if they open up other IP like Greyhawk, Planescape, Dark Sun, and Al-Qdim in the future, all more to the good.

One more thing, the departure of Bill Slavicsek in 2011 was a huge shift for the D&D brand. I think that with him out of the picture the forces within WotC that encouraged the OGL where able to win out. You will notice there was never a 4e SRD.

You can see the changes in how WotC does there business with 5e:

1. The long playtest that helped hone an edition that was pretty solid from day one of publication.

2. They have reached out to 3rd party publishers to create content. The last three published adventures were designed by Kolbold Press, Sasquatch Games, and Green Ronin Games in partnership with the D&D team.

3. They have now given the rest of us a channel produce content if we so desire and yes, WotC will profit from that as well.

All in all. I am going to call this a good day for D&D and the hobby as a whole.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right. It looks pretty good to me.

What you get when self-publishing NON-IP material using OneBookShelf:

* You earn a royalty of 70% if you are exclusive to our marketplaces or 65% if you choose to be non-exclusive and sell through other online stores. Our share of revenue covers our server upkeep, bandwidth, payment processing, marketing and customer service.

And you own your material, but it can't make use of the 5E OGL (3.5 OGl is open game though) or any WotC IP.

From what I can see, and please correct me if this is erroneous in any way, things break down like this for Dungeon Masters Guild:

* You earn a royalty of 50% and MUST be exclusive to our marketplace, but you may make use of WotC's 5E OGL and/or Forgotten Realms IP. The remaining revenue is split between WotC and OneBookShelf according to whatever agreement they have. If you do make use of the 5E OGL and/or WotC Forgotten Realms IP, you must cede ownership of your work to Wotc, though still maintain royalty rights.

I'll just say one thing. Do any of you actually realize how utterly beyond awesome having 50% royalty rights even is when you get to dovetail off of somebody else's already established and very popular IP? Shocked So, would you like to make $7,000 from selling 1,000 $10 units of something nobody knows of at 70% profit, or make $90,000 from selling 18,000 $10 units of something EVERYONE knows of at 50%. Confused

To be honest, I am surprised WotC would be open to such an arrangement, but on the other hand they will end up making 20+% of the profits with little effort. It could be a windfall for everyone.

So, I would say this is a pretty exciting development! Cool
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a spirited discussion of the limits and merits of the DMs Guild on the Paizo Message Boards. It gets very interesting on page 2 when Vic Wertz chimes in.

Paizo Message Thread: D&D 5th Edition OGL

All in all, some great info.

If you are interested in hearing from the horses mouths, there is this:

Quote:
On Friday, January 15th starting at 10am PT, Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay from the Dungeons & Dragons team will host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Reddit D&D channel to speak directly with the public on how the Dungeon Masters Guild works. Mike Mearls is also available for interviews upon request.
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electryc
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd personally buy anything you fine gentlemen published in Greyhawk! (If that options comes down the road.) I'd love to see some of the great scholars here put out modules or what not about places not visited by EGG, and other TSR contributors. Sure it's not canon, but It would be MY canon.
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've considered writing material for the DM's Guild under the SDR but I don't have a proficiency in legal jargon. Here are some starting questions I would like answered if anyone can do so.

Are you able to produce material set in different WOTC settings, such as Greyhawk? If so, can Greyhawk proper be mentioned?

Under Product Identity they list several proper names and a few D&D monsters by name. Can none of these proper names be mentioned in any work we submit to the DM Guild? Why are there so few monsters listed and why would they have chose the ones that they have?

Are other monsters from D&D that are not listed in the Monster Manual (example Norker) available to recreate a 5th edition version of?

If I create random encounter tables for Greyhawk can I name the 5th edition monster that are published in the Monster Manual?

Are we able to use any material we wrote for Oerth Journal and submit that material under the SDR?
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Are you able to produce material set in different WOTC settings, such as Greyhawk? If so, can Greyhawk proper be mentioned?

Are we able to use any material we wrote for Oerth Journal and submit that material under the SDR?


No, and no. Only Forgotten Realms is included in the current 5e OGL. Greyhawk and all the names associated with it are still protected IP. Thus, we may not write anything specifically for Greyhawk for profit. We may, as we have been doing, write Greyhawk specific material for free. Hopefully, they will include other campaigns, like The World of Greyhawk, in the 5e OGL at a later date, but right now, Greyhawk is no better off than without it.

These are the only answers I can offer to your questions with certainty.

SirXaris
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aurdraco
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ravenloft was also recently added.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not surprising, seeing what WotC allowed 3rd parties to do with Ravenloft previously. With the new adventure (which a friend of mine is going to run for our little cadre of ne'er-do-wells) coming out, this could lead to all of that older material being updated to 5E with not too much effort. That would be good for Ravenloft fans, for those who produced the material, and for WotC. If WotC has no desire to do certain things, they might as well let others do so, and take their slice of the pie with a smile. I'd like to see Greyhawk added to the list, but I am betting we'll see the more oddball stuff instead, like Planescape, Spelljammer, or something involving stem power and the wearing of gears and goggles on everything. Razz
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