Skip to main content
  1. Dispatches/

Quote: Gizmodo's Scoop on New WotC License

·375 words·2 mins
Quotes d&d ttrpg
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

What a scoop! Linda Codega got a leaked copy of Wizards of the Coast’s new version of the OGL. The new version of the license is “over 9,000 words long”1, and, well, it sounds pretty bad.

While there is plenty more to parse, the main takeaway from the leaked OGL 1.1 draft document is that WotC is keeping power close at hand. There is no mention of perpetual, worldwide rights given to creators (which was present in section 4 of the original OGL), and one of the caveats is that the company “can modify or terminate this agreement for any reason whatsoever, provided We give thirty (30) days’ notice.”

WotC also gets the right to use any content that licensees create, whether commercial or non-commercial. Although this is couched in language to protect Wizards’ products from infringing on creators’ copyright, the document states that for any content created under the updated OGL, regardless of whether or not it is owned by the creator, Wizards will have a “nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sub-licensable, royalty-free license to use that content for any purpose.”

There are a lot of implications in this extended policy, and the ramifications of this updated OGL could have a chilling effect on new licensed products. As only “static” products are included, all work that publishers do for virtual tabletops may have to be offered as non-commercial, free products, which de-incentivizes their production. The royalties associated with any company making above $750K could also prompt publishers to hold back extra products or scale down projects so they stay under the Expert Tier.

Linda Codega, Dungeons & Dragons’ New License Tightens Its Grip on Competition, Gizmodo

If this draft, or even something similar, is what they end up releasing it’s going to have a major chilling effect on third-party publishers of D&D-compatible content. It remains to be seen whether some of the document’s clauses, such as ending the original OGL as an approved license would hold up in court, but it seems that Hasbro’s desire to “ fully monetize D&D” is in full effect.

I’d strongly encourage you to go and read the linked article, because the quote above is only a fraction of what’s changing.

  1. The original OGL was less than 900 words. ↩︎


Quote: Monte Cook on Designer Anxiety
·145 words·1 min
Quotes ttrpg game design
A great post from Monte Cook on anxiety for first-time designers. Remember that product that gamers love that includes A, B, and C? A lot of designers will look at that, put A, B, and C in their own product, and then figure they’re done.
Weeknotes for 2023-01-13
·534 words·3 mins
Weeknotes personal explorers wanted obsidian books movies d&d ttrpg horror assorted geekery
This week I’ve been in the Netherlands for work, so between jet lag and meetings I’ve been pretty wiped out. Still, I’ve managed to get a few non-work related things done as well.
Running Monster Care Squad
··2086 words·10 mins
Articles reviews gm tips ttrpg
I wrote recently about receiving my backer copy of Monster Care Squad, which is a Ghibli-inspired RPG about the people caring for the magical monsters that once protected their communities from a terrible illness.