D&D 5th Edition OGL


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is kind of a big deal...
5th Edition OGL


Yeah it is. It will be interesting to see what happens with it.

Sovereign Court

Woah...


Dungeon Master Guild is interesting...

Liberty's Edge

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Finally!

I still wish they'd sell PDFs of their books. But this will finally give me a reason to check out D&D/5e.

Kind of a bummer that the SRD PDF doesn't have any bookmarks in it. I look forward to the inevitable fan-reformatted versions that are more usable.


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No more skirting around certain words in my kickstarter. And the GM guild thing is immense news


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Someone call bulgeyman. Things could finally be going his way.

Sovereign Court

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Someone needs to bookmark that thing. OGL aside, its just a darn good reference.


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Hopefully someone with more time & ambition than me will put up a d20srd style version of it.

This is good news. And surprising to me. I really didn't expect it.


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WotC learned from their mistakes, they didn't put everything (only one subrace per race, fewer archetypes, only one feat, etc.) in the SRD so one could not produce a "Pocket Player's Handbook" like we've seen in the past.


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thejeff wrote:

Hopefully someone with more time & ambition than me will put up a d20srd style version of it.

This is good news. And surprising to me. I really didn't expect it.

Actually I saw an email from John at D20PFSRD with a note about two links related to 5th Ed SRD.

Quoted from the email.

www.5theditionsrd.com and www.5esrd.com will be coming soon. Bookmark now!
www.5theditionsrd.com
www.5theditionsrd.com


Mordo wrote:
WotC learned from their mistakes, they didn't put everything (only one subrace per race, fewer archetypes, only one feat, etc.) in the SRD so one could not produce a "Pocket Player's Handbook" like we've seen in the past.

So is this just the Basic version in SRD?

Or somewhere in between that and the full deal?

Liberty's Edge

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Rhedyn wrote:
Yeah it is. It will be interesting to see what happens with it.

I expect some of the better selling 3pp settings might get a run, and someone might convince WotC to let them do 3pp versions of some of the more popular 2e settings they're not planning on doing anything with, like maybe Dragonlance or Dark Sun, perhaps.


no eldritch blast or witch bolt in it

Sovereign Court

Also, only one feat. Curious thing, that.


in fact, lots warlock spells missing


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thenovalord wrote:
no eldritch blast or witch bolt in it

Which is a bit strange because invocations that augment eldritch blast made into the file...


....and you still can't say 'this product is for D&D', can you?


thenovalord wrote:
no eldritch blast or witch bolt in it

Mearls has confirmed that the lack of eldritch blast was an oversight. Not sure about the rest.


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thejeff wrote:
Mordo wrote:
WotC learned from their mistakes, they didn't put everything (only one subrace per race, fewer archetypes, only one feat, etc.) in the SRD so one could not produce a "Pocket Player's Handbook" like we've seen in the past.

So is this just the Basic version in SRD?

Or somewhere in between that and the full deal?

It's much more than the basic SRD (it's 398 pages long), as you have all races and classes (but only a subrace/archetype for each). They include one background and a single feat, but I believe they did this as a template so 3rd party will be allowed to produce more background and feats. Yet it will prevent someone from copying evething in the PHB. Don't know if you could reference a feat not in the SRD just by name though.


Yep. All sorts of cool 'backgrounds' are in the works I imagine

Sovereign Court

No, you still can't use protected properties like Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, beholders, etc etc.

You can if you use their Dungeon Master's Guild though, but that's another thing entirely.


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Huzzah, let's hope for some solid third party content.


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Lorathorn wrote:

No, you still can't use protected properties like Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, beholders, etc etc.

You can if you use their Dungeon Master's Guild though, but that's another thing entirely.

There's no feat listed in the PI, hence my question as if one could name an existing feat without describing the mechanics. Same if you'd creat a class archetype that would use Battle Master Maneuvers.


It is a very good question!


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Mordo wrote:
Lorathorn wrote:

No, you still can't use protected properties like Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, beholders, etc etc.

You can if you use their Dungeon Master's Guild though, but that's another thing entirely.

There's no feat listed in the PI, hence my question as if one could name an existing feat without describing the mechanics. Same if you'd creat a class archetype that would use Battle Master Maneuvers.

Yeah, it's interesting - no doubt a work in progress, but at this stage all the feats other than grappler seem to have been declared neither open content, nor product identity. Presumably, you're under 'usual copyright laws' in those instances.

The exclusion of variant human is also an interesting omission, at this stage. That appears to be an optional rule that's become the default (based on just anecdotal web chatter), yet isnt in the SRD.


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Definitely interesting, though hopefully they fix the Dungeon Master's Guild site in the future to actually distinguish between publishers (rather than listing every item as published by "Dungeon Master's Guild") as I can see this turning into the shoddy 3pp content glut from the birth of 3E, but on steroids (since you don't actually have to create a physical book or convince stores to carry it) and without a way to sort things, it's going to be difficult to find content from publishers you trust.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, it's interesting - no doubt a work in progress, but at this stage all the feats other than grappler seem to have been declared neither open content, nor product identity. Presumably, you're under 'usual copyright laws' in those instances.

The OGL doesn't apply to anything not in their SRD document. So other material from other sources (IE, the actual PHB) isn't open content. Without an additional license, it is as legal to refer to that content as it was yesterday.


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deinol wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mordo wrote:
There's no feat listed in the PI, hence my question as if one could name an existing feat without describing the mechanics.
Yeah, it's interesting - no doubt a work in progress, but at this stage all the feats other than grappler seem to have been declared neither open content, nor product identity. Presumably, you're under 'usual copyright laws' in those instances.
The OGL doesn't apply to anything not in their SRD document. So other material from other sources (IE, the actual PHB) isn't open content. Without an additional license, it is as legal to refer to that content as it was yesterday.

Yeah, that's what I was saying - the fact the other feats aren't listed as PI isn't relevant to whether you can refer to them or not. That depends on whether you can refer to them or not under just general copyright laws.


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Well, dang. Even with the odd omissions, this here is a pret-ty big deal. Nice job, WotC.


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I find it interesting that they've included an example feat but not the whole list. Presumably, it's to provide cover for 3PP to create feats without including WotC's feats in the mix (to avoid books which include pure rewordings of the core books).

It initially seemed like a glaring omission to me, however I think I was reading it from a PF perspective (where you need the feats to create monsters and so forth). In 5E, monsters/NPCs aren't built with the same rules - so not being able to reference the PH feats isn't actually a barrier to most publishers. You can just give the monsters whatever bonuses the feat would give them via stat adjustments and actions - you don't need to list the feat you've assigned them.

Same with the reduced number of subraces. It doesn't really make any difference, since you don't need them if you're producing adventures or monster books (which is presumably what they primarily want to encourage).


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I also found it interesting that they haven't tried to stop a repeat of Pathfinder's rise. I had partly suspected that was the big stumbling block in a 5E SRD - however, it seems to me that what's here is enough for someone to repeat Paizo's business model if WotC decided to abandon 5E.

I was half expecting a new version of the OGL to come out with this explicitly preventing a standalone game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This sounds like a good thing to me. Though, it does have me curious about something. In the OGL, it says only hill dwarves and high elves are available. I am curious if this is an oversight, and what happens if you have mountain dwarves in your campaign setting (which you can publish using 5th edition rules, as per the X under OGL for "I want to publish my original campaign world using fifth edition rules")? Do you have to completely change up the mountain dwarves, even if you rename them? Can you use the wood elf's "mask of the wild" on a homebrew race, or is that ability not available? Can you even make mention of mountain dwarves in your dwarf racial entry, if you add in another dwarven subrace, and just say "the mountain dwarf subrace as printed in the 5th edition of the world's oldest RPG?"

Restricting the OGL-ness of the races to a single subrace is strange to me. Same with only a single archetype for the classes. I know no one here is likely to have any answers for my questions, but I felt like putting them out there. It is good news that there is an OGL, but some of the things they decided on for inclusion into the SRD has me scratching my head.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I also found it interesting that they haven't tried to stop a repeat of Pathfinder's rise. I had partly suspected that was the big stumbling block in a 5E SRD - however, it seems to me that what's here is enough for someone to repeat Paizo's business model if WotC decided to abandon 5E.

I was half expecting a new version of the OGL to come out with this explicitly preventing a standalone game.

OTOH, none of this prevents the same legal maneuvering that allows the various OSR clones. Game rules aren't copyrightable. So, the new OGL material + that loophole makes it easier to recreate the whole system minus some specific terms, but it you could probably have already gotten pretty close.

Feats, for example, are game rules. Nothing prevents anyone from duplicating most of the the current 5E feats already.


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Yeah - that's what I mean. There's nothing here to stop a standalone game system.

I was expecting they'd try to limit that. For example, they could have put out a new OGL 2.0 barring standalone game systems phrased using new terms (allowable/non-allowable content instead of open/closed or somesuch) and labelled the 5E SRD (and terms like advantage) "allowable" but closed content.

I appreciate there'd still be plenty of options, I was nonetheless surprised. I can't really think of a reason for delaying the 5E SRD so long - can you?


Drejk wrote:
Dungeon Master Guild is interesting...

Eh, it basically seems to just be another OneBookShelf storefront, that specializes in 5E products.

Edit: Not even that...it seems to have all the WotC products, regardless of edition, plus 3PP 5E products.


Norman Osborne wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Dungeon Master Guild is interesting...
Eh, it basically seems to just be another OneBookShelf storefront, that specializes in 5E products.

I haven't looked into it, but it seemed to allow other people to utilise a lot of WotC's IP (like writing Forgotten Realms adventures, for example).

I wonder if there's any vetting process. Or if you give up any rights by using it.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah - that's what I mean. There's nothing here to stop a standalone game system.

I was expecting they'd try to limit that. For example, they could have put out a new OGL 2.0 barring standalone game systems phrased using new terms (allowable/non-allowable content instead of open/closed or somesuch) and labelled the 5E SRD (and terms like advantage) "allowable" but closed content.

I appreciate there'd still be plenty of options, I was nonetheless surprised. I can't really think of a reason for delaying the 5E SRD so long - can you?

They might have had that exact debate between lawyers and/or the creative team.


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Norman Osborne wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah - that's what I mean. There's nothing here to stop a standalone game system.

I was expecting they'd try to limit that. For example, they could have put out a new OGL 2.0 barring standalone game systems phrased using new terms (allowable/non-allowable content instead of open/closed or somesuch) and labelled the 5E SRD (and terms like advantage) "allowable" but closed content.

I appreciate there'd still be plenty of options, I was nonetheless surprised. I can't really think of a reason for delaying the 5E SRD so long - can you?

They might have had that exact debate between lawyers and/or the creative team.

Quite possible, I suppose. I like Wizards of the Coast, but I often wish they were a little more open in their thinking/motivation after the fact. (I appreciate it's not reasonable to expect to know everything, but I do like how frank Paizo tend to be, in contrast).


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Norman Osborne wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Dungeon Master Guild is interesting...
Eh, it basically seems to just be another OneBookShelf storefront, that specializes in 5E products.

I haven't looked into it, but it seemed to allow other people to utilise a lot of WotC's IP (like writing Forgotten Realms adventures, for example).

I wonder if there's any vetting process. Or if you give up any rights by using it.

I would imagine there is some sort of vetting process. I doubt they're going to publish an adventure that completely wrecks the Realms.

But forget the Realms, this might allow the publication of new material for Greyhawk, Ebberon, Spelljammer, etc. You know, the stuff that WotC isn't going to bother touching until it's squeezed every last drop out of the Forgettable Realms....and then ground up the dried husk and sprinkled it in as well.


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Looks like the commission on Dungeon Master Guild products is 50% (split somehow between OneBookShelf and WotC). How does that compare if you want to distribute a self-published PDF through the various sites?

It also seems to be limited to solely Forgotten Realms stuff at the moment.

"At this time, the Guild is only accepting Forgotten Realms material that uses the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons rules."


Maybe if I submit an adventure that kills all of the Realms DMPCs and destroys both Abeir and Toril, then WotC can move on to worlds I give a damn about. :P


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No, they won't.


You're right....I better destroy the entire crystal sphere, and kill Ao to boot.


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Norman Osborne wrote:
Maybe if I submit an adventure that kills all of the Realms DMPCs and destroys both Abeir and Toril, then WotC can move on to worlds I give a damn about. :P

I think Wizards have learnt the same lesson Paizo did from TSR's problems. It's a risky strategy to support lots of competing game worlds.

Down the track, this new approach offers a glimmer of hope for you. Hopefully they will eventually allow third parties to produce Greyhawk or Eberron stuff (or whatever world tickles your fancy). I wouldn't hold my breath hoping they'll shift their focus from the profitable IP to the probably less profitable though.


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Norman Osborne wrote:
You're right....I better destroy the entire crystal sphere, and kill Ao to boot.

I'll stop it! But not before shagging your girlfriend and verbally abusing Lhaeo.

Wild card b$!@*es!!

Liberty's Edge

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Mordo wrote:
Lorathorn wrote:

No, you still can't use protected properties like Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, beholders, etc etc.

You can if you use their Dungeon Master's Guild though, but that's another thing entirely.

There's no feat listed in the PI, hence my question as if one could name an existing feat without describing the mechanics. Same if you'd creat a class archetype that would use Battle Master Maneuvers.

Actually, you can describe mechanics all day long, it's the name you can't use. ;-)


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RyanH wrote:

This is kind of a big deal...

5th Edition OGL

It's both a big deal, but also not. The SRD is an extremely crippled version of the actual 5th edition rules, with a single subrace per race, a single archetype per class, backgrounds and feats excluded (except for the example) and a large number of missing spells, such as eldritch blast (which is somewhat important).

If you wish to publish additional content, such as extra feats, spells, classes or monsters, you can do so, noting that you need to exclude anything that isn't OGL. I.e. no monsters that use magic aura or eldritch blast.

If you want to publish NPCs (such as a book of NPCs), you are (unless I'm mistaken) prohibited from using any of the non-OGL subraces and class archetypes - i.e. no wood elves, dark elves, mountain dwarves, forest (i.e. non-tinker) gnomes, battlemaster fighters, light domain clerics and so on. This is... limiting.

If you want to publish an adventure module, campaign or campaign setting, things get even more restricted as you need to create a lot of custom content, or else reuse the limited tools you have over and over. It's not that you can't do so, it's just that you're very handicapped. For example, adding PC class levels to a monster or NPC, such as a potential cohort or pre-generated PC, now has a very small palette to draw from.

Overall, it's certainly an improvement, but given Wizard's propensity to bring in lawyers at the drop of a hat (or monster name), I'm less convinced that this will inspire a proliferation of third-party material.


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Except that you can use any names that were released in SRDs for earlier editions and the rules can't be copyrighted anyway, so it should be pretty trivial to recreate most of the missing content.


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thejeff wrote:
Except that you can use any names that were released in SRDs for earlier editions and the rules can't be copyrighted anyway, so it should be pretty trivial to recreate most of the missing content.

Yeah, combine the 5E SRD with the 3.5 SRD, and suddenly the vast majority of the names you can't reference using the 5E SRD alone become available.

Most of what's left is stuff that was excluded from the 3.5 SRD anyway, so you couldn't use it even if you published for 3.5 or Pathfinder.

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