When I started working on WIRE two years ago, I planned to use the OGL. Because I trusted this license. Because I trusted something that has been around for nearly as long as I play. I also released the homebrew content for Andrawyn under the OGL 1.0 (a), for the same reasons. Then 2023 came and everything blew up.
If you are in the unlikely position that you don’t know what happened, have a look at https://www.opendnd.games/, where you’ll find everything that happened so far. But how does this affect me? Why is my trust in WotC destroyed? Let’s have a look at this!
How I used the OGL & the current problems
As I said, I used the OGL for my development, to share my mechanics and my homebrew for different systems. That means, nearly everything I have done over the last five years has been OGL 1.0 (a). That wouldn’t be a problem. The current draft points out that things released under this license will remain under that license, but you can’t add to it. And obviously, nobody can use my mechanics for their own games, as this would not be allowed anymore.
Using the new OGL will also not be an option, since they closely tied it to D&D as a brand. So this new “Open Game License” will just be another incarnation of a “Don’t play other games”-License, which I am not satisfied with. I thought they learned from their D&D 4e debacle. Obviously they didn’t, and probably they should think about the idea of making someone with no knowledge of TTRPGs responsible for the future of the market’s leading system.
Since the OGL 1.1 leak was such a bad license and the 1.2 is not that much better, I can’t trust them. Even if they promise we can continue using OGL 1.0a, I can’t trust them anymore. They tried to take this license away from us once, and they will try again, because we, the community, the creators and users, are just cash cows. I will not play this game.
The solution and how to continue
Paizo stepped up to finance and build a new open license for game mechanics, and as far as my knowledge goes, Pathfinder 2e will be a part of that new open license. So will WIRE. For now, I will continue building the system in private, without publishing. When the ORC-License will arrive, I will move my content over. For Andrawyn, which was originally built as a D&D 5e setting, I took all articles offline for now. I rebuild them, removing any parts of D&D left in there. In the future, it will support Pathfinder 2e and WIRE, as well as E.Lite.
For me, it will fill this year with rewriting, reconsidering and reorganizing over 5 years of worldbuilding. It is a daunting task, but also one that allows me to have a close look at decisions I made back then and rethink the way I built this world. This is something I’m looking forward to. I am looking forward to publish my first supplements, and building an outstanding community, like the one that grows around the ORC license right now. I hope you will be a part of it.
If you want to follow the process, step into the Andrawyn-Category on this blog now and then.
What do you think about the new OGL? Will you stick with WotC, or are you changing to another system? Leave me a comment below. I would like to hear your suggestions!