Friday, April 18, 2008


The open gaming license decision was finally announced yesterday by Wizards of the Coast. There weren't many details but, "The effective start date for sales of D&D 4E GSL publications will be October 1, 2008." This gives WOTC four months of lead time to impress customers with their products, and they'll have quite a line up with 12 books published by 10/1. The GSL is the equivalent of the 3.x D20 license. Wizards is also working on an OGL-like license that will be called D20-GSL, for games that use the D20 mechanics but aren't D&D. Confused yet?

None of these licenses are revocable, so they'll be with us forever. We'll have:

Product 3.x 4.x Example
D&D Accessories D20 GSL Adventures, Accessory
Spinoff Games OGL D20-GSL Conan, Pathfinder



  1. I don't think they made it quite as confusing as it could have been, they better go back and rethink it a little more...

  2. "This license will allow third-party publishers to create roleplaying game products in non-fantasy settings with the 4E rules."

    If that's the kind of language they use in the actual license it will be a mess.

    If they get the language right it will mean no Conan RPG for 4th, because it's fantasy.

    If they get the language wrong it will be a nightmare because I don't think there is a working legal definition of the term "fantasy" and it's not very clear anywhere else either.

    Is Shadowrun fantasy? How about Dark Heresy? Heck, giant robots are pretty fantastic, are they fantasy?

    If they are serious about preventing competing products in this way it's going to make the license pretty much useless.

  3. I think the delay came from some heavy legal scrutiny by their legal department, while this press release was the usual bungled interpretation by the marketing department.g

  4. On the other hand those of us who could care less about 4th edition will simply stick with 3.x D20 and OGL (did I get that right?) and not worry about it.

  5. I'm sticking with D&D in the box.