Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5th Edition - OGL, SRD, and a new campaign?

Well WOTC set the RPG Internet on fire last week and there was some additional news of note this morning. Short takes below:

  • 5E opening a lot up to the OGL: Good thing. I kind of like the limited number of published adventures out there but I'm not playing it so that's not really fair. I think the original OGL was huge for the hobby (it's how we got Mutants and Masterminds among many other things) so anything that embraces it is a positive, and the big name in RPG's coming back to it is a big, big positive.
  • The SRD: a few are talking about what it lacks but I see the races, classes, alignments, gear, spells, combat rules, magic items ... all the standard elements of the D&D rules over the last umpteen years and editions. Looks like a pretty solid start to me.
  • The DM's Guild: Well if you wanted to try and make some money off of those adventures you've been writing they're making it pretty easy now. Explanation of how it works is here. It's of limited immediate interest to me as I'm not playing 5th but it's an interesting model for letting other people play in your sandbox and get paid for it. I think reputation will play a big part in this, but that it will quickly sweep away a lot of other efforts for the low-hanging fruit: NPC's, new monsters, and short encounters that a lot of the DTRPG publishers like to sell. I do wonder if prices will settle at certain tiers for specific content or if it will be a race to the bottom with almost everything going to 99 cents. It will be fun to watch over the next year.
  • That Ravenloft thing is coming back too. I'm glad to see something that is more than another campaign pulled over to the Realms. This one sounds like it's staying home and you can get there from anywhere so that's good. It's also cool that they have the original writers involved.

    It is, however, another update/rehash like the Tiamat adventure, the Elemental Evil adventure, and the Drizzt/Menzoberranzan/Underdark adventure - now it's the Ravenloft adventure. Lord knows there's plenty left - will we see a slaver's adventure? An S-series special adventure? A giant-heavy adventure? Planescape Redux? Another Keep on some Borderlands-centric campaign? I bet we see at least some of that. I would be interested in seeing something new though - something that's not a direct homage to one of the classics. How about a new classic for 5th edition? Even if it's in the Realms there's a lot of ground to cover. How about something in Chult with all of those dinosaurs running around? How about something mummy-ish in Mulhorand? How about Paladins vs. Liches in the Blooddstone lands? Ok some of those could be made tribute-ish but it's not required.  

It is cool to see activity on 5E - even if I'm not diving in to it I think it's important to the whole RPG hobby to keep it alive and active. I'm sure I'll take another run at it one of these days.

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