OGL and Dungeon Masters Guild: First thoughts

So, a few days ago, WotC released the new OGL and also launched site for DMs to provide new content. This has sparked lots of conversations in many places across the magical realm of the Internet.

I’ve been thinking the past few days if I should write something about it and I still have my doubts. That’s mostly because I’m not sure yet how I should feel about the Dungeon Masters Guild. But let’s take things one at a time.

The OGL is here, along with the SRD. That’s a 398-page document containing legal stuff and the rules of the game. This is good and most, if not all, of the community agrees to that. It was mentioned that the SRD contains only one archetype for each class but that was answered by Mike Mearls on twitter. Of course, you can’t do anything with the OGL. For example, you can’t use anything from the Forgotten Realms and also the names of some monsters.

Now, about the Dungeon Masters Guild. WotC is using this site to help creators generate content about the Forgotten Realms setting, and make money while doing it. They are providing resources such as stock art and templates and also let you use the published material for the Forgotten Realms, which you can’t if you’re using the OGL.

From what I’ve seen these days, the community is cautious about the Guild. Some even say there are similarities between this and Valve’s paid mods situation last year. There are many questions surrounding it and many felt that the AMA that took place on Friday didn’t help much. Some interesting questions were, unfortunately, not answered.

Also, from around the internets, two questions I found interesting are:

  • Is it really worth it to sell content through the Dungeon Masters Guild?
  • What if people start taking pieces of free homebrew and publish it as their own?

A possible way to translate the first question is “DriveThruRPG gives you 65% or 70% of the sales. Dungeon Masters Guild gives you 50%. Is the material provided by WotC and probably the extra publicity your work will get worth that 15%-20% less money?”.

The second question is very interesting too and I hope there will be measures for this. But it also sparks more questions. What if someone slightly changes a free homebrew work and publishes it as their own?

I am in no place to answer any question. This post is for me to gather my thoughts a little because I feel confused about this. So, after reading this, you’re probably more confused than before. So you’d better check the something like an FAQ for the Dungeon Masters Guild, if you don’t have already. It also has a cool table about what you can do with the OGL and what with the DMs Guild. There is also the FAQ for the old OGL which might help a little bit too.

That’s all I have for now. And don’t get me wrong. I hope the DMs Guild becomes another place where content creators can present their work and get rewarded for it. But I also believe it will take a lot of time in order for the, probably, lots of problems that will pop up in the future to be properly fixed.

Feel free to tell me what you think about the OGL and the DMs Guild because I’d really like to hear more opinions about the subject. You can leave a comment here, hit me up on twitter or mail me at thekinddm@gmail.com.

Until the next time, have fun!

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