Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Brief pass at the 5e SRD

So I skimmed over the DnD 5e System Reference Document. The following leaped out at me.

  • Classes have one option each similar to what they did to the four core classes in the basic rules. 
  • I think some classes suffer a bit because of this particularly the Warlock patrons. 
  • Spells, Magic Items, and Monsters are extensive but it will take a bit of time to make a list to see what there and what is not.
  • The document layout is not amicable to just reading it. I had to break up the PDF into its component chapters to make sure I understood what was in it.
  • Because of the above, we are going to see a wealth of indexes and reformatted SRDs. I know people complain about how the OGL lets a person copy a work verbatim but the 5e SRD really needs a better format to be used even as a publishing reference.
  •  I expect some interesting mashup to come of this. There is enough of 5e in the SRD to make a complete 5e base RPG for example +James Spahn could design a 5e White Star out of this. Likes +James Raggi  could make a 5e Lamentation of Flame Princess with a focus on weird fantasy.
  • Or +Harley Stroh and Joesph Goodman making a mashup of the DCC RPG with 5e. 
  • I predict Frog God Games will quickly fill in any gaps with the monsters.
After looking around the Dungeon Masters Guild website here are some quick impression.
  • It is a closed creative circle with everybody participating sharing their stuff.
  • The main advantage is to be able to play in Forgotten Realm and make some money off your contribution. 
  • The price for the above is only a 50% royalty and everybody else in the DM's Guild can use your stuff.
  • However I suspect they are going to be pretty hard nose about any violations of the community guidelines.
  • It appears unless they buy it and make it canon, you retain full rights to any original content you create. Of course how useful that is depend on how much Wizards IP you weave into your product. For example it appears I could release a version of the Scourge of the Demon Wolf set into some corner of the Forgotten Realms and still have the Majestic Wilderlands version up for sale as a separate product. 
  • The DM's Guild already has some art assets and other aides for use. I suspect that will expand a lot in the future. 
  • While Forgotten Realms is the only setting at the moment they hinted that others may be added. I am totally down for some Greyhawk. I have a handful of stuff I created back in the day that I could polish up and release.
  • Finally Wizards is trying something innovative since the release of the original SRD for 3.0. I don't know if it work beyond fans of the Forgotten Realms and other Wizards IP. But it will sure will be interesting to follow.
  • Maybe Wizards is getting a clue that on the digital front and working with people who know what the hell they are doing.  Now if could get something going with Roll20 that would be great.
I will post more info as I find them.


Stan Shinn said...

Speaking of mashups of this new OGL content, here is my Red Box product live on Indiegogo: To be followed by a White Box physical box set Kickstarter!

jdh417 said...

People have wondered about the lack of supplemental material for 5e by WOTC. Perhaps their plan is to have the players create it and then share in the profits. This could be a very sustainable model.