Creative writing and OGL controversy #D&D #Starfinder

The podcasts that I listen to while walking / commuting to University have been rather dominated by the Wizards of the Coast – Open Gaming License controversy of late (e.g. DM of None). For anyone not that connected with Dungeons & Dragons or tabletop roleplaying news, it’s that Wizards has attempted to preview a new “OGL” license that aims to replace / invalidate the prior versions. Legal matters are beyond this blog’s scope, but the community reaction has been very critical of this move, at least in the circles I frequent.

On ice…

Since this blog went on ice, my D&D module writing has mostly been frozen as well. I’ve been too busy studying a Master’s and working remotely for any online gaming to speak of or even for creative writing. In a typical moment of irony, I have managed to fit in a couple of writing sessions after New Year’s ahead of study picking up again: just in time for this controversy to break. The issue for me, personally, is that my modules (on DMs Guild) may or may not be affected (Wizard’s have recently written that DMs Guild Community Content will not be affected, but who knows if that will change).

I have one starter and one full-length module published, plus a second full length module drafted (and in play-testing), and a sketch for the remaining two modules. There is still a *lot* of effort to bring my planned story arc to a close for this campaign. Having a complete adventure series of my own published would be certainly bring a lot of satisfaction, but the circumstances aren’t great. In the short-term this OGL issue is quite the demotivator, past the legal ramifications it’s just a really anti-community move.

Beyond that there’s also the pending launch of “6th edition” in 2024 (OneD&D or whatever it gets called) as a longer-term problem. As soon as the new edition of any ttrpg line comes out, I imagine sales for compatible adventures will be very buoyant, but sales of adventures for the old edition are likely to fall off a cliff due to the movement of players to the “new hotness” ruleset. I’m certainly not so blessed with free time that I can spend extra effort converting old modules to a new edition, or frankly even to learn the new ruleset itself.

Still walking, and writing, despite the freeze

My most active campaign at present is a Starfinder game. I’m not as well versed in that ruleset but I would be tempted to shift my limited attention to a potential “adventure path” for Starfinder Infinite (Paizo’s equivalent of the DMs Guild 3rd-party publishing scheme). At least until the dust settles on the OGL controversy it’ll give my creative time a ‘safe haven’ plus I might actually get more familiar with all the extra manuals I’ve bought that I didn’t get around to reading yet…

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