Thursday, June 19, 2014

What's with the dragons? - A brief explanation of OGL

A friend of mine just asked me lately "What's with the dragons?".  Meaning what the hell is my fascination with all things D&D and RPG related.  The following is my answer....

Here's the long and short of it.  Back in 1979 the Dungeons & Dragons game was created. Since then its gone thru 4 revisions, and they are now releasing the 5th version.  In the past few years, the company that owns the trademark on the mechanics of the game, "Wizards Of The Coast" has released a document called "OGL" or open gaming license.  Which allows independent publishers to take the mechanics of the original game (Basic to 3rd edition) and create new rule sets and adventure modules with the OGL.   The great thing about that is that publishers can sell these products.  There is a growing movement to go back to the original game, because the later editions just didn't cut it for the old school types.

And since there are a ton of gronards out there that refuse to play any newer versions of the game, there is a huge public outcry for systems/adventures based on that original rule set.  They call these rules "Retro Clones".  The one cool thing about this is people nowadays can recreate these rules and they are easier to read, find things etc.  It has also created a need for graphic designers, editors, map makers, etc.  All in all its friggin fun!