No d20 STL

Looks like my hunch was right.

Scott Rouse, Brand Manager for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, has made the announcement over at ENWorld:

“There will not be tiers within the OGL.

There will be Wizards official D&D products (which will include licensed D&D products for foreign language translation) and OGL products made by third parties like Paizo, Expeditious Retreat, etc.”

For those who don’t understand the difference, I’ll sum up: The Open Game License (OGL) is the license that allows publishers (and non-publishers, for that matter) the right to use core elements of the rules system that drives Dungeons & Dragons. The d20 System Trademark License was a secondary license which allowed publishers the right to use this symbol:

to indicate compatibility with those rules.

This announcement means that while there will be Open Content in the forthcoming 4th Edition of D&D, allowing publishers to produce 4e-compatible products, there will NOT be a d20 System Trademark License. No official logo to show that your product can be used with D&D.

I’ll be interested to see how this shakes out, since it will now mean that there will be a push for publishers to come up with methods of indicating compatibility (expect a dozen or more competing logo co-ops, with various publishers signing up for each…as well as a few dozen more publishers who go their own way and use their own sole-use logo), and it will require a lot more product-knowledge savvy on the part of retailers and consumers.

It does affect me directly, since it effectively means the end of d20 MasterKit as a line, since the trademarked logo will no longer be usable.

Also: Still no word on when, exactly, we publishers are going to get a look at the rules, so we can start prepping releases.

The Man from F.A.T.E.

Regular readers will recall that my playtests of FAR WEST didn’t pan out like I had hoped, leading me to abandon the FATE rules system for that project.

This is not to say, however, that I don’t like the system. I just didn’t like it for FAR WEST.

In fact, there’s been a bubbling and a burbling at the back of my mind regarding a possible nifty use for the system — a super-spy game, in the mode of James Bond. SPIRIT OF THE CENTURY used the FATE system to good effect in handling the pulp genre, and the super-spy genre is very much a form of modern pulp. Plus, the first RPG I ever played was TOP SECRET, and my favorite of all time is Victory Games’ JAMES BOND 007.

Something to consider, maybe. I’ve already got the beginnings of an in-play, player-defined gadget system, rolling around in my head. Hrm.