D&D Systems Reference Document and You

Today Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) released their new Systems Reference Document (SRD). Which simply put allows for third party creations to not only utilize existing rulesets in the creation of new material but the DMs Guild also allows for these creations to be sold on the open market. Let’s take a look at this reference table from the official D&D website and discuss some of my first impressions.


The Good

I would say that overall this is a great thing for the community. Some folks have been waiting for a while to see this come to fruition and to be perfectly honest, I would argue that the OGL was partially responsible for the success of 3.x edition in all its forms and the legacy of which it created for itself.

From the perspective of the creator, it’s amazing. 50% share of profit is very high for the infrastructure required to make this sort of thing work. I do wonder if there will be some form of censorship by WOTC though for the more “adult” oriented stuff that will inevitably show up. That remains to be seen.

Furthermore, the apparent potential inclusion of creator content in future WOTC works is pretty cool – particularly the inclusion in video games and overall marketing. One does wonder what the legal/compensation aspects of that will be.

The Bad

There’s not too much bad to talk about here. I think one of the biggest gripe I have is the limitation of commercialization opportunities to just Forgotten Realms material. I would have liked to see other campaign settings included in the DMs Guild for instance, Dark Sun, Birthright, Ravenloft, and others. Perhaps this is in the works. WOTC needs to understand that not everyone plays in the Forgotten Realms.

Overall, good stuff. Lately there has been some musings that D&D had reached its plateau and just was not putting out enough material. Well I guess this is their response. We will see what the future holds and maybe my thoughts on this revelation may change as I deep dive further into the SRD.


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