Wizards of the Coast is still dealing with the fallout over their leaked plans to revoke the Open Game License, the legal agreement that has allowed third party companies to make 5E-compatible products for the last twenty or so years. Just about all those third parties refused to agree and started making plans to develop their own OGLs. Last week Wizards issued a half-apology that contained a few concessions but didn’t promise a full walkback. As of today they’re backpedaling even further, announcing they will preview any proposed changes with their audience before implementing it, and that the first of these previews will arrive within the week.
It may be too late, however, to rebuild the bridge they flamethrowered. No third party has yet to announce a reversal of their plans to leave D&D. The most common comment I hear is that the only thing that would restore faith in D&D is to just leave the current OGL alone entirely. Wizards still doesn’t seem interested in that.
Free League, whose products we’ve reported on quite a lot, won’t be affected much as they use their own game engine for Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN, Vaesen, Blade Runner RPG, and others. What they run on is called The Year Zero Engine, which may be getting a revision of its own soon — but don’t panic.
The new Year Zero Engine OGL is going to be the opposite of what Wizards tried to turn their own OGL into. FL says it is “designed to be easy to understand and use for creators. It will give creators an irrevocable, worldwide, and royalty-free right to use [the] Year Zero Engine Standard Reference Document (YZE SRD) and freely publish their own roleplaying material based on it.”
In addition, Free League has also announced plans to release a third-party license for the upcoming Dragonbane RPG that they’re releasing later this year. “This license allows creators to freely publish RPG supplements explicitly compatible with Dragonbane, and to place the special A Module for Dragonbane logo on the front cover.” Dragonbane will be released in the fall.