To our fellow Kobolds,
Kobold Press has been and always will be committed to open gaming and the tabletop community. Our goal is to continue creating the best materials for players and game masters alike.
This means Kobold Press will release its current Kickstarter projects as planned, including Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns (already printed and on its way to backers this winter).
In particular, Deep Magic Volume 2 will remain fully compatible with the 5E rules. We are working with our VTT partners to maintain support for digital platforms.
As we look ahead, it becomes even more important for our actions to represent our values. While we wait to see what the future holds, we are moving forward with clear-eyed work on a new Core Fantasy tabletop ruleset: available, open, and subscription-free for those who love it—Code Name: Project Black Flag.
All Kobolds look forward to the continued evolution of tabletop gaming. We aim to play our part in making the game better for everyone. Rest assured, Kobold Press intends to maintain a strong presence in the tabletop RPG community. We are not going anywhere.
To receive future announcements and to register to playtest this new core fantasy ruleset, please sign up VIA THIS FORM.
Join the Kobold Press community in our official Discord to unlock new secrets about our upcoming project. Help us #RaiseTheFlag.
180 thoughts on “Raising Our Flag”
I love it! You guys are awesome! :)
Keep the fight going!
YES! Love it!
Five star content providers at KP, will support.
*rubs their six forepaws together in mischievous anticipation*
wait a minute…you aren’t a person! you’re just three raccoons in a trenchcoat!
Haha no good folk we are actually 3 kobolds
Good to hear. Now I need to go through the couch to find change to get your3.x PF1 stuff before it disappears
Is Project Black Flag something multiple companies are working on or JUST Kobold Press? I’m old enough to remember the era of ‘Fantasy Heartbreakers’ and well, they were t’ called that because they dethroned D&D back in the day.
The strength of DND 5e was its ubiquity. An agreement by multiple companies to make content for this game would be all the incentive needed for my group to switch. I hope they can get with the other publishers!
Agreed! How about an open source commitment? Kobold’s strengths would play into this perfectly; the bigger such a system got, the more supplementary material Kobold would sell. You could be the Firefox or VLC of open-source gaming.
This situation sucks, but the worse outcome would be exactly this, if 30 3rd party content creators all decide to make their own OGL rpg systems. I hope some of the bigger 3rd party groups like Kobold can bring together everyone to design something cool and open for everyone.
Glad you are so Kobold to do this and not koscared tips cap
Agreed! Given the current RPG climate, I think it’s all a matter of advertising in the form of endorsements from other trusted 3rd party creators. If Black Flag becomes something that’s easy to learn, easy to mod, easy to find just about anywhere, and supported by a slew of talented private creators in the way 5e was, I literally have no need for future WOTC content.
I hope some of my favorite third party’s team up on this, that would be awsome. Come on loresmyth/ghostfire gaming etc get aboard lol
Yeah, this is the main issue. The OSR has a litany of different games and while several are mostly compatible, it still means no one game has a very big audience and it’s not super easy to find a group.
I think we’re going to have a “New” SR with the same issue. A bunch of vaguely 5e compatible rule set and several divergent systems.
And D&D will hold the throne because it will be the only system where one can reliably find a group of players.
Fantasy Heartbreakers tried to beat D&D’s convenience with merit. This time, merit is not as important as principle. Principle can be enormously powerful. It isn’t hard to make a system better than D&D. Make it convenient, and make it principled, and there’s no reason D&D can’t be dethroned, not because of D&D, but because of WotC showing their true colors and underlining how untrustworthy they actually are.
When you have a strong principled reason to turn your back on something and a Flag to rally around makes it a lot easier.
Showing their true colors, again. Remember as TSR thet went after publisher’s all the time. And when 4e came out they released it under a different license.
Agreed! This will be so much more powerful if multiple content creators are working together on this. Make the development public, so the masses can have input on the direction to help resolve conflicts.
Why I love Kobold Press.
Hopefully Kobold will be open to the community and try to build a new system that in addition to solving OGL also addresses the 5e flaws in game design around martial vs caster complexity/power.
– Mandatory +2 flanking / feats rules
– Weapon abilities per short rest (yes I know BG3 did it first but the idea is good)
– New exhaustion system
– Lose the stupid bonus action leveled = no leveled standard action thing – perhaps just 3+ “action points” per turn with all non-movement actions using some amount (generally 1-3). At higher levels 5-6 action points per turn regardless of class.
Yeah, except they won’t be able to use the d20 system… so you can throw all that out the window. Lol.
Frankly, good riddance. I’ll take meaningful and challenging travel and environmental factors that aren’t entirely circumvented by low-level parties over any of that.
There are many flavors of D20 systems out there, you can’t copywrite mechanics.
Actually, they don’t. Game rules can’t be copyrighted so Technically there is nothing saying you can’t use Roll d20 and beat TN. That said, while I like the simplicity of a d20 (but I prefer roll under), there are SO MANY other options and ways they could go.
To prove this point could mean arguing it in a lengthy and expensive court battle. I’ve heard an IP lawyer say it would cost at least a half-million dollars to defend against a lawsuit brought by Wizards and there is no guarantee you will win. You also need to pay those costs up front. Even if you win, you could be out the money.
The fact is that regardless of the law, it is cost prohibitive to defend yourself if sued by Hasbro, who has some of the best IP lawyers in the world. It is much easier and less expensive to create a new system divorced from D&D entirely.
Hasbro has already lost that case before with Monopoly.
Not in any way true. Lizards of the Toast cannot copyright game mechanics, only the artistic expression of those game mechanics. KP could completely copy the mechanics of 5e in its entirety, changing only the wording, and be legally safe. Just as OSRIC did with 1e. However, I do hope that KP will take this opportunity to clean up some of the things in 5e that caused my table to switch to PF2e.
Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act states: “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.”1 In using the word “or,” the statute lists these exclusions—ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, or discoveries—disjunctively. Thus, each has independent force and effect. This means that neither ideas nor functional elements—such as procedures, processes, systems, or methods of operation—are copyrightable.
In the context of games, § 102(b) means that rules, game mechanics, and any other functional elements—in addition to the overall idea—of a game are not copyrightable. The Copyright Office factsheet on games explains exactly this:
Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.6
Actually, US courts have already rule in many occasions that you can’t copyright game mechanics! So the D20 system can be used as a base game mechanics system by anyone. Nothing hasbro can do about it!
It’s rules language and such that can be copyrighted, but as long as they can’t prove your using their “rules” word for word, you’re fine.
True, as are many of the other statements here about the legality. The problem is that the actual case law isn’t sufficiently definitive to prevent WotC from trying to assert copyrights, then tying it up in court for years with arguments and appeals. They have the legal departments and deep pockets to do that, while even a group of the larger 3rd party publishers do not. Especially if they are enjoined from publishing more until the case(s) are resolved. WotC can be fought and beaten, given unlimited resources and time. But that does no good if every 3rd party publisher folds or quits in the meantime.
Probably incorrect, go look up Paladium, its damn near a clone of AD&D first edition and has been around for 39 years!
Yes they can. Wizards while they tote the d20 system do not own any game mechanics. Wizards barely owns anything in the ogl. A few monsters and a bunch of names is really all.
In the U.S. you cannot copyright a rules mechanic, just the expression of it. They can’t stop you from having a d20 resolution in your game.
Can’t copyright game mechanics, only significant portions of significantly creative language. Game mechanics, as processes, would fall more into the realm of patents, like assembly line designs do, but there is no single mechanical component that is of sufficient complexity and originality to be qualify. Adding stats to a dice roll, be it a d6 or a d20, is definitely not intellectual property. If it were, Hasbro would have killed the industry shortly after Monopoly.
They can totally use the exact same rules as D&D, because according to US copyright law WotC and Hasbro don’t own the rules just the lore and art. TTRG rules & mechanics are considered public domain as soon as they are published. So Kobold can cherry pick rules from any D&D edition that they want.
“And D&D will hold the throne because it will be the only system where one can reliably find a group of players.”
Not necessarily. There was a time when WotC switched from 3.5E to 4E and the majority of the player base wasn’t ready for the switch. This was when Paizo actually outplayed WotC with its Pathfinder game system. So, if Kobold Press is able to design a TTRPG with a familiar air, e.g., modeled as a sort of 5.5e, it may be able to take the baton.
This is great! Looking forward to it!
Glad to hear Kobold Press has a plan forward that doesn’t involve submitting to the tyrannical 1.1 version of the so called Open Gaming License. This loyal kobold is ready to follow wherever the new path leads.
Actually they changed the name. It’s the Oppressive Gaming License 1.1.
Ever consider working with Savage Worlds?
This right here.
I second the motion!
Yay! Lets go KP! #RaiseTheFlag
This is actually wonderful news! Count me in!
HOIST THE COLORS, MR GIBBS
This kobold too shall join the rallying cry of it’s clan.
We kobolds shall rally!
Great news, looking forwards to a new gaming system to try!
This excites me, even if WOTC retract because of the negative press, they have burned me and others by sowing what they are willing to do to ‘monetize’ us even more. I received the Worldbook for Christmas and the heroes handbook and have a smattering of other Midgard products. I run 6 campaigns a month [6 different groups] and I will be happy to gradually move them over to the midgard setting.
The only thing i wil say is it is not fully wizards fault. While the top brass are crap the main push is coming from hasbro. Hasbro has lost 30 to 40% on thier stocks. Wizards is the only part doing well.
WOTC sat taller because you, and a million other creators, carried their ecosystem. They forgot that a rising tide lifted their boat.
Hoist the Flag! Let a fleet of creators unite, and build a ttrpg that’s more fun than anything the world has seen before! I can’t wait for the play tests!
Great to hear! I hope you work with other companies to make it happen.
I am glad to hear this. I have never purchased a product from the Kobold Press. That is going to change.
Correction.. I have only purchased one thing from Kobold press. That will change :P
If we want to help support and fund this, we all should buy everything they offer that interests us. Full coffers are exciting and help support the cause.
Oh, this sounds really interesting!!
Sign me the fuck UP.
the as an independent content creator are with you .
I 100% agree with you!
This is amazing news. While I still worry about the future of all the wonderful ttrpg companies, this is exactly the kind of action that needs to be taken. We must not capitulate to the money-hungry corporations. It is sad that this is necessary, but simply removing yourself from their ecosystem is a strong statement. Best of luck Kobolds, you have my support.
thank you kp for taking a step in the right direction and leading an open core fantasy ruleset to replace the ogl (i’ve signed up) – hopefully they’re dragging paizo into this effort as well or any other company that wants to be involved – there should be an industry standard set of open core rules and then friendly competition on top of these core rules so that gamers get interesting, creative and innovative systems and settings for gamers – ryan dancey understood this and was the intention that has sparked the best and most creative 20 years of gaming
While this is fantastic news I would love to see you take this a step further. Please create an Open TTRPG Alliance to oversee this material. Create a non-profit organization that will create and maintain a core set of rules and content. The rules and content would then be released under an Open license such as the Creative Commons BY License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) or one similar. In this way no commercial organization could hold the TTRPG community ransom in the future.
Yes. This should be the last time this happens for “the mainstream TTRPG system”.
Thank you, Kobolds.
I’ve loved your 3e, 4e, and 5e adventures and setting. I look forward to many more Open Design products!
Hey @KoboldPress I’ve spent the past year working on a gaming system that seeks to be as accessible as it is open and modular. Would you like to work together?
This is a great approach! I’m with you, KP. :)
Kobold press, I’ve been a LONG time customer. I just want to thank you for all of your great 5E content. Honestly, your books helped me get into the hobby, and really fanned the flames of my passion for TTRPGs.
I am incredibly disappointed with Wizard’s OGL and how this affects 3rd party publishers like yourselves who throw passion into their work.
I really look forward to the Black Flag project and all the great content you will publish in the future.
You have my sword, and my axe!
Break free from the rigid molds of D&D: Eliminate classes and levels, eliminate endless hitpoints and no real danger of death. Do something good.
Let us know when you are ready to start some AP’s and Dinner and a Game will be ready to help!
Long ago patron and contributor, been out of the game for a very long while. Wishing you the best on your Black Flag endeavor, Wolfgang et al.
WotC had everything but it was not enough. Now they have been shown the black flag. Let’s hope they find a reverse gear quick. Good luck
Too late for that, raise the flag!
Honestly I’ve been reducing the amount of official D&D content and increasing the amount of KP content in my games. Spelljammer was sort of the last straw.
You got that right! spelljammer was a steaming pile!
I’m in. I’ll be following. Thanks Kobold Press!
New main system for me ladies and gentlemen
I will Raise my Flag with you Kobolds. Good luck to you in your endevors and i look forward to whats to come.
Signed up! Best wishes from a new customer!
Got my support. I’ll spread the word across the few platforms I’m associated with. Who do we talk to about submitting content?
Thank you! keep doing the good work! I’ve been a supporter since the early days of Open Design. So glad to see that you haven’t changed one bit and are still committed to Open Gaming.
Don’t know if you are receiving applications for game designers/architects but as a homebrew DM of 7 years I would be more than willing to jump onboard and help.
I’ve been using your books ever since I heard about them on Naddpod, and have been used quite a bit in the games I’ve ran for the last three years. It wouldn’t be a problem transitioning to a more open system for my group and support Kobold Press even more.
When you do the right thing, everyone wins!
Hasbro has lost me now and forever. Keep up the great work. I would love to see y’all branch out to Traveller and Vampire.
WOTC torched my relationship with them after 20+ years of playing D&D, and even longer playing MTG. Even if they try to walk it back at this point, the damage has been done as far as I’m concerned. Imagine failing as hard as 4e did, actually recovering and becoming larger than ever before, making TTRPG a mainstream activity, and then burning the entire house down. Unbelievable. Go get it guys.
I’m so there. I can’t wait to see what you do.
WOTC should have learned how to operate a firearm before holstering it…
They’re gonna need to cast wish to heal what they’ve done to their foot …
this was a relief to read since my game group has only been streaming since September and are just getting started only to find out that Wizards got way too greedy. Have been following this story closely and this is the kind of thing that can sink a company
Sold off all my D&D books yesterday. Boycotting WotC. Won’t ever buy another WotC product again. And definitely won’t run or play another game with their products again. For now on its just third party that I will support. Like Kobold Press. I love Midgard.
I have been suggesting things o the oneD&D project that they may take up. The same suggestions may work for Black Flag. These improve terminology, improve genre flexibility, add non-magic feats for caster and priest classes that work when magic gets shut down. I love rules design.
You have this Druid’s support!
When I first heard about oneDnD, I told my wife I wished you would do exactly this. And after the last week…
Very cool news.
Do not bend the knee!
Henry Rollins of BLACK FLAG!!
WOTC I give them a big 🦅
To hell with them an OGL
Kobold Press Rocks
I’m getting a Paizo of old vibe here!
Been a long time fan of your material and supporter, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
This is the first good news in days about ttrpgs. I’ve played 4 different kinds but kp makes the best content short mcdm. Most of my moneyres are inspired by theirs.
I’m game for this. It should go to community beta as soon as available to start showing you never corner a ttrpg player or developer.
Yaarrr! That’s awesome. I can’t wait to see what you guys cook up!
Please have a digital / virtual component of DND Beyond caliber accompanying it, so my players can be enticed to jump with me. They engage DND beyond so much out of game / in game and love it its versatility, so for me to tempt / wean them off it needs to be sleekly interfaced. Ready to see what you got for us!
I’ve enjoyed Midgard for several years now. Wish I found it sooner. Will certainly support your work going forward and am very interested to learn more. The Open Alliance idea others have mentioned sounds interesting if you can fold it in.
If we want to contribute to the open game system, who should I reach out to? If the OGL 1.1 stays basically as defined, I am going to have to make a new game system for a property I am developing. I would rather contribute to an open source project if possible. Please email with information on who to reach out to.
Thank the Gods and all that is holy that you guys are willing and able to make a stand against this craziness! As a store owner I am turning my shop more toward 3rd party publishers like Kobold. Keep up the good work!
I support Kobold Press’ action. I hope to see good things come our way and support a company I love.
Studiously converting my campaign to Paizo’s Pathfinder 2, but taking my KP books along for the ride. I love the feel and lore of Midgard and will support as I am able.
I wish you luck with that. PF2e is so entwined with Golarion to make it nearly impossible to write anything that isn’t Golarion based.
This RULES!!! Extremely cool. Thank you for commenting on the situation right away. I have always loved your content and own and use many of your books in my home games. Will be extremely excited to see where this goes!!
This is great news! I look forward to what you come up with.
Glad Kobold is taking the lead here on resisting the (lawful evil) imperial overstep of those who would seek to turn our open and community friendly much loved D&D into “one game to rule them all”… Fully support you with wallet and spirit. Keep on rockin’ in the free world!
#RaiseTheBlack #OpenDnD #OpenGaming
You have my dice
you do what?!?! you means Kookajou no longer slave to Toymaker?? and FOOD!!! Yipppeeee Yipeeeee !! you hoomans not so bad afta all!!! :P
Absolutely awesome. I’ll be following the progress as I am looking for a new system for my table, apparently, the one we’ve been using has decided to go “scorched earth” with their fans. To hell with them. WoTC needs us a hell of a lot more than we need them, and clearly, they need to be reminded.
Sorry to spoil your fun, but if KP have ANY common sense from a business perspective they wouldn’t allow any of those things you just mentioned
Good night, OGL. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.
I’m all in on this! Thank You Kobolds!
I guess I’m about to break down and buy some of your books. I want to support your endeavor and thank you for taking a stance against the nOGL 1.1.
I absolutely love the irony! In WotC’s effort to “not help the competition” they are going to, in fact, create way more competition for themselves in a market they currently dominate. Absolutely brilliant.
Down with the “Oppressive Gimme License 1.1”!
Raise the Blag Flag!!
Err.. Black Flag. :D
I love this idea, and I feel like you folks are probably one of the best companies to actually be able to pull it off. I’ll be looking forward to the playtest!
Support you 100%
Oh Captain my captain!
Oh Captain my captain!
I’ve backed all the Tomes and will continue to show my support! I am ordering CB cities and towns tonight!
I can’t wait to see how big the Kobold grows through this wave of greed WOTC has adopted 😍.
This is awesome! I’m so glad to see that people are standing up to Wizards of the Coast.
Same here. I have been playing D&D 5e (mainly because my players have demanded it) with solely Kobold Press and a handful of other third-party books and I have been waiting for Kobold Press to do this for ages (especially with Midgard). Is there a way to be added to the play-testing? I am sooooo excited to test this out as either a player or GM.
Very apt code name for a free and open system, rise up brothers and sisters!
Well done on this and wish you all the best.
Surprised you didn’t move to another system that’s open like Open Legend.
I’ve spent the last year working on a new platform for online roleplay, with a completely different approach from what’s on the market right now. When I heard that WotC were buying D&D Beyond, it sent a shiver down my spine for the future of that project. Right away, I knew they were about to use their position to tighten their grip on content licencing and I braced for impact.
Your announcement comes as a breath of fresh air for my project and I now want to complete it even more than before. I cannot wait to see what you come up with, and really hope I get to integrate your game system in there.
Glad you are fighting back. I don’t think they were expecting the community to turn around and bite them on the ass. Operation Black Flag will give us the opportunity to him them where it will hurt, the pocketbook. This is like waking a sleeping dragon.
I have tome of beasts 1&2 and all if your monsters shit all over wotc’s monsters. Can’t wait until you have your own core rules and player’s guide so I can back them. Wotc has overstepped theine in the sand and opened the door for better content from real people who have a passion for the hobby and not just some ex Microsoft pleb that is trying to fuck with a game that has great roots
God bless! The Starks…err Kobold’s have raised there banners!
Love your work. Here to support.
Any chance Kobold press would consider working with some of the other publishers?
Like a community of publishers lead Open Gaming license.
Looking forward to play testing. Soon, there will be a certain game company who will own a game license that won’t be worth the paper it is printed upon. God save the open and free Internet! Without it – a revolution in gaming such as this, would be highly unlikely to be born or successful. Spread the word. #RaiseTheFlag
Hoist the colors!
Hope this means you guys will start making content for Pathfinder 2e
This is great news. Looking forward to seeing what y’all come up with.
GM: You see a Giant Golden Goose laying several golden eggs…. what do you do?
Wizards: Cast Fireball!!!
GM: You slay the Goose, but you end up warming the golden eggs, which one of them hatches….
…..but instead of goose hatchling, it’s a Kobold!!! And it’s waving a black flag!
Kobold: Too bad, suckers!!!!
This is excellent news! So pumped!
Do you think it’s possible to make the rules compatible with MCDM and the other former 3p creators for 5e? I love the ability to mix and match different creations and quite frankly I will not learn any more bespoke systems than I already have, rules don’t matter that much, the ability to combine them in interesting ways with input from different sides does
Well done KB! Ultimately, even if this was a cynical attempt to form an initial position from which they would walk back to make whatever garbage position they end up in look better than the utterly self-serving and impossible position they have started in, Hasbro are still a toxic company.
Make you own system and thrive – as everyone else should! There is an entire generation of new roleplayers who deserve to be weaned off 5e into something better, and it should start here.
Well done! Please can you also look at supporting Pathfinder 2 going forward after this nonsense, NotC forever :D
Eff, effing yes :) I was almost holding my breath these days, waiting what you guys would say. WotC…an absolute outrage. While I own pretty much all officially published hardcovers for 5E from them, I own even more from 3rd parties (LOADS from KP) because lets face it, those are usually better :)
My own personal worry is of course that Im so heavily invested in 5E material that it would hurt to ignore it fully, though I did just watch a video where the guy was saying you aim at somesthing system agnostic – IF true, that would be absolutely marvelous!
Either way, take my money Kobolds, please :)
To clarify: Are you committing to continue to publish under OGL 1.0(a)? Are you refusing to publish under WotC’s draconian OGL 1.1?
I want project black flag to be a cooperative movement to a new ruleset through multiple companies. I would gladly support and encourage our community to unite across the board against predatory company practices
This is such a great opportunity. The right situation has presented itself. Take the ball and run with it. Don’t look back. I just ask you to learn from there mistakes, don’t turn on your community. I have quite a few of your products, both virtual and physical. I enjoy them all. I look forward to seeing what Kobold Press roles out with Black Flag!
I have had a smile on my face all morning after hearing this news about your system. Thank you for giving me an option I feel comfortable supporting with my money.
I wasn’t going to be doing business with Hasbro/WoTC again after their greed with MTG. This recent news just put in extra in that coffin, and buried it.
I wish you much luck, and even greater success in the coming years!
I have always supported your work through drivethrurpg. I have no doubt the system will be amazing.
You have my 100% support.
Shut up and take my money!
Okay… what is your stock symbol? Not joking. I’m only finding Kobold Metals.
I can’t think of a better publisher than you guys to pick up this torch and run with it to lead the open gaming community. So happy you guys were so quick to step up, looking forward to joining in this effort to create a truly open and better game!
Totally agree. When they offered a perpetual license to all third party creators back in 2000 they should have known that they could not backtrack later. Thank you for hoisting the flag of independence, the community and hobby are more important than any quarterly results for shareholders. If WotC can’t compete with the best new creative material, that’s on them.
Glad to hear it! I’m looking forward to seeing what you create!
the OGL 1.1 will apply to D&D one and beyond. if you steer clear of D&D one RAW (rules as written) WOTC cant touch it. so just use 5E and previous versions, just stay away WOTC future trashfire.
I’ve suddenly become a fan of Kobolds. Also going to raise every Lego pirate flag in my hobby room as a prayer that your efforts prove successful.
My many, many pirate adventurers are already raising black flags across their fleets. Our flags fly with you Kobold Press! Keep going! Never surrender!
Everyone saying “they can’t copyright game rules” is missing some important points.
1.) By agreeing to the OGL 1.0A, you’ve already acknowledged WotC’s copyright and trademark applies. This was the poison pill in the OGL from the start and why WotC offered it; they couldn’t stop fan material, but they could at least show they protected their IP by getting fan material to implicitly agree they owned the copyright.
2.) Even if the copyright is unenforceable, it would take a lengthy and ruinously expensive legal battle to prove it. If WotC sues a 3rd party publisher, it could put that publisher out of business even if they win. And winning won’t be easy, Hasbro has some of the best IP lawyers on the planet who engage with very complex intellectual property agreements regularly.
The fact is that we now know what WotC wants. And what they want is total control of the game. Even if they walk back OGL 1.1, we know now they cannot be trusted, they WILL reintroduce those elements again in the future, which they have proven they can and will do.
It is a reality that it is easier and cheaper to create a new system divorced from D&D than to try to die on the hill of preserving the game that, even if you win, preserves WotC’s business as a side effect. Otherwise you stand to engage in a lengthy, expensive legal fight that even if you win, means Wizard’s still benefits and you still lose.
A clean break is best.
Not that I’ve played any TTRPG since 2E… but where is the pre order?!?! I want dice and maybe some card art please.
Since the leak of WotC/ Hasbro’s OGL change, I have decided that I can no longer support WotC/Hasbro and will boycott their merchandise. They have lost my trust in their capacity to guide and grow D&D. Creation of blatant predatory microtransactions and a stranglehold on third-party content creation cannot be rewarded with my hard-earned money. Now I am ‘in the market’ to find another fantasy TTRPG and am excited by Kobold’s plans to create their own core game. Indeed, raise the flag!
I don’t know what I’ll do yet. I think that it’s disgusting especially in the current climate considering their profits over the last few years. I have supported small publishers on Kickstarter so that I can borrow kore for the games I run or play in all supported by the og ogl. I even had thoughts of putting together a book of homebrew oddities in the future but given the change I don’t feel I could do this as D&D 5/6e compatible
I can’t wait to see what you come out with. I am done with WOTC.
YES! I was really dreading considering that when the OGL changes go through, it’s likely a lot of stuff I enjoy would just route back to WotC’s pockets or be taken off the market. This is the exact kind of product I needed to see in times like this!
I’d love to see the Black Flag license; here’s hoping we can move onto a system that actually works.
Best case scenario is that Wizards decides “Yeah, we screwed up, we’re sorry, we’re not doing that,” but I think the community as a whole has moved on, just like we did when D&D 4th edition came along with the GSL.
I would like to echo concerns that a dozen replacement systems will leave the community too fractured, so I hope that some of the other 3P content creators will just volunteer to work with Kobold on the development of the system to a) get it out faster and b) have all 3P creators have a voice so they all feel like they own it. I’d argue Kobold stands as a first among equals in the 3P environment, and I’d LOVE a system where Midgard is the default assumed setting. Not as baked into and hard to separate mechanically as PF2E, but just an assumed default setting. I’d also hope, that if, say ENworld goes ahead with de-OGLing Level Up Advanced 5E and it takes off as an obvious winning successor to 5E, Kobold would cede the victory to them (assuming they offered a free and open perpetual and irrevocable OGL as part of the A5E redo) and just start producing A5E compatible content as they have for 5E. Basically I want all the various companies to strive for cohesiveness in the market like we had with the OGL these last couple of decades rather than being the “winning” system. I would *like* Kobold to “win” because I trust their ability and vision, but I’d rather we continue with a unifying system and dozens of quality 3rd party content creators regularly contributing to its depth and variety than to play Kobold’s system in particular at the expense of that cohesive community.
Having read the leaked OGL 1.1 in its entirety my gaming group would love to test the new system and showcase it as content creators instead of continuing with WoTC. And even make a public statement that its the reason why we have changed to a new system. feel free to email me about this.
I like the idea of a Kobold RPG system, and I plan on incorporating Kobold monsters/rules in the 5E project I am working on and otherwise supporting you any way I can. Based on the email I got this morning from Bill Webb, Frog God is planning to support “Black Flag”. The only concern I have is that the name “Black Flag” has been used extensively in the past, including for an RPG. I suggest renaming it to avoid confusion and potential other issues.
You have my sword, my bow, my axe! I’m sure the East Bay Martian Society would love to playtest
Love you guys! Great stuff, and looking forward to waving the flag!
You’ve got my support. 100%.
Wizards of the Coast is dead to me. Even if they change their mind, I’m done. This was so shortsighted, so greedy, it reminds me of Clark Griswold’s boss revoking the Christmas bonus and substituting the Jelly of the Month Club.
But this gift doesn’t keep on giving the whole year.
I think if Kobold Press were to join forces with the big players in third party publishing, and all made the same “Project Black Flag” system, they could make big, Tsunami-sized waves.
And for the live of all that’s holy, please give us a fun, playable Ranger class.
Just let me know when I can throw my money at you guys.
KP you have my support. I already use your products in the games I run. Yarrrrr to the Flag
Great to hear. Can’t wait to see what you come out with.
Interesting news. With all the turmoil surrounding the new OGL, the community will probably unite under a new license and probably under a new system. There are currently several candidates that exist in the TTRPG landscape, and your new system would probably come to compete with them for the attention of creators, GMs and players alike.
What system will win? My guess is that it would probably be a modular, universal system that could create a good baseline for creators to build upon, while being complete enough to be playable as-is, with a flatter learning curve, which doesn’t require to turn to resources other than those we already have at our disposition (i.e. not “funny dice”, for example) and also fun at the table.
Combining all of those factors is certainly not an easy task, and you will have a tremendous work ahead of you. However, I guess that right now we are all rooting for you and willing to collaborate in any way we can, so Good Luck raising the black flag and let us now what can we do to help!!!
Count me and my troop in! We are content creators that WERE creating a D&D campaign setting using their system…no longer. We await your system, Kobold!
I’m fully supporting this but I’m wondering if this new ruleset will be compatible with your previously released books? Seems a shame to have to replace all the previous books with new ones.