Dungeons & Dragons - Upcoming OGL Changes Explained

A few weeks back, we learned about some upcoming changes to Dungeons & Dragons' Open Game License that were poised to make it significantly more restrictive, especially when it comes to the video game side of things.

Following that announcement, the editors over at io9 got their hands on a draft of the new OGL, analyzed it and consulted their lawyers. Which resulted in this here article that clarifies some things and tells us what these upcoming changes mean exactly, how they're going to affect various third-party creators, how the new royalty system will work, and more.

Here's a couple of sample paragraphs to get you stated:

The original OGL granted “perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive license” to the Open Game Content (commonly called the System Resource Document) and directed that licensees “may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.” But the updated OGL says that “this agreement is…an update to the previously available OGL 1.0(a), which is no longer an authorized license agreement.”

The new document clarifies further in the “Warranties” section that “this agreement governs Your use of the Licensed Content and, unless otherwise stated in this agreement, any prior agreements between Us and You are no longer in force.”

According to attorneys consulted for this article, the new language may indicate that Wizards of the Coast is rendering any future use of the original OGL void, and asserting that if anyone wants to continue to use Open Game Content of any kind, they will need to abide by the terms of the updated OGL, which is a far more restrictive agreement than the original OGL.