Thursday, January 12, 2012

DDI versus OGL

I'm reading The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker. I bought it when Borders was closing. I also have The Hammer. Man, this guy can write. It's almost all character based. There are no elaborate magic systems like the Mistborn series and no big epic arc like too many fantasy series but it's going quick and well.

But as I'm reading that, and reading some Pathfinder material, I'm also wondering about the future of Dungeons and Dragons.

While much has been made of the OGL versus the more restrictive license the GSL, I think that in terms of overall utility in getting people to buy material, the DDI also played a role.

When you have a massive database for creating characters or looking up monsters or finding rules, but it only covers those rules that are official, what are the chances that you're going to put a lot of effort into getting 3rd party sourcebooks and supplements? For me as a player its not a huge issue to write out something and as a GM its again, not a huge issue.

For others, well, if you're paying a monthly fee to use something, why punish yourself with material you can't use?

I believe that if WoTC is serious about uniting the fan base, one of the things they'll need to do is have a license that allows 3rd party publishers to upload their game mechanics to the DDI.

Crazy? Possibly.

Worth WoTC time and money to invest in that and monitor it? Probably not.

Something that the gaming community would benefit from? Yup.

It's one of those things where I honestly don't think WoTC is going to be able to push aside corporate interest in the name of gaming interest and that as a whole, will be another missed opportunity.