EN Publishing’s Level Up: Advanced 5e was a Kickstarter success and well-received by the community. As the name implies, Advanced 5e builds on the core 5e rules for D&D. This is possible due to the Open Game License (OGL) that D&D uses.
However, as Wizards of the Coast considers changes to the OGL for One D&D, there are significant concerns. It’s not just about the money Wizards wants to charge, as EN Publishing says;
Like everybody else in the Open Gaming community, we at EN Publishing have been scrambling to understand what WotC’s leaked plans mean for us as a company, and how best to proceed forward. We feel a deep responsibility not only to our customers, creator community, freelancers, and employees, but also to the wider Open Gaming community.
EN Publishing also notes that they still need to find out where Wizards are going with their plans, and the Hasbro-owned company has asked for more time to consider.
The British business has a tough decision, a ray of hope, and good news to share.
The tough decision is whether to decouple A5E from OGL’s 5e. Is it even possible? It might not be. EN Publishing say;
We have begun investigating the possibility of ‘de-OGL-ifying’ Level Up: Advanced 5E. This is a big task, but we have a head-start in that in A5E we rewrote every word of the 5E SRD (and expanded it greatly), with only names (spells, classes, etc.) remaining the same. There are legal nuances to this, so we can’t go into too much detail, but rest assured we will make sure we are covering ourselves.
WOIN to go open license
That ray hope is that EN Publishing, helmed by Russ Morrissey, has a game engine they will make available to third-party publishers called “What’s OLD is NEW” (WOIN).
WOIN will be made available under “the most open, non-revocable license” EN Publishing can find, with legal advice.
It gets better. If the A5E divorce from 5E is possible, that will be made available to third-party creators with such a license.
Notably, EN Publishing has been using the OGL for over 20 years, runs the EN World community and has been instrumental in expanding and caring for the D&D community. This can’t be easy.
What do you think? Sound off in the comment section below.