News: OSRIC 3.0 Mission Statement

Matt Finch of Mythmere Games just published OSRIC mission statement at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse:

Since the “OSRIC's Path Forward” thread, there has been more discussion about OSRIC, licensing, and so forth.

Stuart and I are working on an OSRIC 3.0, but it will be under the AELF License (a Mythmere Games license that's similar to the OGL). OSRIC 3.0 will be produced by Mythmere Games, and we are planning (tentatively) for a Kickstarter in September or October of this year.

A few points:

1) Simply maintaining OSRIC under the OGL is possible at this time, but in the long run I think it's a bit of a risk. WotC can probably cut off access to new users of the OGL at any time by “withdrawing the open offer”. I don't think I'm giving WotC a roadmap here; they almost certainly are aware of this approach to the license. They wanted to do more than that to kill it quickly, but there's a much more reliable way to poison it over time, which is simply to withdraw the offer to “sign on” to the OGL. But after the massive backlash to their attempt to kill the license at one blow, they will have to wait a while before mentioning the OGL again. This potential future withdrawal of the offer would create a problem for anyone new who wanted to publish something for OSRIC, so it behooves us to move to a different license now, before the axe eventually comes down.

2) The ORC license has some problems with easy usability. I won't go into those because it's complicated and also because there's discussion about it in lots of other places. The AELF License, since it works in the same way as the OGL, is familiar enough that it can be adopted relatively easily by anyone familiar with the OGL.

3) OSRIC 3.0 is intended to be completely backward-compatible with OSRIC 2.0, and it shouldn't require any “new versions” of adventures that have been published in the past. There might turn out to be minor glitches in terms of backward compatibility, but those will be the exception.

4) The reasons for coming out with a new version: a) First, the license, as mentioned above. b) Secondly, it's to meet the needs of a younger batch of gamers in a context where the PDFs of the original books are available from WotC (which wasn't the case when we originally published OSRIC 2.0). This means several different avenues of approach.

—– The writing style will use bullet points and other visual call-outs to avoid the “wall of text” effect. Even those of us raised in pre-internet days are starting to find the bullet-point arrangement preferable to a long block that doesn't visually separate and organize the more important elements of the text.

—-We're going to include a VTT-friendly method of scale since so many people now game online.

—-We're going to try to make this version what EOTB calls a “teaching edition,” meaning lots of guidance for playing the game. The “how to play” information is in the original books to a degree, but it can be presented at the forefront and that's what anyone new to the whole OSR needs. Also, AD&D is simply more complex than other OSR games like B/X, so it needs to be presented in a step-by-step format that draws the learner into the process.

More information to come later.

Great move to focus on teaching and accessibility! First edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is packed to the brim with stuff that stood the test of time, but its presentation and density sometimes scares people away. Stuart and Matt are more than capable in producing text that is both inspiring and informative—hence I'm looking very much forward to OSRIC 3.0.


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