Explicit that one doesn't need to contribute any Open Content even if using other's Open Content. That was already possible under OGL, and in fact was relatively common during d20 days when mostly statblocks were designated as Open Content. I think that is good since it allows more freedom.
We finally don't need to do bullshit like “First Edition Compatible” but can flat out say “Compatible with Dungeons & Dragons®” and similar.
Cleared instruction regarding notices.
Matt did a point-by-point livestream. Watch the recording here. You can provide feedback to Mythmere via their contact page or email.
Open RPG Creative License
Azora Law, the entity created to steward the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, released the first public license draft and FAQ:
Quite comprehensive in its definitions, although still some ambiguity that has to be resolved.
Seems to assume all content is Open Content unless stated otherwise.
Does not require full license replication in the publication.
Attributions are structured similar to the Creative Commons attributions, which I find double edged sword. On one hand it is easy, on the other we are likely to see upstream contributors simply not attributed. For example, let's say we have ten people releasing a monster on their blog and designate it as ORC Content. I gather them into a Bestiary and attribute all of them. Then someone write an adventure and decides to use some of those monsters in their work. They attribute my Bestiary but not necessarily the people who created the monsters (unless I specifically wrote in my attribution how each specific monster should be attributed).
I expect a number of people to misattribute works until a good practice forms.
You can provide feedback on ORC License at their Discord.
Swords & Wizardry was originally written in 2008 by Matt Finch, author of the Tome of Adventure Design. It’s an ENNIE award-winning retro-clone of the original 1974-1978 rules for Dungeons & Dragons*, an edition usually called Original D&D or OD&D. As with most early role-playing games, it is very rules-light by today’s standards, which makes it easy to learn and fast-moving to play.
All the rules for the game are contained in one book, 144 pages long, which includes everything needed to play. This new version is backward compatible with the earlier versions, containing several small changes, but nothing that changes fundamental rules.
For those who are familiar with the recent developments with the Open Game License, this new version of the rules is non-OGL. It uses the Creative Commons License, and will have an independent license allowing third-party publishers to use the Swords & Wizardry rules for creating adventures and even new games.
There will be both an offset-print version (the blue cover shown, which will have a high-quality sewn binding) and a print-on-demand version (the Erol Otus cover shown). These will have roughly the same final price to the backer before shipping – neither one is a “premium” or “deluxe” cover, although the blue offset print books will be of a higher quality than a print-on-demand press generates.
In addition to having a print-on-demand option, we will again use our fulfillment partners in the UK to lower shipping costs for UK, EU, Norway, and Switzerland customers. We will be using a new warehouse in the USA, because we have found a fulfillment company that’s very close to our house.
A Magical Society: Beast Builder. Atlhough for d20 system, this isn't some “roll X dice randomly, get a monster.” Like other books in the series, it offers a detailed take on how to create beliavable, exciting, and dangerous monsters that fit into your fantasy world.
Wizards of the Coast has announced they'll update the Open Gaming Licence. By update, they of course mean they'll reduce what one is able to do, introduce new ridiculous restrictions, and sabotage their existing fan base who are promoting them for free.
Ever since 4E there's been a lot of discussions regarding how irrevocable OGL really is. In the wake of recent developments, Alexander Macris (creator of the excellent Adventurer Conqueror King System) offers an interesting take:
Lost City of Gaxmoor (digital and isometric maps). A city that was gone for a thousand years reappears. Of course it's full of shit that wants to kill nosy adventurers. Plane of chaos breach the reality from time to time.
I've just seen that Frog God Games is running another sale with discounts up to 70%. As before, most of my suggestion below are for the Swords & Wizardry system, a retroclone of Original D&D.
In no specific order, I can recommend the following:
Monstrosities (Swords and Wizardry). Nearly 500 monsters. Each monster comes with an example encounter/nano-adventure. Includes tables with monsters by challenge level, guidance on creating new monsters, tables of monsters by terrain, and tables of random encounters (3d6, so bell curve).
The Northlands Saga Complete (Swords and Wizardry). A compilation of ten adventures set in stereotypical cold north. Probably enough for several years of gaming. My favourite activity is stealing from this book and including parts of it in my own game. Tenfootpole has reviewed first four adventures back in the day (NS1, NS2, NS3, NS4). $18 is a steal for this.
The Lost City of Barakus (Swords and Wizardry) (local and regional maps). Perhaps my favourite Necromancer Games mega-dungeon—because it is so much more! You get a starting city (with seven adventures), a wilderness area (with 26 keyed encounters and mini adventures), and a mega-dungeon with interesting factions and cool big-bad. Suitable for low-level parties.
Bard's Gate (Swords and Wizardry) (player's guide). A massive city packed with urban encounters and adventures (8 included, from levels 1 to 10+). Very dense book. Some say this is FGG's finest product. The truth is that this is another Necromancer Games revival. And that's why it's great. :)
The Book of Taverns (volumes one, two, and three). Had enough of generic taverns and inns, but short on prep time? Steal one from here. Again, these are revivals of old Necromancer Games books. They are good.