Monday, January 30, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: The Future (???) of my Monster Projects

Wow. The OGL drama has been enough to give you whiplash

open dnd

Where are we today? Have to ask because the situation has changed so much and so rapidly. While I have been following this on all sorts of social media outlets, I have to shout out to Robert Conley over at Bat in the Attic for constantly updating his blog with the details and expert commentary.  I like to be able to read what is going on, follow the links, and not have to wade through a ton of videos.

In fact, to get the latest run-down of what is (or at least was as of Saturday, January 28, 2023) going on, I am not going to repost it, I am just going to have you read his breakdown.  Go there. Come back here.

Back? Good! Let's talk Monsters. Or, more to the point, how these new revelations will affect me and my various monster projects for this year.

Here are my three current projects.

  • Monster Mash. This one was released last week and the reactions have been great. It is getting downloaded at a steady rate and I'll have the hardcover version proof in my hands soon.  I have two others all mapped out with a lot of material ready to go for them. I am slowing down the process for now since the OGL 1.0a seems safe for the time being. 

  • Basic Bestiary. This one was the biggest causality of the OGL change back at the start of the year. Now with the OGL 1.0a a little safer I want to get this one back on.  I have spent way too much time on it to let it languish on my hard drive any longer.

  • Monstrous Maleficarum. Ah. I was so looking forward to this one too. While the newly uploaded 5.1 SRD to Creative Commons means I have even MORE freedom to do this one, my motivation for it is not really there anymore. Maybe I'll come back to this one. But for now a lot of my art for this one will be going to the other two projects.

There are also lots of new opportunities with the other licenses coming out.  There is the Paizo-led Open RPG Content License (ORC), there is Kobold Press and Black Flag, and the Creative Commons is now an option, not to mention whatever Troll Lords does with Castles & Crusades, what will happen with Labyrinth Lord 2, and what Bill Barsh does with his BX RPG (just three on my mind this week).

I will freely admit this latest change has reduced my ire against Hasbro/WotC. I will still play D&D5, but I am less enthusiastic about supporting it with my time and intellectual capital. Plus I have seen what happens when people start to support more 3rd party publishers and independent publishers. I'd like to see that continue.

So this week we have more options than we did last week and even more than last month. Let's use those options to make better games.


Lydian Coda said...

I'm sorry to hear your enthusiasm for Monstrous Maleficarum has waned as I was looking forward to it as well. I'm glad you've found the resolve to continue your other projects though.

JB said...

This is a good article, too

...that cautions OGL-invested TPPs from taking a victory lap too soon.

However, I will wish you good luck with your publishing plans going forward!

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@Lydian, Yeah. But I am hoping the enthusiasm (and the art!) will move on to the other projects.

@JB, absolutely. The OGL has always been a trade-off. I have happily accepted the risks along with the rewards of it. I know you have successfully done without it and that is great, I have enjoyed using it.

JB said...

I was tempted to start adding it, just to get a higher rating from you on DriveThru (you dinged me a whole star for the lack of an OGL!).
; )

Now though? Eh…I’m willing to take the hits, if it means not having to deal with THIS extra nonsense.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

That was WAAAY back then! ;)
At the time though I did (and still do) consider it a part of giving back to the community at large.

JB said...

Ha! I get it.

On the other hand, I’ve never had a problem with folks using my stuff (been translated into
French a couple times). Just like attribution.
: )