Thursday, August 30, 2007

4th Edition: Return of the Groundlings

One thing that has been really nice about the 4th edition announcement is the announcement by Wizards that there's going to be a new SRD released under the OGL.

For those not totally into the lingo, this means that the 4th edition rules will be made available to anyone who wants to publish open-source books to support the new edition of D&D under roughly the same conditions and restrictions (which were very generous) as 3rd edition was.

What I love about this is that it really sticks it to those people who turn their noses up at indie press publishers of d20 material.

These people have been telling anyone that would listen for YEARS now that Wizards would never make another version of its rules open. Oh no! They now recognize what a mistake that would be.

Think of the glut!

Think of the bad products!

The d20 bubble!

The bursting of that bubble!

Well, you can all get used to us grubby groundlings getting to muck around with Wizards' rules, because the company has realized what I always felt, always hoped they would:

Third party publishers are good for Wizards, good for d20 and good for D&D.

And it seems only fitting.

The license that allowed Mike Mearls to make his entry into the industry has been officially, and for all time, recognized as a success by Wizards.

And of course, another sign that Wizards knows how much they've benefited from the OGL lies in the man chosen as the lead designer for this new edition: Mike Mearls.

King of the Groundlings.

Thanks Wizards, for ignoring the arrogant snobs who feel that only big companies should be allowed in the sandbox. Only "true professionals" (whatever the heck that means) should get to play with the toys.

And this is the third time you've recognized this: the 3rd edition OGL, the setting search and now the 4th edition OGL.

To those who say Wizards is all about the money, to those who say a "glut" of products is bad for the market somehow, I would just like to say that I recognize the truth: Wizards is a great company that is run by gamers, likes gamers, and is willing to let us crazy gearheads do what we love to do.

And for that, one more time, you have the thanks of this gamer at least.

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