And it looks to be a shit storm.
This guy is selling a module with full "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" name and trade dress, claiming the OGL allows him to do it.
A few bloggers here and here have already posted about it.
Now, I don't see any doom and gloom for the OSR out of this. WotC is likely to just ask the guy to cut it out through a C&D order, and that will be the end of it.
Of course, we gamer/bloggers love a good controversy.
I'm not gonna add to the controversy, but I will pose this question:
Granted that I think it's a bad idea for them to be using the IP of WotC on their module when it's clearly not allowed by the OGL, what if WotC does nothing? Will this really impact us one way or the other?
Personally, even if WotC does NOTHING, I doubt we'll see tons of people trying to do the same thing. For one, it's bound to limit the audience. I get the feeling that the kids playing 4E or Vampire or whatever might consider picking up modules for a retro-clone, as they perceive it as something new. Something blatantly named, marketed and styled after 'their father's RPG' would have about as much appeal as making some brand new 8-bit NES games would have to the Wii generation.
The other reason I don't think we'll see many copy-cats if (and that's a big if) WotC does nothing is that people should rightly be worried that if the trend continues, WotC WILL step in. And they'll want to step in before it's too late. Which means if nothing happens now, the SECOND company to do this is likely to be the one that gets bitch-slapped legally.
Kickstarters I'm Backing
1 hour ago