Back in the day Green Ronin out out a module on the same day 3e was released. That means they had to have the rules ahead of time, no? At least a few months so they could convert their generic module over to 3e standards and get it to the printer and back again in time to have a release.
I know the internet in 99/00 was a bit different than
it is today, but I know there were places to share such a ruleset with
others who were not signed on to the OGL and the NDA's and all that
Was there a leak of the rules ahead of time on
the net? If so, did the leak help or hurt 3e? Were the rules only
shared with a few companies/individuals ahead of time? Did anyone who
asked ahead of time get a copy of the rules to design modules timed with
the release of 3e?
I ask these questions mainly as thinking
points, because I think we can all agree that a true OGL would be great
for broadening the 5e base. The sooner it is released the better. The
sooner 3pp modules are released for 5e the better it is for 5e. Modules
released at the same time as 5e would really help 5e make a big impact
on the market.
Therefore, if they are going to go that route,
shouldn't they be releasing the rules to developers months ahead of the
official release of 5e? If so, there is no chance in hell that those
rules will stay hidden or secret with the net's current ability to get
leaked shit out there fast.
Lastly, if that's going to be the
case, to one degree or another, that the rules are on pirate boards
eventually, why all the damn secrecy with the latter stages of the 5e
I mean, 5 minutes after the rules are
released they will be available on pirate sites. Tens of thousands of
people will read it off of those sites and then determine if it's worth
plunking down 50 bucks or whatever to buy the books. Why not just make
the whole damn thing transparent and get some goodwill ahead of time by
announcing an awesome OGL?
That being said, think about this:
if the 5e OGL is going to be as open as the 3e OGL, it wouldn't make a
damn bit of difference if they were completely transparent every step of
the way in their development, because they were going to give it away
for free, essentially, anyhow. The only reason to keep it so under
wraps is if there was going to be a half-assed OGL, an OGL-lite, an OGL
with some restrictions, making it then not really an OGL at all.
My bet is that the 5e OGL, if there is one, won't be nearly as good/open as the 3e one.
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