22 Years Ago I Saved D&D, Today I Want to Save the Open Gaming License

Ryan S. Dancey
11 min readJan 13, 2023

Update: 14 February 2024

It’s been a year since this post was written and I thought it would be a good time to make a final update.

Wizards of the Coast retreated from it’s efforts to deauthorize v1.0a of the OGL. It subsequently performed a release of various D&D content using one of the Creative Commons licenses (but not the right one; the license it used is not a share-alike license like the OGL v1.0a). They ended their public effort to make a new version of the OGL. They went on a PR campaign to talk to the community and express their side of the story. They seem chastened by what happened but no senior executive was fired.

In my opinion, they aren’t done. The forces inside the company that conspired to try this once will eventually rally and try it again. Those forces are driven by mistaken assumptions about the impediment the OGL v1.0a poses to their plans to migrate D&D to a digital future; and they see and want a part of the revenue streams being generated by successful content creators using their IP. Those are unresolved issues that will fester.

We’ll have to remain vigilant. But I can say for now that the OGL v1.0a withstood this challenge with the tremendous support of the community who refused to simply accept that a Fortune 500 company