I've created the following question today.

What's going on with D&D's leaked OGL 1.1? How does it affect me?

It got closed for being off-topic.

I don't believe in it being the case. OGL is explicitly on-topic and RPG-related, as is issues regarding publishing, as per the current meta.

That said, it is true that the question is about an evolving issue, and it might not have a final answer right now. That doesn't mean it doesn't have value; this is an important topic for any D&D fan and creator alike. While it isn't usual to create a "currently evolving" set of question/answers, I believe that, in this case, it is worth it. This isn't a new potential ruleset or some minor detail of minor importance. OGL is at the heart of the hobby, the very thing that enabled it to grow to the size it is today.

With that said, I make my plea; please allow this one to live. OGL 1.1 is, as leaked, a crime against us, and all of the loyal community that our beloved hobby created around D&D. If the leaked version of 1.1 doesn't come to pass, that would be great news. But if it does materialize, then a lot of very dear publishers that already exist - and a few that are yet to publish anything, like yours truly - will be deep into trouble, with our work all but stolen by WotC in what boils down to an horrible money grab.

We need to keep an eye on this, and, if necessary, band together to ask WotC to listen to those that made 5e into what it is today. But we can't do that if we don't know what's happening, what 1.1 means, and this place, as one of the most cherished beacons of information around D&D that exists in the internet today, is one of the best positioned to make that information available to those that seek it.

I understand that this might be asking for far too much, and that the site wasn't designed for it. If we find that yes, the question should stay closed, then I won't fight that decision more than what I already did.

Thus, I ask: please keep that question open.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do we close if/when the rumored v2.0 is released until the question is updated? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dave Not sure if closing is necessary. Once there is a new license out and about, we can create a new question asking what does the new license imply for us and put a link on the old question to the new one, I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 18:08

6 Answers 6


I think we should keep this question open

I'll get to the point: this is one of the most important periods of D&D's history ever for the people who play it and create content for it. OGL 1.1's impacts are severe and far-reaching; it has major consequences for everyone, every player, and every business connected to D&D. People need to know about what's going on. OGL 1.1's text is not publicly available, but answering the question does not require it to be, because the important parts are very well known as a matter of public record at this point. What the question is asking is what's going on with OGL 1.1 and how it's going to affect us as players and as publishers, and sufficient detail is known about the OGL 1.1 to answer all of those things.

In-depth analyses of exactly this nature have already been made in multiple places:

Codega's original article on Gizmodo, which broke the news about OGL 1.1, goes into depth on exactly what's going on and how it affects players and publishers. She comments further about it in a twitter thread.

Electronic Frontier Foundation itself has waded in, provided an extensive essay on just how messed up OGL 1.1 is.

MyLawyerFriend, a lawyer, has also written a detailed analysis of OGL 1.1's impacts.

This may be a developing situation, but the known facts of OGL 1.1 and its impacts are at this point settled and being discussed at length by many sources, entire essays are already being written on exactly the topic the question is about with no real expectation they'll suddenly change, and it's fair for us to also tackle this topic.

If, somehow, the situation does drastically change such that all answers are invalidated, I suggest we timestamp the original question and open a new one about the new situation. But there's no current signs to suggest that's going to happen: OGL 1.1 is what it is and it's time to talk about it.

  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ I was going to write an answer tomorrow to the effect of “this question is so important to our hobby that it is bigger than our typical closure guidelines”. I you’ve got the right take here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 23:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm inclined to agree with that sentiment @Thomas. I think it's justified to reopen even within our typical closure guidelines, but even to the extent it might not be, it's worth giving it the benefit of the doubt because it's just that impactful. By all means I'm pulling my punches in this answer and keeping to the basics—it's my personal contention that OGL 1.1 might be so impactful to our hobby that it might be the factor that causes D&D to stop being the go-to RPG, which I never thought would happen. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even as much smaller contributor, I strongly agree that it's the sheer importance to the hobby as a whole that's the best argument for keeping it open, even if the question might not be about boots-on-the-ground how to play [game]. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 15:05

It is bad timing

At the moment, all we have is a leak and everybody is discussing what the parts mean or do not mean. It's not even known if this is an early version, or the current latest or if it was planned for release. Because of this, the situation is in flux.

A situation in flux means, that answers might become outdated within seconds - and invites speculation.

As the one who cast the first vote: I did vote to close not because I don't want an answer, I voted to close to keep this place from becoming a rantbox like many others. From attracting speculation, which is a danger with such a loaded question. Speculation is against our goals.

The Stack is simply not a good place for dealing with a question so up-to-date.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Certainly: if you see answers come in that are ranty or over-speculative, be sure to downvote them or even flag them. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 4:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You seem to have been proven right \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 18:42

"Off-topic" is misleading feedback

Starting at the top, the question wasn't closed as "off-topic" per se. It's just that giving a custom close reason means the site displays the default of "off-topic". The first VTC for a custom reason also automatically posts a comment which opens "I'm voting to close this question because ...". In this case that reason was:

At the current time, the 1.1 is not published yet. Whole the text has been leaked, its legal force or enforcement isn't tested at all yet.

Now Too Localized is no longer an implemented close reason, but speculative or questions about Future Works have a bit of a mixed status on the network. Often they end up with too many "We can't know yet" answers and/or being wholly invalidated or unclear when that future comes about.

A question being part of a very developing scenario (ie. a new/future release) requires a bit of extra caution. We don't want questions where the expertise scope continues to increase, or which needs to include every tangential development. Often such question are asked to limit the scope to only be to current date.

I don't really think any of those concerns are applicable here. This question is specific and while it's likely that some parts of an answer will change in future, that is both addressable by an answer and something we can fix when it happens in the same way as errata, etc.

The leak nature of the material changes the uncertainty of answers, but (as the two already have) they can address that.

To put it in a different perspective, this question will work and be useful and have an answer even when a new licence is released (with the same naming scheme). It'll even have an answer if the new licence is never released, though in that case it'll mostly be irrelevant.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Would we allow rules questions on leaked new rule sets? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Pragmatically the OGL is enormously impactful in ways that cannot be compared to merely a new rule set of some kind. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 22:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I'm not sure it's come up, but as long as it's more or better than "I heard, someone said and we can't know yet" it should work. It's possible such a question would just have to sit unanswered (and as long the question doesn't intentionally nor accidentally invite or attract speculation it should be fine). But to be clear, caution is well warranted and I'd evaluate each question on its merits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 22:52

With small changes, it is worth opening

It's worth having a "What are the implications of the leaked 1.1" - even if the leaked ideas never actually get published, it's worth exploring the implications of what could have been.

Asking what the OGL 1.1 will be is pure speculation, the impact of the leak can be known though. It's effect on the community is something worth talking about.


We might need to update the question to reflect the last week...

With OGL 1.1 Gone, and 1.2 utterly Destroyed (and Hasbro looking almost like they are back to the wall) within 7 days of them offering it, I think the question needs retooling to make it a historical question about what happened in the hellish fortnight we just lived through...

The RPG world won't ever be the same. To quote Roll for combat:

I guarantee they had all these plans, but none of their plans had them failing

We might need a different question to preserve the rundown of what happened for the History of Gaming, we might still not be through all of it, but... THIS was a fortnight of RPG History, possibly more impactful than the death of FASA, the sudden collapse of FanPro or similar... As I said when this question came up: the question itself is good, but it was ill timed, because it assumed that it was going to come either way... Then everybody banded up and protested... and nothing came from 1.1 and 1.2.


I think it is on-topic, but whereas a historical question about the OGL would be straightforward, this is a question about current events - and quickly changing ones at that. The OGL 1.1 has already been replaced by a draft of 1.2, and that is undergoing frequent clarification and a feedback process using the system established for use with Unearthed Arcana playtest material.

On the other hand, the question is framed around how the change affects players, who are the least affected group. So that answer could be definitive, at least when it comes to D&D. For other games the answer will vary depending on whether they adopt a new license and how that process will work, but that might require separate questions for each.

But can we give a broader answer, until this is resolved? Is this a question that might need to go on hold? Do we have precedent for “current events” questions? I can’t imagine it’s something that comes up too often here.


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