Well it's already been a doozy of a year.
If you've somehow remained out of the loop, here's a quick summary: the OGL 1.1, an updated version of the Open Gaming License 1.0a that allows third party publishers like us to create content for D&D 5e (and dozens of other TTRPG systems), was leaked; that document outlined plans to unauthorize / revoke the 1.0a, which would force creators to use the 1.1 version that included language that would result in Wizards of the Coast (WotC), the company that owns Dungeons & Dragons and the OGL 1.0a, to own all of the intellectual property created under that license; the internet found out and got suitably mad, cancelling D&D Beyond subscriptions en masse and driving huge amounts of negative attention towards WotC (and parent company Hasbro); WotC failed to release a statement for several days, finally releasing an extremely flippant response that only stoked more ire; several major 3rd party publishers like Paizo, MCDM, and Kobold Press announced plans to make brand new TTRPG systems or to create their own licensing system to remove themselves from the threat of WotC's massive IP theft and royalties acquisition plans.
WotC has since released a more suitable response, but many, including us, are hesitant to forgive and forget until whatever happens actually happens. Wizard's has squandered years of good will and notified everyone that they have their finger on the Intellectual Property trigger, so to speak, and so we must respond.
What does that response look like?
Well first off we're writing this post to keep you all informed as to our plans and thoughts.
Ideologically, the Open Gaming License was (and still is) a cornerstone of collaborative storytelling. It's creators have been very outspoken against any supposed plans to revoke or deauthorize it, and we are similarly displeased with this turn of events. Not only is the hobby made better by having more voices included in the creation of content, but we also depend on things like OGL 1.0a to create the content you want.
So obviously we are against any degrading changes to the OGL 1.0a, and we hope WotC rectifies that mistake. But whether or not they do, the damage is largely done in terms of what we had planned for 2023.
Cancelled / Delayed Projects
We had several pieces of D&D 5e content slated for release this year. But until we know what the world of D&D 5e publishing will look like, we can't risk devoting large swathes of time to creating content that could fall flat; either because of legal theft or because of sapped enthusiasm for the system.
All current 5e projects are suspended indefinitely with the exception of "The Trials of the Undying".
"Trials of the Undying" is an adventure we're very excited to complete and release. The art is finished, the mechanics are in their last round of playtesting (on stream too, if you'd like to see a sneak peek!), and we've taken some legal steps to protect its release from any more unfortunate surprises. Were this project not so close to completion we would have pivoted to a different system, but given its state we felt it was best to release it as originally intended.
Fans that have been following us for a while might recognize it as the fully realized version of "The Gauntlet". We plan to celebrate this adventure's release at GenCon 2023, so be sure to join us for some fun games!
We have several projects that are going to be translated to other systems or system agnostic products. This includes both freelance work our lead designer Matt is involved with as well as a fantastic collaboration project between Matt and our lead artist (the same one who made our amazing website art): Myra's Box of Mischief, a system agnostic collection of whimsical magic items with delightful illustrations.
More information will be forthcoming, so keep your eyes peeled and join our mailing list!
New Projects! (and systems)
Most of our backlog was focused on D&D 5e, so with those projects shelved for the time being, it opens up plenty of time to explore whole new frontiers of gaming! While having to pause so many projects we loved is disheartening, getting to expand our TTRPG horizons more than makes up for it. Last year we release "The Unknown Playbook" for the Thirsty Sword Lesbians system, and that was so much fun that we already knew we wanted to do more non-5e content. This is just the extra motivation we needed to go full tilt.
Here's some sneak peeks at our current slate of products planned for release in 2023!
A Range of CY_BORG Zines
CY_BORG is the smash-hit cyberpunk follow-up to the apocalyptic doom-metal OSR fantasy game MÖRK BORG. These systems are as fantastic as they are brutal, and we can't wait to dive into the rules-lite, i̶͕̯̐̓n̶̥͛f̵̱̲̐̕ḛ̷̩͂c̴̙͑̒͜ṫ̴̡̢̓ȇ̶͉̅d̵͔͚̀̀ world of Cy. We've got some fantastic layout in the works to go along with...
Hi-Powered Hacks for increasing the (theoretical) survivability of your player characters. New Cybertech, optional rules for character creation & advancement, and even a special hack for those who see all the headlines.
An Insane Mastermind class. Both sharp and unhinged, this class blurs the line between narrative and meta-gaming, giving the player the ability to play mind games with the table in the hopes of winning big.
Boomhunter's League of Losers, our contribution to the upcoming Album Jam. Based on Basshunter's LOL album, this zine includes a killclub filled with danger, adventure, and the chance to win big. Run by the notorious chromed-out gladiator Boomhunter, the PCs will channel their inner DotA player as they compete alongside bots and auto-turrets. Or maybe the kill floor serves as the backdrop to a late night rendezvous with VIPs.
Tables and GM prompts based on real life cyber security. Drop a buffer overflow on your punks while they try to mount a grass-roots social media DDoS on the corrupt c-suite of Alliansen.
From What Remains
We're working on creating our own TTRPG system!
Base on FATE Accelerated, the game (working title "From What Remains" or FWR) focuses on a few hopepunk heroes leading a community into a new era. The world has been broken by magic, and civilization is just beginning to take root once more. The PCs will collect resources from the blooming-but-dangerous world, foster relationships with their community, and defend their growing civilization from the remnants of the prior era's calamity.
We're hoping to start playtesting the system as early as April, so make sure you're following us on social media. We'll be announcing open calls for players and GMs soon!
And Probably More!
We're still actively evaluating other systems, like Call of Cthulhu and Pathfinder 2e, as possible opportunities for upcoming products. And we'd love to return to old favorites like Thirsty Sword Lesbians! As always, following us on social media, subscribing to our mailing list, and checking this blog are the best ways to stay up to date on all things Day 20.
Bittersweet New Years
It wasn't the start we wanted, but this appears to be the decade of lemons. Who's ready to make some lemonade with us?!
Cheers to 2023 🥂