Matt Colville Announces Plans For New RPG As Dungeons & Dragons OGL Furor Continues

MCDM Productions, the popular design studio led by game designer and YouTube personality Matt Colville, has announced plans to develop a new tabletop RPG system. Announced today during a Matt Colville stream, design work for the new RPG system will begin next week and is described as a mix of “cinematic” and “tactical” and will also use “weird dice” (probably a reference to dice that are made specifically for the game system, similar to the dice used in the Star Wars RPG system.) Colville also wants the game to have an “aggressive” open game license so anyone can create content to use for the game. MCDM lead designer James Introcaso and editor-in-chief Hannah Rose will also be involved in the design of the new gaming system.

While Colville noted that the unnamed RPG had been slated for development for quite some time this year, his announcement comes amid significant turmoil in the tabletop RPG industry. Last week io9 published excerpts from a new Open Gaming License (OGL) to be released by Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of Dungeons and Dragons. While previous editions of the Open Gaming license provided a framework for third-party publishers to make content compatible with versions of Dungeons and Dragons, the reported new OGL added several restrictions, deauthorized the previous OGL, and introduced a royalty system for publishers who earned more than $750,000 in revenue from material published under the new OGL. Fans have reacted largely negatively to the change, pointing out that the restrictions in the new OGL would likely end the thriving ecosystem of D&D-compatible content that has helped make D&D the dominant gaming system for the past 20 years.

MCDM Productions is one of many publishers that would be impacted by OGL’s new royalty structure. For example, had the rise of the company Flee, mortals! rulebook subject to the new OGL, MCDM Wizards would have had to pay a royalty fee of $266,823 based on Kickstarter revenue alone. MCDM also publishes a monthly magazine called Arcadia which is filled with D&D 5E compatible content.

Coincidentally, MCDM Productions is the second publisher to announce plans for a new gaming system today. Kobold Press announced that it is also starting work on its own custom Core Fantasy system.

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