Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Wish the DMG was OGC

What lies ahead will require the use of all your skill, put a strain on your imagination, bring your creativity to the fore, test your patience, and exhaust your free time. Being a DM is no matter to be taken lightly!

Gary Gygax, DMG p 86


  1. Look for a silver lining. One of the good things about some books not being a part of the OGL is that we don't have to put up with reading other people's "improved" versions.

  2. If you just want to quote a paragraph in your own treatise on the subject, attribution and all, that is very unlikely to cause problems in any civilized country, and almost certainly not in Finland (of which I know the most copyright-wise, although I am just a designer and publisher, not a lawyer). I for one think that some well-chosen quotes from Gygax and other important sources you feel like discussing would make a rather stylish touch for your own treatise on the topic; you're writing within a tradition after all, so pretending that there is no prior literature on the subject doesn't seem that sensible.

    Of course you can't copypaste pages upon pages of material, but if there are some key opinions or ways of phrasing that you need to directly explain or comment upon in your text, that's the sort of shit every factual writer everywhere ever has had to do from the beginning of time. I recommend picking up a random history of literature from the library, for example - get a commentary on the Divine Comedy or whatever and just see how much or how little entirely reputable scholarly writing gets away with in terms of quoting the source material.

    Besides, if a quotation like that were not legal in a book about GMing where it's going to be critically considered and expanded upon as befits a work in a scholarly tradition, then it's certainly not going to be any more appropriate in a blog. Careful what you post here :D

  3. The DMG is so eccentric, so layered & ultimately so personal that it begs for study & reference. That's why it its both a shame and a grace that it isn't OGL. Our explorations of it remain fundamentally private.