Is there still hope for Open D6?

Open D6 logo A long time ago Eric Gibson, current owner of West End Games, announced that he plans to turn the D6 System into an open system. I believe he made that statement in his first video update on the official site (which he posted in December 2008). While a lot has happened in the background this is still the latest news on the WEG site.

On GenCon this year, Bill Coffin’s Septimus made its debut as the first OpenD6 game and although this book is not listed on the WEG site, you can buy it through RPGNow and probably at other places as well. From what I’ve seen so far, Septimus seems to be a nice game, but I am pretty sure that most gamers are totally oblivious of its existence.

In the meantime a fan helped Eric to add the OGL to a couple of d6 System books that are now freely available:

But if you don’t follow the discussions on the WEG Fan Forums you might get the impression that WEG and the OpenD6 project are dead. Several people including me tried to convice Eric Gibson to at least update the WEG site or setup a temporary site for, but alas to no avail.

Around GenCon, the OpenD6 web developer announced that the beta test should start any minute now. But as far as I know this beta test hasn’t started yet. The project still seems to be in limbo. The last thing I heard was that they still have trouble getting the servers up and running…

And if you ask me the whole project is much to ambitious for a one-man show like WEG. If Eric Gibson just released a D6 System SRD and a proper OpenD6 trademark license on a simple website, a lot of people would’ve already jumped on the bandwagon. Now only the few hardcore fans are still waiting for something that may or may not materialize. The rest probably already forgot about West End Games… which is sad.

What do you think? Is there still hope? Do you understand why Eric Gibson avoids making updates to the WEG site? As always I am very interested in your thoughts.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

13 thoughts on “Is there still hope for Open D6?”

  1. It as tricky as running free software projects. You must write code, but you must also learn to channel other people's energy, you must learn to accept efforts by other people, you must learn to trust others, you must learn to be amiable, you must project an image of activity, of progress, of hope. In short: Leadership.

    Being able to do anything at all does not automatically make a good leader, unfortunately.
    .-= Alex Schröder´s last blog ..MyCampaigns =-.

  2. From what I've read of the project, I think Eric and his supporters drastically overestimate the value of another open, rules-lite system on the market today. d6 trades largely on the nostalgia factor it built up through the Star Wars line.
    While I really like the idea of a system for contributing and publishing for a community-oriented open game system, building a whole new content management system and dedicated servers is putting the cart before the horse. The model should be proven with a small, low cost investment, using an open source platform like WordPress or Drupal. If the initial success warranted, then they would move on to a dedicated, totally customized publishing platform.
    .-= Tyler´s last blog ..Ten Recommended Books for Urban Fantasy, Modern Magic and General Weirdness =-.

  3. WEG is a one man show? I thought they were a large publisher that put out all those star wars RPG books back in the day. It was one of 2 RPGs I knew of back when I started playing, and I've seen a stackload of books for it used. Have they collapsed since then?
    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..My Stereotypical Depressed Rant =-.

  4. ….We really need to get people to stop using the OGL. It is not a very good license, a creative commons licence would be much easier for people to use in a 'open' manner. It's been a while since I read the OGL, but as I recall it didn't grant you the rights to do whatever you wanted with the product, like a true open license would.
    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..My Stereotypical Depressed Rant =-.

  5. @Canageek

    I like the OGL because it provides protection for those items you want to protect when you release something under it. This makes it easier for most publishers to stomach.

    That said, that depends on what the publisher decides to protect as IP. Some publishers elect to protect nothing in the product, making the whole thing open. For example, the Action! system has no protected content, so you can do anything you want with it, as long as you release what you do with it under the OGL in turn.

    The problem with most of the companies who end up going with a free license is that they make it a non-commercial free license. Which means you can do whatever you want with it except sell it.
    .-= Dyson Logos´s last blog ..[deadEarth] The continuing saga of a mutant that’s gone to the dogs =-.

  6. I think Tyler has hit the nail on the head. Further, I am not a believer in the game mechanics themselves after playing WEG Star Wars for over a year everyone in our group were sick and tired of the mechanics of the system.

    That said, now that the core books are available under the OGL, I'm going to take the time to hack it a bit to produce a game I would enjoy more.
    .-= Dyson Logos´s last blog ..[deadEarth] The continuing saga of a mutant that’s gone to the dogs =-.

  7. I think I got OGL and d20 license mixed up on rereading it. I'm actually fine with non-commercial licenses. It means the product can never go out of print as you can repost it, and fans can remix and such to their little hearts content.

    Edit: I've reread the OGL & d20 SRD, yes I was thinking of the D20 SRD. The problem with the OGL was you could define almost everything as PI or at least critical sections, which means I can't redistribute it.

    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..My Stereotypical Depressed Rant =-.

  8. I think Tyler is completely wrong. The D6 system is certainly a very viable system for an OGL product. OGL products have been produced for a number of systems and some using a different license but still relatively the same. True 20 and EABA come to mind.

    D6 is a good system mathematically. It has some execution issues and it certainly is far from perfect.(What game is).

    Now all that being said, Will it be a huge financial success….I doubt it. The 800lb Gorilla that is WOTC and the d20 OGL have pretty much proven that they cannot be kicked out of the top spot. D&D 2nd edition is an example of a game that was a minor..very minor improvement and still topped the sales charts. GW has done the same with Fantasy Miniatures and 40k. Once the Gorilla is 800lbs it is hard to put him on a diet so you can get in the spotlight. WEG doesn't have anywhere near the resources to even attempt it. An open D6 will be much like other games that are out their with open licenses. It will sell some but it won't make a huge dent in the market and will probably do enough for WEG to keep running.

    Eric Gibson is a great guy and I wish the project much success for WEG.

    Oh and the reasons most folks won't use a creative commons license is that it is not a very strong license and is against the profiting from the original work. OGL is all about making a profit on Open Game Content.

  9. I think Tyler is completely wrong. The D6 system is certainly a very viable system for an OGL product. OGL products have been produced for a number of systems and some using a different license but still relatively the same. True 20 and EABA come to mind.

    Andrew, my contention isn't that d6 isn't good or of value as an open system, but the effort put in Open d6 is out of proportion for the test of a publication model no one's done before.

    Last I looked into the project, which was admittedly some months ago, Eric was talking about the need to get a server configured and how the publishing platform was being custom built. I think that's a huge amount of overkill for something that could be achieved with WordPress and some plugins.
    .-= Tyler´s last blog ..Return to the Tomb of the Lich Lord =-.

  10. I am with Tyler here. The amount of work they put into the site is out of proportion and it seems as if they put much more work into the site than in creating a proper SRD that could be distributed much more easily.

    I would love to see OpenD6 succeed and the more I read about delays because of the overly ambitious site, the more it pains me.

  11. It's a bit disappointing that this hasn't gone anywhere. We just started accepting submissions for setting concepts for an RPG using a model similar to what was talked about for Open D6 (except we are just doing the setting).
    .-= Mike B´s last blog ..RPG Setting Concept Contest =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.