MCDM Productions, the popular design studio headed 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” (likely a reference to dice created 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 that anyone can create content to use for the game. MCDM lead designer James Introcaso and managing editor Hannah Rose will also be involved in the design of the new game system.
Although Colville noted that the unnamed RPG had been planned for development this year for quite some time, his announcement comes amid the backdrop of major upheaval in the tabletop RPG industry. Last week, io9 published excerpts of a new Open Gaming License (OGL) set to be released by Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of Dungeons & Dragons. While previous editions of the Open Gaming License provided a framework to allow third-party publishers to make material compatible with versions of Dungeons & Dragons, the reported new OGL added several restrictions, de-authorized the previous OGL, and established a royalty system for publishers that made more than $750,000 in revenue on material published under the new OGL. Fans have largely reacted negatively to the change, pointing out that the restrictions in the new OGL would likely bring to an end the thriving ecosystem of D&D compatible material that helped make D&D the dominant game system for the past 20 years.
MCDM Productions is one of several publishers who would be impacted by the new OGL’s royalty structure. For instance, had the company’s upcoming Flee, Mortals! rulebook been subject to the new OGL, MCDM would have had to pay Wizards a $266,823 royalty fee based on revenue from the Kickstarter alone. MCDM also publishes a monthly magazine called Arcadia that is filled with D&D 5E-compatible content.
Coincidentally, MCDM Productions is the second publisher to announce plans for a new game system today. Kobold Press announced it was also starting work on its own bespoke Core Fantasy system.