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Kobold Press Reveals More Details About Dungeons & Dragons Alternative Project: Black Flag

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Kobold Press has provided additional details about its upcoming fantasy RPG system, which is code named Project Black Flag. Most notably, the new game system will be “forward compatible” with its Deep Magic rulebooks, both of which contain hundreds of new spells originally designed for Dungeons & Dragons 5E. Additionally, the system will be available under the soon-to-be-released Open RPG Creative License (ORC), a new license being headed by Paizo as a response to recent planned changes to the Open Gaming License controlled by Wizards of the Coast. 

In a blogpost posted earlier today, Kobold Press revealed that Project Black Flag is being headed by Celeste Conowitch, the Senior Game Designer for Kobold Press. What’s more – Conowitch has been working on Project Black Flag since summer 2022, meaning that the project is much farther along than most fans realized. In fact, the first public playtest for Project Black Flag will be released in February. Those wishing for playtest updates can sign up on Kobold Press’s website. 

Project Black Flag is one of several new game systems announced as being in development by various tabletop RPG publishers in recent weeks as Dungeons & Dragons contemplates changes to the Open Gaming License (OGL), a license that provides the legal framework for making third-party content compatible with Dungeons & Dragons. A copy of a new Open Gaming License leaked earlier this month, revealing that Wizards planned to “de-authorize” the current version of the OGL in favor of a license with a royalty fee system and license-back language to Wizards. 

While Wizards walked back the royalty fee system and license-back language and apologized for the way they went about trying to implement the new OGL, it appears that Wizards will still attempt to move forward with “de-authorizing” previous versions of the OGL. Additionally, many creators are weary about trusting Wizards not to try to implement future changes to the OGL with little notice and are opting to either switch to make content for other game systems or create their own systems for the sake of future stability. 

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