The Future of Level Up Advanced 5E
We are pleased to announce that we are developing a new System Reference Document (SRD) for its Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition (A5E) tabletop roleplaying game, which will be designated the A5E System Reference Document (A5ESRD).
Our goal is to publish a fully open, non-rescindable, freely available, perpetual, fully-featured SRD, enabling other creators to legally publish materials for Level Up (A5E) and for the original 5E (O5E) games. We will release this SRD under an open, non-revocable license.
Because we have already published our Level Up: Advanced 5E (A5E) game, which rewrites all the text from the original 5E SRD (and adds much more) we are already well positioned to do this. The bulk of the work has already been done, making it possible for us to ‘de-OGL-ify’ the text under legal advice.
What’s Level Up?
Level Up was released in 2021 and is a standalone 5E fantasy tabletop RPG. Developed from the start to be compatible with original 5E (O5E), it is a fully-featured ‘advanced’ 5E ruleset which has been re-written from the ground up. You can read more at levelup5e.com.
What’s a System Reference Document?
A System Reference Document (SRD) contains the game system. It is released under an open license, making the contents of that SRD freely available to all to distribute, modify, expand, or otherwise use as they wish.
The SRD contains the actual game rules, with our IP removed–basically, that means references to our settings and characters. Our intention is to include the entire game system in this SRD, ensuring that a fully-featured fully-open independent 5E ruleset is permanently and irrevocably available to all.
How will this SRD compare to the 5E SRD?
Our SRD does not borrow any text from the existing 5ESRD (O5E); the content has already been fully re-written in our ‘own words’ and published as the Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition (A5E) game. Additionally, it is significantly more complete, containing more than twice as much content as the existing 5ESRD.
The SRD is designed for Level Up: A5E, but that game’s compatibility with O5E ensures that you can use this SRD to freely develop content for both games.
To distinguish between System Reference Documents, this new document will be called the A5ESRD.
Who’s doing this?
We are EN Publishing, and have been publishing under the original OGL for over 20 years. Heading up the new SRD team is Paul Hughes, author of Monstrous Menagerie, who you may know from his Blog of Holding.
Why are you doing this?
We feel a deep responsibility not only to our customers, creator community, freelancers, and employees, but also to the wider Open Gaming community. We have been publishing under the OGL for over 20 years, supporting and expanding the game we love. Open Gaming was essential to D&D 3E's growth in the early 2000s; it has been a large part of 5E's popularity; and it has supported a massive community of amazing, talented creators and indie publishers, amongst whom we are proud to be counted.
We believe that a fully-featured, safe, irrevocable 5E SRD is essential to the Open Gaming community. Additionally, it is vital that we provide our own third party creator community with a reliable and safe way to produce content for Level Up.
Which license will we use?
We are currently considering the Open RPG Creator (ORC) license, and Creative Commons and will make a decision once we have the final ORC license in hand. We are closely following and discussing ORC with Azora Law, the firm drafting the license.
Is this legal?
We are represented by Azora Law, who will be advising us on this project.
What about the existing Level Up game?
Our intention is to continue selling our existing Level Up books, and those currently slated for 2023, under OGL v1.0a. Future books will use ORC or another license. Level Up (A5E) will continue to be fully supported.
What about the existing Level Up SRD?
We already have a Level Up SRD (and a compatibility logo license), which was released last year under OGL v1.0a. While that SRD will remain published, our focus will shift to the new, improved SRD.
If we use the new SRD will we need to use the compatibility logo?
Not at all. The SRD will be fully open under an appropriate license. You will be able to use it in any way you wish, including both O5E and A5E products. The Powered By Level Up compatibility logo is optionally available if you wish to advertise compatibility with Level Up: Advanced 5E.
Where can I learn more?
Keep an eye on LevelUpSRD.com!