Last week the resource I had listed, OrcPub, which is a site for making characters for 5e is/has been shut down by WoTC.  To quote ENWorld user Rellott “In a comment on the update he says that he is doing it for legal reasons that, for legal reasons, he would rather not disclose. The assumed cause is that WotC sent him a cease and desist order. This makes sense given the recent opening of D&D Beyond and its character building functions. “. It is because of this that, for now, I have removed OrcPub from the resource section. I have kept the section there for now in case anything else turns up to fill the spot.

I can’t say for sure why the site was shut down but it does raise an important issue, that of copyright/IP in the industry and as a whole. It’s a fine line to keep on, especially when dealing with an OGL or equivalent. It’s one of the reasons I have yet to make anything for 5e, not because I can’t or not allowed to, but it took me ages before I did anything for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game as I wanted to make sure I was following their rules as much as possible.

It’s also the #1 reason I try to keep my material system free as much as possible. I can 100% understand why some companies may send a C&D letter to a website owner for using their material. But on the flip side of the argument, it does suck when something someone has worked on for a long time and provides a benefit to many is forced to close. I am not expecting any big company to be reading this, but on the off chance that they are, I would request that “use guidelines” for your materials and games/systems are made in non-legal speak, with examples and, if possible, a point of contact for questions regarding what can/can’t be done with your material. Keep the legal terms for sure, but also have something like “You can do [x] but not [y]” along with it.


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