They of course get a cut of the monies, but having Greyhawk open up will mean that players can create content for it with WotC's blessing.
This is the perfect time to open it up with the resurgence of old modules. Goodman Games now has permission to redo the old 1E B1 and B2 modules and "Tales from the Yawning Portal" is now out, so the timing is right!
Will never happen, imo. WotC screwed up big time by not paying Living Greyhawk regional authors after year 2. It is my non-lawyer guess that they lost control of their IP and they know it, just no one has dared to test that theory yet. If they were to publish any new Greyhawk content, they would likely step on a landmine: that of the character or plot having already been in a Living Greyhawk adventure and that author wanting compensation and credit. Since the amount of LG material which WotC never bought the rights to is VAST, they are royally screwed. Only way to every do Greyhawk again, imo, is if they nuke the setting OR go so far forward or backward in time that they make no use of any previously mentioned IP which could have been used during LG.
Will never happen, imo. WotC screwed up big time by not paying Living Greyhawk regional authors after year 2.
I was party to that decision. I had recently moved back to Portland, OR after living Bellevue, WA and I had met and befriended some of the people running the show at WotC.
The reason that regional modules where no longer purchased were two fold:
1) An author in my region, The Duchy of Urnst, decided to play hardball with WotC and would not allow any edits to his work or he would refuse to let them publish the adventure. We now had a crisis because it had been playtested and had a pre-release premiere at an Oregon gaming convention. They refused his ultimatum. This caused a complete legal review of the Regional submission system.
2) They were already bottle necking the publishing process by having to review and purchase all Regional, Adaptable, and Core mods.
Their solution was to not purchase the adventure and allow limited rights to the Greyhawk IP. You could re-publish your LG Regional but in order to do it, you had to strip all WotC trademarked references out.
Ultimately it shifted the editing and publishing burden to the Triads and allowed WotC to run the LG staff at minimal levels.
This policy did not come lightly or without consultation with legal council (and Hasbro and by extension, WotC, have some sharky-sharks for lawyers).
It is my non-lawyer guess that they lost control of their IP and they know it, just no one has dared to test that theory yet.
Absolutely not. Living Greyhawk was the Silver Age (or Golden Age depending on your point of view) of published Greyhawk content. But, it was always seen as a distinct campaign that would not be used for officially non-LG content... especially after they stopped purchasing the rights to the Regional stuff.
All they have to do to publish Greyhawk is set it at 576 CY if they want to avoid the Greyhawk Wars or pick up at 591 CY when the last official Greyhawk content was published for 2e. You just completely ignore what happened in Living Greyhawk as if it were a home campaign.
The real reason that they are not publishing Greyhawk are more complicated.
They have scaled back their publishing so that A) there isn't a glut of material that starts to eat its own tail financially and B) there is time to coordinate a cross-media campaign in support of the new material.
The Forgotten Realms (FR) has a huge book publishing tie in. There are computer games tied in to each adventure event which are all tied in with FR. They put out a board game themed with with the adventure (usually). They have deals with GaleForce9 for unpainted minis.
So in order to publish Greyhawk or Dragon Lance or Dark Sun there is a much larger effort involved to tie it all in across all of their media and game arms. That doesn't say they won't it is just a high bar to get something out the door.
Now, will they open up other IP like they have for FR in the Dungeon Masters program? That is a possibility but they would need to put something out that set a base line for everyone to use first (like setting the campaign year at or before 591 CY or publishing a campaign guide that moves the timeline up without referencing LG). Again, higher bar to hurdle.
This is why you are going to see a lot of republished stuff. The stats will be updated to 5e but that can be contracted out to a 3rd party and will not run afoul of LG.
Thanks for the behind the scenes peek, Saracenus, it is appreciated! As a Keoland Triad back in the day, this explains much. As the Lead on Greyhawk Reborn, it provides some insight that could be useful for our campaign.
No problem. LG is a hot mess in terms of ownership rights. Of that there is no doubt. We will likely never see it published as a whole and probably never see its like again from WotC Organized Play. That was the high water mark for player generated content of any campaign (Living City, set in the Forgotten Realms was around longer I think, but it was confined to a single location in FR).
I know several folks that made their industry bones writing and/or organizing in that campaign. In fact I just chatted with Russ Taylor (Duchy of Urnst Triad/Paizo freelancer) this morning.
There were amazing things that happened during LG. I have many friendships today because of that campaign. It brought me back to D&D after an absence. But I also got to see how the sausage got made. And there were some not so great ideas... The destruction of Tehn, the running joke in the last years when you could run a dead pool to guess which Triad was going to off their regions canon leader to shake things up, watching Triad members having to rewrite a mod submission at the last minute because they took a chance on an untested writer that failed to deliver (the adventure was still garbage, but you could at least hold your nose and play it), etc.
Bryan "Saracenus" Blumklotz
Duchy of Urnst
Lord of Grumpiness
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