CAR-PGa NEWSLETTER, Vol. 32, No. 2, February 2023

An international network of researchers into all aspects of role-playing games

David Millians, Editor

Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA

Board Election Basic Results 2023

By David Millians

With a record voter turnout (Thanks, everyone!) all five candidates standing for election to the new board have become part of our new governing body. Allen White, David Millians, Hawke Robinson, Mike Tresca, and Ted Skirvin will serve for the next twelve months. The board elected Mike as the chair for another year.

This brings the board to its maximum capacity of five members for the first time in many, many years, providing us with a new breadth of leadership. All of the board members hope you everyone involved with CAR-PGa will continue to bring ideas and issues to the fore, and if you don’t like the way things or run, please consider standing for election next year!

Letter from the Chair

Hello All,

It’s been quite a month for tabletop role-playing games! CAR-PGa had our first ever successful voting campaign in which a significant number of our popular voted. Wizards of the Coast threatened to revoke the Open Game License … and then backed off of it completely, putting the System Resource Document for Fifth Edition into the Creative Commons License. And we had two different guests over the past few months.

January’s virtual panel guest was with Servant of Shiloh, the host and founder of the RPG Elite. RPG Elite is a tabletop RPG YouTube channel focusing on classic tabletop role-playing games, alternative tabletop RPG genres, and RPG elite philosophy. A major pillar of the channel is his namesake RPG Elite Philosophy, a high-standard mindset meant to deepen the tabletop role-playing experience, approaching it not just as a game, but an art form. In addition, Servant’s Classic Tabletop RPG Spotlight Series goes in-depth with a particular game, covering the various mechanics and explaining the rules. He caps that off with a one-shot RPG online session video, where you’ll see the mechanics in action. He also includes tools, tips, and tutorials that help make the RPG experience more immersive and enjoyable.

In December, our guest was Adam Davis of Game to Grow. Adam D. Davis, MA Ed, earned his Master’s degree in Education with a focus in drama therapy from Antioch University Seattle and is a recognized member of the North American Drama Therapy Association. Adam is a contributing author to three publications: Integrating Geek Culture into Therapeutic Practice; Game Play, 3rd Edition; and The Walking Dead Psychology. In addition to his work with Game to Grow, Adam developed the CoRe Gaming program at the Atlantic Street Center utilizing video games to teach Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills, served as an educator at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and taught fourth-grade literacy for Seattle Public Schools.

We have many guests lined up for the next several months that I’m excited to interview, but I’m particularly pleased to report that one of our past guests was just appointed to our board! Dr. Allen White received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University under the direction of Igor Adamovich and J. William Rich of the Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics Laboratories.  His research has involved infrared spectroscopy, mass-spectrometry, and plasmas.  He is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. White is working to make RPGs for engineering education using a proven teaching framework, called Fink’s Taxonomy that can work for any education content. He recently presented an expansion of the Year Zero Engine from Gary Con at GameHole Con in October. I look forward to working with Dr. White on the Board, along with all the existing members who were voted into their positions once more: David Millians, Ted Skirvin, and Hawke Robinson.

Speaking of which, I’m honored to serve on the Board as Committee Chair once more. It took a few years but the CAR-PGA is slowly getting back on its feet. With more voting CAR-PGA members, more guests, and tabletop gaming more visible in the news than ever before, we’re well-suited for the challenges that come with that popularity.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We’re just getting started!


Mike Tresca


State Prison Book Bannings

By M. Allan Thomas II

We’ve long had a problem with RPG books being banned in prisons. I even worked on this back in my early days with CAR-PGa, 20–25 years ago.

A few days ago, The Marshall Project put out a database of works banned in state prisons for each state that keeps a list. Unfortunately, I know from experience that frequently these decisions are made on an individual prison level rather than being recorded on a statewide list somewhere, and many states don’t actually keep centralized lists of what they ban at all. Still, they got more than 50,000 titles from across half the states.

The lead image for the database page includes the AD&D 2nd edition supplement Anauroch. Have fun hunting for more RPG examples!

I’ll add that we’ve had both good and bad experiences with the federal prison system, including the only censorship case to happen while I was Chair.

The OGL Tumult

By David Millians

What a month! Recent weeks have seen much discussion concerning the shifting ground around Wizard of the Coast’s Open Game License. It is not my intention to document every comment nor to take a certain stance on the proceedings. Rather, this seems to indicate a shift in the landscape of the hobby and something we should monitor and document. Therefore, for the time being, I have pulled the various articles and ideas connected to this issue into its own section.

As of early January, all of the excitement and speculation surrounded a leaked document, the authenticity of which was not known. The response makes clear, however, the importance of the OGL to a wide segment of RPG fandom and the effect it has had on the ecology of the hobby.

I have attached digital copies of the inflammatory OGL 1.1, as well as the much-revised OGL 1.2 and the System Reference Document produced for would-be designers of D&D 5E products. The latter is available inexpensively from DriveThru RPG in refined and bookmarked forms from at least one publisher.

Wizards of the Coast’s OGL v1.2 Survey is open until February 3, 2023. Or maybe it’s not, as they seem to have reached their business conclusions.

Appelcline, Shannon (2023 Jan 5) The OGL 1.1 Leaks. Analysis from a RPG historian.

Appelcline, Shannon (2023 Jan 16) Is the OGL Era Over? (Part Two). Overview of events and issues.

Appelcline, Shannon (2023 Jan 30) Is the OGL Era Over? (Part Three). Reputational and collateral damage and many possible futures.

B DND Beyond Staff (2023 Jan 13) An Update on the Open Game License (OGL). Explanations of goals and reasoning, as well as planned alterations for the final version of OGL 1.1.

Barber, Graeme (2023 Jan 12) Moving Into a Post 5E Era. Analysis and alternatives.

Barber, Graeme (2023 Jan 14) Real Talk About Wizards. Conditioning a player base and controlling creatives and money.

Carter, Chase (2022 Dec 21) One D&D’s open gaming license will introduce royalties for biggest creators, prevent third-party NFTs. The leak and early examination of it.

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 20) D&D latest OGL playtest releases core rules to Creative Commons but deauthorizes others. Many changes from OGL 1.1 but still takes control of older IP with little explanation or legal clarity.

Chidi, George (2023 Jan 12) The executive team @Wizards_DnD. Lack of diversity and responsibility .

Codega, Linda (2023 Jan 5) Dungeons & Dragons’ New License Tightens Its Grip on Competition. Good overview of many of the issues generated by draft OGL 1.1.

Codega, Linda (2023 Jan 14) Cancelled D&D Beyond Subscriptions Forced Hasbro’s Hand. Fans made their feelings known, and it hit Hasbro’s bottom line.

Codega, Linda (2023 Jan 23) The Critical Role Cast Supports Independent Creators and New Systems. Space for “new things”.

darjr (2023 Jan 19) WotC: We Are Not Making AI Dungeon Masters. Refuting more rumors.

Davis, Adam (2023 Jan 20) Regarding the OGL and Critical Role. Statement from therapeutic gaming company on the effects of potential changes to the OGL.

Demopoulos, Alaina (2023 Jan 13) ‘People are leaving the game’: Dungeons & Dragons fans revolt against new restrictions. Overview in a mass media outlet.

Doctorow, Cory (2023 Jan 11) Good riddance to the Open Gaming License. A new day for rpg creativity.

Drost, Philip (2023 Jan 17) When Hasbro tried to extend it reach over Dungeons & Dragons, Fans fought back. Trust weakens, and creators look to new structures.

Edwards, Gareth (2022 Nov 21) Breaching the Trust Thermocline Is the Biggest Hidden Risk in Business. Discussing points of no return, this article has come up more than once in discussions of the OGL.

Hands, Lee (2023 Jan 7) How DnD Open Gaming License Changes Will Impact Other TTRPGs. Broad parts of game publishing.

Jarvis, Matt (2023 Jan 16) The One Ring studio is the latest RPG publisher to create its own open game license in wake of D&D OGL turmoil. Year Zero Engine and Dragonbane are the first.

Jarvis, Matt (2023 Jan 20) European RPG Studios Union emerges from dust of D&D’s OGL storm to ‘prmote RPGs as art and protect creators’. French, German, and Italian publishers.

Jarvis, Matt (2023 Jan 27) Pathfinder and Call of Cthulhu RPGs sell out months’ worth of books in two weeks after D&D OGL backlash. EN Publishing and probably many more publishers affected as well.

Maliszewski, James (2023 Jan 9) Blast from the Past. Looking back at TSR’s litigious 1990s and the impetus for the OGL.

Miss Atomic Bomb (2023 Jan 9) Dungeons & Dragons and the OGL 1.1 – Official Discussion Thread. Needed a second thread.

Morrissey, Russ (2022 Dec 21) WotC Announces OGL 1.1 – Revised Terms, Royalties, and Annual Revenue Reporting. Followed by analysis.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 5) Kickstarter’s Director of Games on Why The Platform Attracts Lower OGL 1.1 Royalties. A special deal with WotC may not be enough to mitigate effect on successful funding of D&D adjacent game materials.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 8) Ex D&D Beyond Staffers Criticize Relationship With WotC. Trouble since WotC bought D&D Beyond last year.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 9) Community Posts Open Letter to WotC About New OGL. #OpenDnD asks WoC to reconsider changes to OGL.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 10) OGL: What Are The Publishers Saying. An existential threat to many games with major repercussions beyond the OGL itself.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 10) OGL: Kobold Press ‘Raising Our Flag’ For New Open RPG. Developing an open rules system for all.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 12) EN Publishing & The OGL. Involving many publishers, moving on from D&D as a basis for publishing and planning to offer their own open system. Link to related announcement from Chaosium.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 13) WotC Walks Back Some OGL Changes, But Not All. Claim leaked OGL 1.1 was only a draft and plan to remove and modify certain elements for the final version.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 15) So WHY DIdn’t The OGL Contain The Word ‘Irrevocable’?. Parsing the legal language and its shifts over time.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 18) WotC Talks OGL… Again! Draft Coming Jan 20th With Feedback Survey; v1 De-Auth Still On. Update with plans for review and feedback, but it seems clear creators will be at disadvatage. Slightly optimistic take from Dicebreaker.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 18) Is D&D Survey Feedback Read?. Rumors and anonymity divide the conversation. Updated post.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 27) OGL v1.2 Survey Feedback: ‘Hasn’t Hit The Mark’. WotC still receiving negative feedback.

Paizo (2023 Jan 12) Paizo Announces System-Neutral Open RPG License. To be independently-owned by a separate non-profit.

Paizo (2023 Jan 19) The ORC Alliance Grows. Partial list of participating publishers.

Price, Renata (2023 Jan 12) Dungeons and Dragons Is Jeopardizing Its Greatest Strength: Its Ubiquity. Destroying a business model.

Roll for Combat (2023 Jan 4) We Received the Original and FIRST Leak of the Open Gaming License 1.1 (OGL) Live On Air!. Apparently the initial leak.

Roll for Combat (2023 Jan 11) One of the Architects of the Original OGL, Ryan Dancey, Discusses Its Creation. In depth-discussion of the beginnings and impact of the OGL.

Silberling, Amanda (2023 Jan 12) Dungeons & Dragons content creators are fighting to protect their livelihoods. Slim margins and no main characters.

Sprange, Matthew (2023 Jan 18) Traveler Open Content – New Programme on the Way!. Not clear if this is in collaboration with the ORC project or something else.

Summers, Juana (2023 Jan 25) Proposed copyright changes have Dungeons and Dragons fans up in arms. Loss of faith in WotC.

Tresca, Mike (2023 Jan 12) This Sounds Familiar. Parallels between Patreon’s attempt to revise fee structures in 2017 and the current OGL revisions, as well as the manner in which Patreon revised its plans.

Tresca, Mike (2023 Jan 16) The Art of the Apology. Patreon 2017 and WotC 2023 compared and graded.

Tresca, Mike (2023 Jan 23) The Fox in the Henhouse. Corporate shifts catalyzed by pressure from investment groups.

Walsh, Kit (2023 Jan 10) Beware the Gifts of Dragons: How D&D’s Open Gaming License May Have Become a Trap for Creators. Analysis of the legal issues of the OGL and its potential revocation.


And perhaps “finally” a resolution (for now) to the hobby gaming storm that consumed the month of January:

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 28) D&D abandons quest to update OGL after massive negative survey response. Such change from a few weeks ago, no update and D&D SRD for 5E released under Creative Commons.

Tresca, Mike (2023 Jan 30) Where Are the Board Gamers?. Mike provides important insights into Hasbro’s longer term corporate leadership and trajectory in light of its board’s lack of role playing gamers.

More commentary and analysis from Russ Morrissey at ENWorld, Adam Whitehead of the Wertzone, and Graeme Barber at POC Gamer.



Campbell, Steph (2023 Jan 12) Interview with Culliope, tabletop RPG teacher and educational researcher. Gathering data from rpg players and the value of implicit learning.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Jan 16) STEM Station: A space station adventure. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics exploration.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Jan 19) Review of The God Corpse, a D&D adventure for teaching biology. Explore a six-mile long human body.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Jan 23) 6 cute tabletop RPGs about pets, animal friends, ad caretaking. A growing list of fun options.

Campbell, Steph (2023 Jan 27) Teaching RPGs – Running for New, Younger Players. Discussion with Jason Campbell about building skill and comfort over time.

Cancian, Mark (2023 Jan 9) The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan. Imagining war.

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 23) D&D: Honor Among Thieves’ latest trailer runs the risk of choking on all that tongue-in-cheek. Trying to mix the playful and the serious.

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 23) Gen Con 2023 drops COVID-19 vaccine requirement and mask mandate for tabletop convention. Could change before the August show.

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 25) Solo But Not Alone’s third annual bundle offers nearly 150 sing-player tabletop RPGs for suicide prevention. Supporting Jasper’s Game Day through the end of March.

Carter, Chase (2023 Jan 25) Workers at eBay-owned trading card company TCGPlayer announce union plans. Organizing for pay and transparency, among other goals.

Chinn, Christopher (2023 Jan 18) The hidden different games in “when do we roll dice?”. The assumptions and variations in game play based on die roll use and frequency.

Council on Foreign Relations (2023) Model Diplomacy Instructor Guide. Tips for Running a Successful Role-Play. Link to a brief video overview.

Cronin, Brian (2022 Dec 21) AI-Created Comic Coud Be Deemed Ineligible for Copyright Protection. Not RPG but a very adjacent and controversial issue.

Gen Con (2023 Jan 10) Gen Con Announces 2023 Registration Dats and Badge Prices. August 3-6, 2023.

Ghorbanpour, Kamiab (2023 Jan 25) Exploring Sword World, Japan’s answer to Dungeons & Dragons from the studio behind the Elden Ring tabletop RPG. An interesting history of RPG publishing in Japan, emphasizing the popularity of domestic games.

Griepp, Milton (2023 Jan 27) Hasbro to Lay Off 1,000 Employees. Disappointing 2022 Q4 for toys and non-WotC games affects 15% of workforce.

In*die Zine (2023) Microgrant Application. Support for self-publishers.

Maliszewski, James (2023 Jan 18) Retrospective: Greyhawk. OD&D’s Supplement I, a most important game changer.

Maliszewski, James (2023 Jan 20) How Soon We Forget. Extract of Code of Ethics from “TSR Authorized Sites” email of 1995.

Meehan, Alex (2023 Jan 10) Dungeons & Dragons is being made into a TV series by Red Notice filmmaker. The same producers as the upcoming D&D movie.

Meehan, Alex (2023 Jan 26) Critical Role’s Mighty Nein are coming to Amazon Prime’s television screens. Part of a multiyear exclusive deal between Amazon and Critical Role.

Morrissey, Russ (2023 Jan 31) Here Come The D&D Movie Gaming Tie-Ins!. Licensed character elements and dice.

Whitehead, Adam (2023 Jan 18) Stephen Colbert to develop CHRONCILES OF AMBER TV series. One of our most visible advocates developing novels important to our hobby.

Wieland, Ron (2023 Jan 26) A Beginner’s Guide to Pathfinder’s Second Edition. Introduction and overview.

© Copyright 2023 by the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa), ISSN 1071 7129. The CAR-PGa Newsletter is a monthly publication. For more information contact David Millians, Editor, Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA, phone (404) 808-1070, fax (404) 377-3491, e-mail Back issues are available. Contributions of material from the membership are urged, and the byline is responsible for content. Deadline is the last weekday of the month, email preferred. Permission is granted to copy anything in the Newsletter, provided we get a credit line in the publication copying it, and it doesn’t have someone else’s copyright on it. Information, including details on joining CAR-PGa, can be obtained on the Internet at