Monday, November 8, 2010

How Will Open d6 End Up?

There was a time when the d6 system was as popular as any on the market.  Games like Star Wars, and Ghostbusters were critically acclaimed.  It was an easy system to learn, and it thrived.

I don't want to paint the picture that everything was rosy; we know the old West End Games had troubles, and of the scattershot, uneven history of d6 for more than past decade. Many of us also became extremely tired of the uncertain nature and on again/off again changes and plans of Eric Gibson's WEG for the past two years, and took a bit of a break from considering or thinking about d6.

I don't want to relive the past, but d6 was already pretty minor when people thought about generic systems, having been eclipsed by active, well-supported systems such as Savage Worlds.  But there's still a fan base out there that knew about d6, and probably played some Star Wars back in the day.  And now we have Open d6, and resultant projects such Mini Six, which I think is the cleanest version of d6 we've had in quite a bit.

But what else is going to come out of Open d6?  Looking here, we can see there's a lot of folks planning to create products for 2011.  How far it'll go, who knows, but I have to be encouraged that as many people as are listed even want to try.

I think it's going to be very interesting to see if projects like the D6 Magazine that's been floated about or the dark fantasy RPG Destiny6 have legs.  Those might be good bellweather indicators.

So, I don't know.  I don't think d6 is going to take over the hobby, but I don't think it's quite finished yet. Obviously, judging from the forums, it still has a dedicated core, perhaps not unlike FUDGE or Fuzion.  To see if it goes past that is up to the creative minds of the Open d6 movement, and just how active they are, and what sort of audience they're able to pull back in.


sycarion said...

Maybe a Red Box OpenD6?

Just kidding, mostly. Still, seeing a box set with the MiniSix cover and other stuff in Target...

I think MiniSix and the D6 Resurrection wiki did a lot to get things rolling. I never played the system, but liked it enough to make the Fantasy SRD. There's something about the magic system that reminds me of EABA in how effects are built.

I see OpenD6 as a toolkit. Maybe with a great setting, it can get some traction. You think it can handle steampunk-y, clockwork-y type of stuff?

kensanoni said...


Absolutely. The wonderful thing about the D6 system is how open it is to accepting new ideas and 'plug in' systems that work with it's core assumptions.

I highly recommend picking up D6 Adventures and D6 Space to get as many of the systems that you'd want to acquire for the approach. It'll take a bit of crafting, but I can't see it not being able to handle such a thing.

AD&D Grognard said...

I'm still not certain of the legal status of the material. My understanding is that after the financial problems began is when the products were declared 'open'. What exactly does that mean?

If my house is being taken back by the bank I can't just give it away. Is there anywhere to find a document on the status that would hold up in court about the d6 properties and who owns them?

I would love to develop/port something over to it but it seems very murky...

Anonymous said...

D6 is my favorite system ever, though we don't really play it today. Back when I was younger WEG's Star Wars was played as often as D&D (those being our top 2). It's probably the simplest and most elegant major RPG system ever, and I prefer it over modern systems like Savage Worlds, which are close but no cigar when it comes to my ideal in this type of game system. D6 works well with any "cinematic" style setting, and was a thing of beauty matched with the Star Wars license. Damn shame how they messed up and lost that, right before the new movies, too.

earl said...

I think releasing Open D6 as planned is such a great undertaking than they can hardly explain...

sycarion said...

@AD&D Grognard

D6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, D6 Space (and other D6 titles) were released under the OGL.

Here the complete list:

The Red DM said...

I am also a huge fan of D6, though I was totally unaware of Open D6 (I just assumed everything died with WEG). Thanks for sharing, I'll have to look in to it.

Mondbuchstaben said...

It is right that the OGL was added to D6 Fantasy, D6 Space, and D6 Adventure - but I understand AD&D Grognard's question as: was that addition an act that was legally possible at that time, or were those rights somehow bound in the financial troubles of WEG?

Who would have reason (and the means) to challenge the status of the D6?

Tobacco Magnate said...


There is no need to worry about the legality of Eric releasing the D6 system under the OpenD6 banner. His company Purgatory Publishing purchased all rights to the D6 system, Torg, Junta, Masterbook, and all other WEG properties.

For a variety of reasons both personal and professional which I know no more about than what Eric has shared publicly he decided to release the D6 system under the OpenD6 banner so that the fans and community could keep the beloved system alive. He has sold Torg to another company, and might have sold Junta as well, but on that I do not know.

There was nothing preventing him from releasing the system as he did own it free and clear. Once put out under the OGL it was released to the public. At first he was going to request that the be used as a central repository of OpenD6 material to use the logo, but he later amended the OGL license in D6 Adventure to allow it to be freely used with the product.

I hope this answers a couple of your questions and puts your mind at ease with regards to the legality.

ancientvaults said...

I really like Mini6 and as soon as playtesting and editing are done with the .vs Monsters edition of my blog I am planning on releasing a Mini6 set of rules as well.

darkne55 said...

I've looked around but can't find a clear cut answer on my question. At one point I had found the Open D6 license but can't find it either so hopefully someone here could provide me an answer.

Is it legal to make a video game out of Open D6 system? I know with the D20 open license you were restricted pretty bad, so if it possible, are there any restrictions (ie can't show character creation, etc)?


Zachary Houghton said...

Hi there!

You may want to check with the people at the WEG Fan Forums, as I think some of the legalities are still up in the air. It's my understanding everything from the WEG d6 books (Fantasy, Adventure, Space, etc.) is OGL.

Blue Max Studios said...

What makes D6 great is that it can really handle any genre of game you throw at it. The D6 game TORG was all about shifting from different realities, which included magic/fantacy, cyberpunk,pulp fiction superheroes, gothic horror, all on one planet. It's worth a look just to see what D6 is capable of.
We here at Blue Max Studios have a Hard SF game in development. The beauty of using OpenD6 is, we are already putting out spacecraft and other source material for the game...and the game won't hit the market until Spring! Thanks to D6 Space being open content, gamers who want to use our stuff can, despite the core rules of the game (The Black Desert) not being available yet. It's this kind of versatility, familiarity and open source accessibility that I believe will keep D6 in the running as a viable rules engine in the future. To use an analogy, If D20 is Microsoft and GURPS is Mac OS, then D6 is totally Linux.

Grimace said...

Hey, I'm putting out some freebie material for use with OpenD6. I've got two Quick Hits, which are adventure introductions that people can use to plug into their D6 games.

Quick Hit #2 can be found here:

And Quick Hit #1 can be found here:

Check them out and let me know what you think.