The goal of Free d20 is to, starting with the System Reference Document and Modern System Reference Document, create a free open-source version of the d20 System that:
- Is compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e and d20 Modern, to the point that supplements, campaigns, adventure modules and character sheets written for one can be converted to the other in a moderately simple process (which we'd explain in a document). Most DMs, if not most players, have made substantial investments in learning D&D and buying books, and aren't prepared to give that up, but it shouldn't be necessary to make them. (This goal may change later, once Free d20 becomes popular in its own right, but for now we need compatibility to encourage adoption.)
- Is available at no cost online, in the full version, from the same organization that coordinates its writing.
- Produces releases in a paginated form (e.g. PDF) with cover images.
- Is entirely under (a) free licence(s), including the flavour text, art, layout and covers, to the point that another publisher could pick it up and start printing and selling it, in the form it was in, without notice or compensation. This does not necessarily mean the OGL for the whole thing, but it should all be free by Wikimedia Foundation standards one way or another.
- Stands on its own and includes everything that's needed, including character creation and advancement rules and a default setting.
- Allows anyone to propose improvements, and anyone to contribute to the evaluation of proposals.
- Requires little or no conversion across settings, if a character or object is taken from one setting into another due to extraplanar or time travel. (This does not mean all settings must use the same core rulebooks.)
SRD and MSRDEdit
The System Reference Document and Modern System Reference Document are basically stripped-down partial versions of Dungeons & Dragons and d20 Modern, respectively. Written by the same authors, they are released under the Open Gaming License. They lack rules for creating or advancing characters, making them unable to stand alone, but they are useful as starting points for this project. (They also lack a default setting.)
Products and their namesEdit
Free d20 aims to produce the following sets of rules for different settings, each as a series of PDFs:
- Free d20 Dragons: Sword-and-sorcery.
- Free d20 Present: 20th and 21st centuries.
- Free d20 Past: Historical settings.
- Free d20 Future: Science fiction.