BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Kobold Press Unfurls the Black Flag With Its Own SRD

2 Minute Read
May 7 2024

Kobold Press released the Black Flag Reference Document, Kobold’s own take on an update to the 5th Edition SRD, today!

It is quite the week for free, open, online rules reference documents. While that name might be clunkier than the “fixer-upper” your cousin wants to buy from the used Pontiac dealership down off Lakeway—and let’s be clear, that “dealership” is clearly a front, Pontiacs were discontinued in 2009, nobody is selling them exclusively, there’s no way that car even starts or has most of an engine—it still proves true for the week. Because yesterday WotC announced they were releasing the SRD 5.2 in 2025 with all the new rules updates.

And today, Kobold Press released its own take on a new version of the 5.1 SRD, the Black Flag Reference Document. This BFRD is “an update to the 5th Edition SRD” but one that brings the rules in line with Kobold’s upcoming Tales of the Valiant RPG, due to release later this week.

Rather than wait until the game was out, Kobold is previewing Black Flag now. Right now!

Kobold Press Unfurls its Black Flag Reference Document, Powered by the ORC License

First things first, Kobold’s announcement:

Kobold Press, a leading publisher of tabletop roleplaying games, is proud to announce the highly anticipated release of the Black Flag Reference Document (BFRD). Developed since January 2023, the BFRD is an update to the 5th Edition SRD and is published under the Open Resource Community (ORC) license.

The BFRD is a completely free, open, and 5E-compatible RPG designed to provide gamers with a comprehensive reference document that includes everything they need to create characters, write adventures, and publish their own content.

This document comes from countless hours of testing and the support of hundreds of playtesters and thousands of Kickstarter backers, who raised over $1 million.

Tales from the Valiant and the whole “Black Flag” approach to 5th Edition, you might recall, was Kobold Press’ own take on D&D 5E. Announced during the furor of last year’s OGL saga (why does January 2023 feel like a decade ago? It wasn’t that long ago, and yet, feels like ancient history, it did even in the latter part of 2023), Black Flag Roleplaying became Tales from the Valiant, the aforementioned million-dollar Kickstarter.

Adding in a system of talents and heritages and other spins on the gameplay of 5E, this was Kobold’s venture to keep fantasy gaming free and open before someone like WotC could wall everything off in their own little virtual tabletop garden.


Now, you can see it for yourself in action. And check out Tales of the Valiant on May 10th!

Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • Let's Play D&D With... Oops! All Anakins!