So what if just going back to a more open game license isn't the answer, what if the OGL didn't go far enough? With 3e lots of folks could put out compatible product, even fairly small-time publishers, but individual DMs and players didn't contribute. What if every aspect of the game could be contributed to by any one. Monsters, spells, skills, classes, dungeons, settings, art, adventures, anything could be added to D&D by any one any time and its as easy as... well as easy as posting to a blog.
Here's an example:
Person A draws a picture of a sweet Space Dragon, scans it and posts it to the D&D Mega-blog.
Person B writes up stats for the Space Dragon and posts that.
Person C draws a map of the Space Dragon Lair and writes a little adventure using it.
It's all on the web, its all linked, and anybody can look at it, or at least at a preview.
Persons D to W look at it, like it, and buy a download of each.
What about X, Y and Z? Well, they think Space Dragons are silly so their making up other stuff to post and buy off of the Mega-Blog. And what they do is D&D too. It's all D&D!
Now here's the cool thing: It's monetized. When D to W click “purchase” WotC makes money, and A, B and C get a cut.
Let's say the pic of the Space Dragon is worth 50 cents a download, the Stats are another 50 cents and the Lair a dollar, so if you get all three its $2.00 per download. And maybe WotC takes half. Let's say there are guidelines for what to charge, but whoever posts it get's to choose how much to charge.
And everything TSR and WotC ever did from Oe to 4e can be up there too, downloadable for $. and if your a third party publisher with old or new material you can put it up there too.
Maybe those numbers are wonky and maybe if your WotC you're thinking it would cost a whole bunch to put together the Mega-Blog, but once it's up their done, and you can just sit back and let people build the content. Maybe this would lead to a glut of material, but is that really a problem? I mean, are there too many books on Amazon?
I don't know the technical details at all, but this seems doable. This isn't that different from any site with an "add to cart" button, and every Contributor/Subscriber would have an account with a paypal account connected to it the gets drawn from and added to.
What I'm talking about here makes me feel pretty sacreligious; WotC taking all the junk that people write about D&D on the internet and making money off of it. But then, so would all the people writing that junk!
Now those badges that popped up a while back would be useful for classifying at a glance all this as would Zak's “Classic/Tournament/Heroic” categories.
Mike Mearls talks like its a big tent and everyone is invited inside. Something like this would really make it everyone's game.