Answers on the GSL! - Page 8
  1. #71
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    I'm very happy with the clarification. A product line by product line basis is more than fair and much better than the rumored company wide restriction. That's enough freedom for me to get the products I want made under the GSL so I'm content. I hope the people over at Wizards who fought for this realize how much it's appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goobermunch
    Because products are produced under certain versions of the OGL. If my product is released under version 1.0a of the OGL, and WotC releases a version 1.0b that says WotC owns the copyright to everything published under the OGL, it doesn't magically transfer my copyright to WotC. I licensed my product for other people to use under the terms of version 1.0a, and those are the terms that govern the use of my property.
    Yes, but let's look at those terms, shall we? The OGL 1.0a says:

    9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

    So, under the term OGL 1.0a's Section 9, I may use your Open Game Content under any version of the OGL. You, by licensing your content under the OGL 1.0a, have specifically given me permission to use your content under the terms of any version of the OGL Wizards chooses to write. So I take your OGL 1.0a content, and using the OGL 1.0a's Section 9, I use the content under a hypothetical OGL 1.0b as the license specifically authorizes me to.

    Now, let's imagine that our hypothetical OGL 1.0b says:

    9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License. Additionally, you may copy, modify, and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License under any version of the Game System License published by Wizards or its designated Agents.

    Okay, so, we've established that the OGL 1.0a lets me use your Open Game Content under the terms of the OGL 1.0b. I then use it under the GSL, based on the provision of the OGL 1.0b that gives me permission to do that. Your Open Game Content is now in a GSL product. If you complain, I point out that when you licensed it to me under the OGL 1.0a, you specifically gave me permission to use it under the terms of the OGL 1.0b instead, and the OGL 1.0b specifically gave me permission to use it under the terms of the GSL.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius
    No, Chuck, you've simply decided that I was discussing a "fantasy world." Look back at my original post in this thread, and you'll see that I'm very much talking about the real world - specifically, exactly what the term "product line" constitutes (and, by extension, how to dance around that particular restriction).
    Why would you want to "dance around" something like that? That's like poking a sleeping bear with a stick just to see when it'll bite your hand off. Mind you, the sleeping bear just gave you a cookie, yet you still want to poke at it.

    I don't know about publishing, but product line has a very specific definition in business in general or manufacturing specifically. It comes us in pretty much any intro to business course you'll ever take.

    Wizards wants publishers to support their new game. They don't want companies releasing the same damn product with a new cover and name on it just to "dance around" their license. There's no way that can be considered a fair interpretation of the GSL. It's just not, in any way, a logical and fair interpretation of the words "product lines".

    If Wizards doesn't answer your question informally, I'm sure their lawyers will gladly send you a little letter to clear things up.

    Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the restriction isn't on a company-wide basis. Definitely good news.

  4. #74

    No SRD as we know it

    Q) Is WotC planning on providing an easily available, downloadable copy of the rules available both online and off without a fee?

    A. No. Anyone wishing access to the rules will need to purchase the core rulebooks. The GSL SRD will have a list of the terms, tables, and templates available for use under the GSL and will be available for download at no charge with the GSL itself.
    I'm wondering why no one yet offered their thoughts on this particular answer. The new SRD seems to be some kind of glossary and template framework rather than the rules as we know them from the 3.5 SRD. Makes perfect sense from the point of view of WotC, however, for the fans that have worked with the SRD in the past, how few there were, this is rather discouraging. The GSL seems to be tailored specifically to create new content as in powers, feats, classes and the like but clearly prohibits rule alterations similar to house rules. If, for example, I'd like to change the way spells are casted to a spellpoint based system, then this seems to be a nogo. Can anyone, with the informations currently available, confirm this?

    Furthermore, answering rule questions by quoting the rule text isn't possible anymore unless you copy it by keyboard from the books. Yes, a minor thing but none the less it diminishes the ability to help people in need of support. Ok, as a webmaster of a SRD site I'm surely biased as what to think of this, so other trains of thought would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by TheRaven; Saturday, 3rd May, 2008 at 01:22 PM.

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    Honestly, this is about as good as its going to get... and in a lot of ways may prove more useful to the majority of publishers. While something like True20 won't work under this license, the tighter control means that more leeway can be given on allowing 3pp to reference future products. In a world of PHB 2s and 3s, this is absolutely essential to keep 3pps current and up to date.

    This license will accomplish exactly what it needs to: It gives the people who want to work with WotC to develop for 4e the ability to do so, and forces companies who want to develop their own systems to do so on their own dime and not using WotC's work as a starting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRaven
    The GSL seems to be tailored specifically to create new content as in powers, feats, classes and the like but clearly prohibits rule alterations similar to house rules. If, for example, I'd like to change the way spells are casted to a spellpoint based system, then this seems to be a nogo. Can anyone, with the informations currently available, confirm this?
    My guess would be that it would require crafty wording and a framework within their already existing system. For example, simply ruling that spells are cast from a spellpoint system might not work, but creating a class that casts spells using spellpoints or a feat that grants spellpoints used to cast certain spells would. Again, its too early to say anything conclusive, but just about everything short of plagiarism will still be an option under the GSL, as long as you can figure out how to implement it within the system.
    Last edited by Tao; Saturday, 3rd May, 2008 at 01:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus_Snow
    Unless I'm misreading things, which is of course entirely possible.
    I guess I should rephrase my question. If Green Ronin decides to release True20 as a 4e product, does that mean I can no longer support True20 as a 3e product?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JVisgaitis
    I guess I should rephrase my question. If Green Ronin decides to release True20 as a 4e product, does that mean I can no longer support True20 as a 3e product?
    I don't think it means that, no. You and Green Ronin are separate companies. Assuming they leave their True20 license in place, you can publish support for it, irregardless of what GR does - though you'd have to make it clear your products were for "Classic True20", not "True20 4e".

    Furthermore, as others have pointed out, 4e is a license for fantasy games. The d20GSL is for non-fantasy games. -If- True20 were updated to a new license, I think d20GSL makes more sense than 4eGSL, and the OGL makes more sense than either of them. True20 is meant to be a complete ruleset, not an add-on to another ruleset, which is what it'd have to turn into under the 4eGSL and probably the d20GSL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JVisgaitis
    I guess I should rephrase my question. If Green Ronin decides to release True20 as a 4e product, does that mean I can no longer support True20 as a 3e product?
    If you want my guess, and it's only a guess, I would say that you could support the True20 3E rules simply because they are OGL. You will forever be able to do so, simply because the OGL is forever. If True20 were to go 4E, then the True20 license would change, and you would have to abide by the new True20 license in order to claim product compatibility by name. The most likely outcome would probably thus be: you could use the 3E rules in a 3E product based on True20, but the changes in the True20 license would prevent you from claiming product compatibility, and you'd have to resort to some weird kind of verbage like "A Product Supporting the True Romance System Reference Document" or some such thing.

    But that's just a guess, and as I'm not a lawyer, I couldn't tell you just how realistic that guess would be.

    However, truth be told, do you really think that True20 4E is a viable product for Green Ronin in the foreseeable future? It would simply be a streamlined set of three classes (maybe four, if they went with one class per role), and a mish-mash of powers slung together by role. Doable, but is it appealing to the general gaming public? Not likely, not this early in the whole 4E experience. Give it a year or two for people to start getting tired of the class structure and ever-expanding list of powers, etc.

    With Regards,
    Flynn

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    About the d20/d&d d20 split, what about products that are designed for d20 as a whole that include D&D-specific rules? Several d20 sourcebooks i've read have had instructions/concepts for both fantasy and modern products: D20 Mecha for instance, has rules for magic robots and rules for converting mecha costs in GP.

    Which license is that?

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance
    I can guarantee you this my friend, the first time I accuse you of anything you will bloody well know it.
    I think so too, which is why I called you on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BadMojo
    Why would you want to "dance around" something like that? That's like poking a sleeping bear with a stick just to see when it'll bite your hand off. Mind you, the sleeping bear just gave you a cookie, yet you still want to poke at it.[/i]
    The analogy isn't quite correct. I'm not talking about for the purpose of spiting WotC. I'm talking about that since it'd allow companies to publish the same product for 3.5 and 4E, maximizing their sales potential for it, which is a good thing. That may not be what WotC wanted them to do, but it's what's best for those third-party companies.

    I don't know about publishing, but product line has a very specific definition in business in general or manufacturing specifically. It comes us in pretty much any intro to business course you'll ever take.
    I'm quite counting on it, since a specific definition defines it rigidly, and one can then look for ways around it.

    Wizards wants publishers to support their new game.
    How nice for Wizards; I'm more interested in what those other publishers want, personally. Some people take a different stance, and that's fine.

    They don't want companies releasing the same damn product with a new cover and name on it just to "dance around" their license. There's no way that can be considered a fair interpretation of the GSL. It's just not, in any way, a logical and fair interpretation of the words "product lines".
    Since we don't yet have a clear definition (publishers seem to, but said definition hasn't been explained to us yet - in this thread, at least) it's hard to way what a "logical" or "fair" interpretation would be.

    Bare in mind that the same thing could be said about companies who released products directly under the OGL to circumvent the d20 STL's restrictions, and make competing products. That's hardly "fair" to WotC either, but it was ultimately a good thing for many companies that did it, and for fans who bought those products and liked them.

    If Wizards doesn't answer your question informally, I'm sure their lawyers will gladly send you a little letter to clear things up.
    Wow, posting on a forum warrants a letter from WotC's lawyers? EN World really has hit the big time!

    Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the restriction isn't on a company-wide basis. Definitely good news.
    It is good news. I'm just mentioning that it could still be better for everyone else.

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