Forked Thread: Does your v.3.5 fan site have the OGL attached to it?

View Poll Results: Does your v.3.5 fan site have the OGL attached to it?

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  1. #1
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    Forked Thread: Does your v.3.5 fan site have the OGL attached to it?

    Forked from: The 3.5 renaissance!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Well, my stuff is strickly fan-based stuff that I do for my own enjoyment. (I've simply found that others share my passion for creating homebrewed worlds, rules, etc.) I don't have any intention of slapping the OGL on to anything I'm doing for Kulan; however, I could do it for another world concept I've been mulling over.

    Still, I do appreciate those that create free fan-based OGL netbooks as well as those who publish under the OGL. It's just not for me... right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerrick View Post
    Read your OGL sometime. It has to be attached to ANY material using the SRD, whether or not you intend for it to be open. Stuff posted on forums is exempt, but I'm fairly sure stuff on websites falls under that aegis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    So you're saying that any v.3.5 fan site with homebrewed races, classes, rules, and the like must have the OGL attached. Huh?

    That doesn't sound like what I've heard from WotC in the past regarding 3rd Edition fan sites. The OGL was designed for publishers not for fans. Sure, if I was reproducing the OGL on my website (in whole or in part) then I'd need a copy attached to the site but I'm not, so I don't think I need it.

    Of course, I've never truly understood every aspect of the OGL, so I could be wrong.

    If I had to make my Walk the Road wiki OGL compliant then I'd just delete the damn thing! It wouldn't be worth my time or effort.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I believe the only separate document created by WotC regarding OGC use was essentially an addendum in the form of the conversion policy but that had more to do with utilizing older D&D IP in conjunction with the OGL.

    As to fan websites, I do not believe that the OGL makes any exception for them in regard to use of OGC and the OGL. However, it is certainly simple enough to add an OGL with a section 15 to any website that simply has the line "[website name here] is copyright [person name here] [year(s)]" then after the "END OF LICENSE" add an OGC declaration (100% except for PI if you wish to be open or more restrictive, perhaps just to specific mechanics, if you wish to hold more control on the material) then a PI (Product Identity) declaration with a list of specific terms that you consider trademark or worth holding back from OGC, like the name of the campaign world, your own name, original names of classes or races or items, etc. It's not that difficult, really.
    Okay, I'm just wondering if I'm the only one.

    I'm sure that many of you have your own web sites (and/or wikis) dedicated to D&D v.3.5. So the question is...

    Does your v.3.5 fan site have the OGL attached to it?

    If it doesn't, do you worry that WotC might come gunning for your head? If they told to comply or shut down your site, what would you do? Do you think WotC cares about D&D v.3.5 fans since it's no longer the current edition?
    Last edited by Knightfall; Saturday, 4th March, 2017 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Okay, I'm just wondering if I'm the only one.

    Oh, I am sure you are no where near the only one. I think the benefits you gain from doing it right are keeping the OGL strong, making your own creations available in the OGC pool to others, and the pride that comes from doing the right thing. Let's also not forget that it isn't just a WotC issue. If you are using material from other publishers you have an obligation to them, as well.

  3. #3
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    I've attached the OGL to every iteration of my 3e website. The WotC fansite policy applied to fan use of WotC IP, like Forgotten Realms or duskblade, not game rules that are covered under the OGL. I'm not positive that my OGL declaration is up to date right now, but it's there (and extensive). I really don't think adding an OGL is all that much work, unless you have alot of WotC IP on your site. Otherwise it's just adding a declaration of OGC and an OGL page with the right copyrights.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Oh, I am sure you are no where near the only one. I think the benefits you gain from doing it right are keeping the OGL strong, making your own creations available in the OGC pool to others, and the pride that comes from doing the right thing. Let's also not forget that it isn't just a WotC issue. If you are using material from other publishers you have an obligation to them, as well.
    You know, I've considered it, but I'm more worried I'd make a huge error somewhere along the way and have to scrap tons of work. Plus, my campaign world uses material that isn't OGC, so I wouldn't be able to use that material on my web site.

    For example, I really like to create my own variants of older D&D races for Kulan -- rakasta, lupin, tortles, etc. Now, my web site doesn't have stats for those races on it but it does name those races. If my site was an OGL site, then I wouldn't likely be able to refer to those races at all. I'd have to use a generic name for them, which makes my campaign world less interesting to me, personally.

    I also use official D&D content that isn't OGC in my world such as some locales from the Forgotten Realms and Mystara and well as Cauldron from DUNGEON Magazine. If I had a web site that was OGL-based then I'd have to take those elements out of my setting. That's not going to happen... ever!

    Plus, I don't understand how we can post our own house rules here on EN World but not put it on a web site (as long as its a fan site). Or does EN World break the rules of the OGL everyday simply by existing? After all, there is a downloads section with 3e content and I'm sure not everything in the downloads section conforms to the OGL.

    D&D v.3.5 fans shouldn't be forced to be masters of the OGL if they want to share their worlds with others. We might create custom content for our homebrews but we shouldn't be forced to become amateur publishers to do so. That would ruin the fun of playing the game and building my campaign world.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Thursday, 12th March, 2009 at 08:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    I also use official D&D content that isn't OGC (. . .)

    I'd rather not mix that issue with the one I am quoted discussing above.


    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Plus, I don't understand how we can post our own house rules here on EN World but (. . .)

    Again, a separate issue and one I think best left for a different thread, IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    D&D v.3.5 fans shouldn't be forced to be masters of the OGL if they want to share their worlds with others.

    What you have quoted by me in the first post is as simple as it can be and no need for any type of mastery. Even so, I feel it would be better to try than to just throw hands up in the air. Minor errors can be corrected as they are discovered.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I'd rather not mix that issue with the one I am quoted discussing above.

    Again, a separate issue and one I think best left for a different thread, IMO.
    Okay...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    What you have quoted by me in the first post is as simple as it can be and no need for any type of mastery. Even so, I feel it would be better to try than to just throw hands up in the air. Minor errors can be corrected as they are discovered.
    You know, it might seem simple to you, but I don't think that applies to everyone. Also, were you speaking only as a fan or as a game designer/publisher as well? For the above discussion, I was speaking only as a fan of D&D v.3.5 and 3pp books for that game.

    I have written material for the d20 system in the past and might do so again in the future. However, I did that as a freelancer for two different gaming companies. If I'm going to write OGC then it's going to be as a freelance writer.

    World of Kulan is my flagship D&D v.3.5 campaign world that also uses many 3pp references in play (i.e. Mythic Races). However, it's not meant as an OGL world and never will be. For while I like sharing what I create for Kulan here at EN World, I'm not comfortable attaching the OGL to any part of it.

    Now, I have a few other worlds brewing in the back of my mind that I could see myself making available under the OGL but, for right now, I have other concerns that take priority over designing an OGL world.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    I'm not comfortable attaching the OGL to any part of it.

    You only need an OGL if there is OGC used, but I think you already know this and I am just spinning my wheels, so I am bowing out of this conversation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    You only need an OGL if there is OGC used, but I think you already know this and I am just spinning my wheels, so I am bowing out of this conversation.
    No worries.

    I think we understand each other in this regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Plus, I don't understand how we can post our own house rules here on EN World but not put it on a web site (as long as its a fan site). Or does EN World break the rules of the OGL everyday simply by existing?
    This.

    EN World exists by the grace of WotC. As does Canonfire and the Planescape website. And your site.

    I don't really understand what is confusing. You are using WotC's property without a license or permission. You are free to continue doing so, and it's quite probable that WotC will continue to ignore it, but that doesn't convey some kind of magical legality on you. And before it gets brought up, neither does money. Your status as an "amateur" or "professional" as nothing to do with it.

    After all, there is a downloads section with 3e content and I'm sure not everything in the downloads section conforms to the OGL.
    Maybe, maybe not. That's between Morrus and WotC. But maybe you remember the whole conversion section disappearing when the official conversion policy came out?

    D&D v.3.5 fans shouldn't be forced to be masters of the OGL if they want to share their worlds with others. We might create custom content for our homebrews but we shouldn't be forced to become amateur publishers to do so. That would ruin the fun of playing the game and building my campaign world.
    They aren't, really. WotC hasn't really pushed the issue. That said, you don't have a magical right to "share" WotC's property with other people via the internet. You can write up your own Kulan ruleset, or make it systemless - WotC isn't holding a gun to your head to use D&D.

    I use the OGL, but I certainly don't think of myself as a publisher.

  10. #10
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    Personally, I think it's silly to expect fan sites to use the OGL. Why limit yourself? If you use the OGL then you can't reference things like warlocks, goliaths, and all that other good closed stuff. So, you're constraining yourself for no real reason. It's not like you're going to publish it. WotC isn't going to say anything or try to stop you unless you actually post the stats of those non-OGL things.

    I think it defeats the whole purpose of a fan site to use the OGL.

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