OGL 95% of you didn't need the OGL and you don't need ORC

Greggy C

Adventurer
For software development, the point of open source licenses was that I could take someones entire lifes work, word for word, and reuse it in my project, under the conditions of the license.

The point of the original OGL was that someone could take the 3e D&D rules, reproduce them in their entirety, add their own content and sell that final product as their own.
Examples include Castles and Crusades, 13th age, most of the OSR, etc.

But for all these third-party products, supplements, home brew campaigns, new character classes, new settings... you didn't need the OGL, and you don't need OGL 1.1
nor, in fact, will you need the ORC.

The OGL was a trick to force you on DMSGuild to give away half your profits.

The rules lawyer addresses this specifically at around 11 mins.
Ben talked about this in the past as well.


Of course, if you write an adventure and don't create your own monsters, you just reproduce all the WOTC ones,
a) That is a little lazy.
b) You need the OGL/ORC.

When you realize all this, you also learn how disgusting OGL 1.1 was, trying to steal from prominent creators like Critical Role with no legal standing to do it.

D&D will return when they innovate a 6th edition, but we must teach the Microsoft Executives a lesson. Hopefully, they will be fired.
 

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Ondath

Hero
The OGL was a trick to force you on DMSGuild to give away half your profits.
Except... DM's Guild does not use the OGL? So this really isn't relevant to your point.

Everyone and their mother has made the "You actually can't copyright game rules, so you could always make D&D content without the OGL" point. What this point fails to realise is that for TTRPGs, the line between rules and copyrightable story content is really unclear (do the dragon stat blocks only express rules? Or does the classification of dragons under metallic and chromatic become copyrightable story idea?).

The OGL v1.0a was an agreement to move the discussion away from copyright law and allow people to use the D&D as a chassis without ever discussing whether a specific game content was uncopyrightable rules or copyrightable story work. Presumably, this will apply also for the ORC.

So I'm really not getting the point you're trying to make.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Yes, game rules are not copyrightable but there's still the risk of being sued over it, especially in the USA where anyone can sue anyone else for any reason at all. The point of the OGL was the "safe harbor" it provided, specifically a literal promise in writing not to sue you for copy and pasting open game content. The ORC will provide the same kind of "safe harbor" as the OGL, again, a literal promise in writing to not sue over the use of game mechanics. Again, yes, game rules are not copyrightable...but anyone can sue for any reason, so the license did actually provide CYA.
 

JAMUMU

go, hunt. kill haribos.
Back in the day when TSR was very litigious there were still plenty of off-brand supplements for (A)D&D. All you needed was a super-secret-decoder-ring to parse things like "hits to kill", "Attack & Defending Numbers", "injury dice" or whatever. I imagine with the almost worst case scenario being likely, there may be a return to knock-off supplements.
 

Greggy C

Adventurer
What this point fails to realise is that for TTRPGs, the line between rules and copyrightable story content is really unclear (do the dragon stat blocks only express rules? Or does the classification of dragons under metallic and chromatic become copyrightable story idea?).
I get that you don't understand the difference, but its pretty clear to most lawyers what the difference is.
The dragon stat blocks are copyright, you can't copy it word for word.
 


Ondath

Hero
I get that you don't understand the difference, but its pretty clear to most lawyers what the difference is.
The dragon stat blocks are copyright, you can't copy it word for word.
I get that you're trying to be a smarty pants, but there are literally dozens of lawyers that have been discussing this issue for 80+ pages in several threads, and none of them are talking with the certainty that you have.

It's really not good manners to talk down on people like that.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I get that you don't understand the difference, but its pretty clear to most lawyers what the difference is.
Ad hominem aside, no they don't. If you bothered to listen to more than one lawyer, you'd see that there is no consensus other than "the rules are murky, this level of challenge has never happened in court, and you are your own peril by doing so."

That's the only thing they agree on. Just look at the other thread where no fewer than seven lawyers all chimed in on the subject.

Telling people they never needed OGL and they can do whatever they want as long as they don't reproduce word for word is dangerous advice. It completely ignores just how much of something can be called derivative work (which is mentioned in the very video you link but seem to have forgotten about).
 

Greggy C

Adventurer
I get that you're trying to be a smarty pants, but there are literally dozens of lawyers that have been discussing this issue for 80+ pages in several threads, and none of them are talking with the certainty that you have.

It's really not good manners to talk down on people like that.
They are arguing about whether the original OGL can be revoked and other topics, not whether a dragon with colors requires a license, it doesn't.
You are just further confusing everyone.
 


Greggy C

Adventurer
The point of the OGL was the "safe harbor" it provided, specifically a literal promise in writing not to sue you for copy and pasting open game content.
Fair enough, I guess it makes more sense if you are producing something and don't want to learn the legal ins and outs.
 

mamba

Hero
They are arguing about whether the original OGL can be revoked and other topics, not whether a dragon with colors requires a license, it doesn't.
You are just further confusing everyone.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. Plenty people who are fimilar with this topic have disagreed with you on this.

Whenever you are certain about something and smart people who know the topic disagree with you, make sure you are not a victim of the Dunning Kruger effect.
 



trancejeremy

Adventurer
The point of the OGL was not that you could reprint the rules and make your own game (that probably didn't happen for a couple year after it came out, even Troll Lord started with d20 stuff)

The point was you could use material from D&D - monsters, spells, and what not without resorting to the sort of vague language used in unofficial supplements like Mayfair did with Role-Aids.
 



overgeeked

B/X Known World
The OP is straddling the line between bad take and misinformation. If a working share-a-like license held no value, there would be no controversy about the OGL changes. Either the totality of the TTRPG publishing world is entirely wrong about how they conduct business, or the OP is wrong.
People with actual skin in the game tend to be more cautious. Keyboard warriors tend to be more out spoken.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The OGL was a trick to force you on DMSGuild to give away half your profits.
Some trick, considering the DMs guild uses a completely different license!
The rules lawyer addresses this specifically at around 11 mins.
Ben talked about this in the past as well.


Of course, if you write an adventure and don't create your own monsters, you just reproduce all the WOTC ones,
a) That is a little lazy.
b) You need the OGL/ORC.
a) It’s perfectly reasonable for someone creating D&D content to direct their efforts towards creating new things instead of retreading existing ground. If your adventure calls for a fight with goblins, it would frankly be silly not to use monster manual goblins.
When you realize all this, you also learn how disgusting OGL 1.1 was, trying to steal from prominent creators like Critical Role with no legal standing to do it.
I certainly don’t disagree that 1.1 was (and still is) disgusting!
D&D will return when they innovate a 6th edition, but we must teach the Microsoft Executives a lesson. Hopefully, they will be fired.
I’m not one to hope for people to get fired. I do think it’s in the RPG community’s best interest to stop buying WotC products, and ideally start playing other games than D&D in greater proportion, if not stop playing D&D entirely. At least until we see some real changes at WotC, starting with the commitment to keep OGL 1.0 available in perpetuity, and with the addition of an “irrevocable” clause.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Because that worked out so well for Mayfair Games with their Role Aids line of compatible products.
Or the most ironic case, that being WoTC nearly being destroyed by Palladium in their lawsuit. Right or wrong hasn't been clearly defined on this topic, and it's doubly dangerous to ignore how even if you were right, fighting that in court can destroy you.
 

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