Level Up (A5E) de-OGL-ifying Level Up?

dave2008

Legend
I guess this is the part I am unfamiliar with when it comes to copyright. While there are some spells in LU that have different effects to 5e, there are many spells where the changes are aesthetic only. Sure a few words are changed here and there, but the actual mechanical creation is exactly the same as what's in the SRD. Is that not problematic?
It should be OK, but it has never been proven in court for an RPG. What we call the "mechanics" of the spell can't be copyrighted, just the expression, i.e. fluff of those spells. This depends on an extrapolation of the idea the game mechanics are not copyrightable as establish law for board games and the like. There game mechanics mean something akin to moving a taken or rolling dice. It is not clear what courts will determine are game mechanics when it comes to TTRPGs. I think it is safe to assume it may not be what we generally call them.
 

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dave2008

Legend
“Praise Bahamut, er I mean Paladine, er I mean that platinum coloured drake in the sky.”

In all seriousness, I love the foresight put into this game. I and my players feel this is the best edition to play at our table. Thank you for your efforts.
I wonder how difficult it is to remove the extra bits? A "basic" LevelUp if you will.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
"Spell Level" is part of the SRD. We could change it to "Spell Circle" for example. A 9th Circle spell and a 9th Level spell are the same thing, but a 9th level spell is WotC's territory to use against us.
YES please anyway - there are other threads here on EW about how the word "level" is over-freighted in D&D - character levels, dungeon levels, spell levels, etc
 

TheHand

Adventurer
I wonder how difficult it is to remove the extra bits? A "basic" LevelUp if you will.
I found Level Up's "extra bits" to be fairly modular in their presentation. For instance, don't want to use Supply, you can ignore it but still use the Journey system if you want? Don't want to use all the nitty-gritty modifiers in combat? That's fine, run it like 5e. Feel like Destinies are a burden? OK, don't use them! You could probably even drop Knacks and Maneuvers from Classes if you really wanted to!
 


mamba

Hero
I recommend not making "Hit Dice" be "Hits To Kill." It didn't work out so well for the last guys who tried.
pretty sure hit dice are not something WotC can claim, hit points are everywhere, in a dice game having hit dice is not much of a stretch. Same with Armor Class, etc.
 

Tazawa

Adventurer
I guess this is the part I am unfamiliar with when it comes to copyright. While there are some spells in LU that have different effects to 5e, there are many spells where the changes are aesthetic only. Sure a few words are changed here and there, but the actual mechanical creation is exactly the same as what's in the SRD. Is that not problematic?

Not really. Core game mechanics are not copyrightable.

The aesthetics are what might be copyrightable—but that is OK, because they are different. See the recent article at the EFF for reference.

 

Tazawa

Adventurer
I wonder how difficult it is to remove the extra bits? A "basic" LevelUp if you will.

You can ignore them?

Like we used to do with weapon vs. armor modifiers in AD&D. Only use the parts of the rules you like.

The important thing is that if Level Up continues it will enable the development of more 5e/Level Up compatible support materials: adventures, monsters, etc.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
One of the things I worry about in these discussions is that people are way too quick to treat summary statements on copyright law (like "Copyright protects expression, not ideas" and "Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it") as the end-all-be-all of copyright law.

The problem with them is that the copyright law of "derivative works" is full of vagueness and judgment calls that cannot be easily boiled down. Further, the guidelines used are different for different types of works. A degree of rephrasing and visual distinction that would be perfectly fine if you were making a knockoff of a board game might be insufficient for a video game under the "sequence, structure, and organization" doctrine for software.

What rules apply to a pen-and-paper roleplaying game? As far as I know, there's no on-point precedent, no case law where an RPG was challenged as an infringing derivative work and the suit went all the way to an actual judgment. A good copyright lawyer will be able to give advice, but I expect that a good deal of that advice is going to be "In this instance things are murky, because . . ."

Maybe I worry too much. But then, I thought the everybody (including a number of lawyers) who were all poking and prodding at the OGL back in 2000 had thoroughly probed for and identified all the traps. The last two weeks put paid to that notion.
 








Faolyn

(she/her)
Assuming they agree to the 1.2. I still think they have full rights to the 1.0a.
I really hope so.

Although fortunately, the classes and heritages are different enough that I can't imagine anything more than a handful of things being renamed. Dragonborn, tieflings and aasimar, the eladrin culture, and some monsters.
 


FatPandaMonk

Villager
Sorry to inflict a OGL thread here, but today's EN Publishing tweet has given me hope that something positive may come of this OGL mess:


"So what are we doing re #opendnd? Still having crisis meetings but our thoughts are along the lines of (a) de-OGL-ifying Level Up and moving to a true open license; would need work but luckily we didn't use SRD text we wrote our own (b) investing more in WOIN our in-house system."

A de-OGL-ified Level Up wouldn't just be an epic boon to us (and one that I would happily re-purchase all my books for), but also a huge uniting resource for the wider OGL 3PP community: a new d20-adjacent platform that plays better than 5e and has more trusted guardianship. A step above what even Pathfinder did when GSL 1.0 came along.

I don't feel it would be right for me to post a poll on this but my vote is Option A
I don't have enough unused money in bags to happily repurchase books I have at full price. I would continue to use the PDF stuff I have.
 

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