• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

GSL questions for Scott Rouse and Mike Lescault

Admiral Caine

First Post
There has been an ongoing discussion about the GSL in the 4E News area that sprang out of this this specific thread. Page 3 is perhaps one of the most relevant.


  1. What is the status of the GSL? What is a realistic date that it might be available to 3rd party companies?
  2. Will 3rd Party Companies be able to create aspects of the game that are not available at the new Edition's launch? For example, if a setting is ripe with bards, but WOTC plans on releasing their official bard in a future work in 2009, will those companies be able to create their own version? This goes to the question of an existing setting's continuity.
  3. Will publishing under the GSL prohibit publication of older material under the OGL?
  4. This is a fluff question (so it is the least priority of the three)- but does WOTC realize that the fans and the customers are very much in tune with the process, and have their own vested interests in the GSL. That is, do they understand that this is not something just between Wizard's and the Third Parties, but that the customers are involved too. We're the ones that make decisions on our purchasing habits, not the 3rd parties themselves.


I am going to stop this post here and let the questions stand by themselves. In my following post I'll cover some of the standard replies that I've received already from other forum posters.

Thank you in advance to Scott Rouse and Mike Lescault for their replies.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Admiral Caine

First Post
Follow up to the first post

I'd like to field some typical responses I have gotten so far, to expedite some of the discussion.

"This is another conspiracy theory": No, actually it's not. They are four straight questions. I'm not implying there is any emotional aspect involved with the timing of the GSL release.

"EN World Reporters have already answered this, here, let me give you a link": Yes, they have. In the form of a second hand conversation without a quote. Without anything said on a podcast. Without anything said on a webcast. I believe EN World (and other fan site) reporters to be genuine and sincere people, and do not mean to imply that they softballed their interviews. Nevertheless, I'd like a comment from WOTC directly. Especially in light of the tardiness of the GSL's release.

"Why do you care?"" Because 3rd Party companies are actually suffering in the form of lost sales, as they're not able to answer their customers whether they can adopt 4th Edition or not. For them to commit to 4th Edition without seeing the GSL would be careless and irresponsible.

"You should be grateful that there's going to be a GSL at all, in the old days...": (I want to avoid sarcasm, but I love this one) I am very grateful that there was an OGL. Prior to that, things were hard. TSR and other companies often issued Cease and Desist orders. Respectfully, that was the past and it has no great context or bearing on today. If 3rd Party Companies don't like the GSL, they have an alternative in the OGL. Prior to that there was nothing. The OGL changed everything. The reader may not feel that the OGL is a viable alternative, but that's an entirely different and unrelated conversation. As for me owing gratitude for the GSL? Not really. The GSL is a component to whether I purchase 4th Edition or not. I don't feel gratitude to an auto-manufacturer concerning anti-lock brakes and power steering. I don't feel gratitude to a PC manufacturer when I get a flat screen monitor when I purchase a new desktop. These are not gifts, they're selling points. If WOTC chooses not to provide a GSL, then I have a choice whether or not a I buy it or not. I only owe them the purchase price of the product, not my gratitude. That's why, we the customers, are the Second Party and not the Third Party.

"If Paizo thinks they can survive on 3.5 they're crazy!": Not relevant. A different conversation for another thread.

"This isn't WOTC or Scott Rouse's fault. He's a nice man who cares. This is all the doing of Rhode Island!": I'm willing to believe Scott Rouse is a real nice guy. I believe he cares. Unfortunately, sometimes it sucks to be the Boss, because you get left taking responsibility. And actually, I believe that Hasbro is the culprit. Nevertheless, I'm asking for some WOTC Staff person to step and respond directly. Not a second hand comment paraphrased by someone else. Plus, Question Two has nothing to do with a date. Nothing whatsoever. If they can't answer Question #1, Question #2's answer will be better than nothing at all.

"Can't you just be patient?": The first week of January WOTC placed a conference call with several major players, where upon they set up an expectation that the GSL would be out soon after that time. Business decisions were made upon that expectation, but now it's months later and nothing is being said. There are three factions in the GSL relationship: WOTC, 3rd Party Companies, and the Customers themselves. If they want me to buy the product, please answer the questions. It's the business of the Customers as much as it is the 3rd Parties.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

Jack99

Adventurer
I doubt that any WoTC representative posting here will be able to give a clear answer. If indeed the papers are with the lawyers, they won't know when it is done, until it actually is done, in which case I am sure they will be otw to the 3rd parties.

But good luck, it would be nice to know if Paizo, the rest are going to go with 4e.
 

Admiral Caine

First Post
Jack99 said:
I doubt that any WoTC representative posting here will be able to give a clear answer. If indeed the papers are with the lawyers, they won't know when it is done, until it actually is done, in which case I am sure they will be otw to the 3rd parties.

But good luck, it would be nice to know if Paizo, the rest are going to go with 4e.

Thank you for the good luck! I felt it was important enough to try.

I've been watching third party communities turn on themselves, and their companies be unable to offer any information or leadership in a vacuum. I've been a witness to people deciding against 4th Edition just from marketing fatigue.

There's no desire on my part to rake WOTC Reps over the coals.. Still, a direct comment would be better than nothing.
 

Crashy75

First Post
Admiral Caine said:
Thank you for the good luck! I felt it was important enough to try.

I've been watching third party communities turn on themselves, and their companies be unable to offer any information or leadership in a vacuum. I've been a witness to people deciding against 4th Edition just from marketing fatigue.

There's no desire on my part to rake WOTC Reps over the coals.. Still, a direct comment would be better than nothing.
I wish you good luck as well. It's something I'm interested in hearing about also.
 
Last edited:

zoroaster100

First Post
I really do hope that WOTC gives Paizo the GSL soon. I like what I've seen of the 4th edition rules, and I am very hopeful that WOTC has done a great job with the rules. But no one does adventures as well as Paizo, in my opinion. I would love, love, love to be able to run a 4th edition adventure path produced by Paizo. If WOTC sabotages that, inadvertently or not, they will be robbing so many customers and potential customers of the chance to enjoy what I think would have been the ultimate gaming experience - WOTC's 4th edition rules combined with Paizo's adventure paths.
 

Orcus

First Post
This is a great thread. And I hope you get some official answers.

As far as I know, things are near done and perhaps the push to get ready for, get to, run, and now recover from being at DDXP slowed things down a bit. I can see why that is a bit more important to WotC than we are right now :)

The one problem I see is this: once we get the GSL to review, we get it as part of the designer pack (the first step anyway). And the GSL itself is under our NDA. So WE wont be able to answer those questions. And if WotC is putting this stuff under an NDA then they may not want to talk about it publically (or why would we have to be under an NDA). So I guess I have a funny feeling we might not get answers.

That said, I can help with a few things:

"This is another conspiracy theory": This is not a conspiracy theory. Just some interested people asking questions the answers to which are important to us.

"EN World Reporters have already answered this, here, let me give you a link": I dont think the second hand answer actually is an answer either. To me, this is definately still and open question that has not been answered, meaning no disrespect to the enworld reporters.

"This isn't WOTC or Scott Rouse's fault. He's a nice man who cares. This is all the doing of Rhode Island!": Scott Rouse and Linae Foster are super-cool. It may not be their fault, and I dont think it is, but the buck stops somewhere. I also firmly believe that Scott and Linae and company want to help the Third Party publishers and that they will do the best that they can.

I am 100% convinced that WotC believes Third Party support is a good idea and that they are dedicated to making it happen for all of us--meaning the publishers and the gamers. It is clear that third party support gave more choice to the gamers and expanded options and that we really made some great stuff. I've talked to these people. I know they are dedicated to helping us support them. They read these boards. They see the people who say "I wasnt going to consider 4E but now that [trusted publisher] is in, I am going to try it!" They saw the impact we had on bringing people to 3E.

WotC are the good guys.

Dont blame them if they are just a little busy getting their flagship product to press by the various deadlines.

Like it or not, third party publishing is a secondary goal for them, not a primary one. And that makes sense. It is more important for them to use their man-(and woman-)hours to hitting the 4E release than it is to finalize the GSL. That is just a business reality. And I am OK with that. But that doesnt mean we cant keep asking questions. I just want to encourage everyone to be supportive of WotC and not overly-critical. I have dealt with Scott and Linae and they are great and they want us to have this stuff and they dont like that there has been a slowdown. So ask all the questions you want, but please dont throw grenades. :)

"Can't you just be patient?": I have been. :) I do really want those rules :)

Clark
 
Last edited:

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
The irony to me is that 4E probably wouldn't exist without 3E and the OGL.

Without it, Mike Mearls doesn't write or contribute to the 50+ (or so it seems) d20 products, probably doesn't get hired at Wizards, and doesn't help design 4E.

So, maybe if WotC wants 5E to be that much better than 4E, it's in their best interest to have 3rd party publishers. (Sort of the designer "minor leagues" if you will. ;) )
 

Yeah I really hope some replies turn up here, because I am interested in 3rd party products, but I can't actually see it happening. The terms of the GSL are under NDA from what it seems to me.
However good luck with your fishin' :)
 

Lizard

Explorer
This is in reply to Orcus' comments about releasing existing OGC under the GSL:

We do know, I think very certainly, that the GSL cannot place material released under the OGL under itself without the consent of the copyright holder. It's not a new version of the OGL and thus can't 'cover' older material. Now, it might be that it's trivial to place OGL material under GSL and that there will be a reason to do so, in which case, Necromancer (which owns the copyright on the OGL versions of the classic TSR monsters) can rerelease them under the GSL, no problem, provided, of course, that the 3x SRD, from which the TOH critters are derived (mechanically, at least, and in terms of references to spells, onster types, and so on) is also placed under the GSL. If the 3x SRD is not re-released in some form under the GSL, I cannot see how any OGC derived from the SRD can be re-used without explicit permission. Books which draw from any sources and make use of other people's OGC will have a tangled mess of derivations to sort through.

The other issue is that while it might be possible to release existing OGC under the GSL easily, a lot of companies won't bother. For example, I have done a great deal of work for many publishers which is open content. While I don't own the copyright to that work, I can use the open version of it as legally as anyone else and republish or edit it as I see fit. What I can't do is update it for 4e unless the copyright holder (the publisher) re-releases it under the GSL.

If you think there's a legal way to make the GSL automagically incorporate other people's OGL-based OGC without a formal rerelease from the current copyright holders, well, you are cleverer than me (which may be to damn with faint praise). Feel free to PM me with your speculation.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top