OGL Legal Discussion of OGL 1.2


Had they said this? They would TOTALLY have gotten away with it, imo.
Full agreement.

I think there are several very plausible variations where they could have gotten most what they wanted, but all of them require a certain amount of openness. The maximum amount of sneakiness they IMO could have gotten away with is on the level of: "Wut, owlbear is now listed with umber hulk as PI! Can they do that?"

log in or register to remove this ad


Jäger aus Kurpfalz
"Wut, owlbear is now listed with umber hulk as PI! Can they do that?"
"Wut, they're claiming Ultraman kaiju knockoff toys as PI! Can they do that?"


Well, I am happy to say I only partially fell for the trap. I did leave a detailed response about what I didn't like about 1.2, but only after a straightforward "All we want is 5e under 1.0a. Keep that and all this goes away. Do whatever you want with 6e." I also stressed how much trust WotC has lost, and it would take a pretty drastic U-turn to gain it back, like releasing the entire 5e SRD under CC-BY. :p But, I know there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening.
I also responded to their questions about the nOGL 1.2, and said that they can put One D&D under whatever license they want. But I did open with telling them that revoking the OGL 1.0a is a nonstarter.


I expect clawing back the 5e SRD is the main thing they really care about right now. If a 3.5 derived game becomes the next hot thing, they may try to flex their legal muscles there, but that's not the current landscape. Any truly third party content released under 1.0a WotC likely doesn't give a second thought to.
Likely so, but a lot of the OGL1.0a stuff is not tied to 5e, and my 5e interest is lower than my 3.x interest. Importantly, I'm not a 3pp as my day job currently (or probably ever, realistically) - I don't have dreams of being a publisher, I just want to make a fantasy heartbreaker some day mostly for myself and release it for free.

I didn't know WotC had threatened to sue anyone.
I took that threat as heavily implied in the incoming deauthorizing of the OGL1.0a. Otherwise there's no weight behind deauthorizing 1.0a, right?

I'm not a lawyer, but to my untrained eye what you've done here is just repost the content, and haven't made it a separate work. What you should probably do is:
  • Go over the files and make sure there's nothing in them that the original publisher has called out as product identity. For example, I understand that there's a spell in the 3.5e SRD that uses umber hulk blood as a component, and you probably want to get rid of that.
  • Write your own legal statement with declarations of product identity and open game content. Look at the legal.rtf file in the 3.5e SRD for an example. You should almost certainly not copy their declaration verbatim, because in doing so you'd declare that the terms Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast, Forgotten Realms, etc. are your product identity, and that seems like a big no-no.
  • Update section 15 of the OGL in each of your publications.
That seems like a minimum you'd need to do, and I can't guarantee that that would be enough.
That - is more than I have the time or ability to do quickly. Definitely not 11 times.
I suspect few are in a position to do all that. But, understood.

I think if I were to ever release anything in the future it would be derived from the PF1 PRD. So I guess if I'm gonna do it I need to pick through the PRD. I don't think the PRD has any PI included, so for that one maybe I just need to write my own legal statement of open game content and update section 15? I'll have to see if I can do that quickly. As you say, who knows if that would be enough though.
Last edited:


Well, they seem to be having a lot of effect at the moment, chasing people away from the OGL and towards ORC, and correspondingly away from WotC SRDs towards other rules frameworks, without having threatened anyone!
An implied threat may not always be something you can press charges or sue over, but people still notice its presence.

Here's my current perspective (not a lawyer - just in aggregate from reading lawyer commentary here and elsewhere and keeping up with the relevant news stories):

Hey hey Can I still publish stuff for Pathfinder 1e or a PF1e alternate corebook or will the Beached Wizards sue me over it

They haven't said the words 'sue you' but they have said 'you cannot do anything with the OGL1.0a anymore once the new license drops' and PF1 is published with the OGL1.0a. Would they try to sue you over it? I dunno. Probably not, it would be an obscure little product not worth them paying attention to. Are they suggesting they have the option to sue you for it and telling you not to do it, and do they have an absurd amount of money to bully people with? It seems that way.
Last edited:


Alrighty. Take 2

I'm hereby publishing this work (for free) under the OGL1.0a. I made it in two evenings.

It's contents are the same as the Legacy PRD, with all of the product identity and trademarks stripped out.
Everything it contains is open gaming content.
Thank you HTML files for being fast to edit in bulk, thank you regex, and thank you to my programming background for knowing which tools to use.

Feel free to host it on your own web servers or whatever.
It also works offline in your web browser.



The bulk of the actual work was combing through the Pathfinder wiki looking for character and deity names to find and replace with generic things, such as replacing Nethys with "Magic God" in all instances across wherever it appeared in the 3300+ files.

I'll take a stab at giving d20pfsrd a similar treatment next. It may be easier or harder. It should have less PI included, but I'll have more trade dress and whatnot to strip out.

An Advertisement