OGL OGL: Kobold Press 'Raising Our Flag' For New Open RPG

Kobold Press has announced its plans regardimg the upcoming new OGL v1.1, whihc involve a new, open game code named Project Black Flag.

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Kobold Press has been and always will be committed to open gaming and the tabletop community. Our goal is to continue creating the best materials for players and game masters alike.

This means Kobold Press will release its current Kickstarter projects as planned, including Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns (already printed and on its way to backers this winter).

In particular, Deep Magic Volume 2 will remain fully compatible with the 5E rules. We are working with our VTT partners to maintain support for digital platforms.

As we look ahead, it becomes even more important for our actions to represent our values. While we wait to see what the future holds, we are moving forward with clear-eyed work on a new Core Fantasy tabletop ruleset: available, open, and subscription-free for those who love it—Code Name: Project Black Flag.

All Kobolds look forward to the continued evolution of tabletop gaming. We aim to play our part in making the game better for everyone. Rest assured, Kobold Press intends to maintain a strong presence in the tabletop RPG community. We are not going anywhere.


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Well, here's to hoping whatever changes they make push the system towards the lighter side. The crunchier side is well covered.
Given KPs previous output, they tend towards a crunchier approach. Lots of optional rules for special rules specific weapons can use, specialised magic subsystems, a vast number of expansion spells etc.
 

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People like having a standard base instead of reinventing the wheel every time they make a new game? Perish the thought.

The OGL was not a yoke. Trying to remove it is the yoke.

People have always been able to use it or not, and get a weird as they wanted with it if they did. That's part of why this is a problem right now.
d20 is closer to a game engine and it makes are making the licence to hard to bear.

I wonder if that is how the mess started?
 

And this differs from how it works in any other job how?
If my job is carpentry, I can spend my lifetime building furniture. Some of it I may sell (or rent out) during my lifetime and earn income that way which i can use to buy other assets. But when I die, any furniture i haven't sold becomes the property of my heirs, to sell or rent out or use themselves as they see fit. It doesn't suddenly become an ownerless free-for-all for whoever wants to use it.

Intellectual property is an asset built up through work, the same as furniture in my example above.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Intellectual property is an asset built up through work, the same as furniture in my example above.
The clear difference being IP is an intangible idea rather than actual physical stuff. You can’t sell the same chair a thousand times but depending on the IP you can. Chair the Movie. Chair the Lunchbox. Chair the Cereal. Chair the Flamethrower. Etc. It’s a fundamentally different kind of property that should be treated differently than a toothbrush or a car.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
The “backstage” of the Kobold Press discord is a bit of a mess. All the posters who answered a simple riddle were given access to a few hidden channels. Those channels are filled with people bickering about systems and subsystems and crunch levels and dice. Everyone’s staking claims of “I’m out if X is in the game” or “I’m out if X isn’t in the game.” It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
 

The clear difference being IP is an intangible idea rather than actual physical stuff. You can’t sell the same chair a thousand times but depending on the IP you can. Chair the Movie. Chair the Lunchbox. Chair the Cereal. Chair the Flamethrower. Etc. It’s a fundamentally different kind of property that should be treated differently than a toothbrush or a car.
Yep. And it treated differently, and that's entirely reasonable (yeah, my analogy wasn't perfect...)

But making copyright cease immediately on the death of the creator is way too harsh, imho. For one thing, it's a disincentive to create, because you know that if you don't cash in on everything you create immediately, your family may earn nothing from it. Second, it devalues creative work, especially from older creators. Why would people pay to use your IP now when they can wait for you to die? And why would they pay when if you die, their investment immediately becomes valueless? And finally, it's brutal on the family of deceased creators. If the breadwinner in your house was a creative, and they die, then suddenly you're not only dealing with the loss of a loved one, but also with destitution as a major asset suddenly becomes valueless.

Death of the author plus 30 years or 50 years is a fairly reasonable compromise I think. Means the creator's kids can be provided for, and have time to develop assets and a career of their own before the family assets disappear into public domain.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yep. And it treated differently, and that's entirely reasonable (yeah, my analogy wasn't perfect...)

But making copyright cease immediately on the death of the creator is way too harsh, imho. For one thing, it's a disincentive to create, because you know that if you don't cash in on everything you create immediately, your family may earn nothing from it. Second, it devalues creative work, especially from older creators. Why would people pay to use your IP now when they can wait for you to die? And why would they pay when if you die, their investment immediately becomes valueless? And finally, it's brutal on the family of deceased creators. If the breadwinner in your house was a creative, and they die, then suddenly you're not only dealing with the loss of a loved one, but also with destitution as a major asset suddenly becomes valueless.

Death of the author plus 30 years or 50 years is a fairly reasonable compromise I think. Means the creator's kids can be provided for, and have time to develop assets and a career of their own before the family assets disappear into public domain.

Or just a flat 30 or 50 years or whatever one thinks is fair.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
I note that a minimum copyright term of the "life of the author plus 50 years" is specified in the Berne Convention, and adherence to the Berne Convention is a condition of membership in the WTO system. So, as a practical matter, to change copyright terms to anything shorter, you'll need to get the unanimous consent of all 181 state parties to the Berne Convention.
 

mamba

Hero
Death of the author plus 30 years or 50 years is a fairly reasonable compromise I think. Means the creator's kids can be provided for, and have time to develop assets and a career of their own before the family assets disappear into public domain.
your carpenter must have been pretty busy then, creating two lifetimes worth of furniture…
 

Aldarc

Legend
The “backstage” of the Kobold Press discord is a bit of a mess. All the posters who answered a simple riddle were given access to a few hidden channels. Those channels are filled with people bickering about systems and subsystems and crunch levels and dice. Everyone’s staking claims of “I’m out if X is in the game” or “I’m out if X isn’t in the game.” It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
It's inevitable. It's why I find some of the calls on Twitter for the 3rd Party Publishers to design a game by committee to be misguided. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
 

If my job is carpentry, I can spend my lifetime building furniture. Some of it I may sell (or rent out) during my lifetime and earn income that way which i can use to buy other assets. But when I die, any furniture i haven't sold becomes the property of my heirs, to sell or rent out or use themselves as they see fit. It doesn't suddenly become an ownerless free-for-all for whoever wants to use it.

But if you work a normal job, like in retail or food services or driving for Uber or in a factory or as some kind of repairman you only get paid for days you actually come in
 

Or just a flat 30 or 50 years or whatever one thinks is fair.
Onh yeah, I'd definitely go with a flat duration. I think 23 years would be fair, that's how long patents last IIRC.

Mind you, 23 years isn't the duration I'd go with if it were up to me. As I said 23 years is fair and at this point, after all the IP trolling I've seen from various companies over the years, I would rather go with something more punitive than fair - maybe 5 years tops.
 

The clear difference being IP is an intangible idea rather than actual physical stuff. You can’t sell the same chair a thousand times but depending on the IP you can. Chair the Movie. Chair the Lunchbox. Chair the Cereal. Chair the Flamethrower. Etc. It’s a fundamentally different kind of property that should be treated differently than a toothbrush or a car.

Your analogy is flawed, it's too generous to copyright as a concept. Copyright is more like you just have chair the movie, and it's one item that you make once, and then you literally sell one item thousands of times, and get paid over and over again for doing your job once
 

But if you work a normal job, like in retail or food services or driving for Uber or in a factory or as some kind of repairman you only get paid for days you actually come in
Yep. And if I'm a creative working, for example, in a salaried job as a graphic artist for a computer gaming company, I will also be working for a wage, only be paid for the time I work (erm, real-world exploitative conditions in the computer game development industry notwithstanding), and not have any ownership of the IP i create on company time. Just like any other salaried worker.

But if I'm a creative work for myself, just like any other business owner I can work as hard as i like and create as much as i can, and my net worth will benefit directly from what i do. And so I think it's reasonable for that value to exist past the death of the creator. After all, if i devote my life to building up a business which I wholly own, then the business doesn't cease to exist the day I die either.

It's not a simple question of course. For instance, the 'death + X years' copyright rule is an awkward fit for art that was created on the clock by a salaried worker and which is owned from day 1 by a corporate entity that is effectively immortal. But on principle, i reckon it's only fair that copyright should extend significantly past the death of the creator.
 

Yep. And if I'm a creative working, for example, in a salaried job as a graphic artist for a computer gaming company, I will also be working for a wage, only be paid for the time I work (erm, real-world exploitative conditions in the computer game development industry notwithstanding), and not have any ownership of the IP i create on company time. Just like any other salaried worker.

But if I'm a creative work for myself, just like any other business owner I can work as hard as i like and create as much as i can, and my net worth will benefit directly from what i do.

I don;t buy it. I think that instead of working hard or creating content, most business owners (especially successful ones) would just hire the wage slave from paragraph one.
 

Dausuul

Legend
But making copyright cease immediately on the death of the creator is way too harsh, imho. For one thing, it's a disincentive to create, because you know that if you don't cash in on everything you create immediately, your family may earn nothing from it. Second, it devalues creative work, especially from older creators. Why would people pay to use your IP now when they can wait for you to die? And why would they pay when if you die, their investment immediately becomes valueless? And finally, it's brutal on the family of deceased creators. If the breadwinner in your house was a creative, and they die, then suddenly you're not only dealing with the loss of a loved one, but also with destitution as a major asset suddenly becomes valueless.
This I agree with.

Death of the author plus 30 years or 50 years is a fairly reasonable compromise I think.
This I don't. 30 years is too long and 50 is way too long. I'd put it at 21: If you die the day after your child is born, the kid continues to receive income from your work until they become an adult. After that, they're on their own.

I would also put work for hire on that same 21-year clock, but from the moment of creation -- essentially, work for hire is treated as if the author had dropped dead the moment they finished working on it.
 


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