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OGL To Be Renamed Game System License (GSL)


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Pale

First Post
You mean the supported edition that most people will be buying and stores will bother to stock is a whole new deal?

Isn't this pretty much what they had before the OGL when it came to third parties?

I know that this will keep a lot of bad product from showing up on shelves... but it also prevents the next Necromancer Games, Green Ronin or Privateer Press from seeing the light of day as well.

I think that it also crushes a lot of dreams out there.
 

charlesatan

Explorer
Pale said:
You mean the supported edition that most people will be buying and stores will bother to stock is a whole new deal?

Isn't this pretty much what they had before the OGL when it came to third parties?

I know that this will keep a lot of bad product from showing up on shelves... but it also prevents the next Necromancer Games, Green Ronin or Privateer Press from seeing the light of day as well.

I think that it also crushes a lot of dreams out there.

For me it's better calling it the SGL rather than constantly referring to "oh, that book is the 3.0 OGL while that book is the 4.0 OGL".

And no, the SGL doesn't prevent third parties from using the 4E rules. THIS IS the license that allows them to use the 4E rules for the game, it's just not as loose as the original OGL, but probably a step ahead of the d20 license. For me this is good because if they didn't rename it, we'd be having two kinds of OGL out in the market.
 

Pale

First Post
So what are the restrictions on the GSL that make it not as open as the OGL?

I mean, if it costs cash to use it at all free fan products are out the window.
 

The Ubbergeek

First Post
Pale said:
You mean the supported edition that most people will be buying and stores will bother to stock is a whole new deal?

Isn't this pretty much what they had before the OGL when it came to third parties?

I know that this will keep a lot of bad product from showing up on shelves... but it also prevents the next Necromancer Games, Green Ronin or Privateer Press from seeing the light of day as well.

I think that it also crushes a lot of dreams out there.

I prefer the culling and stop of bad third party products. Don't trust them myself, frankly. Okay, somes are made by old veterans, but others....
 


well

Since 4E is derivative of 3E, and 3E had the OGL, someone will be able to replicate the mechanics of 4E and release a product under the OGL that will be somewhat compatible with 4E, regardless of what the GSL says.

What they won't be able to do is use WoTC exclusive IP, or use the d20 Logo.

I'm wondering if part of the drive towards feats with florid names (golden wyverns tail, or whatever) is to associate mechanics with fluff that WoTC can claim as protected IP. In other words, a OGL derived game like Grim Tales could pick up a 4E rules mechanic, but they'd have to change its name because the name is not Open. But that's just a wild guess.

At least, that's my perception of the situation. Would anyone care to correct me?

Ken
 

Pale

First Post
The Ubbergeek said:
I prefer the culling and stop of bad third party products. Don't trust them myself, frankly. Okay, somes are made by old veterans, but others....

That sounds pretty much like throwing the baby out with the bath water to me.
 

The Little Raven

First Post
Pale said:
So what are the restrictions on the GSL that make it not as open as the OGL?

I mean, if it costs cash to use it at all free fan products are out the window.

3rd-party products cannot be published in a way that makes the core books unnecessary. So, no more "complete" games that reprint large chunks of the core books. Instead, publishers will have to focus on content that references the core books (the SRD now being an actual reference document that points to "open content," rather than a container for OGC) rather than reprinting it. So, this sounds like the Advanced Player's Guide is just fine, but something like the WoW RPG (which reprints over 100 pages from the SRD) is not.
 

Mystaros

First Post
Haffrung Helleyes said:
Since 4E is derivative of 3E, and 3E had the OGL, someone will be able to replicate the mechanics of 4E and release a product under the OGL that will be somewhat compatible with 4E, regardless of what the GSL says.

Doesn't work that way. Wizards of the Coast carved out a provision in the OGL that material it released was distinctly not a part of the OGL unless listed in the SRD. Save for one monster in one of the Monster Manuals, most of the Psionics system, and some of Unearthed Arcana, none of the material ever published by WotC (outside the core SRD) was considered OGL. That same would apply to the 4E materials.

What calling it the GSL instead of the OGL essentially is locks it out from those who would say, "Well, the 4E SRD is covered by the OGL, therefore I can use any prior version of the OGL if I so choose, therefore I don't have to pay any attention to the release dates." It takes any kind of soothing of Part 9 of the OGL out of consideration for use of the 4E SRD, as the 4E SRD is not covered under the OGL, it is covered under the GSL.

As the materials in 4E do not fall under the OGL, using the 3.5E SRD to recreate them falls into a very dangerous spot, legally. The system IS in fact so substantially different that to make the tortuous gyrations with 3.5E to make it work like 4E would be looked upon with an unkind eye by any judge who has to deal with such a situation.

WotC isn't doing this to bash the fans; fans will do whatever they want, really. They are doing it to keep publishers who would try to sell such products out of the running, and rightfully so. The distinction is a major hammer that can be used to stop anyone trying to publish such material; when money really is involved, that hammer is a good weapon.
 
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Alikar

First Post
Honestly I like that the new system requires the book. The less money I'm paying for reprinted material the better. I'm sick of looking at the feat section of books and seeing the PHB in front of me. That is why I was a huge fan of things like the Iron Kingdoms Character guide, which was full of new concepts and information. Now I understand that this could stand in the way of creativity, so hopefully it will be something that restricts you from reprinting feats, skills, talents, class, spells from the PHB. That way it will force people to make new material.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Pale said:
You mean the supported edition that most people will be buying and stores will bother to stock is a whole new deal?

Isn't this pretty much what they had before the OGL when it came to third parties?

I know that this will keep a lot of bad product from showing up on shelves... but it also prevents the next Necromancer Games, Green Ronin or Privateer Press from seeing the light of day as well.

I think that it also crushes a lot of dreams out there.

Not quite. ((WARNING = PERSONAL OPINION)) What is means is, you won't have companies like Green Ronin taking the OGL and the SRD and building an entirely new game that has nothing to do with D&D that takes players away from D&D while piggybacking on all the mechanics that WOTC developed.

So, you will see, say, Necromancer Games, a company which produces nothing but D&D material, still produce D&D material. What you won't see is a Mutants and Masterminds, which is completely divorced from D&D, using 4e mechanics.

In other words, indie publishers will be forced to create their own mechanics instead of making yet another d20 clone.
 

Pale

First Post
Originally posted by Mourn
3rd-party products cannot be published in a way that makes the core books unnecessary. So, no more "complete" games that reprint large chunks of the core books. Instead, publishers will have to focus on content that references the core books (the SRD now being an actual reference document that points to "open content," rather than a container for OGC) rather than reprinting it. So, this sounds like the Advanced Player's Guide is just fine, but something like the WoW RPG (which reprints over 100 pages from the SRD) is not.

OK, that sounds way better than what was going through my mind. Thanks for the clarification.

Originally posted by Hussar
In other words, indie publishers will be forced to create their own mechanics instead of making yet another d20 clone.

I would have to call this a good thing, too, then. One thing that got on my nerves about OGL was no one creating their own game mechanics from scratch anymore... as well as companies throwing out their own, perfectly fine game mechanics to hop on the D20 train. Bring on the diversity!
 

charlesatan

Explorer
Pale said:
So what are the restrictions on the GSL that make it not as open as the OGL?

I mean, if it costs cash to use it at all free fan products are out the window.

The details on the OGL/SRD can be found at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20080108a

The restrictions I see is a) you won't be able to publish material until 2009 unless you fork over $5,000.00 (no big deal in the long run) and b) you need the core books to play the game (so you can probably create an Arcana Evolved/Iron Heroes game using the GSL but not a True20 or Mutants & Masterminds game).
 


Henry

Autoexreginated
I figured this is what WotC would have to do to release a 4e "OGL" without getting into murky legal waters. Whether it winds up "forking" the gaming market and eliminating best successes of the OGL remains to be seen, or whether as most predict people will just go along with the market leader and completely leave the OGL.

What I do predict, is that you will see 4e-compatible products released under the OGL, but without the compatibility language and licensing, and products like True 20, C&C, and OSRIC have already blazed the trail for it.
 

This is one of the rare occasions when I think game design logic applies to a real world situation.

At Wizards, I was taught that two rules should be the same, or be different. Having two rules that are -almost- exactly the same, but have just a few differences, but use the same name, or some of the same template text, is bad. It causes confusion. Either have the two rules work the same and be worded the same, or admit they are different and word them differently, and make sure they are really different.

The new license clearly isn't the OGL we're used to. That's already causing confusion. I think having a new name is a good idea.

Owen K.C. Stephens
 

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