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Open Gaming Should Mean Open


The EN World kitten
they did not make the claim, you did ;)
And I didn't purport to have "hard numbers"; that was you who asked for them, which means you should be asking Paizo and not me.
I am sure that has nothing to do with the fallout of 4e at all…
I'm sure there were combinations of factors, but I doubt that people not liking 4E was still relevant in 2017, for example, when Paizo was not only still going strong with Pathfinder, but also debuted Starfinder, which was itself open and viral.
similarity to 5e and already pretty big? ;)
Calling PF2 "similar to 5E" is already a stretch, and I'm pointing out that the reason it was already pretty big was because (in part) of its open viral nature. At the very least, the point has to be conceded that being open and viral didn't hurt it, which was the suggestion originally put forward.
they are also one of the biggest licensees, I am sure that is not related…
And you don't think that has anything to do with their content being virally open?
the question was are you more successful or less, not can you still survive despite the license / full SRD
No, that's not the question. The question (which wasn't even a question, being stated as a declarative), was "As a professional writer your demands that my content be available to everyone for free means I can no longer be a professional."

And that's wrong, with Paizo being the proof. Their content is available to everyone for free, and their professional writers are not unable to be professional writers because of that. Quite the opposite.

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Mod Squad
Staff member
I believe that if you have benefited professionally and economically from the Open Gaming movement, you are ethically bound to give back to it.

I don't. I think it unfair for a third party (you or me) to insert ethical bindings after the fact.

If the creator of a work wants to bind someone to giving back to the movement, they can do that. They can choose a license that legally binds giving back. So, who are you or I to gainsay that? Is it ethical for us to do so, against the original author's choice?


if I were a 3pp, why would I reinvent the Artificer instead of some entirely new class. This seems to be an an argument for having all classes available (so you can create subclasses for all of them) more than for having all content available.
There are subclasses like Battlemaster that could easily be expanded on (like Tasha's did). Similar cases could be found for other types of content like feats or spells.

I'd also like to state that Kobold Press' stance is preferable to the one I see from other 3PPs who now proudly declare that the only open content in their books is the stuff that they themselves took from the SRD. Makes me regret feeling bad for them last year.
As for the intent behind SRDs, yes they were created as a whitelist for other publishers. Creating them is more work than simply adding a few sentences which parts of a book are open and which are closed, but they result in a much clearer situation for other publishers which parts are fair game. Still, the hypertexed SRD that was created out of the RTFs WotC provided for 3.5 was quite useful when preparing a game.
I'm pretty sure that the PRD Paizo modeled after it was totally intended to serve as a reference for players as well as publishers. It "only" included the stuff from their PFRPG line (plus the Technology Manual). You also had the unofficial d20PFSRD which contained pretty much everything, sometimes with different names due to PI, plus some 3rd party stuff as well as Archives of Nethys which contained the stuff from the AP, CS, Adventure and PC not in the PRD.
These days, the Pathfinder RPG no longer has a SRD, which is somewhat regrettable, considering the distinciton between Rulebooks and Setting Books is far more fuzzy in PF2 than it was in PF1.
Another issue I have with Paizo's stance on Open Content is their reluctance to use stuff from other publishers. This was more prominent with PF1 which had far stronger third party support than PF2, but while Paizo had some 3.0 and 3.5 books that they loved to use content from (Advanced Bestiary, Tome of Fiends, Tome of Horrors), the time they used a supplement under the PFRPG compatibility license was in Reign of Winter were they used a creature from Kobold Press' Midgard Bestiary. They have used some RfC monsters for PF2, but that could also be due to the lack of other content.
Ironically there were conspiracy theories that Paizo was pushing the ORC to steal other peoples stuff. In my opinion, getting your stuff included in a Paizo product (or in WotC's 3.5 Unearthed Arcana) brought attention to the book and publisher that material came from.
I prefer cross pollination to the top to bottom situation we usually have like when Alluria Publishing released a book of underwater psionics for their Cerulean Seas setting using Dreamscarred Press' Psionic rules (based on the XPH).


I neither expect nor demand anything more from publishers than that they adhere to the requirements of the licenses they use: if the license says they don't need to open anything and they choose not to open anything, fine.

Because of that I give credit to publishers who go above and beyond - those who choose to open more material than is actually required. As a consequence, some publishers get a huge amount of credit from me on that score.


There are subclasses like Battlemaster that could easily be expanded on (like Tasha's did). Similar cases could be found for other types of content like feats or spells.
then why don’t you (general), just call it something other than Battlemaster. Replicating a few feats (if your take even uses them) is too much to ask?

I am not saying there never is a case where having a bit that is in the PHB but not in the SRD could be handy, but that does not mean every last thing needs to be in it for it to serve its purpose
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I love it when people completely ignore the point that this is not necessary at all and that multiple companies have proven that you can both support Open gaming in a real way and continue to be successful.
I'm not ignoring, I'm disagreeing.

WotC offers two distinct licenses, one where you have free access to all of 5e rules and lore at the cost of half your profit and one where you get a small sampling to build off of and keep 100% of the profit. You want 100% of the rules and 100% of the profit. I too would love the best of both worlds, but I'm happy enough to know that I can use all of WotC's toys if I don't mind sharing and I can build something new if I don't.


I don’t blame people for not contributing back when the source material is permissively licensed. If the original author didn’t want that, they should have chosen a different license. I do think the way OGC is handled in the OGL is problematic (because the original author may have intended it to be a share-a-like license, but that is easily subverted).

If/when I release my homebrew system, I want to produce a permissively licensed core SRD with the actual game text probably being ORC-licensed. If someone wants to make a game, they can use the core to get started. Otherwise, I want people to give back as the cost for using my work.

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