ORC ENVOY: A proposal for an inter-system conversion site, a conversion app, and inter-company coöperation for ORC systems

In the spirit of Peter Adkison's Envoy: Pyramid: Envoy

Once the ORC License is rolling, I propose four things:

1) An ORC SRDs archive, like the Open Gaming Network:

That's a no brainer...I'm sure that folks will do that.

The other proposals are more far-reaching:

2) I propose that that archive (or some other site) have hyperlinks to each 'equivalent' feature within each game system. For example, the various ancestries, backgrounds, and classes lined up across systems (e.g. the "Elf" ancestry across all systems, or the fantasy "Fighter / Warrior" class across all systems). So that it's easier to convert characters back and forth between various ORC systems.

With clearly-marked tags, whether it's: Core (a feature from the core rulebook(s) of that game), Core Optional (a variant offered in the Core books), Expanded (not in the Core books, but published by the company that owns the game), Third Party (by a publisher which is in business, e.g. on DriveThruRPG), with maybe another category of "Homebrew" (fan-made non-commercial content).

3) I propose a conversion app which uses these equivalencies to convert characters back and forth between ORC systems. The ORC ENVOY app.

4) I propose that several or many ORC publishers make a streamlined way to publish each adventure and setting for each of the ORC systems. So that's it's just a matter of course that there will be, say...

...besides Ptolus in the Cypher System...also Ptolus PF2, Ptolus Fantasy AGE, Ptolus C7d20, Ptolus A5E, Ptolus WOIN, Ptolus BRP, Ptolus DCC, Ptolus Savage Worlds, Ptolus 13th Age, Ptolus OSE, Ptolus L&L, Ptolus Basic Fantasy, Ptolus Heroes & Monsters, Ptolus The Black Hack, Ptolus Tunnels & Trolls, Ptolus MAZES, etc.

...besides Lost Omens / Golarion in PF2 and Golarion Savage Worlds...also Golarion Cypher System, Golarion Fantasy AGE, Golarion C7d20, Golarion A5E, Golarion WOIN, Golarion BRP, Golarion DCC, Golarion 13th Age, Golarion OSE, Golarion L&L, Golarion C&C, Golarion Basic Fantasy, Golarion Heroes & Monsters, Golarion The Black Hack, Golarion Tunnels & Trolls, Golarion MAZES, etc.

...besides the Dragon Empire in 13th Age system...the Dragon Empire PF2, Dragon Empire Cypher System, Dragon Empire Fantasy AGE, Dragon Empire C7d20, Dragon Empire A5E, Dragon Empire WOIN, Dragon Empire DCC, Dragon Empire Savage Worlds, Dragon Empire OSE, Dragon Empire L&L, Dragon Empire C&C, Dragon Empire Basic Fantasy, Dragon Empire Heroes & Monsters, Dragon Empire The Black Hack, Dragon Empire Tunnels & Trolls, Dragon Empire MAZES, etc.

Currently, conversion from one system to another is very labor intensive. As seen for example in the Kickstater which converted Pathfinder to Savage Worlds.

Yet, if there were already robust conversion conventions laid out in the ORC ENVOY website and app, it would not be quite as hard work for publishers to simultaneously or promptly produce many different "localized" versions of their settting books, for various RPG systems.

This could be facilitated by establishing customary, transparent industry-wide royalties for this sort of project.

And by tapping into the "second string" and "third string" aficionado-designers, who do good work for more obscure RPG systems.

Though having a multitude of house systems is not "efficient", it is a healthy, diverse, individuated, localized ecosystem.

Yet this ecosystem could also be strengthened through a more systemized, public-facing mode of coöperation, as proposed in this ORC ENVOY.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
You seem to be confusing license, with system.

As I recall it, the ORC license will be system agnostic. As in, anyone can publish any system under it. In theory, you could have Blades in the Dark, Fate, and a D&D-style fantasy heartbreaker all published with ORC.

The ORC license says NOTHING about system, or compatibility or ease of conversion between systems.
 

You seem to be confusing license, with system.

As I recall it, the ORC license will be system agnostic. As in, anyone can publish any system under it. In theory, you could have Blades in the Dark, Fate, and a D&D-style fantasy heartbreaker all published with ORC.

The ORC license says NOTHING about system, or compatibility or ease of conversion between systems.
Umbran, you the one who’s confused. The ORC will not only be a License, it’s also (already) a cultural Alliance.

In Eric Mona’s recent video, he briefly mentioned that other forms of inter-company co-operation could be on the table, once the ORC License is in place. My post is speaking to that.

If anyone who ‘liked’ Umbran’s post would read the actual words of my vision, they will see neither I or my words are confused.
 



SoonRaccoon

Explorer
Umbran, you the one who’s confused. The ORC will not only be a License, it’s also (already) a cultural Alliance.

In Eric Mona’s recent video, he briefly mentioned that other forms of inter-company co-operation could be on the table, once the ORC License is in place. My post is speaking to that.

If anyone who ‘liked’ Umbran’s post would read the actual words of my vision, they will see neither I or my words are confused.
How would you do conversions between, say, Microscope and Pathfinder?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Umbran, you the one who’s confused. The ORC will not only be a License, it’s also (already) a cultural Alliance.

That's not material to the point that games under the ORC license cannot be assumed to have any mechanical similarities. Families of games may develop, but they also may not. Talking about building interlinked catalogs before the license even exists is putting the cart before the horse.

Making cultural alliances based on the license used seem a rather exclusionary, gatekeeping sort of approach - if you don't use this one license (which nobody on the planet has even seen yet) you can't play? Games have been made open under the OGL, and CC before. You're going to exclude them just because they don't use ORC?
 


That's not material to the point that games under the ORC license cannot be assumed to have any mechanical similarities. Families of games may develop, but they also may not. Talking about building interlinked catalogs before the license even exists is putting the cart before the horse.

Making cultural alliances based on the license used seem a rather exclusionary, gatekeeping sort of approach -
C'mon Umbran, you're being persnickety. Why/how did the word "culture" become a bad word? By "culture", I don't mean a "nation", "religion", or "political spectrum", or "culture wars." I mean nothing more or less than the thin but zesty impetus voiced in the ORC Alliance announcement, and witnessed in the ORC Discord ferment, of which I participate in as "CEO" of Twelvefold Works Publishing. That is "culture."

By "culture" I only mean something with motivational "zest" and "fermentive" identity, even if thin.
if you don't use this one license (which nobody on the planet has even seen yet) you can't play?
How did you get that from what I shared? Did I ever say anything about "if you don't use the ORC License, you can't play?" Dude, I am baffled.
Is there a Moderator around here who will stop folks from putting strange words into my mouth? 🙃
Games have been made open under the OGL, and CC before. You're going to exclude them just because they don't use ORC?
Um, how did you get that from my post, or from anything I said? Gee man, is the word "culture" some sort of triggering trip-wire for you or what?

I will restate my four-point OP in other words.

I propose that once the ORC License is in place (which is, as you say, just about providing a legal framework for an endless multitude of game systems/SRDs), that then, a group of ORC Allied companies consider taking up the following 4-point cross-promotional, co-operative strategy:

1) (Somebody!) offer a website which contains all of the ORC-Licensed SRDs. Such as the existing Open Gaming Network website. I'm not saying anything revolutionary here!

[Edit: I will go back in my OP and add an "s" to the phrase "ORC SRD archive" > "ORC SRDs archive." In that phrase, I meant "SRD" as a collective, genitive plural. But I can see how a quick read might mistakenly think that I confoundedly suggested that there'll be only one ORC SRD.(!!!) So, I can be glad for Umbran's expression of confusion. I hope the added "s" will make it grammatically clearer for the quick reader!]

[Another edit: I'll delete all of the archive examples I gave (e.g. Wikidot), other than the Open Gaming Network. Since they might result in confusion.]

2) Innovatively hyperlink the pages on this website, so that all of the "features" (ancestries, classes, monsters, weapons, etc.) from each system have a link which leads to its equivalent in every other SRD which is hosted on the website. E.g. the "Elf" page on the PF2 SRD, has a sidebar where you can go the "Elf" page for 13th Age SRD, the "Elf" page for "The Black Hack" SRD, the "Elf" page for the A5E SRD, etc.

Kind of like how a Wikipedia article has a side-bar where you can go view different versions of the article in various languages. But this wouldn't be another language, but another game system. (Dang, have I said something offensive here?)

3) I propose that someone (possibly sponsored by one or more ORC-allied companies), produce a mobile app which can quickly convert characters, monsters, spells, etc from one Open system to another. So that gamers can become more comfortable and fluent in visiting other tables, and trying out other corners of the Open ecosystem. I propose the name ORC ENVOY for this app. Or just ENVOY! (In honor of Peter Adkison's Envoy multi-RPG conversion system, which was the spiritual predecessor of this idea.)

4) From this cultural basis (a culture of gamers becoming more familiar with converting in and out of a variety of Open systems), I would enjoy seeing like-minded companies step their co-operation to the extent that it becomes customary for many (most?) of their releases (especially setting/adventure products) to be produced for many different Open RPG systems simultaneously. (Not only through humongous one-off projects like the Savage Worlds-Pathfinder conversion.)

In order to make this more doable, I'm proposing some "labor-saving" innovations, and business-cultural innovations, such as: setting a transparent royalty rate for these sort of "re-statted" products; developing standing agreements between many publishers (of various sizes) so that this sort of multi-translation becomes very common and customary. Even to the extent that "big-name" settings such as Golarion and Ptolus are customarily being issued not only in their house systems (PF2 and Cypher), but also in more obscure systems, such as, say, MAZES, The Black Hack, or Old School Essentials; and also in classic systems, such as Golarion BRP and Starfinder Traveller.

I'm aiming for an arrangement wherein both partners (whether the company be large-ish, medium, or small) will mutually benefit: lucratively (for both), through growing their player network (esp. for the system-creator), and through growing their brand-recognition (esp. for the setting-creator), and in general goodwill. A more streamlined, transparent, customary, "semi-automated" process would make it economically worthwhile for larger companies (e.g. Paizo) to 'stoop' to allowing, say "Golarion WOIN."

I (and my proposal) have nothing against CC content, or even OGL1.0 content (to the extent that publishers and Open Game Archives feel confident in the continued use and mixing of OGL1.0-based Open Game Content). I only focus on the ORC License and ORC Alliance because they're a fresh impetus. To go with my fresh ideas!

Did I say something wrong or offensive?
 
Last edited:

Dausuul

Legend
3) I propose that someone (possibly sponsored by one or more ORC-allied companies), produce a mobile app which can quickly convert characters, monsters, spells, etc from one Open system to another. So that gamers can become more comfortable and fluent in visiting other tables, and trying out other corners of the Open ecosystem. I propose the name ORC ENVOY for this app. Or just ENVOY! (In honor of Peter Adkison's Envoy multi-RPG conversion system, which was the spiritual predecessor of this idea.)
How would you implement these cross-system conversions?

To take an example, pretend the various editions of D&D are games published under the ORC. Say you have a 10th-level fighter in 4E D&D, with various exploits: Cleave, Tide of Iron, Steel Serpent Strike, etc. How would your app go about converting that fighter to 5E D&D?
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top