OGL Over 1,500 Publishers Support Paizo's Upcoming Open RPG Creator's License

Paizo has revealed some of the 1,500+ tabletop RPG publishers who have expressed an interest in their new Open RPG Creator's License (ORC), describing the group as the 'ORC Alliance'.

The license itself is still being worked on, so these 1,500 publishers have not actually seen it or signed anything. But they have indicated to Paizo that they support a new, truly open, irrevocable industry license.

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Over the course of the last week, more than 1,500 tabletop RPG publishers, from household names going back to the dawn of the hobby to single proprietors just starting out with their first digital release, have joined together to pledge their support for the development of a universal system-neutral open license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages innovation and collaboration in the tabletop gaming space.

The alliance is gathered. Work has begun.

It would take too long to list all the companies behind the ORC license effort, but we thought you might be interested to see a few of the organizations already pledged toward this common goal. We are honored to be allied with them, as well as with the equally important participating publishers too numerous to list here. Each is crucial to the effort’s success. The list below is but a representative sample of participating publishers from a huge variety of market segments with a huge variety of perspectives. But we all agree on one thing.

We are all in this together.
  • Alchemy RPG
  • Arcane Minis
  • Atlas Games
  • Autarch
  • Azora Law
  • Black Book Editions
  • Bombshell Miniatures
  • BRW Games
  • Chaosium
  • Cze & Peku
  • Demiplane
  • DMDave
  • The DM Lair
  • Elderbrain
  • EN Publishing
  • Epic Miniatures
  • Evil Genius Games
  • Expeditious Retreat Press
  • Fantasy Grounds
  • Fat Dragon Games
  • Forgotten Adventures
  • Foundry VTT
  • Free RPG Day
  • Frog God Games
  • Gale Force 9
  • Game On Tabletop
  • Giochi Uniti
  • Goodman Games
  • Green Ronin
  • The Griffon’s Saddlebag
  • Iron GM Games
  • Know Direction
  • Kobold Press
  • Lazy Wolf Studios
  • Legendary Games
  • Lone Wolf Development
  • Loot Tavern
  • Louis Porter Jr. Designs
  • Mad Cartographer
  • Minotaur Games
  • Mongoose Publishing
  • MonkeyDM
  • Monte Cook Games
  • MT Black
  • Necromancer Games
  • Nord Games
  • Open Gaming, Inc.
  • Paizo Inc.
  • Paradigm Concepts
  • Pelgrane Press
  • Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Raging Swan Press
  • Rogue Games
  • Rogue Genius Games
  • Roll 20
  • Roll for Combat
  • Sly Flourish
  • Tom Cartos
  • Troll Lord Games
  • Ulisses Spiele
You will be hearing a lot more from us in the days to come.
 
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Von Ether

Legend
Well, which is it? It's not "fractured" if that "number is pretty much everyone". They're all standing united against WotC's overreach and for properly open gaming.
Pardon, I should have said that for a very traditionally fractured industry, that number is pretty much everyone on the same page for once.

Hence, the "Wow," part at the start of the sentence. Apologies if the post lacked context.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Pardon, I should have said that for a very traditionally fractured industry, that number is pretty much everyone on the same page for once.

Hence, the "Wow," part at the start of the sentence. Apologies if the post lacked context.
Sorry. Reading five things at once.
 

Although, as I've said in the past, they've burned through all of the true TSR classics that aren't in Yawning Portal, Curse of Strahd or Ghosts of Saltmarsh, so I don't know how many more OAR installments we've got left. Against the Cult of the Reptile God, Dungeonland/The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror and the Slavers series seem like the only remaining obvious ones, as the Pharaoh series is after the era the company has traditionally cared about.
I would actually love to see an OAR version of N1.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
I would actually love to see an OAR version of N1.
Against the Cult of the Reptile God is an all-timer, for sure. I think it'd likely be a very slim volume unless they broke their 1E/BX focus and added in the 4E/D&D Next Against the Cult of Chaos update. (Which would be fine by me, since I can't find a copy of that anywhere.)
 
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Against the Cult of the Reptile God is an all-timer, for sure. I think it'd likely be a very slim volume unless they broke their 1E/BX focus and added in the 4E/D&D Next Against the Cult of Chaos update. (Which would be fine by me, since I can't find a copy of that anywhere.)
This is the first I've heard of it!

...this is what I get for taking a decade off from RPGs.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Hopefully, Ad Infinitum (Steve Kenson), Barrel Rider, Gallant Knight Games, Mage Hand Press, {OAP}, Kibbles Tasty, Sterling Vermin, Taron Pound, Tribality, Walrock Homebrew all join.
I'm on the patreon and he did put out an announcement last week that he's pondering possibilities for Icons.

It should be easy enough to relicense the core game under a different license since it's actually mostly Fate derived not d20 and Fate has both an OGL and CC-BY license options. But the effect it has on downstream stuff from others who have published Icons stuff under the OGL license is probably going to be a headache for them all to have to deal with when Wizards "deauthorizes" the license, whatever that means.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
More likely they're under an anti-disparagement clause, meaning they can't say anything negative about WotC. But that shouldn't prevent them from signing on to the ORC.
Not sure they will need to. In the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, they don't provide any of their content for use by others via an SRD and in fact explicitly state that none of their content can be used without their express written agreement. They only use the license for WotCs 5.1 SRD. So unless they decide to switch to a system under ORC, I don't know why they would use it.
 

beta-ray

Adventurer
It sounds interesting (I wouldn't think licensing things would ever be interesting), but I don't want to get too rah rah, until things are finalized. Hoping for something good to come of this.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Not sure they will need to. In the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, they don't provide any of their content for use by others via an SRD and in fact explicitly state that none of their content can be used without their express written agreement. They only use the license for WotCs 5.1 SRD. So unless they decide to switch to a system under ORC, I don't know why they would use it.
Signing on in the sense of openly supporting the creation of the license. Not the release of their IP under it.

They play mostly straight D&D in Matt’s homebrew world, I don’t see an issue with them keeping their stuff PI instead of OGC.

And when they publish their own RPG (which seems inevitable), I’m hoping they do so under the ORC.
 

That’s a lot of people but my negative Nancy feel on this is….whatever Paizo and group creates, the number of backers players are exponentially smaller than D&D 5e so the million dollar kickstarters for small publishers are not as likely as we’ve seen with 5e kickstarters in the last 3 or so years. Again, the player base isn’t big enough to keep this many publishers solvent, for a smaller game reach.

Some will go down swinging the David vs Goliath sling cause of WOTC or whatever they are thinking but those 1500 need to be realistic in their expectations.
 


OB1

Jedi Master
Signing on in the sense of openly supporting the creation of the license. Not the release of their IP under it.

They play mostly straight D&D in Matt’s homebrew world, I don’t see an issue with them keeping their stuff PI instead of OGC.

And when they publish their own RPG (which seems inevitable), I’m hoping they do so under the ORC.
But if they aren't interested in the opening parts of their game for others to use, why would they publish under ORC? They used OGL to gain access to WotC's SRD, not to add to the creative commons of the OGL. Given the strength of their brand, likely a wise business decision. If they did decide to allow content to be created for their RPG, I would bet it would be under a license more similar to the current 1.2 doc, that allows 3PPs to create for their system, but not lead to competitors to their brand.
 





The big question now is whether the non-D&D RPG market can grow and expand alongside the number of companies that will be wading into that pool for the first time as they transition away from making D&D supplements or D&D-adjacent games?

We know a large number of companies have been able to survive off the D&D design grid... the question is whether the rest will be able to keep themselves afloat alongside them now as well?
I
The big question now is whether the non-D&D RPG market can grow and expand alongside the number of companies that will be wading into that pool for the first time as they transition away from making D&D supplements or D&D-adjacent games?

We know a large number of companies have been able to survive off the D&D design grid... the question is whether the rest will be able to keep themselves afloat alongside them now as well?
Yeah a few will probably do very well. Some may go the OGL 1.2 route and benefit from the creator badge especially if the movie does well and OneD&D is popular. But for a lot of small publishers I expect a death spiral. Many of us have gotten used to beautiful books lavish-fully illustrated with full color. If the split means fewer more fragmented backers than the quality will likely decrease causing fewer people to be interested etc.
 

BlueFin

Explorer
(I was thinking about this - it really is the case that for me at least the Wizards purchase of D&D was a bit of a reset in my attitude towards D&D and TSR. I'd fallen off the D&D train in the 90s in large part because TSR was just a terrible company online and I didn't want to support them. I came back to D&D with Wizards in large part because they said all the right things and did all the right things to indicate that they weren't going to be TSR and they understood how bad that was. 20+ years later and Hasbro is right back where TSR was with me, destroying all of that goodwill in one fell swoop.)
Totally agree with this. It's essentially the reason I won't be spending another penny on D&D until wotc no longer owns it. (That is, it won't be enough for me for hasbro to sell off wotc)

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you" - the problem is that wotc thinks they're the ones feeding us, forgetting, as many have pointed out, we have almost 50 years of published material to use for our games and don't actually need to spend another cent in order to have amazing games for the rest of our lives.

And... "Don't poo where you eat", only wotc have gone much further, poisoning the well and the land all around, only to find themselves on an island in the middle of the land of ORC!! Hurrah!! 🤩😂
 

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