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.

OpenRPG_1200x675.png


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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I actually don't think they have much to worry about. I suspect a large amount of their audience are the people who are CR fans who play D&D... not the D&D/OGL diehards who also watch CR. So there's a good chance that a lot of their audience have no idea about this OGL thing, because none of them care about any products outside of CR and D&D and the show.

That's the thing that I suspect is going to shock a lot of the people here on the boards when all is said and done-- I just don't think most of the general D&D audience knows about or cares about all of this. After all... a large number of 3rd Party D&D material is made, sold, and bought through DMs Guild and NOT the OGL... so if the Guild is still up and running, many players will not see their purchasing habits change nor will a lot of designers. They'll still create D&D product for DMs Guild, and folks will buy it through DMs Guild.

So what will happen is that by the spring the OGL 1.2 will be released, most current OGL designers will move away from it and begin supporting other games instead of D&D (and hope against hope those games have or find enough of an audience to keep their sales going), and the D&D wing of the RPG community will continue on as though nothing happened.

And at that point down the line we'll see just how strong the "Never playing D&D so long as WotC owns it!" contingent's resolve actual is.
I think you are correct. I would add another group as well that best summarizes me and my gaming groups. People displeased with WoTCs actions on the OGL, and who buy a lot of 3PP material to the tune of thousands of dollars worth, but when push come to shove stay with D&D which means saying goodbye to some of the publishers we have supported.
 

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Cergorach

The Laughing One
It is all about content creation for ONE DND. WotC desperately needs 3PP to do that for them. Otherwise, WotC has to bear the costs of doing it and that then increases the risk of either losing money outright or not getting a larger return. By ending the older OGL, they would be forcing all 3PP to move immediately to making content for ONE DND.
I think you underestimate the amount of people that don't give a F about the OGL or very restrictive and extreme profit sharing schemes. As long as they can make/share D&D stuff, they are fine with it! Just look at the dmsguild.com site, over 31,000 products (in 7 years) there under way more restrictive licenses then the new OGL would give them. So there's a TON of content that WotC/Hasbro is already monotizing, that they did not make themselves. They just wanted to do the same to all the bigger companies that use(d) the OGL and WotC/Hasbro underestimated how many (bigger) companies would accept that (without a fight)...

It hasn't been the 3E situation for a LONG while where WotC didn't do adventures (beyond a few to get the ball rolling). 4E already had a bunch of official D&D WotC adventures, as has 5E, I don't expect OneDnD to change that publishing formula... So the desperation for content from WotC's perspective I don't really see (happening). The license will be there, but more restrictive. So established OGL publishers might not produce under the new license, those voids will be quickly filled by people seeing business opportunities. Especially for the DMsGuild publishers it would be reasonably easy to recycle their product for the new edition.

And that's not even talking about all the fan created material outside of these licenses. There was already a TON of fan created material out there before the launch of the OGL. Heck, before the launch of 3E, when it was still Eric Noah's site, I ran "Northern Journey" (fan created campaign) with cobbled together 3E rules, there was already a LOT of stuff out on the internets, that amount has only increased!
 

@Cergorach largely nails it here.

Our only power to effect current business decisions is to generate bad PR and mobilize a consumer boycott. Our ability to do this is obviously limited. But killing the OGL 1.0(a) isn't just an innocuous business decision, it's illegal. So this can only end in WotC retreating now or in a courtroom down the line.

There can't possibly be any justification for accepting a robbery as a fait accompli, even if the majority of paying customers or even current business partners decide to go for a new deal. Those are separate issues.
 

@Cergorach largely nails it here.

Our only power to effect current business decisions is to generate bad PR and mobilize a consumer boycott. But killing the OGL 1.0(a) isn't just an innocuous business decision, it's illegal. So this can only end in WotC retreating now or in a courtroom down the line.

There can't possibly be any justification for accepting a robbery as a fait accompli, even if the majority of paying customers or even current business partners decide to go for a new deal. Those are separate issues.
I agree it is best to settle this in court. ORC is fine as is trying to get the OGL 1.2 changed but the best way to protect everything is go to court and then we can know for certain whether deauthorizing the OGL is legal or not.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
But killing the OGL 1.0(a) isn't just an innocuous business decision, it's illegal. So this can only end in WotC retreating now or in a courtroom down the line.
Illegal implies that some sort of law is being broken... Which one would that be? I think this is just a contract dispute, where which possibly WotC is in the wrong, I certainly hope so! But who exactly is going to take WotC to court over this? I suspect 99,99999999% of the people won't. I can see that one lawyer that was weighing in on the matter doing it and Paizo maybe financing it if that lawyer does it for peanuts...

But otherwise... WotC is the bully with a big stick and some might be 'posing' as opponents, but non are actually stepping up to the plate yet. They are still safe behind the fence. And in my experience, as long as your stick is big enough, you can get away with a LOT of things...

And at a certain point I'm wondering if Paizo is not better of with the new OGL being restrictive (or a de-autherized OGL 1a) and won't fight it, because it is the direct cause for the ORC alliance existing... So will anyone even seriously go to court with WotC over this? And I say seriously, because I can see a LOT of nutters coming out of the woodwork... I do hope that a Paizo will go to court with a proper lawyer to get this de-authorization issue ironed out, one way or the other. Maybe they can get it in front of Judge Clark Allen Peterson? @Orcus we summon thee! ;-)
 



Waller

Hero
Illegal implies that some sort of law is being broken... Which one would that be?
Illegal doesn't just refer to laws. You can have illegal moves in a game or a sport which aren't criminal acts. It refers to something not allowed, which in this case would be the de-authorization of the original license, which (you'd allege) is prohibited by the license itself.
I think this is just a contract dispute, where which possibly WotC is in the wrong, I certainly hope so! But who exactly is going to take WotC to court over this? I suspect 99,99999999% of the people won't. I can see that one lawyer that was weighing in on the matter doing it and Paizo maybe financing it if that lawyer does it for peanuts...
To sue you have to have some standing. You have to show you were injured/damaged by their conduct. You can't just be a lawyer with a passing interest and a desire to prosecute.
 

rknop

Adventurer
Trying to get a general handle here... what, in terms of free to use gaming material, does ORC offer?
Nothing, nor will it ever. It's a license, not a library.

The right question is, what have people offered under the ORC?

Answer there is also nothing, since the ORC license doesn't exist yet, but it will definitely include the SRDs if Pathfinder 2e and Starfinder, and probably Kobold's Black Flag, Level Up, and a whole lot if other things.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I empathize. I feel rather overgeeked myself these past few days. Really think I need to step away from all this for the next week and come back when the dust settles.
Yeah. The name was meant to be a variation of overclocked, overwhelmed, and over-stimulated…so that tracks.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I actually don't think they have much to worry about. I suspect a large amount of their audience are the people who are CR fans who play D&D... not the D&D/OGL diehards who also watch CR. So there's a good chance that a lot of their audience have no idea about this OGL thing, because none of them care about any products outside of CR and D&D and the show.

That's the thing that I suspect is going to shock a lot of the people here on the boards when all is said and done-- I just don't think most of the general D&D audience knows about or cares about all of this. After all... a large number of 3rd Party D&D material is made, sold, and bought through DMs Guild and NOT the OGL... so if the Guild is still up and running, many players will not see their purchasing habits change nor will a lot of designers. They'll still create D&D product for DMs Guild, and folks will buy it through DMs Guild.

So what will happen is that by the spring the OGL 1.2 will be released, most current OGL designers will move away from it and begin supporting other games instead of D&D (and hope against hope those games have or find enough of an audience to keep their sales going), and the D&D wing of the RPG community will continue on as though nothing happened.

And at that point down the line we'll see just how strong the "Never playing D&D so long as WotC owns it!" contingent's resolve actual is.
I get where this comes from, but I think the fact that 1500+ publishers are looking at the ORC, and that wotc keeps backing down and changing their tactics, tells us IMO that enough to the community is angry that it very much is not just enworlders and OGL diehards.

And as a longtime critter…yeah it’s gonna get toxic. 100% guarantee.

It already is on twitter, and has been since CR didn’t like abandon and repudiate D&D and wotc the second the first OGL 1.1 leak dropped.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
but I think the fact that 1500+ publishers are looking at the ORC
How many of those 1500+ 'publishers' are 'relevant'? Of the sixty that actually were listed, there are already some truly tiny 'publishers' in there. Look at Minotaur Games a tiny operation, even on DTRPG they only have 24 products, some of which are even bundles of the other ~20 products... Everyone that ever used or intents to use the OGL is being drafted as a 'publisher'... Sure there are a couple of big names on there, but there's a reason why they didn't publish the complete list and even with the list they published they a scraping the barrel... 1500+ publishers just sounds like a lot and some kind of big force to be afraid of...

The idea of the ORC alliance is great, but do realize that it's only a few high level publishers standing at the front, with the rest of the mass being level-0 NPCs... ;-)

And to date we've only heard of the intention, no license has been published and no SRDs have been published under it. It's all a LOT of hope and promise, I really hope it works out, but I'll wait before I glorify it as the next best thing since sliced bread.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
How many of those 1500+ 'publishers' are 'relevant'?
The question is irrelevant. You brought up DMsGuild publications. Almost none of those publishers are "relevant" in any broad sense, and if 1500+ publishers are stating their intention to use the ORC license, most DMsGuild publishers that people are supposedly getting most of their 3pp from...are probably in that 1500+ (and growing).
Of the sixty that actually were listed, there are already some truly tiny 'publishers' in there. Look at Minotaur Games a tiny operation, even on DTRPG they only have 24 products, some of which are even bundles of the other ~20 products... Everyone that ever used or intents to use the OGL is being drafted as a 'publisher'... Sure there are a couple of big names on there, but there's a reason why they didn't publish the complete list and even with the list they published they a scraping the barrel... 1500+ publishers just sounds like a lot and some kind of big force to be afraid of...

The idea of the ORC alliance is great, but do realize that it's only a few high level publishers standing at the front, with the rest of the mass being level-0 NPCs... ;-)
You've moved the goalpost into an adjacent lot.

Either the DMsGuild is where players get most of their 3pp, or small DMsGuild publishers don't matter and won't impact how the community at large interacts with dnd. You can't have both.
And to date we've only heard of the intention, no license has been published and no SRDs have been published under it. It's all a LOT of hope and promise, I really hope it works out, but I'll wait before I glorify it as the next best thing since sliced bread.
Complete red herring.

Not only have I never glorified any license in any context at any time on these boards, much less this one in this conversation, but your pessimism about it and the fact it hasn't been fully drafted and released yet, are all completely tangential to the point of contention.
 




Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Don't see any OGC declaration in my copy, which by default means none of their additions are OGC. Unless I missed it somewhere?
Check the tail end of the OGL on p.143:
Tal'dorei Campaign Setting p.143 said:
Open Content: Rules and game mechanics (but not Product Identity) on pages 26, 45, 55, 59, 65, 93, and Chapters 3 and 4 are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
 



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