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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Jadeite

Open Gaming Enthusiast
Ulisses Spiele wants to make the license viable for the German and EU law. They are also going to release SRDs for all game systems they have the rights to (Torg, Fading Suns, Hexen and all editions of the Dark Eye). Hopefully Pegasus and Uhrwerk will join this effort. Maybe other publishers from Europe like Black Book Editions will do the same.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
I was thinking pulling their best seller badges from drivethrough to estimate the total size, but right now that feels too much like work.

Maybe someone else has stronger motivation?
Unless we know what Copper or Ademantite seller means, I think it would be kinda useless. It would also mean different things, a product that has been Ademantite for a year is very different for one that has been around for 20 years...
 

Jadeite

Open Gaming Enthusiast
There's now a statement from several German publishers (in German):
Heinrich Tüffers Verlag, Mannifest Games, Redaktion Phantastik, System Matters Verlag, Uhrwerk Verlag, Ulisses Spiele and Verlag für Fantasy- & Science Fiction-Spiele GbR have declared their support for the ORC, though not necessarily their intent to release their rule systems under it.
 

Enrahim2

Adventurer
I mean for a business to make drastic changes to their business model.
In the case of WotC/Hasbro to do the backpedaling it has shown (for now).
In the case of Enworld to have had their last WOIN kickstarter almost three years ago and 25 A5E/5E kickstarters since...

I mean how well does it sell. Which indirectly translates to a certain level of popularity, but not necessarily. I mean a single 5E kickstarted book doing a couple of million is 'relevant' and ~1350 'publishers' combined maybe making the same numbers in revenue over a decade isn't 'relevant'.

But on the other hand, how 'relevant' would Monte Cook Games be (to this discussion) if it was already using only the Cypher System (License)?

It's not just about popularity, money or system. It's a combination of that and then primarily viewed from a WotC/Hasbro perspective (and to a certain extend their customer base), because after all the ORC alliance is being formed to pressure WotC to change it's mind. And (possibly) provide an alternative to the OGL...
They don't need to be big to be relevant. What make D&D a hobby, rather than "just a game" is due to the different levels you can engage with it. I for instance like reading and running adventures, and find wizards offering to be much less to my tastes than even certain very low production value works.

Others love creating and sharing their work, and enjoy being able to do that without a crippling financial opportunity cost. Others love shopping around in the endless sea of character options. A few get so much positive feedback on their work or creativity that they take the plunge onto trying to make a living out of making things for, or even just promoting the game - but almost all of these started out as hobbyists.

This living breathing ecosystem us what has made D&D more than a game. Having this huge community is the big differentiator compared to other RPGs. The hobbyists that are making their amateurish, poorly balanced suplement with stick figure drawings is as important as Kobold Press. For one thing the next big talent might see the former and think "I can do better". Where would D&D have been if they had before CR was a thing thought that it would be a good idea to withhold exclusive rights to any videos depicting the game? CR wasn't the first to stream a live game, would they ever have thought of it if it hadn't been a "thing"?

Wizards see the heart of their community fleeing the body. Is it strange they are panicking?
 

mamba

Hero
Unless we know what Copper or Ademantite seller means, I think it would be kinda useless. It would also mean different things, a product that has been Ademantite for a year is very different for one that has been around for 20 years...
we know that, the site says that somewhere, copper is like > 100 copies sold (assuming it is the lowest tier) with adamantine being > 5000 sold, of course that can be a lot more than 5000 too…
 



gweinel

Explorer
@lmaro None. ORC is simply a license that publishers may use to open up their own gaming material. Expect several different SRDs (from different companies, for different game systems) to be released under ORC.

I disagree. I think, for the first time the creators will have (almost) every ruleset out there through SRDs. I expect new wave of books which will combine a multitude of rules from various RPG companies, under one license.
 
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treps

Explorer
I disagree. I think, for the first time the creators will have (almost) every ruleset out there through SRDs. I expect new wave of books which will combine a multitude of rules from various RPG companies, under one license.
Many of the 1500 won't publish anything under this new license, if they haven't before under the OGL 1.0a there's no reason that it will change.
I might be wrong but I don't dream too much regarding this...
 

Dreamscape

Crafter of fine role-playing games
Many of the 1500 won't publish anything under this new license, if they haven't before under the OGL 1.0a there's no reason that it will change.
I might be wrong but I don't dream too much regarding this...
It's possible that they will change their mind once ORC is finalised, but as it stands most supporting publishers who have made statements are saying they will release SRDs. A fair portion of those say they will use CC if ORC turns out not to meet their needs. This is already shaping up to be a very different venture to the OGL - the latter aimed to draw 3PPs into one system, ORC looks set to be a much more outward- and onward-looking ecosystem.
 

demoss

Explorer
we know that, the site says that somewhere, copper is like > 100 copies sold (assuming it is the lowest tier) with adamantine being > 5000 sold, of course that can be a lot more than 5000 too…
We also know the numbers of publications under each category.
 


Ulisses Spiele wants to make the license viable for the German and EU law. They are also going to release SRDs for all game systems they have the rights to (Torg, Fading Suns, Hexen and all editions of the Dark Eye). Hopefully Pegasus and Uhrwerk will join this effort. Maybe other publishers from Europe like Black Book Editions will do the same.
Ulisses making TORG Eternal to the SRD would be my dream come true... I have been saying for over a week now that TORG should be our new D20 system anyway...
 

Clint_L

Hero
Ulisses Spiele wants to make the license viable for the German and EU law. They are also going to release SRDs for all game systems they have the rights to (Torg, Fading Suns, Hexen and all editions of the Dark Eye).
Was surprised to see this name on the list, to say the least! They previously had a reputation for really aggressively keeping the lid on their IP, to the point of even shutting down fan fiction. If they follow through on releasing SRDs for their stuff, that will be a massive reversal!
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Was surprised to see this name on the list, to say the least! They previously had a reputation for really aggressively keeping the lid on their IP, to the point of even shutting down fan fiction. If they follow through on releasing SRDs for their stuff, that will be a massive reversal!
It would be a welcome twist if WotC just made everyone in the industry but themselves realize the benefits of open source in building customer engagement.
 

mamba

Hero
From Kobold Press

“Celeste Conowitch, our Senior Game Designer, is the lead on game design for this new fantasy RPG. She has been working on Project Black Flag behind the scenes since the summer of 2022. Additional designers and developers are currently engaged with the project, as well as several partners from the community.”

playtest to start in February

 

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