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Paizo Announces New Irrevocable Open RPG License To Replace the OGL

Paizo, the maker of Pathfinder, has just announced a new open license for use with RPGs. The license will not be owned by Paizo - or by any TTRPG company, and will be stewarded by Azora Law, a company which represents several tabletop gaming companies, until it finds its home with an independent non-profit. This new license is designed to be irrevocable. We believe, as we always have, that...

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Paizo, the maker of Pathfinder, has just announced a new open license for use with RPGs. The license will not be owned by Paizo - or by any TTRPG company, and will be stewarded by Azora Law, a company which represents several tabletop gaming companies, until it finds its home with an independent non-profit. This new license is designed to be irrevocable.

We believe, as we always have, that open gaming makes games better, improves profitability for all involved, and enriches the community of gamers who participate in this amazing hobby. And so we invite gamers from around the world to join us as we begin the next great chapter of open gaming with the release of a new open, perpetual, and irrevocable Open RPG Creative License (ORC).

The new Open RPG Creative License will be built system agnostic for independent game publishers under the legal guidance of Azora Law, an intellectual property law firm that represents Paizo and several other game publishers. Paizo will pay for this legal work. We invite game publishers worldwide to join us in support of this system-agnostic license that allows all games to provide their own unique open rules reference documents that open up their individual game systems to the world. To join the effort and provide feedback on the drafts of this license, please sign up by using this form.

In addition to Paizo, Kobold Press, Chaosium, Green Ronin, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and a growing list of publishers have already agreed to participate in the Open RPG Creative License, and in the coming days we hope and expect to add substantially to this group.

The ORC will not be owned by Paizo, nor will it be owned by any company who makes money publishing RPGs. Azora Law’s ownership of the process and stewardship should provide a safe harbor against any company being bought, sold, or changing management in the future and attempting to rescind rights or nullify sections of the license. Ultimately, we plan to find a nonprofit with a history of open source values to own this license (such as the Linux Foundation).

Read more on Paizo's blog.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That’s still not very precise. There is a lot of content that is licensed under the OGL that does not originate with, or was derived from, WotC or their SRDs.

WotC does not have a copyright on any of that material.
No indeed, nor did I mean to claim they do! But clearly I’m misspeaking (err… mistyping) if this is the impression I’m giving, so I’ll just differ to the actually law-savvy folks.
 

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The thing is, a big part of the appeal of 5e was how it cut down significantly on the numbers bloat that 3e and 4e both suffered from. The total bonus to any given roll is usually a single-digit number until high levels, and dis/advantage alleviates the endless fiddly +1s and +2s that could previously slow the game to a crawl. PF2 very much doesn’t do that; there are several categories of modifiers that go into calculating your bonus on a roll, which can easily end up eclipsing the d20. There’s a lot to like in PF2, but if 5e won you over with bounded accuracy, PF2 is going to be pretty off putting in comparison.
pf2 does have several categories of modifiers - but it has significantly fewer then 3e/4e. it's got item, status, and circumstance, and (aside from permanent stuff you should just have on your sheet like your ability modifiers and proficiency bonuses) that's it. you can have penalties or bonuses of either on a roll, but good luck getting bonuses and penalties from all 3 on the same roll. i think you can also have nested bonuses (so you can have an item bonus to strength and an item bonus on a weapon that uses your strength and be able to add both to the roll), but again at least one of those will typically just be something that should be on your sheet and not thought about mid-session.
(edit: although i would not contest that adding additional modifiers to rolls is far more common in pf2e then it is to 5e. usually they're just a +1/+2 or a -1/-2 to the relevant DC, though.)

i'll give you the bounded accuracy thing, though, even if pf2e does have a proficiency without level variant (i've not played with that - i'd be curious if anyone else has to see how it plays). and there are other ways pf2e is more complicated then 5e - mainly just that there's a lot more rules in general. it's a much more mechanically defined game then 5e is. which i like, because i like having a base to go off of when i'm trying to judge or do something - but i can definitely see that being stifling. my point wasn't that there's no good reason not to want to play pf2e or think it's more complicated then 5e or anything (which i don't think you think it was, i just want to clarify), but rather that on the specific point that was brought up, pf2e isn't really that complicated.
Yes, you did. Especially in Foundry. There is substantially less math with PF2 in Foundry VTT than there is with 5e. By a LOT.

Yes, seriously.
i'm new enough to pf2e that i'm curious as to how this happens - i suspect it has to do with the confined number of modifier categories in pf2e.
 


Tazawa

Adventurer
Agreed, but it's not like WotC vigorously protected that IP over the past 20+ years.

But they did. Through the OGL.

How do you protect game content when everybody says game content isn’t copyrightable? You get everybody to agree that certain content (open game content) is copyrightable by having them agree to a license to that content. You also get them to agree that other, more valuable, content (product identity) is exclusively your copyright as well.

Through the OGL, WotC protected game content with pretty marginal claims to copyright and limited other’s use of that material.

Pretty effective protection of their IP. And they’re throwing it all away.
 

Nebulous

Legend
The thing is, a big part of the appeal of 5e was how it cut down significantly on the numbers bloat that 3e and 4e both suffered from. The total bonus to any given roll is usually a single-digit number until high levels, and dis/advantage alleviates the endless fiddly +1s and +2s that could previously slow the game to a crawl. PF2 very much doesn’t do that; there are several categories of modifiers that go into calculating your bonus on a roll, which can easily end up eclipsing the d20. There’s a lot to like in PF2, but if 5e won you over with bounded accuracy, PF2 is going to be pretty off-putting in comparison.
yeah, I tried PF2, it is definitely not for me. I am curious about what Kobold comes out with and some of the other big hitters.
 


rgard

Adventurer
Yes they have. People used the OGL license, which allowed 3rd parties to use WotC's copyrighted content while WotC retained copyright on the SRD content. Also, you don't have to vigorously defend copyright for it to still be valid; you may be thinking about trademarks.
Yes on trademark and not copyright, but there is a statute of limitations on bringing a lawsuit.
 

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