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...

1673564461522.png

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.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
To expound on this, would it require any action on the part of publishers who've previously put out OGL v1.0a materials? I ask because over the course of twenty-plus years, some have retired or are otherwise no longer active. If they need to proactively release (or even declare) that their OGL v1.0a Open Game Content is licensed for use with ORC, then a lot of material won't be moved over; conversely, if the ORC License has a clause that says something to the effect of "all Open Game Content from the OGL v1.0a is considered Open Content [or whatever term they use] with this license," that would make things much easier and more expansive.
Unfortunately, it almost certainly would. Otherwise it would require retroactively applying the ORC License to those materials without the copyright holder's permission.

It's especially difficult for material that contains other OGC itself, you would technically need permission from everyone mentioned in the S15 entry for that work, unless you first excise anything being used from those works that you can't use without violating copyright.

It would be technically possible for a publisher to put out a blanket statement that all of their OGL-licensed work is now ORC-licensed, but again you'd have to take special care when their work contains other OGL-licensed work that isn't ORC-licensed.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Matchstick

Adventurer
“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.”
Pinnacle Inc., maker of Savage Worlds, just had a YouTube stream and one of the things they said was that they had signed on.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
My experience with the PF2 playtest is that it looks more complex than it actually is. And funny enough I think 5e is kinda the opposite, being actually more complex than it looks. But despite that, PF2 is still the more complex game overall. Still, I think the modifier bloat, while certainly cut down from PF1, is still the biggest turn-off for the average 5e fan.
I hear this but there really isnt much modifier bloat at all. I mean, you add 1 at every level (I like the proficiency without level myself) but otherwise the buffs are very few and far between. Set it and forget it.
 

Nylanfs

Adventurer
I am very impressed with this.

They're doing exactly the right thing, and even seem to have basically created a law firm to protect it until it can get a foundation, which is amazing.

It even has a good name! ORC!

Paizo really increasing drastically in my estimation here.

EDIT - Also I guess we got a big announcement after all lol.
Azora Law already represents a lot of publishers and Brian Lewis works there who is the person who wrote the original OGL.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Is that a PF2 thing, or a VTT thing? We play 5e on Roll20 and there's, like, no math. You click buttons. That's not because there's "no math" in 5e, though, it's because the software is doing it all.
The automation on PF2 in terms of rules (not in terms of auto-applying damage, which it does not do) is impressive: Cover, range, auto-calculated range penalties, a whole host of fiddly smaller rules -- it's all there and largely invisible. You can click the details button to verify it's being applied correctly (it is; PF2 is REALLY well done in Foundry VTT) but at the and of the day -- it just works. The Rule Element implementation in the code, which took quite a while to finish, is especially slick. Atropos (the author of Foundry) was on record thinking it was too ambitious and wouldn't work. He has since admitted he was happily wrong. It works exceptionally well.

The character creation side of PF2 using just Foundry VTT within the software guides character creation, too. It's so much better than the crappy HLO, it's not even close. For the most part, it's drag and drop. And it's 100% FREE. Free as in BEER. [Free as in OGL 1.0a.!]

FVTT PF2 team are all volunteers, but they are skilled, hard-working and there are a LOT of them. In terms of actual programmers hours? A lot more "zots" to contribute to implementation of the PF2 system than Foundry itself had available to implement 5e. To be fair, Atropos & Co. have an entire software package to deal with -- PF2's team is narrowly focused on implementing one game system really well.
 

Michael O'Brien

Hero
Publisher
Chaosium is pleased to be part of the Open RPG Creative License initiative, announced today by our friends at Paizo.

Chaosium issued its own (non-WotC) Open Game License for its Basic Roleplaying System in 2020, enabling designers to create their own roleplaying games using the Basic Roleplaying rules engine, royalty-free and without further permission from Chaosium.

At the time, Chaosium raised concerns about serious deficiencies and legal uncertainties in the WoTC OGL, especially if it was being used for non-D20 games.

Full statement here:
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
except that's...not really what you get in 5e. you get advantage and disadvantage...and then you get a whole lot of possible situational things like bless, bane, guidance, bardic inspiration, battlemaster maneuvers, haste, cover, etc. that, in pf2e, is all covered by item/status/circumstance. and i think that leads into what you say later.
I mean, yes, but outside of groups like @Zardnaar ’s who go all-in on bonus optimization, you rarely have to account for more than one of these at a time (and if you are in such a group, clearly managing them isn’t a problem for you). It’s really less about the total number of possible sources of modifiers and more about the cognitive load of having to manage the modifiers you can typically expect to have.
yeah, it's in the GMG. it's as simple as it sounds - if a roll or DC adds the creature's level, it no longer does. ironically enough, they actually use basically the exact same table as 5e's DCs table for how DCs should work with the variant (i.e. 5/10/15/20/25/30 with difficulty names). the only thing i can think of that a DM might need to look at would be the assurance feat.
That’s about what I figured. Definitely sounds more up my alley.
i agree - and i think what i mentioned earlier is one reason why. 5e appears to handle all its bonus modifiers with advantage/disadvantage...until it doesn't.

yeah, i do think the appearance of having more modifiers (and the reality of having them pop up more often) is definitely the biggest turn off for people coming from 5e. it was for me.
And I do think that reality of how often they actually come up is the biggest factor.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I hear this but there really isnt much modifier bloat at all. I mean, you add 1 at every level (I like the proficiency without level myself) but otherwise the buffs are very few and far between. Set it and forget it.
Don’t item, status, and circumstantial mods come up pretty regularly?
 

Dausuul

Legend
If you mean that WotC owns the copyright on the text of the OGL (as in the text of the license agreement), you’d be right.

But if you mean that WotC owns the copyright on all of the content published under the OGL, you’d be wrong. Very wrong…
I mean that you don't give up ownership when you release something under the OGL. The 5E and 3E SRDs remain property of Wizards of the Coast. They have merely offered a license to use that property under specific conditions. Nobody but Wizards can put it under the ORC.

Similarly, the Pathfinder SRD is property of Paizo... except the bits that were taken from the 3E SRD.

Open game content is not public domain.
 

Remove ads

Remove ads

Top