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...


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

log in or register to remove this ad


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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.!]
Right, so it isn’t actually that the system requires less math, it’s that the math it does require is easier to automate. Convenient if you’re using such software, but not really relevant for folks who stick to pen and paper at a physical table.

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.

And I do think that reality of how often they actually come up is the biggest factor.
i mean...yeah.
Don’t item, status, and circumstantial mods come up pretty regularly?
item can usually be regarded as a permanent modifer (i say "usually" because the alchemist exists), and status is almost always specifically applied by an ability, but circumstance modifiers come up a lot.


A product can use both ORC and OGL 1.0a.

There problem is later. When Hasbro-WotC officially (tries to) end the OGL 1.0a, it will start throwing lawsuits around. For those unable to fight Hasbro-WotC in court, they would need to remove all the SRD content that depended on the OGL 1.0a.
See, I still believe this is FUD. They cannot recind the original license from content that has already been produced from OGL 1.0a. section 9 explicitly states that. You can continue to modify, copy and distribute that content using OGL1.0a. what they are trying to do is for new content. They are trying to say "you can only CREATE content under an authorised license, and the only one will be X". And for 6E the SRD will be bound to X. So if you want to continue to create content for D&D you must use X. The challenge is for 3pp that are using OGL1.0a but not creating content for D&D. By unauthorising OGL 1.0a they don't have a license that will protect them from potentially creating content that infringes on WotC content. The OGL was the safe harbour of "if it's covered in the SRD it doesn't matter". So 3pp could be less "careful" about infringing, and could reuse content from WotC (which includes stat block formats etc).

This is a great move by Paizo, but it is still dependent on companies creating SRDs tied to the ORC. And THOSE companies will need to create the SRD so that it does not infringe on WotC IP. Really doesn't help those content creators that just create for D&D. But those creators are already protected for EXISTING content with the constructs of the OGLs. They will just need to ask themselves is their a big enough pool of players for System Y for me to create content for, or am I going to sign up to OGL 2.0 and have Wizards take part of my money and potentially my content and destroy my livelihood with (at the moment) 30 days notice. Not many will answer yes to either of those questions.
Last edited:

Matt Thomason

How does any of this matter of WotC goes ahead and says that Pathfinder is released under and an unauthorized version of the OGL?

Without open systems worth publishing for, what use is the license?
Paizo appear to be working on excising any and all WotC-copyrightable content from PF2, in order to release a PF2 (2.5?) SRD under the ORC license.

Kobold Press's new system would also appear to be implied to use this license.

Comments from Chaosium indicate that BRP will be made available under the ORC license.


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.
I run PF2e both in person and on Foundry VTT. Foundry does the maths and makes things super easy for sure. Click button and go. I usually do modifiers on the fly though and just have the player flat roll without using the foundry modifiers pop up.

The in person the maths are literally D20+some already calculated number from the character sheet. Occasionally an extra +1 for guidance or a -2 for attacking non lethally, etc. If there is another modifier on top of that it’s usually me as the GM quickly calculating it on the fly, adding it to the result the player tells me.

Player says “I got a 36” (14 on D20 + 22 attack modifier). I say, enemy has -3 ac for bring flanked and frightened 1 which makes its AC 26, that’s a critical hit.” High fives all around.
Last edited:

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads