Paizo Posts New Draft of ORC License

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A second draft of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license has been posted by Paizo, incorporating changes based on feedback on the first draft.

This second draft incorporates changes and suggestions from hundreds of participating publishers on the ORC License Discord community, adds significant clarity to key terms and definitions, substantially increases the size and scope of the project’s official FAQ, and introduces several basic quality-of-life improvements across the board.

You can download a copy of the ORC license and its associated FAQ/AxE (Answers and Explanations) document below. Our intention is to solicit “final” feedback on the ORC License Discord until the end of the day NEXT Monday, May 22nd. We intend for this wave of commentary to be the last round before presenting the truly final version of the license, which we plan to release by the end of May.

Our deepest thanks to all project participants. Your feedback has been invaluable in making the ORC License an ideal open gaming license that will serve the community long into the future.

A new era of open gaming is nearly here!
 

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kenada

Legend
Supporter
OK, so all of the BRP 3pp might be interested. But not necessarily.
The BRP-OGL shouldn’t be confused with the OGL. It’s very restrictive. There’s no way to declare Product Identity, and Chaosium defines a list of Prohibited Content that includes game mechanics (like sanity). You are not allowed to use Prohibited Content, and you can’t recreate it. Even if the Prohibited Content has long been in the public domain, you’re still not allowed to use it.
 




kenada

Legend
Supporter
Mutants and Masterminds is 21?
Sadly, I lost my copy of the first edition, so I can’t check its declaration, but this is what the 2nd edition declares:

The following is designated as Product Identity, in accordance with Section 1(e) of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a: all character and place names and descriptions, all artwork and images, power points, and hero points.

It’s not declaring mechanics as Product Identity¹, which seems to support my point. My impression is the trend is recent, so I’m skeptical about the claim the current practice is a twenty year industry standard.



[1]: Hero points and power points an be called something else. This is like when Paizo names a game mechanic (like a class or spell) after a person or group that’s Product Identity. OGC usage requires replacing the name with something else.
 

dbolack

Adventurer
Sadly, I lost my copy of the first edition, so I can’t check its declaration, but this is what the 2nd edition declares:

The following is designated as Product Identity, in accordance with Section 1(e) of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a: all character and place names and descriptions, all artwork and images, power points, and hero points.

It’s not declaring mechanics as Product Identity¹, which seems to support my point. My impression is the trend is recent, so I’m skeptical about the claim the current practice is a twenty year industry standard.



[1]: Hero points and power points an be called something else. This is like when Paizo names a game mechanic (like a class or spell) after a person or group that’s Product Identity. OGC usage requires replacing the name with something else.
I believe it is the same - I always interpreted that to mean powers system was inherently protected. Is that not a common interpretation?
 

zedturtle

Jacob Rodgers
Interpreted this way (and I reserve judgment as to the motives of others, just commenting on this point) its an 'I want to have my cake and eat it too' kind of thing. That is, suppose you do create some super innovative game mechanics that you believe is protectable and you want to protect it, then why is your game ORC (or OGL)? The WHOLE POINT of open source is the sharing of everyone's innovations together in such a way that everyone can benefit from all of them collectively. If you are not part of that community, don't hold with those ethics, then you should not BE a part of it. I'll definitely grant you access to MY secret sauce for you to remix and use, but you gotta do the same for me! That IS the core of the deal, period. So, as you depict it here, and as I understand that depiction, its bad faith.

For absolute clarity, I agree with this common interpretation – I've done work for publishers where we released things like the Miniscule and Colossal size as Open Gaming Content along with monsters that had fluff (PI) and mechanics (OGL). But I've also worked on licensed properties where we might have (because of an abundance of caution to not give away the entire rights to a property when we only had re-use rights) be too restrictive with what was OGC and what was PI.

I was just trying to restate what I understood the other poster to be considering.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I believe it is the same - I always interpreted that to mean powers system was inherently protected. Is that not a common interpretation?
It’s just those phrases that are Product Identity. The 3rd edition online SRD addresses them them explicitly (see below, emphasis mine). It’s like when Pathfinder setting stuff is renamed in the OGC version (e.g., Aldori SwordlordSwordlord).

This website provides the Open Game Content portions of the 3rd Edition of the Mutants and Masterminds Superhero Roleplaying Game by Green Ronin Publishing. That means this site includes everything but the two phrases “Hero Points” and “Power Points.” Those phrases (and the associated mechanics) are replaced on this site by the phrases “Victory Points” and “Character Points.” This site contains all the information you need to play the game. This page starts you off with a quick overview of how the game works and then jumps right into the details. After you read it, click through to the rest of the site to see the options for creating heroes and villains.​
 

Sadly, I lost my copy of the first edition, so I can’t check its declaration, but this is what the 2nd edition declares:

The following is designated as Product Identity, in accordance with Section 1(e) of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a: all character and place names and descriptions, all artwork and images, power points, and hero points.

It’s not declaring mechanics as Product Identity¹, which seems to support my point. My impression is the trend is recent, so I’m skeptical about the claim the current practice is a twenty year industry standard.



[1]: Hero points and power points an be called something else. This is like when Paizo names a game mechanic (like a class or spell) after a person or group that’s Product Identity. OGC usage requires replacing the name with something else.
But to know what's open, you also need the OGC declaration:

The following text is Open Gaming Content: Introduction, Chapters 1 through 9, and all stat blocks in Chapter 11 and the adventures, except for material previously declared Product Identity.

So the entire thing except for the World-Building chapter, and stuff outside statblocks of the Friends & Foes chapter.

But it's still evidence to what you said, back in the day, games were (generally) far more open, and it does seem to be a post-5e thing that highly restrictive OGC/PI declarations are becoming the norm. Sure, there were some back in the d20/3.x era, but they were definitely the exception.

Now industry leaders like MCDM have declarations like in their Arcadia magazines, or Monte Cook Games with their 5e stuff, that contribute zero OGC whatsoever and close off every thing they create including derived content. 20 years ago, they would have been publicly roasted for declarations like that. Now, I just see resigned grumbling on industry Discords and lamenting that (regardless of everything else MCDM does great because they are a great company) this sort of approach is only helping to accelerate the death of the OGL.
 

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