Stop telling me to boycott WotC. If you support open gaming, tell who to support. (+ thread)

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Note: I think this is my first plus thread. Please only post TTRPG companies publishing content under licenses at least as open as WotC's OGLs and which are not using any of the WotC OGLs. Completely separate systems under their own licenses that will not be affected by anything WotC does with its OGLs.

Wow, I've have spent a lot of time reading the threads on the OGL drama. Mostly I'm interested in the legal discussions. What I'm starting to tire of is all the posts about how horrible WotC is and why I should never buy from them again.

It is difficult for me to get worked up about about a license change that affects companies making toy/hobby products. I don't think I'm the uninformed/uncaring consumer. There are many companies I avoid for a variety of reasons. And I know most people don't think about the issues that bother me, and even when aware of them, won't bother to change their purchasing decisions. So I am sceptical about how much damage any of this will do to WotC if they decide to stick to their guns.

But I do support open source and open gaming. I like the idea. I like the community that builds around it. It isn't either-or for me. I use Windows, Mac, and Linux every day. I use a lot of free, open source software. I also use software with very hefty license fees.

So I would appreciate it if someone would stop repeating why I shouldn't support WotC and tell me which companies offer truly open gaming content, hopefully with licenses that avoid the ambiguity in the WotC licenses. Who is publishing under creative commons, and open gaming license similar to the original WotC OGL, or something similar?

If you simply recommend that I buy from a smaller publisher that doesn't offer anything at least as open as WotC's OGLs, don't bother posting. I already by content from various companies, but I've not taken the time to research which have open gaming licenses and how open they really are. Given how strongly many on EN World feel about this topic, I'm hoping some of you are better informed and can make some recommendations.
 

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mamba

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Level Up 5e!

Find 3pp that have OGL stuff that is printed and sitting in storage or warehouses.

Go run other games at your FLGS, especially anything else they have on their shelves that isn't D&D? Especially current OGL 1.0 stuff.

I dunno.
Isn't Level Up still using / subject to WotC's license?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
@mamba Thanks, I've keep seeing FATE and Savage Worlds discussed and have been meaning to check them out for years. Maybe a good time to give it a look. The OGL or CC NC I'll avoid for now as CC NC isn't really open if limited to noncommercial use and OGL just means its caught in the current license mess.
 
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Thanlis

Explorer
PbtA is not generically under any version of Creative Commons. Vincent and Meg, creators of Apocalypse World (the first PbtA game), have encouraged people to make games inspired by theirs because they know mechanics can’t be copyrighted. Their formal statement is here.

Several PbtA games do carry a CC-BY license; Dungeon World and Thirsty Sword Lesbians are two that I know of. I think it’s important to be specific here so that people don’t assume that (say) the Avatar PbtA game is under an open license.

The same note applies to all of the CC-BY licensed games — derivatives may not be open licensed.

GUMSHOE is dual licensed under both the OGL and CC-BY. So is FATE.

Rowan, Rook, and Decard released their Resistance Toolbox under CC-BY. It’s the system that powers Heart and Spire.

Trophy has a CC-BY SRD. 2400 (minimalist flexible system) has a CC-BY SRD.

Fari Games is not exhaustive but it’s pretty good.
 


D1Tremere

Adventurer
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Savage Worlds Ace license (the one that would cover the same content use that the new OGL 1.1 seems to) seems identical in most ways to the new OGL 1.1 already. You have to be approved, it only applies to companies trying to make a large profit, it must carry the SW logo, and you agree to pay royalties.
 

Thanlis

Explorer
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Savage Worlds Ace license (the one that would cover the same content use that the new OGL 1.1 seems to) seems identical in most ways to the new OGL 1.1 already. You have to be approved, it only applies to companies trying to make a large profit, it must carry the SW logo, and you agree to pay royalties.
I hadn’t heard that the prospective OGL 1.1 requires approval, but otherwise yes. None of the Savage Worlds licenses are open by the generally accepted definitions.
 

mcmillan

Adventurer
A few of the open systems I'm aware of
Blades in the Dark - creative commons by attribution
Mork Borg - uses own license that is basically saying you're free to use it as you want other than using actual art assets or making it seem like it's officially endorsed, as well as banning NFTs based on content
Eclipse Phase - creative commons for non-commercial use
Lancer - uses it's own third party license that allows free use, including setting elements as long as marked with third-party logo.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
There's a thread from yesterday with a few more recommendations:
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Related to this, and maybe should be it's own thread, I am wondering what, if any, games are out there that;

  • Are open license or CC license
  • Are similar in themes and play experience to dnd (4e and 5e especially, I am not really into old school dnd)
    • Focus on distinct action resolution where failure is always a possibility, not rolling for feelings or for what the consequences of your action that just happens are
    • Allow for the building of a semi-complex OC with mechanical representation of your choices regarding how the character operates, making any two characters actually play differently
  • Are as general as 5e dnd within a single game (not within a broader gaming ecosystem), allowing you to go on a quest to save the princess in one session, a heist in another, engage in court intrigue in yet another, enter into and perform in a gladiatorial tournament after that, and then go delve into the ruins of The Necromancer's Keep after that, all with the same character sheets in the same mechanical system.

I know there are games that do some or even most of the above, but i don't know any non-OGL games that do all of the above.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm probably misunderstanding, but if you want to show your displeasure at WoTC I would have thought the best thing to do is support the companies who use the OGL and potentially would be impacted by this change?
If the OGL is, indeed, revocable, I'm interested in open licenses that are irrevocable, that are truly open source, that address the issues with the WotC OGL by using modern licenses.

It seems to me that is is best to support companies completely unentangled in the WotC OGL.

Besides, as I've stated, I'm not really looking to boycott WotC. But I would like to support some companies offering truly open licenses. And rather than just buying another D&D clone, retro D&D, OSR, whatever, I would rather buy a different system for more variety in my collection and play.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
PbtA is not generically under any version of Creative Commons. Vincent and Meg, creators of Apocalypse World (the first PbtA game), have encouraged people to make games inspired by theirs because they know mechanics can’t be copyrighted. Their formal statement is here.

Several PbtA games do carry a CC-BY license; Dungeon World and Thirsty Sword Lesbians are two that I know of. I think it’s important to be specific here so that people don’t assume that (say) the Avatar PbtA game is under an open license.

The same note applies to all of the CC-BY licensed games — derivatives may not be open licensed.

GUMSHOE is dual licensed under both the OGL and CC-BY. So is FATE.

Rowan, Rook, and Decard released their Resistance Toolbox under CC-BY. It’s the system that powers Heart and Spire.

Trophy has a CC-BY SRD. 2400 (minimalist flexible system) has a CC-BY SRD.

Fari Games is not exhaustive but it’s pretty good.
GUMESHOE is a game I've been meaning to check out, could to know it offers CC-BY.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I have yet to see any valid reason to boycott any game company. But I don't play D&D, and have avoided d20 systems.
Exactly. That's why I wanted a thread that focused on providing a list of companies offering truly open licenses that are not entangled in the WotC OGL.

I'm doubt that whatever WotC does regarding its licenses, it will have little influence on my purchasing decisions. But I'm am genuinely interested in open source products and communities.

For example, if I find a system that I really like that has a CC-BY license and an active community. It would be nice to collaborate on world building, sharing prepped VTT assets, etc. and be quite secure in the legality of it all.
 

Enrahim2

Explorer
Exactly. That's why I wanted a thread that focused on providing a list of companies offering truly open licenses that are not entangled in the WotC OGL.

I'm doubt that whatever WotC does regarding its licenses, it will have little influence on my purchasing decisions. But I'm am genuinely interested in open source products and communities.

For example, if I find a system that I really like that has a CC-BY license and an active community. It would be nice to collaborate on world building, sharing prepped VTT assets, etc. and be quite secure in the legality of it all.
The big problem with this question is that it actually highlights how cruel what WotC is doing is from an open lisence perspective:
The real strength of an open license is that it defines a boundary where everyone can contribute to it growing, and feel assured that it is not misused by someone using your work in ways you really didn't intend it to be used.

The way this is done however creates open source lakes, where things from one license cannot be used with others. For instance you cannot use anything GPL in a CC-BY work. Hence for a open license community to be strong, you want to put as much as possible into one license. Fragmenting the open license space generally require very heavy reasons for anyone to even start using it. It is just better for everyone involved to grow the existing lake.

In roleplaying games OGL1.0a was that lake. This is why there are so many non-D&D related games using OGL - They didn't do it for wizards sake, they did it as that was the open source community that would give their work most exposure, and allow content creators for their system the largest potential source of content to draw from.

Hence there are no other healthy open content pool in tabletop RPG. So when now wizards seemingly effectively try to freeze the lake, and ensure that only themselves and their effectively sub-contractors can access the content the entire open gaming community has contributed over the last 20 years - that is a big move!

I have seen several arguments regarding how CC is too inconvinient compared to OGL for what game publishers need to build a thriving infrastructure. Hence if wizards is not repenting before publishing OGL 1.1, or someone with real economic muscles (think open content stakeholders in software or entertainment) come in and teach wizards a lesson in court; the only option for any hope of a new viable open content lake in D&D would be to start a completely new content lake. DMdave has already started such an initiative: https://www.patreon.com/posts/creator-original-76891481

Unfortunately unless wizards in a fit of madness lisences their 3.5 and 5ed srds under this new scheme, most owners of existing OGL licensed content cannot help out with quickly growing this new open license repository by just relisencing their work, as they need to make sure that they do not contain any material that can be argued to have been licensed from wizards via OGL. It would help greatly if this new open content lisence is seeded with a system that in "shape" is similar enough to the 3.5 and/or 5ed srds, so that translating is relatively easy. If I am reading DMDaves post this might actually be what he might have already also in place.

In other words - if wizards manage to close down the existing lake, where you want to go is where those previously used that lake go. That place do probably currently not exist, but unless any of the other big players also have done the same as DMDave (and decide to present it due to lack of coordination) - my current bet is that that might be the place.
 


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