OGL WotC To Give Core D&D Mechanics To Community Via Creative Commons

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Wizards of the Coast, in a move which surprised everbody, has announced that it will give away the core D&D mechanics to the community via a Creative Commons license.

This won't include 'quintessentially D&D" stuff like owlbears and magic missile, but it wil include the 'core D&D mechanics'.

So what does it include? It's important to note that it's only a fraction of what's currently available as Open Gaming Content under the existing Open Gaming License, so while it's termed as a 'give-away' it's actually a reduction. It doesn't include classes, spells, or magic items. It does include the combat rules, ability scores, and the core mechanic.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Remathilis

Legend
That is not what I said, if you read the whole post. They own none of these concepts, but they do probably (never been in front of a judge, so no one knows) own parts of their expression (the other being more mechanical).

That is why I said a fireball doing 8d6 damage might in the aggregate, ie if you take a lot more than just that, amount to enough to violate their copyright. Just like two songs sharing one note do not violate copyright, but the more similar they get, you eventually cross a line (probably, much better defined for music than TRRPGs…)
Which was my point before people started "nuh-huh"ing everything.

WotC does not have a copyright on the concept of a holy man rebuking unclean spirits. It is arguable that they own the right to a class called cleric getting the ability to channel divinity once per short rest and make undead make a wisdom save or flee (and possibly explode). Even if you change the mechanics to a rolling 2d6 on a table to determine the hd of undead affected, you're still probably treading too close to wizards specific expressions. Whereas Paizo's channel energy mechanic is a unique enough expression that I think it doesn't tread on WotC's, even if they do end up covering the same concept.

As for what that line is from when things sharing a similar structure starts looking like infringement, I'm going to say that it's not a very clear cut decision. In fact, when it comes to music, I think they are rather Blurred Lines.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Anyone can use Open content. That is what open means. Anyone who uses the CC license is required to make the derivatives Open. The CC lacks protected Product Identity that partially derives from open content.

By using a CC "open license", you sign away your right to keep your creative content closed.

I'm a bit confused by how you are phrasing that.

Going from Frequently Asked Questions - Creative Commons , are all of the following true?

If you apply a CC-BY license to your work then you are signing away the right to have any of the licensed part closed (although you could have specified that some parts were not under CC-BY).

You cannot put anything from someone else's more restrictive CC license, or copyrighted material not under a non-CC license that allows it, under CC-BY.

If your work adapts someone else's CC-BY materials, you do not need to apply CC-BY to your adaptation. You must give attirbution and you may not use something like DRM that would cause the original work you adapted to run into trouble. For example, per the "Adapter's license chart" you could choose a narrower CC license for your work if you wanted (if you adapted a CC-BY work, you could release your adaptation under BY-NC-ND). I find nothing that says you must license your work using CC at all if it adapts CC-BY material, yours just has to attribute it and not apply some DRM like restriction to the CC-BY covered parts. (Attribution is commonly suggested to be: provide the original work's authors ID, original work title, that it was under CC-BY, where person X's work is hosted, and mention that you adapted it).

On the other hand, if you are adapting something under a CC-SA license your work must be under that CC-SA license or something stricter.

Is any of that off?
 
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Haplo781

Legend
I'm all in if they use just the first three volumes of Dying earth for inspiration! (I'd probably leave out Rhialto et.al.).
So you have a cantrip that gives the target disadvantage on everything for a day, and a single spell slot that nukes everything in sight, probably including yourself?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
So you have a cantrip that gives the target disadvantage on everything for a day,

Which repeatable cantrip did that? (I can picture an item doing that but don't remember a spell).

and a single spell slot that nukes everything in sight, probably including yourself?

Sadly, in the current age you only have four of those spells, and if you only take the big ones that do things like putting someone in a cage and have a demon fly them across the planet, or prismatic spray, or imprison, then you might find yourself short of useful things you need to do. At mythic levels you might have five or even six!
 

Haplo781

Legend
Which repeatable cantrip did that? (I can picture an item doing that but don't remember a spell).



Sadly, in the current age you only have four of those spells, and if you only take the big ones that do things like putting someone in a cage and have a demon fly them across the planet, or prismatic spray, or imprison, then you might find yourself short of useful things you need to do. At mythic levels you might have five or even six!
I'm getting all my knowledge of Dying Earth from a single quick perusal of the RPG corebook. I just remember "cantraps" being a bad-luck curse that lasts for like 24 hours.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm getting all my knowledge of Dying Earth from a single quick perusal of the RPG corebook. I just remember "cantraps" being a bad-luck curse that lasts for like 24 hours.
I've never seen the RPG books, so I'll go googling and see if I can find a reference or a place to buy the .pdf. :)
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
How can I avoid work by googling if you just sent me to a link for something very affordable!

(I guess I need to order and download it...)

EDIT: Did the ordering... resisting downloading until I check all the urgent deadlines.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Is any of that off?
My understanding is the same as yours.

There may be some confusion between the CC-BY and the CC-BY-SA licenses. The CC-BY-SA are share-alike licenses which DO have the restrictions that @Yaarel notes. CC-BY, on the other hand, just requires you to note the contributions of the people whose work you have incorporated.

IMO CC0 is the license that Wizards really wants to use for this stuff if they want to release it to the community and keep their names out of it. CC0 is basically "there's no real way to legally release something to the public domain clearly, so we created a license to let you do the closest thing to it." It requires no attribution at all and allows free mixing of anything under it. And if Wizards wants to protect their name from bad actors it's actually the better choice.
 

Haplo781

Legend
I am just waiting for someone to make an RPG that decouples HP into Stamina, Morale, and Meat so we get a core Warlord healing class baby.

I'll do it myself if I have too.
Star Wars d20 Revised had "vitality" and "wounds" (terrible names btw) where your wounds were equal to your Constitution score (not modifier, score) and represented meat damage. They were protected by your vitality, meaning you would only lose wounds if you were out of vitality - unless you took a crit.

It's a cool mechanic that wasn't really implemented very well for a variety of reasons.
 



rknop

Adventurer
vstamin
I am just waiting for someone to make an RPG that decouples HP into Stamina, Morale, and Meat so we get a core Warlord healing class baby.

I'll do it myself if I have too.
Starfinder has Stamina, HP, and Resolve... Not quite the same thing, but pretty close to what you are saying.

The implementation may well not be what you're thinking about, though.
 


it offers both sides protection. The 3pp that they won’t get sued and WotC that they do not have to find out that most of their stuff is not protected by copyright, so it can stay in this undefined zone where everyone simply pretends it is theirs for as long as 1.0a exists.

Yeah, this is why it's important to defend OGL 1.0a: it's an extra defense that covers a lot of important areas. Even if you move to a new open license, having OGL 1.0a makes certain things less in doubt because it comes from Wizards themselves.
 

rknop

Adventurer
Can you explain why you think the SPLC is "biased"?
I'm not the one you're asking but:

Everybody is biased. In that when it comes to things like morality clauses, many people are going to disagree about what's offensive and what's not offensive.

This is one of the big reasons why morality clauses absolutely do not belong in open licenses. Open licenses need to be just about the legality of what can be reused, not about the tastefulness of it.

System licenses -- i.e. things that are from a specific company that says "here are the terms under which you can reuse our stuff specifically" -- can have such things, because then it's entirely up to the judgement of the copyright/trademark owner if they approve of somebody else's use of their stuff. And, the "O"GL 1.2 is exactly this -- it's not an open license, it's a license for reusing D&D stuff. (The name is very deceptive.) Whether or not it would be a good idea for anybody to agree to letting WotC judge whether their stuff passes offensiveness muster is a different matter, but if that's what they want to do with their license, fine.

But for an actual real open license, which is about openly sharing content, then morality clauses have no place. It's just not the right place to try to police that sort of thing. It muddies the waters and undermines the openness of it all. The open source software movement has struggled with this over the years with some trying to put in "you can't use this software for evil" clauses in their licenses, and it never works out. Here is one article about the issue. The Open Source Initiative FAQ has a short answer to the general question. There is also Richard Stallman's essay at the Free Software Foundation on the issue. The comparison is not 1:1, because those are mostly about who is allowed to run your software, but the general principle applies. If you try to include morality clauses in your open license, it undermines the open license both by making it not really open any more, and by making it effectively unenforceable, since an open license isn't about sharing one company's content.
 

Staffan

Legend
vstamin

Starfinder has Stamina, HP, and Resolve... Not quite the same thing, but pretty close to what you are saying.

The implementation may well not be what you're thinking about, though.
That's actually pretty close.

Basically, what is HP in D&D/Pathfinder is split fairly evenly between Stamina and Hit Points in Starfinder (slanted toward HP at early levels because of a one-time species bonus and SP at later levels because Con bonus). Stamina represents general badassitude that lets you shrug off damage, and hit points represent actual injuries. When you take damage, SP are depleted first, and when you're down to 0 you start taking HP damage. SP can be fully recovered by taking 10 minutes and spending a Resolve Point (of which you have level/2 + your main stat bonus), but HP require actual long-term rest or magic/tech to recover. Resolve points can also be used for some other things.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I am just waiting for someone to make an RPG that decouples HP into Stamina, Morale, and Meat so we get a core Warlord healing class baby.

I'll do it myself if I have too.
Mine has Fatigue (which adds up rather than being depleted), and Physical and Mental Trauma.

Your friends can reduce your fatigue fairly easily out of a conflict, and even when your ally does something cool via a critical success on a check, the whole team (who sees it) reduces fatigue by 1d.
 

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