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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: October 12, 2012.

Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game Compatibility License Frequently Asked Questions

The Pathfinder RPG is an OGL product. Doesn't the OGL already allow me to make products using the Pathfinder RPG?

Yes and no. While the Open Game Content of the Pathfinder RPG is indeed available for use under the OGL, Section 7 of the OGL says "You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark." So while the OGL allows you to make compatible products, it forbids you from indicating compatibility using the terms "Pathfinder," "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game," or "Paizo," since those are our trademarks. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License serves as "another, independent Agreement" allowing you to use our Compatibility Logo to indicate compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Can I just use the regular Pathfinder or Pathfinder Roleplaying Game logos?

Nope. Professional publishers aren't allowed to do that. (Non-professionals, though, should take a look at our Community Use Policy.)

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Does this mean I can set my products in Golarion and put Seoni and Valeros in them?

Nope. Professional publishers aren't allowed to use any of our Product Identity without a specific license to do so. (Non-professionals, though, should take a look at our Community Use Policy.)

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What's with the "freely available websites" restriction?

You're allowed to use this license to create compatible websites and online tools that are freely available, but you're not allowed to create fee-based sites or online tools under this license. If you want to do that, you'll need to procure a specific license to do so.

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What about making apps? Can I do that?

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License applies only to printed books, electronic books, and freely available websites, and is not available for use with apps.

Anything we've declared as Open Game Content in our products, though, is available under the OGL... but note that the OGL specifically restricts you from using "any ... trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity", or from "indicat[ing] compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark."

Which means you can't use trademarks like Pathfinder or Paizo in connection with your app (except for citing your sources of Open Game Content in your OGL Section 15 Copyright Notice). (Using the non-trademarked term "PFRPG" is legal.)

As far as acquiring a specific license from us, frankly, that option will only be considered for established software publishers with excellent reputations and solid business plans for their prospective apps.

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How do I get one of these specific licenses you mentioned in the last couple of answers?

Start by contacting our license manager at licensing@paizo.com... but keep in mind that we don't plan to offer a lot of licenses like that. You'll need to have a very, very good plan that presents exceptionally unique and interesting product ideas.

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I want to publish products in a language other than English that's not on the list of licensed languages. Can I do that?

Yes. But if we ever add that language to the list, you'll need to begin following the rules regarding languages in Section 5. (Also, please note that this license does not allow you to translate our existing products into other languages.)

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Do the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License and the Community Use Policy do the same thing? Which should I use?

They each do very different things. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License allows commercial and non-commercial users to use a special logo that indicates compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game—and that's the only thing it allows. The Community Use Policy allows non-commercial users to use a bunch of different Paizo-owned materials, as outlined in that document. If you're a commercial publisher, you may only use the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. If you're a non-commercial user, you may use either or both, depending on what you're doing.

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I've already submitted my information to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License Registry—why can't I upload my products?

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License is not an agreement to distribute your products. If you'd like to sell your products through paizo.com, you must sign a consignment contract. Please send an email to consignments@paizo.com for details.

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