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Black Dragon

Dale McCoy Jr's page

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,614 posts (4,627 including aliases). 1 review. 4 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Distant Scholar wrote:
  • There's new Words of Power content. Awesome! But, it's in Chapter 4, which is closed content.
  • Well, that's disappointing. I actually held off on doing more WoP work to see what KP was doing. While I'm not doing much Pathfinder work these days, new Word of Power is (was) going to be something I was going to go gangbusters on. Now ...

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    I just finished adding all of the items from Treasury of the Sands to d20PFSRD. Grab this collection today if you are playing in a Mummy-themed Egyptian Adventure Path.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    I just finished adding the last of the items from Treasury of the Sands to d20PFSRD. Grab this collection today if you are playing in a Mummy-themed Egyptian Adventure Path.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    We are adding the magic items from Treasury of the Sands to If you are battling a Mummy and his evil Mask, make sure to check out these magic items.

    And pick up Treasury of the Sands of magic items at, and DriveThruRPG/

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    James Jacobs wrote:
    Mark Moreland wrote:
    There simply wasn't room to include such for the hundreds of deities in the book and keep each entry to a single line, especially considering that inquisitions are a much smaller explored space within the rules. We have dozens of domains and subdomains to divide up among all the gods, but far fewer inquisitions.
    That, and inquisitions aren't really "Tied" to deities as much as domains are. They're a subcategory of a subcategory, and are far less restricted (as are inquisitors) by deities than are domains or subdomains.

    Ok, what about oracle mysteries?

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    MMCJawa wrote:
    People who are biased against 3PP products are not going to necessarily be won over because someone is releasing products for an off the map section of Golarion. They MIGHT get more buyers, but that is because some people will be confused and think it's actually a Paizo product. Which doesn't strike me as engendering good will with consumers. Not to mention it would generate a lot of needless internet debate over Golarion canon, when product x implies something that is refuted by product y from another company.

    So far no one has yet to confuse Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector with anything Mongoose has produced. Also there are as of yet no discussions about which version of Third Imperium canon is accurate (since I actually took great pains to make sure it was completely in line with the existing setting). So from practical experience, I can safely say that your fears have yet to materialize.

    Not to say it can't happen, mind you. But all indications point to increased intuitive customer understanding with a lack of customer confusion and even less explanation about how what Mongoose produces and what I produce interact.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    terraleon wrote:

    Or maybe some of the opinions here, here, here, or here?


    For the purposes of this, I choose to ignore that attitude. But you are spot on, good sir. That is frustrating as well.

    My personal favorite "trolling to my face" that I received at a convention was when I was told that I was responsible for 3.5's demise. Its funny considering the fact that the first product I wrote was announced (not published, simply announced it was coming out) the same day 4e was announced.

    Also, I love hearing how the stuff I write is utter crap while the stuff I write for Paizo is great. From the same people. Where the only difference between the two in writing quality is ... none.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Its not about "limiting," MMCJawa. Its about customers understanding what a book is for.

    Put yourself in my shoes for a second. Imagine you are at a convention and a conversation with a customer starts off with, "This book says River Nations on the cover. I'm playing in an adventure path in the River Kingdoms. Will this work with my game?" You explain it some. Then that person follows up with, "I don't understand. Why does it say River Nations if it can be used in the River Kingdoms?" You explain it again, in a different way. Then end it off with, "I don't know. My GM might be confused by the River Nations when we're playing in the River Kingdoms," or "I don't know. We're playing in the River Kingdoms and I don't want to use anything that is completely different from the adventure path in my game," right before they walk away, confused because "Nations" vs "Kingdoms" blew the person's mind.

    Now have that conversation 100 times.

    In one day.

    Each day you are at the convention.

    Now imagine having that conversation on forum thread after forum thread across various message boards every single time you talk about the book.

    Imagine having that same conversation on a regular basis over the course of years.

    Now imagine having conversations just like that for every single product you make.

    All of them.

    Every. Last. Product. You. Make.

    "Limited" is not the word. "Frustrated" is. Frustrated to the point of walking away, like I am doing.

    The above is a solution. It requires no oversight because everything is unofficial. It hardly limits anyone's creativity since it is off the official map. It curtails the number of competing campaign settings and does not invalidate products from the main campaign setting. And if the license to do so has the appropriate protections, it could be easy for the licensing company to pull the logo an individual product or the offending publisher if the license is violated.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    MMCJawa wrote:
    I mean really...this is about creative control.

    That is basically the argument that many used around D&D 4e's release by those saying that the OGL is a bad thing.

    "The tighter you tighten your grip, Tark', the more star systems will slip through your fingers." -Star Wars: A New Hope, 1977

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    ShadowcatX wrote:
    If you think a universal campaign setting that other people can publish content for is such a money maker for the campaign creator, why don't you create it? Then everyone wins.

    2 things:

    1) I didn't say a "universal campaign setting." I said a small, unused portion of an existing campaign setting that will (most likely) never be developed. Thank you for blowing my words out of proportion.

    2) I am. Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector was the first of many releases that I am doing in such a case. The Foreven license says that anyone using the license can refer to someone else's material in an OGL-like fashion. It goes further then that. Another company could all but copy and paste my text and (as long as it was referenced properly) publish everything I wrote. So I am doing exactly that. I am putting my money where my mouth is.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    MMCJawa wrote:

    For now.

    But you assume that they have no plans to ever develop that region. James Jacobs has said on many occasions they hope to explore southern Garund in the future, and in other products they have already hinted at specific nations found south of the map, so some thought has obviously already been put into the region (same as Arcadia, Casmaron, etc).

    Seriously, take a look at that Forgotten Realms map (linked above) That is 21 years of development. That includes the 3e days of regular 160-196 page supplements plus regular dragon magazine articles. And they still have yet to finish Faerun.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Prince of Knives wrote:

    Asmodeus is public domain. Lamashtu as well.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    MMCJawa wrote:
    If a publisher (such as Paizo) opens up their campaign setting in such a way that anyone can publish and make money off it, than potentially the publisher either loses the ability to develop that region, or if they do develop it, their is confusion over what isn't or isn't canon, as well as potentially rendering a product someone produced as irrelevant. 

    That;s why I used the example of South of Geb. The only thing south of Geb right now is "off the map". Its not like they're losing anything that way.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Originally Posted Here

    Recently I commented that JBE is stepping away from developing for Pathfinder on a regular basis. Sure, we will be doing a Pathfinder release when we believe that there's a significant contribution to be made, but we are not going to release a Pathfinder product every two weeks just to keep our place in the market. But the single biggest reason I personally am stepping back from the game is because Pathfinder is no longer fun for me. I do this after I get home from the day job so this is what I do for fun. And when it is as enjoyable as the day job, I have to reevaluate what I am doing.

    So most of my time lately has been involved in some 13th Age but mostly Traveller. JBE started out with Traveller and it is great to get back to the company's roots. But I am having far more fun these days then I have been for a long time with Pathfinder for one simple reason: I am devoting much of my Traveller design work these days to Foreven Worlds as an unofficial part of the Third Imperium setting. It is just SOOOOOO NIIIIIIICE to be able to have a Zhodani bad guy or a Vargr thief or to just say the The Third Imperium.

    More than anything else, Jon Brazer Enterprises is known for the Book of the River Nations. Why did we call it the River Nations? Because we couldn't call it the River Kingdoms. We had to get as close as possible so that most people would figure that it was *nudge, nudge, wink, wink* the same place. But then we had to explain to others over and over again that we "cannot legally call it the River Kingdoms so this is as close as we could get," "are not lazy designers, are aware that it is really called the River Kingdoms but we can't call it that legally," "designed it this way on purpose so that you would know it would work in your game," and on and on. It really was a tiring, never ending battle of explaining that every product that had "River Nations" on the cover was not a mistake, not us being lazy or underhanded, or outright malicious before a person will consider looking at the release. Mind you, that is after the tiring effort of making sure there is not a single other reference to any other Pathfinder setting location is in the product to begin with.

    This is not just limited to Pathfinder, mind you. We are experiencing the same issue with 13th Age. The idea of icons is OGL but the icons themselves are not. So I can't say, the High Druid. Instead I have to say the Great Druid. And again, we got called "lazy designers" for "messing up the name of the icon." As such, our releases with 13th Age have been limited.

    Now, compare that with the Foreven license for Traveller. I can define the area all I want and make all the adventures in that section of space as I desire, calling a Vargr a Vargr instead of an "Uplifted Canine Alien" without getting in legal trouble. And no one has yet to call me a single name for doing so. Infact the two reviews for our first release have been glowing. The less glowing review, his chief complaint boils down to him wanting more because he really enjoyed what was there so much. Plus, setting development is just more enjoyable then system development. All of this translates to me having MUCH MORE FUN designing for this then just about anything else I have worked on for Pathfinder.

    Take the Forgotten Realms Map for a moment (click on the link for a image). You see several continents with nothing defined on them and others with not everything defined. Even Faerun isn't fully detailed. It was first published in 1987 and is arguably the most developed RPG campaign setting in the world. Can anyone give me a single competent reason why a continent that has nothing defined on it to date cannot be opened up to other publishers on an unofficial basis? Or even just one country in the undefined parts of Faerun? Or take the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. Paizo didn't start defining the setting in a major way until 7 years ago when Rise of the Runelords was released. Even if you ignore all the D&D 4E Forgotten Realms material, that setting has 21 years of development to Pathfinder's 7. So if the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is still going strong 14 years from now (2028), will it be as defined as the Forgotten Realms is today? If you take a look at the FR map, that still leaves lots of room for Paizo to grow the Pathfinder CS if they reserve one country or even one continent for other publishers.

    Now the real question would be: why on earth would a publisher want to open up part of their campaign setting, even on an unofficial basis, to other publishers? Easy answer is this: money. Lets say Paizo allowed other publishers to make material for the area just south of Geb. No country is defined there so odds are Paizo hasn't even considered planning a single product there. So it costs Paizo nothing to release if another publisher created an adventure path set there (we'll call it South of Geb to make life easy). Now compare that with someone playing in the Cross of Fire Adventure Path from LPJ Design (which I am looking forward to reading, btw). What does Paizo sell to a GM running in the two APs? Cross of Fire: more PFRPG hardcovers and that's it; South of Geb: same PFRPG hardcovers, Inner Sea Gods, if Paizo released a Geb campaign setting book, that would probably would be bought as well, plus a number of other campaign setting books/players guides to help the GM get a full understanding of the surrounding region and the organizations involved, plus some stand alone adventures of Paizo's incase the players go off the rails (since they take place in Paizo's world, they are easier to move to a different country then to a different setting). How about players? Cross of Fire: a few copies of the player focused hard covers (so no Bestiaries) that the player didn't already own and that's it. South of Geb: those same player focused hard covers plus Inner Sea Gods (possibly the full campaign setting as well), a players guide for the race the player is playing, another player's guide that covers the class, and several more. So for both players and GMs, Paizo sells more products to them.

    If all of this sounds familiar, it is because it is the basic ideas behind the OGL to begin with. This, however, takes it to its next level. The campaign setting material is not invalidated because the group did not change settings. There's a reason why Wizards stopped supporting all their 2e campaign settings once they were bought by Wizards and went to 3e. If it had a Forgotten Realms label on it, gamers didn't feel it was useful in their Greyhawk game. So those gamers didn't buy it. So Wizards consolidated the number of campaign settings they supported during their 3e days: Forgotten Realms and Eberron. Paizo took that same idea and made a single setting that could encompass just about every possible style of d20 play. But now the areas that are not being developed much (like Psionics) are getting support from other publishers who, because they can't touch Paizo's setting, are making their own setting, with a corresponding adventure path (also really enjoyable and highly recommended). So a desire maintain a tight control on the number of campaign settings has actually resulted in more campaign settings, a kind-of return to the 2e days.

    Now I'm sure that Wizards is not going to do this and I wonder if Paizo will. But what about 13th Age? Can Pelgrane Press honestly say that they will have the world beyond the Dragon Empire detailed as much as Golarion is today in 7 years? Or how about other settings? If we all took a lesson from Traveller and opened up part of our campaign settings for unofficial development, maybe the setting would get more development and more players.

    And designers like me would have more fun.

    Be sure to check out all of Jon Brazer Enterprises' downloads for Pathfinder, Traveller, and 13th Age at the d20PFSRD store today. Be sure to visit the JBE blog at for more musings and ramblings.

    Share your thoughts below.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    I just checked facebook and g+. In both cases, he last posted in late January.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    15 people marked this as a favorite.
    ShadowcatX wrote:
    When you are a for profit publisher gaming is your "real life".

    While I don't know the specifics about Gary's or FMG's situation, I can say that real life still does get in the way of for profit publishing. Most of us do this after coming home from the day job, spending time with the spouse/kids, helping out around the house, doing this after everyone else goes to bed. For this group, schedules are almost as real as some of the monsters in the Book of Beasts. The few publishers that do it as a full time job have a much better chance of actually making a consistent schedule, but there are only a few of us that fall into that category.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    While you're reading through and prepping your Mummy's Mask game, be sure to pick up Treasury of the Sands.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Might I suggest Shadowsfall: Favored Class Options.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Don't get caught with sand in your face. Grab these magic items for your adventures with Mummies and Masks today.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    There's always Fantasia, just don't refer to the never-ending story or the nameless mouse that will death star your butt off the planet.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    I might take part in this for myself this year, but I already have JBE Christmas presents purchased for 2014 so I'm not going to be buying the crazy number I bought last time.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Drejk wrote:
    Are you completely withdrawing from producing Pathfinder products or just reducing their number?

    For the past few years, Pathfinder has been our prime focus. We released enough Traveller material to still technically be in Traveller. We've decided to switch that and add 13th Age as a 1st tier system.

    We'll still be doing Pathfinder but only when we have something that we are truly passionate about doing that screams Pathfinder RPG. We really feel that the Pathfinder market is flooded and has been flooded for quite some time. It is far to easy for amazing products to become lost in the sea of everything else.

    The first "it can only be done for Pathfinder" is Treasury of the Sands. Marie asked me about doing that and really was passionate about overseeing the creation of magic items for the Mummy's Mask AP. Her passion and dedication really showed through in her work. She has other ideas, but their release date isn't on the schedule yet. And that is probably our last Pathfinder release for a few months.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Thank you.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Craig Bonham 141 wrote:
    But why prevent a 3pp from creating something for a niche market?

    Simple, the Pathfinder name is on every book. This is a name currently on a card game, minis from several companies, comic books and more. They don't want their name associated with something like the Book of Erotic Fantasy.

    That is fine by me. If I wanted to do something like that, all I'd have to do is to take off the PFRPG compatible logo and ask my lawyer for the appropriate language to indicate compatibility while keeping me out of legal hot water.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    A legendary rogue kobold? Is that a 2nd level kobold?

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Justin Sluder wrote:
    A messenger spider would be more entertaining. ;)

    Oh now that is evil. Of course someone might burn down the building to make sure the spider is dead.

    Ripley wrote:

    Nuke it from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Good day Customer Service Awesome People,

    Please Cancel my Pathfinder AP subscription. And that is it. From this point on, I am pure digital (except for author copies).

    Thank you,


    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Dang. Owen beat me too it. I was going to make some crack about smoke signals, a can on a string and a messenger pigeon.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    To be honest, I was wondering when this was going to come up. I more or less decided not to say anything publicly until someone asked.

    From where I sit, the Pathfinder 3PP market has collapsed. I am sure it is a different story for those that can make any of Paizo's top 10, but my sales are just downright abysmal. Take Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes for example. A full color book that has almost as many CR 15+ monsters as the Tome of Horrors Complete. We spent a year doing this monster book right. We had a significant number of experienced GM that knew high level play make sure that everything was perfect in each of these. We did the smallest print run we ever did for a print book and we are still working through it. At this point in the life cycle, the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations was on its 3rd printing, each of them were larger than this one printing. Sure that one was connected to an adventure path. Ok, compare it to Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane. That one easily sold twice as many as this monster book. At that time, I thought it was a disappointment. The market has only gotten worse since.

    And it is not just the print market. My Pathfinder PDF sales are down across the board. My numbers show pretty much a steady decline for the past 2-ish years. This is in spite of the fact that I feel that we did some of our best work ever last year. It has just largely gone unnoticed.

    I blame the drop in sales on the explosion in the market of other Pathfinder companies. It is impossible for someone that regularly buys Pathfinder compatible material to keep up with it all.

    So we are in the process of moving back to Traveller and on to 13th Age and D&D 5e (if/when the license gets released). I don't see it as bad or malicious or anything; it is simply a "market correction," as a business analyst would put it. There are Pathfinder products that we want to do and we are doing them. Its just that Pathfinder is no longer our main focus. So we are not going to do any Pathfinder products that we are not fully passionate about just so we can say that we kept to our 2 pathfinder releases/month schedule. When we release something for Pathfinder you can bet that it is DAMN GOOD.

    To the specific topic at hand about Shadowsfall, it was without a doubt the hardest decision I had to make, but I know it is the right one. When I started JBE, I decided one of the fundamental rules of the company is to never lose money. Many a good RPG company went under because they did not know how to keep themselves from losing money. And that is all that Shadowsfall did since the release of the first product: lose money. From the Ed Greenwood authored short story that sold about a 1/4 of what I needed it to do to cover what I paid him to write the tale to the two print books that are currently in the $2 bargain bin, none of it was ever in the black. Last year I actually signed off on some Shadowsfall books to be sent to the incinerator. That was a hard one to do. And that was from the "minimum" I thought I would ever do a print run of (see my comments on the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes, above).

    Would I like to finish Shadowsfall, absolutely. However, it is not going to be for Pathfinder. Like I said in the post DM Papa.DRB quoted, I hope to do it in a different system. Should it ever get done, I'll keep it as system neutral as possible, making it easier for a Pathfinder conversion.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    StarMartyr365 wrote:


    I'd like to see a book that expands on the rules in Ultimate Combat. More vehicles and customization.


    Might I shamelessly plug 10 Pirate Ships and Vehicles of War, both of which are 5 star rated.

    Might I also recommend Rite Publishing's #30 Evocative Vehicles. It doesn't have a great review, but I enjoyed it (to each their own).

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Jacob Trier wrote:
    Shared and liked! Thanks Dale.

    Thank you for sharing and liking. And thank you for submitting.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Be sure to check out the amazing artwork from the Treasury of the Sands today. link

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Jacob Trier wrote:
    Question for Marie - is it OK for me to snap a screenshot of the illustration and post it on Facebook, encouraging people to buy the product? I don't want to violate the artists (or JBE's) rights.

    Its a few days delayed (been busy this week), but they awesome artwork is now on facebook. link

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Wahoo! We made today's store blog.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Wahoo. Thanks for the mention of Treasury of the Sands.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    From the depths of the desert sands, beneath the unrelenting sun, Great Pharaoh, blessed of the Gods, has collected these Objects of magic and power. Chronicled by the Scribe at the behest of our God-King, every item has been meticulously recorded. Some items protect the user while others aid the user in adventurous endeavors; they may be portable or stationary. It is the sincerest wish of Pharaoh that all find within this scroll items that bring Glory to their Names.

    Within this 16 page PDF, you will find:

    • 4 magical arms and armor that no desert traveler would be without
    • 21 wondrous items that even the pharaohs would desire,
    • a rod said to be a gift from the Cat Goddess, and
    • a ring housing the spirit of the Western Desert

    Don’t leave the pyramid without these exciting magic items.

    Download the Treasury of the Sands for Pathfinder at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo and d20PFSRD.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    May the force be with you both.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Wahoo. Also of note, this includes the hero lab file.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Jacob Trier wrote:
    Question for Marie - is it OK for me to snap a screenshot of the illustration and post it on Facebook, encouraging people to buy the product? I don't want to violate the artists (or JBE's) rights.

    Tell you what, give me a day and I'll post the image on JBE's facebook/g+ page. From there you can share it to your own page with worries.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    7 people marked this as a favorite.

    I would like to take a moment and say that Marie did an exceptional job on this. She put a serious amount of work in on this and her efforts deserve recognition. Next I would like to recognize Kevin, the editor on this project, Steev, our resident Hero Lab programmer, and Richard, JBE's other editor. All three of whom really went above and beyond to make Treasury of the Sands something to be proud of.

    But most of all, I would like to thank everyone that sent in a magic item to our open call. We received a number of amazing magic items and I wish we could have used them all. The ones that were published really knocked it out of the park. Thank you all.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    motteditor wrote:
    Cool! Are we allowed to talk about our individual contributions?

    Yep, yep. Talk away.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Drejk wrote:

    I'll put the official announcement both here and on ENWorld as soon as it goes live on Paizo.

    Darkjoy wrote:
    They even put my name correctly next to the product ;>

    Shoot, I spelled it correctly. ;)

    Its also available right now at

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
    Half-Faerie Dragons

    Just want to say thank you for the mention.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Coming next week ...
    Treasury of the Sands
    Magic items for your tomb raiding adventures in the land of the Pharaohs.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Rite Publishing wrote:
    Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

    So, one of the tricky things about the OGL is it prohibits you from using other people's product titles without their permission. So you can't say "Explosive War Muffins taken from The Genius Guide to Halfling Alchemists," even though you are trying to credit the source, without permission from the owner of TGGtHA.

    I, and a lot of publishers, tend to ask for permission to give such credit, which both makes sure we are OGL-complient, and acts as a courtesy notice.
    I've never failed to give or receive permission, though of course I'd respect someone's wish if they did refuse.
    For me, the important thing is that you are using a small part of someone else's material, or you are transforming it in some way, rather than (perfectly legally) copying all their open game content from a product, and just using it to create a competing product. Though no one really seems to do that anymore. :)
    What Owen Said.


    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Jesper at Blood Brethren Games wrote:

    Thanks for posting this. It is slightly annoying that the entire system is depending on everyone using a complete S15, no omission.

    Let's say a poor chap mistakenly believes Paizo's own S15 to be in order and uses the Advanced Race Guide in a 3PP product, quoting just the S15 from ARG believing it to be complete. That person would then be in violation of of the OGL, because Paizo's S15 in ARG is incomplete...

    Incomplete is a bad word. Don't think of it like that.

    Think of it a different way. When I came up with the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations, I skirted the line between being ok legally speaking and illegally using Paizo's material. Now, I knew exactly where the line was so I never crossed it.

    Paizo, in the same way, knows exactly where the line is between perfectly legal and plainly illegal. So they can cut it closer than those that do not know where that line is.

    So unless you understand what they did, how they did it, and why they did it, don't follow their example. Stick with the long version of listing everything.

    Now to it the ARG's OGL being incomplete: it isn't. They referenced everything they needed to reference to be perfectly legal. If you're not sure exactly how that is so, you shouldn't try to emulate it. Heck, I understand what they did, how they did it, and I have a reasonable guess as to why they did it and I'm not going to try it, because it is too close to the line for my liking.

    Jesper at Blood Brethren Games wrote:
    That person would then be in violation of of the OGL, because Paizo's S15 in ARG is incomplete...


    Section 6 requires you to do 2 things:
    1) "Include the exact text" of the section 15 from any OGL you are working from, and
    2) "Add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name" of your material.

    So if you used the ARG in something you were working on, you have to include what it says in the ARG's section 15. Even if you don't understand how they included B1-3 without all the rest, you don't have to look up B1-3's OGLs to find out what is in them.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I was talking with someone over email today about the Section 15, specifically whether you should just list the books you use or everything that those Section 15's as well. And I realized that this is something that has been discussed many times on these boards and others should hear it as well.

    The OGL says:

    OGL Section 6 wrote:
    Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

    This means that every book that you publish, you must list everything in the section 15s of the books you reference. Everything. No exceptions. Period.

    But that argument gets quickly countered with, "Just look at Paizo. Are they doing it wrong?" Here's the Advanced Race Guide's Section 15:

    ARG's Section 15 wrote:

    Open Game License v 1.0a © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

    System Reference Document © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 2 © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Graeme Davis,
    Crystal Frasier, Joshua J. Frost, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, James Jacobs, Steve Kenson, Hal MacLean, Martin Mason, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor, and Greg A. Vaughan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3 © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
    Baphomet from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.
    Genie, Marid from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.
    Grippli from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.
    Nereid from the Tome of Horrors Complete © 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author: Scott Greene, based on original material by Gary Gygax.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.

    So why did they not list the mammoth long listings for Bestiary's 1-3 in this book. Why wasn't the listings for the Pathfinder Core Rulebook listed? Well, technically speaking from a pure OGL standpoint, they didn't have to list those four books in the first place. I mean, they own B1-3 and their contents (atleast the parts they didn't take from OGL sources). So if they don't list them, who is going to sue Paizo? Themselves? Not so much.

    Everything Paizo needed to reference in their OGL is either in the d20 SRD or in the Tome of Horrors. Paizo could have left B1-3 off of their OGL. But they didn't. Why did they do that? I don't know, you would have to ask them to be sure. However, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that they wanted to credit the authors from B1-3 that did not work on the ARG. Some of the authors for B1-3 may not have worked on the ARG. If those authors did not contribute to ARG worked on some of the races, they didn't need to be credited in the OGL. But I imagine that Paizo felt that they should be credited so they simply listed those books in their OGL. So now if you use an Oread or a Udine (just to pull two out of the air, no clue if they actually were the same authors in the two books or not), the original author for each is listed in your OGL.

    However, this leads many to confusion. Many feel, "Oh so I only need to list in my OGL what I used, not what those books listed." That is not true. You still need to list everything you used and everything those books used in your section 15.

    As an example, in Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player's Companion (print on sale for $2), I used a dhampir and a fetchling as well as creating the umbral kobold and the wanderer. Because I used two races detailed in Paizo's books, I'd have to list either B2 or the ARG. But if I made a supplement that detailed the Umbral Kobold and made no mention of the dhampir or fetchling, I could leave them out if I so choose. But if I wanted to add in the Shadowsfall: Shadow Plane Player's Companion to my section 15, I could do that. Now, technically speaking, I should add in everything in the Sf: SPPC's section 15 as well. That is good form and a safe legal practice. Doing anything else is shaky, legally speaking and I would not recommend doing it without talking to a lawyer.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Well, this is interesting.

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    *is silent for a moment*

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Jesper at Blood Brethren Games wrote:

    Okay, thanks very much End and Andrew - but the general question still stands:

    If I need to use just a tiny bit - like a single monster, feat or spell - from a product, is there then anywhere that I can look up the Section 15 of said product?

    What do I do, buy it. It's that easy. It's a business expense. I understand that the book is expensive and you don't want to, but frankly if you want to get the legal part right you can either a) buy the PDF and get it right or b) don't use it.

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