I've been hearing a lot of praise about Deep Magic. And, there's a lot to like about it; after all, it contains the spell burning monkey swarm. Burning monkey swarm! I now realize what I've wanted to do all my life is make a sorcerer specializing in burning monkey swarm.
But, I do want to register my disappointment with how much of this book is closed content. I must admit, I half-expected something like this, but I was hoping for the best. Here are the relevant entries on the credits page:
Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (characters, place names, new deities, etc.), dialogue, plots, story elements, locations, characters, artwork, sidebars, and trade dress. (Elements that have previously been designated as Open Game Content are not included in this declaration.).
Open Game Content: The Open content in this book includes the spells in Chapter 2, bloodlines and mysteries in Chapter 5, and archetypes in Chapter 6. No other portion of this work may be reproduced in any form without permission.
The first paragraph I have very little problem with; some of the sidebars contain "crunch" game material, but otherwise it's all good.The second paragraph leads to disappointment and concern.
Here are some examples:
- There's new Words of Power content. Awesome! But, it's in Chapter 4, which is closed content. This means that other publishers can't (freely/easily) use the material for their own work. And, if another publisher wants to expand on Words of Power, not only can't they use what's published here, but if they want to do something similar, they have to make their own version instead of using what's already available.
- Chapter 2 contains the spells animate dead i through ix. Good! But, the tables which tell you what the spells actually create are in Chapter 7, which is closed content. Oops?
- There's the Chaos Mage wizard archetype in Chapter 6. Good! But the Chaos School is in Chapter 1, so it is closed content. You don't actually need to use the Chaos School to use the Chaos Mage archetype, but it's so fitting that it makes it disappointing that the school is closed content.
- None of the feats, anywhere, are open content. Some are in sidebars, which makes them product identity.
- Any items, such as the ioun stones in Chapter 1, are closed content.
I'm hoping that most of this is an oversight, and can be rectified at the same time you're fixing (other?) typographical errors. Or maybe all other publishers have to do to use such content is request it, and permission will be freely granted. I guess I'll find out.