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GSL posted


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Robert N. Emerson wrote:
Chris Self wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The cake is a lie.

Your vile slandering of the cake is the lie!

...it's the grief counseling that's the real lie.

At least the offer wasn't, Cake or Death...;)

Cake or Death: Eddie Izzard! What do I win? Huh? HUH? :)


Lou wrote:
Fair enough! That's what I get for skimming. I think old Wolfie has a headache right now, so I'm going to leave him alone for now. Maybe catch him on the WC boards, later. I'd be pooing a brick, myself. What if they decided I'd changed the name and logo just as an attempt to avoid having things declared part of the same line that I knew were part of the same line? Gah. My head hurts.

Yeah.. let me grant you this, nothing you said did not make complete sense. A lot of caution and care should be taken. As a Wrath of the River King patron, I'd rather lose the project than see his other stuff get hurt.


Sebastian wrote:


I didn't realize you were such a fan of book burning. ;-)

What's the quote? Those who start with burning books end with burning people? Burning books I have a problem with. Burning people? Well that's another story. :)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
(It does blow, it's not a functional license and there's really no point in using it. They could've saved a lot of legal fees by just saying "there is no new license". I suppose that new start-up companies without the leverage to negotiate a private licensing agreement might use it, but I can't say I'd recommend that they do so.)

Go check out the EnWorld forums. This document is all about position in a discussion with the marketplace. Most folks who are not saavy either as business people or from a legal perspective do not understand that this is a highly restrictive document that is designed to kill competition.

It allows WoTC to say, "We have the GSL. Folks can publish if they want. It's their choice."

Think of it as one big talking point and as much a part of the communication plan as the people who were given permission to speak about their playtest experience.


Alex Draconis wrote:
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
(It does blow, it's not a functional license and there's really no point in using it. They could've saved a lot of legal fees by just saying "there is no new license". I suppose that new start-up companies without the leverage to negotiate a private licensing agreement might use it, but I can't say I'd recommend that they do so.)
Despite all this, I still find it funny that Necromancer is moving forward with 4E plans. Necromancer hasn't even been accepted as a licencee yet. I wonder what he'd do if their products sold too well and Wizards "killed" Necromancer and "took its stuff."
Hmmm seems like Wizards has been taking rogue levels. }; )

That's because there isn't Prestige Class for 'Evil Bastard'.


I was expecting the GSL to be bad. It is. I guess that lack of surprise has made me a little sad, because deep down I kind of hoped. Hope can be a dangerous things.

However, I did buy the 4e PHB, and by gosh is it a difficult book to read. The class chapter nearly killed me. I had to give up on reading it and just admit that it will have to wait until I retire in 30 years time.

So the GSL will likely find some support, and from a commercial standpoint, some publishers will want to take the punt that maybe it is worthwhile to cede that level of control in return for the license. I am just glad that I have Paizo, and will continue to have Paizo for at least the foreseeable future, to support my gaming hit.

I think we will look back in 10 years, probably when WoTC has been sold again at least once, and after another revision or two of DnD, and we will talk about the sundering of the DnD player base down the middle into the 3.5e and the 4e crowds, and how it killed large parts of the industry, and perhaps how it led to some new games rising in its place.

I hope that we will be talking about Paizo as being one of the major players to emerge from that time. Heck, it does appear as if WoTC are doing everything within their power to drive at least a considerable chunk of the previous user base to Paizo. They are almost doing your marketing for you!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Lou wrote:
Not really, dude. Someone may have raised this point already, but according to the GSL Wizards gets to make a reasonable call about what they think is all part of the same product line. And its seems a reasonable argument that everything called Open Design belongs to the same line.

Well, technically, the COMPANY name is Open Design. It currently has two product lines, KQ and the limited edition patron projects.

The 4E project has, from the start, been different in that it is NOT a limited edition project, and it will be marked and branded separately, sharing no IP with the Zobeck books. Also, as announced at the start, it will be printed and distributed differently than the Zobeck projects.

If that's not a separate product line, I'm not sure what is. But to be sure, I'll be asking a lawyer about it, and exercising a great deal of caution about this project.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Tibitu wrote:

SO PAIZO, what is the next big thing you have in mind?

I suspect we'll be announcing THAT in relatively short order.

Well, that hint will freeze us in our tracks! SHARE!


Robert N. Emerson wrote:
Chris Self wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The cake is a lie.

Your vile slandering of the cake is the lie!

...it's the grief counseling that's the real lie.

At least the offer wasn't, Cake or Death...;)

LOL!


BabbageUK wrote:
Robert N. Emerson wrote:
Chris Self wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The cake is a lie.

Your vile slandering of the cake is the lie!

...it's the grief counseling that's the real lie.

At least the offer wasn't, Cake or Death...;)
Cake or Death: Eddie Izzard! What do I win? Huh? HUH? :)

The bad news is that we're out of cake. All that leaves is 'Or Death'. Sorry! :)


Sebastian wrote:

This license is really almost laughable at the end of the day. I was thinking about it on the drive home, and it offers absolutely no protection. In fact, it doesn't really do anything. At any time, for any reason, or for no reason, WotC can terminate it and you, poor small time publisher, are left holding the bag. The only people I could imagine relying on it are self-publishing/pdf types that have no other option.

I think Vic said it best above: why even bother with a license that doesn't do or mean anything.

Ah, the heady brew that is the corporate life ...

They can offer the GSL, even a very restrictive GSL, merely so that they can say: "See, a license is available."

If no one uses it, it's not WOTC's problem.

Clearly, any businessman would be well-advised to completely avoid this license. Instead, approach WOTC for a more traditional closed license.

It will be interesting to see if anyone chooses this tactic. And, if WOTC is interested in playing.

Dark Archive

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
My hope: Pathfinder Logo License

Yow! Talk about timing. WotC releases the GSL, 3PP get pissed and look at their next options like going OGL or taking T20's license and -- oh! -- here's the Pathfinder logo...! :)


SirUrza wrote:
It's very interesting that the GSL is dedicated to her. If she died, it's news to me. On the other hand, this could be a subtle message from the D&D crew at WOTC.

Where did you see this? I couldn't find any dedication to the POG. I pray this is a mistake. I don't think there could any greater insult to gamers everywhere than to dedicate the GSL to someone like her. I don't care what edition you prefer, if true, that's just plain wrong. Gary would be rolling in his grave if he knew they even conceived such a dedication.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Varl wrote:
SirUrza wrote:
It's very interesting that the GSL is dedicated to her. If she died, it's news to me. On the other hand, this could be a subtle message from the D&D crew at WOTC.
Where did you see this? I couldn't find any dedication to the POG. I pray this is a mistake. I don't think there could any greater insult to gamers everywhere than to dedicate the GSL to someone like her. I don't care what edition you prefer, if true, that's just plain wrong. Gary would be rolling in his grave if he knew they even conceived such a dedication.

I think that idea started as a joke...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Varl wrote:
Where did you see this? I couldn't find any dedication to the POG. I pray this is a mistake. I don't think there could any greater insult to gamers everywhere than to dedicate the GSL to someone like her. I don't care what edition you prefer, if true, that's just plain wrong. Gary would be rolling in his grave if he knew they even conceived such a dedication.

Congrats to Matthew Morris for starting an internet rumor that won't die.

Liberty's Edge

Varl wrote:
SirUrza wrote:
It's very interesting that the GSL is dedicated to her. If she died, it's news to me. On the other hand, this could be a subtle message from the D&D crew at WOTC.
Where did you see this? I couldn't find any dedication to the POG. I pray this is a mistake. I don't think there could any greater insult to gamers everywhere than to dedicate the GSL to someone like her. I don't care what edition you prefer, if true, that's just plain wrong. Gary would be rolling in his grave if he knew they even conceived such a dedication.

It was established a couple pages ago that that was a joke. Easy to miss in ten pages of posts.

EDIT: Double ninja'd!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
But to be sure, I'll be asking a lawyer about it, and exercising a great deal of caution about this project.

Wizards could easily amend the license in the future to remove the "product line" clause and instead say that if your company accepts the GSL—which you will automatically do if you sell so much as a single copy of any licensed product after they modify the license, whether you knew about the modification or not—your company can no longer produce any OGL products whatsoever. To me, that whole notion of "we can change the rules at any time" pretty much obviates the need for a lawyer—he could only tell me about what he sees *now*, which may have no value tomorrow.

Liberty's Edge

BabbageUK wrote:
Cake or Death: Eddie Izzard! What do I win? Huh? HUH? :)

You win the knowing that you knew and that others now know you knew, thus all know that they now know that you knew then about what I was saying then there.

Congratulations on your knowing! ;)

Dark Archive

Blackdragon wrote:
Alex Draconis wrote:
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
(It does blow, it's not a functional license and there's really no point in using it. They could've saved a lot of legal fees by just saying "there is no new license". I suppose that new start-up companies without the leverage to negotiate a private licensing agreement might use it, but I can't say I'd recommend that they do so.)
Despite all this, I still find it funny that Necromancer is moving forward with 4E plans. Necromancer hasn't even been accepted as a licencee yet. I wonder what he'd do if their products sold too well and Wizards "killed" Necromancer and "took its stuff."
Hmmm seems like Wizards has been taking rogue levels. }; )
That's because there isn't Prestige Class for 'Evil Bastard'.

There isn't? Damn, there goes all those feats and prerequisites I've been saving up for it.

Robert N. Emerson wrote:
BabbageUK wrote:
Cake or Death: Eddie Izzard! What do I win? Huh? HUH? :)

You win the knowing that you knew and that others now know you knew, thus all know that they now know that you knew then about what I was saying then there.

Congratulations on your knowing! ;)

Knowing is half the battle? }: P

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Tatterdemalion wrote:


You do have the best staff in the business -- professional, incredibly talented, they love RPGs, and (for lack of a better phrase) they love their customers.

Where do I sign up for the Erik Mona man-love? ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Wizards could easily amend the license in the future to remove the "product line" clause and instead say that if your company accepts the GSL—which you will automatically do if you sell so much as a single copy of any licensed product after they modify the license, whether you knew about the modification or not—your company can no longer produce any OGL products whatsoever. To me, that whole notion of "we can change the rules at any time" pretty much obviates the need for a lawyer—he could only tell me about what he sees *now*, which may have no value tomorrow.

Contractual surprise sex, ain't it quaint? *chuckles*

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

GROGNARD MOMENT

Back before 3.0, there was this industry of other games. We all played Shadowrun, Rolemaster, Champions, Mechwarrior, Runequest, Pendragon, MERP, Traveller etc. Y'all can probabaly list a dozen more. Many companies developed their own game systems because they had to. Most tanked. Some held onto a marginal market share. Some prospered.

What the GSL does is force companies like Paizo to go out on their own and build there own gamesystems, either through adaptation of the OGL or through development of another rules set. Paradigm is doing that right now with Witch Hunter and Arcanis.

For the last ten years, D20 has been the only game in town. That is about to change and the marketplace will balkanize again. And guess what, folks won't be buying the WOTC's core books to support other company's products any longer.

Where the OGL was brilliant from a marketing perspective, was that it focused the revenue stream on the highest margin product: the core books. If it has been written slightly better, then products like Conan and PfRPG and Mutants and Masterminds could not have supplanted the Core Books in the way that they did and are about to do. As it was, there was still a host of companies that produced and supported 3.0/3.5, even with other options available.

I am very disappointed in how this is going to play out. The player base is about to split and fracture, and there will be many competitive systems out there.

As someone who manages millions of dollars of budget and thousands of employees, all I can say is: "You blew it."

My call, huge spike in initial sales as we all check it out, followed by a steady erosion of sales against projections and then the firings. Remember, most of us demographically are just hitting our highest incomes and coming into serious disposable income. We will try it. Will we stick? It depends on what other options are available.

Keep in mind I don't have a problem with mechanics of 4.0. My issue is that the entire business plan seems soaked in the blood of innocents. It's pushed me over the edge and I may very well EBay my books tonight.


Wolfgang Baur wrote:
If that's not a separate product line, I'm not sure what is. But to be sure, I'll be asking a lawyer about it, and exercising a great deal of caution about this project.

The problem is, I'm not sure that that would be enough. The SRD lists out what qualifies as '4E product identity' and it includes things like 'Elves', 'd6', and so on. If you publish a GSL product, and another product happens to use the world 'dwarf' in it, WotC could claim THAT as a violation as well.

If anything, the fact that they can retroactively claim 'protected concepts' in the SRD at will, including material from other people, and you've given up your right to abritration, meaning you automatically lose a lawsuit and penalties...

And all of this for what? The ability to have a small logo on the BACK of a product, as well as the legal page?

Liberty's Edge

Alex Draconis wrote:
Knowing is half the battle? }: P

Oh, here we are, how sad a bunch of elderly nerds we are; ain't we?

Bustin' out Izzardisms, G.I. Joe stuff, I wonder which is next, some ol' school BSG stuff, Thundarr, or some Space: 1999?

*grins*

We're the princes of the universe...


Pardon me if this has been mentioned before...but is it me or does the new SRD look like just an overglorified style guide (giving the correct spellings of all the terms and a "this is how your stat blocks should look like" examples) rather than the "here are the rules (except character creation and experience) -- go nuts" document of 3.5? In other words, this prety much means that a designer's goign to have to pony up for at least one set of core books. Pretty damn shrewd, but still dickish.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
tadkil wrote:
My issue is that the entire business plan seems soaked in the blood of innocents.

And Lisa, I apologize if this line breaks the boundaries of civility here. However, I am experiencing a condition diagnosed as GSL Tourette's.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert N. Emerson wrote:

Oh, here we are, how sad a bunch of elderly nerds we are; ain't we?

Bustin' out Izzardisms, G.I. Joe stuff, I wonder which is next, some ol' school BSG stuff, Thundarr, or some Space: 1999?

*grins*

We're the princes of the universe...

Hey as long as nobody pours water on the GSL or feeds it after midnight we're fine.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

tadkil wrote:
For the last ten years, D20 has been the only game in town.

As an old Exalted gamer that snubbed D&D for quite some time, I must disagree. Granted it was 50% of the market, but there is still another 50% that people happily enjoyed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

mwbeeler wrote:
Rambling Scribe wrote:
2) 3rd party publishers won't need to put their future in Paizo's hands in the same way to adopt Pathfinder as their system, because Pathfinder is and will remain truly OGL, and will therefore be available perpetually.
Sort of. If they wanted to use the world, names, places, pantheon, etc..., they'd still need to license those goodies.

Yes—to be clear, the Pathfinder RPG license we'll be offering will pretty much just allow companies to market their products as compatible with the Pathfinder RPG. We don't need to give them a license to use the rules—as has been pointed out, they're open content, with the exception of a few things such as artwork and deity names. (The license won't give anyone access to any of our setting material.)

So, even if Paizo went out of business the day after we released the book, people could take the text, change the names of the gods, and create their own core book from it. That's the beauty of the OGL.


As restrictive and disappointing as this license is, I keep seeing references to WotC being able to take your content and reprint it in their books without compensation. Where are people getting that from?

I know there's some standard "if there's some coincidental parallel design, you can't sue us" stuff in there, but that's in pretty much every license pertaining to creative properties. It always smells like it strongly favors the big company, but really it looks like the same standard legal text that's on every submission form any freelancer will ever sign, but I don't see what the freak out is over that.

So, is there another passage that people are interpreting as signing over ownership of all intellectual property to WotC that I'm missing? Otherwise, this is like the fear someone posted at EN World about it forcing you to only sell PDFs on CD rather than online because a PDF can't have a URL - freaking out over a non-issue when there are plenty of other valid issues to freak out about. Yet I've seen this pop up several times in several threads and I'm confused where it's coming from.

Liberty's Edge

Pat Payne wrote:
Pardon me if this has been mentioned before...but is it me or does the new SRD look like just an overglorified style guide (giving the correct spellings of all the terms and a "this is how your stat blocks should look like" examples) rather than the "here are the rules (except character creation and experience) -- go nuts" document of 3.5? In other words, this prety much means that a designer's goign to have to pony up for at least one set of core books. Pretty damn shrewd, but still dickish.

I'm mostly okay with that part of things, with respect to a designer, developer, or author needing to own the books, as well as having style guideline aspects to the SRD; heck, Steve Jackson Games has had a style guideline for years and years.

But, the total about face, even if it is within their rights to do so, is a sort of slap in the face, both as a consumer and as a freelancer.

WotC is in the position they are now in due to two things, in my opinion, one of which is the d20/OGL movement and the other is fan loyalty.

I own quite a few WotC d20 books that I have never used, but I wanted because I like the book and I knew it would show WotC the value of the d20 license.

Right now I feel a bit insulted, since WotC moved forward with a license that slaps those who worked with them before in a "thanks for the ride, no blow" type manner.

Dark Archive

Robert N. Emerson wrote:
Alex Draconis wrote:
Knowing is half the battle? }: P

Oh, here we are, how sad a bunch of elderly nerds we are; ain't we?

Bustin' out Izzardisms, G.I. Joe stuff, I wonder which is next, some ol' school BSG stuff, Thundarr, or some Space: 1999?

*grins*

We're the princes of the universe...

Elderly!? I don't even have spell resistance yet. }: P

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber
MisterSlanky wrote:
Hey as long as nobody pours water on the GSL or feeds it after midnight we're fine.

WotC kaka!


Ken Marable wrote:
As restrictive and disappointing as this license is, I keep seeing references to WotC being able to take your content and reprint it in their books without compensation. Where are people getting that from?

It's the combination of being able to define 'protected' terms as they see fit, remove your ability to sell GSL material completely arbitrarily, and lastly demand that you forfeit any claims to infringement in case they 'come up' with material identical to yours at a future date.

So, yes, they could see that Tome of Horrors 4E is super-successful, decide that they're going to have such a product, 'protect' concepts in ToH4E, lock that product and the license out for the company that made it, then turn around and SUE THEM for infringement of the GSL. And, by the writing of the GSL, the 'offender', having given up his rights to arbitration, would have to accept any fees, etc, that WotC deems fit.


Pat Payne wrote:
Pardon me if this has been mentioned before...but is it me or does the new SRD look like just an overglorified style guide (giving the correct spellings of all the terms and a "this is how your stat blocks should look like" examples) rather than the "here are the rules (except character creation and experience) -- go nuts" document of 3.5? In other words, this prety much means that a designer's goign to have to pony up for at least one set of core books. Pretty damn shrewd, but still dickish.

Uh... I don't really see this as being a serious issue. They have stated back in December or something that it wouldn't be the complete rules and just a guide instead. So it wasn't a surprise to any professional considering writing for 4e. Heck, they were asking people to pay $5000 for the rules and no professional said that was "dickish".

Anyone who considers themselves a professional designer would not flip out over paying $60 for the books on Amazon (or possibly even the full $105 for them and support their FLGS). Professional writers understand the concept of paying other professional writers for their work.

However, I can see people who are used to having all of WotC's rules for free being upset about it. To them, sorry, but even people at WotC need to make a living somehow.


Zuxius wrote:
Overall, I think WotC is after a subscriber base as two other posters have mentioned. They are quite clear in their vision of laptop players and DMs playing from a Gleemax program. I am not against their vision of putting hardware to use (as a DM I think this is tantamount to the continuation of the hobby). I have seen many a DM throw in the towel and finally join his adventuring friends on WoW, never to return to the hobby. If a DM's job is made easier, than I think it is good.

As do I, but I've said it elsewhere that it's not the fact that they're endeavoring to try and cut in on the online revenues they see being spent monthly by players in WoW, it's their approach.

It sounds to me like they're wanting (or have already) to integrate their current edition with online tools to allow DMs to run virtual gaming sessions. Actually, I don't mind that objective, as since about the first of the year, I've grown very interested in taking my tabletop game to the digital medium to have the computer and projector do all the mapping, as well as give a exploratory dynamic that simply cannot be duplicated via verbal descriptions. I'm using a program now for reveal gaming, and it works great.

My point being, if WotC truly wanted to take D&D to the next level by introducing the game to the digital world, they should have set up a platform that caters to ALL editions of the game instead of having incredibly narrow vision for only one, and made it generic enough for anyone to apply it to their game.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

BabbageUK wrote:
Robert N. Emerson wrote:
Chris Self wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The cake is a lie.

Your vile slandering of the cake is the lie!

...it's the grief counseling that's the real lie.

At least the offer wasn't, Cake or Death...;)
Cake or Death: Eddie Izzard! What do I win? Huh? HUH? :)

I think I'll have the chicken.

Jason


"[Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
It was established a couple pages ago that that was a joke. Easy to miss in ten pages of posts.

Indeed. I'm putting my fetishes and charms away now and opening my curtains to let some sunshine in (well, cloudshine, as we call it here in W. Washington).


Ken Marable wrote:
As restrictive and disappointing as this license is, I keep seeing references to WotC being able to take your content and reprint it in their books without compensation. Where are people getting that from?

Others have adressed this, but I feel obliged to answer as well.

If you create a piece of content in your material, and then sometime down the road WotC produces similar content (visually, contextually, or even just the name), THEIR VERSION automatically becomes the 'correct' version, and you are no longer allowed to sell any material contaning the 'illegal' version... which you may have come up with two years before they did!

Now, I'm not saying that WotC will go out of their way to reproduce material from other companies, but if something is doing REALLY well, then it stands to reason that they will come out with their own version, and force the licensee to stop producing theirs, which would force companies to constantly have to revise their books in ever-changing editions.

Something many of them cannot afford.

And if a company happens to be doing VERY well with its product line, there is absolutely nothing stopping WotC from canceling that companies license, and then re-producing ther material under the WotC brand (with minor modifications).

If you don't think that can happen, then remember that Ravenloft was in answer to the highly-successful White Wolf Games, and Spelljammer was a reaction to Space:1889 - the game of the year in 1988, IIRC. TSR/WotC has been pretty blatant before about producing very similar products to steal market share from competitors.

The GSL is just a noose around their competitors necks, now. You would have to be pretty damn stupid to slip it around your neck, especially considering the clauses that have to do with changing the license retro-actively, which means they can find you at fault with their license AFTER they have changed it to do so. in fact, some of the things are purposely left vague so as to give WotC to ability to make decisions arbitrarly - everything is up to their own discretion.

In legal terms, thats like making your murder victim's family your judge, Jury, and executioner, in hopes you get a fair trial.

Liberty's Edge

Wow--almost 500 posts in 24 hours. I wonder if this is one of the fastest moving threads since the magazines announcement?!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

How will the GSL affect play-by-post games that use 4th ed rules?


Wow, who would've thought it? Wizards finally did something to unite 4E AND 3.5 fans and 3rd party publishers together...

They released the GSL.

I wonder what work at Wizards was like today?

Scarab Sages

Sebastian wrote:


My memory of copyright law matches what Steerpike7 says. You can't copyright the mechanics of the game, just the expression of those mechanics, but I don't have a real source for that info either.

I was recently reading this ruling on an unrelated bit of copyright law. It contains a quote that is very illuminating:

10th Circuit wrote:


"[T]he idea/expression dichotomy, denies copyright protection “to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in [a copyrighted] work.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(b). It reserves to authors, however, the right to exploit their “expression,” id., a term that refers to “the particular pattern of words, lines and colors, or musical notes” that comprise a work. ROBERT A. GORMAN, COPYRIGHT LAW 23
(2d ed. 2006).

Basically, copyright protects the precise presentation of an idea, but not the underlying idea itself. With respect to game rules, it would protect the text of the rulebooks but not the ideas and concepts that make up the rules themselves. It is thus conceivable that someone could make and sell a 4e compatible game so long as they were very careful to use completely different text. The tricky part would be communicating the tables without just copying them.

Patents, by contrast, protect inventions, and thus can be used to protect a game mechanic. However, they have to be pretty specific and have a much shorter duration than copyright. Also, it has to be a substantially new invention the creation of which would not have been obvious to a practitioner of the field. It's certainly possible that WotC could patent some mechanic of 4e, but none that fit that criteria leap out at me.

Liberty's Edge

Varl wrote:
Indeed. I'm putting my fetishes and charms away now and opening my curtains to let some sunshine in (well, cloudshine, as we call it here in W. Washington).

Now the scary part is that I hope you are talking Shamanistic traditions or Shadowrun and not latext, swing sets, and goodness knows what else my twist mind can remember or think of in the next few moments.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
tadkil wrote:
For the last ten years, D20 has been the only game in town.
As an old Exalted gamer that snubbed D&D for quite some time, I must disagree. Granted it was 50% of the market, but there is still another 50% that people happily enjoyed.

Sorry man. However, I tried to get games in other systems with no success. Wish I knew were you and the other guys were hiding!


Russ Taylor wrote:
I also don't see too much in common between Spelljammer and Space:1889 rather than the obvious link of flying ships. Spelljammer wasn't particularly Victorian, and was very much magic-obsessed.

A couple of bad examples, but TSR, in particular, had a long track record of rejecting a submission and then suddenly having a near identical article in Dragon or published product shortly thereafter. (See: Psionics). Heck, the whole gaming hobby has a long and proud tradition of screwing over people in that way.

If anyone thinks that WotC, now under immense pressure to stop losing money, is going to be 'nice and friendly' to their so-called 'competition', then they need to pass around what they've been taking to the rest of the class.


Is the GSL seen as so restrictive simply because the OGL was so exactly the opposite? It still boggles my mind that WOTC ever let the OGL exist. Obviously a move they regret looking at the way they treated paizo. And now this GSL.... well i think the industry will survive this. I don't see 4th edition as becoming the new standard with the license written as it is. Who knows.
I still plan on expanding my 3.5/3RD d20 collection. And i also admit to buying 4th edition and having my eyes on some of the stuff they release in the future. Hell i might even buy the Pathfinder hardcover when it hits the streets next year.
I only hope i live to see the next edition war or two because my health has been failing as of late. But this one has been pure, delicious entertainment. Good Luck Paizo.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
vance wrote:
And all of this for what? The ability to have a small logo on the BACK of a product, as well as the legal page?

Yep, basically. The chance to advertise your products as compatible with the newest version of the world's best-selling RPG, in return for agreeing to abide by a draconian licensing agreement that fairly well limits you to expansions and adventures, and a license that can be revoked at any time they feel like it. (And we all know WotC's track record on license revocation...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:
Wow--almost 500 posts in 24 hours. I wonder if this is one of the fastest moving threads since the magazines announcement?!

Yes; at the rate it’s going, it’ll soon outstrip the “Things in life that suck!” thread. ;-)

I’ve now read every post in this thread- took a while- what do I win? :-)

Reading through it, I felt a bit like that guy pushing the boulder up the mountain (Sisyphus?).

Overall, a very high quality thread!


Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Lou wrote:
Not really, dude. Someone may have raised this point already, but according to the GSL Wizards gets to make a reasonable call about what they think is all part of the same product line. And its seems a reasonable argument that everything called Open Design belongs to the same line.

Well, technically, the COMPANY name is Open Design. It currently has two product lines, KQ and the limited edition patron projects.

The 4E project has, from the start, been different in that it is NOT a limited edition project, and it will be marked and branded separately, sharing no IP with the Zobeck books. Also, as announced at the start, it will be printed and distributed differently than the Zobeck projects.

If that's not a separate product line, I'm not sure what is. But to be sure, I'll be asking a lawyer about it, and exercising a great deal of caution about this project.

Awesome! Good to know its protected from the start, and that I didn't know poo about your structure!

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