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GSL posted


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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The GSL has been posted to:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/welcome

like 2 min ago.

- Ashavan

Cheliax

Koldoon wrote:

The GSL has been posted to:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/welcome

like 2 min ago.

- Ashavan

This is it. Can't wait to see Goodman Games, Green Ronin, and Necromancer Games' reaction over the next few days. Paizo, blessed be, will continue with Pathfinder for the foreseeable future.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

And if this happened in February, it might have mattered. Now I can't be bothered to care.

sigh.

Taldor

WHAT A BUNCH OF SH!T.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This should be *really* interesting.

I especially like the provision that says if you make a 4E product, you can never go back to making it an OGL product EVEN AFTER THE GSL TERMINATES.


DaveMage wrote:

This should be *really* interesting.

I especially like the provision that says if you make a 4E product, you can never go back to making it an OGL product EVEN AFTER THE GSL TERMINATES.

It really forces folks to make a distinctive line that they're willing to write off.

Which could be profitable or not. Hard to say.

- Ashavan

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.


Sebastian wrote:

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.

It better be for all the delays! ;)


Sebastian wrote:

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.

Sarcasm or truthfulness?


Sebastian wrote:

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.

I'd love to hear your impressions, Sebastian, if you're willing to share.

- Ashavan

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So if I understand this right, if you don't yet have your Tome of Horrors pdf you'd better obtain it quick because as of October, all the OGL product lines that switch over are going to have to be pulled off the PDF shelves.


They're coming. Run for that abandoned house, I'll hold them off.


no websites... harsh.

- Ashavan


WotC is basically saying that they can yank the rug out from under you any time they want with this license. Is that how it reads to everyone else?

I don't think I would publish under this license if I was in this industry, professionally speaking.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Pawns Subscriber

I haven't fully read it yet, but it sure looks like 3 party adventures are going to be ... unpleasent to use unless it's all custom/advanced monsters.


yes.... they are saying they can pull the rug out from under you... and worse, that a successful line done in 4e cannot, after termination of the license, be reworked into OGL.

I'd think very carefully about accepting this license if I were a company, you'd need to develop a unique line and distinctive trade dress that ideally would starkly contrast from anything else you did. You'd also have to be completely willing to write the whole line off at any time.

I'll be curious to see Clark's reaction to it, since he's been so much a champion of the GSL, despite many of the rumored restrictions. Now that we know what the restrictions are... I mean... I don't know, everything they give they are giving (provisionally), but I chafe at losing the flexibility to do websites, even as a fan.

Supposedly there will be a separate license that will cover fan websites, and I suppose I'm back to the waiting game to see that one.

- Ashavan

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

DudeMonkey wrote:
WotC is basically saying that they can yank the rug out from under you any time they want with this license. Is that how it reads to everyone else?

Yes, that's my take.

DudeMonkey wrote:
I don't think I would publish under this license if I was in this industry, professionally speaking.

That's my take, too.

Cheliax

I think Skinsaw Murders and Hook Mountain Massacre would never qualify under the GSL. And I'd be surprised if Curse of the Crimson Throne would make it with the Queen's, uh, "alternative lifestyle".

EDIT: Oops. My bad on the latter. It's okay per the GSL as long as it's not a "put down" on such minorities. But forget Massacre under the new license!

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Koldoon wrote:
Sebastian wrote:

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.

I'd love to hear your impressions, Sebastian, if you're willing to share.

- Ashavan

I don't have much to say. It's what we would call a "Licensor favorable license". There are some absolutely brutal provisions. The one I find most funny is Section 10.1 which basically says you will never sue Wizards for infringement. Ever. It can be terminated at any time and you can't sell any product you've created using it.

I can't say I'd put money down to make a product under this license. That being said, if I were one of the medium sized fish in the rpg industry pond, I'd try and eek out a side letter granting me the rights to continue publishing for a set period of time after the revocation of the license. Who knows if WotC would do it, but that's what I would try.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

rclifton wrote:
Sebastian wrote:

Oooh...shiny!

I must say, that's some fine looking legal work there.

Sarcasm or truthfulness?

Truthfulness. It's very artfully drafted, and I love the way they include a countersigning provision. This sucker is a very different beast from the OGL, which was elegant, but fairly simple.

Qadira

DudeMonkey wrote:

WotC is basically saying that they can yank the rug out from under you any time they want with this license. Is that how it reads to everyone else?

I don't think I would publish under this license if I was in this industry, professionally speaking.

Actually this reads very much like the licenses I have been party to way back when I worked on licensed products form film and comic properties. Basically the owner of the IP holds all of the cards. The OGL was truly unique and it is no surprise to me that it is as restrictive as it is.

Remember, most companies make you pay for the use of their IP in your products.

Cheliax

Koldoon wrote:


I'll be curious to see Clark's reaction to it....

Same with Joseph Goodman of Goodman games.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
DudeMonkey wrote:
WotC is basically saying that they can yank the rug out from under you any time they want with this license. Is that how it reads to everyone else?

Yes, that's my take.

DudeMonkey wrote:
I don't think I would publish under this license if I was in this industry, professionally speaking.

That's my take, too.

I guess it's a good thing you didn't wait for the license. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

Qadira

Erik Mona wrote:

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

Yep. You guys were spot on. That is a very comforting thought.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

It's pretty much everything I thought it'd be.

1) People can't use 3rd party products without the Core books.
2) Publisher can't mix and match their 3e and 4e products.
3) There won't be any more Books of Erotic Fantasy.


Erik Mona wrote:

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

As well you should! This sort of contract may be normal in some industries but even a cursory reading should make any publisher seriously think again...


All I can say is WOW!

Rather <expletive deleted> harsh. I can certainly understand where WoTC is coming from in making this license work this way...but I don't think its a good way to do business in such a customer oriented environment.

Personally, I think this is a big mistake by WoTC. Actually, who wants to bet that its someone at Big Brother Hasbro that made this particular decision? It seems like Hasbro (likely WoTC too) don't want to share the field with quite as many third party companies. Added in is the clause that basically says, join us and you can no longer compete, except under the terms we have delineated.


crosswiredmind wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

Yep. You guys were spot on. That is a very comforting thought.

Very gracious of you CWM! Thank you, as always for your civility!

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Erik Mona wrote:

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

Is WotC unwilling to negotiate one-off licenses generally? You've been saying that you wouldn't accept the terms of the GSL, which seems entirely reasonable, but you have previously had a non-OGL license to publish Dragon and Dungeon. I realize that said license was eventually terminated, but you appear to still have the ability to sell your Dragon/Dungeon products that are not OGL compliant, which I assume is a function of that license.

Anyway, it strikes me that you had options other than the GSL, at least in theory, and those options could have mitigated your concerns about the nature of the GSL. I'm not saying that any license with WotC is free from peril, but this "we were gonna get screwed by the GSL" attitude strikes me as a bit of scapegoating.

Qadira

rclifton wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

I've been expecting this sort of thing for months, obviously.

I'm feeling very pleased with our decision to stick with the OGL today...

Yep. You guys were spot on. That is a very comforting thought.
Very gracious of you CWM! Thank you, as always for your civility!

Thank you. I love the option of playing Pathfinder. I am glad I will an alternative once the splat book for 4e start showing up. ;-)


Interesting... very interesting... It doesn't bode well for all the 3rd parties out there. I'll bet they'll have to do some massive rewriting of stuff they've already put together...


Glad I didn't become mutually exclusive.

Hmmmmmmm.

Yes, like CWM just said, I am grateful that I have the option to stay with Pathfinder.


Clearly the most effective books will be the ones with entirely new classes, powers and monsters, since you can create new ones, but cannot do more than reference ones from the SRD.

I'd be curious to see what an adventure (for instance) done under the constraints of the SRD would look like.

- Ashavan

Qadira

Hmmmm. I wonder if they are going to work individual licenses with larger publishers that will be less restrictive but include royalties?


Sebastian makes a good point, but I get the feeling that the intention of this document speaks louder than the language. I would have followed Paizo's business plan exactly as they have if I'd had their recent track record with Hasbro executive decisions.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

crosswiredmind wrote:
Hmmmm. I wonder if they are going to work individual licenses with larger publishers that will be less restrictive but include royalties?

That would be my guess.

Andoran

I hate the legal stuff, but I'm equally annoyed about the SRD without rules, although I saw it coming.

Well, they've finally done it. That's the last thing they could have done to guarantee that I wouldn't try 4th edition.

Thank you, Paizo, for giving everyone another option.


I find myself wondering what Clark has to say.. having such faith in the GSL. Not that I am mocking him for that, he was very passionately sincere. Excuse me for a moment as I wander off to EN World.... I'll be right back.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Koldoon wrote:
I'd be curious to see what an adventure (for instance) done under the constraints of the SRD would look like.

Not much different then what Pathfinder 1 looks like every time it references a monster in the MM. A name, a page number.


crosswiredmind wrote:
Hmmmm. I wonder if they are going to work individual licenses with larger publishers that will be less restrictive but include royalties?

We'll have to see. The two publishers whose reactions I'm most curious about are Necromancer and Goodman, since they've both pretty much committed themselves.

- Ashavan


Actually, not even a page number any more. All you can say is the name of the monster.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Sebastian wrote:
I'm not saying that any license with WotC is free from peril, but this "we were gonna get screwed by the GSL" attitude strikes me as a bit of scapegoating.

I think it's rather obvious that no license is free from peril, and all things considered the relationship with WotC ended fairly painlessly. We can, as you note, sell off our remaining stock without destroying it, etc.

I don't want to rule out working with them on some sort of closed license in the future, but they made it pretty clear that ALL licensing doors were closed at least until the launch of 4e and the GSL, and in the meantime we've chosen a different path that does not tie our hands or give another company with different goals than our own the kill-switch power over our destiny.

Call it scapegoating or not. I knew this license would be nowhere near as open as the OGL, so we're sticking with the OGL.

And I think the terms of the GSL make it clear that that decision was a wise one in the best interest of Paizo and its customers.

Cheliax

Koldoon wrote:
The two publishers whose reactions I'm most curious about are Necromancer and Goodman, since they've both pretty much committed themselves.

I just checked Goodman. Seems they removed the three cover images for their 4E mods from their website.


SirUrza wrote:
Koldoon wrote:
I'd be curious to see what an adventure (for instance) done under the constraints of the SRD would look like.
Not much different then what Pathfinder 1 looks like every time it references a monster in the MM. A name, a page number.

Can't reference by page numbers. It's against the rules.

- Ashavan

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Erik Mona wrote:


I think it's rather obvious that no license is free from peril, and all things considered the relationship with WotC ended fairly painlessly. We can, as you note, sell off our remaining stock without destroying it, etc.

I don't want to rule out working with them on some sort of closed license in the future, but they made it pretty clear that ALL licensing doors were closed at least until the launch of 4e and the GSL, and in the meantime we've chosen a different path that does not tie our hands or give another company with different goals than our own the kill-switch power over our destiny.

Call it scapegoating or not. I knew this license would be nowhere near as open as the OGL, so we're sticking with the OGL.

And I think the terms of the GSL make it clear that that decision was a wise one in the best interest of Paizo and its customers.

All good points, but at the end of the day, the GSL is not your only option, yet you continue to portray it as such. Thus, the term "scapegoating".

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

What's my other option, again?

Setting up a private license with WotC to produce 4e material on our own terms on some sort of royalty basis? They've made it pretty clear, to date, that they're not interested in that sort of thing, so how would you prefer that I discuss our options?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Koldoon wrote:

Clearly the most effective books will be the ones with entirely new classes, powers and monsters, since you can create new ones, but cannot do more than reference ones from the SRD.

I'd be curious to see what an adventure (for instance) done under the constraints of the SRD would look like.

- Ashavan

If I understand correctly, though, if you were to create a class called "Bard" or "Barbarian" or "Cheesehead," and then Wizards created a class called "Bard" or "Barbarian" or "Cheesehead" and added the name of that class to the SRD, your product would be in violation of the license from that moment forward, and you'd have to stop selling it immediately.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Erik Mona wrote:

What's my other option, again?

Setting up a private license with WotC to produce 4e material on our own terms on some sort of royalty basis? They've made it pretty clear, to date, that they're not interested in that sort of thing, so how would you prefer that I discuss our options?

Yes. To quote Tori Amos: It can be done, it has been done, and I think you are up to it. You could have negotiated a private license with WotC. Had you done so, you would still have faced the other problems you listed above, including being subject to the whims of WotC, but such a private license is another option. I don't begrudge you the option you chose, but I just don't believe that your only choice was to accept the GSL.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
And I think the terms of the GSL make it clear that that decision was a wise one in the best interest of Paizo and its customers.

And I for one can't thank you enough for acting the way you guys did.

I was already ready to close the chapter on my WotC buying days. This nicely eased any possible lingering doubts I've ever had with going Pathfinder.

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