Paizo Announces System-Neutral Open RPG License

Thursday, January 12, 2023


Open RPG logo over-layed over an image of pathfinder champion Seelah leading a battle


For the last several weeks, as rumors of Wizards of the Coast’s new version of the Open Game License began circulating among publishers and on social media, gamers across the world have been asking what Paizo plans to do in light of concerns regarding Wizards of the Coast’s rumored plan to de-authorize the existing OGL 1.0(a). We have been awaiting further information, hoping that Wizards would realize that, for more than 20 years, the OGL has been a mutually beneficial license which should not–and cannot–be revoked. While we continue to await an answer from Wizards, we strongly feel that Paizo can no longer delay making our own feelings about the importance of Open Gaming a part of the public discussion.

We believe that any interpretation that the OGL 1.0 or 1.0(a) were intended to be revocable or able to be deauthorized is incorrect, and with good reason.

We were there.

Paizo owner Lisa Stevens and Paizo president Jim Butler were leaders on the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards at the time. Brian Lewis, co-founder of Azora Law, the intellectual property law firm that Paizo uses, was the attorney at Wizards who came up with the legal framework for the OGL itself. Paizo has also worked very closely on OGL-related issues with Ryan Dancey, the visionary who conceived the OGL in the first place.

Paizo does not believe that the OGL 1.0a can be “deauthorized,” ever. While we are prepared to argue that point in a court of law if need be, we don’t want to have to do that, and we know that many of our fellow publishers are not in a position to do so.

We have no interest whatsoever in Wizards’ new OGL. Instead, we have a plan that we believe will irrevocably and unquestionably keep alive the spirit of the Open Game License.

As Paizo has evolved, the parts of the OGL that we ourselves value have changed. When we needed to quickly bring out Pathfinder First Edition to continue publishing our popular monthly adventures back in 2008, using Wizards’ language was important and expeditious. But in our non-RPG products, including our Pathfinder Tales novels, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and others, we shifted our focus away from D&D tropes to lean harder into ideas from our own writers. By the time we went to work on Pathfinder Second Edition, Wizards of the Coast’s Open Game Content was significantly less important to us, and so our designers and developers wrote the new edition without using Wizards’ copyrighted expressions of any game mechanics. While we still published it under the OGL, the reason was no longer to allow Paizo to use Wizards’ expressions, but to allow other companies to use our expressions.

We believe, as we always have, that open gaming makes games better, improves profitability for all involved, and enriches the community of gamers who participate in this amazing hobby. And so we invite gamers from around the world to join us as we begin the next great chapter of open gaming with the release of a new open, perpetual, and irrevocable Open RPG Creative License (ORC).

The new Open RPG Creative License will be built system agnostic for independent game publishers under the legal guidance of Azora Law, an intellectual property law firm that represents Paizo and several other game publishers. Paizo will pay for this legal work. We invite game publishers worldwide to join us in support of this system-agnostic license that allows all games to provide their own unique open rules reference documents that open up their individual game systems to the world. To join the effort and provide feedback on the drafts of this license, please sign up by using this form.

In addition to Paizo, Kobold Press, Chaosium, Green Ronin, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and a growing list of publishers have already agreed to participate in the Open RPG Creative License, and in the coming days we hope and expect to add substantially to this group.

The ORC will not be owned by Paizo, nor will it be owned by any company who makes money publishing RPGs. Azora Law’s ownership of the process and stewardship should provide a safe harbor against any company being bought, sold, or changing management in the future and attempting to rescind rights or nullify sections of the license. Ultimately, we plan to find a nonprofit with a history of open source values to own this license (such as the Linux Foundation).

Of course, Paizo plans to continue publishing Pathfinder and Starfinder, even as we move away from the Open Gaming License. Since months’ worth of products are still at the printer, you’ll see the familiar OGL 1.0(a) in the back of our products for a while yet. While the Open RPG Creative License is being finalized, we’ll be printing Pathfinder and Starfinder products without any license, and we’ll add the finished license to those products when the new license is complete.

We hope that you will continue to support Paizo and other game publishers in this difficult time for the entire hobby. You can do your part by supporting the many companies that have provided content under the OGL. Support Pathfinder and Starfinder by visiting your local game store, subscribing to Pathfinder and Starfinder, or taking advantage of discount code OpenGaming during checkout for 25% off your purchase of the Core Rulebook, Core Rulebook Pocket Edition, or Pathfinder Beginner Box. Support Kobold Press, Green Ronin, Legendary Games, Roll for Combat, Rogue Genius Games, and other publishers working to preserve a prosperous future for Open Gaming that is both perpetual AND irrevocable.

We’ll be there at your side. You can count on us not to go back on our word.

Forever.

–Paizo Inc

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Community Paizo Paizo Staff Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
51 to 100 of 421 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What a big deal.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

EXCELLENT!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is huge and I'm greatful for Paizo! Thank you!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

6 people marked this as a favorite.

The real question. How long did they work on the name/acronym for?

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

My enthusiasm for this license is also irrevocable!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for using the clout you have in the industry for good, AND for not claiming ownership.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I haven't logged into here for a long time but just wanted to express my appreciation for this. You all rock!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Amen

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bravo Paizo, Bravo


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Posting in a historic thread.

Thank you, Paizo..for being better.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This pleases me.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

IMO the most important part is this:

"Paizo does not believe that the OGL 1.0a can be 'deauthorized,' ever. While we are prepared to argue that point in a court of law if need be..."

That exactly what we needed: Someone with both the resources and the courage to stand up to WotC's bullying by forcing the issue as a matter of law.

Good for you, Paizo.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This was the TTRPG announcement I needed today!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Cool, now make a 2E based video game allready and i will air-mail you my firstborn!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

WOOT!!!!!!

Now I'm just going to HAVE to buy more products aren't I ?

Horizon Hunters

5 people marked this as a favorite.

You are all KINGS / QUEENS / NON-BIANRY MONARCHS I love you!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Way to go, Paizo!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is fantastic News, especially with keeping it system agnostic and not beholden to any one company this is wonderful :3


4 people marked this as a favorite.

No one will forget the day Paizo went #ORCmode on the Dragon


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That's why we all love Paizo!

And that's the kind of leadership we need in the community!

Thanks for being Paizo, Paizo.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah!! Paizo has demonstrated insight, dedication and open communication to not just us fans but to the gaming public, writers, developers and designers for our time and the future.

I love you all!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for not letting this community down Paizo.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I love you Paizo!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

WOOT!!!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

hallelujah paizo!!!

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This gladdens my heart!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah!!!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

WAY TO GO PAIZO, KOBOLD PRESS, GREEN RONIN, and every other publisher using the ORC! OPEN GAMING FOREVER!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thumbs up to Paizo for taking a leadership role in RPGaming. Hope the deep thinkers at Wizards are having sleepless nights.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am just so thrilled this is happening! So sad they way it happened.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

It's sad but courageous and the only intelligent action to do.

You have my handwraps of mighty blows, Paizo !

Dark Archive

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

We believe that any interpretation that the OGL 1.0 or 1.0(a) were intended to be revocable or able to be deauthorized is incorrect, and with good reason.

We were there.

Well, said, Paizo.

I was wondering when this would come out and what Paizo intended to do.

The wait was worth it.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

grade a awesome


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Let's go!!! I'm glad to hear that Paizo, KP, GRG, RGG, and the others are collabing on this! Huzzah for ORC!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Bravo Paizo, Bravo! This is why you'll be getting my continued support.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Love the ORC, Embrace The ORC and the ORC will love you.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

To support this, I will be playing only orcs for a year.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Best late Christmas gift ever


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This just reaffirms my knowing that this is the greatest gaming community and company and that you truly wish to put the players first. Thank you paizo and other publishers I hope you continue to keep tables happy and gaming. indeed forever.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I was hoping Paizo would do something like this! Well done and well spoken. I am extra excited to continue to support Paizo!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Glad to hear!

Here's to open gaming for decades to come!

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Long live the ORC!

Keep up the good fight and keep making great games!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Slow clap...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Oriklad wrote:
Excited to see the Age of ORC taking over the Age of OGL

My guess on the other thread was ORCS, so not bad


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The elation in the air is stunning right now. All that rage has turned into just utter delight and hope. And a little giddy spite. ;) They took a bad situation and made something new and beautiful out of it.

We're also really seeing the fruits of Paizo preemptively renaming all the OGL monsters. I do still think we should rename "web lurkers" to "attercops", though. ;P


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You are so incredibly awesome!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Do I feel kinda sorry for WotC? I guess I do, yeah. I was there for many years. I played Living Greyhawk with Jason Buhlman in the Highfolk region. I've played games with Ed Greenwood - a classic-style in which I was killed a couple of hours in, and the man kept the character around as a ghost just so I could play. I still have the d20 that Frank Mentzer gave at his tables the one time I played with him at GenCon (though, as you might expect, I can't really read the numbers without picking up the die or bending down to look and the edges have kind of dulled, which means it rolls... and rolls... and rolls.... and rolls...).

Do I feel sorry for Hasbro, who I'm thinking are the source of this?

Not. At. All.

Buh-bye, D&D. I'll stick here with Paizo, a company that seems much more interested in serving their audience.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

ORC is a fantastic name.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Let the new TTRPG renaissance commence! Who needs a moldy, old Wizard?

51 to 100 of 421 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Paizo Announces System-Neutral Open RPG License All Messageboards