The ORC Alliance Grows

Thursday, January 19, 2023


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


Over the course of the last week, more than 1,500 tabletop RPG publishers, from household names going back to the dawn of the hobby to single proprietors just starting out with their first digital release, have joined together to pledge their support for the development of a universal system-neutral open license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages innovation and collaboration in the tabletop gaming space.

The alliance is gathered. Work has begun.

It would take too long to list all the companies behind the ORC license effort, but we thought you might be interested to see a few of the organizations already pledged toward this common goal. We are honored to be allied with them, as well as with the equally important participating publishers too numerous to list here. Each is crucial to the effort’s success. The list below is but a representative sample of participating publishers from a huge variety of market segments with a huge variety of perspectives. But we all agree on one thing.

We are all in this together.

  • Alchemy RPG
  • Arcane Minis
  • Atlas Games
  • Autarch
  • Azora Law
  • Black Book Editions
  • Bombshell Miniatures
  • BRW Games
  • Chaosium
  • Cze & Peku
  • Demiplane
  • DMDave
  • The DM Lair
  • Elderbrain
  • EN Publishing
  • Epic Miniatures
  • Evil Genius Games
  • Expeditious Retreat Press
  • Fantasy Grounds
  • Fat Dragon Games
  • Forgotten Adventures
  • Foundry VTT
  • Free RPG Day
  • Frog God Games
  • Gale Force 9
  • Game On Tabletop
  • Giochi Uniti
  • Goodman Games
  • Green Ronin
  • The Griffon’s Saddlebag
  • Iron GM Games
  • Know Direction
  • Kobold Press
  • Lazy Wolf Studios
  • Legendary Games
  • Lone Wolf Development
  • Loot Tavern
  • Louis Porter Jr. Designs
  • Mad Cartographer
  • Minotaur Games
  • Mongoose Publishing
  • MonkeyDM
  • Monte Cook Games
  • MT Black
  • Necromancer Games
  • Nord Games
  • Open Gaming, Inc.
  • Paizo Inc.
  • Paradigm Concepts
  • Pelgrane Press
  • Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Raging Swan Press
  • Rogue Games
  • Rogue Genius Games
  • Roll 20
  • Roll for Combat
  • Sly Flourish
  • Tom Cartos
  • Troll Lord Games
  • Ulisses Spiele

You will be hearing a lot more from us in the days to come.

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Tags: Community Paizo Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

22 people marked this as a favorite.

We're working in merch. Had to write the welcome letter to publishers and set up the Discord server first, but will be getting to that agenda item soon!


10 people marked this as a favorite.
wooferdill wrote:
I am still hoping to see some ORC Alliance merch from Paizo and/or Azora! I will of course be buying from ORC companies in the future, but I want to show my support!!

In the meantime, the Paizo union sells some lovely gear here.


18 people marked this as a favorite.

Ulisses Spiele (the German publisher for Pathfinder and many other RPGs) also put out a message yesterday that they are supporting the ORC and will try to convince other German companies to join in.

They also said if there need to be any adjustments made to accommodate German law, they're willing to have it figured out and will pay for the legal work.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I for one am incredibly proud of everyone involved in this initiative.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, LO Special Edition, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Any idea when the public might see some drafts?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Leon Aquilla wrote:

Darrington Press isn't the same as CR. Tal'Dorei Reborn is 5e compatible but not printed under the D&D brand. I'd be shocked if they were foolish enough to lock it in with some exclusive license*.

*Especially because they didn't even get to use the D&D brand on it!

Actually, page 280 of Tal'Dorei Reborn is the Open Game License v1.0a. This book may have needed to be done that way because much of the book is the same as the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting book that was released by Green Ronin back in 2017, and pg 143 of that book is the 1.0a Open Game License. If something was once released under 1.0a, I don't think you can legally do a "2nd edition" that is closed or not part of the Open Game Licensed.


Paizo, the Knight in shining armor. You are the most outstanding leader in TTRPG. Thank you.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wondering if there is a kind of ORC funds setup. For those that want to do supporting stuff for this. So there are more ways that the community support too.


It is nice to see that a lot of people join team ORC

go go team Orc

Sovereign Court Raging Swan Press

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Raging Swan Press is delighted to be part of the ORC Alliance!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I really do love the whole idea behind the license and how it's reaching out to bring lots of medium and small content creators together.

But the more often I see it, the more I am bothered by naming it the "ORC" license.

Whatever anyone's personal views are on orcs being harmless fun or offensive and toxic, it's been the most controversial and divisive topic in RPGs and fantasy in recent memory.

Yes, I get it. It's a bit of a pun. It's cute.

But surely I can't be the only one who is feeling really uncomfortable using ORC in the branding of material I create and want to release? I'm not even feeling super strongly about the issue and don't feel bothered by people wanting to use orcs in their own material.
But forcing me to decide branding my material as ORC license or not releasing it at all really is a situation I don't want to be in. And surely there are many more people who feel the same or even more strongly.

If the goal is to create something that brings people together in a common creative space, then I don't think a cute pun is worth the alienation it brings because of it's controversial and problematic name.

Under any other name, I would totally be on board with it. But like this, it might make me scrap my plans to release the material I created for my favorite game system.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah not to be a real Debbie downer but Ukrainians have dubbed Russian invaders to be Orcs and this branding will probably be offensive in that part of the world.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Yora wrote:


Whatever anyone's personal views are on orcs being harmless fun or offensive and toxic, it's been the most controversial and divisive topic in RPGs and fantasy in recent memory.

Huh. I thought the OGL has been the most controversial and divisive topic in RPGs and fantasy in recent memory…


I am so happy to see so many companies on this list. Especially Nord Games. Hopefully this mammoth effort will swing the axe in WotC's direction and the idiots at the top bail/are booted for all their dumb, bone headed decisions over this whole OGL thing.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

They are not forcing anyone to use the acronym


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WildManPiet wrote:

No Darrington Press eh?

How sad.
Well at least they have their loyal fanbase.

im sure its a legality thing since it is own by CR. they are not allowed legality wise to do anything until they can gt out of ther currant conctracts with wizards


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This list is really awesome to see, and it quells my concerns that the ORC would also end up with the poison pill that is a morality clause, something that can and absolutely will be used to abuse creators by online mobs and weird Twitterati with an ax to grind against someone. Anything like that would be enough for me to immediately withdraw my support from this initiative as well.

While I'm still angry with WOTC, the primary emotion I'm feeling is excitement for what will emerge now out of the indie (or at least non-monolithic) publishing scene, where I was already spending all my table top money anyway.

Can't wait to devote a new bookshelf to the collaborations that come out of this!


Kobold Catgirl wrote:

I keep expecting to see Evil Hat on these lists, and then remembering their content is already under the Creative Commons.

I guess this stuff's old hat to them.

I hope they get involved. Some form of license compatibility with CC would be valuable, and indeed they have a lot of experience in open gaming.


fritterfae wrote:
WOW! Now that is a lineup I am awed by. And it's not even everybody! Keep up the good work and I wish you all the best. You're keeping the spirit alive!

For real though. Mongoose was the last publisher I expected to agree to ORK since they usually just do their own thing


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always Piazo leads Huzzah! I am one of those (very minor) publishers,I have submitted to back the ORC but I haven't gotten any emails yet. Did I mess it up? Or haven't there been any?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Yora wrote:

...

If the goal is to create something that brings people together in a common creative space, then I don't think a cute pun is worth the alienation it brings because of it's controversial and problematic name.
...

I feel like I am missing something here. What is controversial and problematic about the name ORC?

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

My friends and I only registered our LLC last week, were still working on our first book (hope to publish in the spring/early summer). Looking forward to joining on with Ramtown Games.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's telling when 3 of the biggest VTT joined in, they don't like what Wizards is brewing either.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can any gaming company join the ORC alliance? Does anyone know, and if so steps to join? I want in! Lol

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Skyhammer Studios wrote:
Can any gaming company join the ORC alliance? Does anyone know, and if so steps to join? I want in! Lol

There is a link to join in on the blog post of the 12th. I would link but none of them work for me. D’oh.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Pretty pretty please, do everything you can to “save” PF1E. Allow us to continue publishing our own materials for it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Blave wrote:

Ulisses Spiele (the German publisher for Pathfinder and many other RPGs) also put out a message yesterday that they are supporting the ORC and will try to convince other German companies to join in.

They also said if there need to be any adjustments made to accommodate German law, they're willing to have it figured out and will pay for the legal work.

Not just PF, but The Dark Eye since 2007, which is one of the most popular German-based RPG's.

Quote:

I feel like I am missing something here. What is controversial and problematic about the name ORC?

Nothing, but some people have a tragically chronic case of "Why wasn't I consulted"


Samurai wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:

Darrington Press isn't the same as CR. Tal'Dorei Reborn is 5e compatible but not printed under the D&D brand. I'd be shocked if they were foolish enough to lock it in with some exclusive license*.

*Especially because they didn't even get to use the D&D brand on it!

Actually, page 280 of Tal'Dorei Reborn is the Open Game License v1.0a. This book may have needed to be done that way because much of the book is the same as the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting book that was released by Green Ronin back in 2017, and pg 143 of that book is the 1.0a Open Game License. If something was once released under 1.0a, I don't think you can legally do a "2nd edition" that is closed or not part of the Open Game Licensed.

I think you could.

The second edition couldn't include any of the content you used the OGL to get access to, unless you had a separate licensing agreement for that. And any content from the original edition would still be usable under the OGL of course.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Leon Aquilla wrote:
Mongoose?! Oh the irony... they're so tight-fisted with the Traveller rules. I have to use Cepheus on FoundryVTT :(

In case you hadn't seen this:

https://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/threads/traveller-open-content-new-pro gramme-on-the-way.123770/

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Looks like meat is back on the menu boys!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber
Malkinban wrote:


In case you hadn't seen this:

https://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/threads/traveller-open-content-new-pro gramme-on-the-way.123770/

Oh hey! Everything's coming up Milhouse!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bardess wrote:
Pretty pretty please, do everything you can to “save” PF1E. Allow us to continue publishing our own materials for it.

Thank you good sir.


Paul Watson wrote:
Skyhammer Studios wrote:
Can any gaming company join the ORC alliance? Does anyone know, and if so steps to join? I want in! Lol
There is a link to join in on the blog post of the 12th. I would link but none of them work for me. D’oh.

Thank you! Will check it out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Heck yes! Proud to say I've supported a bunch of these amazing people through patreon, kickstarter or other 3p purchases. Love the energy, honesty and intention of this movement. Can't wait to join it as both a consumer and creator ♥


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't want to tell Paizo how to do their job, but I think that this license needs its own Orc ORC mascot. I would love to see some original art for the license of like a green-skinned hero writing a contract.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you to those who have created wonderful adventures for us all to enjoy! Pathfinder reawakened the joy of playing RPG's over a decade ago and I love supporting a company that truly loves the spirit of the game. Thank you!

Homebrew idea: The Looming Tower on the western sea coast, has slowly become plagued by some deep, dark, insidious influence. From the outside, all seems normal enough, but there is a sinister influence.... A few brave souls enslaved from within the Looming Tower have put their lives on the line, seeing what the future holds, in desperation, have sent secret messages out to those who will listen.

A band of ORCs, seeing the influence and power this stronghold has over the region decides to do something about it. They will need help. Unlikely alliances are forged and a plan begins to take root.

Will you answer the call to arms?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Skyhammer Studios wrote:
Can any gaming company join the ORC alliance? Does anyone know, and if so steps to join? I want in! Lol

Jan 12 blog post


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll be honest, I haven't played Pathfinder, aside from a little bit of the starter set adventure. But this whole fiasco brings me back here. Good on Paizo for leading the charge. Let's hope ORC becomes what everyone wished OGL could've been.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I really wish we could see the whole list. For instance, I don't see Drop Dead Studios on there - but really wish I did. I don't know if they HAVE officially expressed support - I just hope they do - and not knowing is uncomfortable.. :-)

Per their Discord DDS is in


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Skyhammer Studios wrote:
Bardess wrote:
Pretty pretty please, do everything you can to “save” PF1E. Allow us to continue publishing our own materials for it.
Thank you good sir.

I am a lady, but you’re welcome.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Samurai Sheepdog is proud to be a part of this effort! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I signed up for the ORC Alliance because I want to work to publish my own stuff for the time being. It's exciting to say the least!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paranoid Android wrote:
I don't want to tell Paizo how to do their job, but I think that this license needs its own Orc ORC mascot. I would love to see some original art for the license of like a green-skinned hero writing a contract.

The ORC is gonna be applicable to all kinds of TTRPGs, not just classic/high/dark fantasies. So I think they'll want to avoid having an actual orc associated with the license's logo, so TTRPGs that lack orcs in their system can still slap the ORC license on their books.

Maybe in terms of art unrelated to the logo itself, I wouldn't mind.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, this probably isn't the way WotC were hoping 6E would unite the tabletop community...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paranoid Android wrote:
I don't want to tell Paizo how to do their job, but I think that this license needs its own Orc ORC mascot. I would love to see some original art for the license of like a green-skinned hero writing a contract.

Seconded

Grand Lodge

I will never buy another WotC product until they state unequivocally that they will not sue any other producer of RPG content over their created content, VTT or otherwise.

The OGL is Dead! Long Live the ORC!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see there's such universal buy-in for this. A united front is needed for something like this succeed, and I have high hopes!


Storm Dragon wrote:
Glad to see there's such universal buy-in for this. A united front is needed for something like this succeed, and I have high hopes!

I have high hopes as well!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Makes me want to name studio after orcs in some way, except I love wizardry and that might seem like a mixed message.

Ooh, idea, I can name my studio Monstrous Mages, and gave an orc wizard and kobold sorcerer as mascots. Does that sound cool?

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