ORC License: The Final Version is Here!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

This is it! After months of collaborative work, we are pleased to present the final version of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) License! The license is a system-agnostic, perpetual, and irrevocable open gaming license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics so as to encourage collaboration and innovation in the tabletop-gaming space. After much commentary and iteration, the ORC License and accompanying ORC AxE (Answers and Explanations) document are now final and ready to be used by game publishers large and small.

We’ve posted the final drafts below. The public commentary portion of this process is now complete, and there will be no further changes. We’re grateful to everyone who contributed thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions since this process started back in February. We literally could not have done it without you, and we look forward to the amazing products the community will create using this license in the future.


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


The final text of the ORC License has been submitted to the Library of Congress and formally published on the website of Azora Law, the legal firm that conceived of and drafted it. All currently posted versions of the final ORC License text should be considered the Interim Final ORC License and ORC AxE. As soon as copyright registration is finalized, these documents will be updated with the final copyright registration number, which we expect will be ready in about six months. In the meantime, publishers are free to begin using the ORC License right now. No other elements of this document will be changing in the future.

Azora Law Managing Partner Brian Lewis and representatives from Paizo, Chaosium, and other publishers will be offering a panel on the ORC License at the upcoming Gen Con Indy 2023 in early August, where we will answer questions about the license and give suggestions on how best to use it.

From a purely Paizo-based perspective, we will shortly be updating our Community Use and Pathfinder Compatibility Licenses to incorporate the finalized ORC License. Watch this space in the coming weeks for more information regarding these company-specific documents.

Thanks again for helping us to get there. Now let’s make some games!

Download the Orc License

Download the Redlined Orc License

Download the Orc AxE

Download the Redlined Orc AxE

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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Here is a direct link to the ORC License Seminar at Gen Con this year. I am not yet certain if the panel will be recorded on video, but we'd love to see you if you are at the show and have questions about the license!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Specialist

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:
Here is a direct link to the ORC License Seminar at Gen Con this year. I am not yet certain if the panel will be recorded on video, but we'd love to see you if you are at the show and have questions about the license!

Making a note for myself to check in with you about this when I'm at work, bc if Gen Con doesn't have plans to film, we can still figure something out!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:
Here is a direct link to the ORC License Seminar at Gen Con this year. I am not yet certain if the panel will be recorded on video, but we'd love to see you if you are at the show and have questions about the license!

I plan to be there, already got a ticket in the system. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Now can we get ORC t-shirts?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rue Dickey wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Here is a direct link to the ORC License Seminar at Gen Con this year. I am not yet certain if the panel will be recorded on video, but we'd love to see you if you are at the show and have questions about the license!
Making a note for myself to check in with you about this when I'm at work, bc if Gen Con doesn't have plans to film, we can still figure something out!

Thank you. That was my first thought, would it be streamed, and preferably recorded, for those of us who can not be there.

Also, thank you to everyone who put in what must have been an enormous effort to make this happen so quickly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you again for creating this licence; I feel some relief that something like this exists now (and under independent control no less).

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Hurray and well done getting this put together at last!


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Fantastic news!
Thanks for getting all that together and you folks did a great job on listening to the community's feedback!

Liberty's Edge

Thank you all for this revolution. You're building the future.

Liberty's Edge

Little Red Goblin Games wrote:

Fantastic news!

Thanks for getting all that together and you folks did a great job on listening to the community's feedback!

I feel that having so much playtest experience might have helped on this.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?


Congratulations! Hope this new page will be more secure and positive!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?

Probably because of that thing about updating the copyright registration number


Bravo!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This was a triumph!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?

It takes about 6 months to get a library of Congress id #.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nylanfs wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?
It takes about 6 months to get a library of Congress id #.

Ah, that makes sense.


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the acronyms make my head hurt.
I'm fully expecting the hybrid amalgam License framework for using only part of the ORC license next.
Yes the HALF-ORC.


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Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?

Because in writing (particularly when it comes to legal documents), "draft" means "version". Draft does not (necessarily) mean "first" or "rudimentary".

Silver Crusade

TomatoFettuccini wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?
Because in writing (particularly when it comes to legal documents), "draft" means "version". Draft does not (necessarily) mean "first" or "rudimentary".

I was surprised there was so many incorrect answers until you came along.

Liberty's Edge

Merini Narud wrote:
TomatoFettuccini wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I wonder why is it still called a draft when it is the final version?
Because in writing (particularly when it comes to legal documents), "draft" means "version". Draft does not (necessarily) mean "first" or "rudimentary".
I was surprised there was so many incorrect answers until you came along.

I must say that, in my line of work (not legal documents), we put DRAFT very visibly on documents that are NOT the final version (WiP if you like).

And we erase it only in the final version of the document.

Verdant Wheel

Zi Mishkal wrote:

the acronyms make my head hurt.

I'm fully expecting the hybrid amalgam License framework for using only part of the ORC license next.
Yes the HALF-ORC.

Ha.

I wonder if the documents themselves have any teeth!


I've got a little point of confusion.

Say I'm publishing a Derivative Work under I.c.(i), i.e. that it's for a single game system, and I'm securing the right to use material through this license, and therefore the entire product counts as a Derivative Work.

In Section I.a "Adapted Licensed Material," does "the limited extent" mean that ONLY THE PORTION OF that Derivative Work THAT meets the definition of Licensed Material under the second criterion (§I.e.(2)) is Adapted Licensed Material?

Or does it mean that the entire Derivative Work is Adapted Licensed Material —Adapted Licensed Material is a Derivative Work, a Derivative Work is the entire product in this case— AS LONG AS it would otherwise (in its entirety?) constitute Licensed Material under §I.e.(2)?

Basically, my confusion and concern boil down to: "Can portions of this type of Derivative Work be Reserved Material, or is that impossible?"


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I found a typo in the final draft of the ORC AXE: On page 2, in new greenlined text, where it says "The ORC License was is required".

I don't know if the finality for the ORC License itself means you can't fix the ORC AXE.

Edit: Seems to be fixed in the non-redlined/greenlined version. (Whew.)


Assuming I'm upholding this license, there's no guessing that I can sell written fiction stories with ORC Licensed game stat blocks and trems in between paragraphs, right?

If so, it is finally finished in stone as an complete upgrade of the old OGL...

Horizon Hunters

A plaintext version prominently hosted would be wonderful.

Director of Marketing

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jaran Meskiliot wrote:
A plaintext version prominently hosted would be wonderful.

We’ve recently launched a new page.

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