Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License Released


Announcements

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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We have just released the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License, which will allow other publishers, both professional and non-commercial, to designate their OGL products as compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Read the full press release here.

Grand Lodge

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First.

Fantastic Vic, the long awaited policy hmm.... I will devour its contents. miaw.

Thank you

Seoni


Exciting news!

I hope this really takes off.

Dark Archive

I've notified En World

Dark Archive

Link to rpgnet.

Grand Lodge

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Vic haha now the questions start, just wondering if I get the community license can i later upgrade to the commercial license?


This is some GREAT NEWS!!! LPJ Design will be announcing some new Pathfinder Rolepaying Game Compatibility Licensed products they are planning very soon. Stay tuned...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

Dark Archive

Zynete wrote:
Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

Frack. That was fast....


Zynete wrote:
Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

LPJ Design HAS NOT been approved yet. We have not even submitted our material yet.

BUT.... we have been planning for this day for a LONG TIME. So let's just say we were well prepared for this moment.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Portella wrote:
Vic haha now the questions start, just wondering if I get the community license can i later upgrade to the commercial license?

To be clear, it's not an "upgrade"—the Community Use Policy and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License do different things. The former allows for non-commercial use of some of our copyrighted materials; the latter allows for people who publish compatible products under the OGL, either professionally or non-professionally, to market them with a special logo.

If you're asking, though, about what happens if you have a Community Use project going, and then you become a commercial publisher, the answer is in the Community Use Policy:

Community Use Policy wrote:
When we say "non-commercial," we mean you cannot sell or otherwise charge anyone for access to content used under this Policy. If you make any commercial use of Paizo Material, your rights under this Policy will be automatically terminated.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

LMPjr007 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

LPJ Design HAS NOT been approved yet. We have not even submitted our material yet.

BUT.... we have been planning for this day for a LONG TIME. So let's just say we were well prepared for this moment.

Zynete is talking about Necromancer Games—Clark helped us test our system. :-)

Grand Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Portella wrote:
Vic haha now the questions start, just wondering if I get the community license can i later upgrade to the commercial license?

To be clear, it's not an "upgrade"—the Community Use Policy and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License do different things. The former allows for non-commercial use of some of our copyrighted materials; the latter allows for people who publish compatible products under the OGL, either professionally or non-professionally, to market them with a special logo.

If you're asking, though, about what happens if you have a Community Use project going, and then you become a commercial publisher, the answer is in the Community Use Policy:

Community Use Policy wrote:
When we say "non-commercial," we mean you cannot sell or otherwise charge anyone for access to content used under this Policy. If you make any commercial use of Paizo Material, your rights under this Policy will be automatically terminated.
.

So if i make adventures for pathfinder and post them for free on my site which policy should i be using? I would eventually like to charge for them so the "change" of policy would come when or if required.

Dark Archive

LMPjr007 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

LPJ Design HAS NOT been approved yet. We have not even submitted our material yet.

BUT.... we have been planning for this day for a LONG TIME. So let's just say we were well prepared for this moment.

Oops. Sorry. Can't wait to see your stuff, Louis, in PRPG format.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
LMPjr007 wrote:
Zynete wrote:
Oh, look. It seems somebody has already signed up and been approved.

LPJ Design HAS NOT been approved yet. We have not even submitted our material yet.

BUT.... we have been planning for this day for a LONG TIME. So let's just say we were well prepared for this moment.

Zynete is talking about Necromancer Games—Clark helped us test our system. :-)

Ah. And here it is.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Portella wrote:
So if i make adventures for pathfinder and post them for free on my site which policy should i be using? I would eventually like to charge for them so the "change" of policy would come when or if required.

If you're talking about making adventures compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system, you want the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License.

If you're talking about making adventures set in Golarion, or using our other materials, you need the Community Use Policy—but you can never sell those adventures; they may only be shared for free.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I found this part interesting in the Commercial License:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Commercial License, Exhibit A wrote:

Section 15 of the Open Game License in your product must include the following text, in addition to any other text required by the OGL:

Open Game License v1.0a. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Copyright 2008, 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Malhavoc Press; Author: Monte J. Cook.

Looks like some material from Book of Experimental Might got formerly included. Neato!

Liberty's Edge

Am I correct in understanding that, under the Community Use Policy, I could web publish (without charging, natch) an adventure for the PF RPG that took place in a city named, say, Absalom, and described a temple to a sun deity called Sarenrae?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Shisumo wrote:
Am I correct in understanding that, under the Community Use Policy, I could web publish (without charging, natch) an adventure for the PF RPG that took place in a city named, say, Absalom, and described a temple to a sun deity called Sarenrae?

So long as you are not a professional publisher, and you follow all the rules, yes.

Sovereign Court

I got the word out on my blog, so hopefully that'll spread to the RPG Bloggers Network.

Good, good stuff, looks like! Thank you!


Majuba wrote:

I found this part interesting in the Commercial License:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Commercial License, Exhibit A wrote:

Section 15 of the Open Game License in your product must include the following text, in addition to any other text required by the OGL:

Open Game License v1.0a. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Copyright 2008, 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Malhavoc Press; Author: Monte J. Cook.

Looks like some material from Book of Experimental Might got formerly included. Neato!

I noticed that too. I'm thinking starting hit points.... :)


DaveMage wrote:
Majuba wrote:

I found this part interesting in the Commercial License:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Commercial License, Exhibit A wrote:

Section 15 of the Open Game License in your product must include the following text, in addition to any other text required by the OGL:

Open Game License v1.0a. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Copyright 2008, 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Malhavoc Press; Author: Monte J. Cook.

Looks like some material from Book of Experimental Might got formerly included. Neato!
I noticed that too. I'm thinking starting hit points.... :)

Gods I hope that is not standard.


While I am pleased to see this, and at it's (relative) openess...

I am a bit concerned about the term "general public."

Note: I am not arguing against the wording, nor claiming it is wrong in any fashion.

But... With my cynicism, I fear leaving a decision to any public referred to as "general."

Also, I have a project kicking around in my head - not likely to be let loose - that doesn't seem to fall under either of these policies. It would fall closest to Community Use...

But anyway, is there any info on who to contact about such a thing, and check legality and such?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

If you want to check the legality of a product you are about to start, I think the best place is from an attorney. I'm pretty sure the advice they can give you, in your specific situation, would be better than other sources.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I see that SKR Games has signed up for a license. Does that mean they will be putting out new products? ;)

PS: a couple of your older product links don't work anymore.

Contributor

It's very open, easy to understand, and FAIR. Well done Paizo.


If a company becomes licensed, do we have a chance of seeing the finalized rules before August 13 so that we can work off of the "real" rules instead of the Beta Rules as we have seen them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Stormhierta wrote:
If a company becomes licensed, do we have a chance of seeing the finalized rules before August 13 so that we can work off of the "real" rules instead of the Beta Rules as we have seen them?

Very probably yes. We'll probably want to pick and choose which companies we get the rules to, though. It won't by any means be an automatic guarantee to see the rules early just because your company gets approved.

Or maybe it will. Stay tuned for details!

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:

We have just released the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License, which will allow other publishers, both professional and non-commercial, to designate their OGL products as compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Read the full press release here.

Kenzer & Co. has been notified.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

deinol wrote:
PS: a couple of your older product links don't work anymore.

Can you be specific about which ones? We'll hunt and fix.

Grand Lodge

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Anything outside of the licenses will be required to contact the license manager in paizo then?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Portella wrote:

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Anything outside of the licenses will be required to contact the license manager in paizo then?

Yes. If you want to do something not covered by the license, contact licensing@paizo.com... but keep in mind that we don't plan to offer a lot of licenses like that. You'll need to have a very, very good plan that presents exceptionally unique and interesting product ideas.

Grand Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Portella wrote:

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Anything outside of the licenses will be required to contact the license manager in paizo then?

Yes. If you want to do something not covered by the license, contact licensing@paizo.com... but keep in mind that we don't plan to offer a lot of licenses like that. You'll need to have a very, very good plan that presents exceptionally unique and interesting product ideas.

Ok vic, thank you for your time and support.

*start working on anthropomorphic bioportation device to replace character with players in golarion*

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

*jaw hits the floor*

Holy frak...

That's incredible.

One question, before I get my paperwork in order this weekend,

What if we're not a 'real' corporation? I mean I call my scribblings 'Hermitage games' and use a Yahoo docs or MSN live website to host them, but (right now) I'm not going to charge for anything.

Do I need a 'real' website and legalese or can I just register as 'Matthew Morris, some schmoe who's working on stuff for fun, but will be happy to take profit'?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Disenchanter wrote:

While I am pleased to see this, and at it's (relative) openess...

I am a bit concerned about the term "general public."

Note: I am not arguing against the wording, nor claiming it is wrong in any fashion.

But... With my cynicism, I fear leaving a decision to any public referred to as "general."

This clause is in place for our protection; we don't want a parent taking us to court as a party to someone exposing her youngster to something that she feels is inappropriate—especially if a judge were to agree with her. So... when in doubt, leave it out.


Not that I'm likely to be a publisher or anything, but I'm a bit leery about the compability clause (§5). If I understand it correctly, the following things would not be OK:

1. A statblock enumerating the effects of a "package" in the rules. That is, I can't say "Dwarf traits: +2 to taste/touch-based Perception, get a free check when near unusual stone work, +2 save vs poison, spells, and spell-like abilities, 60 ft darkvision, +1 to hit vs orcs and goblinoids, +4 AC vs giants, +4 resisting bull rush and trip"; instead I have to say "Dwarf traits: see chapter 3 of the Pathfinder RPG"?

2. Something along the lines of TOGC's Spell Cards or some other way of presenting the stuff in your book in a more convenient way (e.g. like the level-based book of spells I made for 3e clerics and druids)?

Am I understanding it correctly?


Looking at the license, it seems that it only covers game products; I'm assuming things like Pathfinder novels would not be included under this license?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
Majuba wrote:

I found this part interesting in the Commercial License:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Commercial License, Exhibit A wrote:

Section 15 ...

The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Malhavoc Press; Author: Monte J. Cook.
Looks like some material from Book of Experimental Might got formerly included. Neato!
I noticed that too. I'm thinking starting hit points.... :)
Gods I hope that is not standard.

Someone has pointed out that that line has been in the OGL statement since Alpha 3 - so.. might be the hp thing, but nothing new there necessarily. (And I highly doubt its standard).


Thanks very much Paizo, from a Open gaming fanboy! :D


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
deinol wrote:
PS: a couple of your older product links don't work anymore.
Can you be specific about which ones? We'll hunt and fix.

That's what I get for writing a quick post.

I was referring to you (SKR) not you (Paizo). I know he lurks in the ether here. The links from his site to RPGNow don't work for Curse of the Moon, Hungry Little Monsters, The New Argonauts, and Swords Into Plowshares don't work. So I guess what I meant was "all of SKR's product links don't work." They are still available at RPGNow if you search though. I just noticed that they are available here, so he ought to add that link if he ever updates his site.

I'm still wondering if Baby With The Bathwater will ever come out.

Sorry for the confusion! Paizo's site has always been very up to date.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Majuba wrote:
(And I highly doubt its standard).

What does "standard" mean here? How exactly are you using it? The PFRPG is going to have it in the book and every book that uses the PFRPG must copy the section 15 so every PFRPG compatable game book must have it in there. The PFRPGCL says that it must be in there. So, it must be in there. That's as "standard" as I can figure. So are you referring to something that I am not getting?


I'm concerned about the requirement to use the latest exhibits, and specifically Paizo's right to update Exhibit B. Under a draconian (but not unreasonable) interpretation, an update to Exhibit B could, even if Paizo added resources to Exhibit B, require update of existing products to bring them into compliance.

Similarly, removal of resources from Exhibit B would (unquestionably) cause previously compliant product to become non-compliant.

The license's specificity in requiring compliance with the 'current' Exhibit B is clear. Unfortunately, this is a moving target. Complying with a moving target is hard.

I am certain that the current management and company wholeheartedly supports the openness of the this license, and the greater community they hope to build. But management and corporate direction change - one needs only glance at the absurd license currently offered by Hasbro for their RPG system to realize they have since changed corporate direction.

I applaud the remainder of this license as reasonable and fair (and immensely so). I cannot, however, trust the requirements around Exhibit B sufficiently to commit resource or recommend committing resource to this license.

Malachite Ice


Malachite Ice wrote:

I'm concerned about the requirement to use the latest exhibits, and specifically Paizo's right to update Exhibit B. Under a draconian (but not unreasonable) interpretation, an update to Exhibit B could, even if Paizo added resources to Exhibit B, require update of existing products to bring them into compliance.

Similarly, removal of resources from Exhibit B would (unquestionably) cause previously compliant product to become non-compliant.

The license's specificity in requiring compliance with the 'current' Exhibit B is clear. Unfortunately, this is a moving target. Complying with a moving target is hard.

I am certain that the current management and company wholeheartedly supports the openness of the this license, and the greater community they hope to build. But management and corporate direction change - one needs only glance at the absurd license currently offered by Hasbro for their RPG system to realize they have since changed corporate direction.

I applaud the remainder of this license as reasonable and fair (and immensely so). I cannot, however, trust the requirements around Exhibit B sufficiently to commit resource or recommend committing resource to this license.

Malachite Ice

Many of the (usual) provisions that people took issue with in the case of the GSL are here as well: at any moment Paizo can change the agreement, terminate it if they wish, and you agree to not counter-sue if they claim you are in breach of contract and demand you destroy your inventory. Just pointing out irony, here.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Malachite Ice wrote:

I'm concerned about the requirement to use the latest exhibits, and specifically Paizo's right to update Exhibit B. Under a draconian (but not unreasonable) interpretation, an update to Exhibit B could, even if Paizo added resources to Exhibit B, require update of existing products to bring them into compliance.

Similarly, removal of resources from Exhibit B would (unquestionably) cause previously compliant product to become non-compliant.

The license's specificity in requiring compliance with the 'current' Exhibit B is clear. Unfortunately, this is a moving target. Complying with a moving target is hard.

I am certain that the current management and company wholeheartedly supports the openness of the this license, and the greater community they hope to build. But management and corporate direction change - one needs only glance at the absurd license currently offered by Hasbro for their RPG system to realize they have since changed corporate direction.

I applaud the remainder of this license as reasonable and fair (and immensely so). I cannot, however, trust the requirements around Exhibit B sufficiently to commit resource or recommend committing resource to this license.

Malachite Ice

I am by no means a lawyer and I believe that others will come to clear this up, but I believe the thing to note here is that a change to Exhibit B would be a change the license and you are are allowed to keep a product in print using an older version of this license assuming the product was printed using the most current version. So, if the target moves on you, but you have already printed, you are safe as long as you followed the rules at the time of printing.

If that makes any sense....

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Sovereign Court

Michael Brisbois wrote:

Many of the (usual) provisions that people took issue with in the case of the GSL are here as well: at any moment Paizo can change the agreement, terminate it if they wish, and you agree to not counter-sue if they claim you are in breach of contract and demand you destroy your inventory. Just pointing out irony, here.

1 "at any moment Paizo can change the agreement"

Paizo may update this License at any time. The latest version is available at http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility. If you published anything under a previous version of this License, you can choose to use either the version in place at the time you originally published the work or the updated version. For new products, you may only use the current version of the License. [emphasis added]

2 "terminate it if they wish"

'If we terminate the License for any reason other than breach, you may no longer make any new products using the Compatibility Logo, but you may continue to sell existing physical products that were compliant under this License as long as you have inventory.' [emphasis added]

You also have the option of just removing paizo's logo and continuing to publish under the OGL which cannot be revoked.

3 "you agree to not counter-sue if they claim you are in breach of contract and demand you destroy your inventory"

You only have to destroy your inventory if you are in breach of a very generous license. You have 30 days to cure the breach as well.
You do not agree not to "counter-sue".
You agree to use King County Washington as the venue for any legal dispute. You agree not to hold paizo liable for any damages you incur for using the license.

Did you even read the license?


Hello, there...

Just wanted to let you guys know that I'm volunteering to translate the Compatibility License into Spanish.

Is it all right?

And last but not least, congratulations on this great achievement!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Staffan Johansson wrote:

Not that I'm likely to be a publisher or anything, but I'm a bit leery about the compability clause (§5). If I understand it correctly, the following things would not be OK:

1. A statblock enumerating the effects of a "package" in the rules. That is, I can't say "Dwarf traits: +2 to taste/touch-based Perception, get a free check when near unusual stone work, +2 save vs poison, spells, and spell-like abilities, 60 ft darkvision, +1 to hit vs orcs and goblinoids, +4 AC vs giants, +4 resisting bull rush and trip"; instead I have to say "Dwarf traits: see chapter 3 of the Pathfinder RPG"?

2. Something along the lines of TOGC's Spell Cards or some other way of presenting the stuff in your book in a more convenient way (e.g. like the level-based book of spells I made for 3e clerics and druids)?

Am I understanding it correctly?

I'm not completely clear on your question... but I *think* the answer you're looking for is that the OGL allows you to reproduce the Open Gaming Content from the book, and this license does not take that away. It just doesn't address it, because it's addressed in the OGL.

If you're asking about how much you can *modify* the rules, the answer is that your product needs to remain "compatible" with our system, in that a player of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game should be able to pick up your product and use it without issues. If you're changing the system enough that they can't do that, then you may not use this license for your product. (You can still use the OGL to access our Open Gaming Content, of course... you just can't say it's compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ashy wrote:
Looking at the license, it seems that it only covers game products; I'm assuming things like Pathfinder novels would not be included under this license?

You are correct—this license doesn't let you use any of the content we've specified as Product Identity except foe the Compatibility Logo itself. If a professional publisher wants to use any of our other Product Identity, they'll need to acquire a specific license. (And we're planning to do our own Pathfinder novels, so unless you're a book publishing giant, we're probably not interested in licensing that out.)

If you're asking about non-commercial use, though, check out our Community Use Policy.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
(And we're planning to do our own Pathfinder novels,

Sweet. I bought virtually all Eberron books because I liked the campaign setting. I look forward to seeing stories set in Golarion.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Malachite Ice wrote:
I'm concerned about the requirement to use the latest exhibits, and specifically Paizo's right to update Exhibit B. Under a draconian (but not unreasonable) interpretation, an update to Exhibit B could, even if Paizo added resources to Exhibit B, require update of existing products to bring them into compliance.

Exhibit B is a list of products you *may* reference. If we add stuff to the list, it just gives you more options; you don't *have to* reference any of them. We don't intend to remove stuff from the list; it will only grow over time.

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