Critical Role switch to Pathfinder 2e?


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With the way WotC is heading, I hope Critical Role switches back to Pathfinder.


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Why would they abandon what’s made them famous, and that they’ve published a ton of playable content for?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair switching from pathfinder was the best thing Mercer and company could've done to gain traction.


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Err, no, not happening.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, as much as the community likes to doom and gloom the developments from WotC and the ongoing One D&D playtest, I doubt Critical Role would want to jump ship and switch systems. Even if they DID, I doubt Paizo has the budget to support CR's company the same way WotC, or even D&D Beyond (before Beyond's buy-out) did via sponsorships every week.

Likely, either they'll do their next campaign with One D&D, or worst case scenario, they just stick with 5E with more of Matt Mercer's great homebrew material.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Who cares.


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It'd be neat! I'd be surprised, though.


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Not gonna happen.


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Ezekieru wrote:

Yeah, as much as the community likes to doom and gloom the developments from WotC and the ongoing One D&D playtest, I doubt Critical Role would want to jump ship and switch systems. Even if they DID, I doubt Paizo has the budget to support CR's company the same way WotC, or even D&D Beyond (before Beyond's buy-out) did via sponsorships every week.

Likely, either they'll do their next campaign with One D&D, or worst case scenario, they just stick with 5E with more of Matt Mercer's great homebrew material.

One D&D would have to be a 4E level failure for them to even consider it and they'd probably still stick with 5E for a few years beyond that at least.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And even if they gave up on 5E or One D&D, they would probably prefer to stick with something a bit closer to those games. EN World's Level Up would be a more obvious choice than Pathfinder for that purpose.

Liberty's Edge

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It is far more likely that they give up on the idea of pretending they're playing a TTRPG and just go full mask off by making it a combination scripted and improv fantasy show with cartoon/anime spinoffs than them EVER switching to a more "rules heavy" game.


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Pretty sure wotc bankrolls them at this point, and on the whole, new players who came in through crit role have very strong brand identity, so I could see them not wanting to do that, although I would enjoy it because it would take the wind out of the sails of the 5e content creator faction thats very anti pf 2


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Tangorin wrote:
To be fair switching from pathfinder was the best thing Mercer and company could've done to gain traction.

Maybe the terms of the new OGL?

https://youtu.be/oPV7-NCmWBQ

Heck, if they can convince the courts they can revoke the OGL1.0a, which may be what they are trying to do, Paizo could be put out of business. Given the US court system, anything is possible.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Bless you Mark Seifter, still boosting Paizo by leaking this lmao


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What sort of legal impact would this have on Paizo, that can reasonably be discussed?

Does Pathfinder (and subsequent iterations) fall into the 1.0 OGL, the 1.0a OGL, or has it been published enough that it has it's own 'identity'?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

People publishing under the 1.0a OGL will say: The 1.0a OGL was explicitly advertised and marketed as irrevocable. We'll continue to abide by its terms, but we do not acknowledge that you can terminate it at your discretion and do not feel bound by the terms of OGL 1.1

Wizards of the Coast will say: We can terminate the 1.0a OGL and update it to 1.1 and in fact have, now pay us 20-25% of your revenue if you make over 750k

Given that we've had this whole fight before in 2008 and that the GSL was deliberately named differently rather than being marketed as an update to the original 3.0 OGL I suspect the nays have the stronger argument, but if anybody wants to force the issue it'll ultimately be up to a court.

Mark Seifter and Stephen Glicker were skeptical that this would affect anything PF/SF related.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It is worth noting that there is no such thing as an “3.0 OGL” or “3.5 OGL”. There is, so far, only the OGL (which has two versions, 1.0 and 1.0a, which are basically identical for almost all intents and purposes). The OGL is completely system-agnostic, and many game systems that have nothing to do with any edition of D&D at all have been published using the OGL.

The OGL basically allows you, as a licensee, to use certain content that would normally be protected by intellectual property laws, provided you follow the terms of the license. Content of this kind is designated as “Open Gaming Content”.

Wizards of the Coast originally published the “3.0 System Reference Document” (or SRD for short) along this license and designated all content within the SRD as Open Gaming Content, meaning it was available for anyone to use under the terms of the original OGL. Later the 3.5 SRD followed, and in 2014, the 5E SRD. All these SRDs follow the same rules of the OGL. You could, in theory, create a hybrid of 3.5 and 5E rules and publish it under the terms of the OGL.

It seems now, that the new OGL 1.1 will now use the term “Licensed Content”, and no doubt, the “One D&D” SRD will designate its content as such only. This means you cannot use content from the “One D&D” SRD under the OGL 1.0(a). Likely, the new OGL will also allow the use of “Open Gaming Content” in order to be able to subsume older content by third-party creator under its hood.


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A couple questions:

1) Is this only leaked, or is this official verbiage from Hasbro?

2) This would only affect PF1, not PF2, correct?


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It's leaked, but from some very credible sources. And who knows? I think PF2 uses the OGL, too.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

If you flip to the back of your Pathfinder 2e corebook, the 1.0a OGL license is reprinted there, in full on page 638.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:

People publishing under the 1.0a OGL will say: The 1.0a OGL was explicitly advertised and marketed as irrevocable. We'll continue to abide by its terms, but we do not acknowledge that you can terminate it at your discretion and do not feel bound by the terms of OGL 1.1

Wizards of the Coast will say: We can terminate the 1.0a OGL and update it to 1.1 and in fact have, now pay us 20-25% of your revenue if you make over 750k

Given that we've had this whole fight before in 2008 and that the GSL was deliberately named differently rather than being marketed as an update to the original 3.0 OGL I suspect the nays have the stronger argument, but if anybody wants to force the issue it'll ultimately be up to a court.

Mark Seifter and Stephen Glicker were skeptical that this would affect anything PF/SF related.

Let's be honest here. In the IP war that's comming, Paizo's basically going to be our Gondor.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:
If you flip to the back of your Pathfinder 2e corebook, the 1.0a OGL license is reprinted there, in full on page 638.

I don't understand why PF2 needs the OGL. PF1 was a modification of d20, which is a WotC system. What is PF2 using that's from WotC?

EDIT: I guess basic things like "classes" and "feats" even though the mechanics are (in my view) significantly different.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Andostre wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:
If you flip to the back of your Pathfinder 2e corebook, the 1.0a OGL license is reprinted there, in full on page 638.

I don't understand why PF2 needs the OGL. PF1 was a modification of d20, which is a WotC system. What is PF2 using that's from WotC?

EDIT: I guess basic things like "classes" and "feats" even though the mechanics are (in my view) significantly different.

Also ability scores, races (renamed, but close to the same mechanic), alignment, hit points by level, and lots of other things. The things they left unchanged are things we now pretty much things we take for granted.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aasimar and Tieflings are open content, the spell mirror image is open content, ability scores and modifiers, hell, techically the term halfling referring to a race of furry-footed dextrous short dudes is technically open content.

Anyway, Critical Role is unlikely to change games from D&D 5e, it's more than likely they have a different licensing agreement with WotC, due to their sponsorship deal with D&D Beyond.

Their cartoon show has the power of Amazon legal team on their side which even the mighty Hasbro might think twice about messing with.

However plenty of other shows that use D&D 5e might be in trouble, especially if they hide bonus episodes or content behind paywalls.


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Rumors have been around for a couple years that Mercer is likely to just develop his own RPG through his company Darrington Press and run Critical Role through that - that's a very likely long-term solution if he wants out of WotC's control.


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If switching at all, something like FATE would suit their playstyle better than PF2, to my understanding.

Silver Crusade

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Grimmerling wrote:
If switching at all, something like FATE would suit their playstyle better than PF2, to my understanding.

Note that FATE is OGL :-(

Liberty's Edge

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The only reason I see Mercer & Co moving away from D&D is that their published material uses the OGL 1.0a. And they make a lot of money, so they're most like one of the companies that would have to pay royalties on their products.

Now, the fun part is what part of Critical Role falls under Fan Content and what's going to be considered OGL? If Hasbro is stupid (which they are), will they try and go after getting royalties from "Legend of Vox Machina" on Amazon?


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I could see Mercer & Co moving away from D&D if there's enough fandom backlash. Judging by how they're shutting down anyone talking about the OGL situation in their official Reddit board, though, I don't know if that's what we're getting.

Liberty's Edge

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Given how Coville's twitch streams and content over the last few days have gone I think they are being strongarmed into NOT speaking about it at all or are otherwise in a position where it is impossible to comment on it to any significant degree.

He did issue a statement regarding how it does NOT seemingly impact his PERSONAL project and anytime someone in the twitch chat brought up the topic there was an automatic bot reply directing them to it and all other discussions of it at all in the chat after about the ten-minute mark seems to have been moderated/deleted/nuked as it isn't at all present in the VODs but every once in a while the bot would reply with the same automated message pointing at the tweet.

In other words, everyone involved with Critical Role seems to be taking the "we don't talk about this" approach, either out of self-preservation of their own reputation, contract terms, or maybe just a desire to focus on their work. What that means is anyone's guess but to be completely fair, Paizo and those currently part of their staff have similarly remained more or less quiet on the matter and from what I gather it seems as if there is a directive that staff remain silent and neutral, this is evidenced by the fact that nobody seems to have come out in support of the OpenDND movement and petition with zero signers lending their support for it.

From a legal and business standpoint it's the sanest thing to do, but I can't help but feel like it leaves a rather yucky aftertaste realizing that is the situation.

Grand Lodge

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Any company that is lawyering up for a coming fight has almost certainly been instructed by said lawyers to avoid public comment at this stage.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
I could see Mercer & Co moving away from D&D if there's enough fandom backlash. Judging by how they're shutting down anyone talking about the OGL situation in their official Reddit board, though, I don't know if that's what we're getting.

It's important to note that it's a fan-run reddit, and I don't support piling on companies that are not WotC as they try and find a way to survive what is the biggest disruption to the industry we've probably ever seen.


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Ashe Ravenheart wrote:

The only reason I see Mercer & Co moving away from D&D is that their published material uses the OGL 1.0a. And they make a lot of money, so they're most like one of the companies that would have to pay royalties on their products.

Now, the fun part is what part of Critical Role falls under Fan Content and what's going to be considered OGL? If Hasbro is stupid (which they are), will they try and go after getting royalties from "Legend of Vox Machina" on Amazon?

Hey man.


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If I was them I'd pay some designers and developers to make a new system entirely that they control.

If paizo makes pathfinder 3 under a license that actually is open then maybe. But it has to be community controlled, not owned by paizo. The problem with 1.0a is that it is owned by a company that obviously hates it,who can say what would happen to paizo in the future?


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They will create their own new game system.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:


And even if they gave up on 5E or One D&D, they would probably prefer to stick with something a bit closer to those games. EN World's Level Up would be a more obvious choice than Pathfinder for that purpose.

Wow, that didn't age well. I didn't think that the range of options available to them would change so radically in such a short time.


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Remember that Critical Role and WotC are bedfellows. Mercer and Perkins have played at each other's tables on-stream. You can bet there is a sweetheart deal for both of them.

How fans react, well who knows? I've heard it said many Critters don't even play D&D, much less care about industry news such as this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Given how Coville's twitch streams and content over the last few days have gone I think they are being strongarmed into NOT speaking about it at all or are otherwise in a position where it is impossible to comment on it to any significant degree.

Nope, they're going to finish Flee, Mortals and then segue straight into making their own RPG.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
I could see Mercer & Co moving away from D&D if there's enough fandom backlash. Judging by how they're shutting down anyone talking about the OGL situation in their official Reddit board, though, I don't know if that's what we're getting.
It's important to note that it's a fan-run reddit, and I don't support piling on companies that are not WotC as they try and find a way to survive what is the biggest disruption to the industry we've probably ever seen.

This is good to know, thank you!


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Azih wrote:

If I was them I'd pay some designers and developers to make a new system entirely that they control.

If paizo makes pathfinder 3 under a license that actually is open then maybe. But it has to be community controlled, not owned by paizo. The problem with 1.0a is that it is owned by a company that obviously hates it,who can say what would happen to paizo in the future?

Paizo would have two big problems here:

1) A complete lack of new product to sell while they develop this new game system. Remember that they had Starfinder and Pathfinder 1 backlog products they could still sell while Pathfinder 2 was under development.

2) Given the outrageous things Wizards is doing to abuse the existing OGL licenses, can we really count on them to leave any other TTRPG company unmolested even if they don't use OGL 1.0a?

Anyway, a question for anyone with the appropriate legal knowledge: Given that apparently different courts have ruled differently on issues related to open source licenses, how are courts in the state of Washington likely to rule? I am having a tough time seeing how any initial case would be heard anywhere else.


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I expect Mercer and his crowd have already signed a custom licensing agreement with Hasbro/WotC. They are NOT going to talk about it, I don't even expect them to announce anything. They (both Mercer and Hasbro) absolutely do not want the public to know the terms of the arrangement and I fully expect those details to be under an NDA.

Hasbro wants every large publisher or the like to sign a custom, non-public, contract with them. OGL1.1 was built for that purpose.

Wayfinders

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If Critical Role ever stops using D&D, it would likely be because they came up with their own game system, and they're not likely to switch in the middle of a campaign underway. I'd be surprised if they don't already have contracts with WotC, but there is a good chance that their contrasts are worked out season by season of the show. I only watch Critical Role once in a while, so have no idea when the current season might end, but when it does is when we'll find out what they decide to do or not.


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Driftbourne wrote:
If Critical Role ever stops using D&D, it would likely be because they came up with their own game system, and they're not likely to switch in the middle of a campaign underway. I'd be surprised if they don't already have contracts with WotC, but there is a good chance that their contrasts are worked out season by season of the show. I only watch Critical Role once in a while, so have no idea when the current season might end, but when it does is when we'll find out what they decide to do or not.

That's most likely, unless something seriously breaks in the relationship. Or possibly public opinion.


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More likely they'd create their own system than jump to pf2 I think


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I think the best thing their community can do is just encourage them to try different systems in the future. If not PF2, there are plenty other great options. I've been loving the Powered By the Apocalypse engine lately. Create demand and it's more likely to happen.

Wayfinders

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If Critical Role did change game systems overnight, as long as it's a d20 system and they didn't tell anyone, most people wouldn't even notice. Dice are still getting rolled, and the cast is doing their storytelling by RPing their characters. Would be fun if you had to guess what system they were using each week.


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Something interesting about this...

Basically, the entire CR-verse of actors went more or less silent compared to beforehand at basically the exact same time which just so HAPPENS to line up with the timeline that creators were first sent contracts to sign in mid December that included the OGL 1.1 that we have all since seen.

This is a STRONG hint that they either signed the deal and are working behind the scenes to maintain a low profile (MM went from 5-10 posts per day to just THREE vague-posts in nearly a month) or they're lawyering the hell up. Which is happening, one can only speculate but given the fact that on/around Dec 15th they all got strangely quiet, I'd be willing to bet they got pitched a deal, be it a real sweetheart one which is my bet, or more conservative one like Kickstarter was given.

Whatever way they go is a mystery yet but I'm confident they were offered SOMETHING probably as early as anyone else. If I HAD to place a bet which way they'll go, I'd put my lot in with those saying they'll stay loyal to the D&D Brand.


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Driftbourne wrote:
If Critical Role did change game systems overnight, as long as it's a d20 system and they didn't tell anyone, most people wouldn't even notice. Dice are still getting rolled, and the cast is doing their storytelling by RPing their characters. Would be fun if you had to guess what system they were using each week.

Most people might not notice, but it would be very quickly obvious to anyone familiar with the games. At least as soon as it came to the first fight. You'd probably see it with any skill use.

Especially as the cast fumbled with trying to figure out which rolls replaced the ones they're used to.

We have seen them play one shots in other systems.

Liberty's Edge

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CR's chat will be filled with nothing else tonight, unless the chat mods specifically ban the topic - which will, in and of itself, constitute a statement. Even if all they say is, "We can't talk about it," they'd be very wise to say something.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
I think the best thing their community can do is just encourage them to try different systems in the future. If not PF2, there are plenty other great options. I've been loving the Powered By the Apocalypse engine lately. Create demand and it's more likely to happen.

If they used PbTA would anyone notice? They rarely do dice rolls to begin with.

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