Are Public Domain deities (The Osirian gods (egyptian)), OGL?


Cause my understanding was that the reason other gods aren't OGL, is because they're product identity. But since these are public domain gods, it should be fine, right? (Question also applies to Lovecraftian deities.)

Follow-up question regarding the other gods. Are the actual rules regarding them (their deific obedience bonuses for example), OGL?

I'm asking, cause me and a friend are working on a book of IRL deities converted for pathfinder (and 5e), and were hoping to just copy and slightly modify some existing deific obedience stuff, and just expand the official rules regarding the Egyptian gods.

The Exchange

Not a lawyer, but basically:

1) Yes, you can use any of the Egyptian deities. Anubis as a god of death, Ptah as a builder - those are traditional facets and can't be protected by copyright, trademark, etc.

2) Mechanics of a game can't be copyrighted, so the act of performing a deific obedience and receiving a bonus isn't protected. However, the theme of a mechanic can be Product Identity. So while you're fine to use Mammon (who's been a greedy Archdevil/Prince of Hell for millennia of literature) using his actual obedience ("shake a purse containing at least six coins...") is going to put you on shaky legal ground.

If you don't want to stress about the legalities, might I suggest Pathfinder Infinite? In return for Paizo getting a cut of the sales, you get to use pretty much all of Paizo's IP.

you're taking legal advice from a forum???

Find a 3rd Party Publisher and let them handle the buisness part for their percentage, or do as Belafon suggested using Paizo's umbrella and WotC has a similar plan, or Use the OGL and self-publish.

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