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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  12:11:59  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Im wondering what is involved in making and eventually releasing a new ruleset based on pathfinder and d20.

Obviously I dont want to get sued is the primary objective.

Anyone have any experience of this or any idea whats involved

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4883 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  13:12:50  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you take the basic 3.5 OGL and extrapolate your own rule tweaks and modifications from those, you can do whatever you want.

You can't however slavishly copy Pathfinder's own mods and tweaks to the OGL basic rule set.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  14:01:47  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well everything is different somewhat. The bit that is most similar is the combat but all the feats, skills, classes, spells, and monsters are different.

It uses the same base ideas like attack and damage and hit points but its the fine detail that is different. I dont know if that qualifies or not.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30204 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  14:29:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well everything is different somewhat. The bit that is most similar is the combat but all the feats, skills, classes, spells, and monsters are different.

It uses the same base ideas like attack and damage and hit points but its the fine detail that is different. I dont know if that qualifies or not.



The point is, Pathfinder is based on the OGL, but I'm not aware of any similar thing for the Pathfinder rules.

In other words, the OGL allows tweaking of the original rules put out by WotC, and that's what Paizo did. Paizo did not, however, say that their rules were free for tweaking and selling. Since their rules are based on the OGL, I don't think they can even do that.

So what Krash is saying is that you'd be better off starting with the rules covered by the OGL, copying the stuff that Paizo did that you like, and then going in a different direction on the rest.

It's a fine point, but legally speaking, it's a big difference.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  14:43:00  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent, although the only thing I can see different between pathfinder and d20 on the mechanics side is CMB and CMD (which I love).

I shall start writing everything up properly then.

Any idea what I have to do for this OGL thing so that I don't get sued?

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Ayrik
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Canada
6263 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2014 :  22:33:35  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OGL is not a true share-and-share-alike copyleft. Material based on OGL resources (like the WotC SRDs) must abide by the OGL strictures but can be copyrighted under its own non-OGL license. Specifically, the Pathfinder brand and game systems are owned and copyrighted by Paizo, they have legally protected their additions/modifications to the SRD under their own license.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30204 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2014 :  04:35:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Any idea what I have to do for this OGL thing so that I don't get sued?



I'd start by looking it up and reading it.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2014 :  05:15:43  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Any idea what I have to do for this OGL thing so that I don't get sued?



I'd start by looking it up and reading it.

And/or [preferably "and"] I'd recommend contacting the customer service branches of both Wizards and Paizo, and asking for their clarification/assistance, should you find the need for further elaboration on the legal use of OGL.

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see
Learned Scribe

190 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2014 :  07:17:03  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Everything released in the Pathfinder Reference Document ( http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ ) is explicitly declared as Open Game Content by Paizo, released under the Open Game License ( http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/openGameLicense.html ) . You can use all of that under the terms of the OGL.

For taking things from books, you have to deal with the issue of Product Identity, which complicates things.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2014 :  19:46:22  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooh this legal stuff hurts my head.

So I think I get it.

I need to include the contents of the OGL version 1.0a in the document somewhere.

I think under section 15 of the OGL I need to include the cumulative list of copyright documents used, so that would be the OGL, the SRD and the pathfinder SRD and anything referenced in the OGL of those documents.


And I think that's it. Oh and I mustn't use the "compatible with D&D" anywhere.

Other than that I can write whatever I want as long as I don't use any trademarked names and I don't copy anything directly.


Does that sound right at all?

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30204 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  01:27:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You're better off taking a copy of the OGL to an actual lawyer for advice. I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  02:51:38  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wooly's advice is sound.

If you're unsure about even the slightest detail regarding use of the OGL, I would recommend seeking legal counsel. I've seen what working with this material and not fully comprehending the realities of the legalese inherent in the OGL mandate, can do to unwary folk.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  08:18:30  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thankyou for the advice. I particularly like the "i dont pretend to be a lawyer on tv" part.

I will write the manual now, and seek legal counsel when im done. Although being incredibly poor and not knowing any lawyers may be a slight problem.

I dont intend to make any money off this and i wont be placing any product identity on it (other than what WoTC and Paizo have already done) so when its finished and im ok legally i will just put it out there and people can help themselves to everything.


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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  11:19:09  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a lawyer, but I do pretend to be one to pick up chicks

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  11:25:50  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lol.

Funny, but totally unhelpful.

Well i'm busy writing up the character classes now. Im gong for almost total freedom (i.e. you pick what abilities you class has).

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  11:51:53  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd like to increase my CHA to, like 25

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  11:57:39  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And I wish I had a bigger...backyard

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  12:14:03  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would like a couple of million quid, but none of those are abilities so you couldnt pick them.

Its kind of like melding all the archtypes of pathfinder and all the prestige classes as well (bar a few iconic exceptions) into one great big grab bag and letting you pick one at each level.

It should work with a bit of rewriting. Fighters get a choice of weapon and armour based options, wizards get magic based options.

There is a bit of crossover for the hybrid classes. And i think i have figured out how to do bards, rangers, and paladins so that you dont have to pick any spells at all (if you like having less resource management) and you still wont be disadvantaged. Or alternatively you could have a full spellcasting verion of those classes (with a full progression of spells like a wizard or cleric - which i think they did for 5e) but i dont know why you would want to since you could just pick the druid, cleric, or wizard instead of the hybrid class.

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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1582 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  14:46:29  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a player in a game run by dazzler I can say that his mechanics are sound and seem equitable (I can't 'see' what's actually going on with the other players, but so far everyone seems relatively balanced with the others and can contribute equitably).

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6263 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2014 :  23:48:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Plenty of google about this topic is out there. Some of it dealing very specifically with D&D and OGL and SRD and d20 details. Some of it submitted by game designers who have been successful in this arena. Some but game designers who have been unsuccessful. Some by lawyers.

You could break the ice by following Sages advice and actually contacting WotC. Explain in writing what you would like to do, which of their license(s) you understand allow you to do it. They will happily inform you if they have any problems with your project, or if it is acceptible, or if they require certain changes, or if they encourage certain developments. Better to be forthright and resolve potential issues before you invest time and money into design, writing, publishing, printing, marketing, distribution, and courtrooms.

WotC has legally protected their brand, and might fight hard and dirty to protect their turf. But they are not the enemy. Play nice, dont backstab, and you might do well.

[/Ayrik]
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3463 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2014 :  08:10:47  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to admit it is difficult not to think of WoTC as the enemy, especially after 4E.

I shall resist my anti corporate views and try emailing them.

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