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Author Topic: Big Developments in the ORC License  (Read 6874 times)

GeekyBugle

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #135 on: January 20, 2023, 11:01:37 PM »
Zelen thinks we live in an ideal world, we don't.

I've been quite explicit in pointing out otherwise. The point is simply to acknowledge that,

(A) It's pretty easy to meaningfully distinguish your own unique ideas & creations from D&D, and oftentimes this is easier & better than not doing it
(B) Spreading fear that Hasbrodeus is going to sue small creators isn't productive, especially when making overly broad claims about what's reasonably actionable and what isn't.

None of that implies we live in a perfect world. Merely by existing, there's a non-zero chance that merely existing could get you sued by one or more megacorporations, so you may as well end it all now.

You're going to die anyway so why not commit seppuko right now?

Yeah, thanks but I'll pass.
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Sacrificial Lamb

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #136 on: January 21, 2023, 01:53:00 AM »
Hackmaster 5e is a non-OGL rpg, and it has clerics. I don't remember the specifics of how they work, but they have them. ???

S'mon

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #137 on: January 21, 2023, 05:25:06 AM »
Of note regarding “Previously Published Works”; it’s not what common language would suggest it is.

from 17 U.S. Code § 101 - Definitions;

“Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.

So, by strict reading…  “It does not mean that any content previously published under that version needs to update to this license. Any previously published content remains licensed under whichever version of the OGL was in effect when you published that content” … Does NOT include new publishings/printings of content. It just means you don’t have to burn your existing inventories as they implement their new license.

How generous.

I can tell you're not a lawyer.  ;D You need to distinguish 'publication' from 'published'. In my jurisdiction (England & Wales) at least, 'published' means 'has been made available to the public'.  Once there has been publication, a work is published. And stays published. AFAIK (& I'm pretty certain) it's the exact same in the USA.
So no, I don't think they are (currently) trying to stop future printings of published material.

(I had to explain this to an author friend of mine recently. For authors, she said that being a 'published author' means having an ISBN number on the book).

Chris24601

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #138 on: January 21, 2023, 06:13:07 AM »
Hackmaster 5e is a non-OGL rpg, and it has clerics. I don't remember the specifics of how they work, but they have them. ???
They have them, but their available weapons, armor and entire spell list is deity dependent (and include RP elements like the armor of a Court of Justice cleric wears must be painted a gold comor or inlaid with gold). Their spell lists are also entirely different from a D&D cleric and spell level access is equal to the character level (i.e. a 5th level cleric can cast spells from level 1-5. In addition, elements like the weapon and armor, shield and skill proficiences are separate from the class and bought with “build points”… the choice of religion is a “maximum allowed by the faith” rather than a default and clerics always pay the highest BP cost for a weapon even it normally requires minimal skill and the only weapons allowed are those for their religion.

In other words… no, the D&D cleric “concept stack” is not at all duplicated in its entirety (though it probably shares more than most) and includes quite a number of differences that make it distinct from WotC’s potential copyright.

The same goes for their races and other classes; same names, different expressions. Monsterwise a “Swackiron Dragon” is definitely not going to be confused for its D&D cousins.

Chris24601

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #139 on: January 21, 2023, 06:23:47 AM »
Of note regarding “Previously Published Works”; it’s not what common language would suggest it is.

from 17 U.S. Code § 101 - Definitions;

“Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.

So, by strict reading…  “It does not mean that any content previously published under that version needs to update to this license. Any previously published content remains licensed under whichever version of the OGL was in effect when you published that content” … Does NOT include new publishings/printings of content. It just means you don’t have to burn your existing inventories as they implement their new license.

How generous.

I can tell you're not a lawyer.  ;D You need to distinguish 'publication' from 'published'. In my jurisdiction (England & Wales) at least, 'published' means 'has been made available to the public'.  Once there has been publication, a work is published. And stays published. AFAIK (& I'm pretty certain) it's the exact same in the USA.
So no, I don't think they are (currently) trying to stop future printings of published material.

(I had to explain this to an author friend of mine recently. For authors, she said that being a 'published author' means having an ISBN number on the book).
That’s good if true. I think I can be forgiven not trusting Hasbro any further than I could throw a 400lb. boulder (which is to say, not at all).

That said, it’s something I’d really want clarification on from WotC in a “define your legal terms” sense just so lay persons don’t run afoul of “perpetual” =/= “irrevocable” legalese. “Any product with an ISBN number” is far more clear than “previously published.”

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #140 on: January 21, 2023, 07:58:49 AM »
You seem very intent on catastrophizing.
Yeah its like as if Wizards did something catastrophic or something. The examples are listed are pretty common....Except their not really. At least not all the elements at once. Id say paladins are more widespread then clerics are in videogames and pop culture as a whole. Bringing up even larger megacorporations as counterpoints is generally a loosing formula. Blizzard Activision ripped off GW, but GW wouldn't dare go after them.
Bring up a videogame from 2010+ that matches A,B,C,G,H,I.

JRPGs have white mages and other rpgs may have a Priest class, but none of them really share ALL the baggage. Which is exactly what the point is about. The more you have to change from established lore/mechanics in your own variant, the more challenge its gonna be.
GW did go after Blizz. That’s why they had to remove or rename certain things in their games. Things that GW didn’t even own, like SST-inspired brain bugs or dwarf gyrocoptors. This is still legally binding today, even tho it was full of shit then and full of shit now.

Iron_Rain

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #141 on: January 21, 2023, 11:46:29 AM »
Atlas Games is looking into some kind of Open Ars Magica via ORC.

https://atlas-games.com/news/post?s=2023-01-13-atlas-games-orc-license-for-the-horde

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #142 on: January 21, 2023, 12:33:01 PM »
Another widely used concept that can fall under fire: outer planes. A plane for each alignment, along the axes of law/chaos and good/evil, with its own race of anthropomorphic personifications, with additional races of petitioners. The concept is detailed enough that WotC probably has a valid copyright claim, and Pazio can't avoid this just by reducing the number of planes from 18 to 9.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #143 on: January 21, 2023, 12:38:41 PM »
Another widely used concept that can fall under fire: outer planes. A plane for each alignment, along the axes of law/chaos and good/evil, with its own race of anthropomorphic personifications, with additional races of petitioners. The concept is detailed enough that WotC probably has a valid copyright claim, and Pazio can't avoid this just by reducing the number of planes from 18 to 9.

I'm going with Dante's Inferno: Lets see WotC try and copyright that.
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BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #144 on: January 21, 2023, 01:22:50 PM »
I think the multitude of outer planes, along with alignment in general, are pretty silly. It's not not enough to have one heaven and one hell, D&D has to have at least three versions of each and the distinctions between them are arbitrary, random, and/or anal-retentive.

I think it would make more sense to use a more Moorcockian-inspired cosmology. This would exist on a continuum between law and chaos, without good or evil being distinct cosmic forces. Law (in combination with neutrality/cosmic balance) is represented by archons/angels, chaos is represented by demons. Devils are creations of law intended to combat the demons in their own realms and represent an extremely hostile form of order, with their inspiration being stuff like the Hellraiser comics. You don't need anything more than that, and prior concepts like modrons/psychopomps and slaad/proteans can be folded into angels and demons, respectively. (I know 4e did something similar and got blasted for it, but I think in this case they actually had the right idea.) Good and evil are no longer distinct cosmic forces but effects: good is the result of harmonious balance, whereas evil is the result of imbalance in either direction.

As for the inner planes... fey and elementals shouldn't be distinct creature types imo, especially since the idea of elementals was originally codified by Paracelsus and meant to classify fairies (and quite frankly you could apply an elemental association to any magical monster). I think fairies can exist as their own thing distinct from angels and demons, personifying the natural worlds that arose as the result of the conflict between order and chaos, altho obviously the specifics can vary by setting. The inner planes I'd reimagine as Fairyland, roughly divided into the Summerlands for the Seelie Court and Winterlands for the Unseelie Court. The actual environments could replicate any of the absurd locations from the original elemental planes, such as volcanic wastelands inhabited by fire nymphs, undersea kingdoms peopled by merfolk, cloud cities full of winged folk, underland peopled by anthropomorphic playing cards, primeval forests ruled by beast lords and plant lords, dark shadowlands haunted by shadow fey and specters, etc.

Bruwulf

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #145 on: January 21, 2023, 03:19:38 PM »
As for the inner planes... fey and elementals shouldn't be distinct creature types imo, especially since the idea of elementals was originally codified by Paracelsus and meant to classify fairies (and quite frankly you could apply an elemental association to any magical monster). I think fairies can exist as their own thing distinct from angels and demons, personifying the natural worlds that arose as the result of the conflict between order and chaos, altho obviously the specifics can vary by setting. The inner planes I'd reimagine as Fairyland, roughly divided into the Summerlands for the Seelie Court and Winterlands for the Unseelie Court. The actual environments could replicate any of the absurd locations from the original elemental planes, such as volcanic wastelands inhabited by fire nymphs, undersea kingdoms peopled by merfolk, cloud cities full of winged folk, underland peopled by anthropomorphic playing cards, primeval forests ruled by beast lords and plant lords, dark shadowlands haunted by shadow fey and specters, etc.

I mean, that's the NeverNever from The Dresden Files pretty much to a T.

Still, as much as I've grown to hate the sort of soulless high-fantasy comic book/anime gonzo mishmash that has become D&D in the last couple decades, which might end up the subject of a post of it's own, I don't wanna go back to some sort of primordial pre-Fantasy fantasy. Along the same lines as the discussion about the arcane/divine magic divide... and I say this as a person who adores settings like Harn and such that try to be more grounded/low fantasy settings... I think a certain amount of the charm and staying power of D&D is some of the weirdness like elementals and a multitude of planes. You don't have to copy how D&D does it precisely, or even all that close if you don't want to, but... I don't think we need to, or even should try to, purge them entirely. Unless its for your own specific setting, sure, then do whatever, but if we're talking about some sort of platonic OSR-y form of the game, I think those things kind of have a place, even if they are hallowed bovines.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #146 on: January 21, 2023, 03:24:08 PM »
Bruwulf, our local box of crayon's pet peeve is when people use mythology in ways he doesn't approve of or doesn't find authentic according to his own weird slant on it.  Don't try to reason a person out of a position they were never reasoned into.

shoplifter

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #147 on: January 21, 2023, 03:50:30 PM »
Another widely used concept that can fall under fire: outer planes. A plane for each alignment, along the axes of law/chaos and good/evil, with its own race of anthropomorphic personifications, with additional races of petitioners. The concept is detailed enough that WotC probably has a valid copyright claim, and Pazio can't avoid this just by reducing the number of planes from 18 to 9.

It's hard to say how far that can go, even the D&D planes are highly derivative of middle age texts like Dante's Inferno, Kaballah, Greek and Norse myth and the like. Certainly there are parts of it that could be protected, but I'm reasonably certain that you could rip a great deal of it if done intelligently and they'd have no basis for a claim.

Chris24601

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #148 on: January 21, 2023, 04:38:20 PM »
I mean, that's the NeverNever from The Dresden Files pretty much to a T.

Still, as much as I've grown to hate the sort of soulless high-fantasy comic book/anime gonzo mishmash that has become D&D in the last couple decades, which might end up the subject of a post of it's own, I don't wanna go back to some sort of primordial pre-Fantasy fantasy. Along the same lines as the discussion about the arcane/divine magic divide... and I say this as a person who adores settings like Harn and such that try to be more grounded/low fantasy settings... I think a certain amount of the charm and staying power of D&D is some of the weirdness like elementals and a multitude of planes. You don't have to copy how D&D does it precisely, or even all that close if you don't want to, but... I don't think we need to, or even should try to, purge them entirely. Unless its for your own specific setting, sure, then do whatever, but if we're talking about some sort of platonic OSR-y form of the game, I think those things kind of have a place, even if they are hallowed bovines.
Honestly, I question the need for Otherworlds at all. The use of Otherworlds in fiction is typically to bring someone from the mundane world into a place where magic and fantasy things exist.

That’s called the “prime material plane” in just about every campaign I’ve ever run. Wizards, dragons, fairies, giants, volcanoes spewing endless rivers of lava, vast underground realms, islands floating in the sky.

In Greek mythology Olympus wasn’t on another plane; it sat upon that particular mountain over yonder.

So that’s pretty much what I did. There’s a planar cosmology (called the Heliocentric Planar Model by Arcanists and Eggheads), but it’s entirely theoretical in the way every real religion’s positioning of Heavens and Hells is because… here’s where it gets good… only spirits (divine, damned or dead) can go there.

All those conflicting religions in the setting? What happens after you die? You have to take all of those things on faith, just like real people do. Which means people have to behave more like how we understand people to behave (where all those questions are open and depend on faith) versus how they would when the answers to life, the universe and everything are just a plane shift spell away. Even agnostics and atheists are plausibly possible.

Instead all the wilder elements you go to the other planes for are found in the Mortal World… which is itself the Otherworld for our imaginations.

FingerRod

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Re: Big Developments in the ORC License
« Reply #149 on: January 21, 2023, 04:56:42 PM »
Any creator that must latch themselves to the OGL is a B tier creator at best.

Yup. I see it as a win for me, but most people are mediocre, and I don't think they deserve to suffer for it. Am I happy I get more creative attempts at settings? Yes. Did I want a whole bunch of innocent people bankrupt by a megacorporation? No.

I prefer magic to either be all 'divine' in nature, or all 'arcane'. White mages are examples of settings where no magic is divine.

Wakfu/Dofus is the opposite. All beings are humans but by devoting themselves to a god they actually transform into species to match them and gain powers.

And the day you publish, please let me know. Gladly support this, and anyone who breaks from the OGL. Send me a PM and you have a sale.