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Announcing the Basic Roleplaying System Reference Document and Open Game License


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3 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Heh I would actually play that!

I'm sure you can find another source for your cyberpunk treatment of Merlin and Morgan le Fay than Malory. But honestly, this whole discussion smacks of angels on pinheads. Are you planning on publishing a cyberpunk game with Merlin and Morgan le Fay? Heck are you planning on publishing a game based on Malory? Then we are happy to chat. 

Or are you just raising hypotheticals on an Internet forum for the sake of raising hypotheticals?

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Chaosium is pleased to announce the release of the Basic Roleplaying System Reference Document (SRD). The Basic Roleplaying SRD is based on Basic Roleplaying, the simple, fast, and elegant skill-

I just took another look at the Mythras Gateway license and noticed that the BRP license is actually quite similar in some regards - I think them main problem and the reason for most of the discussion

Granted, I'm just saying that not everyone wants to write a setting. I'm writing a series of scenarios for Mythras at the moment (not under any kind of open license, by the way - I'm simply worki

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6 minutes ago, Rick Meints said:

I never mentioned plagiarism, or referred to it. I suggest you read my post, specifically the one directly above yours, for the main thrust of my approach to this discussion. As for IP like Dresden files, Princess Bride, Ravenloft, and similar, I don't see why that applies to the license options we offer. You are welcome to belittle Glorantha, but I don't see how that relates to the discussion either. I don't remember ever saying anything about anyone violating our Gloranthan IP, or wanting to. If you read my previous post you will see I mention how we have a wide variety of community content programs available. 

As for my statements about "a number of people want to...", as the person who has had to send out DMCA letters, C&D letters, and contact numerous websites to take down things that violate our IP, I have more than just an assumption about people's intentions. I can't point to websites showing such unauthorized content because we have had the content taken down. I know that other companies do likewise, including WotC, but I am not going to speak for them with specifics about what they did. I've sat in seminars about this specific problem at the GAMA Trade show. I've talked with other companies about it as well. As for "not charging a dime", that is not a factor at all.  

Sorry, it's true you didn't mention plagiarism, and I didn't want to imply that, my slip up since English is not my first language, apologies.

When I mentioned those IPs I was pointing to the fact that all those games are published with rules based on OGL rulesets and you don't see people making "their own variant of X or Y setting" (To quote Jeff) with the intent to sell them or pass them as their own original creation.

I'm not belittling Glorantha in any way, I would ask you to please refrain from making assumptions about me. My only point is that Glorantha is a less popular setting than those mentioned and as such, draws a smaller audience (A really amazing audience mind you). Since the pool of people who consume those IPs is larger and there are no overt or massive efforts to produce/develop products for them without seeking a license, it follows that for a setting like Glorantha the pool of possible people who want to produce content without a license is minimal.

I'm assuming that you are talking about webpages that make content for your products like zines, adventures, characters, and even illegal PDFs/scans, and you know what? although I like the idea of community driven content, I perfectly understand why they have to be shut down. You have to protect your IP. But you are kind of validating my point here. They exist regardless of the fact that you allow or don't allow Sanity, Spirit Magic, Sorcery in your license. Which has been my main point all along, restricting your license isn't going to stop them because they are already doing it.

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13 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Were you planning on publishing this game? In which case, my question is why you put that work in without asking for a license?

If you weren't planning on publishing your game, then nothing has changed. We aren't going to send out the game police to stop you from playing a home-brew variant.

It was originally just going to be a homebrew system for personal use, but when I heard that BRP was getting an OGL I thought "well I might as well make this available once I'm finished, probably just for free or PWYW". Then the OGL comes out, and I realize I can't do that anymore, which honestly doesn't affect how I was going to use it personally, but I still would've like to release it to the public under BRP, if only for the sake of getting a small amount of experience with self-publishing and because I think that some of my ideas are interesting enough that others may want to at least look at them. For the record, my game is nowhere near close to being done yet, just the mechanics are mostly complete at the moment.

Edited by Richard S.
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2 minutes ago, Crel said:

Under the BRP OGL, this game couldn't use the staple POW×5% mechanic for its "low magic" or "common magic," if any. Just making a Bronze Age fantasy RPG itself might violate the OGL. I couldn't use any sort of percentile-rated ability system to describe a character's connections to their community, and toward their fellow adventurers.

Of course it could. Just don't make it substantially the same as RQ's battle magic or spirit magic. Give it different durations, ranges, etc., come up with a different spell list (instead of RQ's) with different effects, and tailor it to your Bronze Age fantasy. And to be honest, that is the same thing we would do if we were doing a historical Bronze Age game.

And if your Bronze Age setting is based on say Gilgamesh or Troy, it is safe.  If on the other hand, it is based on a world with a moon worshiping empire that is at war with a storm worshiping mountain kingdom allied with animal riding nomads, well we might have something to say.

 

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Just now, Jeff said:

Of course it could. Just don't make it substantially the same as RQ's battle magic or spirit magic. Give it different durations, ranges, etc., come up with a different spell list (instead of RQ's) with different effects, and tailor it to your Bronze Age fantasy. And to be honest, that is the same thing we would do if we were doing a historical Bronze Age game.

Thanks for the feedback. I think this actually helps illustration some of the potential miscommunications.

For me, when I read "substantially similar," my mind reads that as using the same base mechanic—e.g., POW×5% to cast stuff. It hasn't seemed clear to me where that line exists between "substantially similar" and "substantially different," which makes me feel hesitant and cautious. I think some others commenting feel the same way.

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It's totally legitimate for Chaosium/Moon Design to take steps to both safeguard their own property and diligently honor their obligations to their own upstream licensors, past and present. OTOH, would be adopters of the license need to be able to clearly understand what is or is not allowed without having to badger C/MD for answers. 

If the prohibitions are generally only meant for proper nouns etc. originating in the various works & lines, state that unambiguously rather than muddying the waters by having Le Morte d’Arthur in the same sentence. Sartar and Britain require different handling.

If any reference to The Matter of Britain is prohibited, say so in such a way that Britain, Jesus Christ, and every real-world place that's had a CoC adventure set there aren't placed under a cloud in the same breath. If you would rather clearly enumerate specific Arthurian elements that are prohibited to protect KAP, do so. Don't make people have to guess what "from" implies or whether or not any given piece of Arthuriana written before or after Mallory's time is sufficiently "related to Le Morte d’Arthur" as to be prohibited.

WRT mechanics, if CoC7-style pushes are prohibited, how different would a double-down and re-roll with higher stakes rule have to be to not be substantially similar? What would a not-substantially-similar to RQG augments/passions "my motivations, related capability, or personality helps my performance" rule in a percentile system look like? Could an author/designer tell that from reading the license?

If reasonable people can look at the license and see a lot more prohibitions than "Just don't clone our products or rip off proprietary settings." why not clarify the language to match your intent?

Edited by JonL
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9 minutes ago, Tanaka84 said:

I'm assuming that you are talking about webpages that make content for your products like zines, adventures, characters, and even illegal PDFs/scans, and you know what? although I like the idea of community driven content, I perfectly understand why they have to be shut down. You have to protect your IP. But you are kind of validating my point here. They exist regardless of the fact that you allow or don't allow Sanity, Spirit Magic, Sorcery in your license. Which has been my main point all along, restricting your license isn't going to stop them because they are already doing it.

I'm very sure I am not validating your point. This BRP license isn't meant to crack down on pre-existing types of IP violations. It is our way of giving people more publishing options without making the situation worse. We're not expecting the BRP license to slow down or stop somebody who wants to publish a CoC supplement without a license. We also don't want to allow anyone to use the BRP license to retro-clone our CoC game.

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20 minutes ago, Rick Meints said:

I'm very sure I am not validating your point. This BRP license isn't meant to crack down on pre-existing types of IP violations. It is our way of giving people more publishing options without making the situation worse. We're not expecting the BRP license to slow down or stop somebody who wants to publish a CoC supplement without a license. We also don't want to allow anyone to use the BRP license to retro-clone our CoC game.

Look I´m not having this discussion to be right. I´m having it because I have a long line of research on the psychology of piracy. And one of the biggest predictors of illegal behavior is how mentally taxing the legal route is. My perception is that your license as it is needs rewording because  people will prefer to use the least cognitive taxing alternative (a legend derived OGL) instead of going through the hoops to use your logo. 

It´s very clear to me that your license is flexible, but not because I read it, but because Jeff has given examples in this thread that imply that,  just copy their posts and paste it on the F.A.Q and call it a day.

If you need a more detailed opinion on why I think that, and link to the science behind it,  my inbox is open, I love Chaosium and I want to see you do great. I really wish you all the best with this license (and the QW license) and stay healthy :)

Have a wonderful day.

 

Edited by Tanaka84
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49 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'm sure you can find another source for your cyberpunk treatment of Merlin and Morgan le Fay than Malory. But honestly, this whole discussion smacks of angels on pinheads. Are you planning on publishing a cyberpunk game with Merlin and Morgan le Fay? Heck are you planning on publishing a game based on Malory? Then we are happy to chat. 

Or are you just raising hypotheticals on an Internet forum for the sake of raising hypotheticals?

Thank you very much for the response, Jeff.  I'm afraid it's still unclear to me if Chaosium is reserving the right to consider characters from Malory to be Prohibited Content regardless of the setting (the most drastic interpretation), only the chivalric Matter of Britain (the narrowest needed to protect Pendragon's IP), or just the Arthurian setting (the middle ground).

Clarifying this would allow potential RPG designers to draw their own conclusions about how to resolve other particular concepts that could potentially fall under "prohibited content".  (Elsewhere on the web I've seen some ludicrous over-interpretations about the BRP OLG forbidding basic fantasy tropes because of RuneQuest and Stormbringer.)  If the answer is that people must check with Chaosium first to receive permission to use the BRP OGL in such cases, then this ought to be spelled out in at least the FAQ, though any waivers granted through this process will, by their nature, complicate the license.

I'm raising these hypotheticals because I genuinely worry that the ambiguous language in the Prohibited Content clause could scare away potential development of OGL BRP.  And I'm sticking to hypotheticals because I have no emotional investment in them, unlike, say, the homebrew systems that people on this forum have put their creative effort into.  If one wanted, for instance, a cyberpunk-sorcery game right now, one could always try… Shadowrun, but I think I speak for everyone here when I say I would prefer an OGL BRP alternative with a richer setting.

An open license for Basic Roleplaying has been on my wish list for a long time, and I would like it to enjoy the success that similar projects from other publishers have seen.

P.S. By the way, I think that BRP OGL's language covering Lovecraftian horror, while sweeping, is unambiguous and entirely correct: "all works related to the Cthulhu Mythos, including those that are otherwise public domain".  Anyone wanting to create works in this subgenre should have no questions about whether they can adapt BRP (no) or must work within existing CoC licensing options (and Chaosium's options, from the Miskatonic Repository to small publisher and commercial licenses, cover everything they could need).

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

I'm sure you can find another source for your cyberpunk treatment of Merlin and Morgan le Fay than Malory. But honestly, this whole discussion smacks of angels on pinheads.

I think you wanted to reply to reply to @Travern about this -- I was just expressing that I'm a sucker for urban fantasy. But yes, I think Travern's original post was exactly angels on pinheads because the point was to figure out the extent of one of the clauses (namely the clause about Arthurian characters being off limits). I would probably be equally interested in a "wizards-in-a-dystopian-future urban fantasy RPG" if it was not relying heavily on Arthurian myth... if anything, I would actually be more interested if it was, like,  focused on Templars and the Golden Dawn and Dee and Crowley and stuff like that... but probably sooner or later someone might do a sourcebook or adventure where Merlin shows up, in which case I assume a quick chat with Chaosium would clear any questions.

59 minutes ago, Tanaka84 said:

Jeff has given examples in this thread that imply that,  just copy their posts and paste it on the F.A.Q and call it a day.

As far as I can tell, they already started doing that -- I saw a couple of MOB's posts showing up verbatim in the FAQ yesterday.

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1 hour ago, Tanaka84 said:

My perception is that your license as it is needs rewording because  people will prefer to use the least cognitive taxing alternative (a legend derived OGL) instead of going through the hoops to use your logo. 

I think that might be missing the point.

People who want to use the Legend OGL to create a system that uses Prohibited Content, for example to retrofit Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest, can.

What they can't do is to use the BRP OGL to do that.

If people don't want to use the BRP OGL but want to use a Legend OGL to make something similar then fine. They can't put the BRP OGL Logo on it or call it BRP.

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1 hour ago, Rick Meints said:
1 hour ago, Tanaka84 said:

I'm assuming that you are talking about webpages that make content for your products like zines, adventures, characters, and even illegal PDFs/scans, and you know what? although I like the idea of community driven content, I perfectly understand why they have to be shut down. You have to protect your IP. But you are kind of validating my point here. They exist regardless of the fact that you allow or don't allow Sanity, Spirit Magic, Sorcery in your license. Which has been my main point all along, restricting your license isn't going to stop them because they are already doing it.

 

Unrestricted licensing did not help IBM, heck it almost put it out of business. Restricted licenses did not help Apple, again the company was almost sunk by its restricted license holders. This is the reason for my post thanking Chaosium for taking the risk and understanding that restrictions would be mandatory and even then it all might go south. 

Still best of luck to everyone entering this debate with the best of intentions. Thanks Chaosium for keeping your cool and making it (to my eyes) easy to understand and follow. And thanks to all of you that want this to work and are tailoring your concerns and questions to  this end. As a fan and a customer with a lot invested in this working... I am hoping for great things.

Cheers 

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29 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I think that might be missing the point.

People who want to use the Legend OGL to create a system that uses Prohibited Content, for example to retrofit Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest, can.

What they can't do is to use the BRP OGL to do that.

If people don't want to use the BRP OGL but want to use a Legend OGL to make something similar then fine. They can't put the BRP OGL Logo on it or call it BRP.

The point is that Legend OGL is not just any other system, but functionally identical, sans the logo and gives you more to work with to boot. So this whole thing leaves a head-scratching "why bother?". (It is a bit ironic, though that Legend OGL is held by Mongoose who did everything in their might to de-OGL their Traveller 2e).

That being said, I can't speak for the Open Cthulhu project but I do know some of the folks of the German Deutsche Lovecraft Gesellschaft e.V. Their intention of doing Fhtagn (including a meticulously well-kept list of everything Mythos in the public domain) was entirely to have something for themselves because they didn't like the route CoC 7e was going. Still, these folks buy nearly everything CoC they can get their hands on.

I get why Chaosium went this route, but in this case, well-meant is not well-done. A better wording of the license would have gone a long way and the SRD really isn't one in all but name.

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1 hour ago, Travern said:

Thank you very much for the response, Jeff.  I'm afraid it's still unclear to me if Chaosium is reserving the right to consider characters from Malory to be Prohibited Content regardless of the setting (the most drastic interpretation), only the chivalric Matter of Britain (the narrowest needed to protect Pendragon's IP), or just the Arthurian setting (the middle ground).

For clarity's sake, the full list is: "...trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (characters, deities, place names, etc.), plots, story elements, locations, characters, artwork, or trade dress from any of the following...". I keep bringing up Britain itself because if "from" is meant to mean "originating within" than it is not a prohibited place name or location. That standard puts most of the characters in play though, unless "related to Le Morte d’Arthur" is meant to also include the sources from which Mallory drew. If Arthur et al are prohibited because "from" means they are merely "present in" KAP & Le Morte d’Arthur+related, that standard casts the absurdly wide net which Chaosium obviously does not intend but is nonetheless implicit in a reading that prohibits proper nouns the various authors included but did not invent.

1 hour ago, Travern said:

(Elsewhere on the web I've seen some ludicrous over-interpretations about the BRP OLG forbidding basic fantasy tropes because of RuneQuest and Stormbringer.)

I agree that it's ludicrous to think they are trying to do that, but if the "from" includes mere presence rather than origination, and "story elements" is on the list distinct from the proper nouns,  just how far one has to steer clear of archetypal themes is an open question. @Jeff's example of the Lunar occupation of Sartar with the serial numbers filed off is pretty clear. How about a game about Rome occupying Gaul or Britain though? It gets much fuzzier if the prohibition includes referenced influences rather than being constrained to original story elements.

The changes necessary to remove this kind of ambiguity would not be hard to make, if they wish to do so.

Edited by JonL
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52 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I think that might be missing the point.

People who want to use the Legend OGL to create a system that uses Prohibited Content, for example to retrofit Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest, can.

What they can't do is to use the BRP OGL to do that.

If people don't want to use the BRP OGL but want to use a Legend OGL to make something similar then fine. They can't put the BRP OGL Logo on it or call it BRP.

Exactly, but I´m not talking about them, I´m talking about the potential developer who wants to do something new, looks over the license, sees vagueness (plus the lack of mechanics in the SRD) and goes "nope, I´m going to use something simpler and with more things I can take". Consumers still get the product, but BRP looses a developer... this what I´ve been trying to say since the start. 

 

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3 hours ago, Richard S. said:

... I've been working on a game of my own for a year or so that uses pushing and a slightly modified version of RQG's augments (using increments of 15% rather than 25%, capping at 45%, and you can use augments to inflict penalties on people) ...

 

3 hours ago, Jeff said:

Were you planning on publishing this game? In which case, my question is why you put that work in without asking for a license?

If you weren't planning on publishing your game, then nothing has changed. We aren't going to send out the game police to stop you from playing a home-brew variant.

I've got to agree with Jeff:  that "a year or so" of work (before this SRD & OGL) based upon these rules seems like a LOT of work on something that may be (c)-infringing.  OpenBRP hasn't changed anything for you.

OTOH, Jeff:  it kind of looks like Richard has done something innovative here, being able to "inflict" your Augment as a penalty onto an opponent.  Doesn't this move it into a new-mechanic realm, outside the scope of "prohibited content"?   (I guess this might be a specific discussion for Richard & Jeff to take off into e-mail?)

 

 

  ***  THAT SAID...  ***

This is a thing I think Chaosium should reconsider, BOGL-wise.

It's frankly kind of... weird... to have these few specific mechanical tools called out -- from the entirety of the BRP'ish corpus -- as precious pearls, as "thou shalt not."

Would it do any harm to Chaosium (or to their existing IP) to permit folks to add "Augment" rules (even if clearly based upon RQG) to their BRP-driven space opera (or any other OpenBRP-based) game?   (So long as they aren't infringing upon Chaosium's settings (or Star Wars, LOTR, Buffy'verse, etc), of course!)   It just runs counter to the very core of the OGL concept -- here's this excellen toolbox! (but you cannot have a 3/8" crescent wrench, a ball-peen hammer, a #2 phillips-head driver, or any metric-sized Allen wrenches in this toolbox).      buuuh ... waitWHAT Chaosium ???!?

Chaosium is obviously allowed to write the license any way they want, and to put into it any terms&conditions they want.  Nobody's forcing people to accept the BOGL, nor use OpenBRP .  But your insistence that  these specific bits of rules  are excluded from any OpenBRP game is (I say again) just... weird.

The whole point of OGL games is to have the entire (mechanical) toolbox available.

 

So I reiterate the plea I opened with:  please reconsider allowing all the mechanics... at least the ones not strongly linked to their settings:  I can see wanting to keep the Rune-Magic rules out of play, or the KAP paired Traits (so key to the "Arthuriana" vibe).

But the whole IDEA of those pairs (Trait-pairs in KAP, paired Runes in RQG)...?

Nope: I don't understand why you've restricted OpenBRP licensees from using these mechanics.

 

TYVM for considering this.

 

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10 minutes ago, g33k said:

I've got to agree with Jeff:  that "a year or so" of work (before this SRD & OGL) based upon these rules seems like a LOT of work on something that may be (c)-infringing.  OpenBRP hasn't changed anything for you.

Like I said, for most of that "year or so" it was just something I was doing for fun, solely for myself, that I initially had no intention of publishing. It was only when I learned that there was going to be a BRP OGL that I decided it could be fun to try and make it into something publishable rather than just a bunch of rules and notes on a piece of paper, and at the time I had no reason to suspect that anything in it would violate said upcoming OGL, since I was expecting that all BRP rules would be allowed like is the case in other OGLs.

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12 minutes ago, g33k said:

or the KAP paired Traits (so key to the "Arthuriana" vibe)

Reserving the rough pairing of the 7 Virtues of Chivalry vs the 7 Deadly Sins as part of what makes KAP unique makes a lot of sense. Prohibiting games built using the BRP SRD from using a similar dynamic with different personality traits relevant to their own themes, less so.

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6 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

I'd very much like to know why all of the above options, plus the new option of the BRP license just doesn't work for you, or for that matter, anyone else. All I ask is please be specific, and also mostly speak for yourself. A vague example of "I want to write X, but your license options don't allow it" is far better than saying our license options are (insert vague negative word or phrase). 

@Rick Meints posted the above comment more than 6 hours ago, but I rolled a 00 on my Knowledge: Law skill and couldn't follow many of the posts in this thread. I do have a couple of questions that fit Rick's "I want to write X, but your license options don't allow it" point. 

First, I have uploaded a few items to this site that use BRP rules directly from the BGB, Magic World and Stormbringer. These are not for sale and never will be. They are there for community use. Do I need to take these items down? I will if necessary (or an admin can do it on my behalf) but quite a bit of work went into these items and it would be a shame to remove them.

Second, I have always loved Stormbringer 3rd edition (the Chaosium/GW collaboration). This used a rank-based magic system, based on a combination of INT+POW. I adapted this system for my BRP LotR rules (way back in 2015) but expanded to cover Enchantment, Necromancy and other magical Arts. Would this break the OGL as written? Again, these rules were not for sale.

I'm just worried I've inadvertently broken trust with Chaosium, a company whose rules have given me many years of roleplaying enjoyment (and long may it continue).

Can anyone offer any clarification, please?

Colin

Edited by colinabrett
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We have established a thread whose specific purpose is to answer questions related to the Basic Roleplaying System Reference Document and OGL, which is available here (PDF) and here (online, editable format).

Please post your entries in that thread in the form of simple, direct questions, with page/section references if required.

Questions will be responded to by Chaosium staff (Rick, Jason, MOB, Jeff, etc). 

Before asking your question, please take a look at the FAQ here to see if your concern has already been addressed.

 

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On 3/28/2020 at 4:27 PM, Travern said:

Using mythological figures like Merlin or Morgan le Fay in other settings, such as Urban Fantasy, should be completely acceptable.

But that's not how the license is written.

Quote

The following items are hereby identified as “Prohibited Content”: ... all works related to Le Morte d’Arthur.

I'm not talking about playing chicken with Chaosium's business. I'm more worried how Chaosium's current management, or their lawyers, or their successors will interpret the license.

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On 3/27/2020 at 4:08 PM, theodis171 said:

For the reasons you mentioned and after having a look at the really bare bones 27 pages document, the question arises - why bother? There is the Legend SRD, there is Mythras, OpenQuest springs to mind... hell, for the German speaking follks out there there is even the Fhtagn RPG.

Well I spent the weekend thinking about this and I think the BRP SRD is mainly geared at fans who want to produce BRP content. As someone up-thread said, Chaosium isn't in the BRP or monograph business any more, so it's (literally) license for fans to write more BRP ... as long as they avoid plagiarism and Prohibited Content.  (They direct anyone wanting to write Arthurian, Cthulhu, Glorantha stuff to use their Community Content program on DriveThruRPG instead.)

But I can't imagine any commercial publishers using the BRP SRD as a basis for their work, as they did with d20 or Fate. (This may be intentional.) The phrase "substantially similar" is a little too ambiguous to stake real money on, at least not without a second, more solid agreement from Chaosium. And, as the Big Gold Book proved, BRP isn't a brand that sells games.

So it's a gift to the fans (which protects Chaosium's interests) ... but, unless Chaosium has something else in the works, also the end of commercial development on BRP.

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47 minutes ago, fmitchell said:

...

So it's a gift to the fans (which protects Chaosium's interests) ... but, unless Chaosium has something else in the works, also the end of commercial development on BRP.

It isn't the end of development.  Chaosium has a bunch of ways to license, beyond their new OGL initiative.

(but I admit, it looks like there are other OGLs whose SRD's are bigger, more complete, doing more of the "grunt-work" of developing mechanics; so I think "a gift to the fans" is maybe the most apt description I've seen).

Edited by g33k
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I don't know how many times I need to say this - if you want to build a game using the BRP engine and advertise it as using BRP, now you can without paying royalties to us. Given that we get regular requests from actual publishers for just that there is clearly an actual demand for what we have just released. And given that the actual publishers have responded positively towards this, I don't see any need to change the license to satisfy armchair commentators or random dudes on Twitter.

We are happy to continue to provide clarification on our FAQ though.

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7 hours ago, fmitchell said:

But that's not how the license is written.

I'm not talking about playing chicken with Chaosium's business. I'm more worried how Chaosium's current management, or their lawyers, or their successors will interpret the license.

 

7 hours ago, colinabrett said:

@Rick Meints posted the above comment more than 6 hours ago, but I rolled a 00 on my Knowledge: Law skill and couldn't follow many of the posts in this thread. I do have a couple of questions that fit Rick's "I want to write X, but your license options don't allow it" point. 

First, I have uploaded a few items to this site that use BRP rules directly from the BGB, Magic World and Stormbringer. These are not for sale and never will be. They are there for community use. Do I need to take these items down? I will if necessary (or an admin can do it on my behalf) but quite a bit of work went into these items and it would be a shame to remove them.

Second, I have always loved Stormbringer 3rd edition (the Chaosium/GW collaboration). This used a rank-based magic system, based on a combination of INT+POW. I adapted this system for my BRP LotR rules (way back in 2015) but expanded to cover Enchantment, Necromancy and other magical Arts. Would this break the OGL as written? Again, these rules were not for sale.

I'm just worried I've inadvertently broken trust with Chaosium, a company whose rules have given me many years of roleplaying enjoyment (and long may it continue).

Can anyone offer any clarification, please?

Colin

Are you using "trademarks, proper names (characters, deities, place names, etc.), plots, story elements, locations, characters, artwork, or trade dress" from Stormbringer? Then it is a problem. Don't name your character Elric or Yrkoon, don't set it in Melnibone, don't have it be around the Eternal Champion, etc. 

Same deal with the Cthulhu Mythos. Don't have Cthulhu or Deep Ones in your game. Or Storm Bull and Orlanth. This stuff isn't rocket scientist and if you have ever worked under a regular license, this shouldn't be that hard. If you haven't but want to publish something, ASK US.

Are you wanting to use a rank based magic system based on a combination of INT+POW? No problem. That's not Prohibited Content.

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