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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 86 - most online ever: 843 (October 22, 2020, 11:18:00 PM)
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Author Topic: Open Game License independent?  (Read 5424 times)
big dummy

Posts: 12

« on: November 11, 2008, 10:18:44 AM »

Hi, I am an independent game designer, I wrote a combat system for the 3.5 OGL

I have been on this forum before, a long time ago though I lost my old computer after Hurricane Katrina and have no idea what my old user ID etc. still are.  I met Jake Norwood here and I ended up writing part of two books for his now defunct game The Riddle of Steel.

Like TROS my system is largely based on Historical European Martial Arts (as well as Filipino and Japanese Martial Arts), which was partly informed by some discussions I had here on this forum.  I'm selling it myself through onebookshelf.

I'm not going to post a link or even mention the name of my book or anything though because I know there are strict rules here about OGL / D20 games.

My goal in doing my game was to bring the fun of historical reality back to DnD since that is still apparently what most people are encountering when they first get into RPGs (correct me if I'm wrong on that)  I feel that with recent versions of that game, especially 4E, it has become so extremely specific to one (rather grotesque) style of playing that there is no way for people to go in different directions as people did when I played as a kid.

My question is, can I be here?  Can I discuss my system here?  I think it is unique in many ways regarding the game mechanics, I don't think anyone has done anything quite like this yet exactly though I'd be real interested to find out.  I'd like to see what other people here think of the mechanics. 

Now that OGL is the abandoned orphan of Hasbro, left to fend for itself on the streets like Oliver Twist, I was wondering if a teeny tiny designer like me can have a place for discussion on this forum which is kind of the center of the independent game community.  I promise I won't bring hordes of Corporate zombies along with me, I am in a tiny niche.  Not that that counts for much against forum rules I know.

Anyway, glad to see the place still up and running.

Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2775

« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 11:23:02 AM »

Obviously this is Ron's call, but I don't remember that OGL would have been a particular dealbreaker here before. An OGL product may, barring any other circumstances, quite easily be independent in the ways that the Forge promotes. The crux issues are financial and creative control, and OGL doesn't limit either in any way that I can see.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 08:43:28 AM »


I totally missed this thread, for which I apologize.

Here's the thing: independence is all about full ownership. If you own it, then you have authority over what's in it, what it looks like, how it's published, how much it costs, how much money you keep, and what to do next. If all that is the case, then your game is independent.

You'll notice that there is not one word in that definition about the game system. You'll also notice there is not one word in there about incorporation. Adept Press, my company, is a corporation.

The OGL doesn't have anything to do with any of that. It's essentially a common set of rules that are available for anyone to use, and which people name and advertise as a marketing device. All of which is perfectly reasonable. The fact that the OGL was made available by a corporate company that doesn't publish independent games isn't relevant one bit. What matters is your game, which TSR/WotC/Hasbro does not own.

Furthermore, there are absolutely no non-D20, non-OGL rules or standards here. You may have been simply lied to, or a lie was repeated to you out of ignorance. It's often repeated at other websites that the "Forge hates D&D and/or D20," all of it untrue.

So basically, my answer is to say, yes, of course, tell us about the game, how did you publish it, how is it going for you, et cetera - just as for any other independent publisher.

Best, Ron
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