January 14, 2023

Oh G… Whiz, also I made a thing.

Well, everyone else has had a post/video/comment about it so why not the old halfling?

If you are reading this and do not know about the recent turmoil of the Open Gaming License (OGL) then I do not know how you found me but may I direct you to a few other sources for background. Naww, cancel that thought. Seriously all you need to do it type OGL 1.1” into a search bar anywhere and it will pop up for you, choose your source to read from.

Or not and you can save a lot of stress.

What it comes down to is the Big Dragon Company said they were gonna steal all your stuff with their new updated OGL and make the old OGL not valid anymore and automatically update everything made with it ever to the new one which would make all that stuff theirs.

The community and world said Fuck Wizards and collectively the Dragon Game community of makers banded together to say in not so eloquent of terms we don’t want your hands on our stuff, you said we could have this forever and we will just make our own thing to make our stuff going forward. Fuck Wizards”. I may have embellished the details a bit but you should get the idea.

So here we are standing on the precipice of something new from the Big Dragon Company, the community says a stern no” and some of us are just standing a-gasp going why does any of this matter?

It shouldn’t matter but the fact is that the indie community has been graciously adding the OGL to their stuff for two decades to make sure that the Big Dragon Company did not sue them for some infringement or whatnot. But the reality is that most people probably did not need to in most cases.

(Here is my non-lawyer brain telling you that this following is not legal advice and should not be read as such, I am not that smart please get a better source for actual legal advice)

Halfling’s non-lawyer brain

You see there is a difference in using rules of a game vs using intellectual property, the stuff that people usually use is rules, with a percentage (I would wager only a small part of the indie RPG community) has actually needed to add this thing in there.

My biggest concern is for the future of things like OSE, which actually uses material from previous games that were covered by the OGL. But that is not for me to worry about. Sorry Gavin if this messes with your stuff ;(

So, what do we need to do? I don’t know that we really need to do anything at this point. The big names of gaming; Paizo, Green Ronin, Kobold Press, Chaosium, and whoever else is in that club, will deal with what they have to and we will all just sit back and watch as the industry branches, breaks, and turmoils over their copyright and whatever else other legal crap they have to deal with.

That leaves us little guys. We shouldn’t have to worry about a thing, continue to not use the Eyeball Monster’s name from the Big Dragon Company and you should be fine. Don’t copy the text out of their books verbatim and you should be fine. Let those guys all blow the industry up, we here at the bottom end of the pool will just keep swimming along making our stuff that doesn’t conform to Vox whatever they are, and we can just go along our merry way continuing to use Creative Common licensing, because we all care for one another. Our world is just fine and we should be thankful that the community we swim with area all so amazing and love the game more than our wallets.

With all of this said I have to remind you that I am no lawyer and everything I said is probably wrong or misinformation because who the hell cares… Don’t take my stuff as advice because I cant give actual advice because I’m not a lawyer.

Continue being cool, love your players, friends, creators and those designers that are making shit money at the big companies should leave and come join us down here. The water is fine and we will welcome you in with open arms. Let this life we lead making, playing and running games be a safe place for refuge.

Derek Bizier, The Halfling Proud Indie RPG Creator Master

P.S. As mentioned in the title of this article, incase you didn’t see it I created a game thing and released it today, check it out it is free! You can leave me a couple bucks if you want to support a school teacher, father, husband of a nurse, guy who hangs out with other nerds on the internet, haha, but seriously you don’t have to, but anything that gets left for me is welcome and I thank you in advance, but seriously you don’t need to. A download and a comment to tell me what you think is thanks enough!

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