Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Just when you thought it was over...

I haven't been keeping a weather eye on WotC since 4e failed to light my fire and I ran into the open arms of Labyrinth Lord. Luckily, fellow Austinite mxyzplk has been paying attention and brings word of the latest itteration of the 4e GSL. He says it's better, but not great:

Well, the other big change is that they removed the remaining “poison pill” clause. This clause basically said that “you can’t publish the same stuff under the OGL and GSL.” In other words, if you want to create a 4e version of an adventure, campaign setting, etc. that is also available via OGL - you have to give up the OGL. Of course, this meant that everyone with multiple product lines including OGL stuff - Green Ronin’s Freeport, for example - wouldn’t touch 4e with a ten foot pole.

Now, apparently, you could put out a “4e Guide to Freeport,” adapt existing 3.5e adventures to 4e, etc. You can’t dual-stat; the FAQ states that, say, using Cleric as defined in the OGL inside a GSL-licensed product violates the “don’t redefine things” clause in the GSL. That’s a little annoying - I fail to see how they have a vested interest in someone not dual-statting an adventure, for example - but it’s a minor restriction in lieu of the previous huge ass one.

There's a lot more at the link, so if you're a 4e fan or just curious what your favorite third party publishers might get up to, be sure to read the whole thing.

I have to wonder if this helped inspire Necromancer Games' interest in producing an "old school" version of 4e. Frankly, I'm not certain they're barking up the right trees; the first thing I'd tackle is the treasure and magic item creation rules, and then work my way back to character classes and powers. It'll still be interesting to see what they come up with.


taichara said...

(hi! I'm not dead of the plague yet ~!)

Even with the revised GSL, I think that WotC has been rather shooting themselves in the foot. On top of taking as long as they did just to cough up this version, I've been seeing in a few places some discussion that the revised GSL still isn't any great shakes.

That Clause no.18, where anyone picking up the GSL signs away their right to a jury trial if anything is contested, is especially worrisome to me. It seems a little odd (not that corporate law is my thing, mind you) ...

All in all, it makes me rather happy that I have my little nook with older editions, and Labyrinth Lord to use if I want to clean up and "officially" release anything. I feel bad for those still following WotC, though; this is rough shakes.

Paizo still isn't biting, though, which is also going to make for fun times.

trollsmyth said...

I'm not sure how enforceable Clause 18 is, honestly. That's in darn near every contract I've ever seen, and yet folks sue each other all the time. Still, I don't get a happy warm glowy feeling. I think this is good for Necromancer and possibly Sinister Adventures, assuming their still a going concern.

What I don't get is that kinda giddy, "hey, you know, I could do something with that" feeling that came with the GSL. Not that I ever did. (Partly my fault, but partly because I ended up not spending much time with 3e.) So yeah, like you, if I ever decided to make a little scratch off this hobby, I'll almost certainly go the same route as Misters Raggi and McKinney.

trollsmyth said...

And darn it, get to feeling better already. ;)

taichara said...

Fair enough about the clause; I'm still feeling the same uneasiness that you are about the whole thing, though. Something's still not quite sitting right, here.

It's true; it's not the same as when the OGL (that's what you meant?) came down the pike.

And I'm working on it! Honest! ;D

trollsmyth said...

Er, yeah, OGL, thanks. :p