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Old September 6th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Default Mongoose Traveller and OGL

Can someone describe for me what the Open Game License Mongoose mentioned in its original announcement would do for the game? (I realize that no one has seen the wording for just such a thing, I'm asking from a conceptual standpoint). I've been trying to read up on OGLs in general and it just isn't clear yet what they bring to the table. Thanks in advance.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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First, start here:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...lfaq/20040123f

Most games are not released under an OGL. If you want to publish something for a game and make money at it, then you have to talk to the company or person that owns the copyright and either submit something for them to publish or get permission to publish something that is compatible with the original game system. If you submit work for them to publish, you usually get paid a little cash, and they own your work. If you get permission to publish something on your own, you usually have to give them part of your profit. Either way, they have a lot of control over what you can and can't do.

Under the OGL, you no longer have to do that. You can use the parts of the game that have been declared as open, and publish your own stuff on your own terms (so long as you don't violate the OGL; see the FAQ above.) You can also take someone else's Open Game Content and use it in your product without having to ask permission. (You do have to cite your sources in Section 15, however.) You do the work, you keep the money you make, and you own the copyright on your work. Your Open Game Content might show up in someone else's work, but they have to cite your work to do so, so it's like free advertising.

The game benefits because there's often a lot more material out there for your game, and there's a vested interest in putting out quality work because they want to make money at it. The original publisher gets support for his system, which in turn encourages people to buy the core rules and play them. You get the chance to be your own publisher and write for the system you enjoy.

Look at what happened to the D20 System, and hopefully, that should be a good example of what the OGL can bring to the game.

I should write up a quick article on this to include in Issue #8 of Stellar Reaches, which is nearing completion (just a few Real Life hiccups, is all.) I'll see what I can do.

With Regards,
Flynn
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Old September 6th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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Thanks Flynn.

I read through the WotC OGL FAQ and pretty much understood it. It was the OGL wording itself which made little to no sense to me.

So let me see if I've got this right. Depending on how Mongoose words its OGL, it would be possible to write a book on the Regina system and use any preexisting information from the last 30 years of Traveller, as long as that information was explicitly called out in the OGL, correct?
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Old September 6th, 2007, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vargas View Post
So let me see if I've got this right. Depending on how Mongoose words its OGL, it would be possible to write a book on the Regina system and use any preexisting information from the last 30 years of Traveller, as long as that information was explicitly called out in the OGL, correct?
Yes. Likely, the License itself will be the same one that WOTC released back in 2000 (as it is just the legalese that makes this possible), but the System Reference Document or a general document of some kind should identify what is going to be considered Open Game Content. Just how that will be done, we still don't know.

Also, there may be a requirement to publish OTU products under the accompanying Traveller Logo License from Mongoose, and as to how that works, I have no idea save for the example we have in Mongoose's Runequest Logo License.

Still, I imagine that the Traveller System Reference Document will contain, if nothing else, a list of resources that it considers Open Content in terms of the OTU, if it doesn't list specific OTU data precisely spelled out as part of its contents.

I myself am very curious as to what from the OTU will be included in the body of Open Game Content. That's perhaps the trickiest part of all, because there's absolutely no news on that aspect of things.

One thing I can say for sure, though, is that Marc has told me that I should be able to produce the Hinterworlds 1248 Sector Sourcebook under the OGL and TLL, once they become available from Mongoose, so there has to be some way that products under the OTU are possible with that particular arrangement.

We just don't have enough details to know, though.

With Regards,
Flynn
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Old September 7th, 2007, 12:12 AM
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We just don't have enough details to know, though.
Yup, just have to wait. Thanks again.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I hate to think what this will do to canon.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Hard to tell which way it'll go. Depending on the quality of what's published and individual tastes, it may be hard to determine what's a bug and what's a feature.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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I hate to think what this will do to canon.
I'm looking forward to what this will do to canon ...
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Old September 11th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Boulton View Post
I hate to think what this will do to canon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Bromgrev View Post
I'm looking forward to what this will do to canon ...
I'm not sure that products licensed under the Mongoose OGL will do anything to canon. According to their press release, Mongoose will offer two licenses:

Once the rules for Traveller appear, we plan to make them available under the Open Gaming License (OGL). At the same time, we will issue a Traveller Logo License (TLL) which makes the Traveller logo and titling available to licensees.

No other information appears in the press release, but I imagine that the free OGL license will only allow you to use the rules. The separate "Logo License" will let you use the Traveller logo and titling, but it may not be a free license. I wouldn't be surprised if "official" (i.e., paying) licensees are the only ones who can produce canon material.

Or, this could be Mongoose's version of the WOTC distinction between the OGL license (available to everyone free) and the d20 trademark license (available free, but requires compliance with WOTC rules).
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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Flynn View Post
Look at what happened to the D20 System, and hopefully, that should be a good example of what the OGL can bring to the game.
Which is to say, potentially a LOT of material of questionable use, which feeds a boom in small companies who all close up shop three years later as the originator "borrows" their ideas and material under the terms of the OGL, revises the basic game, and then adopts a bruising product schedule to occupy the same "territories" the licensees were in before they can catch up to the revision.

Yeah. Looking forward to that.
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