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Paizo Announces 3rd and Final Draft of the Open RPG Creative License



Six months after the fallout Wizards of the Coast experienced because of its mishandling of Dungeons & DragonsOpen Game License, Paizo, another TTRPG publisher (known for Pathfinder and Starfinder) has released the third—and what it hopes will be the final—draft of the Open RPG Creative License. Paizo doesn’t own the license, nor is this a license just for Paizo’s work. Much like the OGL or the Creative Commons, it will be a freely available license.

Not only is the full ORC license now available to read, but Paizo also included an Answers and Explanations (AxE) document that identifies pressure points, details exactly how to use the license, and shows how the license protects both original and derivative work. The full ORC license is very broad and detailed, covering a lot of ground in order to future-proof the license. The authors “opted for simplicity wherever possible but when we were faced with a decision between precision or simplicity, we opted for precision.”

For a long time Paizo’s communications hinted that it wanted to establish a trust of some kind to shepherd and maintain the license, but now one of the big changes seems to be that the license will be entered into the public record via the Library of Congress. While this is more or less the final license, there is a small period where people who see mistakes can point them out for consideration on the ORC License Discord.


The ORC License is, in Paizo’s own words, “a system-agnostic, perpetual, and irrevocable open gaming license that provides a legal ‘safe harbor’ for sharing rules mechanics and encourages collaboration and innovation in the tabletop gaming space.” The company has worked with “hundreds” of publishers on crafting this document in a way that allows some rights to be retained and others to be open to derivative content. Azora Law worked extensively on the documents which will basically serve to split copyright law in half within any document that is licensed under the ORC.

The Final Interim ORC License is available on the Azora Law site. Copyright registrations are being filed with the Library of Congress, and Paizo expects to have the final ORC License and AxE available to the public in about six months. The only difference between the Interim license and the final license will be the addition of a notice of public copyright.

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Source: Gizmodo

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