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Current project: OGL 5e or AD&D 2e?

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Kruno, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Kruno Liturgist Shitposter

    Kruno
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,989
    I am in the middle of designing a combat module for my simulation. I am used to just rolling my own crap, but I want to spice it up for my current project.

    The project is a simulation, but in a roguelike-esque way, and combat will occur in real time (player influenced, but not controlled). There can be millions of entities engaged in combat at any given time, and so I do not want to over complicate this stuff to the point it becomes too much for a 16 core CPU. At the same time I do not want too simplistic of a combat system that is purely statistical, which is fine for computation, but is rubbish for simulation purposes.

    My design choices boil down to:
    1. Use LoD (Level of Detail) and allow for complex combat between the most important entities in the world, but raw statistical computations for everything else. This allows the best of both worlds, fast resolution and interesting combat.

    2. Use a simpler system like the AD&D 2e which can be quickly batched and calculated on the CPU. A simpler combat system, but better than the simpler crap I normally implement.

    3. Take the OGL 5.1 system and just nitpick until it is as complete and fast as I want it.


    Licencing:
    The other issue is in regards to licencing. I only want to use some of the underlying mechanical components of combat and character sheets. I have been reading about what I can and can't use but even WotC's site is a little confusing.

    https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/systems-reference-document-srd

    Assuming: X => OK!
    I have to attach the licence to my product, and the OGL logo.

    Everything mentioned inside this document is okay to use?
    https://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/SRD-OGL_V5.1.pdf

    Thanks.
     
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  2. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    The current leadership at Wizards doesn't understand the value of the OGL. They have essentially made it overly complicated and said you should hire a lawyer to understand it.

    I think you should avoid existing systems if it won't be a selling point for your game. There is nothing wrong with borrowing elements you like such as bounded accuracy or advantage.

    PS: I don't think you can even make an unlicensed AD&D game.
     
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  3. The Avatar Learned

    The Avatar
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
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    Location:
    Brittania
    The mechanics of a game are not something that can be legally protected. If you just want to roll a die and add/subtract numbers, go for it. There may be some copyright for specific terminology, such as THAC0, but you can just call it something else. OGL content is good if you want to use it's specific wording or specific monster statistic blocks, but isn't necessary if you invent your own. Either way, you wouldn't be able to call anything "D&D".
     
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  4. Kruno Liturgist Shitposter

    Kruno
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
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    Thanks.

    I will borrow a few things here and there. Mostly ability scores and modifiers and things that chain from there. I will add a few simple things from there that make sense.
     
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  5. J1M Arcane

    J1M
    Joined:
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    In that case, the main thing you will have to worry about is called "trade dress", for which copyright does exist. Basically, just don't present your stat blocks in the exact same format as you see in a D&D book and you will be fine.
     
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  6. Krice Arcane Developer

    Krice
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    88
    If you have something that works you could improve it rather than use existing systems for reasons mentioned. Also, I think players are interested about new systems, because we have seen D&D quite few times now, not to mention that D&D isn't the best system for all purposes.
     
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  7. Alchemist Arcane

    Alchemist
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,428
    Just to clarify a bit, the legalese of the OGL (v1.0a) hasn't changed since the 3rd edition era, year 2000. The 5th edition SRD uses the exact same license and terms, it's just the SRD itself has a different set of rules mechanics. When it comes to computer games, it's totally fine to use anything in the SRD as long as you don't use Product Identity, which consists of iconic D&D names and trademarks mostly. You can find a precise list of what's off-limits in one paragraph:
    The entirety of the remaining SRD is Open Content and can be freely used. The main other stipulation is that you need to include the rules you used in a human-readable format accessible with your game. An in-game guide with the rules described would cover this. That's all there is to it, it's not overly complicated.

    For AD&D 2E, you can use a retro-clone released under the OGL, such as "For Gold & Glory" in which everything in the document is Open Content: http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www...wn/for-gold-glory/ebook/product-22756917.html
    More retro-clones covering every edition of D&D / AD&D can be found here: http://taxidermicowlbear.weebly.com/dd-retroclones.html

    With all that said, The Avatar is right in that you can use D&D-like game mechanics all you want without ever bothering with the license, as long as you're careful about how you use them. Many early CRPGs straight-up lifted mechanics from D&D with no official license.
     
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