This was supposed to be up yesterday – a little of the ol’ epic fail on my part there, sorry – but now, in all its glory: Joe Goodman tells us just how, exactly, he is making modules for D&D 4E and publishing them before the sanctioned October GSL threshold. Also, the West End Games sale, and: hey, what would you pick for this year’s Ogre’s Choice Awards? Let us know here.
Wow! That is really smart. Cudo’s to Goodman Games.
Good show. Glad to hear from Joe Goodman. He had some very interesting comments and kept the show happy and upbeat.
I’m not surprised that Goodman Games is going with the OGL for some of its products. I think Green Ronin is doing the same thing for some of its character record sheets from what I remember.
I have to disagree with Joe’s observations on the GSL relative to other big paid licenses. Our company has paid substantial money for licensed properties before. The GSL is not comparable in any way. We’ve also paid money for small art licenses as well. The GSL’s risk is, on paper, much higher than what I’d consider reasonable for many paid licenses. I have seen licenses where pulping products happened at termination, but in such licenses termination is not possible by the licensor at will, unilaterally, without cause, with a single post to a website.
The GSL is only as safe as WotC cares to make it for you, which is, in many ways dependent on peer pressure in the industry and personal relationships with Wizards of the Coast. As a practical matter the GSL will probably be fairly safe to use. I have no doubt of this. As a matter on paper, however, it’s a very one-sided license that is tolerable only because it is free to use. Specifically regarding Goodman Games, Clark Peterson of Necromancer games said that the GSL’s most restrictive clauses on reproduction of content won’t hurt people specializing in modules that much. Clark said something like “one person is going to be laughing at all the negative hype regarding the GSL all the way to the bank — Joe Goodman”.
It sounds like Clark was right, and I wish Goodman Games all the best with their move to support 4E. I expect high quality support products will result, and the game desperately needs some third party support.
Re: Mike’s comments on options and player involvement in DND4E, I found most of the options in DND4E to be illusory or self-selecting. My wizard had about 4 spells that did 1d6+4 damage against a Reflex Defense. They had different trait types and areas of effect. So, the only real decision was to pick the spell that best fit the shape of the enemy unit’s distribution. I’d be interested in hearing more about Mike’s experiences, particularly as a guy who tends to play Indie games like Universalis, etc.
As Joe noted, Wizards has done multiple release waves of errata. Worth noting, some of the errata is very invasive. For example, in the DND4E Dungeon Master’s Guide they changed the skill challenge system mechanics almost in its entirety. The original skill challenge system information is making it onto the DM’s Screen meaning that you will have to paste on edits to your brand new screen.
Excellent podcast and interview — always nice to hear from Mr. Goodman.
I must admit it also appeals to my vanity. “Crazy guys online who are mixing-and-matching licenses — it just makes you groan” could very well apply to me! I’d like to think I’m not especially crazy or groan-worthy, though.
Hey, at least nobody is wishing Cujos on Goodman Games. Nice dog. Stay. Stay!
Again, great podcast Allan, Mike, and Joe.
Roger, are you mixing-and-matching open licenses for the same product? Which one? Or are you doing what I’ve heard some did — homebrewing your own system from scratch and releasing it separately under the OGL and the Creative Commons licenses. The latter behavior isn’t quite mixing-and-matching. The former behavior would likely violate the terms of all licenses involved.
Specifically, I’m releasing 4E material under GSL and CC.
Roger, are you trying to slap two licenses directly onto one product, or are you releasing them as separate (but largely identical products) with different licenses on them.
Are you generating your 4E-compatible materials completely under copyright law, without leveraging licensed properties? If you aren’t, I don’t see how you’d be using the CC licenses to begin with.