Ryan Dancey Chat
- EnWorld Had a Chat with Ryan Dancey last night.
Heres some PCGen Related stuff...
This next question has been posed by a few people - I'll try and
consolidate it into one question. What advice would you give to fan-
sites regarding non-profit publication of d20-compatible material?
Specifically the PI issues and the use of the logo
My opinion is that you have been given the chance of a lifetime via
the OGL to do something legally do something that fans in every
other community do illegally. I also know that WotC has worked up a
draft of a short agreement that will let non-profit fan sites do a
fair bit more in terms of using WotC copyrights than just the OGC in
the SRD. My advice is to understand the difference between "nobody
cares" and "nobody will care".
What about electronic generator-style products? So far there has
been no real fallout, but will that change with the advent of MT?
WotC has two forces to balance: The force that says that it needs to
actively protect it's investment in design, and the force that says
that all auxiliary products by defintion drive sales of the core
products. I think that MT has less of a potential impact on 3rd
party software than Lucasfilm might. "Lucasfilm" here
meaning "anyone who has valuable IP that has been illegally used by
I've seen you describe, elsewhere, the inherent difficulties
involved in producing a software product under the OGL. Could you
explain that in layman's terms?
Sure. There are two issues.
First, the OGL requires that you "clearly identify" any Open Game
Content in the work you distribute. There are lots of problems with
doing that in software. Also the OGL is an exclusionary license. It
can't be combined with the GPL, for example, unless all copyright
holders of the work being used agree to allow such a combination.
Morrus> GPL? (GPL : GNU General Public License)
Second, in the open source community, the rule of thumb seems to be
that if you use so much as one line of code from a source, then the
reesulting work is a derivative work, in the whole, of that source.
If the courts uphold that proposition, it would meanthat publishers
would have to license the whole program using Open Game Content with
the OGL itself. The GNU Foundation believes that the "derivative
works" problem extends to dynamically linked code too. So, for
example, they believe that if program A loads library B and calls
function X, then A is a derivative work of A and B. Those are the
Would it be possible to release such a product using neither the d20
STL or the OGL?
You could do so if you "black boxed" the development, like the guys
at Compaq who cloned the IBM BIOS in the early 80's. And you
couldn't use any of the non-rules stuff, like trademarks. Or any of
the material that falls under the concept of "character copyright",
like named spells, named magic items, certain monsters, etc.
OK... last question... <clefmeister> --> What will MT offer that
free products, such as PCGen, don't already offer?
Here's my opinion: MasterTools will implement the entire rules
contents of the three core 3e books correctly and completely. That's
something that no other product, including PC Gen can do.
MasterTools allows you to easily do a lot of things that PC Gen (and
siblings) require a substantial learning curve to master. And MT is
the best tool I've used yet for creating opponents: It handles
characters across all creature types, sizes, classes and levels
better. It is also expandable, and hopefully that expansion will
allow you to do things like incoroproate all the D&D and d20 books
in print, as well as make your own content.
- pjak wrote on Sat Mar 2 09:22:27 2002:
>I should hope so... it seems to be the most accurate.
> --- In pcgen@y..., Keith Davies <kjdavies@t...> wrote:
> > huh? Does this parse for anyone?
> Well, yes. I think he says that there are two 'factions' in Wotc on
> this. One that sees that all fan-created freeware is good publicity,
> and one that is more concerned about control (over IP, most likely.)
> Presumably (at least for now) the 'good publicity' faction decides
> over at wotc.
> > There is no *legal* reason why we can't implement the rules inyeah, well, there is that :/
> > under fair use.
> As long as we stay aware of the fact that what's allowed when IP
> comes into play depends entirely on who has hungriest attack-
Evil High Priest: "Leave now, if you value your skins."
Logan: "I'm all for it."