Thursday, December 29, 2011

OGL and OSR Publishing

It has been interesting to read the discussions about publishing and the OGL going on right now across the interwebs.

I'm interested because I'm literally dealing with similar questions right now.

I plan on using the OGL for my Barrowmaze Megadungeon. I'm specifically wrapping my mind around Section 6:

6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

So, by my limited understanding I must include each and every Section 15 (in their entirety) in my own Section 15 for each piece of OGC I employ. Correct?

So, say for example I've pulled OGC monsters from the Labyrinth Lord Core Book, The Advanced Edition Companion, the S&W Core Book, the S&W monster book, The Tomes of Horror I, II, and III, as well as various OSR modules and blogs - I will have a ginormous Section 15. Moreover, this section could potentially be filled with material that I don't even use in my dungeon but need to include to stay within the confines of the license. If that makes sense. God help the people who have to cite my Section 15...


  1. Sort of. You need to put everything you use in the section 15 of your book. If you use 5 different sources for example the you need to list each and everyone of them as they appear in their own section 15s.
    Though if someonw uses ypu monsters in turn they only need to list your work in their section 15.

    Make sense?

  2. That has been my understanding too when creating stuff for M20, though my section 15 has been at the most maybe 6 sources or so long.

  3. Yes, you have to cite them all in section 15.

    If you still have a copy of Tome of Horrors lying about their license is a how-to manual for getting it right. They add commentary to each section for publishers wishing to use the material.

    I know it helped me a lot on the finer details of not missing anything that should be included.

  4. That is something that struck me as odd too. Especially when you have a work like Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which cites dozens and dozens of Tome of Horrors monsters in its OGL that it never actually uses. All that junk has to go into the OGL of any module or expansion you write for the system. I honestly don't see any other way to read that clause than "you must snowball the complete copyright section of all OGC you draw on."

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  6. Yep, you have to include them all, but you can eliminate duplicate entries.