Wizards’ new GSL

The word spread like wildfire: the new GSL is out. When I checked the latest posts at the RPG Bloggers Network this morning, I noticed several posts about this topic already. So far Mad Brew Labs was the only one discussing the changes, while the others just mentioned it’s release. 

From what I’ve seen not much has changed aside from the fact that companies are now allowed to produce products under GSL and OGL which was prohibited in the old GSL. And the GSL still doesn’t mention fan sites or magazines. So I am pretty sure Level Up, the 4E magazine by Goodman Games is probably using a special license agreement with Wizards of the Coast and not the GSL.

From how I understand it, the new GSL is better than the old one, but it’s still complicated in a few places. But as I said before, I am no lawyer. So Scott Rouse already fulfilled one half of his promise: the new GSL is finally out. But the Fan Site Policy (the other half of his promise) is still missing!

We don’t need a special license for the fans, just give us a few guidelines what’s ok, and what’s not and please use proper english and not this legalese that noone in his right mind (aside from lawyers of course) understands.

Just my two cents…

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “Wizards’ new GSL”

  1. Mad Brew did a nice job, didn't he?

    I still like the OGL better, but many people seem to be responding well to this.

    <abbr><abbr>Zacharys last blog post..New GSL</abbr></abbr>

  2. I checked the GSL again and it seems the changes are for the better but so minor you have to be an expert to see the real differences. In a way we are spoiled by the OGL.

    And when you don't want to commercially publish things you don't need any license at all. BUT we really, really need a fan site policy.

  3. Actually, magazines are allowed as long as they are 100% 4e/GSL. Read 5.5(f). A 4e-only mag can just have each issue be a licensed product. They just don't want 4e and OGL or other D&D variants appearing in the same publication. (Which is still retarded, just in a different specific manner.)

    <abbr><abbr>mxyzplks last blog post..Wizards Releases Revised GSL – Is It Better?</abbr></abbr>

    1. @mxyzplk: Oops, it seems I shouldn't post before my second cup of coffee. Thanks for pointing that out.

  4. @Zachary: Thanks for the compliment!

    @Stargazer: Technically you don't need the license if you do want to publish commercially. You are just bound by fair use… which I would say provides far material more than the GSL (under U.S. copyright/trademark law). Look at (non-GSL) Kenzer & Co.'s 4e Kingdoms of Kalimar. I guess you need if you want to be "official."

    @mxyzplk: Retarded is a keyword I apply to more than just the 5.5(f) clause.

    <abbr><abbr>Mad Brews last blog post..RPP-000: RPG Theory Bibliography</abbr></abbr>

  5. I was reading the GSL last night, and I'm still confused about something (not being an attorney, this is not too surprising). Does the GSL cover accessories to the game? For example, I understand you cannot create software or miniatures. But where do products like effects counters, or area of effect grids, or any other "tool" like devices come in. Any ideas?

    <abbr><abbr>Dead Orcss last blog post..Legends of Thule: The Möbius Pendant</abbr></abbr>

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