Now would be a GREAT time for @SJGames to Creative Commons GURPS.

Or, heck, In Nomine. The meltdown over the new WotC Open Gaming License is still roiling, with companies promising legal action — and alternatives:

Second, we need to band together to create a non-OGL and non-WOTC version of a System Reference Document (SRD) that can forever be used by anyone. Why, you ask? WOTC has proven itself to be untrustworthy and we all need to wean ourselves off them as soon as we can. We will work with our friends in the industry and have been in conversation with many of them already about doing this.

(Via Anthony Ragan)

To which I say, mostly to Steve Jackson himself: why make something new, when GURPS is right there? It’s a point-based system deliberately designed to work in all types and genres of TT RPG campaigns, it has a plethora of sourcebooks immediately available for purchase (that should not be put under CC), and there is a fanatical cadre of players out there* who can offer advice and counsel. Handing rebellious companies a fully-realized and tested gaming system could end up making some money for SJ Games.

I’m not going to say it’s a no-brainer, because it’s 6:30 AM here and I may have missed something obvious. But I will say that the idea’s at least worth contemplating.

Moe Lane

PS: If SJ Games doesn’t want to CC 4th edition, they could always do 3rd.


8 thoughts on “Now would be a GREAT time for @SJGames to Creative Commons GURPS.”

  1. I like 3rd revised better than 4th, anyway.

    I’m a GURPS fanboy from way back, but I don’t think it’s a good bet.
    A large percentage of people I’ve introduced to the system *really* do not like the “roll low to succeed” mechanic or “boring “ normal dice.
    Nor do they like that opponents get a defense roll after they’ve been successfully “hit”.
    Also, GURPS works best when assumptions have a realistic basis. These expectations run counter to those in a lot of game systems, including D&D in particular. (I love GURPS, but if I’m running anything but the grittiest level of Supers, I’m using the One Roll System, because the rules that should reinforce the genre conventions. And vice-versa.)

  2. I’m frankly worried what this naked IP-grab will do to stuff like The Order of the Stick since it’s worded that *anything* DnD related is now theirs to use free of charge.

  3. The legal action is (unfortunately) an empty threat. The legal system is Pay-to-Play. One of the devs I follow consulted an IP attorney he knew, and was told it would cost $4,000,000 to bring the case to trial. Minimum.

    There are only a couple of affected game companies that can manage a fraction of that. (And WotC probably has exclusive settlements drawn up to offer them, once they ante up.)

  4. Honestly, I’m not as worried as others. I think this version was leaked specifically because it’s not going to be the one they go with. It will make the one they do go with look good in comparison, which may not be saying much.

    As for revoking the old OGL, it’s modeled on open software licenses, where there would be a lot of money if companies could just revoke open software licenses of old versions of their software. They can’t. They can only release new versions under different licenses, and then enforce copyright on the differences between the new versions and the OSL version. I think the same thing would happen here. A lawsuit is expensive, true, but precisely because of what it would mean for open software licenses if WotC successfully revoked their OGL, I expect you’d find a number of non-profits interested in finding it.

    1. “By opening this automatically installed and defaulted trial version, user voluntarily forfeits license to all previous and related versions of this software already on this machine.”
      The EULA from hell.

      I’m mildly surprised Microsoft or Corel hasn’t tried it yet.

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