Thursday, May 13, 2010


I really dislike this cycle.

I am not talking about in my playing life but my writing one.

Because of it, awhile ago, I made a personal decision that anything I wrote would be for an OGL game without any ties to a larger corporate brand.

I've stuck to that decision universally at Vigilance Press, though I've published work by others that tied into larger brands, mostly Green Ronin's awesome M&M and True 20 games.

But for me, it's been OSRIC and OGL all the way.

Recent events have once again confirmed to me that this is the exact right choice. Maybe not from a business sense but again, personally and creatively.


Chris Sakkas said...

Hey Chuck,

Don't limit yourself to the OGL - there are heaps of open games under half a dozen open licences!

I keep a list on the Year of Living Free Wiki (

RPGObjects_chuck said...

That's a good point Chris!

However, if you'll look closely at what I said, being open isn't entirely enough for me.

That's key, don't get me wrong, but I also prefer games that don't have a strong "corporate brand" attached.

For example, Vigilance Press has released a fair number of Mutants and Masterminds 2e products.

What happens to those products now that M&M 3e is "the thing"? My suspicion is that they will need to be brought up to date or suffer saleswise.

Of course, I'm aware as I write this that the OGL seems a poor poster child for this philosophy of mine, as Wizards has moved on to 4e and OGL books have suffered accordingly.

The difference is, OGL products still sell well enough, especially those that have carved out their "own identity" like OSRIC, that they're still viable.

With something like M&M, or Spycraft, which also recently announced a 3rd edition, I think you either have to upgrade or see sales diminish significantly.

And to be clear- I don't begrudge any company doing what they need to do.

Again using M&M 3e as an example, with the DC comics license in place, I *totally* understand why they're doing what they're doing.

mikelaff said...

I think maybe the guys who did Rocketship Empires 1936 had a smart idea when they decided to go system-less.

Yeah - you lose the system fanboys. But - your stuff never goes out of date

(link to Rocketship Empires)

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