TTRPG Roll 23-16: Open Year Zero

The fallout from Wizards of the Coasts’ (WotC) missteps regarding the future of their Open Game License (OGL) continue to be felt across the roleplaying game industry. With the future of the WotC OGL in doubt, other publishers are making moves regarding their properties. Amongst the many, I am very interested an happy to see Free League Publishing, who gave me Twilight: 2000 4th Ed. (2020), ALIEN: The Roleplaying Game (2021) and Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game (2022) all of which use the Year Zero Engine, release a draft OGL and System Reference Document (SRD).

The Year Zero Engine Free Tabletop License (FTL) and its accompanying Year Zero Engine SRD (YZE SRD) licenses and updates an earlier YZE SRD. The FTL looks somewhat similar to the WotC OGL 1.0a but ensures the term “perpetual” is included. To this non-lawyer’s eyes, the FTL looks very much like the OGL 1.0a with the “important” words included that WotC never had in theirs and which the fumbled OGL 1.1 and 1.2 tried very hard to avoid—which caused all the negative backlash. Free League appears to have taken those lessons to heart and avoided them in the FTL.

More valuable to me is the YZE SRD. A previous YZE SRD was published under OGL 1.0a but is was limited to using dice pools (pools of d6). Later Free League RPGs use a slightly different step dice (variety of polyhedral dice) variant. Both “forks” as Free League calls it are included in the new YZE SRD.

I am still (slowly and irregularly) working on a homebrew U.F.O./Space: 1999 RPG. I had previously looked at the earlier YZE SRD but was not sure if I wanted to lock myself into the dice pool version. Now I have freedom to decide if I should use dice pools or step dice.

I should note that as of the writing of this post the FTL is still a “Discussion Draft” and the YZE SRD is v0.9 meaning both are not final versions and subject to change.

Feature image courtesy Free League Publishing © 2007-2023 by Ian B is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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