I'm experimenting with making an RPG game for mobile phones, and I could save some time if I used an established system for stats and combat etc. From a quick read of the licenses I'm not sure whether this is possible, most of it seems to be targeted more at written products.

Is anyone familiar enough with the licenses to give me their interpretation either way, or point me to a section that covers this sort of thing?


1 Answer 1


OGL: Yes. For details, see the faq:

Q: I want to distribute computer software using the OGL. Is that possible?

A: Yes, it's certainly possible. The most significant thing that will impact your effort is that you have to give all the recipients the right to extract and use any Open Game Content you've included in your application, and you have to clearly identify what part of the software is Open Game Content.

One way is to design your application so that all the Open Game Content resides in files that are human-readable (that is, in a format that can be opened and understood by a reasonable person). Another is to have all the data used by the program viewable somehow while the program runs.

Distributing the source code not an acceptable method of compliance. First off, most programming languages are not easy to understand if the user hasnÍt studied the language. Second, the source code is a separate entity from the executable file. The user must have access to the actual Open Content used.

See the Software FAQ for more information.

GSL: No. It only lets you do certain things, and software's not one of them.

3. Licensed Products. The license granted in Section 4 is for use solely in connection with Licensee’s publication, distribution, and sale of roleplaying games and roleplaying game supplements that contain the Licensed Materials and are published in a hardcover or soft-cover printed book format or in a single-download electronic book format (such as .pdf), and accessory products to the foregoing roleplaying games and roleplaying game supplements that are not otherwise listed as excluded in Section 5.5 (“Licensed Products”).

5.5 Licensed Products. This License applies solely to Licensed Products as defined in Section 3 and to the specified uses set forth in Section 4. For the avoidance of doubt, and by way of example only, no Licensed Product will (a) include web sites, interactive products, miniatures, or character creators; (b) describe a process for creating a character or applying the effects of experience to a character; (c) use the terms “Core Rules” or “Core Rulebook” or variations thereof on its cover or title, in self-reference or in advertising or marketing thereof; (d) refer to any artwork, imagery or other depiction contained in a Core Rulebook; (e) reprint any material contained in a Core Rulebook except as explicitly provided in Section 4; or (f) be incorporated into another product that is itself not a Licensed Product (such as, by way of example only, a magazine or book compilation).

Also see the FAQ where they tell you "No" some more.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought that software was allowed, but games specifically were not? Are you sure there isn't a section you are missing, or was that just the d20 license? \$\endgroup\$
    – Canageek
    Oct 29, 2011 at 3:57
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You are thinking of the d20 STL. That license has been revoked, so you'd need to be careful not to confuse terms of d20 licensed products with the pure terms of the OGL. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 29, 2011 at 4:22

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