Rules Engines and Licensing

Plenty of rulesets have come out with licensing guidelines recently. Since I'm chugging through a couple of editing projects this week, I thought I'd collect links for later perusal. Yes, these notes are mad scribblings, so don't expect very much coherence or insight. You're lucky you got some art in this post, however limited.

Pelgrane Press has been busy this week, releasing System Reference Documents (SRDs) for both Gumshoe and the Archmage Engine which powers 13th Age. There's also a fan-made HTML version of the 13th Age SRD.

Evil Hat Productions published licensing options for Fate Core and Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) about 5 minutes before someone asked about it. Uncanny timing.

Monte Cook Games released the licensing policy for Numenera recently. It looks like Charles Ryan handles all the licensing details as MCG's COO, so stay on his good side.

Margaret Weis Productions offers licensing for Cortex Plus so you can publish that new Leverage hack.

Atlas Games released the Wanton Role-Playing System (WaRP), which powers the Over the Edge RPG, under the OGL.

While we're at it, let's list the big names under the d20 OGL:
And speaking of the OGL, Law of the Geek devoted an entire podcast to the topic: OMG it's the OGL!
How did I miss MongTrav?

Other SRDs from the comments:

Clash Bowley's StarCluster 3 comes with a developer's license and a "Powered by Starcluster 3" logo in the Developer's Edition PDF.

Powered by the Apocalypse isn't so much official licensing as "talk to Vincent about using or hacking Apocalypse World".

I looked for something about licensing the One Roll Engine, which powers Godlike and Nemesis and Reign, but they'd rather you wrote for Arc Dream directly. Here's the RPG.net forum thread with Greg Stolze for reference.

And just so I have it handy, here's the list of Creative Commons license types.

If  you're interested in finding more free, open, or shareable game resources, start with FOSsil Bank's Tabletop Games (Libre) page. Also 1,000 Monkeys 1,000 Keyboards if you feel like drinking from the free (mostly untested) RPG firehose. And we're spitting distance from November when NaGaDeMon kicks off as the game designer's counterpart to NaNoWriMo.

There's always more. What did I miss?


  1. When you buy StarCluster 3 Designer Edition pdf ($13) you get a designer section and a non-profit/for-profit license for the system and setting such as it is. Now why anyone besides me would want to use the system is a burning question, but there are at least three games that I know in the late stages of being developed under the license.

  2. Mongoose has SRDs and versions of the OGL for their versions of Traveller and RuneQuest. You can find the Traveller developer's kit here (if it's still available from them), but I don't know where to find the RQ one.

    S&W has an OGL-style licensing scheme to use the S&W Compatible logo, and has an SRD to go with it. I think that there's something like that for Labyrinth Lord, too.

    Adventures Dark and Deep uses the OGL.

    1. I totally forgot Mongoose Traveller, and I was just looking at the licensing last month. Derp.

      I'll add these links as well.


  3. Hey if you get a chance can you change the URL for the 13th Age SRD I created from the Google Sites url to http://www.13thagesrd.com?

    1. Done! And thanks for gathering and publishing those SRDs. It's a very helpful resource.