Tabletop RPG publisher Free League continues it work on two new open gaming licences in the wake of the D&D OGL controversy. The publisher shared three draft documents on February 16: a new Free Tabletop Licence (FTL) for its Year Zero Engine, a third-party licence for the Dragonbane RPG, and an updated Standard Reference Document for Year Zero. It’s also looking for fan feedback on the documents before their full launch.
Many of Free League’s biggest tabletop RPGs, including Mutant: Year Zero, the Alien RPG, and Tales from the Loop, use the Year Zero Engine. The Dragonbane RPG is a reimagined edition of Sweden’s first TTRPG, and it successfully funded on Kickstarter in August 2022.
Free League originally announced its OGL plans in January. This came not long after a leaked document revealed Wizards of the Coast planned to overhaul its Open Gaming Licence. After large amounts of backlash, the plans were walked back, and D&D’s SRD was released under a Creative Commons licence.
“The work on these new community content licences was initiated last year, but was intensified during the debates last month around Wizards of the Coasts’ OGL v1.0, on which the previous Year Zero Engine (YZE) licence was based”, Free League says in a press release from Thursday. “The two new licences are completely independent, developed by Free League and the US law firm Nolan Heimann.”
“The new Year Zero Engine FTL is designed to be fair and easy to understand and use for creators”, Free League continues. “It gives creators an irrevocable, worldwide, and royalty-free right to use the Year Zero Engine Standard Reference Document (YZE SRD) and freely publish their own roleplaying material based on it.”
“Alongside the new YZE FTL, the YZE SRD itself has been given a massive overhaul and update, based on the developments of the Year Zero Engine in recent years”, Free League adds. The update includes rules for chases, vehicles, travel, magic, and ‘step dice’ – as seen in tabletop RPGs like Twilight: 2000 and the Blade Runner RPG.
Additionally, Free League says the Dragonbane third-party licence “allows creators to freely publish RPG supplements explicitly compatible with Dragonbane, and to place the ‘A Module for Dragonbane’ logo on the front cover”. “The Dragonbane license is intended for third-party supplements for the game, not new standalone games, and thus does not have an SRD.”
Free League also says it wants to hear feedback on these drafts, and it aims to release the final versions “in a few weeks”. The publisher seems to be gathering feedback through its official forums. You can check out the drafts for yourself: here’s the Dragonbane licence, the Year Zero SRD, and the Year Zero FTL.