Source available?

Is the source text of the core rules available anywhere, or is the HTML version considered the source?

I’m looking to convert the text to XML (Docbook, specifically) and possibly start parsing it into a few different formats for use within PCGen and similar applications.

I’m happy to convert the HTML if that’s the only copy available, but I’m hoping for something a little more structured, without all the cruft the rest of the website (footors and sidebars and so on).

@klaatu, as I understand it, the core rules are on GitHub. It’s primarily in Markdown, I think.

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Perfect, @redbeardcreator, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

Markdown’s easy to convert to XML, too, so this is a great start.

@klaatu, glad to help. Others can certainly provide more info, but that’s the basics.

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Hi @klaatu, please be aware that not all of the content on the website is covered under the Open Legend Community License / SRD. Some of the text on the website is reserved so that only Seventh Sphere is legally allowed to distribute it.

We have chosen to publish it on our website for the benefit of the community, but we do not allow others to redistribute all of the content on our website.

Apologies for the LOOOONG delay on the SRD, but it should give you an idea of what you’re allowed to include. Examples, for the most part are not part of the SRD, a bunch of flavor, etc.

Thanks for the clarification. I’ll hold off on doing anything for now, and keep my eyes out for the SRD.

Are there plans to release the SRD in a mungeable format such as YAML or the like?

If not, do I interpret the OLCL correctly in that one is allowed to re-format a SRD PDF into such a format?

@klaatu I’m working on several similar projects and, assuming the answers above are “no” and “yes” respectively, I volunteer to work with you on converting the the SRD to something machine-mungeable.

I personally vote for a bundle of YAML files that follow the same formatting conventions as the website and print doc gits. That would allow for quick propagation of rule updates, corrections, and addenda.

Correction: An earlier version of this post implied that the SRD is not available in Markdown. A Markdown formatted version of the SRD is available in the master git branch (see redbeardcreator’s link above). I am a clown for being so sloppy in my language!

With the clarification that there is intellectual property that is not open source, I don’t personally see any advantage in the OLCL over the OGL, so I don’t intend to follow up on this.

I most certainly see the advantage of this over another Generic Universal Role Playing System, but I’m not in the market for a generic system at the moment, . It’s all yours, @GartLarissa.

The thing is, just to be clear on this point since others have been disappointed for the same reason. The ONLY “intellectual property” in the Core Rule Book is very simple stuff like “flavor text” that describes how certain mechanics work, etc.

I struggle to see the objection people are having, because you should only be negatively impacted by this if you plan to outright lift the entire rules text (e.g. pirate it).

So, to be SUPER clear – all attributes, banes, boons, feats, character builds, weapons, extraordinary items (I think that’s it, but maybe more) will be included in the SRD. I don’t really see this as limiting anyone who wants to create derivative content.

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perks, flaws, vehicles… So much. :slight_smile:

I didn’t mean for my response to be negative, and I apologise if it came across that way. I’m not disappointed, and I absolutely see the value of Open Legend.

Personally, I was initially interested in porting the SRD to XML because I thought the entire project was open source. That [incorrect] assumption meant that there was added value to Open Legend over an OGL game, since any OGL game has the same split between an SRD and flavour text. I’d imagined something wholly Creative Commons, basically. Having been corrected, I feel that the OLCL is actually on equal ground with the OGL, so there’s no added value to me. At least, not right now.

If my situation changes and I do need an alternative to existing OGL content, Open Legend is an excellent and exciting option to have.

I sincerely thank you all for your amazing work, and for keeping the spirit of collaboration alive and well in the gaming community. You can count me as a fan.

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I’ll take a swipe at helping to see the possible objection. :slight_smile:

First to make sure we are on the same page, I am assuming the following defintions:

The Open Legend SRD is a document (currently a PDF file) that succinctly comprises the Open Legend rules. Anyone is provided the ability to use content in the SRD provided they follow the terms of the Open Legend Community License.

The Open Legend Core Rules is a document that contains content in the SRD as well additional content (examples, flavor text, illustrations, etc.). All rights for additional content in the Core Rules are reserved by Seventh Sphere; that content cannot be reproduced without express permission of Seventh Sphere. Both the upcoming print edition of Open Legend Core Rules and the web content on are considered versions of the Open Legend Core Rules.

I want to be clear about the distinction because I want to be clear that when I say “the OL SRD” “the SRD rules” I am talking about SRD content, exclusively. We can consider the Core Rules and its content entirely out of the equation, here. (It also may be worth stating explicitly that for the sake of simplicity I am also considering all the content in the SRD part of the “rules”–i.e. “rules” in the OL SRD includes all attributes, banes, boons, feats, character builds, weapons, extraordinary items. etc. listed in the OL SRD.)

I am also assuming that when Seventh Sphere describes Open Legend as being an “Open Source RPG” with “open source rules” it is referring to the rules in the OL SRD, specifically. I assume this because the OL SRD is the only content covered by the Open Legend Community License and the OLCL is the least restrictive (and only :-)) licensing option currently provided by Seventh Sphere.

Below are some things I would expect to be able to do with a set of “open source rules”:

  • Create and distribute a version of the rules that have flavorful examples that are based on my custom etherpunk setting are interleaved throughout the ruleset.
  • Create and distribute a version of the rules where large passages of content are re-ordered or re-written to make the content more accesibile for audiences with specific abilities or learning needs.
  • Create and distribute version of the rules in which the all the attributes, flaws, and perks have different labels that I think are easier to remember.
  • Create and distribute a version of the rules with a markedly different action economy to fit with my post-apocalyptic mutated encephalopod setting, said version being a set of three chapters within the huge setting document.
  • Create and distribute a version of the rules with extensive internal hyperlinking and a robust index.
  • Create a version of the rules where all content is re-written in the style of Herman Melville.

Some of the versions above may contain 95% of the verbatim rule content (as represented by the SRD). Some may contain only 75% of the original rule content. Some may contain only 30% of the original rule content.

Clearly some of the examples above are more tongue-in-cheek than the others, but I argue these are all interesting (or potentially interesting) works that could be created from open sourced rules. None of them involve pirating, incidentally–I’m at a loss to come up with an example of how content that meets the stipulations of an open source license could be considered pirated.

That said, some–maybe even most–of the rule versions above may be so far down the derivative path as not to not be considered actual Open Legend rules anymore. The folks creating the original rules (i.e. Seventh Sphere) understandably may want to prevent these derivative versions of open source rules from being called “Open Legend Licensed” (or even “Open Legend Compatible”)–though they (Seventh Sphere) still may want and deserve attribution for providing the original set of rules.

This is a fair and prudent position to take. It’s what I gather to be a key goal of the OLCL. But it is a separate issue from whether the rules license allows derivative works of the rules. Which it apparently doesn’t–the OLCL as currently written does not allow (or clearly allow) the OL SRD to be “remixed” in the manner of any of the examples listed above. Thus, the OLCL is not an open source license.

Cards on table: I don’t think the OLCL should be an open source license. I think it should meet the Open Game License-esque goals it currently addresses. I think Seventh Sphere should take another page from the Evil Hat’s Fate RPG and provide two options for licensing. E.g., people wanting to use the OL SRD can pick one of the following:

  • The OLCL, which lets the licensor advertise their product as “Open Legend Licensed” but requires the licensor to use the SRD content verbatim.

  • A Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)license, which lets the licensor do whatever they want (as long as they attribute Seventh Sphere) but prevents the licensor from using Open Legend branding.

Or, just quit calling 'em “open source rules” and never look back! :slight_smile:

I hope that helps with some of the conceptual struggle. FWIW I’m not going to hover around and beat this dead horse into glue. The “pirate” bit struck me as uncharitable so I wanted to give a more representative view.


Yes, this is an accurate analysis of what caused my confusion.

If something is called “open source” but there are conditions beyond the definition of open source, then it causes confusion.