Monday, August 1, 2016

What Are The Rules For Writing About Pathfinder?

So, as folks have pointed out, I write a lot about Pathfinder. And, while I try to make sure that as much of my content is system-neutral as possible, sometimes I have to get system-specific. Because, after all, Crunch topics that work in Pathfinder won't work in other systems. Aside from the fact that Pathfinder is one of the games I play most regularly, and one of the more popular systems out there, it also has an open game license. Not only that, but Paizo has put forth a list of rules regarding who can use their game content, and under what circumstances.

Those rules, if you're curious, are the Paizo Inc. Community Use Policy.

Take a minute and read it through, if you're curious.
If you've considered becoming a blogger, or you'd like to include Pathfinder content in your YouTube videos, podcasts, or even your own adventure paths and campaign modules, all you have to do is read through these use rules, and see if anything you want to do violates the community use policy or open game license.

For example, if you are going to charge people for access to your product (membership fee on a website, purchase price for a mod, etc.), then you cannot use any of Paizo's intellectual property in it. That means you can use Pathfinder's rule system, but you cannot take the gods, the countries, the history, etc. All of those things are off-limits if you're charging for them.

So where does that leave someone like me, or Simon Peter Munoz, the man behind the Creative Repository Blog? Well, we fall into a much safer place than people who are publishing and selling RPG content. Because our blogs are free to anyone who wants to read them, we don't have to worry as much. That's why you'll see articles specifically about world lore, suggesting particular nations for particular concepts, and talking about adventure paths and modules here in Improved Initiative.

The Rules Can Change

It's important to remember that the rules can, and will, change. So, if you're ever in doubt, it's a good idea to check the community use policy to be certain that you're still in compliance with it. Also, remember, that neither I, nor Improved Initiative, are endorsed by Paizo. I am just a guy with a blog, who talks about gaming. If you want to get a certain answer on whether your idea is going to be okay, legally speaking, all you have to do is email Paizo, and ask.

Seriously, it's that simple.

As always, thanks for checking out this week's Moon Pope Monday update. Also, as I said, this blog is free to everyone. So, if you'd like to leave me a tip to help me keep producing the content you want, why not go to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page, and become a patron? As little as $1 a month makes a big difference, and it's enough to net you some sweet swag, too! Lastly, if you haven't done so yet, why not follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, too?


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  2. Keep in mind fair use. They can't block you from using any of their released material for criticism, news reporting, teaching, research, and other such uses.