“Cities without Number” stretch goal to include licensing

Yet More and Varied Reactions to OGL Antics

Kevin Crawford posted the following on the “Cities Without Number” Draft Stretch Goals Reddit thread:

Upon reaching $200,000 I will place the mechanics of Cities Without Number under some form of open license, whether Creative Commons, the upcoming Open RPG Creative License (ORC 📖), or some other agreement that allows its free commercial use by others.

It has always been my position that such licensing is not needed for others to copy my mechanics or advertise their commercial works as being compatible with my games. So long as someone’s work does not use my specific game settings, characters, and organizations, and does not represent itself as an “official” Sine Nomine game supplement, I have neither the right nor the desire to stop them from replicating the mechanics. Having come up as I have, it would be shameful of me to try to haul the ladder up on other indie publishers. I wish them all as much profit from their work as I’ve had from mine.

Yet it is understandable that some publishers would prefer something in writing about such things, in case I grow strange and wizardly here on the Lake Michigan coast and forget the plain meaning of my words. If this campaign makes it to $200,000, it will be a sign that people care enough for me to take the extra time and labor to work through the legalities of the matter and present the public with a formal license codifying my stance.

For years, Kevin has been very clear in reiterating that you can use the “Systems without Numbers” mechanics. However he’s in tune with the Wizards of the Coast (WotC 📖) antics.

This stretch goal is quite achievable; his “Worlds Without Number” Kickstarter drew in over $200,000 United States dollar (USD 📖)’s.

“Systems without Number” comes with:

  • A “clean” provenance
  • Compatibility with Dungeons and Dragons: Basic/Expert (B/X 📖)
  • A Traveller character creation
  • A degree of character configuration that echoes Dungeons and Dragons: Fifth Edition (5E 📖) and Dungeons and Dragons: Third Edition (3E 📖)
  • Top-notch Referee/Game Facilitator tools

All of these create a perfect storm of a game system in the days of “strange and wizardly” licensing antics.

I loved running Stars without Number: Revised Edition (SWN 📖) and preparing a campaign for Worlds without Number (WWN 📖); which is something I cannot say regarding 5E. I find 5E to be utter trash at supporting the Dungeon Master (DM 📖), demonstrating a disdain negligence for the role.

If you want to play a sci-fantasy game that mixes Psionics and Magic, I’d use WWN and mix-in the SWN Psychic character class; see Let's Read “Stars without Number” - Psionics for more my read through.

That mix of Pisonics and Magic are prevalent in Eberron 📖 and Dark Sun 📖. And if you’re looking to retain a beloved campaign but not use the now poisoned well of 5E the aforementioned systems are fantastic. And so is Whitehack (WH 📖). I’m not overly interested in Cyberpunk, but I’m certain I’ll find very useful bits in Cities without Number. And hopeful a system that is part of a safe harbour license strategy. My main wish is that this license includes an analogue to the Revisiting Section 15 Copyright Notice of the Open Game License.