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Author Topic: An Open Letter from Seraphim Guard  (Read 6401 times)
Michael Hopcroft

Posts: 511

« on: September 15, 2003, 09:09:30 AM »

As many of you may know, Wizards of the Coast has instituted some changes in the D20 System Trademark license, the document that determines which documents can and cannot use the D20 System logo and promote themselves as D20 products. The license has become much more restrictive in terms of content.  More inmportantly, it gives Wizards of the Coast the right to review D20 products after publication and remove the right to use the trademark if they deem anything at all in the book improper. The ban would apply to all products of the violating company.

We are a highly ethical publisher and we will never willingly publish the sort of obscene or ultra-violent material the new license is intended to discourage. Nonetheless, we are disturbed by this development for two reasons. One is that the objectionable content listings are so broad that they could mean anything of which Wizards of the Coast, or more specifically their parent company Hasbro, might disapprove. In going over our upcoming HeartQuest 2nd Edition book, we found material that could, under a very loose definition of the license terms, be considered objectionable.  This material, while only a small portion of the manuscript, is vital in simulating the genre that HeartQuest represents.  We were very uncomfortable with the idea of removing this material.

In addition the D20 STL license, unlike the Open Gaming License, used by gold Rush Games and others prohibits the use of any sort of character creation mechanics in products bearing the D20 logo. We find this provision entirely too restrictive creatively, especially as we produce dual-system books that require us to provide character creation material in the non-D20 sections.

Finally, since these new provisions were added without priori notice, there is no way of predicting that Wizards of the Coast or Hasbro might not add new, even more restrictive provisions at a later date that could be applied retroactively.

After much soul searching and research into the situation, Seraphim guard has determined that we cannot abide by the s\terms of the D20 STL and still produce the quality of games our customers have come to expect. Therefore, after much consideration we have decided to drop the D20 logo from our upcoming products and abide instead by the less restrictive Open Gaming License.

We will be removing the D20 logo from our promotional material as soon as possible and are seeking a replacement OGL logo. We hope our customers will understand our reasoning behind this decision and will continue to retain interest in our products. It was a very difficult decision to make and we did not undertake it lightly.

Michael Hopcroft
Proprietor, Seraphim Guard
September 15, 2003

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