Ownership and License Questions
How does Pathfinder Infinite interact with the Open Game License (OGL)?
The Open Game License and Pathfinder Infinite are two distinct and separate things that allow you to use rules and other IP owned by others.
The Open Game License allows its users to publish game material based upon other content released under the same license. It is possible for you to publish material under the OGL without using any of the other licenses mentioned in this FAQ. For more information on the OGL, see the text of the license itself, available at paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility/ogl.
Under the Open Game License, you can publish material that uses existing open game content owned by other authors or companies as long as they are credited as outlined in the OGL itself. The OGL doesn’t allow you to claim compatibility with the Pathfinder rules or use the Pathfinder setting. If you are publishing RPG rules on Pathfinder Infinite, it already includes the OGL, which is part of the required license you agree to use in the Community Content Agreement.
How does Pathfinder Infinite differ from the Paizo Community Use Policy (CUP)?
Both Pathfinder Infinite and the Paizo Community Use Policy allow you to use Paizo’s IP, reference Pathfinder and other trademarks, and use some Paizo-owned art. The primary difference between them is that the CUP is strictly non-commercial, meaning you can’t sell the content created under it or restrict access to it behind a paywall.
Under the Paizo Community Use Policy, you can publish material that uses the Lost Omens setting (formerly called the Pathfinder Chronicles setting or simply the Pathfinder campaign setting) as published by Paizo and select Paizo-owned artwork for non-commercial release only. You can’t use new Lost Omens material created by other Pathfinder Infinite authors and released on PathfinderInfinite.com under the CUP. If it’s a product containing rules, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL. For more information on the Paizo Community Use Policy, see paizo.com/community/communityuse.
Alternatively, Pathfinder Infinite allows you to use the Lost Omens setting, an even larger selection of artwork, as well as content created by other Pathfinder Infinite authors. Furthermore, it allows you to sell your product on the Pathfinder Infinite marketplace at PathfinderInfinite.com. If it’s a product containing rules, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL.
How is Pathfinder Infinite different from the Pathfinder Compatibility License?
Both Pathfinder Infinite and the Pathfinder Compatibility License allow you to indicate that your game material is compatible with the Pathfinder game, but Pathfinder Infinite also lets you use the Pathfinder setting.
Under the Pathfinder Compatibility License, you can publish rules material under the OGL while also claiming compatibility with the Pathfinder rules. You may sell this content on any marketplace, but can’t use any of the Pathfinder setting or Paizo-owned artwork allowed under the CUP or Pathfinder Infinite. For more information on the Pathfinder Compatibility License, see paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility.
Under the Pathfinder Infinite program, you can publish Pathfinder material that uses the Lost Omens setting (formerly called the Pathfinder Chronicles setting or simply the Pathfinder campaign setting). If it’s a product containing rules, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL, but you can claim compatibility with either or both of the Pathfinder RPG rules sets.
Does Paizo own any unique IP that I create in my Pathfinder Infinite publications?
You retain ownership of any unique IP that you create in your publications (characters, events, locations, magic items, organizations, etc). Additionally, the Pathfinder Infinite agreement will grant Paizo and other Pathfinder Infinite (and Starfinder Infinite) authors a license to use your IP in their own works without compensation or royalty.
If your work merits incorporation into officially published material, Paizo will make a good faith effort to ensure you are properly credited for your contributions. The content guidelines for both Pathfinder and Starfinder Infinite urge other Infinite authors to do the same.
New rules you create under the terms of the OGL are Open Game Content and can be used freely by any party as allowed by the OGL. You may not declare any rules you create Product Identity, nor may you release any previously declared Product Identity as Open Game Content.
Is content on Pathfinder or Starfinder Infinite canon?
Content published on Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite is considered unofficial and non-canon. This is true even if the author is professionally associated with Paizo, either as a member of the staff or a former or current freelance author.
What do I include in the legal text within my Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite title?
Include the following text in your product where you are otherwise including copyright information:
If you are publishing content containing RPG rules (either edition of Pathfinder or Starfinder), you must include the OGL in your product with an accurate Section 15. The following language must appear on your title/credits page or alongside the OGL wherever it appears in your product:
This product is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with [[the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and/or the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (Second Edition) and/or Starfinder]].
Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Game Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper nouns (characters, deities, locations, etc., as well as all adjectives, names, titles, and descriptive terms derived from proper nouns), artworks, characters, dialogue, locations, organizations, plots, storylines, trade dress, the historical period called the Gap, the terms kishalee, sivv, skyfire, Dreamer (the official Open Game Content term for which is “dreaming barathu”), and the Drift (the official Open Game Content term for which is “hyperspace”). (Elements that have previously been designated as Open Game Content, or are exclusively derived from previous Open Game Content, or that are in the public domain are not included in this declaration.)
Open Game Content: Except for material designated as Product Identity, the game mechanics of this Pathfinder Infinite game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
All products released on Pathfinder Infinite must include the following legal declaration in a clearly visible place, preferably the title page.
[[XXProduct_Name]] © 2021, [[Your name or company name here]]. All rights reserved. Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, and the Starfinder logo are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc.; the Pathfinder P logo, Pathfinder Accessories, Pathfinder Adventure, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Adventure Card Society, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Combat Pad, Pathfinder Flip-Mat, Pathfinder Flip-Tiles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Lost Omens, Pathfinder Pawns, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Tales, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Combat Pad, Starfinder Flip-Mat, Starfinder Flip-Tiles, Starfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, and Starfinder Society [[XXList any relevant Adventure Path titles as trademarks in alphabetical order as well]]are trademarks of Paizo Inc.
This work is published under the Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite.
If I’m publishing fiction, art packs, maps, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game material, or other non-RPG content, do I need to include the OGL in my product?
No. The OGL is required if you’re publishing material for either edition of Pathfinder or Starfinder, but only if your material contains game rules.
Note, however, that some parts of the Lost Omens campaign setting or the official Starfinder campaign setting can only be referred to while using the OGL. These are typically names or terms that are the Intellectual Property of another party that Paizo only gains the right to use through the OGL. The following examples are not an exhaustive list but should give some insight into potential pitfalls of making non-OGL content in OGL settings:
- Many creature names are Open Game Content. If it’s not from mythology, it likely needs to be referred to in non-specific terms or Pathfinder/Starfinder-specific terms (ie. “land shark” instead of “bulette,” “wrath demon” instead of “vrock,” and “velstrac” instead of “kyton”)
- It’s safest to describe what a spell or magic item does rather than use its in-game name, and if you must refer to a spell—and especially a magic item—by name, beware of terms that appear exclusively in OGL sources (Holy Avenger, magic missile, and a monk’s “wholeness of body” ability, for example)
- Specific demigods, such as the demon lord Orcus, were inherited from other games via the OGL and can only be used in products that also contain the OGL.
- Planar languages like Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Infernal should be referred to in more general terms like “the language of devils” or by their associated plane.
Ultimately, it is the publisher’s responsibility to ensure that Open Game Content isn’t used in products not released under the Open Game License. When in doubt, publishers are encouraged to err on the side of caution.
Is there anything from the Lost Omens campaign setting or the Starfinder setting I can’t use in my Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite content?
Yes. On a few occasions, Paizo has published material under specific agreements with third parties who have allowed its use in isolated cases. Since this content is not Paizo’s IP, it isn’t something the Pathfinder Infinite program can grant you access to. In each case, this material was declared Product Identity and is thus also unavailable under the OGL. As of this FAQ’s publishing, the following material is not allowed in Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite products:
- Abhoth (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
- Atlach-Nacha (Pathfinder Adventure Path #112: The Whisper Out of Time)
- Byakhee (Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror)
- Chaugnar Faugn (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
- Coeurl (Pathfinder Adventure Path #9: Endless Darkness)
- Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
- Deep Crow (Pathfinder Adventure Path #9: Endless Darkness)
- Dimensional Shambler (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
- Formless Spawn (Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
- Gnoph-Keh (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
- Hunting Horror (Pathfinder Adventure Path #113: What Grows Within)
- Ib Shade(Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
- Ithaqua (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
- Mordiggian (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
- Star Vampire (Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror)
- Tsathoggua (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
- Wamp (Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
- Characters, locations, and events introduced in the Knights of Everflame livestream
If I use content from other Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite authors, do I need to credit them?
When re-using a larger element that you have taken from another Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite author’s work (such as a new character, location, monster, or event), include a reference to the original work by linking to the product page on PathfinderInfinite.com or StarfinderInfininte.com within your PDF. For example, if you are using a new character known as the Wobble Goblin that you found in another author’s work, you might reference that inside your own work where you describe or provide stats for the Wobble Goblin the first time, using an internal citation such as, "(Wobble Goblin from The Wobbliest Goblin by Merisiel Silvari)."
We recommend you include a list of such references on your title page for readers’ ease of use.
Additionally, if you’re using rules released by another Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite author under the OGL, you must cite their work in Section 15 of the OGL in your publication in addition to the courtesy attribution suggested above.
If I write a short story, can that be reprinted in an anthology later, without my permission or without any financial re-numeration for my work?
A: Not by other members of the Infinite community, as compiling others’ work is not considered adapting or building on it. If Paizo were to release an official collection of Pathfinder or Starfinder Infinite fiction, we would make every effort to purchase the story from you outright, just as if we had commissioned its writing in the first place.
Article is closed for comments.