4th Edition was released at the beginning of June and the new GSL license has been out now for some time. We here at Healing Fireball Publications have had a chance to examine both the core books to this new edition and the license regarding its use. So I thought it was about time to answer the question that the community has been in such a tizzy over asking there favorite companies – what are your plans for 4th Edition and what does this mean for my favorite 3.X lines?

In short the answer to this question is at present is that Healing Fireball Publications has no plans to update any of its lines to the new 4th Edition rules or to launch any new lines that focus on this new system. Of course in the case of our generic lines we will strive as always to make them compatible with as wide a range of games as possible including the new 4th Edition rules.

This rather large decision comes not as a result of lack of ideas for this new line but as a direct result of our understanding of the new GSL. As with the OGL before it, it fell to me to examine this new legal document, the GSL, and its accompanying SRD documentation to determine how the license could be used by our company and what kind of products we could make with it. After thoroughly reading both the GSL and SRD through several times and picking over several details I presented my information to the rest of the company And after much debate we decided that several legal issues with the license kept us from making the decision to make new products for the 4th Edition system. Below I have outlined our legal reasons for not moving to 4th Edition:

1. After careful review of the GSL and legal consultation we have found that this new GSL license fails to provide the security Open Game Content provided in the OGL. For a small company like ours it is a major concern that without the open game content safety net other larger companies might chose to sue us if we develop a game mechanic that is similar to theirs.

2. The limitations found in the SRD and GSL about what we can publish appear to be extremely stifling and would prevent us from releasing several of our initial ideas. Plus the lack of being able to redefine any rule that Wizards has already defined or even reprint the definition for easy quick reference would lead to products that would in our opinion cheat the purchaser as they would just receive a book of flavor text and cross-references. These restrictions have already led to much debate about whether a publisher could even publish a quick reference stat block for an NPC or monster.

3. Finally the stringent conversion close would force us to remove the already successful OGL versions of products if we wish to make new 4th Edition versions of those items or even new 4th edition products in that product line. We here at Healing Fireball Publications feel that to remove these items from our catalog would be unfair to our previous customers who are staying with 3rd edition and would then be unable to obtain replacement copies or updated versions of these books.

And so for the reasons listed above we here at Healing Fireball Publications have put any ideas we have for 4th Edition products on the back burner. We do not rule out publishing in this system in the future as since its unveiling several discussions and companies have begun talking about work-arounds for the GSL and there is always the hope that the contract will be changed to be more community-friendly. But for now we will continue publishing and supporting our existing 3.X lines and watch the community closely to see the trends.

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~August 1, 2008~

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