Sunday, May 26, 2024

Free League Reveals New Details On Licenses For Year Zero Engine & ‘Dragonbane’

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Free League Publishing today presented two new open game licenses for community creators – a Free Tabletop License (FTL) for the Year Zero Engine and a third-party license for the upcoming Dragonbane fantasy RPG. The Year Zero Engine FTL comes with a massively updated Standard Reference Document (SRD). Free League now invites feedback on all three documents, before they are finalized and officially launched.

The work on these new community content licenses was initiated last year, but was intensified during the debates last month around Wizards of the Coasts’ OGL v1.0, on which the previous Year Zero Engine (YZE) license was based. The two new licenses are completely independent, developed by Free League and the US law firm Nolan Heimann.

Year Zero Engine Publisher Free League logo

The new Year Zero Engine FTL is designed to be fair and easy to understand and use for creators. It gives creators an irrevocable, worldwide, and royalty-free right to use the Year Zero Engine Standard Reference Document (YZE SRD) and freely publish their own roleplaying material based on it. A draft of the YZE FTL can be found here.

Alongside the new YZE FTL, the YZE SRD itself has been given a massive overhaul and update, based on the developments of the Year Zero Engine in recent years. The new SRD adds rules for chases, vehicles, travel, and magic, and introduces the new “step dice” version of YZE found in Twilight: 2000 and the Blade Runner RPG. The new YZE SRD v0.9 draft can be acccessed here.

Free League invites the community to feedback on both the Year Zero Engine FTL and the SRD on its forums. They will both be finalized and officially launched in a few weeks.

The Year Zero Engine (YZE) in various iterations has been used in most Free League RPGs in recent years, including Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN, Vaesen, Blade Runner RPG, and the upcoming The Walking Dead Universe RPG. The YZE is an accessible, fast and adaptable rules framework that encourages story-focused and player-driven playstyles.

Beside the YZE FTL, Free League has also presented a third-party license for the upcoming Dragonbane RPG, which was successfully Kickstarted last year (more info below). This license allows creators to freely publish RPG supplements explicitly compatible with Dragonbane, and to place the A Module for Dragonbane logo (above and here, Swedish version here) on the front cover.

Free League Dragonbane license logo


A draft of the Dragonbane third-party license can be found here. Once finalized, it will also be translated for use in other languages – primarily Swedish, as Dragonbane is a translation of Free League’s new edition of Scandinavia’s first and biggest tabletop RPG Drakar och Demoner. Free League invites the community to feedback on the Dragonbane third-party license on its forums.

The Dragonbane license is intended for third-party supplements for the game, not new standalone games, and thus does not have an SRD. This license is similar to the Free League Workshop community content program on DrivethruRPG, but allows creators to freely choose where to share or sell Dragonbane modules and without paying any royalties to anyone.

Images via Free League Publishing

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