Free League Officially Releases Year Zero Tabletop Game Engine
They said they’d do it, and they did. Tabletop game publisher Free League has now released the game engine that powers most of their products for anyone to freely use. Named after Mutant: Year Zero, it doesn’t just drive that game but all of Free League’s most popular titles: Coriolis, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN, Vaesen, Blade Runner RPG and others. The upcoming The Walking Dead Universe RPG will also use the Year Zero engine.
Free League says plans for the release of the engine were formed in 2022 and they would have done this anyway, but the recent brouhaha with D&D and its owners Wizards of the Coast made it a bit more appropriate than it would have been. Plans to alter the OGL (open Gaming License) for D&D to give Wizards more control over it were made public earlier this year, and faced a gigantic backlash that forced Wizards to abandon those plans. Third-party publishers observing all this decided they needed a more open gaming license that no one entity could claim as their own.
“The new Year Zero Engine FTL is designed to be fair and easy to understand and use for community creators.” says Free League. “It gives all 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.” The aforementioned document can be read here.
In fact Free League has just released two licenses: Year Zero and a third-party license for their upcoming fantasy RPG Dragonbane. The latter license allows creators to freely publish RPG supplements explicitly compatible with Dragonbane, as long as they place a Dragonbane logo somewhere on the front cover. Dragonbane will be released this fall.
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