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Creator Expands ‘Ironsworn’s Open Content, Adding Even More Under Creative Commons

3 Minute Read
Jan 18 2023

While other publishers are developing their own Open Licenses, creator Shawn Tomkin has expanded Ironsworn’s creative commons material.

Open Licenses are in the air these last two weeks. Even games that don’t fall under the infamous “OGL” have recently made pushes to expand their “open content” making sure that anyone who wants to can play with and add to their games.

Ironsworn, the fantasy RPG of perilous quests that evolves the Powered by the Apocalypse framework to a whole new level, has done exactly that this past week. Creator Shawn Tomkin added whole swaths of new text and tables to the Ironsworn material available under the Creative Commons License.

Ironsworn Licensing Expands

We’ve talked a bit about Ironsworn and the companion sci-fi game Ironsworn: Starforged before. These bring some bold new insights to the PbtA framework while giving you everything you need to play warriors, vagabonds, and scoundrels, whether in the harsh environs of the Ironlands, or the cold reaches of space.

Both games are supported under a Creative Commons license. In a nutshell, the Creative Commons license gives creators a way to allow derivative versions of their work without giving away ownership and copyrights for that work.

Who has control and who can do what with a game has been at the heart of the recent controversy. And notably, a CC license is non-revocable. Content released through it is there even if another company comes along and wishes it wasn’t.

But Ironsworn has recently expanded as well! Prior to the expansion, you could find the following covered under a commercial or non-commercial CC license:

  • The Ironsworn System Reference Document (SRD), including the bulk of Chapter 1 (“The Basics”), Chapter 2 (“Your Character”), and Chapter 3 (“Moves”) from the Ironsworn rulebook. The SRD also includes a subset of other materials, such as some basic oracle tables and a sample NPC.

  • The entirety of the text in the Starforged Reference Guide, including moves, rules summaries, and oracles.

The recent expansion adds even more:

  • Text of all Ironsworn and Ironsworn: Starforged assets

  • Text of all Ironsworn and Ironsworn: Delve oracle tables (Starforged oracles are already included)

  • The complete text of chapter 1 (“At the Threshold”) and chapter 2 (“Into the Depths”) of Ironsworn: Delve, which covers all of the Delve moves and the explanations thereof

  • Text of all Ironsworn: Delve theme and domain cards


This means you can make even more with Ironsworn now. Including using the excellent oracle tables from Delve as well as the special dungeon delving moves contained within.

Tomkin weighed in on the proposed ORC as well:

This week we are seeing licensing-related announcements from some big names in the industry, including Paizo, Green Ronin, Kobold Press, MCDM Productions, and others. I believe this push towards more open licensing will benefit customers and creators overall, and I want to make sure I’ve placed my stake in the ground over here in the remote reaches of the Ironlands.

How many more Open Licenses do we need? As many as it takes!

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