Skull and Shackles – Why Community and Open Licensing Are So Important

Paizo Publishing has started in on their next adventure path, the pirate-themed “Skull & Shackles.” They are supporting it well, with six books of adventure and rules material, the Isles of the Shackles campaign setting book, a Player’s Guide, and the Pirates of the Inner Sea player’s book.

But where it really begins to shine is the support that their rich ecosystem provides – third party publishers and fans, empowered by the OGL specifically and Paizo’s pro-community policies in general.

So from third party publishers, you can get paper minis for the AP from Pathfinder Paper Minis, which has done them for a number of APs. Or expanded ships and ship rules from LPJ which expand on the rules in the Player’s Guide. Hero Lab has the rules content from S&S going into their tool.

But that pales compared to the community support.  Just on the Paizo forums, we have people statting up all the NPCs in Hero Lab. And putting together tools to help track all the pirate jobs and NPC attitudes, and generally helpful things like calculating how far away you can see a ship or creating ambient noise files tuned to the AP.

And that’s why open licensing and promoting instead of shutting down fan sites is good business, and why Paizo is beating the pants off WotC right now.

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