Ownership and License Questions

Pathfinder & Starfinder Infinite Q&A with Mark and Meredith!

What is the Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite?

The Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite is the EULA you enter into with Roll20 Inc that allows you to publish material on Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite. You can find the full text of this license here, or whenever you upload a new product to the marketplace. Because “Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite” is a rather long name for the license, this FAQ may refer to it as the “Infinite License” for the sake of brevity.

The Infinite License is what grants you the right to use Paizo’s Intellectual Property (IP) and that of other Infinite publishers. While this FAQ gives a lot of specifics about what you can and can’t do in the program, it’s really the Infinite License that’s doing the legal heavy lifting.

How does Pathfinder Infinite interact with the Open RPG Creative License (ORC)?

The Open RPG Creative License and Pathfinder Infinite are two distinct and separate things that allow you to use rules and IP owned by others.

The ORC allows publishers to use material designated as Licensed Material in ORC-licensed publications in their own ORC publications. This is restricted to only Licensed Material, which is nearly always copyrighted expressions of game mechanics. While Paizo now releases game rules under the ORC, the Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite already grants you the right to use this same content and more. As such, you do not need to cite the ORC when using any Paizo-owned material that was otherwise released under the ORC.

This means that you can already use anything Paizo owns under the terms of the Infinite License, including game rules. Thus, you don’t need the ORC in order to be able to publish derivative material on Pathfinder Infinite.

In fact, as of the publication of this FAQ, you are expressly prohibited from releasing any content in your Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite product as Licensed Material under the ORC.

This ensures that what you release on Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite remains within this closed ecosystem, as required by the Infinite License. It also ensures that you or another Infinite publisher don’t inadvertently release something you or Paizo don’t own, that wasn’t previously ORC-Licensed Material (like OGL-based Open Game Content) under the ORC license. Doing so would put you in violation of the OGL, which doesn’t allow Open Game Content to be released under a secondary license.

This also means that you can’t use any ORC Licensed Material that didn’t originate in a Paizo publication, as the Infinite License doesn’t grant you the rights to that material, and you can’t comply with the ORC by passing that open content through to downstream users.

How does Pathfinder Infinite interact with the Open Game License (OGL)?

The Open Game License and Pathfinder Infinite are two distinct and separate things that allow you to use rules and other IP owned by others.

The Open Game License allows its users to publish game material based upon other content released under the same license. It is possible for you to publish material under the OGL without using any of the other licenses mentioned in this FAQ. For more information on the OGL, see the text of the license itself, available at paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility/ogl.

Under the Open Game License, you can publish material that uses existing Open Game Content owned by other authors or companies as long as they are credited as outlined in the OGL itself. The OGL doesn’t allow you to claim compatibility with the Pathfinder rules or use the Pathfinder setting. If you are publishing RPG rules on Pathfinder Infinite that include any content not owned by you or Paizo, you must include the full text of the OGL in your publication, along with the prescribed Product Identity declaration in section 8g of the Infinite License, or below.

The Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite does not give you permission to release as Open Game Content any content that is not already Open Game Content or not wholly owned by you. If your product includes anything you didn’t create from a non-OGL source, that content must be declared as Product Identity in your product.

If your product does not contain any Open Game Content, you may not release any content therein as Open Game Content under the OGL.

How does Pathfinder Infinite differ from the Paizo Community Use Policy (CUP)?

Both Pathfinder Infinite and the Paizo Community Use Policy allow you to use Paizo’s IP, reference Pathfinder and other trademarks, and use some Paizo-owned art. The primary difference between them is that the CUP is strictly non-commercial, meaning you can’t sell the content created under it or restrict access to it behind a paywall.

Under the Paizo Community Use Policy, you can publish material that uses the Lost Omens setting (formerly called the Pathfinder Chronicles setting or simply the Pathfinder campaign setting) as published by Paizo and select Paizo-owned artwork for non-commercial release only. You can’t use new Lost Omens material created by other Pathfinder Infinite authors and released on PathfinderInfinite.com under the CUP. If it’s a product containing rules, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL. For more information on the Paizo Community Use Policy, see paizo.com/community/communityuse.

Alternatively, Pathfinder Infinite allows you to use the Lost Omens setting and an even larger selection of artwork, as well as content created by other Pathfinder Infinite authors. Furthermore, it allows you to sell your product on the Pathfinder Infinite marketplace at PathfinderInfinite.com. If it’s a product containing Open Game Content, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL.

How is Pathfinder Infinite different from the Pathfinder Compatibility License?

Both Pathfinder Infinite and the Pathfinder Compatibility License allow you to indicate that your game material is compatible with the Pathfinder game, but Pathfinder Infinite also lets you use the Pathfinder setting.

Under the Pathfinder Compatibility License, you can publish rules material under the OGL (or ORC) while also claiming compatibility with the Pathfinder rules. You may sell this content on any marketplace, but can’t use any of the Pathfinder setting or Paizo-owned artwork allowed under the CUP or Pathfinder Infinite. For more information on the Pathfinder Compatibility License, see paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility.

Under the Pathfinder Infinite program, you can publish Pathfinder material that uses the Lost Omens setting (formerly called the Pathfinder Chronicles setting or simply the Pathfinder campaign setting). If it’s a product containing Open Game Content, you must still adhere to the terms of the OGL, but you can claim compatibility with either or both of the Pathfinder RPG rules sets.

Does Paizo own any unique IP that I create in my Pathfinder Infinite publications?

You retain ownership of any unique IP that you create in your publications (characters, events, locations, magic items, organizations, etc). Additionally, the Infinite License grants Paizo and other Pathfinder Infinite (and Starfinder Infinite) authors a license to use your IP in their own works without compensation or royalty.

If your work merits incorporation into officially published material, Paizo will make a good faith effort to ensure you are properly credited for your contributions. The content guidelines for both Pathfinder and Starfinder Infinite urge other Infinite authors to do the same.

New rules you create under the terms of the OGL are Open Game Content and can be used freely by any party as allowed by the OGL. If your product does not contain any Open Game Content, you may not release any content therein as Open Game Content under the OGL.

Is content on Pathfinder or Starfinder Infinite canon?

Content published on Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite is considered unofficial and non-canon. This is true even if the author is professionally associated with Paizo, either as a member of the staff or a former or current freelance author.

What do I include in the legal text within my Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite title?

Include the following text in your product where you are otherwise including copyright information:

If you are publishing content containing Open Game Content (from the first edition of either Pathfinder or Starfinder or pre-remaster Pathfinder Second Edition content), you must include the OGL in your product with an accurate Section 15. The following language must appear on your title/credits page or alongside the OGL wherever it appears in your product:

This product is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with [[the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and/or the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (Second Edition) and/or Starfinder]].

Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Game Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper nouns (characters, deities, locations, etc., as well as all adjectives, names, titles, and descriptive terms derived from proper nouns), artworks, characters, dialogue, locations, organizations, plots, storylines, trade dress, the historical period called the Gap, the terms kishalee, sivv, skyfire, Dreamer (the official Open Game Content term for which is “dreaming barathu”), and the Drift (the official Open Game Content term for which is “hyperspace”). (Elements that have previously been designated as Open Game Content, or are exclusively derived from previous Open Game Content, or that are in the public domain are not included in this declaration.)

Open Game Content: Except for material designated as Product Identity, the game mechanics of this Pathfinder Infinite game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.


All products released on Pathfinder Infinite must include the following legal declaration in a clearly visible place, preferably the title page:

[[XXProduct_Name]] © [[XXYear]], [[Your name or company name here]]. All rights reserved. Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, and the Starfinder logo are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc.; the Pathfinder P logo, Pathfinder Accessories, Pathfinder Adventure, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Adventure Card Society, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Combat Pad, Pathfinder Flip-Mat, Pathfinder Flip-Tiles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Lost Omens, Pathfinder Pawns, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Tales, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Combat Pad, Starfinder Flip-Mat, Starfinder Flip-Tiles, Starfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, and Starfinder Society [[XXList any relevant Adventure Path titles as trademarks in alphabetical order as well]]are trademarks of Paizo Inc.

This work is published under the Community Content Agreement for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite.

If I’m publishing fiction, art packs, maps, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game material, or other non-RPG content, do I need to include the OGL in my product?

No. The OGL is required only if you’re publishing material that contains RPG game rules or non-rules derivatives of Open Game Content. Some non-rules-based products may still refer to terms or concepts that are the Intellectual Property of another publisher, so familiarize yourself with the examples provided under “How Do I Know If My Product Contains Open Game Content?” below, and avoid such content in your non-OGL works.

Ultimately, it is the publisher’s responsibility to ensure that Open Game Content isn’t used in products not released under the Open Game License. When in doubt, publishers are encouraged to err on the side of caution. One method of determining if something is Open Game Content or not is to see if it is referred to, and if so, how, in a non-OGL product such as Pathfinder Player Core, Pathfinder GM Core, or a work of Pathfinder Tales fiction. While this will not reveal Open Game Content that was omitted from these works for space or other considerations, if something like a language or creature name has been changed in a non-OGL source, that should indicate that the original term was available only via the OGL.

Is there anything from the Lost Omens campaign setting or the Starfinder setting I can’t use in my Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite content?

Yes. On a few occasions, Paizo has published material under specific agreements with third parties who have allowed its use in isolated cases. Since this content is not Paizo’s IP, it isn’t something the Pathfinder Infinite program can grant you access to. In each case, this material was declared Product Identity and is thus also unavailable under the OGL. As of this FAQ’s publishing, the following material is not allowed in Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite products:

  • Abhoth (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
  • Atlach-Nacha (Pathfinder Adventure Path #112: The Whisper Out of Time)
  • Byakhee (Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror)
  • Chaugnar Faugn (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
  • Coeurl (Pathfinder Adventure Path #9: Endless Darkness)
  • Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
  • Deep Crow (Pathfinder Adventure Path #9: Endless Darkness)
  • Dimensional Shambler (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
  • Formless Spawn (Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
  • Gnoph-Keh (Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher)
  • Hunting Horror (Pathfinder Adventure Path #113: What Grows Within)
  • Ib Shade(Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
  • Ithaqua (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
  • Mordiggian (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
  • Star Vampire (Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror)
  • Tsathoggua (Pathfinder Adventure Path #109: In Search of Sanity)
  • Wamp (Pathfinder Adventure Path #111: Dreams of the Yellow King)
  • Characters, locations, and events introduced in the Knights of Everflame livestream
  • Any content of the Pathfinder-branded tie-ins for either Vampire Hunter D or Niobe.

If I use content from other Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite authors, do I need to credit them?

When re-using a larger element that you have taken from another Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite author’s work (such as a new character, location, monster, or event), include a reference to the original work by linking to the product page on PathfinderInfinite.com or StarfinderInfininte.com within your PDF. For example, if you are using a new character known as the Wobble Goblin that you found in another author’s work, you might reference that inside your own work where you describe or provide stats for the Wobble Goblin the first time, using an internal citation such as, "(Wobble Goblin from The Wobbliest Goblin by Merisiel Silvari)."

We recommend you include a list of such references on your title page for readers’ ease of use.

Additionally, if you’re using rules released by another Pathfinder Infinite or Starfinder Infinite author under the OGL, you must cite their work in Section 15 of the OGL in your publication in addition to the courtesy attribution suggested above.

If I write a short story, can that be reprinted in an anthology later, without my permission or without any financial remuneration for my work?

Not by other members of the Infinite community, as compiling others’ work is not considered adapting or building on it. If Paizo were to release an official collection of Pathfinder or Starfinder Infinite fiction, we would make every effort to purchase the story from you outright, just as if we had commissioned its writing in the first place.

How Do I Know If My Product Contains Open Game Content?

Many of the above clarifications provide different answers based on whether or not your product contains “Open Game Content.” This is a legal distinction of the OGL that allows others to use copyrighted material. It can be hard to know what is and isn’t Open Game Content, so we’ll do our best to provide some pointers.

These represent where Paizo and Paizo’s counsel have determined the line defining Open Game Content falls, and may not be the same assessment as other parties. In general, if Paizo has determined something is Open Game Content and has opted to rename, reflavor, or excise it completely in non-OGL publications, members of the Pathfinder Infinite community are expected to do the same.

At the end of the day, however, it is each publisher’s responsibility to identify such content in their own products. If you have questions about the copyright status of any content you are publishing, consult an attorney who can address the specifics of your situation.

  • All rules and many non-rules elements of Pathfinder First Edition and Starfinder are Open Game Content simply by nature of being derivative of other Open Game Content.
    • Most Pathfinder Second Edition material represents new rules expressions that do not derive from Open Game Content. Discretion must be employed when using anything from an OGL Pathfinder Second Edition source, however, because in some cases, a rules element has a name or identifying flavor that does derive from Open Game Content, even if the rules expression itself is otherwise owned by Paizo.
  • Many creature names are Open Game Content. If it’s not from mythology or was not an original Pathfinder or Starfinder creation, it likely needs to be referred to in Pathfinder/Starfinder-specific terms (ie. “kholo” instead of “gnoll,”) or replaced with a non-OGL creature with the same ecological niche (ie. “sargassum heap” serving as a plant refuse monster instead of “shambler.”)
  • In some cases, more than a creature’s name could be considered Open Game Content. If the specifics of a creature’s abilities, appearance, ecology, or society are so closely tied to another publisher’s IP that they would be identifiable as such even under a different name, they are most likely Open Game Content.
    • For example, matriarchal demon-worshiping subterranean dark-skinned elves are likely Open Game Content even if you call them something other than “drow.”
    • Similarly, while a “red dragon” can simply be a dragon that’s red, when it’s a chaotic evil dragon that breathes fire and is one of five types of chromatic dragons (specifically black, blue, green, red, and white) that are all evil, with a different energy-based breath weapon and home environment, it’s likely too close to specific rules expressions owned by another company to not count as Open Game Content.
    • The concept of a person with fiendish blood is not copyrightable, but the term “tiefling” is. In this case, “tiefling” is Open Game Content, while “nephilim,” “cambion,” or “hellspawn” is not.
  • The names of spells, class abilities, feats, and magic items that are more than just a basic description of their function are likely Open Game Content.
    • Fireball is merely a description of a ball of fire, and isn’t Open Game Content in and of itself. The specific rules expression for the spell, however, if taken or adapted from the 3.5 SRD, is Open Game Content.
    • Holy Avenger is more than just a holy sword, but rather a specifically named blade with iconic abilities. This is Open Game Content, and a blade with similar holy properties would need to be unique and have a different name entirely.
    • A monk’s “wholeness of body” class ability, even if described using original language, is Open Game Content by nature of having a unique name and concept.
  • Specific demigods, such as the demon lords Orcus or Kostchtchie, were inherited from other games via the OGL and can only be used in products that also contain the OGL.
  • The names of many planes in the Great Beyond are Open Game Content, including the Abyss, the Positive and Negative Energy Planes, and the Material Plane. Paizo has updated these planes to allow for their use beyond the confines of the OGL.
  • Planar languages like Aquan, Auran, or Ignan are made-up words that first appeared in other games, or like Celestial and Infernal are adjectives turned into proper nouns through specific context and use. In either case these are Open Game Content.
  • The eight spell schools (abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, transmutation). While these include general descriptive terms, when used in this specific set, with associated game rules associated with them, are Open Game Content.
  • Alignment expressed as a nine-point array of ethics and morality, along the axes of good-evil and law-chaos. This system originated in another game and was made available via the OGL, and is thus Open Game Content.
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