Battlegrounds: RPG Edition has a simple licensing scheme. The software comes in three versions: a GM Client, a Player Client and a free Demo.
The GM Client is much more full-featured than the Player Client. It allows hosting of games, and the use of every feature in the program. You need this if you intend to GM a session. If you have the GM Client, you can also use it to join a game as a player, but your features will be limited to that of the Player Client for as long as you remain connected to the game.
The Player Client, on the other hand, is limited to a subset of the GM Client's features. It can connect to a game being hosted by a GM Client, but can't host games itself (except in Demo mode). The Player Client cannot be used to change the current map, deploy figures or props, send visual aids or audio clips, or access the Fog of War panel or the Unit Manager. What it can do is enable a player to participate in online or LAN-based games, and to select, move and rotate figures or objects that the GM has assigned to him or her (i.e., the player's character/s). The Player Client can also Chat and roll dice, of course, as well as consult reference materials and use the Notepad feature.
The free Demo is actually the full-featured GM Client, with the following limitations:
The Demo will timeout after 45 minutes of use, unless connected to a GM Client host that has a Floating License available (see below).
Saving and loading of Encounters is limited to no more than 12 units on a map.
Loading of Deployment files is disabled.
Exporting of media asset bundles is disabled.
If you have the GM Client, you can also add Floating Licenses to it. These are useful for GMs who have a high player turnover rate, or who want their players to try the software for free before purchasing it. Here's how it works: Each Floating License allows one player to join the game using just the free Demo. A player who logs in with the Player Client or the GM Client does not use up a Floating License. Floating Licenses may also be permanently transferred to a player (either as a gift, or the player should reimburse the GM for his expense).
If you plan on using BRPG for face-to-face gaming (e.g., with a projector or HDTV), you will need either a GM Client and a Player Client, or a GM Client, a Floating License, and the free Demo. The latter is recommended, since it provides more flexibility should you ever wish to use BRPG for online gaming.
Once you purchase any license and submit your computer's Challenge Code (see pg. 56 of the User Manual), you will be provided with an unlock code via e-mail. Entering your unlock code in BRPG's License window will convert the free Demo into the GM Client or the Player Client, depending on which type of license you purchased.
Both the GM Client and the Player Client license allow you register the program on any of the supported platforms/operating systems, but the software will thereafter only run on the specific computer it is authorized on. After authorization, if you want to switch computers or platforms, you can. You simply need to request new license activation codes (your old activation code will be disabled). The new activation codes are free. You do not need to buy a license again.
Customers who purchase a GM Client are entitled to an additional free GM Client license code (all you have to do is ask for it and send in your 2nd computer's Challenge Code). This is provided because some GMs like to prepare their games on one computer (say, a desktop PC) but actually run their game sessions from another computer (say, a laptop). However, the two GM Clients cannot be used to join each other's game sessions.
Licenses are priced as follows:
Demo (free, for evaluation purposes, or for playing games while connected to a GM Client with a Floating License available)
GM Client $39.00
Player Client $19.00
Floating License $19.00 each, or $79.00 for a 5-pack
Upgrade Player Client to GM Client $22.00
Any updates or patches to the program will be free. An update is anything that doesn't increase the version number of the application (e.g., BRPG v1.1). Updates may include bug fixes, and/or they may have some new features added. Version 1 will get periodic updates up until Version 2 is released, at which point the only updates released for v1.x will be bug fixes.
Any upgrades of the program to a newer version (e.g., BRPG v2.0) will have to be purchased, but users who have licensed a prior version will always receive substantial discounts for upgrading.
Lastly, it is possible to upgrade a Player Client to a GM Client, simply by paying the current difference in price between the license types. An Upgrade link on the Store page makes this easy to do. Note that it won't be possible to downgrade your license, even if upgrading to a new version (e.g., you can't go from a BRPG v1.0 GM Client license to a BRPG v2.0 Player Client).