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About steamcraft

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    Owner of Perilous Journeys Publishing a publisher of RPGs.
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  1. Well because when you start getting into settings and non-fantasy genres, things play differently. There are other percentile games. So is it just the percentile you like or is there something specific about this family of percentile games?
  2. There is BRP, OpenQuest, Legend, etc. All of these seem to have almost the exact same rules (but maybe I am missing something.) In any case, when it comes to these games, what do you like the most about them? What do you dislike about them? Given that you could use BRP for non-fantasy games, I am pretty much just interested in the fantasy genre at the moment. I am thinking more in terms of the rules and play rather than the settings that may go along with these rules.
  3. I am not a lawyer, I am a publisher so I would say that whatever gamer lawyer you are talking about doesn't know copyright. The US Copyright office is clear that you cannot copyright instructions: https://web.archive.org/web/20181118195041/https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf And https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ33.pdf According to the office, " Copyright law expressly excludes copyright protection for 'any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied.'" The procedure, process, system, method of operation are just ways of saying instructions. This is why recipes cannot be copyrighted and other forms of instructions cannot be copyrighted. Has there been a final ruling at the highest levels dealing specific with table top games? Nope. I do know that there is a huge issue dealing with coding. Code is instructions? What parts of code can be copyrighted? Companies are using patents instead of copyrights. If you are looking to make money in law and IP, then I highly recommend getting into the issue of what is legally protected in coding. Billion dollar companies suing each other and fighting trolls seems to be a good market to be in. But again, if anyone is worried and there is an OGL of some sort, then I suppose you can use it to give you some piece of mind.
  4. I took a look at the link. Thankfully enough, the preview was character creation. Based on that, it does not look like that mechanics I am after. It says to assign points to attributes. Then you get 3 times that many points to allocate to skills underneath that attribute. It is an interesting mechanic, but not exactly how I described.
  5. Thanks for the replies. It was none of those. I was likely just mixing up Eclipse Phase with other games. However, my main reason for finding the game was research. So I at least have a few games to go look at that I have not looked at before.
  6. You can do a search for it. You shouldn't have to, but I believe here it is: https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/208596786-Monte-Cook-Cypher-System-Creator
  7. It really depends on how you publish it and what references you use. In the United States, instructions cannot be copyrighted. Only the means of expression are copyrighted. Therefore, the rules for any system are not subject to copyright, but the text used to explain the rules is. (Notice how many of the games use the 3d6 and the same stats that are percentile based.) Trademark is different. Trademark, in theory, was intended to protect the consumer. However, thanks to Edgar Rice Burroughs, it has become a tool for companies to control intellectual property. Fundamentally what that means is that name Basic Role Playing is trademarked. You cannot use that without permission. That same would apply to any of the other systems. The key issue would be is if you want to use the text from any of these games or if you want to say it is compatible with a certain trademarked property. In theory, could could say that something is compatible for Basic Roleplaying and not violate the trademark as long as you are clear that Basic Roleplaying is owned by someone else and you are not affiliated with them. But, as I said, trademark has become a tool of companies, and not consumer protection anymore. You can say it is for use with percentile based system. As long as you are not copying text from another book or telling players to go refer to something is some other book, then you are clear to publish a setting. People can then use BRP, OpenQuest, or whatever they want for the mechanics. With that said, if you are worried, then get a license. It should not be a concern, but since T$R suing over things that were clearly not protected, people in the gaming community have been extremely concerned about lawsuits. Lawsuits, however, do cost money and those suits were a significant contribution to TSR's bankruptcy . . .
  8. If it helps, it was not 3d6 for attributes. It was a point allocation. I recall some of the base values being ~20 or greater.
  9. Thanks for the replies. It does need to be the actual attribute value. I read the game around 2011-2012, so not EP 2E. It might be Transhuman I suppose. That was 2013 which seems a little late. I don't have it saved in my usual PDF folder either. I was reading many percentile games. It is possible that in remembering, I am just mixing a few things together.
  10. I am trying to find and RPG that is percentile. I have not had luck finding it, so I thought maybe someone on the d100 games forums might know. You assign attributes. Each skill is correlated to some attribute. The attribute rating is the base chance in a skill. You can then add points to skills resulting in your overall chance of success. For example, you might have Dexterity at 15, so everything with DEX is at least 15. Then, you have 20 in Gunnery, giving you a 35% skill in Gunnery. While I am thinking of uses the entire attribute rating as the base, not a certain percent of the attribute rating. At first, I thought it was WH:40K, but that is not it. Eclipse Phase does have this mechanic. However, character creation is very long with a lot of points to spend. While it may be Eclipse Phase I am thinking of, I feel that what I had in mind. So, is there another RPG with the mechanic or just EP? Thanks
  11. The Blade Runner movie was from the 1982. Gibson was actually worried about that when it came out because he thought people would think he was copying that world's look. However, the look is because of the director. The film is very different than the short story it is based on. The concepts in the Matrix may have existed before, but not in cyberpunk form. I don't consider Judge Dredd to be cyberpunk. This isn't to say that people are not influenced by other people. Often people are pulling together concepts from different areas and then merging them together. It then becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. Further, people look for a definitive example of something to serve as the model. Gibson's work did that, and then others followed. It is possible that one of those other writers would have put out a book even without Gibson. In fact, the lack of having something definitive to point to can create problems. IBM forecast that steampunk would be a 20+ year trend. While I can see elements of steampunk design in many different media, there is really nothing that screams steampunk. Steampunk, to an extent, it on its way out. It was at its peak and now has retreated. It likely will not be coming back. The reason it did not take off as much as IBM had forcasted is because other than a general aesthetic, there is nothing definitive to crystallize and serve as a defining media. There is no TV show or move that has come out in the past few years to point to. While there is steampunk 'music' the only steampunk thing about it is their look - and not even all of them. Book publishers have used the term steampunk to refer to a wide variety of different books, making it difficult to define by example. So steampunk has a slap a gear on it and call it streampunk definition. That wasn't enough.
  12. There are various reasons for this. One thing Chaosium could do is make an OGL. A publisher now has the choice of asking permission (which may or may not involve paying them money) or making their own. Percentile is easy enough that BRP fans would be able to pick up and play another percentile system. BRP (not the games based on it) doesn't seem to have as much of a fan base as FATE or Savage Worlds, so using the BRP name doesn't appear to be much of an advantage. Or at least it is not an advantage worth not creating your own percentile system over. Finally, there are OGL percentile systems out there to use. I am not saying an OGL is the direction they should go. I am just saying that if you do not want so many custom percentile games out there, then this is the minimum that is required. They could go Savage Worlds method of having OGL for fan stuff, but must approve the quality of commercial products. However, in order for publishers to want to use BRP, they would need to be able to reproduce the rules in their game. They can't tell players to go buy BRP. Players mostly want a complete RPG in one book now. Unless it could be demonstrated that using the BRP name would sell me more books, then I would simply write my own system if I could not copy/paste the BRP rules into my book. Doing this, however, might not be to the financial advantage of Chaosium. I suppose it depends on if people seeing all of these BRP games would decide to buy the generic rules or not. At the very least, I think it would raise the profile of the system and other Chaoisum games, especially if they all became a unified system between their own products.
  13. Or maybe they should make all of the various games more compatible?
  14. Oddly enough, it was massively play tested. WotC took more of it takes a village to build a game approach. It wasn't corporate design per se, but rather all of the fans that wanted certain things in the game. That is why it got built the way it did. Additionally, the play testing served as PR. Then it was followed by bringing in Gygax, but they ignored him and just touted him out to try and get 1E players on board. It was a very slick production effort to make 3E a success. D20 is designed around the idea of splat. Adventures do not sell very well. You want books that all members of a group will want, not just the GM. So, you end up with producing more rules, options, spells, classes, etc. That is how you make money. Adventures do not sell very well. Only GMs will buy it and only a small number of them will. I do think one could make the plausible claim that BRP is 80's game design and WotC era D&D/D20 is modern game design. I think BRP based games avoid the splat and therefore have to survive off of how 80's games survived - getting new players, replacing damaged books, and adventures. Primarily settings sell, not systems. BRP in terms of just the generic rules will not be something that is hugely popular. Games built off of its rules can be. D20 took off and then when people played it outside of D&D, it was a flop. GURPS is only holding on because of loyalty that Steve Jackson has for its fans. It borders on money loss. Cortex Plus came about through established IPs and then the generic rules. It is not a flop, but I do not think it is that successful. Newish indie/narrative games that are generic have some limited popularity. AWE was tied to a setting but was generic enough to be used for other games. FATE is the only rule system not tied to a setting that enjoys contemporary success. But, that took basing it off of another existing rule set (FUDGE), 10 years, and then licensing the Dresden Files to do it. After Dresden, then FATE by itself became popular. But, even talking about popularity is a misnomer. FATE was a top 5 seller at one point, but it has no where near the sales volume of D&D/Pathfinder in a year. If you were going to talk up BRP for the rules, and you believe the rules fade away, then that is what you need to say. You claim that it is rules-lite, flexible, avoids splat, and that it allows you to focus on the game and not the rules. Of course once players see charts and lots of modifiers, they might not think it fades away.
  15. I would not say that D20 is American. I think it was a poorly thought out attempt to bring D&D play style to other genres. It basically failed and IMO has hurt D&D because it allowed Pathfinder to exist. BRP is a skill based system, which almost all non-fantasy RPGs are in the US. It may be more popular in the EU than the US, but CoC is popular here. So I am not really sure what about it would make it an EU style game.
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