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Prime Evil

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Prime Evil last won the day on August 5 2016

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About Prime Evil

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  • RPG Biography
    Gamer since 1979.
  • Current games
    Mythras, Legend, OQ, BRP, CoC
  • Location
    Sydney, Australia
  • Blurb
    Human, apparently.

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  1. Prime Evil

    Greg Stafford Condolence Thread

    This is shocking news. Greg was a giant in the industry and an amazing person. He has given us years of joy. He inspired and influenced an entire generation of game designers. And in addition to his work in the gaming industry, his contributions to Shaman's Drum deserve recognition from everyone interested in alternative spirituality. My thoughts and condolences are with his family during this difficult time.
  2. Prime Evil

    A love of demons....

    Yes, please!
  3. Prime Evil

    Mongoose "Empire" book?

    The MRQII Empires book is one of the best releases for that product line. The idea of treating realms and organisations like characters was clever and could be developed a lot further. The MRQ I version has some poor editing and is inferior to the revision.
  4. Prime Evil

    Where I'm up to with OpenQuest

    This is good news. I'm glad to hear that OpenQuest has a future. But if you don't have doubts about the quality of your own work, you probably don't care about it enough :) The comment that the OGL situation almost killed OQ is concerning though. My understanding is that even if the MRQ1 SRD is no longer valid under the OGL, OpenQuest is still OK under the provision of Section 13 of the OGL. This section states that if the upstream license was terminated "all (existing) sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License". In other words, so long as you were in full compliance with the terms of the OGL, your sublicense survives when the upstream publisher loses the right to distribute the SRD. In this specific case, the inclusion of Glorantha-specific material in the SRD was a breach of Section 5 of the OGL (Representation of Authority to Contribute). Mongoose did not have the right to release this IP as Open Game Content, so when their license to produce RQ expired they were then in breach of the license. Because they did not cure this breach within the 30-day grace period, their right to distribute the SRD automatically terminated. However, due to the clause about the survival of sublicenses I suspect you are on solid ground provided that you do not reference any of the Glorantha-specific material (thereby falling afoul of section 5 yourself).
  5. Prime Evil

    Legend, its engine, and Open Content.

    I think that the survival of the BRP system over thirty years despite numerous "real-world" problems along the way is a testament to how solid and adaptable it is. If you go back and read RQ2 and compare it with other stuff coming out at the same time, you get a sense of just how brilliant it was.
  6. Prime Evil

    Legend, its engine, and Open Content.

    So long as you abide by all of the terms of the Open Game Licence, you can use any Open Game Content (OGC) to create derivative works. This can include adventures or sourcebooks or campaign settings. It can also entire games. This is what makes things like Renaissance possible. It is also what allowed Paizo to fork D&D 3.5 to create Pathfinder when 4e came out. However there are some important limits on this freedom. Firstly, you can't use any material that the publisher of the game has designated as Product Identity (PI). Secondly, you can't infringe on the trademarks of the creator of the source material. So you can't misrepresent your work as an "official" OQ publication. And you can't indicate compatibility with OQ without a separate license with Newt allowing you to do so. So you can't use the OpenQuest logo or say that your work in "Powered by OpenQuest" without permission. This is why many OGL games release the game system as Open Game Content but have a separate trademark licence allowing you additional rights to indicate compatibility with their system. Nothing in the Open Game Licence indicates that upstream publishers "approve" of any derivative works. The licence is designed so that if you misuse it, upstream publishers are protected against legal liability. If you use OGC for questionable purposes, then you are on your own. If you want to place a stamp on your work saying "approved by Chaosium", you need permission from Chaosium to do so - and they can place whatever restrictions they like on this approval. For example, back in the day there was a section in the d20 licence indicating that Wizards of the Coast could withdraw approval for publishers to use the d20 logo on works that breached community standards.
  7. Prime Evil

    Blood Sex and Rock'n Roll

    That's a very good picture and a very nice article. It seems like a smart approach. I like the fact that you are aligning the worship of Ernalda to historical precursors. It makes everything feel more...um...grounded...
  8. Prime Evil

    Runequest, Legend, Mythras, etc.

    Fair enough. That's a personal preference. I agree with you that digital only is the best approach. However, POD can be a game-changer for small publishers working in niche markets... The market is fairly segmented. Even so, I get the feeling that many GMs mix-and-match elements from different d100 variants. I'm not sure that the gaps need to be "economically meaningful". Hobbyists write systems for artistic reasons as well as economic ones. Personally, I don't have any issue with the publication of more d100 variants provided that they bring something new to the table. I'll use the bits that I like from a range of different games. I said that Sabre was "interesting". There were a few things I liked and a lot that wasn't to my personal taste. I would note that the authors of Sabre credit Mythras and indicate that they use some mechanics with permission from the Design Mechanism. However, obviously I don't know the details of the arrangement.
  9. Prime Evil

    Runequest, Legend, Mythras, etc.

    I think every gamer has the desire to produce a variant of their favorite RPG incorporating their own house rules and reflecting their own preferences. I'm no exception here - I've got my own private d100 variant that I've worked over the past few years. My aim was to build a variant closely aligned to grimdark sensibilities (Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Glen Cook, Anna Spark Smith, et al). But developing a published work is different to designing something for your own personal enjoyment. Keep in mind that the market for d100 games is a tiny segment of the overall RPG market. Print runs aren't huge by commercial standards and margins can be tight. The d100 market is crowded, but there are still a few gaps that an enterprising designer could fill. I think there is space for a system a bit lighter than Legend / Mythras, but with a bit more crunchy than OpenQuest. There is also room for genre-specific implementations of the various d100 systems. For example, I've thought seriously about developing a cyberpunk variant of Legend or Mythras. I think such a game could work surprisingly well and there is little competition in this space at the moment. Another approach might be to test the waters by developing a sourcebook for an existing game, either under the OGL or a traditional licensing arrangement. I used to run a Spells of Legend thread over on the Mongoose forums where I posted new spells once or twice a week. I've also considered gathering my own contributions into a new work. It's worth noting that many people mix-and-match material from different d100 variants, so this can still reach a wider market. As an aside, I'm glad that you mention Sabre - it's an interesting system midway between D&D and Legend / Mythras. I'd also point out that Arc Dream declared some portions of their updated Delta Green rulebook as OGC. These develop the MRQ II / Legend game system in a different direction to the one chosen by RQ 6 / Mythras.
  10. Prime Evil

    TDM finally has a Twitter Account...

    Does this mean that TDM will out-tweet Donald Trump?
  11. Prime Evil

    Legend, its engine, and Open Content.

    One final note, specific to the d100 game family. Be very careful about using anything from the System Reference Document from the first edition of RuneQuest published by Mongoose. This is easy to find on the internet, but there are legal problems with it. The SRD inadvertently contains some Glorantha-specific material that is the intellectual property of Chaosium (via Issaries). Mongoose lost the legal right to release this material when their licence to publish RuneQuest terminated as per the section of the OGL relating to "Authority to Contribute". This means that you are infringing on Chaosium's rights if you use any of this material. My understanding is that pre-existing publications under the MRQI SRD (e.g. OpenQuest) are ok, due to the section of the OGL indicating that sublicenses survive any breach. But trying to produce anything new using this SRD is a legal minefield. Stick to the Legend OGC, which is on stronger legal ground. Also, it is good manners to respect the immense contribution that Chaosium has made to the hobby. The folks there are nice people and have been happy to licence third-party publishers in the past, but they have a legal responsibility to defend their trademarks and prevent people from ripping off their IP.
  12. Prime Evil

    Legend, its engine, and Open Content.

    I would second the opinion that this is a dangerous area. Although the law may not protect raw game mechanics, it does protect specific expressions of those those mechanics. So even if you change the wording and file off the serial numbers, you can still land up in hot water if your work constitutes plagiarism of an existing intellectual property. This can be a bit subjective - you might think you have done enough to distance yourself from the source material, but the law might disagree. So be careful here!
  13. Prime Evil

    Legend, its engine, and Open Content.

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, if you intend to produce anything under the Open Game Licence, be sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities. The OGL is a legally-binding contract between yourself and the owners of whatever Open Game Content you use. In particular, note that you cannot indicate compatibility with any game system without a separate trademark licence or compatibility licence offered by the publisher. Not only does this mean that you can't mention Mythras or Runequest, it also means that you can't mention Legend or OpenQuest without a separate agreement with the publisher. In these cases, the publisher has been generous enough to offer a compatibility licence, but you need to understand what you are getting into here - the publisher can't revoke the OGL because the licence is "perpetual", "worldwide" and "non-exclusive", but they can pull the plug on the trademark licence at any time. This happened with D&D when the transition from 3.5 to 4e occurred. WotC withdrew permission to use the d20 brand in favour of their more restrictive GSL. It also happened when Mongoose transitioned from the 1st edition of Traveller to the 2nd edition. This is the reason why the Cepheus engine exists. Once again, I would emphasize that you need to understand exactly what you are signing up to and where the boundaries are.
  14. Prime Evil

    Legend, Open Content, how to continue.

    If you are looking at produce material based upon Open Game Content, I strongly recommend watching the five-part video series by Matt Finch in which he explains your rights and obligations under the Open Game License (OGL). Matt is a lawyer and is well-known in the Old School Renaissance (OSR) movement. He worked on one of the first D&D retroclones (OSRIC) and subsequently published his own game (Swords & Wizardry). As a lawyer, Matt is in a good position to explain what each section of the Open Game License means and how to use it. The videos take almost an hour to chew through, but clarify how to use the Open Game License to "publish" your own material: Part 1: What is the D&D Open Game License and How to Use it Part 2: What is the D&D Open Game License and How to Use it Part 3: What is the D&D Open Game License and How to Use it Part 4: What is the D&D Open Game License and How to Use it Part 5: What is the Open Game License and How to Use it As a minimum, You have to comply with the terms of the Open Game License - which means that you need to attach a copy of the licence to your work and update Section 15 to list all of the works that you are using Open Game Content from. You also need to clearly identify what parts of your work are designated as Open Game Content and which parts are Product Identity. And if you want to indicate compatibility with the Legend game system and use the Legend logo on your work, you need to comply with the trademark license that was available on the Mongoose site - http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/leglogopack.zip This seems to have gone AWOL during a recent reorganization of the website, but the key bit of text is: The entire text of the Legend RPG is designated Open Game Content, as is the entire text of all books in this line with plain colour covers and the words ‘… of Legend’ in their title. By using any Open Content material in any of these books, you also have permission to freely use the Legend Compatible logo on any publication or web site where this Open Content is used or modified. The Legend Compatible logo may be re-sized but may not otherwise be altered in any way. Legend, the text of Legend rulebooks, the Legend logo and the Legend Compatible logo remain Copyright Mongoose Publishing 2011. Any and all artwork included in Legend rulebooks is specifically not designated as Open Content, and may not be used without written permission from Mongoose Publishing. The compatibility pack did contains a copy of the Legend logo for third-party publishers to use. I can probably dig out a copy of the trademark license and logo if folks are interested.
  15. Prime Evil

    HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

    How about "Multiverse"?
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