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Fantasy Races


rpgstarwizard

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Which fantasy races do we have? Are there any fantasy races we would have to be careful about, like Hobbits, by name. I am working on a urban fantasy setting and have mined, culled and stole races and beings mostly from folklore, but always cncerned. Since mongoose has control of RQ are there races that are NOT Allowed??

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It all depends on what you wish to do with them. If you only intend to use them in your home games, or post them here for that matter, there shouldn't be an issue. If on the other hand you are planning a monograph for Chaosium or some other "official" supplement, then you may need to change the name or otherwise file off the serial numbers.

Edited by threedeesix

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Since mongoose has control of RQ are there races that are NOT Allowed??

Since the Mongoose Runequest SRD (see Downloads) is under an Open Gaming License,

all the creatures included in its bestiary should be fair game. Only creatures added to

this with the new Runequest II could be problematic.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Yeah. Basically anything that isn't open content. Hobbits are a Tolkien excpsuive, although Halflings or another synonym (Wee Folk) could be used.

As far as the Glorantha races go, you could only use the ones that have been in the OGL SRDs.

Natually, any fantasy race that is generic or historical is fair game. Eves and Dragons predate all RPGs. Tolkien's Noldor, however are off limits, although basing something off of the Alfar or Sidhe is perfectly acceptable.

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Since the Mongoose Runequest SRD (see Downloads) is under an Open Gaming License,

all the creatures included in its bestiary should be fair game. Only creatures added to

this with the new Runequest II could be problematic.

*sigh* I've absolutely no desire to re-open (yet again) the whole licensing discussion, but that's not strictly true. If text has been released under the OGL, then it can be used under the OGL - which is NOT the same thing as "fair game". Open Gaming Content =/= public domain or copy right free...

Specific names from copyright sources, especially where those names may also have been trademarked as well are best avoided: "Hobbit" is classic example (hence most RPG's talking about "halflings", a name that's generic and thus open for anyone to use). If your primary sources are established myth and folklore, and especially if its myth and folklore that was documented prior to any particular modern usage, you should have no worries - hence many RPG's having Elves, Dwarves etc.

Cheers,

Nick

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*sigh* I've absolutely no desire to re-open (yet again) the whole licensing discussion, but that's not strictly true. If text has been released under the OGL, then it can be used under the OGL - which is NOT the same thing as "fair game". Open Gaming Content =/= public domain or copy right free...

Well, perhaps it was bad wording. :(

What I did mean is that no IP holder can prevent the use of the creatures, or

can claim a copyright infringement after the use of the creatures, or can with-

draw the license for their use, provided the person or corporation using the

creatures adheres to the rather simple conditions of the OGL.

I just thought that latter part was obvious. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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OMG - let's not get into another IP/copyright/OGL/IANAL discussion!

Anything that is already in a BRP publication is probably OK, including things from Basic Monsters, or whatever the RQ3 reprint with BRP stuck on the cover is called.

Also, anything that is based on a real world creature or a creature from real world mythology is also fine.

Creatures based on literature, TV series or films are debatable as they may well be covered by some copyright or trademark restrictions.

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  • 1 month later...

You know what race I would like to see explored and developed is the Norse myth of Trolls or Thulls as they were called. Now they were NOT D&D's version, but instead were strong and ugly but extremely intelligent with high metal working skills and magic use.

Penn

Old time RPGer of +34 yrs, player/DM/GM.

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*sigh* I've absolutely no desire to re-open (yet again) the whole licensing discussion, but that's not strictly true. If text has been released under the OGL, then it can be used under the OGL - which is NOT the same thing as "fair game".
Beat me to it. Yes, folks, remember that the Open Gaming Licence is still a Licence. You need to abide by that licence if you want to use the things in the SRD. For fantasy races, I don't personally think you need to use those races - there are plenty available in folklore, and for the rest you can always make up your own. A lot of proprietary races like Dragonewts and Broo are closely tied to their setting anyway and would need a major re-write to fit in another game universe, so why not write your own?

You know what race I would like to see explored and developed is the Norse myth of Trolls or Thulls as they were called. Now they were NOT D&D's version, but instead were strong and ugly but extremely intelligent with high metal working skills and magic use.
Sounds a bit like a cross between BRP Dwarves and Trolls. Very doable, and definitely not treading on anyone's IP toes. Edited by Vile

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The concept of a given fantasy race is always fair game. A specific description is not. Some fantasy races might have aquired a trademark status (or even been registred) , Hobbits have been mentioned as an example in this thread. That being said, if your objective is to create a commercial product you would be wise to use only your own original concepts, generic races or races from folklore and such sources.

Peter Brink

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Tolkien's orcs are an interesting case. He was probably using classical sources for the term, so they're a bit interchangeable with ogres and trolls. He obviously thought of them as the same thing as his goblins from The Hobbit. In any case, I don't think the word can be trademarked, because D&D uses it. Warhammer went as far as changing the spelling slightly. Anyway, I don't think there are many critter names which have been specifically trademarked, "hobbit" probably enjoys this status because it's in the actual title of a book.

Actually, it might help to focus this discussion if we knew what you were planning - a free fan product, a commercial publication, or just stuff for your own games?

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In any case, I don't think the word can be trademarked, because D&D uses it.

Tolkien took the Old English word "Orc" from the Beowulf, where it probably means "demon"

or "things related to demons". :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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That makes it even easier - for completely unrelated references, there is the ork of Tirol mythology and orco, too (Italian or French, I think, and related to ogre). You're well away if you want to use those. Or you could say it's derived from the Gaelic and use that to explain the pig-snouted orcs of early D&D.

But we still don't know what the OP is planning to do here ... what.gif

Edited by Vile

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I was living in San Diego, home of Sea World's Shamu, when I began reading The Fellowship of the Ring. Since I was familiar with orcas, I envisioned killer whales running around with swords and helmets. When Tolkien mentioned them having hair, I wondered what was going on.

Personally I think my orcas were more fun than his orcs. ;D (Hey, if Runequest can have ducks, for Donald's sake, why not?)

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