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Questions on *Claw system based games

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  • Bengaley
    I ve been kicking an idea around for years for a game that I ve been tenativly calling Imperium Wars , about five nations on a single known continent, with
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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      I've been kicking an idea around for years for a game that I've been tenativly calling 'Imperium Wars', about five nations on a single known continent, with each nation having a basic terrain set and the people having characteristics based on that.
       
      Recently, out of boredom and forced productivity along some line, I've ressurected the idea as a campaign/world setting with the Ironclaw Ruleset. The issue: Its a standard-style Fantasy game thats tech level, well... Kinda equivalent to Warcraft's current tech levels. There's magic, swords, and random technology.
       
      The question is, if I were to put up the rules for Imperium Wars on a website, how much of the rules in the Core Books may I quote? I don't need to cover Tests or Combat (which would remain unchanged), but I would be changing the character generation process (races and careers are bothing being heavily modified.)
       
      I'm not too worried about any additional items, gifts, skills, or flaws that I may make up for Imperium Wars, but the two center peices of a system are the character generation process (Main stats and derived stats) and the Conflict Resolution System...
       
      ~Henry Thiel
    • pbourque@c2i2.com
      I m no lawyer, so use an appropriately-sized grain of salt. I hear CostCo is having a special... Most times I d seen conversion -style documents, it can be a
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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        I'm no lawyer, so use an appropriately-sized grain of salt. I hear CostCo is having a special...

        Most times I'd seen "conversion"-style documents, it can be a matter of fine lines.

        Sometimes, it's really obvious (one site I know of, was doing a Ghost in the Shell-flavored setting ruleset for the Dream Pod 9's Silhouette system, and their setting netbook pdf pretty much included a verbatim reprint of the core rules sections, with a slightly different presentation...they quickly received a Cease-and-Desist order from DP9). The general guideline I'd go with is that you, the fan, never have the right to publish core components of a game system (ie the game mechanics), unless there's a major exception like the OGL. In so doing, you rob the publisher of the potential sale of a gamebook from everyone who downloads your rules, because they got the game mechanics from you...

        Things are a little bit more complicated now, because many companies are publishing "quick start rules" or similar rules summaries. One might think this puts the quick-start rules into the "public domain" as it were - not so! For instance, I couldn't (er, maybe shouldn't is more accurate) take the Quickstart rules, and paste them into my Setting document. To keep a clear conscience, rather than hosting a copy on my website("Click here to download the IronClaw Quick Start Rules!"), I'd just put a link to where the file is available on the publisher's website. For instance, you wanted to include something on task resolution... You could probably get away with a relevant example-of-play (Joe swings his Mondo-blade at Tom. Joe has a Dexterity of d6, a Sword Skill of d10, and his Wandering Swordsman Career applies a d8. He rolls 10, 6, 2. Tom rolls a 4, 4, 2. Joe scores an Overwhelming Result (per IronClaw p xx, or [link]Quickstart[/link] p xx), and gets to boost his damage...), but for any real discussion of the rules proper, I'd just leave a reference to the rulebook or whatever official online quickstarts are available.

        That mostly covers the obvious stuff. Where it starts getting fuzzy are when it regards houserules and how you choose to present them.

        For instance, let's say I'm publishing the Skills List for my Etheric Gear Victorian guns-and-magic setting. Publishing the entire *Claw skills list, with only a few add-ons ("Knowledge: Arcanotech" or "Pilot Airship") is probably right on that fuzzy line. If it were only minor changes, I'd publish only the changes ("Add the following skills to the standard IronClaw list:...").

        You're changing character generation. Publish your changes ("Characters do not have a Race trait, like in traditional IronClaw. Instead they have the choice of...").

        Really, what it ultimately boils down to is that you shouldn't make publically available a complete stand-alone game product using someone else's intellectual property, unless you've got express permission to do so (ie licenses). Even "game aids" like character generators or army/fleet builder programs/spreadsheets CAN fall into the "touchy subject" category, because nominally they allow you to do everything, without the rulebook. Just about every game I've ever written a generator for, I've always sent an email to the publisher requesting permission to post the product online (usually they request to host the file, or link to my website).

        If you're keeping it "private use only", ie you're building a complete Campaign Rulebook for your game, and want the hand out copies to each player, you've got a little more flexibility, though it's still technically a violation of IP (handing out the rules to just your players means you're potentially robbing the publisher of a sale per player). It just gets MUCH uglier online, because instead of just the four other guys sitting at your table, it's the rest of the online gaming community you're giving copies away to...

        So to summarize it quickly: "Don't make a Stand-Alone product."

        Pierre

        >------- Original Message -------
        >From : Bengaley[mailto:arlenecohen@...]
        >Sent : 12/1/2005 12:23:30 AM
        >To : ironclaw@yahoogroups.com
        >Cc :
        >Subject : RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games
        >
        >I've been kicking an idea around for years for a game that I've been tenativly calling 'Imperium Wars', about five nations on a single known continent, with each nation having a basic terrain set and the people having characteristics based on that.

        Recently, out of boredom and forced productivity along some line, I've ressurected the idea as a campaign/world setting with the Ironclaw Ruleset. The issue: Its a standard-style Fantasy game thats tech level, well... Kinda equivalent to Warcraft's current tech levels. There's magic, swords, and random technology.

        The question is, if I were to put up the rules for Imperium Wars on a website, how much of the rules in the Core Books may I quote? I don't need to cover Tests or Combat (which would remain unchanged), but I would be changing the character generation process (races and careers are bothing being heavily modified.)

        I'm not too worried about any additional items, gifts, skills, or flaws that I may make up for Imperium Wars, but the two center peices of a system are the character generation process (Main stats and derived stats) and the Conflict Resolution System...

        ~Henry Thiel
      • Sean L. McLane
        ... -Sean, CI
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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          > From: "" <pbourque@...>
          > Subject: RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games
          >
          >
          > ...(one site I know of, was doing a Ghost in the Shell-flavored setting...
          >
          >
          > So to summarize it quickly: "Don't make a Stand-Alone product."
          >
          > Pierre
          >

          ... or you might get a Stand-Alone Complex...

          :)

          -Sean, CI
        • Sanguine Productions
          In response to Henry Thiel s question: How would people feel if we put such added value content , such as homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine s website? Say,
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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            In response to Henry Thiel's question:

            How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
            homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website? Say, if it were in wiki
            format?
          • Diana Wray
            ... -Sean, CI I shall save up some peanuts *just* for you... -LP
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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              ... or you might get a Stand-Alone Complex...

              :)

              -Sean, CI
               
              I shall save up some peanuts *just* for you...
               
              -LP
            • fsronce@comcast.net
              My only qualm would be vandalism, which could be prevented by allowing the creator of a specific page to set it as author/moderator only . I definitely
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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                My only qualm would be vandalism, which could be prevented by allowing the creator of a specific page to set it as "author/moderator only".

                I definitely couldn't see it being a *bad* thing and it might encourage a lot more fan material.

                Kiz


                > In response to Henry Thiel's question:
                >
                > How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
                > homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website? Say, if it were in wiki
                > format?
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Bengaley
                I wouldn t mind ;) And actually, that sounds kinda fun. It d be like, Here s the main book, have fun with that. Oh, and when you want to try something
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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                  I wouldn't mind ;) And actually, that sounds kinda fun.
                   
                  It'd be like, "Here's the main book, have fun with that. Oh, and when you want to try something different, here's some stuff fans have made."
                   
                  Not too certain about a Wiki format, though. Its great for glosserys and encyclopedias, but the only time that I've seen it work for a game was a very complicate browser-based game that only people who've played for years 'got'.
                   
                  Of course, I'll be the first to admit my knowledge is about as broad as a card is thick...
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:00 AM
                  Subject: RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games

                  In response to Henry Thiel's question:

                  How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
                  homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website?  Say, if it were in wiki
                  format?

                • Bengaley
                  Pierre - Thank you for the longish post explaining some things. It mostly confirmed what I had suspected about the process. I ll be workinga bit more on
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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                    Pierre -
                     
                    Thank you for the longish post explaining some things. It mostly confirmed what I had suspected about the process.
                     
                    I'll be workinga bit more on Imperium Wars today (...5 hours @.@) so hopefully I'll have more to post (in changes, at least.)  I also need to grab my core rulebook (...the poor, poor mistreated thing. I need to buy a new one...) so I can re-read the skills, gifts, and flaws and see if I need to change any instead of deleting and adding. (...nearly none of the racial flaws will work for the setting's playable races.)
                     
                    On the other paw, while I do see this as a sorta attempt to cross traditional fantasy RP with the *Claw system (Sorry, I started with DnD!), I'm also going to have to put everything into the one document (as opposed to many documents.
                     
                    Anyhow, I gotta go. Gooday.
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 6:17 AM
                    Subject: RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games

                    I'm no lawyer, so use an appropriately-sized grain of salt.  I hear CostCo is having a special...

                    Most times I'd seen "conversion"-style documents, it can be a matter of fine lines. 

                    Sometimes, it's really obvious (one site I know of, was doing a Ghost in the Shell-flavored setting ruleset for the Dream Pod 9's Silhouette system, and their setting netbook pdf pretty much included a verbatim reprint of the core rules sections, with a slightly different presentation...they quickly received a Cease-and-Desist order from DP9).  The general guideline I'd go with is that you, the fan, never have the right to publish core components of a game system (ie the game mechanics), unless there's a major exception like the OGL.  In so doing, you rob the publisher of the potential sale of a gamebook from everyone who downloads your rules, because they got the game mechanics from you...

                    Things are a little bit more complicated now, because many companies are publishing "quick start rules" or similar rules summaries.  One might think this puts the quick-start rules into the "public domain" as it were - not so!  For instance, I couldn't (er, maybe shouldn't is more accurate) take the Quickstart rules, and paste them into my Setting document.  To keep a clear conscience, rather than hosting a copy on my website("Click here to download the IronClaw Quick Start Rules!"), I'd just put a link to where the file is available on the publisher's website.  For instance, you wanted to include something on task resolution...  You could probably get away with a relevant example-of-play (Joe swings his Mondo-blade at Tom.  Joe has a Dexterity of d6, a Sword Skill of d10, and his Wandering Swordsman Career applies a d8.  He rolls 10, 6, 2.  Tom rolls a 4, 4, 2.  Joe scores an Overwhelming Result (per IronClaw p xx, or [link]Quickstart[/link] p xx), and gets to boost his damage...), but for any real discussion of the rules proper, I'd just leave a reference to the rulebook or whatever official online quickstarts are available.

                    That mostly covers the obvious stuff.  Where it starts getting fuzzy are when it regards houserules and how you choose to present them.

                    For instance, let's say I'm publishing the Skills List for my Etheric Gear Victorian guns-and-magic setting.  Publishing the entire *Claw skills list, with only a few add-ons ("Knowledge: Arcanotech" or "Pilot Airship") is probably right on that fuzzy line.  If it were only minor changes, I'd publish only the changes ("Add the following skills to the standard IronClaw list:...").

                    You're changing character generation.  Publish your changes ("Characters do not have a Race trait, like in traditional IronClaw.  Instead they have the choice of...").

                    Really, what it ultimately boils down to is that you shouldn't make publically available a complete stand-alone game product using someone else's intellectual property, unless you've got express permission to do so (ie licenses).  Even "game aids" like character generators or army/fleet builder programs/spreadsheets CAN fall into the "touchy subject" category, because nominally they allow you to do everything, without the rulebook.  Just about every game I've ever written a generator for, I've always sent an email to the publisher requesting permission to post the product online (usually they request to host the file, or link to my website).

                    If you're keeping it "private use only", ie you're building a complete Campaign Rulebook for your game, and want the hand out copies to each player, you've got a little more flexibility, though it's still technically a violation of IP (handing out the rules to just your players means you're potentially robbing the publisher of a sale per player).  It just gets MUCH uglier online, because instead of just the four other guys sitting at your table, it's the rest of the online gaming community you're giving copies away to...

                    So to summarize it quickly: "Don't make a Stand-Alone product."

                    Pierre

                    >------- Original Message -------
                    >From    : Bengaley[mailto:arlenecohen@...]
                    >Sent    : 12/1/2005 12:23:30 AM
                    >To      : ironclaw@yahoogroups.com
                    >Cc      :
                    >Subject : RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games
                    >
                    >I've been kicking an idea around for years for a game that I've been tenativly calling 'Imperium Wars', about five nations on a single known continent, with each nation having a basic terrain set and the people having characteristics based on that.

                    Recently, out of boredom and forced productivity along some line, I've ressurected the idea as a campaign/world setting with the Ironclaw Ruleset. The issue: Its a standard-style Fantasy game thats tech level, well... Kinda equivalent to Warcraft's current tech levels. There's magic, swords, and random technology.

                    The question is, if I were to put up the rules for Imperium Wars on a website, how much of the rules in the Core Books may I quote? I don't need to cover Tests or Combat (which would remain unchanged), but I would be changing the character generation process (races and careers are bothing being heavily modified.)

                    I'm not too worried about any additional items, gifts, skills, or flaws that I may make up for Imperium Wars, but the two center peices of a system are the character generation process (Main stats and derived stats) and the Conflict Resolution System...

                    ~Henry Thiel

                  • Kehvarl
                    Actually, if there were several fan-games, I d pay $20 or maybe $30 (depending on how many games and the like were included) for a published version, maybe
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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                      Actually, if there were several fan-games, I'd pay $20 or maybe $30 (depending on how many games and the like were included)  for a published version, maybe cleaned up and nicely laid out by the sanguine team.  I would be nice to have an "official" collection of fan-games on the shelf next to the other IC/JC books.
                       


                       
                      On 12/1/05, Bengaley <arlenecohen@...> wrote:
                      I wouldn't mind ;) And actually, that sounds kinda fun.
                       
                      It'd be like, "Here's the main book, have fun with that. Oh, and when you want to try something different, here's some stuff fans have made."
                       
                      Not too certain about a Wiki format, though. Its great for glosserys and encyclopedias, but the only time that I've seen it work for a game was a very complicate browser-based game that only people who've played for years 'got'.
                       
                      Of course, I'll be the first to admit my knowledge is about as broad as a card is thick...
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 9:00 AM
                      Subject: RE: [ironclaw] Questions on *Claw system based games

                       
                      In response to Henry Thiel's question:

                      How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
                      homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website?  Say, if it were in wiki
                      format?



                      YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS




                    • Chris Shaffer
                      I, for one, would think that would be pretty cool. ... -- MythicFox of various fora I don t know anybody who could firebomb kittens. Here, let me. ICQ
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 1, 2005
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                        I, for one, would think that would be pretty cool.

                        On 12/1/05, Sanguine Productions <sanguine@...> wrote:
                        > In response to Henry Thiel's question:
                        >
                        > How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
                        > homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website? Say, if it were in wiki
                        > format?
                        >
                        >

                        --
                        "MythicFox" of various fora
                        "I don't know anybody who could firebomb kittens." "Here, let me."
                        ICQ #59987211
                      • tim
                        ... wiki ... i think it s a good idea; it would make it easier for fans to find (rather than on a personal website or even posted here), and it would give a
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 5, 2005
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                          --- In ironclaw@yahoogroups.com, "Sanguine Productions"
                          <sanguine@o...> wrote:
                          > How would people feel if we put such "added value content", such as
                          > homebrew *Claw games, on Sanguine's website? Say, if it were in
                          wiki
                          > format?

                          i think it's a good idea; it would make it easier for fans to find
                          (rather than on a personal website or even posted here), and it would
                          give a certain sense of pride for a fan author to see a bit of
                          official recognition for their material.

                          i disagree with a wiki as the way to handle it. in my opinion, the
                          best way would be for someone at sanguine, such as the person in
                          charge of website content, if they have time, to receive fan
                          contributions and post them. it would make someone's life busier (or
                          several people), but with the added bonus of being able to snag
                          particularly well written or intriguing submissions that sanguine
                          might be interested in publishing before they're posted publicly.
                          then the aspiring author could be better rewarded for his efforts, if
                          he has the patience.



                          tim
                        • fsronce
                          ... That gives us a single point-of-failure, though... if the web-guy ends up sick for a week or has a day job that takes them away for a month, nothing gets
                          Message 12 of 13 , Dec 5, 2005
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                            tim wrote:
                            > i disagree with a wiki as the way to handle it. in my opinion, the
                            > best way would be for someone at sanguine, such as the person in
                            > charge of website content, if they have time, to receive fan
                            > contributions and post them. it would make someone's life busier (or
                            > several people), but with the added bonus of being able to snag
                            > particularly well written or intriguing submissions that sanguine
                            > might be interested in publishing before they're posted publicly.
                            > then the aspiring author could be better rewarded for his efforts, if
                            > he has the patience.
                            >


                            That gives us a single point-of-failure, though... if the web-guy ends
                            up sick for a week or has a day job that takes them away for a month,
                            nothing gets updated. I've seen way too many small company websites that
                            pretty much get abandoned because they're too busy with other things to
                            keep up with it.
                            I guess it depends on how many man-hours Sanguine wants to dedicate to
                            it... and there's certainly nothing stopping them from contacting the
                            author of a well-written Wiki piece and going "Would you like to expand
                            this into a full-fledged publication?" Then the original submission just
                            becomes an advert for the content of the published version and should
                            (if it's any good) help drive sales.

                            Kiz

                            >
                            >
                            > tim
                            >


                            --
                            http://www.kizandjenn.com
                            http://www.kizandjenn.com/art/gallery
                          • tim
                            ... ends ... month, ... that ... to ... to ... the ... expand ... just ... should ... i suppose we ve differing ideas on what a fan-written piece would (or
                            Message 13 of 13 , Dec 5, 2005
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                              --- In ironclaw@yahoogroups.com, fsronce <fsronce@c...> wrote:
                              >That gives us a single point-of-failure, though... if the web-guy
                              ends
                              >up sick for a week or has a day job that takes them away for a
                              month,
                              >nothing gets updated. I've seen way too many small company websites
                              that
                              >pretty much get abandoned because they're too busy with other things
                              to
                              >keep up with it.
                              >I guess it depends on how many man-hours Sanguine wants to dedicate
                              to
                              >it... and there's certainly nothing stopping them from contacting
                              the
                              >author of a well-written Wiki piece and going "Would you like to
                              expand
                              >this into a full-fledged publication?" Then the original submission
                              just
                              >becomes an advert for the content of the published version and
                              should
                              >(if it's any good) help drive sales.

                              i suppose we've differing ideas on what a fan-written piece would (or
                              should) entail. i'm thinking of something fairly substantial and
                              mostly polished, rather than snippets of 'this is a cool idea,'
                              or 'hey, here's a useful gift.' this group seems an appropriate
                              place for small-scale contributions, and a wiki lends itself to a
                              multitude of contrubtors to a project or a logged work-in-progress
                              type of project. not to denigrate either approach, but those aren't
                              methods that i agree with adding to sanguine's website.



                              tim
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