See. This is the same issue that I have when making my supplement - hence the reference to stats in the book, versus reproducing published material. What I'm doing is converting previously published material and making my conversions accessible for free. I am assuming this is not copyright infringement and illegal. I mean, I would do it anyway for my own purposes, but is it illegal to share home-brewed/converted stuff for free? I assume there is no law against house-rules in general, but is the sharing of these allowed?
I'm no expert on law or anything, but I would assume - it seems logical - that freely making home-made material, with reference to rules, pages and the like should be ok. As long as no reproduction from the published material is part of the document. I know its different, but its like when writing academic papers, you have to cite other scientists and theories - because they're not your own ideas - when publishing your own thoughts. Of course a few deviate from this for various reasons, but it should be clearly stated from where ideas are coming from. Same thing here, except more strict, you can refer to auto-fire rules on pp.xx in the EotE book, but you cannot reproduce it word for word. Similarly, if you change this for house-rules purposes, I would assume you could write something like: auto-fire weapons under these house rules deviate from the ones presented in the core book. Instead of what is presented there (pp.xx) you add a challenge die and change advantage cost to 1 advantage for purposes of activating additional hits.
Similarly, freely making available from google drive or dropbox (or your own blog or GSA) adventures and the like can't be too problematic (although drivethrurpg might be a different matter), as long as nothing within the document reproduces published material. Refer to pages and rules shouldn't be problematic, as long as these rules themselves are not in the document.
I'm not a lawyer, but looking at Fair Use laws, I feel pretty confident that home-brew would be protected.
Fair Use has 4 factors that determine whether or not something would be covered under fair use. (source)
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
- The nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
So, from my reading, home brew should be ok by all 4; we are not doing it for profit but so that other games can be enhanced by the home brew. The nature of EotE is a role-playing game, a medium that naturally encourages people to create material for their games. Few home-brews or house-rules will use up more than the rules governing the creation of the home-brew resource in question (ex: Making a new adversary requires only the basic rules and the stat-block that is used for that adversary.). Home-brew is not going to hurt the market for the game at large, in fact home-brew encourages purchasing of the rules to find more content that can be incorporated into the home-brew.
So, I think that unless the mods have a problem with the home-brew, we're fine, I don't think either the copyright holders for Star Wars or for EotE are going to care if we make a home-brew Slave 1 or Millenium Falcon. There are several websites with entire sections devoted to home-brew, since I haven't heard of any legal action taken on them, I think that we'd be in the clear. In fact, I intend to create some home-brew of my own, based off some of the cooler things in the Saga Edition The Force Unleashed book.
tldr; I don't think that we should be worried unless we are asked specifically to stop.