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#1 BrashFink

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

I ask this question even though I know the Star Wars bit is 100% NOT open source under any stretch of the imagination… that said…

I wonder if FFG has thought of at least the idea of a quasi open source-ish idea on the core mechanics… or at least if not true 3rdEd style, would not go after people who modded and offered rules for free and free publish PDFs (or heck do they have a stance on using the core mechanic period?) By default it would be protected, but 3E was so much fun and cool because people could move and tweak as needed… and this system is SO much more tweakable! Love it!

The reason I ask, is… I am SO amazed by this whole system, I am (while reading)… working up ideas of how several other key campaigns of mine would work (a gamma world setting, a low magic fantasy, old west… and a more realistic 22nd century space campaign would work).

I mean, I PERSONALLY almost certainly will be modding it for my own purposes anyway. Anyone hear any info on FFGs thoughts? Anyone else sitting there… and mashing ideas into other campaigns?



#2 GoblynByte

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:24 AM

BrashFink said:

I ask this question even though I know the Star Wars bit is 100% NOT open source under any stretch of the imagination… that said…

I wonder if FFG has thought of at least the idea of a quasi open source-ish idea on the core mechanics… or at least if not true 3rdEd style, would not go after people who modded and offered rules for free and free publish PDFs (or heck do they have a stance on using the core mechanic period?) By default it would be protected, but 3E was so much fun and cool because people could move and tweak as needed… and this system is SO much more tweakable! Love it!

The reason I ask, is… I am SO amazed by this whole system, I am (while reading)… working up ideas of how several other key campaigns of mine would work (a gamma world setting, a low magic fantasy, old west… and a more realistic 22nd century space campaign would work).

I mean, I PERSONALLY almost certainly will be modding it for my own purposes anyway. Anyone hear any info on FFGs thoughts? Anyone else sitting there… and mashing ideas into other campaigns?

That's an interesting idea! I mean, FFG doesn't have a "house" system like many other RPG companies. It would be nice to see them settle down with one. Then again, they seem to thrive on licensed products which often need their own touch, so maybe a house system isn't even on their radar.

The folks that designed Saga did something similar after their license was dropped. e20 or something like that. I haven't checked lately, so I'm not sure what the most recent status is on that project. But it suggests it can be done.

WEG was able to do it with their D6 system (D6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, and D6 Space), though it happened far too late in the company's lifetime to save them from the bumbling of management that eventually killed them. Now D6 is the subject of an open source project. So, again, it can be legally done despite any Lucas ownership of the original property.

Long story short (too late), they obviously can… if they want to.

Having said all that, I'll add in the requisite "you could do it yourself" observation. The beta book would actually be quite valuable in that respect since it leaves out a lot of the fluff material. Since system-only books tend to be a dry read in any case, having a new setting-less book for use with homegrown campaigns would be less advantageous with the beta book already covering much of those bases. Just rub the serial numbers off anything inherently Star Wars and there ya go.



#3 Necrotic

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:02 AM

only area of interest I have is building adventures for the game for others to use referencing the appropriate game bits (ie, refer to pg X for rules re: whatever)



#4 GoblynByte

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:18 AM

Necrotic said:

only area of interest I have is building adventures for the game for others to use referencing the appropriate game bits (ie, refer to pg X for rules re: whatever)

Third party publishing of adventure modules specifically designed for a Star Wars RPG seems excessively unlikely. I am far from an insider, but licenses don't usually work that way.



#5 Callidon

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:39 AM

 Even though it steps into various risky areas from a cease-and-decist standpoint, as long as people aren't copying sections of rule books, using art resources, or (and this is the big one) profitting on the distribution of fan-made material, you dont need an OGL-like option.  The WFRP community has been producing awesome support content for decades.   And GW is anything but open with their IP.  If people have dreams of hanging up a shingle as a sub-licensed content producing 3PP for Star Wars…that would be some long odds.

 


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#6 BrashFink

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:49 PM

Yeah I just think it would be cool to throw a Free PDF on RPG DriveThu that was a conversion to a Western RPG or something.

I mean you wouldn't have to actually post the rules… just references to the book and pages, and your changes. Your document would clearly state you MUST have the game to use the rules, etc. I am just wondering if they would make you take something like that down.



#7 jordiver2

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

 When my group started getting ready for EotE, my younger brother was really excited about running 2 games: 1 based on the campaign idea that is EotE, and 1 that that isn't Star Wars at all but more of a John Carter of Mars type of space opera (not specifically, but some setting we all generate as a group w/ custom races etc).

I've been dreaming of making some Careers and "races" for a pulp style game, maybe put some serial numbers ON that sucker and call it Indiana Jones.



#8 Jegergryte

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

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.


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#9 3WhiteFox3

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:56 AM

Jegergryte said:

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)

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. 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.

 



#10 Jeffrywith1e

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:47 AM

These kinds of thoughts were all about my head as I read the rules. Just from a game mechanics POV this is game is quite attractive. I was imagining a fairytale fantasy kind of adventure using the basic core mechanics for my kids.

 

You know, kids love dice.



#11 Kallabecca

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

A) What you're asking about is an Open Gaming License type of setup (not the same as Open Source)

B) For FFG to create such a ruleset, they will need to do what WEG did which is divorce the ruleset from the setting. FFG can't Open Game material that isn't theirs (namely names and such that are part of Star Wars). There really isn't anything that can stop someone from creating their own homebrews using this rules system. Commercializing it (i.e. putting it up on RPGnow or other places, even for free) is where the trouble comes in.

C) Not sure what the big deal is about wanting an OGL for most systems. From the publishers standpoint that is only good if they are wanting to allow third party producers to make stuff in their realm, but don't want a ton of headaches managing the contracts. Tons of people have made settings available under lots of rule systems long before WOTC put D&D 3 out with an OGL (the SRD). Just take a look at all the stuff made for the Savage Worlds system, which also doesn't have any kind of OGL. They don't do open licensing as they want to make sure that the 3rd parties that will be putting out stuff aren't someone with a fly-by-night idea hoping to get rich. FFG could do something similar with this system for other parties, but they would really need to then create a Core ruleset that didn't have any references to The Force or other Star Wars IP.






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