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Genesys OGL?

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1 hour ago, Simon Retold said:

That and “nards” is slang for testicles.

Can’t really call it NaDS, either, since “nads” is just short for gonads.

I know… this whole thing is just nuts.

Haha the multicoloured dice could resemble the nads of a fool though :D

That will certainly catch on... "Alright boys you attempt to impress the bar main - time to roll those NaDS"

Edited by Gallows

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If Genesys had been released as a complete game, then we should wait for something like that to be decided.  The big issue is that until sourcebooks and beastiaries for the included setting recommendations (such as Tannhauser) are released Genesys is nothing more than a toolkit.  A toolkit that requires the GM to do everything to make a playable game.  In that situation, yes, Genesys should have some manner of OGL in the same manner as D&D.

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I'm sure some sort of open development system could be a win-win for all parties, it's challenging to implement legally and quite a legal minefield (an open system doesn't mean using other copyrighted material without permission is OK, for example turning your favourite movie into a game then selling it - the world's still a long way from mastering how to deal with fan content and custom/d.i.y. culture, often forgetting the fact it's a powerful word of mouth that reinforces the said subject matter so it's often beneficial to that which might be worried about being harmed - which is why so much fan content shared for free is unofficially allowed as it were even if it's in the grey areas of 'ownership' as it's still technically violating a third party copyright  - but conversely there's a lot of false sense of entitlement, copyright is still copyright, so no, on a technical legal level you can't just do anything you want with other people's work but I think common sense does often prevail as to what is or isn't reasonable and acceptable/ fair use/ exploitative of another's work.

 

Remember pointless statements such as 'No copyright infringement intended' which always amuses me to see- erm, if you infringe copyright you infringe copyright so intent is irrelevant, it's happened already - don't change the legal situation, nor does a company allowing something unofficially because they're 'o.k. with it' (i.e. they may not act on something fan-made even if it does break copyright out of choice as they're content with it being acceptable to them that it's out there but that doesn't change the fact they have the right to if they wish).

 

But a proper, with rules, regulated system could work- some people will make stuff for free, others might want to dive in and surrender their life to impossible levels of dedication making truly amazing things that take most of their time, others somewhere in between- things are moving this way elsewhere with features such as workshops for computer gaming communities, properly licensed it could mean more income and more Genesys player-owners- if someone were charging for something it would be perfectly reasonable a) for FFG to get a payment and b) for creators to have to work within certain legal constraints, most obviously people still have to buy the core kit and it's not just being carbon copied and given away illegally for free or within an unofficial sold item.

 

Any RPG by its nature is something where players create their own content, and will therefore very often want to allow others the benefit of using that content, so it could be good to have a more open but fair for all parties system that gives even more flexibility, especially with the correct point previously made that some fan-made projects could be so time consuming it would be nice to have a legitimate way of giving the choice that if someone wants to do something they'd want to sell because of the level of time/work involved they can (and maybe they want to use their own copyrighted content in it - the entitlement culture often works the other way too, encouraging customers to make some cool stuff for a product where the creator's additional input isn't valued in any way, computer game workshops have been criticized for being a lot more take than give for example- we'll let the players make lots of the content but we'll make the money and save a lot by making less initial content ourselves as the players will do it mostly for free, or get the costs of paying for using a third party's- the third party could even be FFG)

 

With things like Kickstarter and workshops for electronic games we're in the age of consumers wanting to create and make not just consume, I actually think longer term the companies that best engage with this desire and change will do best, engagement is good business sense after all, if it's not FFG then another company might go that route and become the go-to dominant product, and there are ways of setting up legal frameworks for 'you can use this under these conditions and / or you can use our IP if you adhere to these further conditions and perhaps we get a payment too if you get any payment or maybe we don't mind you using our IP without payment as we may sell more product as a result etc'

It only needs someone to think about what's fair for all parties concerned and how to implement and regulate things, it works well for open source software- open source software works for multiple different parties in lots of ways.

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Its a long topic to read on my mobile, but I felt a need to add my 2 cents.

 

We need some sort of official, blanket statement on this. Right now, all we know is there is supposedly no plans, and Freelancer writer Keith Kappel is getting special/preferential treatment being allowed to charge cash money for homebrew product.

 

Yes, he has worked on the Stat Wars line for FFG, and I don't mind that part. What bothers me is as things stand, we have no statements as to what is allowed for everyone else.  Genesys has been out long enough that we should have some sort of solid answer, and hopefully it is something that everyone wins.

 

Right now it's just a bitter taste that one contract worker gets special treatment.

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2 hours ago, eowarion said:

Right now it's just a bitter taste that one contract worker gets special treatment.

that is one way to keep your intellectual property safe by licensing only to people you know by face value.

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I'd also say it's a bit unfair probably to call it special treatment- creative people get hired freelance for creative projects and proven ones are sometimes trusted enough to do their own fully or partly off their own back - as GM Hooly says you can always ask (although don't send any unsolicited material as they say this when contacting them, also a wisdom of being copyright safe as a business).

 

As has also been said before by others we don't know what longer-term plans FFG have behind the scenes. An official policy would be helpful though.

 

 

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Keith is also doing this as part of his Patreon, so the only way to get this content - FREE (you don't pay extra for it) is to support him as a Patreon. He still cannot sell it as a stand alone project/product. Just to keep this all in perspective.

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5 hours ago, GM Hooly said:

Keith is also doing this as part of his Patreon, so the only way to get this content - FREE (you don't pay extra for it) is to support him as a Patreon. He still cannot sell it as a stand alone project/product. Just to keep this all in perspective.

What is his Patreon?

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16 hours ago, lyinggod said:

Fun? How is that?

The notion of patronage has really only recently returned to public consciousness, and our notions of IP are more recent.

So our IP laws don't really have room for the idea that "I'm making it for free, but you can only have it if you give me money".

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I also suspect that Keith does have some form of permission from FFG. I know for a fact he was explicitly disallowed to offer Star Wars RPG content through is Patreon, so it would make sense that he would seek permission to offer GeneSys content. That's complete conjecture on my part, but I've hung out with Keith long enough to know he wouldn't just start dishing out content for an RPG with questionable licensing (IOW: not OGL) without first talking to the company. Especially since it is his employer.

Again, it's all extrapolation from very little data. So take my conclusion for what it is.

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5 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

The notion of patronage has really only recently returned to public consciousness, and our notions of IP are more recent.

So our IP laws don't really have room for the idea that "I'm making it for free, but you can only have it if you give me money".

I often wonder how much better our IP laws would be globally (and how much better off WIPO would be) if not for record companies and 1990s/early 00s Disney. :(  

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On 1/29/2018 at 4:32 PM, eowarion said:

We need some sort of official, blanket statement on this. Right now, all we know is there is supposedly no plans, and Freelancer writer Keith Kappel is getting special/preferential treatment being allowed to charge cash money for homebrew product.

 

Yes, he has worked on the Stat Wars line for FFG, and I don't mind that part. What bothers me is as things stand, we have no statements as to what is allowed for everyone else.  Genesys has been out long enough that we should have some sort of solid answer, and hopefully it is something that everyone wins.

 

Right now it's just a bitter taste that one contract worker gets special treatment.

Genesys has been out for approximately 2 months. D&D 5th Edition dropped in mid/late 2014. The DM's Guild and OGL for 5e weren't announced until January 2016. That's a year and a half, for a system that was/is much larger and for which a DM's Guild type of setup was more obviously profitable to any observer.

Saying, "Genesys has been out long enough and we should have some sort of solid answer," is a little ridiculous and borders on entitled.

Business negotiations take time. Beyond that, imagine FFG was planning something similar, even through OneBookShelf who are the experts in online RPG PDF commerce... You still have to figure out:

  • What's our overhead cost manually reviewing what people upload? Do we have to review user content for IP issues, for brand integrity issues?
  • Given those costs, what percentage of the sale to we keep, does OneBookShelf keep, and do the content creators keep?
  • How to we word all the legal agreements to best insulate us if copyrighted content slips onto the store? How do we word the site policy to give us flexibility to take stuff down when we need to?
  • Even if we answer all those questions, what do sales figures of the core book, the PDF, the dice, and the dice app say about our potential market size? Is an online community store even viable?

Even if you're FFG and you only want to do an OGL setup, there's the legal/logical problem of, "which part of our system to we keep locked down so we can keep selling the core book and the dice so we don't lose money?" At the end of the day, Genesys still has to make money for FFG for it to be viable.

D&D locks down official character creation chapters, certain monsters, and specific little things, but for Genesys part of it is making your own character creation stuff. Do FFG lock down the "How to Play & Use Dice" chapters? Do they lock the dice symbols themselves down, or just offer an open license in which you agree not to manufacture competing dice with an equivalent symbol distribution? Something else entirely? These are hard business questions to answer, especially when your career at the company may ride on getting the answers right.

Guys, let's chill and wait. It's only been two months.

It took Wizards of the Coast, a division of Weyland-Yutani Hasbro, a year and a half (possibly longer) to sort out the legal and business questions of OGL and DM's Guild.

Right now, you can upload your own stuff to the internet and give it away for free (but probably don't publish a large swath of copy/paste from the core book). We know by their actions that FFG has allowed that much even for Star Wars, where there are serious intellectual property issues. We know that FFG is friendly to the community because they have been, again and again. Don't give them a reason not to be friendly by making appeals to spite with regard to contractors they've worked with in the past and clearly have reason to trust professionally more than you or me, who they don't know from Adam.

Edited by sfRattan

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It might have taken Wizards 1.5 years to announce their DMsguild and OGL for 5e, but that didn't stop any publisher from writing and publishing 3rd party game content under the tag line "5th edition fantasy."

There is incredible precedent now by this entire industry that makes writing and publishing game content for a game system one huge grey area. 

The OSR originally used Original edition game rules for variants of OD&D. Zweihander all but copies Warhammer 1e and 2e but because it takes the system and uses a non-Warhammer setting, its okay. There is Pathfinder, which we know is a realigned 3.5. 

And we know game mechanisms can't be copyrighted. 

Now, it always helps to have an official OGL/SRD to work with when writing and publishing stuff, but is it required? 

If someone was to write up a product and say its written for the "Narrative Dice System," but we don't reprint anything from the Genesys book nor mention Genesys or we mention that this product makes use of FFG's dice... 

This would do the following: Promote their proprietary dice and possibly increase sells of them. Promote the Narrative Dice System, and by happenstance the Genesys core book... Also increasing sells of Genesys. And get your own stuff out for others. 

So even if there is no official OGL or Creators Content program, precedent has been set by this very rpg industry that says it doesn't matter anymore. 

In the end, its up to FFG to create a program for official content creation or not. If they never do, they will be only holding their own product back. And all of us, of course. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Stacie_GmrGrl said:

It might have taken Wizards 1.5 years to announce their DMsguild and OGL for 5e, but that didn't stop any publisher from writing and publishing 3rd party game content under the tag line "5th edition fantasy."

There is incredible precedent now by this entire industry that makes writing and publishing game content for a game system one huge grey area. 

The OSR originally used Original edition game rules for variants of OD&D. Zweihander all but copies Warhammer 1e and 2e but because it takes the system and uses a non-Warhammer setting, its okay. There is Pathfinder, which we know is a realigned 3.5. 

And we know game mechanisms can't be copyrighted. 

Now, it always helps to have an official OGL/SRD to work with when writing and publishing stuff, but is it required? 

If someone was to write up a product and say its written for the "Narrative Dice System," but we don't reprint anything from the Genesys book nor mention Genesys or we mention that this product makes use of FFG's dice... 

This would do the following: Promote their proprietary dice and possibly increase sells of them. Promote the Narrative Dice System, and by happenstance the Genesys core book... Also increasing sells of Genesys. And get your own stuff out for others. 

So even if there is no official OGL or Creators Content program, precedent has been set by this very rpg industry that says it doesn't matter anymore. 

In the end, its up to FFG to create a program for official content creation or not. If they never do, they will be only holding their own product back. And all of us, of course. 

 

Going to be tough to not use symbols. You're not wrong, but man, writing a book and having to write out "3 Advantage or 1 Triumph" everywhere? Ugh.

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The strongest thing of Genesys is the dice system. It's far away different from the regular dices when it comes in play. All of the other things (skills, talents, equipment rules, character creation, etc. aren't that new. We know systems that use 0 to 5 ranks and a pool of XP to buy things since 1990 (World of Darkness for who don't know).

Despite the possibilty to change drastically the dice system, all of the other stuff are absolutely customizable and adaptable (and the core is a big toolkit also). Turning the system a OGL would works very well to do two things:

1) More content using the system will work to spread the brand. And being the dice system the biggest thing, players will need to buy more dice sets, which will be good for the company.

2) People will feel more comfortable to use the toolkit (Core) to create new stuff daily, this can help the community and even the company, bringing new ideas to use the own system.

I don't think FFG will really lose doing this. They have the gold mine (the dices) and it don't look easily to lost to me. Also the Core keep as a good book to have, despite any full setting books created by fans or even official content. It's not work like the Player's Handbook of D&D.

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Still waiting on this topic to be noted or addressed by FFG. Some sort of nod or notice from staff would help inspire designers, such as myself, to look at Genesys as a platform to create games moving forward.

I don't want to see this topic dying into the Forum archives.

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With @KRKappel apparently no longer able to produce Genesys-specific content for his Patreon page, the future of third-party publishing for Genesys looks uncertain. Keith himself says he's "hopeful it's a harbinger of some more concrete rules regarding third party publishing with Genesys," but doesn't appear to have any further information.

Edited by Simon Retold

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Keith did mention in his last Patreon update that he talked to Sam during GamerNation Con a few weeks back and it's something that FFG is trying to hammer out. So it sounds like it is something on FFG's minds, they just want to make sure they get the legalities hammered out before they move forward.

Edited by kaosoe

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