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24

They're for what they say on the tin: they're built as a general reference document for the game. What goes into them exactly depends on what the authors decided to put in there to build that reference — there's no set standard. Some SRDs are enormously comprehensive libraries of just about everything or even the full text of the game, some are far ...


21

OK, so here's game intellectual property 101. There are niche exceptions to all of it, but at a high level it's going to hold for 99% of use cases in the free world. If you don't already know all the stuff below you should not enter into any commercial enterprise based on someone else's IP without professional legal advice. You are never free to use ...


21

Economies of scale. From Fred Hicks of Evil Hat, publishers of FAE: We printed like 13,000 copies of those. Because we hit that economy of scale, our actual cost (not counting up front costs of writing — minimal — and art — reasonable) came in at less than 40 cents per copy (close to 35). To make a MSRP $5, 40-page book work for distribution our costs ...


21

I run Evil Hat and am one of the originators of Fate, so I've got some XP to spend on this one. :) In either case you can include the entire content of the SRDs available on the Fate licensing site (see link below). OGL isn't viral per se, it simply stipulates you cannot close off content which was made open to you (the stuff you're reusing). I have done ...


16

Short version: Str/Con/Dex/Int/Wis/Cha appears to be available for use, but tread carefully. This is a very gray area, and any advice you get isn't worth much, unless it's from your lawyer. If you copy all of D&D's design, your work clearly infringes on their copyright, and they can easily succeed in a lawsuit against you. If you copy none of their ...


12

You're asking one of the hardest questions in the industry. Tabletop game publishers are very reluctant to release firm figures, being very skittish about appearing as 'weak'; this problem has plagued the industry since I got in in the early 90s, and doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. Also, the numbers you report are self-reported, which is not ...


11

It's part of their marketing strategy. FAE is a simpler version of Fate; if you want something with a little more detail, you'll want to buy one of Evil Hat's other Fate-based products. "If this little taste interested you, why not buy one of our other products?" The other advantage of having a low-cost entry point for the Fate system is that it leads to ...


11

Get a Wordpress site. Publish your Google Doc as a PDF and post it for download there. Now people can search for your site via Google, at least theoretically, and you can give them a URL that's human-readable. All of the above is free, and you'll be in good company. An unsupported Google Doc is not a professional-looking distribution platform and is a ...


10

Yes I am not a lawyer and anyone can sue anyone for anything. However... Many RPGs, not under license from D&D using the OGL or otherwise, have used identically named ability scores since 1975 with no legal problems; see this great breakdown of key ability scores in major fantasy games through 1983. Some have more, some have less, most use at least 5 ...


9

I am not a lawyer. But the following is my understanding of current law and the licenses. It does not constitute legal advice. To publish an app that has OGL content, the OGL content inside your app must be open source. That doesn't mean the whole app has to be open, just the files that contain OGL content. So, if you have a list of spell names, races, ...


9

Talk to a Lawyer This should always be the answer for copyright questions. That said, what you are asking about is largely known as parody. However the legal protections of parody are a complicated matter and may require a lawsuit to defend. Thus, you should consult a copyright lawyer before attempting to publish any material derived from these campaigns. ...


7

Fonts The manual uses Gotham (usually bold) for the sans serif titles and callouts, and Garamond for the main text. The example gameplay passages use GFY Thornesmith. Evil Hat have their own font for the Fate action glyphs. Gotham is a priced font, but I hear Google's Montserrat is a good substitute and uses the SIL Open Font License. Garamond has priced ...


7

If you're only using content from the SRD and your original work, then you can release it under OGL. A conversion of someone else's non-OGL rules from a previous version would not be allowed under the license. The Book of Vile Darkness is "product identity" per page one of the SRD/OGL for D&D Fifth edition. Items marked as Product Identity ... are not ...


4

Assuming that this is written with U.S. law in mind, game rules cannot be copyrighted, at all; neither can words. Thus, you can certainly use the same names for ability scores without infringing on copyright. From the U.S. Copyright Office circular on games: Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for ...


4

"Not only will you not get [your book] looked at, you won't get it published." R.A. Salvatore, during a Meet the Author speech, stated this and added that not only would it limit you to one specific license that you could sell it to, but you would have to have every citation perfect. He suggests writing something generic that could fit in to a genre and if ...


3

You should be good to do this, and to distribute it. Check out the page Wizards published on the Open Gaming License here: https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/systems-reference-document-srd Your example should fall under "I want to design content using the fifth edition rules for D&D" and/or "I want to print and sell my fifth edition D&D ...


3

Firstly, take any advice from me or anyone else who isn't a lawyer with a grain of salt. In my knowledge, it is completely legal to create, use, and manufacture an RPG or other product with the same statistics as the traditional Dungeons and Dragons ones. That being said, if the product you create too closely resembles another copyrighted product, it can ...


2

Sure, if you want to include the OGL! Well, yes, you can definitely because it's under OGL. Actually re-reading the OGL, I noticed that you would have to staple it to your finished product, but you're not actually compelled to license anything of your own under the OGL. But do you have to? Game mechanics in and of themselves are not typically covered ...


2

You've taken the first step, and the second, at least by some measures. You've decided you want to create an RPG, and you know what genre you want to work in. In no particular order, you'll now want to examine existing games for what works and doesn't (or what you like and don't), survey fiction in your genre for flavor you want to include in your game, ...


2

I'm not an expert on copyright law, but I'm fairly sure that there isn't any reason you couldn't write a story based on a D&D campaign. As long as you make sure to change anything that may be specifically owned by Wizards of the Coast (like your example with tieflings) or part of an established cannon(I think the default setting for d&d is the ...


1

Yes. It's perfectly legal to do so. It's also perfectly legal for WotC to sue you in civil court for doing so and seek (hugely excessive) damages. Your ability to win that lawsuit depends to what degree you can argue that your product is not substantially based on WotC's product. Currently, especially in America(United States of), courts have taken ...


1

Here is what WOTC's site has to say about abilities being open content: The System Reference Document is a comprehensive toolbox consisting of rules, races, classes, feats, skills, various systems, spells, magic items, and monsters compatible with the d20 System version of Dungeons & Dragons and various other roleplaying games from Wizards of the ...


1

I would suggest looking at the Dresden Files RPG: Our World book. Although there are a number of difference between DF flavored Fate and Core Fate, it will still give you a very good idea of how to present both generic and specific NPCs. However, to answer the specific question, you should probably include stat blocks, with two or three difficulty variants,...


1

I'd encourage you to get someone with official copyright hold over Deva answer this. Perhaps even here. Copyright The name itself cannot be copyrighted, but character can and most likely is. More info here: Are the Gods in Forgotten Realms under copyright? L5R and AEG, if it's any indicator From my own experience with AEG and L5R, the answer was: ...


1

Heroes and Other Worlds and Warrior & Wizard are clones of The Fantasy Trip from Metagaming Concepts. Classified is a clone of the James Bond 007 RPG from Victory Games.



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