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31

TL;DR If thousands of other people are doing exactly the same thing for years on the net and the current employees of the firm are endorsing it (by participating, streaming, tweeting, linking-to, it) you are in the clear. There are literally tens-of-thousands of blog posts, wikis, podcasts, and vlogs of actual-play including by D&D employees past and ...


23

You can download the official Fate Core font from Evil Hat's licensing page, as well as the "Powered by Fate" logo. This font contains a small number of glyphs, supporting Fudge Dice faces (0, +, -), the Four Actions (A, D, C, O), and some stress track boxes. They ask that you credit them in the works where you use it. Side note: Since you're ...


22

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 ...


20

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 ...


17

All FR gods and other setting proper nouns are the intellectual property of WotC - probably copyright, maybe some trademark, maybe even some trade dress... The specifics aren't all that important in this case. Technically, legally, and unless you have a bunch of money and lawyers to try to fight it, you need permission to use them. This kind of use is NOT ...


16

You're somewhat confused, which is understandable since intellectual property rights and D&D is a confusing issue. OGL The OGL is a specific license. Only D&D 3e/3.5e was made open under the OGL. Other games derived from it (like Pathfinder) and totally unrelated games, like FATE, use the OGL. 5e does not use the OGL (their plans are yet to be ...


15

While I'm not a lawyer, I'd suspect that part of your liability here is determined by the method you do the 5e updates. Are you talking about republishing them, including maps and flavor text? If so, I'd be very cautious, especially given WotC's proclivity to shut down 3rd party resources for older versions of the game. However, a simple listing of changes ...


13

You do not need to do anything special to get your work protected, as it is already protected from the moment you make it. You only need to register your copyright if you actually want to get involved in a lawsuit involving copyright. From the US Copyright Office FAQ: Do I have to register with your office to be protected? No. In general, ...


12

You cannot copyright a name. Still, this doesn't mean you can use them freely, because characters can be copyrighted. The deities in Forgotten Realms are no doubt fictional characters with individual characteristics, so they are subject to copyright. This means that, you can use the names, but if you also borrow the characteristics (appearance, moral ...


10

Your stated motive is to make the old material available to a new generation of gamers. You're not really interested in just writing conversion notes that require the originals — you want to include the maps, descriptive passages, and all the rest of the creative content that makes these adventures awesome. The correct, ethical, and legal means of doing so ...


10

Publishing the old content in full is illegal and unethical, just as it is for new content. It's owned by WotC or GW or whoever, and if they wanted to sell it they would (they're making more old adventures available over time in PDF, actually). Those authors, artists, mapmakers, etc. were compensated by TSR/WotC for their work and have no explicit or ...


10

Short terms can't be copyrighted, and your actual play is highly unlikely to contain reproductions of passages of WotC-copyrighted material unless you're cutting and pasting material from the adventures or books for some odd reason. There is one common misstep that you might need to deliberately avoid though: it is a widespread practice to decorate blog ...


9

Software development paradigms give the false impression that there is a science to production of creative works. There isn't. Every author will tell you that their method works, and every one will be different. Every RPG designer has an opinion on what works best—for them. Even software developers differ on how best to tackle a project, hence why there are ...


9

The simple answer is that it's legal but if Hasbro decide to sue you it won't matter because you won't have the cash to argue and anyway they'll lean on your hosting service who will cut you off in a moment. This is exactly the state things got to in the dying days of TSR (when they became known as They Sue Regularly); they never got anywhere near a court ...


8

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

There's basically 3 streams of thought that went into modern SRDs in tabletop RPGs. D20/Evergreen Core Product Push WOTC's SRD and open sourcing push was a neat idea, poorly executed. Their research before launching D20/3rd edition D&D indicated that most of their game sales profits (as opposed to novels...) was coming from the core D&D books, ...


5

First, a fair warning, I have never commercially published an RPG, but I have written a few, for my own enjoyment and I have done a fair bit of play-testing with a (now defunct) RPG publisher. But this is approximately the process as I recall from observation in the mid-to-late 80s. It probably still works. Stage "idea": Refine conceptual things (setting ...


4

Ask, do, oblige. That's what I'd do, anyway. And let's get that disclaimer out of the way ASAP: I'm not a lawyer and have no professional acumen. Since you're referring to the age of magazines, I'm going to assume these are 10+ year old articles. There's a small chance that those are now out of copyright, but I certainly wouldn't rely on it. Instead, I ...


4

Introduction The thoughts and opinions I provide below are based upon some basic experience with hiring talented creators for a few projects throughout the years, but more so in my own experience with finding work as a creative writer and designer. First thoughts As gathered from your question, it is clear that your vision for the game is very important ...


3

"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 ...


2

I'm not a lawyer, but I've got some idea about copyright. Copyright does not cover names, facts, or vague ideas. However, the FR deities are almost certainly not legal for use: They are more than a simple concept; complete characters have often been protected under copyright (J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, for example), and there is nothing about the ...


2

This podcast recording of a seminar at GenCon talks a bit about how Paizo handles their layout design. It's in a section about the editing/layout process, which is only one part of the whole thing, but it is relevant. Some of the things mentioned include the positioning of artwork, how they wrap text, density of the rules, and so on. I remember similar ...


1

Amazon's CreateSpace might be a suitable avenue of enquiry. Print on demand, plus distribution through Amazon, both for physical and digital. They also provide 'eStores' so you can have your own storefront, but I've not used it before so you'll need to do some additional research to see if it meets your needs. Alternatively you might be able to make use of ...



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