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29

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 ...


16

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 ...


13

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

I don't think there's much material out there that's specific to RPGs, your best bet might be to look at those games you think are laid out well and try to distill the shared aspects that you think make them good. You could mine this thread for more layout ideas Chaotic Henchmen also ran a series of posts about publishing, which can be summarized in a ...


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 ...


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 ...


2

Take a look at a new book called "Fantasy Art Characters To Copy." It features original "conditional" copyright free fantasy characters. The conditions of use are very liberal.I have the book - it's incredible. The images are high quality, they are not stock pics. They are on blank backgrounds and you can copy them for RPGs or use them in your own ...


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 ...


1

I use LibreOffice Draw for laying out my RPG sheets, and it is very helpful for Apocalypse World playbooks. At the LibreOffice template center is a template for a three-panel brochure on US Letter paper; you can easily adapt that to US Legal or A4 international standard for the roomier Apocalypse World playbooks. You will need the fonts mentioned at the ...



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