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(TFT) TFT Ownership
Hi. I've been on hiatus from this group, trying to get computers and things
As a group discussion, I will enter the following:
What happens to Copyright Ownership when owner dies?
Does it get bequethed like other owned property?
If the group is unsuccessful in getting Howard to
transfer the rights (via money, etc) to a purchaser,
might he not give them to his son?
Might we not cultivate a good working relationship with
Howard's son? (Not to badger Howard into a sale, but
for Howard's son's own profit after Howard's passing.
I'm sure the son does not have all this emotional baggage
or concern about selling a game he did not make.)
A corporation buying the game?
I tend to feel that a corporation (democracy) of 100 voters
trying to get agreement to publish the additional or
changed rules is insane. We can't get agreement in the
pool of this site, I doubt that it would work in the
I think a corporation (republic) of 5 organizers (probably
factions) backed up by 95 voters would at least allow
like minded groups to get wholesale changes agreed upon
in their own faction. How the 5 organinzers would
attack a major change would probably be through outright
overpowering or compromise. Probably not a very happy
I think a single or dual ownership would at least get decisions
made quickly and keep the legal risk low. However, that
leaves "what if I don't like what the new owners do to the
rules, or what if they won't let me publish my new rules,
or what if they stop the publication...."
This is possible. But if the purchasers subscribes to this
list, he already has our viewpoint (he's had it bashed into
him for years now.) Perhaps to lessen the anxiety, the
single or dual owner could have a rotating board of directors
from this registered website who could discuss and potentially
veto any plans that would hurt the group. BUT, the decisions
would still be done by one or two.
A Note on getting quick decisions and the group: After
some observation, I would say that no Brainiac TFT website
deliberation and decisions should take less than 3 months.
Why? Because some important players (those who contribute
ideas to this site) drop out occasionally for weeks at a
time. Also, if one has a thought on something but cannot
comment on it right away, he might get overwhelmed by all
the other neat suggestions/ruminations on the sight and
forget to make his suggestions. Also, it is hard to keep
track of one subject as it channels through the e-mails
(some contain inciteful comments to suggestions A & B while
imbedded in a reply to the newest C legal question.) Perhaps
a site that houses rules to be "voted" on could be posted and
let stand for several months before becoming a semi-official
posting. (This would also let the rule be playtested,
tweaked, shown similarity to another rule, etc.)
Last - we of this usergroup are perhaps not the most experienced
or greatest of TFT players. That person may be out there with
no idea that this group exists. He (THEY!) may dribble in
(as I did) after thinking "wonder if my internet search of
In The Labyrinth will be successful this week?" What we are
is perhaps the best "group" that can communicate our TFT ideas
about. (We are also very English language Centric. Long ago
I commented to the swedes who found TFT that I was amazed
that it was played there.)
So Recruit more to this website and don't think of a
rule/concept decision made here and now as the last debate
on the subject. (But do make the decisions with the caveat of
always room for improvement.)
I like the idea of the original TFT books & related items going into
copyleft if this means that:
1) The original entity that put it in copyleft can still
publish it in saleable form. In other words, it should
be available to download off the net (from who's site?)
for free, but that if the entity wished to rearrange the
rules so that they were in better order and with an index,
etc., but with no rules changes, and called it
TFT 2nd edition and sold it, he could.
2) That if someone wanted to make a variation of TFT for
sale, that they could make that variation, even excerpt
whole sections of rules, spells, economies, from the
original TFT materials. They would have to say in their
own copyright location that anyone can get the original
TFT materials free from WWW.Whateverwebsitename.com. Perhaps
the entity could be a clearinghouse (not necessarily a
restricter) for TFT family (including variants) of games.
[I mention this because I eventually would like to publish
something for sale using the TFT rules. Whether that
means I have to go through an entity or if copyleft allows
me to, I would rather go through the entity (if the entity
is not restrictive.)
It was asked how we would like a group publishing to go?
I would like copyleft (as per above). Keep the original for the purist!
Any variation of the original TFT would be discussed for 6 months in this
newsgroup (postings of the rules/concept on a website with weekly comments
and criticisms to the rule/concept. The variants should be grouped together
by category: Attribute variations; learning/Skill Points variations; Combat
variations; Monsters; Weapons.... or however. This way a comparison can be
quickly scanned over and evaluated against one another.
When there are major conflicts like Memory concept versus Talent I, II,
III, IV, versus talent slots by experiences or whatever, include all those
as Variant #1, Variant #2, Variant #3. Do not kill one idea over another,
make it known which Variant you use!
The thing that would be best is to merge very similar rules if it can be
done. This would be something like: Swordsman Talent 2 [IQ 11] cost=2
allows swordsman to parry and strike at the same time; Block/Stab [IQ 12]
cost=1 allows those with DEX 12 to parry, then counterswing on opponent.
These are obviously similar. Get the authors of each, and the usergroup, to
either merge the concepts or delete one.
The variations that absolutely alter the mechanics of the game (6
attributes, removal of armor/DX concept and replacing it with a
attack/defend dicing system, the creation of an alternate skill system based
on adding/dividing attributes, etc should be pulled together in a book and
labeled CORE VARIATION #1, CORE VARIATION #2, etc. Let the players see all
the Core variants together and they can pick which one they want for this
particular group. (I may not play CORE VARIATION #2, but if I go into Joe's
game, I might be willing to convert. At least I would know what I am
converting and the author of CORE VARIATION #2 may have a conversion chart
for converting from #1 to #2.) Also, a core variation influences the
procedure of Minor Variations and additional rules. Example: If I play
CORE VARIATION #8 which has 6 attributes (Strength, Health, Dexterity,
Agility, IQ Thinking, IQ Capacity) this may eliminate my need or ablility to
use the Minor Variation #21 "half all talent costs at the start and double
all experience points for non IQ activities."
MINOR VARIATIONS #1, #2 etc. would be variations that can be added to the
core rules somewhat easily, but still make the game different enough that a
purist would feel it was a violation. Example of this would be Memory slots
versus 1/2 talent costs, etc. These could be published in one book similar
to the CORE VARIATIONS.
ADDITIONAL RULES would be new talents, monsters, etc.
Additional rules could be published by grouping character types or gameworld
types, etc. I wouldn't care.
A note from me on gameworlds. I like CIDRI (from In the Labyrinth). I was
impressed with it when I first read it. Huge enough to fit many a continent
on. Medieval technology. Some Renaissance technology. The possibility of
Sci Fi technology. And the whole thing crumbled down to a local society
level. This to me allows Joe Blo to put his Empire of the Petal Thrown
continent next to Sam's Pax Romana 1989 continent next to Burt's Gods' Wars
continent and none really affecting each. But it does allow me to take my
Pax Romana Centurian on a boat through treacherous seas to the Petal Throne
(Joe's gaming world and all it's various idiosincracies), without my having
to say how did he get there. CIDRI is big enough to allow very dissimilar
physics and histories to have a say on the world.
Therefore if there is a new entity that gets TFT, I think CIDRI should still
be the base world! However, those gamers who oppose Cidri concept should be
given their own continent on Cidri and run it just as they would their own
gameworld. Eventually, we could map the continents via publications.
There are a number of rules I created which I would donate to the cause
with or without credit given. There are some rules I created which I would
want to hold out for my own TFT expansion set. I am sure these are similar
views of other rule designers. I would say that if the Entity did produce a
new publication using rules from this website, the Entity would probably
have to run credit lines for the rules. This may be amazingly complex as
many of us have submitted, torn apart, ingest new suggested data into a rule
variant. Is the group now the real creater of the rule? Also, I feel the
Entity, if it was to publish new books (not just republishing the old ones),
it would behoove them to have the entire usergroup look it over for credit
and playability. Otherwise there could be conflicts in future copyrights.
Did Pehr give permission to publish that in his book or was it just inferred
because.... If he was able to look the new material over, he would
Anyway, I'm running out of steam.
John Paul Bakshoian
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