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RE: (TFT) How to revive TFT without invoking a Summon Lawyer spell

> Dave Seagraves
>    Nah . . .  too much trouble.  If I want to go through that much effort
> then I might as well design my own RPG.

Depends on your aim - to get TFT into the public domain or write a new game.

>    I'm not as concerned as much about legalities as much as moralities.  I
> have no problem with anyone republishing TFT, as long as (a) they
> don't make
> any money from it, and (b) they don't take credit for the creation.  To do
> otherwise would be /evil./
>    (It just so happens I have the 5th Edition /Melee/ rulebook
> sitting on my
> desk.  Nowhere in the book does it credit Steve as the author!  Instead on
> the cover it says, "Revised Edition Edited by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. and
> Howard Thompson."  Very cheesy Howard, if not outright evil, IMO.)

It is reprehensible to steal someone else's work, but you must keep in mind
what the work is in this case.  In a game, the work is the description of
the rules and the examples, illustrations, and fictional context.  The
abstract rules are not part of that work, despite the fact that a person
spent considerable effort to come up with them.  There are lots of things
you can expend effort on without creating something that you can claim
exclusive rights to.  To treat them otherwise is not taking the moral high
ground, it is simply a choice you make.  Please don't consider this a flame,
I do respect your choice.

The person who came up with the rules originally may be acknowledged and
even commended for their efforts, but as you said, if you went to all the
work to recodify the rules in your own words, you've pretty much done as
much work as if you had invented the game in the first place.

>    I haven't actually read the rules; just the write-ups for the game on
> their web site.  Mechanics are important to me, and I was looking for an
> inkling of what the mechanics of the game are like.  The only clue I could
> find was from a picture of one of the weapon cards showing how damage is
> rolled.  I think someone on the list mentioned that basic attributes are
> generated randomly (Ack!) which IMO is a step backwards in RPG technology.

There are dice in the character creation process, but you can easily factor
them out.  There is a downloadable version on the web site that contains a
subset of the complete rulebook.  The three supplements are $9 each (combat,
sorcerer, and simply roleplaying).

>    Long after I had half-forgotten this silliness I started creating
> /Zilch/, which has NO basic attributes!  Ideally the character
> sheet for an
> average person is a blank piece of paper.  This makes it easier
> for a GM to
> run the game and easier for new players to learn it.

Thus the name.  Interesting.  I assume that character diversity is therefore
a purely role-playing concept?

> > [snip] . . .  and this is not legal advice.
>    You could have fooled me!  8^)

I've been negotiating IP contracts and developing licensing agreements for
my company's data products for the last couple years.  I'm also active on
the Open Gaming list, which is often one long legal discussion.  I know more
than many, but not enough to stay out of trouble without my lawyer's advice.


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