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Re: (TFT) Open Source TFT --> Derivative Works.

 Excuse me for not being more enthusiastic
but we have lots of TFT like roleplaying 
games such as the one mentioned below.
There are also Compact Combat, Little
Mouths & Big Eyes, etc. etc.

 So why have the people on the list not 
gone over en-mass to these other games.

 My guess:
 Well we like the Image spell, the 4 hex
Dragon spells, etc.  If we have to reword
everything the names of the spells all 
change.  Ditto all the talents and combat
options.  If it is not going to be a 
derivative work, we have to make a LOT
of changes.  

 And then we don't have TFT anymore.

 When I read the magic system to GURPS, I
was saying to myself, "Nice.  Good idea!
Right!  That's how I would improve TFT 
Magic..." etc.  I liked a lot of the changes 
to the magic system in GURPS.  (There were a 
few things that I didn't like but I 
figured that the whole had a solid base and 
a lot of real improvements so that it as a 
whole would be fun.)  And then when I played 
it, it sucked.  I was really shocked how 
small changes could have such a big affect 
on the fun.

 Part of the magic of TFT is that it works
nicely.  Any major changes have a very 
good chance to spoil that fun.

 If we make it similar enough that it is 
not a new game such as Compact Combat 
then it is a derivative work.  In order to
avoid lawsuits and other nonsense we have 
to change it enough that it is not TFT 
anymore (in which case why DON'T we play 
Compact Combat?) or we hope that no one 
makes trouble. 

 Now who would object to us making a 
derivative copy?  Steve Jackson maybe if
TFT starts cutting into GURPS money.  He
clearly has more moral rights to it than
we do.  Perhaps the Hasborg (Hasbro) if 
we start denting their income.  Basically
I think we are safe so long as we fail to
make a splash.

 I have some (what I think are) kick ass
ideas that would sell really well.  If I 
take several months off work to build them
and help us succeed to make TFT fly, then
the harder I work, the more vulnerable
TFT becomes.  Blah.

 The whole "reword it so we don't get thrown
in prison" thing does not sit well with me.

 Do I object on moral grounds. No.

 Ethically?  Well yes.  I do think that what is
being discussed is a derivative work.

 Legally?  So long as we are not too successful
then I doubt anyone will go to the trouble to
call us on the dodgy, derivative work thing.

 I can't believe that we can't go to the bank
that ate the other banks and say to them:

 "We believe you are the ultimate owner of this
small game that has been out of print for 25
years.  Here is $5000 bucks for the rights to
something so small that you never knew you

 I would chip in some money for that.

 But the whole, "Let's grab the TFT rights but
we will reword it enough that the courts will
probably say that it is not a derivative work
and that way we won't go to jail," thing does
not float my boat. 

 And if TFT is going to change so much that it
isn't TFT anymore (new attributes, new ways
of getting exp, etc.) then why don't we all 
say: "Let's just play SM&BE or Legends of the
Ancient World?"  That would save us a lot of 
work and help out some deserving writer / 

 I am simply explaining my stance.  You all are
free to do what you like of course.  But it is
obvious to me that to get the time to build the
adventures I would like to do, I have to stop
working for a year or so in order to make time
to write and playtest them.  And if I do that, 
I don't want to have ANY legal liabilities 
because I would want to make money off of that 
investment in time and labor.

 Question:  why have the games based on TFT had
so little impact?

 Warm regards,

p.s. Actually, if I were to get the rights to TFT
I would make enough changes that it would be a
new game.  However the core system I would leave
exactly the same, so it would still clearly be a
derivative work.  Oh, well.

On Fri, 2005-07-08 at 13:52, Ty Beard wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Marc Gacy" <mgacy@maad.com>
> To: <tft@brainiac.com>
> Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 2:35 PM
> Subject: Re: (TFT) Open Source TFT
> > How does Legends of the Ancient World fit into this?
> > http://www.darkcitygames.com/
> > Their rules are free and obviously & intentionally similar to TFT.
> They've done pretty much the same kind of thing that I'm proposing.
> --Ty
> =====
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