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

----- Original Message ----- From: "Rick Smith" <rsmith@lightspeed.ca>
To: <tft@brainiac.com>

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.

Hi Rick. I fear I haven't explained my proposal clearly enough and I would regret your non-participation.

My proposal is to merely re-create the canon TFT rules so that they can be distributed to new gamers without violating anyone's copyright.

This "canon" set should include the TFT rules as they exist in the TFT rulebooks. I believe that we should *only* change rules that are (a) truly ambiguous; (b) incomplete; or (c) contradictory. This is a rather small set -- most of the work has already been done by Steve Jackson in his TFT Errata article. And I, for one, consider this errata to be canonical.

Seems to me that "canon" should only include rules material from (a) Metagaming's published TFT materials; (b) errata from Steve Jackson (we should discuss whether to prefer Metagaming's errata over Steve's; I say no, but am open to discussion); and our revisions of the few remaining rules that are truly ambiguous, incomplete, or contradictory. All we'll really "add" to classic TFT is an organizational structure, an index, maybe a more precise writing style, and the integration of eratta and some rules material from TFT supplements.

Once the canon is defined and created, then *anyone* can modify it as she sees fit because the rules are effectively in the public domain.

Personally, I don't object to issuing variant or expansion materials. But I feel these should be (a) marked as such; and (b) maintained in a separate document from the canonical rules. For instance, I use a d20 instead of 3d6 in my TFT games. This is a variant; IMHO it should not appear in the canonical rules, even as an "optional rule". The same with your excellent superscript rules. These would be better placed in a "Ty and Rick's Excellent TFT2 Supplement" or somesuch.

If someone wants to produce a rules set with their changes interated into the text, they can do it. The base, canonical rules will effectively be public domain and available in electronic form. The OGL will need to specify that variants be identified in some way -- perhaps we *should* consider defining variant games as "TFT System" materials while giving the canon rules a unique name -- "TFT Base Rules" or somesuch.

But as a practical matter, these variant rules will still strongly resemble TFT -- why change something for the sole purpose of changing it? I think that we will gain an immense benefit because we can freely distribute TFT to a gaming population that has never seen it. And no one will have to violate copyright law to do so.

Anyhow, I hope this clearly describes what I'm proposing.

--Ty =====
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