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Author Topic: "Generic" Dungeon Question  (Read 597 times)

Werekoala

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« on: March 06, 2007, 05:49:31 PM »
Could you design and publish a dungeon or adventure to be generic or multi-system and have the creatures for each encounter be referenced by a series of book/page number from other products? i.e. not stats or a stat block for any one system, just a listing like "Monster Manual 2, page 25; GURPS Bestiary, page 6" etc? What kind of legal requirements might their be? If you're not using any actual work from another product, just referencing it, would that be a viable way to go?
Lan Astaslem


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James McMurray

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 05:53:09 PM »
That should be ok, as long as you provide proper trademark and/or copyright info for the books you cite. I'd probably call each company up and ask them if they mind. I don't know if legally you need permission, but it seems like the polite thing to do. Not to mention if you happen to piss the wrong company off, it doesn't have to be illegal for court costs to eat you alive.

One Horse Town

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 06:42:43 PM »
As far as i know, referencing other works shouldn't be a problem. It's a common thing after all to list references in books that have served as inspiration. However, using the distinct names present in some systems, such as Gelatinous Cube or Otilukes Freezing Sphere, from d&d in a published work and then giving a product reference, may be problematic.

If you really wish to publish a systemless resource, i personally think that you'd be better off by describing things such as beasts, spell effects etc in generic terms. This leaves it up to the reader to convert the descriptions to the system that they are using and also relieves you of any worries about legal responsibility.

James J Skach

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 11:51:39 AM »
Or pick one to three systems that are fairly well known to have conversion to and from, and provide stats accordingly.  That way, people could convert using existing information based on the system information you provide.

perhaps...
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Mcrow

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2007, 12:07:35 PM »
I can't imagine an RPG company that would have a problem with that if you asked first.

HinterWelt

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 12:19:45 PM »
Quote from: Werekoala
Could you design and publish a dungeon or adventure to be generic or multi-system and have the creatures for each encounter be referenced by a series of book/page number from other products? i.e. not stats or a stat block for any one system, just a listing like "Monster Manual 2, page 25; GURPS Bestiary, page 6" etc? What kind of legal requirements might their be? If you're not using any actual work from another product, just referencing it, would that be a viable way to go?
The item you would run afoul of most often would be trademarks. If Mosnter Manual is a TM of WOTC then you cannot use it. Most game titles are so you need to have express permission of the holder to use it.

Also, you woul dnot be able to say "Comapatible with the Monster Manual!" in your ad copy since you would be using their TM.

Those are the big ones I can think of. I do not believe it would fall under a Fair Use clause.

Bill

Edit: Addendum: The key to remember also, is that they need to defend it. So, if you use it, you might get away with it but you open yourself up for litigation.
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Werekoala

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2007, 12:49:14 PM »
Thanks for all the tips so far. Do you think the Trademark issue could be skirted by saying "MM" rather than Monster Manual?
Lan Astaslem


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Calithena

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"Generic" Dungeon Question
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 05:44:31 PM »
I think I remember from my d20 days that the abbreviations were more frowned on than the book titles. I'm pretty sure "DMG" was forbidden frex.

But, I thought we were allowed to refer to the books somehow - maybe the full titles were OK? Hmm.
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