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Author Topic: How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?  (Read 1969 times)

Snowman0147

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« on: May 15, 2020, 09:55:04 am »
Seriously.  How does he make osr books that use the d20 system and yet never adds the OGL in any of his books?  I am just curious about that.

Stan Shinn

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 10:39:29 am »
You can't copyright rules, only specific descriptions of rules. So long as Kevin Crawford doesn't copy entire paragraphs of text from WOTC products, he should be fine. The other thing is avoiding trademarked terms like 'D&D', 'beholder', etc., which are listed and called out in the WOTC SRDs. If you don't use blocks of text from the d20 OGL, you don't have to include the OGL license.

Morblot

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 10:58:03 am »
Well I've only played SWN but that's not really the d20 system. The skills work completely differently, for one. There are certainly similarities in the combat rules but it's not a 1:1 replica either.

I'm interested to see if he will include a bestiary in the upcoming fantasy game. Orcs, goblins etc. are probably fair game anyway, but the OGL would allow him to also include some classic D&D monsters if I'm not mistaken.

Then again, I can also see him just include some SWN-style tables for monster creation and thus circumvent the problem completely.

JeffB

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 01:17:38 pm »
I just looked at my copy of Exemplars & Eidolons- no OGL.

IDK about the rest of his games ( I have SWN too, but never got deep into it) , but  though he may use familiar terms, E&E does mechanical things in such a clever way- Saves, Combat, etc that I'm guessing he's not worried about it. And as mentioned he's not using the  text provided by WOTC or the license badging to promote it his work.

Does he have a new Fantasy game coming out? E&E is one of my favorite OSR products period. Have had great fun with it over the years.

DocJones

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 01:25:37 pm »
Ideas (rules) cannot be copyrighted.  Only expression (of rules) can be copyrighted.

estar

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2020, 01:58:14 pm »
Quote from: Snowman0147;1130046
Seriously.  How does he make osr books that use the d20 system and yet never adds the OGL in any of his books?  I am just curious about that.

I concur with what everybody else says about you can't copyright rules, well rules that are mechanical experession. A random table without any math behind is likely more on the copyrightable side than not. While a rule that says roll 1d20 and if it equal to or greater than the target's AC is likely not on the copyrightable side.

Also notice that Kevin Crawford's book are pretty much their own thing, either have their own take on fantasy, or a different genre all together.

However aside from my strong pro opinions on sharing open content, I rather not have to deal with lawyers so I opt for the clarity of using open content under the OGL

SineNomine

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2020, 02:09:26 pm »
I don't use WotC's text or tables, and I don't use their unique and characteristic IP, such as beholders, mind flayers, displacer beasts, or the Forgotten Realm. To the extent that I use the same mechanics as older editions of D&D, I use my own wording to describe them. As such, the OGL isn't necessary for what I do, in the same way that somebody else could come along and write a 100% clone of Stars Without Number just by using their own words and staying away from my specific setting and proper-noun IP.

I don't use the OGL unless it's strictly necessary, such as on my Labyrinth Lord products. It's a further layer of legal complication that I don't need.
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Mistwell

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2020, 03:26:35 pm »
Does he sell enough and have high enough public exposure to have come to the attention of anyone who would care?

Orphan81

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 04:48:00 pm »
Quote from: Mistwell;1130080
Does he sell enough and have high enough public exposure to have come to the attention of anyone who would care?

Kevin is probably one of the most successful OSR people in the industry, so much so his content is popular among NON-OSR fans who purchase it. He's loved both here and at The Big Purple. His stuff is best sellers on Drive-thru RPG, yes I would say he certainly has a high enough profile if it was a problem someone would have taken notice.

Morblot

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 05:30:18 pm »
Quote from: JeffB;1130060
Does he have a new Fantasy game coming out?

Yes, see the draft betas here: Worlds Without Number (...which I just found myself)

It seems to use the SWN Revised system, including skills, foci, only four classes and the dual 2d6/1d20 dice mechanic... and of course also the faction system, which should be interesting to many.

GeekEclectic

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 10:38:34 pm »
Quote from: Morblot;1130097
Yes, see the draft betas here: Worlds Without Number (...which I just found myself)

It seems to use the SWN Revised system, including skills, foci, only four classes and the dual 2d6/1d20 dice mechanic... and of course also the faction system, which should be interesting to many.
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Kuroth

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2020, 05:13:34 am »
Because of awesomeness, obviously.
Any comment I add to forum is from complete boredom.

JeffB

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2020, 07:59:18 am »
Quote from: Morblot;1130097
Yes, see the draft betas here: Worlds Without Number (...which I just found myself)

It seems to use the SWN Revised system, including skills, foci, only four classes and the dual 2d6/1d20 dice mechanic... and of course also the faction system, which should be interesting to many.


Thank you for the tip, this looks great!

nDervish

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2020, 08:20:05 am »
Quote from: JeffB;1130060
I just looked at my copy of Exemplars & Eidolons- no OGL. IDK about the rest of his games


Some of his earliest stuff (I think it's just the Red Tide setting and associated products, but I could be wrong about that) was based on Labyrinth Lord and included an OGL page.  Once he dropped the LL references, the OGL statements also disappeared.

Quote from: Orphan81;1130090
Kevin is probably one of the most successful OSR people in the industry, so much so his content is popular among NON-OSR fans who purchase it.


I don't run/play any "class and level" RPGs, but, whenever I see that Kevin has posted a new project on Kickstarter, I go and pledge first, then read the description to find out what I just threw money at.  I have never once reduced or regretted a pledge for one of his projects, despite backing them sight unseen.  The sandboxing tools included in all his products are that good, even outside of the context they were originally meant for.

Quote from: Orphan81;1130090
He's loved both here and at The Big Purple.


This is perhaps the greatest proof that Kevin can do anything.

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How Does Kevin Crawsford Get Away With It?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 09:19:19 pm »
As pointed out, it's not technically necessary to use the OGL.
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