Licensing question... anyone got an answer?

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tomes
tomes's picture
Licensing question... anyone got an answer?
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Hey folks! Love the site and the zine. I used to play Star Frontiers back in the early 80s, and still have my beat-up box. 

Recently I've gotten into more modern agnostic systems, like Powered by the Apocalypse games, and Savage Worlds. And when I found a Savage Worlds Star Frontiers conversion I was stoked!

I've also been running games at my local con here (Strategicon in LA) and started a Lego-based dungeon crawl, and that's led me to today.

I have a Lego-based Star Frontiers Savage Worlds dungeon crawl that I put together, and just ran it a few times for friends and at Orccon 2015. I'm pretty happy with how it came out, and the player responses.

So, my question is: If I wanted to publish an adventure / module type thing, does anyone know if there are legal concerns around the Star Frontiers races, or using the Star Frontiers name? I know it went OGL back in the early 2000's, but just wasn't sure the deal-io.

Glad to be a part of the forums, cheers.

tomes
tomes's picture

Also, although the commenting here says that paragraphs and line breaks are recognized, that doesn't appear to be the case (as I tried to Edit the above to add them a number of times). Is the forum just a little weak on that point?

jedion357
jedion357's picture

Tom S is the one to comment on our licenses as he's the one with a contact at WotC and secured our license.

I would think that you could write and article on what you did and that you be ok as its just a here is what i did with legos for this game. We could publish it, we do have some page length issues with the Frontier Explorer but we might be able to work around those.

 

As to the editing thing; not sure what the problem is. Disabling the rich text editor does do some funny things especially if you are doing a cut and paste.

Just a dralasite exploring the Frontier.

Tom Stephens
Tom Stephens's picture

Tomes, I saw some pictures from your game on twitter and heard them talking about it on Happy Jacks.  Sounds like it was really cool.

If you're lookig to publish for profit, the answer will be a flat out no from Wizards.  Star Frontiers was never actually part of the OGL and they have made it clear in several conversations I've had over the years that that is not an option.  Although I'm slowly chipping away at the wall (I think) and maybe someday it may be possible.

If, on the other hand, you're just looking to make the information available for people to use, there shouldn't be any issue in publishing it for free as a "fan" production.  And as jedion357 said, we would be more than happy to work with you to get it ready and publish it for you.  With the agreements I've gotten from WotC for both the Frontier Explorer and Star Frontiersman, I can publish just about anything as long as it is not for profit.  The exact details on what I can publish is different for the two magazines (mainly, I think, because I was talking to different people at different times) but between the two, anything is a go. 

If you wanted to do it yourself you might want to talk with Wizards about use of the IP but if you're just putting it on-line for free, it would probably fall under their fansite license (like the FE is operating under), and they would give you the go ahead.  In fact, if that's the route you want to go, you can probably just do it with the proper disclaimers.

As to the editing and line breaks, it's strange that it wasn't working for you as it seems to be working just fine for me and jedion357.  I think it might be a problem with the site's CSS as it's working in the comments but not in the original post even though the proper HTML tags are there.  I'll have to look into it.

Tom Stephens
Tom Stephens's picture

And I fixed it.  For some reason, the paragraph tag wasn't being recgonized for normal, non-admin logins.  That is what the automatice line breaks were adding in.  I added it in and now they are working.  I also went back and removed the extra ones in your post.

jedion357
jedion357's picture

[quote=Tom S] Star frontiers was never part of the OGL [/quote]

I'm guessing that any ambition I might have to write a Star Frontiers adventure and submit it to Gygax magazine will be dead in the water for that very reason. Gygax #4 just had a Top Secret adventure written by one of the original game designers and I thought it would be nice if a Star Frontiers adventure got in that zine as well. However, its clear that they are in this for profit so....

Just a dralasite exploring the Frontier.

tomes
tomes's picture

Originally I was interested in making a somewhat mechanic-agnostic adventure or based on Savage Worlds, but because all the races are SF it would have those legal issues you mention above.

I'd actually be happy at this point to publish the game as a fan thing, and mostly wrote it up as such anyways, so it'd take little work. The biggest effort was the Lego setting :-)

@Tom Stephens: You on the Happy Jacks forums too? And if so, under what name? I did end up running it online for Jackercon using Google Hangouts and Roll20, and hence, recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcP38Lm7f48

Tom Stephens
Tom Stephens's picture

I'm not on their forums.  I just listen to the podcast when I can.  It's at the tail end of a lot of podcasts I listen to because 1) thier episodes are long and I have finite amount of time to listen (about 4-5 hours a week tops while driving and doing chores) and 2) they swear a little too much (okay a lot too much) for my taste.  The content is great through which I why I put up with the language.

Well we'd be more than happy to publish it here if you want as I've already dealt with all the legal stuff although all we can do is publish it for free.

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