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EclecticGamer
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 8

Old August 24th, 2013, 02:38 PM
This is all precisely why I'm bringing this up.

I'll continue to use Eberron as an example.

If I'm going to make a campaign in Eberron, I want to use the actual world and city maps that are in the books so I can mark events and persons of interest in the same map that the players have in their copies of the books. I want to be able to add some of the information from the books as things the characters have learned through the adventure so that it will appropriately show up in the player log in Realm Works.

This should all be fine. There's no distribution, and even if someone from Wizards finds out, they in all likelihood won't care if I'm not distributing it.

Now if I want to share all the hard work I've done on the campaign, it becomes awkward. Most of the characters, plots and adventures are original, but there are copyrighted descriptions and maps in my realm.

Ideally, it would be nice if LWD could get some sort of partnership with companies to include their material with a purchase. Then my realm could note that it uses materials from the Eberron RW suppliment, which will be included if you have purchased it. But that sounds like it's a few steps down the line.

Probably the only solution is to somehow make a copy of the realm that has placeholder images and descriptions that say, "replace with map on page 241 of book X". I would think that would be fine. References to guilds and houses probably wouldn't be too far over the line.

The interesting thing about the discussion is that in general having this available encourages players to use the company's products. Given that, you'd think that there would be some way to make something work for everyone.

I hope that the inclusion of copyrighted material doesn't have a negative impact on Realm Works sharing, but if anyone can navigate that landmine it's LWD.
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Jaynay27
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Old August 24th, 2013, 02:39 PM
@Spence - that's cool man, perhaps I misunderstood your post, but from your reply I think we are on the same track

Wholesale distribution of data packs - not cool.
Revealing copyright content, as discovered during play, to assist with playing the game - cool.

@EclecticGamer - It is an interesting issue, but are you talking about sharing content to your players or to the wider community?

I think this comes comes down to who and why you are sharing the data.

If you own and input copyright data from a 3rd party (like WOTC), and want to share that information through play (including maps, campaign data etc) then revealing that to your players should be ok. You shouldn't need to refer the players back to the original source to access maps or other information. Like I said earlier - my players don't have access to the adventure path material, so I can't really expect them all to buy the adventure path just to access the maps/information within the AP itself.

If you own and input copyright data for Eberron, but supplement that data with your own original material and want to share your own custom material wholesale with the community (not just your players), you may run in to problems. I am not sure where the line is drawn here, but I believe that you would need to make your content generic in nature (removing all references to the published material) and share only the original content you created.
Or perhaps as Spence said, you could reference the original material by referring back to the original source-book by page number etc.

Needless to say, any officially published material that you input would also not be able to be shared with the wider community, as this is still copyright material owned by the publisher.

Again let me say that I may be wrong and we probably need some official clarification for this, prior to the official release with cloud sharing.

Last edited by Jaynay27; August 24th, 2013 at 04:32 PM. Reason: added response to OP
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AEIOU
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Old August 24th, 2013, 05:09 PM
Open source gaming worlds are the next wave. The game companies can embrace RW and open their world content to allow us to share our adventures. Or they can stay closed. We all know that was extremely successful for the music and news medias. Like many old-medias, this is a watershed moment and they have choices to make as to how they wish to do business in the future. Do they make LW police every sentence? Or do they embrace it and move the entire industry forward in ways we've never even thought of?

Hang on. It's going to be an interesting ride these next few months.

I'd really like LW to add a snippet so we can self-identify/self-police copyrighted content. All copyrighted material would be blanked out for that topic but I'm hoping that topic headings could be transmitted (even though technically names of places, people and things are also copyrighted) so that the structures of the data are maintained. Us GM's that download could then either rekey the material if we own it or we substitute something of our own making -- either way, the content structure would be intact and the flow uninterrupted.

The problem is that each publisher will have their own demands and views on what should or shouldn't be the future.... I'm hoping that this fickle community uses its buying power to express levels of satisfaction with how gaming evolves after RW.
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Silveras
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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:28 PM
@EclecticGamer:

Realms are intended to be additive, in that you can access data from one in another. Your home-written adventure can then *probably* be given away by you, because it will *not* actually contain the copyrighted material. It would, however, require that anyone else wishing to use it also have the same "Setting" and/or "Rules" datapacks.

Note that I said "probably" above. The reason is that it will depend on the publisher's attitude toward fan-created material. Some allow use within certain guidelines. If you keep to those guidelines, then all is well. If you violate those limits, then you will likely receive cease-and-desist orders initially, and increasing legal issues if you insist on continuing. ("You" in this case being "any person".)
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Jaynay27
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Old August 24th, 2013, 08:28 PM
You guys raise interesting points. I also really believe that Realm Works has the ability to be a game changer, particularly in the RPG industry (but could be used in other industries also, with some simple re-branding).

It does depend on publishers getting on board, but we are seeing more and more publishers choosing to have Herolab support for their products, which is a positive sign.

Small rant
It would be really great if companies like WOTC got on board. In the past WOTC has promised a lot in terms of digital support, but provided very little.
I remember 2nd edition had the Core Rules program (which was great at the time).
3rd edition had a limited and clunky character generator.
then 4th edition promised the world - character generator, VTT campaign management etc - with only the character/monster generator released and some unreleased beta programs that were cancelled (IIRC).

Now imagine if, instead of trying to develop these things themselves (via 3rd party licensing to develop specific programs), they leveraged RW to fulfil their customers digital needs.

As RW is system agnostic you could have all the content to run Eberron, FR, Planescape etc with whatever rules you like (I am betting that like me, there are plenty of people who would use WOTC fluff with, say, Pathfinder crunch).
Then licence Herolab for the character generator.
They seriously should do this for 5th edition if they want to claw back market share from Paizo/Pathfinder.
/end Rant

But back to the main topic - I have always been someone who prefers physical books over digital content and currently that remains unchanged. PDF's aren't bad per se, but I find them clunky to use in-game.

RW is a totally different story though, and given enough support from publishers, I can see myself purchasing a LOT of digital content in the future, in lieu of physical products (which are becoming a pain to store as I have limited space in my current home).

It would seem from a few posts here and there that LWD is aware of the licensing issues and working with publishers to iron the issues out, but we wont really know how this will look until they make some announcements.
I would think that tying content sold, to specific RW accounts would be seen as beneficial to publishers though, much like tying games to a steam account, as this *should* be seen as a measure to reduce piracy if anything.

Last edited by Jaynay27; August 24th, 2013 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Spelling - Blah :)
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rob
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Old August 25th, 2013, 03:16 AM
This is a very complex subject and we're working hard to navigate it with a lot of publishers right now. This includes the heavyweights of the industry, as well as many mid-tier companies.

The intent of a publisher when selling an adventure is that the GM (purchaser) would then share the content of that adventure with his players. So there is no problem with a GM sharing the content of an adventure purchased through Realm Works with his players.

However, as has been generally agreed in the discussion above, the GM (purchaser of content) cannot share that content with other GMs. Similarly, a GM who enters purchased content into Realm Works himself cannot share that content with others, as that content is still owned by the original publisher.

If a GM chooses to develop "derivative works" for a published product (e.g. Eberron or Golarion), then it's up to the original publisher regarding how tightly they want to protect that original property (i.e. the setting). For example, if someone writes fan fiction for the Star Wars universe, they get shut down instantly, so anyone sharing derivative content for Star Wars through Realm Works will elicit a similar response from Lucas (er, Disney) and we'll need to take action. It's unclear at this point how other publishers will respond to this, and that's something they either are currently or will soon need to debate internally.

Realm Works represents a sea change within the RPG industry. Some publishers are very reluctant, others are cautiously receptive, and still others are embracing it fully. Based on the public reputations of some of the companies we've talked to, many of you would likely be surprised at which companies fall into which of those groupings.

We've had very productive discussions with lots of publishers, and everything is now starting to come together with many of them. We're working hard to get official licenses into place over the next few months with a variety of publishers, including some (not all) of the heavyweights. As licenses are officially inked, we'll be announcing them.

So please stay tuned and be patient while we get everything together.
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Spence
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Old August 25th, 2013, 11:43 AM
@rob

Thanks for the info. For myself I intend to err on the side of caution. But from many of the posts I believe that will be easier for me than some. I am a hopelessly dead tree man when it comes to RPG products and even print and bind my PDF only products. I also have no interest in VTT etc so not having system mechanics is no real loss for me.

But RW's ability to organize the STORY is fantastic and something I have been wanting for years (I have even bought writers software trying to find the answer). Though I am a bit compulsive on supporting software I like (I have a majority of the data packs for HL, even for systems I don't play that often) so I more than likely will be picking up RW world settings even from class/level games. Though I am much less rules and much more fluff in a setting.

I am champing at the bit to see the list of lines that you successfully arrive at agreements with. I know what I would like to see, but that is probably better saved for a another thread....
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AEIOU
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Old August 25th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Something to keep in mind as that most gamers start with published modules in order to run them. And they evolve into incorporating ideas, maps, NPC's and whatnot from a variety of sources to create the world their players play in. That great map of an inn gets used in various incarnations. That borderland fort from a module I really thought sucked would fit really well into my homebrew setting. I like how the organizations of another setting were developed and want to pull some of them over.0

None of this stuff that we've always done will be (legally) possible if publishers don't allow us to use and recycle the content we buy like we always have. The difference is that in the past, if I shared my setting or adventure with others, it was very limited. Photocopies or a wiki or a bunch of Word documents don't really transfer easily into another GM's world.

RW changes that by creating a common framework. Sharing is going to be simple and a good adventure can easily get incorporated by anyone in a matter of minutes. This is the game changer. Before we used content from different sources and traded things around but the sharing was difficult so it didn't happen on a large scale. RW is going to make it easy to share, add a framework and allow us to quickly incorporate things into our games.

I want to keep buying modules and settings and rulesets and maps and stuff. But I want to mix and match it to suit the worlds my players play in.
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SeeleyOne
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Old August 25th, 2013, 07:16 PM
Sometimes I think that a subscription to data packages is a good idea.

Evil wins because good rolls poorly .... or the players are not paying enough attention to the game.
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jerrycnh
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Old August 28th, 2013, 07:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEIOU View Post
Something to keep in mind as that most gamers start with published modules in order to run them. And they evolve into incorporating ideas, maps, NPC's and whatnot from a variety of sources to create the world their players play in. That great map of an inn gets used in various incarnations. That borderland fort from a module I really thought sucked would fit really well into my homebrew setting. I like how the organizations of another setting were developed and want to pull some of them over.0

None of this stuff that we've always done will be (legally) possible if publishers don't allow us to use and recycle the content we buy like we always have. The difference is that in the past, if I shared my setting or adventure with others, it was very limited. Photocopies or a wiki or a bunch of Word documents don't really transfer easily into another GM's world.

RW changes that by creating a common framework. Sharing is going to be simple and a good adventure can easily get incorporated by anyone in a matter of minutes. This is the game changer. Before we used content from different sources and traded things around but the sharing was difficult so it didn't happen on a large scale. RW is going to make it easy to share, add a framework and allow us to quickly incorporate things into our games.

I want to keep buying modules and settings and rulesets and maps and stuff. But I want to mix and match it to suit the worlds my players play in.
As I understand it, no one is saying that we can't share any gaming material we want with our PCs. We can build a published module from scratch in RW with /no/ original content and still be on legally firm ground so long as we're not sharing it for any purpose other than traditional DM-PC gaming table sharing.

The legality questions come in when we go to share that creation with other GMs on the Realm Works community thing, possibly even for profit. If you're not planning on using RW for that, then this debate is entirely academic for you.
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