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Old 11-07-2017, 11:19 PM   #1
JLV
 
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Default The Fantasy Trip

I'm not sure that this is the right place to ask this question, but since there are many thousands of us out here that still regret the long-ago demise of The Fantasy Trip, I thought I'd ask Steve or someone in the know to comment on a piece of information that came my way recently.

It APPEARS, from a website which provides information on Copyrights dating back to 1978, that Steve Jackson, in May of 2015 applied, under the provisions of "17 U.S. Code § 203 - Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author," to terminate his grant of Copyright for 8 titles of The Fantasy Trip (Melee, Advanced Melee, Wizard, Advanced Wizard, Death Test, Death Test 2, In the Labyrinth, and Tollenkar's Lair) to Howard Thompson and Metagaming Concepts. It also APPEARS, from the content displayed on that web site, that this termination of grant was EFFECTIVE as of 17 May 2017!

If I'm reading this right, it means that the copyrights for the entire rules corpus and three of the most important adventures from The Fantasy Trip have reverted to Steve Jackson in their entirety. Is this true? And if so, does it mean that somewhere, somehow, even if ever so faintly, there might conceivably be a slim chance that Steve will REPUBLISH them? OMG!

For whatever it's worth, Steve, if there's any truth at all to this (and assuming I'm not completely misunderstanding what I've read there), I would cheerfully incorporate my soul and give 40% of the stock for you to do this. Dare I hope for a "Designer's Edition" of the rules (like DE Ogre)?

Last edited by JLV; 11-07-2017 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Interesting. I was a fan, and alas no longer have my books as I lent them to a friend. I'd be interested, should SJG choose to do a Kickstarter for some reprints.

(Probably a lot of work. Even if they have the original digital files, just getting those converted to modern formats would be a fair amount of work, and the layout would have to be done all over again. I suppose they could scan an existing copy and make PDFs more easily. But still, it's a lot of expense for we hopeful Kickstarter backers to cover.)

Then there's the question of whether or not to release them in the original form (stapled paper), or make bundle the three books and perhaps adventures into one or two softcover or hardcovers. (And if you did bundle, which artwork do you choose for the cover?)

In the meantime, you can still find copies of the TFT books on Amazon, usually at collector prices ($60, $22, and $34 on a quick check).
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

There are also PDFs for everything already floating around out there... I don't know, if Kickstarter was the way they would want to go, they'd probably need some way to gauge interest before really committing themselves to the time and effort needed for even that.

Still, if the on-line community for TFT is any indicator, I would think they'd gather quite a few potential "buyer-investors" for something like this. I remember that they frankly didn't think that Ogre would have that much interest in it either and then they pulled one of the biggest Kickstarters ever up until that time...

But, we have no confirmation from Steve (or anyone authorized to speak for Steve) so it's possible that I'm just not reading the website right. Here's the link to the website that states the basic facts (do a keyword search on "Metagaming"), and here's the link to the website about the law itself -- what do you think?
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
For whatever it's worth, Steve, if there's any truth at all to this (and assuming I'm not completely misunderstanding what I've read there), I would cheerfully incorporate my soul and give 40% of the stock for you to do this. Dare I hope for a "Designer's Edition" of the rules (like DE Ogre)?
I could not agree more with this sentiment! (The fact that I've already sold my soul to Ogre, notwithstanding!)

D.

(And May 17, 2017 was my 20th wedding anniversary! So although my wife still has majority ownership of my soul, this must be an omen!)

D.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Dare I hope for a "Designer's Edition" of the rules (like DE Ogre)?
Isn't this already GURPS?
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Isn't this already GURPS?
GURPS 1e, maybe.

Ooh, ooh! A prestige reprint of GURPS 1e is coming! :D
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

TFT was published in 1982; 17 U.S. Code § 203 allows termination during a 5 year period after 35 years (i.e. 2017) and requires prior notice of 2-10 years, so this sounds entirely plausible, but not indicative of much of anything other than SJ considering exercising his rights worth the (probably minimal) effort required.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Isn't this already GURPS?
GURPS has some pretty substantial differences from TFT. There's clearly some heritage there, but also of completely redesigned and new systems and mechanics. Would you count D&D 3.5 as a Designers' Edition of the original boxed set?

Also, no Prootwaddles...
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
GURPS has some pretty substantial differences from TFT. There's clearly some heritage there, but also of completely redesigned and new systems and mechanics. Would you count D&D 3.5 as a Designers' Edition of the original boxed set?

Also, no Prootwaddles...
ODE has some pretty substantial differences from the Micorgames Ogre.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post

GURPS has some pretty substantial differences from TFT.
GURPS probably owes more to Hero than to TFT. While TFT was certainly a learning experience for the designer of GURPS, I'd hesitate to say it's a direct ancestor, any more than an Apple IIe is a direct ancestor of an iPhone. I played a lot of TFT . . . and when I started playing GURPS, the only thing that made me think of TFT was the name "Steve Jackson" on the cover.
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