Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip > The Fantasy Trip: House Rules

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-09-2019, 06:21 PM   #1
FireHorse
 
FireHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Default Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

Suppose I made a Zine with content intended for use with The Fantasy Trip (by including TFT stats).

Question: Would that require a licensing agreement (like the one that's been mentioned for selling PDFs through Warehouse 23)? Or not?

And on a side note, is that even desirable? Or does it seem wiser to take the "generic" Fantasy RPG approach and omit all stats, as Phil Reed is doing with Delayed Blast?
FireHorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 08:57 PM   #2
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

Depends on details. I would assume the online policy applies.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 11:12 PM   #3
JLV
 
JLV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

I honestly think your best bet would be to talk to Steve himself about that. But I would note that if the Hexagram Kickstarter does well, it's entirely possible they will have their own in-house magazine (at least for a time), and I suspect they might not want a competing magazine out there (it would hurt sales of both).

But that's just my $0.02 worth, and Steve would be the best person to give you guidance on that sort of thing.
JLV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 03:42 AM   #4
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

I don't recall any fanzines I've seen being officially sanctioned. Surely that was the point; they were unofficial. They were also amateur, so although they may have had a cover price, that was pretty much to cover the cost of production only. They were never competition for official products.
Chris Rice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 04:07 AM   #5
JLV
 
JLV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

Yes, but the OP wants to launch his via Kickstarter, and as Phil or maybe Steve pointed out, the parent company often winds up holding the bag on something published for their "system" even if it isn't officially sanctioned -- at least in public opinion, and when it comes to Kickstarters, often financially too. As just one example, look no further than the Nightfall issue with the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter. More importantly, something like that could carry implications for the TFT system itself, and I think Steve is trying to retain control of the product right now, with plans to loosen up when he has it where he wants it to be. Even then, his response (as I expected it to be) was basically, "Call me and we can chat about it." Basically the OP is just doing his due diligence by asking and Steve is just doing his by asking to talk.

If the OP just wants to do a fanzine, he could do that electronically out of his home office and send it to folks who ask for it for free. In the old days, people contributed articles, ideas, artwork, letters, etc., to fanzines like that all the time. No one got paid and no one got charged, unless there was an actual printing cost involved, and even then the "editor" charged what the cost was, not anything big. As I recall, subscriptions to such things were basically the cost of mailing -- the editors typed up the thing on a few sheets of paper, maybe ran a few copies on the Public Library's Xerox machine, and folded them into an envelope, and that was about it. Nowadays, it should be free, simply because computer time on your home computer is free, no typewriter ribbons are involved, no envelopes are involved, and no postage is involved since you can e-mail them out.

But more importantly than the logistical aspects, back in those days, RPG gaming was the wild west; anyone who wanted to publish anything just went ahead and didn't worry about it and no one thought it was any kind of big deal in terms of copyright or anything else. I mean, it was only a bunch of crazy kids playing some weird game, wasn't it? Then one day, the hobby grew up and became a multi-million dollar operation and suddenly TSR was hiring lawyers and threatening people with lawsuits over their fanzines. And while that was definitely an overreaction, I think a small company like Steve Jackson Games has to take care of their rights and be concerned about something that could have a potential impact on what is rapidly becoming one of their signature product lines. And even then, Steve just mildly says, "talk to me," which is not an outright refusal, but simply an attempt to understand any issues and defuse any problems that might crop up.

I guess the bottom line is that there's a reason the many fanzines more or less died out (with a few amazing exceptions -- like Alarums and Excursions), and nowadays people tend to be more careful about things like copyright violations or trademark screw-ups; the legal costs can kill EVERYONE involved, even if it was all an innocent mistake or simple misunderstanding to start with. I worked for a defense contracting company (a BIG one, but I won't name any names) back in the early 2000's and they had to draft a policy about using their company logo on polo shirts and coffee cups, because if they did it "wrong" they would have vacated their "legal ownership" of the company logo and anyone else could have simply started using it. Believe it or not. So, in today's world, I think both Firehorse and Steve are doing things exactly right, even if we all (and I include Steve and SJG in that "all") do just want to throw up our hands and say; "You've got to be kidding me!"

Last edited by JLV; 02-10-2019 at 04:16 AM.
JLV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 04:12 AM   #6
FireHorse
 
FireHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

EDIT: Addressing Chris Rice…

To be honest, I'm not sure how a system-specific Zine qualifies as a "competing" product. It isn't replacing the system, it's supplementing it, yes?

For reference, what I'm talking about would amount to an "Adventure Module Series", in periodical form.

However, I did imagine charging some amount of $ilver for it — and of course, whenever $ilver is involved, licensing and legal stuff probably will be too. Hence, the question.

Perhaps I should just skip physical copies though, and the attendant costs, and just wait for SJG to open up the W23 thing. If my Zine were aimed specifically at players of TFT, then W23 is where I'd find the greatest number of that audience anyway.

So I think I answered my own question. Or rather, rendered it moot.

Last edited by FireHorse; 02-10-2019 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Clarification
FireHorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 04:31 AM   #7
FireHorse
 
FireHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

Addressing JLV…

Maintaining Quality Control, that's something I can understand.

I shall probably just restructure my idea into something wholly electronic, and do it through W23 with the forthcoming licensing arrangement. That may be the best format anyway (although I must confess to a nostalgic fondness for actual Paper).

But since either way it would need to get SJG's (and more specifically, Steve's) nod of approval, all I have to do is put together something really impressive and awesome to sell the idea, right? Talk, indeed, but also show.

So I'll get to work on that. :)
FireHorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 01:41 AM   #8
JLV
 
JLV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Would a TFT-based Zine need a license?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireHorse View Post
Addressing JLV…

Maintaining Quality Control, that's something I can understand.

I shall probably just restructure my idea into something wholly electronic, and do it through W23 with the forthcoming licensing arrangement. That may be the best format anyway (although I must confess to a nostalgic fondness for actual Paper).

But since either way it would need to get SJG's (and more specifically, Steve's) nod of approval, all I have to do is put together something really impressive and awesome to sell the idea, right? Talk, indeed, but also show.

So I'll get to work on that. :)
I sincerely hope you do, and if you can figure it out, I'd LOVE to see a POD option so I CAN get them in paper too (I feel the same way about that you do). Maybe through LULU or even DriveThruRPG, but I'd suggest asking Steve about how that works since they started giving us a POD option for GURPS files in the last year! I sure don't want to discourage you from putting together a fanzine if Steve's okay with it, and you can definitely count on an instant buy (or subscription, if you offer it) from me!
JLV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.