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Hi, i just started implementing the rules of "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition" into my game. Im wondering if im breaking any copyright laws as long as i dont mention the actual trademark ? I looked for info at Wizards of the Cost but couldnt find the information i was looking for. Anybody know ? [edited by - newdeal on June 3, 2002 5:44:31 PM]

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Are you suggesting AD&D is an open license? I couldnt find anything on those pages to suggest it was, though I might have missed it. Here is the closest thing I read:

quote:
)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity


But it doesnt say which works are covered under this license.


I wouldnt really know anything about the topic, but I seem to remember reading an article recently about how neverwinter nights was going to be the first game to license the new AD&D combat rules, or something like that. I can''t say for sure what it was, but that vague phrase stuck in my mind. It that is correct, wouldnt that imply that AD&D system is NOT open?

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Copyright CANNOT and DOES NOT cover game mechanics. Any game system anywhere can be reimplemented as the basis for a different game by someone else. Hence the million Risk clones ... but don''t use the name "Risk", same thing with AD&D: You can use the basic dice and stat system, the classes, experience data, etc ... but you cannot use the name "Advanced Doungeons & Dragons" nor any artwork, characters, or quotes copywritten by TSR / Wizard''s of the Coast.

Think about it and you will see that this is how the whole system works, TSR creates official branded "Products" which have artwork, charts, diagrams, etc ... and other people offer player''s aids and such designed to be used WITH (AD&D).

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quote:
Original post by LordKronos
Are you suggesting AD&D is an open license? I couldnt find anything on those pages to suggest it was, though I might have missed it. Here is the closest thing I read:
/quote]

Going back to to the main page of the site, you get the link to the SRDs which are (explicitely) released under open licence. You find there most of the AD&D3 core rules.


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That answers that quite well. Looks like so far, pretty much everything except monsters, items, and special abilitis are released. Thanks. I guess what I read about NWN was probably saying they actually licensed the AD&D name.

Oh, and looking at Wizards of the Coast, it looks like the dropped the "Advanced" from AD&D (its just D&D now). It''s been longer than I can remember since I played, but when did they do that? I never noticed till now.

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quote:
Original post by LordKronos
Oh, and looking at Wizards of the Coast, it looks like the dropped the "Advanced" from AD&D (its just D&D now).


IIRC there were D&D, then D&D2, AD&D, AD&D2 ... so WOTC just went to D&D3

Documents [ GDNet | MSDN | STL | OpenGL | Formats | RTFM | Asking Smart Questions ]
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I could be wrong, it''s been a while since I''ve looked at it, but I think the OGL specificaly disallows use of the d20 system in computer games. But it''s a fairly generic system anyway, and wouldn''t be that difficult to munge into something different.

The OGL covers writing things that work with the D&D 3E system. You cannot, however, write something specifically for Forgotten Realms or Planescape or whatnot. It''s not really a matter of mentioning "Dungeons and Dragons", it''s staying away from the copyrighted material that Wizards has decided not to open up.


Take care,
Bill

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As I understand it they are going to add information to the OGL/d20 to better handle the software case. I just think all in all you are better creating something original.



Glen Martin
Dynamic Adventures Inc.
Zenfar

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Thanks for all your input

A slightly different thing (and please excuse my ignorance on these subjects). Would these restrictions apply if the game was freeware ?

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quote:

A slightly different thing (and please excuse my ignorance on these subjects). Would these restrictions apply if the game was freeware ?



Not at all. There is a common misconception that if you don''t charge for something, you aren''t really violated a copyright or trademark. That''s just not true.

Take care,
Bill

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You''re allowed to use copyrighted material in two ways..

A) Educational Use
: A teacher''s allowed to play a song in class, print out the lyrics, sing them to the class and have the class change them, if they so choose. As long as it benefits the students in some way.

B) You do NOT deprive the creator of funds.
: If you don''t charge for a game, and the people playing your game STILL buy the D&D3 rules, you''re fine. But if people love your game so much, they stop buying D&D stuff, then you''re in a pile of shit.

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Wow. Why is it that Anonymous Posters spread so much misinformation? Are they just lying? Are they ignorant?

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
You''re allowed to use copyrighted material in two ways..

A) Educational Use
: A teacher''s allowed to play a song in class, print out the lyrics, sing them to the class and have the class change them, if they so choose. As long as it benefits the students in some way.



There''s a grain of truth to that, but not so broad as that. You can photocopy materials for classroom use, but if you wanted to photocopy a textbook and give it to the students to take home, you''d still have to pay for it. Why do you think schools and teahcers still make students pay for their books?

Plenty of schools have also been punished for software piracy... though students clearly benefit by using the latest version of Windows or Office in the computer labs.


quote:

B) You do NOT deprive the creator of funds.
: If you don''t charge for a game, and the people playing your game STILL buy the D&D3 rules, you''re fine. But if people love your game so much, they stop buying D&D stuff, then you''re in a pile of shit.


Wrong. It''s still infringement even if you don''t cost them revenue. (Though by your own admission, the mere possibility that someone didn''t buy D&D stuff is enough to cost revenue.)

If there''s no damages you wouldn''t have to pay anything, but the courts would still force you to take your product off the market.

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quote:
Original post by CheeseGrater
If there's no damages you wouldn't have to pay anything...


Actually, I dont think that is entirely accurate. As I recall, one of the benefits of having a registered copyright on your work before the infringement takes place is that it gives you the right to collect a ceratin level of statutory damages without the need to prove any damages actually occurred as a result of the infringement.

P.S. I just did a quick search and came up with this article.
http://www.gigalaw.com/articles/2000-all/landau-2000-10-all.html


[edited by - LordKronos on June 5, 2002 3:54:41 PM]

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So far as other systems out there... I''ve had an eye two myself. One is "Palladium RPG" by Kevin Siembeda which is a really incredibly rich product line when you take into account the "Rifts" products (Scifi/Fantasy) This system has a VERY active community and IMHO a shareware type game would be very well recieved. The second is "SPACE: 1889 Science Fiction RolePlaying in a More Civilized Time" by Frank Chadwick. This was out of print for many years but I think someone is publishing it to the web now. I think a game made for this system would be nearly revolutionary

Off course there are TONS of other RPG systems out there (Shadowrun by FASA (Fasa = Mechwarrior), GURPS by Steve Jackson Games to name two more)

For a AD+D-esque type game check out Spiderwebsoftwares Exile and Avernum Series. The system in these read ALOT like dungeons and dragons. On a side note their new game Geneforge is very impressive.

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quote:

One is "Palladium RPG" by Kevin Siembeda which is a really incredibly rich product line when you take into account the "Rifts" products



Rifts has a very nice background, but the actual mechanics are horrible. Bleh, bleh, bleh!!

Take care,
Bill

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