The state of Post-OSR content

Malrex

So ... slow work day? Every day?
I am on record shilling for my buoy Greg Gillespie (over and over again). Gotta say though; kinda disappointed to see him jumping on this bandwagon.
Being forgiving, I assume it's a response to that WotC SRD dustup last winter. But still. Does the world really need another retro-clone:rolleyes:? My inbox is all bunged up with Dolmenwood kickstarter spam as well. I guess people are buying this stuff. My question is: Are they actually playing these things or are they just supporting their favourite bloggers?

It is an impressive list of artists though. His ability to wrangle classic TSR artists for his projects is pretty epic...
I actually can get behind and applaud his #1 reason: "First, I refuse to continue publishing megadungeons and adventures while being beholden to other people or rulesets."
That OGL attack still grates my nerves so I can totally understand his logic. It almost made me walk from the hobby if I'm honest because I was so disgusted by it. Caused some of our players to step up and create a new website, and be willing to start helping us out, etc. because I cancelled our old website and was done. So yeah, I may of finally caved on my partner wanting to publish his rules due to the OGL (coming soon.....yay), but I think I convinced him to just put it out for free since no one wants a new retroclone (he doesn't believe me). But admittedly, it will be nice to have a POD of our rules at our table for our own use. And I'm considering some legal language so I don't have to "continue publishing megadungeons and adventures while being beholden to other people or rulesets." Because who will be next to backstep on their claims....?
 

Hemlock

Should be playing D&D instead
I actually can get behind and applaud his #1 reason: "First, I refuse to continue publishing megadungeons and adventures while being beholden to other people or rulesets."
I mean, I see where you're coming from, but I see the other side too because one of the major pathologies of Dungeon Fantasy RPG and GURPS in general is SJG's general refusal to care about megadungeons and adventures that are written by other people, even ones who are much better at adventure design than WotC. I remain very frustrated at SJG's reaction to the thread about converting adventures like your Ascent of the Leviathan to DFRPG. They called the whole idea "adjacent to piracy" which is nonsense! Through no fault of yours, Malrex, that whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth w/rt adventure conversion. I'm still doing my own conversions ad hoc for my own use but that's it.

So anyway, best case scenario from my perspective is that I can ignore Greg Gillespie's new ruleset and still be able to buy and run his best adventures anyway.

P.S. The art looks cool though.
 
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squeen

8, 8, I forget what is for
"You can't copyright rules". What happened to this? Why can't OSRIC, OSE, etc. just go on their own merry way and ignore WotC and the OGL? Have I forgotten the crucial point already?
 

Malrex

So ... slow work day? Every day?
"You can't copyright rules". What happened to this? Why can't OSRIC, OSE, etc. just go on their own merry way and ignore WotC and the OGL? Have I forgotten the crucial point already?
That actually may be the type of legal language I'm talking about squeen. Instead of a full page of 7 to 8 font OGL stuff, I may just have one sentence like yours and call it good...lol. No, I think you are right....and I think Guy Fullerton had it right back in 2012 when he posted just this:

"Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and AD&D are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and are used without permission. Chaotic Henchmen Productions and this product are not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast."

And that's basically it. At the time, I was nervous about that language, mainly because I'm not a lawyer and lack the patience to read or understand all the jargon--no one really wants to get sued. They want you to use the OGL in your products, so it felt like Guy slapped them in the face when he didn't put the OGL in there, but I think as long as you don't add the copyrighted monsters (beholder, etc.) then they probably aren't going to do anything--especially to 1e and 2e material since they consider that 'dead'. And with new revelations about WOTC, I'm glad Guy slapped them in the face.

I won't speak to all creators, but having something to fall back onto--like your own ruleset just "feels" more clean, comfortable, and safe. Because even putting out adventures for OSE, you have to follow a few rules (like sending the rules creator your adventure for free, etc.) or you got to check for all the little rule changes to make sure it goes along with how OSRIC did it or whatever. A creator is going to know their own rules pretty good, so it's less of a hurdle to have to double check how a retroclone does AC or movement or whatever.

One thing also that always bothered me too was what if you want a NPC spellcaster to have a spell that is not in say OSE's rules--like Grease. Do you have to put in an Appendix in the back of your adventure with "New Spells" and then convert Grease to OSE rules? I mean, I get most players probably know what Grease does, but what about people just playing OSE and not knowing about the original rulesets? Ok...going off tangent...

"So anyway, best case scenario from my perspective is that I can ignore Greg Gillespie's new ruleset and still be able to buy and run his best adventures anyway." -Hemlock
I think that's the best approach. I think people like us who have been playing forever already have their own established way of playing. I think new rulesets/retroclones are more interesting for people just joining the hobby and trying to figure out their own table's rules and enjoy comparing new ideas. People are just going to read adventures and convert it to whatever system they are playing anyways. But if YOU are interested in a non-streamlined, number-crunching, 2eish, ridiculous new optional ruleset, then keep your eyes open for Journals of Nevermore, where YOU could be like the 7th person in the world to use it--coming soon, probably with our Coming of Winter Kickstarter in Octoberish (or maybe November).

@Hemlock --I barely remember that DFRPG thread and I remember just stumbling upon it randomly. Were you the guy that was trying to convert Ascent and was emailing me? That happened awhile ago...
 

Hemlock

Should be playing D&D instead
@Hemlock --I barely remember that DFRPG thread and I remember just stumbling upon it randomly. Were you the guy that was trying to convert Ascent and was emailing me? That happened awhile ago...
Yep, that was me. I apologize for dropping the project; it wasn't your fault.

Now I'm off to https://www.themercilessmerchants.com/ to pick up a few more adventures and start fresh with them, without any negative SJG forum memories. (Edit: link is dead? I will try https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/publisher/11180/The-Merciless-Merchants)

P.S. My convert-on-the-fly rules are now at https://bluishcertainty.blogspot.com/2023/09/converting-d-adventures-to-dungeon.html

P.P.S. I've just skimmed through Trollback Keep and it is fantastic! Just my style and easy to adapt (e.g. the Flypaper floor just becomes Glue-15, so characters with high Strength are less likely to get stuck; Drawbridge hole #3 just becomes 2d6 cutting damage to the hand, with possible severing already built into the DFRPG ruleset). I want to run this adventure ASAP.
 
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Hemlock

Should be playing D&D instead
"You can't copyright rules". What happened to this? Why can't OSRIC, OSE, etc. just go on their own merry way and ignore WotC and the OGL? Have I forgotten the crucial point already?
Don't forget the lesser-known corollary: "You can't copyright names."
 

Malrex

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Yep, that was me. I apologies for dropping the project; it wasn't your fault.

Now I'm off to https://www.themercilessmerchants.com/ to pick up a few more adventures and start fresh with them, without any negative SJG forum memories. (Edit: link is dead? I will try https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/publisher/11180/The-Merciless-Merchants)

P.S. My convert-on-the-fly rules are now at https://bluishcertainty.blogspot.com/2023/09/converting-d-adventures-to-dungeon.html

P.P.S. I've just skimmed through Trollback Keep and it is fantastic! Just my style and easy to adapt (e.g. the Flypaper floor just becomes Glue-15, so characters with high Strength are less likely to get stuck; Drawbridge hole #3 just becomes 2d6 cutting damage to the hand, with possible severing already built into the DFRPG ruleset). I want to run this adventure ASAP.
Whoops...just updated the signature to our new website, thanks for the catch. We got a few freebies on the website--mainly some contests Ive done here.
No worries about dropping the project, it's all good.
Hope you have fun with Trollback!
 

Hemlock

Should be playing D&D instead
Whoops...just updated the signature to our new website, thanks for the catch. We got a few freebies on the website--mainly some contests Ive done here.
No worries about dropping the project, it's all good.
Hope you have fun with Trollback!
FYI Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mercilessmerchants/voyages-on-the-zontani-sea/creator_bio) also points to the broken link.

P.S. "The Ice Troll Cave" is a great name which immediately makes me want to play it!
 

Johnny F. Normal

A FreshHell to Contend With
Looking around my office I can categorically say I don't NEED another ruleset but I am always interested to LEARN of folks nuances of game play. That which we only have fragments from EGG, once more not enough real DM meat.
In particular, when other people of around my pedigree (early 80s) in present a ruleset I'm hoping to find tidbits and different processes to resolve challenges.
I'm simply an OSCannibal.

On the OGL front there was way too much immediate panic (what happened to Proctor and LL2?) when essentially Guy F. had it right all along simply don't use IP.
 

robertsconley

Should be playing D&D instead
"You can't copyright rules". What happened to this? Why can't OSRIC, OSE, etc. just go on their own merry way and ignore WotC and the OGL? Have I forgotten the crucial point already?
No you can't copyright the idea behind the rule only its expression. And if the expression of the rule is so obvious even that may not be copyrightable. However the problem isn't the rules of D&D. The problem is that hundreds of terms that make D&D, D&D may be in of itself a creative expression thus copyrightable. Then there is the trade dress angle.

Meaning while Armor Class, Class, Hit Points, Hit Dice, are not protectable when you add them all together along the list of generic names of spells (Magic Missile) list of generic monsters (troll, goblin, etc.) That particular list may be considered copyrightable.

The use of OGL content for classic D&D side steps that for a hobby publisher.

My recommendation is to follow what Paizo is doing with their ORC licensed Pathfinder. Note what terms they change and which ones they don't. As they have basically a similar issue with the terms.
 

EOTB

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Also remember that the people who constantly jump up and say this or that can't be copyrighted are also those who don't publish, and have never consulted a lawyer (like Guy did, and basically tells you you're an idiot if you don't) to see where the line really was.
 

robertsconley

Should be playing D&D instead

Malrex

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Thanks for the shout-out. I hope it is received well. Rewriting and editing my old posts into a single book allowed me to make the whole thing flow a lot better than the original.

It is by far the most popular post on my blog. Despite the first one being up since 2009, it still gets thousands of views per year.
I need to finish my darn launch page this weekend...we got one rolling out soon too for 3 winter-themed adventures rolled into one. Yours sounds interesting Robert! Looking forward to it.
 

Hemlock

Should be playing D&D instead
On the demise of adventure designing in general, The Alexandrian's recent post is withering.
Heh. Maybe I shouldn't, but I do love a good WotC takedown. I'll check it out.

The version of Lost Mine of Phandelver found in The Shattered Obelisk is largely identical to the original, and it therefore remains a good Tier 1 campaign… mostly. The problem is that the designers have, in fact, made a bunch of minor changes, and, as far as I can tell, every single one of them makes the adventure worse.

Imagine you’re looking at Michelangelo’s David, but somebody has decided it would look better if they spraypainted some random graffiti on it. Fundamentally, it’s still Michelangelo’s David. It’s a masterpiece. But the graffiti seems problematic, right?
This is gonna be good.

It's not just the pure schadenfreude either. I learn more from a combination of negative and positive examples than just from positive examples; I hope I would be gracious about a takedown of my own writing as well. (I might not agree with all of it, because maybe we have different design goals, but I would probably agree with and learn from at least some of it.)
 

Beoric

8, 8, I forget what is for
The version of Lost Mine of Phandelver found in The Shattered Obelisk is largely identical to the original, and it therefore remains a good Tier 1 campaign… mostly. The problem is that the designers have, in fact, made a bunch of minor changes, and, as far as I can tell, every single one of them makes the adventure worse.

Imagine you’re looking at Michelangelo’s David, but somebody has decided it would look better if they spraypainted some random graffiti on it. Fundamentally, it’s still Michelangelo’s David. It’s a masterpiece. But the graffiti seems problematic, right?
This is how I feel about the Goodman Games additions to B1.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Not numbering your maps is ridiculous.

I'm also not a fan of cartographers who choose to eschew a grid; like scale is a crude impediment to the theatre of the mind or something...
Unfortunately, my much-beloved Planescape is frequently guilty of that particular sin.
 
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