Sunday, September 27, 2009

Designation of Open Gaming Content

Throughout the upcoming months, I will be using this blog as an avenue for the introduction of rules and information pertaining to the development of my Cyberpunk retro-clone.

That content will be clearly designated as Open Game Content, and therefore released under the terms of the Open Game License, Version 1.0a as detailed below.


Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of the Open Game License Version 1.0a (OGL).

This entire work is designated as Open Game Content under the OGL, with the exception of the trademarks “Mages & Megacorps,” “M&M,” and “Feral Heifer Games,” and with the exception of all artwork. These trademarks, and the Trade Dress of this work (font, layout, style of artwork, etc.) are reserved as Product Identity.


The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.

1. Definitions: (a)"Contributors" means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)"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. (e) "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) "Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) "Use", "Used" or "Using" means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) "You" or "Your" means the licensee in terms of this agreement.

2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.

3. Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.

5. Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

6. Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute.

11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.

12. Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.

13. Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.

14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.


Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker.

Labyrinth Lord Copyright Daniel Proctor, 2007-2009.

Mutant Future Copyright 2008, Daniel Proctor and Ryan Denison.

Swords & Wizardry Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch

Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox by Matt Finch and Marv Breig, Copyright 2008, Matthew J. Finch.

Ruins & Ronin Copyright 2009, Mike Davison.

Mages & Megacorps Copyright 2009, Reese Laundry.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another crazy idea I don't have time for...

I hate it when I get an idea in my head and it WON'T GO AWAY. I always loved the idea of Shadowrun - and yes, I know a lot of people hate it just as much, if not more. But for me, the meshing of fantasy - magic & monsters, elves & dwarves - with cyberpunk - guns, cyborgs and virtual reality - just ROCKS. I played a bit on and off while in college. We were playing mostly 2nd Ed. AD&D and needed a break, so switched to Shadowrun for variety. We loved it, but the rules? Meh. Too much a change from what we were used to, I guess.

So now we fast-forward to 2009 and The Rise of the Retro-clones. The OSR is in full swing. I've fallen back to Classic D&D rather than the newer, more complex versions, and play around with Swords & Wizardry, too. Did I mention in an earlier post how much I love the simple elegance of S&W? I did, didn't I.

This is when the bug bites me. The OSR doesn't have a cyberpunk clone yet. Maybe it doesn't need one, but there it is. Obviously, somebody needs to write that puppy - so I'm stepping up. It will be a looooong process, I know, but I think it will be fun (mostly) and worth while in the long run.

Using Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition as my base, I need to first write a cyberpunk variation on the ruleset. Some of the things that need to be worked up include guns, cybernetics, computer hacking stuff, and some basic vehicle rules. For inspiration and research, I'm slowly working through the original - Cyberpunk 2020 - as well as Shadowrun (2nd Ed), GURPS Cyberpunk and even a bit of d20 Modern. I'm re-reading some William Gibson, too. Oh yeah, and watching Blade Runner at some point.

THEN, after the basic Cyberpunk/Modern rules are done, I'll need to put all that back together with the fantasy of base S&W. For the proper Shadowrun feel, I'll need to add in some additional new magic rules - most importantly Astral Space and a drain-based spell casting system.

So there it is. It will be a long, tedious process but I think it can be done. S&W has proven itself to be adaptable to other genres - look at Mike "MikeD" Davison's Ruins & Ronin, David "grubman" Bezio's X-plorers or Michael "chgowiz" Shorten's The Seige Perilous - Ultima RPG. There are also "in the works" things (poke around S&W's forums page) for a superheros conversion (Hideouts & Hoodlums), Westerns (Fantasy Wild West) and pulp science fiction (Anacreon Zeta). Some projects are further along than others, sure, but they still show the flexibility of the system.

Wish me luck! I'll be posting bits here and at the S&W forums for comments and vetting.

If anyone cares to comment, I'll initially ask one question. How should these rules be released? I see three options to choose from.
1) Offer the generic cyberpunk supplement (no magic or fantasy elements) first. It will be compatible with S&W, obviously, so people can add the bits they like from it into whatever modern or cyberpunk-esque game they want to run. Then follow that with the "full" Shadowrun clone version.
2) Offer it as a cyberpunk supplement and put in the magic rules in as optional, in an appendix or something.
3) Just go all out and do the thing as SR right from the start, with the fantasy fully integrated. People who don't want the magic bits can still use what they do like.

S&W: Cyberpunk first, or go right to Mages & Megacorps? Thoughts?