Author Topic: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material  (Read 6810 times)

chris`

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Assorted gentlefolk,

Legend has always been a community-supported project, going back to when we started to throw it together as a response to balance problems in the infamous Test of Spite. Lately, the community has gotten quite a bit bigger, and many of you have great ideas for additions or supplements to the game.

When you post those ideas on the forum, you retain the rights to your intellectual property. Since we would sometimes like to use your awesome ideas in official products, we need a policy to clarify how we can legitimately acquire rights to homebrew material. We are working on such a policy. Users on this forum -- all of you -- will have a chance to review and discuss a proposed policy before we make it official.

If this is something you care about (and if you have posted, are posting, or will post homebrew on this forum in the future, you should care), please read the rest of this post. Otherwise, feel free to go about your business.

Why we need a new policy

Right now, the forum rules say the following about your posts on this forum:

Spoiler
Quote from: Forum Rules
By registering and posting on the Rule of Cool Forums you attest that you are the copyright holder for all material that you post on our site, and that you authorize Jake Kurzer, Rule of Cool Games, their forum owner and staff, and their successors, to display, use, or modify your copyrighted content on this forum and any similar or successor mediums in perpetuity. You also grant them the right to modify any or all of your posts in order to enforce compliance with the forum rules, or for other reasons deemed appropriate, though they are under no obligation to do so beyond that provided by law.
All content posted on the forums is assumed to be released under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, which may be viewed at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. You may elect to release the information under a different license at your discretion, in which case the license must be detailed or identified in each post to which it applies.

Summarizing from the legalese, you retain rights to what you post on the forum, and we can only use what you post if we give you credit, allow what we use to be used by anyone else equally, and don't try to sell what we use. So if you post a feat or track in the Homebrew forum, we can re-format it and post it on our website as free DLC, but we can't put it in a book that we intend to sell, such as the Monster Guide.

Under these rules, we can talk to you and ask you to release your work under another license or arrangement that allows us to put it into a for-sale product. However, right now, we don't have an official policy for doing that, which means that we have a bunch of potential one-time deals that might not resemble each other much, if at all. We don't want anyone to feel that they've been treated unfairly, so we are going to set up a transparent and publicly available policy for how we can make this kind of arrangement with users.

What the new policy will do

The new policy will set forth standard arrangements for compensation and gaining your consent to use your material. It's not fair for us to simply take what you post and use it to make a profit; you can let us take it for free if you want, but that's your choice. Once we develop this policy, you'll know what to expect if you make homebrew that we find particularly awesome.

This policy will cover new material that we intend to use in a for-profit product. It won't apply to the core rules or anything else from which we don't make money, because we already have the rights to use anything posted on this forum in a non-commercial product.

What to expect in the meantime

First, feel free to provide input while we work on this policy. We will post ideas for public discussion, as well as privately contacting some individuals who have been particularly helpful in the past.

Second, we want to use some of the ideas that have already been posted on this website. During the next couple weeks after I post this, some of you will get private messages asking for rights to use your material. If we make a deal, but you feel that you would get a better deal under the new policy when it's released, we'll gladly work with you.

Third, please keep posting your ideas! Without the constant process of testing, criticism, and revision, this game wouldn't exist in its current form and certainly won't improve in the future. We simply want to make sure that you get the treatment you deserve when you provide your insight and suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

Chris, for Rule of Cool Gaming
Chris Campbell
Design and Testing Lead
Rule of Cool Gaming

Geigan

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 04:31:18 PM »
I for one welcome our new homebrew overlords. I definitely approve of the change. This way some of this homebrew we've been seeing has a chance of being included in Legend proper which I've gotta say is really cool.

Valixes

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 04:34:53 PM »
I've always been scared of homebrew because I believe it needs official testing and revision before it is truly applicable.
But with our great homebrew masters acting as sentinals of peace and balance, I too will kneel beneath their mantle.

DragoonWraith

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 04:57:23 PM »
I'm definitely in support of a policy; it's always good to be honest and open about such things, and stating things upfront is always the best way to do that. So definitely a +1 on that.

When you say noncommerical products include any that you do not make money on, does that include the Core or any future products RoC might make in which all proceeds go somewhere other than RoC? Because I am not sure that you would be correct in that definition from a legal perspective (even if it's not for your benefit, it is being sold for someone's, hence it is commercial and not in accordance with CC BY-NC-SA), and I wouldn't want you to get burned by that if someone became upset. That someone will not be me since I'm not particularly concerned with compensation for what I've made; RoC's already been quite generous in calling me "Designer" for my work (all of three circles and a three-paragraph intro section revision!).
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 05:27:23 PM »
The mere fact that this is being discussed makes me happy.
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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 06:43:46 PM »
I'm glad you guys will be laying out a formal policy on this. :)
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Prime32

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 08:25:23 PM »
My username is Prime32 and I support this.

Timeless Error

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 09:14:09 PM »
This is awesome.  The idea that homebrew from this board might become part of the actual rules is exciting, and it's great for user participation.  Really, I'm thrilled that an RPG of this caliber is opening up this possibility.
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chris`

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 12:57:26 AM »
When you say noncommerical products include any that you do not make money on, does that include the Core or any future products RoC might make in which all proceeds go somewhere other than RoC?

We're aware that the Core book, if sold, would be considered a commercial product. At that point, if the Core book contained any material to which we don't own the rights, we could have an issue. Since the only material we envision adding to the Core book prior to 1.0 has been developed in-house, we don't foresee these circumstances creating a problem.

I don't expect that we'll pursue any other major releases where all the proceeds go to someone else; as you're probably aware, that kind of thing just doesn't work well as a business model for an entity our size. However, remixing material and posting it on our website as DLC fits pretty well with how we tend to do things.

Sorry for the ambiguity. Hope this clears everything up!

(Also, it's great to see such a positive response. It confirms our general belief that we have a really awesome community to work with.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 12:59:12 AM by chris` »
Chris Campbell
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Rule of Cool Gaming

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 08:28:43 AM »
I'm well aware that the Core book is safe, I was mostly just pointing out a problem in the language of the OP, which implied differently.
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 04:02:12 PM »
I was wondering whether you might be able to share some news on this matter. How is the new policy coming along?

I'm also curious whether you have already chosen some homebrew for potential publishing. :>

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 06:03:18 PM »
As far as I know, basically everything is on hold until 1.0 is finished.

Regarding homebrew content that may appear in future releases, I believe that may fall under the ban on discussing unpublished content on the forums, so I suggest asking the same on the IRC.
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

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Re: Policy for incorporating homebrew into official Rule of Cool material
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 04:50:11 AM »
cool forum- cool game!! 8)

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Oh, Interesting, with my Homebrew Setting...
Sebrica - The House of Corners
A Homebrew Campaign Setting