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  1. #1
    Quote Originally Posted by mf2
    Although, i'm pretty sure i have seen some posts about downloading rule sets, so apparently some people are doing it anyway. big surprise!

    the program sounds cool, but at the same time, it seems sort of dopey that you either have to use the system they give you, or totally make up your own stuff. Perhaps in the future the developers might consider working something out with wizards of the coast, white wolf, and/or some of the other more popular game systems out there. this way, you could pay a fee to get those rule systems, and the company who originated that system would get royalties or some % of profits. Seems to me this would be win-win for everyone - consumers can pay for it if they want to, the devs of FG make more $$$ and the game system companies make more $$$.
    These two paragraphs summarise pretty well the two aspects of the issue. If these "some people" want to thrash the expectations of others to get other popular game systems for Fantasy Grounds, stealing (downloading/distributing) content is a way. Creating stuff for one's own use is thus, unfortunately 'cos it makes little sense to invent the wheel so many times, the only option prior to actually aquiring the rights to distribute the ruleset. Therefore, I disapprove (and if required disintegrate!) the kind of posts/threads where every other sentence hints, [sic] wink, wink, at copyright fraud. Rendedring FG a vehicle of illegal content is the worst signal towards this industry.

    Further, using these boards requires the acceptance of the rules, which forbid all illegalities. And please respect also the more explicit rules on distributing content in here.

    But to return to your comments , the kind of development hoped for in the post is happening and though not all are willing (or capable of due to prior licensing agreements), there is much interest towards enabling rulesystems for Fantasy Grounds.

  2. #2
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    If nothing else, I suppose there could be the option of asking for the right to character-sheets for different systems. I can hardly see them disagree about getting more players.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oberoten
    If nothing else, I suppose there could be the option of asking for the right to character-sheets for different systems. I can hardly see them disagree about getting more players.
    I think Oberoten may be on to something with this - even companies not willing to allow a full ruleset may be willing to allow just the character sheet.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Griogre
    I think Oberoten may be on to something with this - even companies not willing to allow a full ruleset may be willing to allow just the character sheet.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that is true. Something where different publishers' opinions may vary is the use of their character sheet graphics: some might like it being used, with permission (promotes awareness of the game system), while others may disallow it since it makes the property hard to manage. Asking has rarely hurt anyone really...

  5. #5
    This line of discussion is likely to bring up the question on whether making just the character sheet for a gamesystem is ok or not (or as Snikle put it, CSR that is Character Sheet Ruleset). I don't know. A further complication here is that we do not live just by the laws of Finland or the US - in US, for instance, the rules of the game cannot be protected by copyright - not meaning that the text, images etc. wouldn't be. As a side note however, when using the d20 license we give up some rights we would otherwise have (such as resolving success or failure based on the SRD rules) to gain other rights, most importantly to communicate that the ruleset is for d20 games.

    To create a CSR from the template provided by the property owner clearly violates their rights, if this is done without permission. And I personally feel that compiling the same information to another format is not much different from ordering the chapters of a textbook to another order - plagiarism. But a copyright lawyer might think otherwise: the amount of information is so small and consists of putting together obvious pieces of game rules book-keeping items that there are only so many ways to do it reasonably...

    Asking for a permission (success might require a reasonable argument for mutual benefit ) is the way to go. We cannot have it otherwise here.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Oberoten
    If nothing else, I suppose there could be the option of asking for the right to character-sheets for different systems. I can hardly see them disagree about getting more players.
    If I may ...

    A character sheet is considered to be a "vehicle" for a publisher's rules in the RPG industry, and 99% of the companies out there are not going to be overly concerned about it's reproduction. That is why you see things like "Permission to photocopy" at the bottom. That is the "overall" rule regarding character sheets.

    Now ... to get more specific ...

    Since the "dawn" of the Internet, and especially since the onset of the SRD/OGL agreement, copyright infringement has taken a sharper turn in the RPG world, and as a result people have become more concerned about it. However, the basic legal principals regarding the character sheet have, in my opinion, not changed much if at all. Remember that a character sheet is a vehicle to represent the rules ... not the rules themselves. On the other hand, if a character sheet had specific rules "built into it", then that would be a potential problem since that intellectual property is own by someone else and not yourself.

    To be more specific ... if your a DM and you've bought your favorite campaign to run, you can copy the character sheet in the back of the book to give to your players. That basic concept hasn't changed since the advent of gaming. I believe the same can be said for Fantasy Grounds. A publisher will assume you've bought their product if you duplicate their character sheet, and if said sheet goes to others that only "play" then they (publishers) are fine with that. If they weren't, places like RPGSheets (www.rpgsheets.com) would have been shut down a long time ago.

    In other words, it's all about money. Publishers are in business to make money, plain and simple. They are able to continue to produce your favorite gaming system because you spend the money to purchase their products, whether they are electronic or not. A publisher lives and dies by the number of sales they can make, and if that number is reduced by copyright infringement then eventually a publisher can no longer afford to put out products. This is a wide generalzation of course, but the logic hold true nonetheless. Personally I don't know of any company that has "folded" because of copyright infringement, but I can tell you many of my friends in the publishing world believe it has effected them in some way.

    I was asked the "copyright/ruleset" question a lot at Gen Con, and my standard response was: "We only ask that if you have the ability to build your own ruleset from published material that you respect the publisher's copyrights and not distribute the material."." Not one person disagreed with me. When explaining "rulesets" to people, I also mentioned that technically all you need is a character sheet, and that a ruleset was nothing more than an online reference for the rules. I would hazard a guess that most people play FG with a rules book sitting right next to them, and that was comment I heard from a lot of people who said they had no programming skills.

    Personally, I LOVE this idea of a character sheet only ruleset. Outside of what I mentioned above, the only other thing I would like to mention is to remember that art and logos are copyrighted materials too. Companies pay "very" large amounts of money for art, and while we like to "make things pretty" when it comes to our FG games, please keep this fact in mind. To me, it is more important that a character sheet be "functional" than pretty.

    My two galleons folks ...

  7. #7
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    One thing that I'd love to see is a separate folder for stashing character sheets...

    So that you could have different designs for different roles etc. Unecessary I know but it'd add to the whole "Your normal RPG desktop in cyberspace" feel.

    ... now I need to make a new desktop texture with coca-cola spills and semi-crushed minis on it. And candy... lots and lots of candy. That'd get closer to how things look when we actually RP.
    For your Ars Magica needs :
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  8. #8
    Or if we could make the character sheet start to "erase through" when we make changes to it. LOL

    Sandeman
    Ultimate Licence holder

    I've had FG for so LONG I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE IT!

    But I'm learning!

  9. #9
    MY take is since we all own the books for whichever game we are going to play. putting the character sheet in fantasy grounds wouldnt be an infringement if you own the materials.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by greymage001
    MY take is since we all own the books for whichever game we are going to play. putting the character sheet in fantasy grounds wouldnt be an infringement if you own the materials.
    For your own use, you can do whatever you want. For distribution, that's a different matter.

    For the record, while you own the physical copy of a book, you DON'T own the CONTENTS OF the book. That remains the intellectual property of the authors and/or publishers. A printed copy of a book is more or less a license to use the materials in the book by the person in possession of it. If you were to scan the contents of the book into a PDF file, that would be fine under the Fair Use rights act; however if give a copy said PDF to a friend without also giving him the original, that would be illegal.

    In the same vein, making electronic copies of character sheets is similarly illegal if you were to give them out to your friends. That being said, it's entirely up to the copyright holder how they handle these things. There are plenty of character sheets out there on the internet and for the most part publishers let them go because it doesn't really hurt their sales.

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