View Full Version : Legalish Question

2013-04-29, 03:36 PM
A while back me and a few friends played a bit in a campaign based on Frank Trollman's Alternate World of Darkness (or After Sundown).

I've since come to realize it is pretty close to being able to model an RPG for another game I play that focuses on the supernatural. For kicks I thought it could be fun to make a workover of the system so it suits a different universe. There is a concern for me however...

I'm not concerned about just whipping up a homebrew, I've done enough of that before, but I'm not going to go through all the trouble it would take if me and a few buddies were the only ones who could ever play it.

As far as I can TELL, After Sundown is perfectly free (though I hear you may be able to buy a hardcopy edition?) But I don't know where I stand on being able to distribute derivative material. Do I just need permission? Or if I change 'x' amount of the system (like say, just rewriting everything), is that required? Ideally I would remove and rewrite all the descriptive text, but leave the core system relatively untouched.

Basically, I see it as being able to end up in three ways:

First: It's just a homebrew that I can use when playing After Sundown with my buddies.

Second: Distribution is okay (probably with acknowledgements for anything left in) as long as no profit is made.

Third: It could legally be sold as it's own product as long as some guidelines are adhered to.

Personally I'm not really doing this to get money, but if that's an OPTION, I might put in extra work so the guys who run the game could market it on their own.

2013-04-29, 04:10 PM
Legal questions can generally only be usefully answered by lawyers. In this case, reading licenses or contacting the author could work. So:

1. Figure out what the license on the game is. If it's free, it might be Creative Commons, and that can tell you pretty exactly what your rights are: if it's CC-nd, you can't distribute derivative works. Otherwise, you'd be free to.


2. Contact the author-distributor and ask.

The Random NPC
2013-04-29, 08:51 PM
I don't want you guys to get an infraction point, so I recommend rereading Da Rules (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/announcement.php?f=30&a=1)

2013-04-29, 10:23 PM
How does "IANAL but read the license and contact the author" amount to professional legal advice, exactly?

Roland St. Jude
2013-04-29, 10:40 PM
Sheriff: This forum has a prohibition on rendering legal advice. Given that the OP is asking whether his proposed action is legal, it pretty much calls for legal advice in response. Thread locked.