RolePlay onLine RPoL Logo

, welcome to Community Chat

05:27, 24th July 2024 (GMT+0)

Can we use dead games?

Posted by SleepofReason
SleepofReason
member, 1 post
Thu 13 Jun 2024
at 19:00
  • msg #1

Can we use dead games?

Hi, sorry if this is obvious, but I couldn't find the answer anywhere when I looked myself.

A couple years ago, I started playing in a group I really liked, and I thought the adventure seemed really fun. The group didn't last though and the game died out, to my great disappointment. I've thought about it every now and then, and wished it could have kept going.

So...could it? I know it's not my original game, but could I use any of the same setting and stuff? Or is that plagiarism, or...what? Obviously I'd be mostly telling my own story, but I liked the specific setting a lot!
donsr
member, 3124 posts
Thu 13 Jun 2024
at 19:27
  • msg #2

Can we use dead games?

 howdy//there have been a couple games like that for me...one, I used to post in, just for holidays ..the  ex  GM sorta  yelled at me, and i told him, to delete the game, don't let it  rot on the vine?

Lots of  GMs  do that.

Now..as  far  'using it" , I should think  as long as you flat out don't  cut and paste the thing, you could build your own variant . I have had a  few player use  my formatt and  'in game   tools; and i even joined thier game to help the,m move on..but?  they let the games die..sometimes RL..sometimes  they found a new shiny .

.................

 There is a thing. marked on all the games if the GM chose to do it..that it is their intellectual  property. If its  marked so, the best you can do is start  your  own  game, using your own ideas....
Genericus_Maximus
member, 25 posts
Thu 13 Jun 2024
at 21:21
  • msg #3

Can we use dead games?

If you still have a good relationship with the previous GM you could always reach out to them and let them know you’d like to use their setting for a game! There’s a caveat though, as donsr brought up, any game setting is the IP of the GM so you’d be relying on their generosity!
SunRuanEr
subscriber, 665 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 00:04
  • msg #4

Can we use dead games?

The only time I've ever been a part of carrying on a 'dead game' was a case where the GM had actually passed away, and we continued it like a sequel with the GM's surviving spouse's approval (and notes).

If it's marked as being the intellectual property of the previous GM, I'd say you should avoid using anything that was specific to that game in any new game. If it wasn't, then I'd say it's fair for you to use anything from it.
Sir Swindle
member, 418 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 00:47
  • msg #5

Can we use dead games?

SunRuanEr:
If it's marked as being the intellectual property of the previous GM, I'd say you should avoid using anything that was specific to that game in any new game. If it wasn't, then I'd say it's fair for you to use anything from it.

Those statements are basically always empty. Anything we are doing here is fair use.

There is respect to consider but do you really like or respect most of these people?
Dream Sequence
member, 103 posts
Certainly the loveliest,
most civilized of us all
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 01:03
  • msg #6

Can we use dead games?

Obviously the opinions of anybody who doesn't have the word "Moderator" under their name should be taken as speculative at best!  :)  But, I suspect Swindle is correct.  The only thing the "Sole Ownership" flag does is determine whether the mods will ever reassign "Primary GM" status of a game to any other player, if the original owner/primary GM ghosts it.  It doesn't restrict the contents of any other game:  a Sole Ownership flag restricts the control of that specific game, not other hypothetical future games that might want to incorporate some of its ideas.

Or that's my understanding anyways!  I'm curious to see what the mods have to say here.
SunRuanEr
subscriber, 666 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 01:45
  • msg #7

Can we use dead games?

Sir Swindle:
There is respect to consider but do you really like or respect most of these people?

That's the thing, isn't it?

Technically, it's legal to fully and completely rip off someone else's character and use it as your own...but should you? If someone has bothered to put their time and effort into creating something that is uniquely their own world setting, whether it's legal or not, it's pretty trashy to hijack that - whether or not it's actually against any rules or laws.

Now...extenuating circumstances apply, obviously. If someone abandoned a game, or indeed RPoL itself, they'll probably never know you hijacked their stuff, and indeed, even if they come back they might be flattered that you 'kept their game going'. Which is a different kettle of fish, really, than just stealing their work and setting up something for yourself. One is an homage, another might be seen as a blatant ripoff.

Everyone's two cents will likely vary, and Dream Sequence is correct with regards to what the 'Sole Ownership' tag actually means with regards to RPoL's rules...but if someone's bothered to tag something as being solely theirs, and you want to be one of those people that plays nicely with others, you should probably respect that and not co-opt it as your own, fair use or not.
Sir Swindle
member, 419 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 02:03
  • msg #8

Can we use dead games?

When I have complained about people using my characters after I've left a game. The moderators told me to shove off.
SunRuanEr
subscriber, 667 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 02:11
  • msg #9

Can we use dead games?

With all due respect, that's not quite the same thing as taking someone else's creative ideas and passing it off as your own.

As a GM, if someone bails on a game and leaves their character in the party, you almost have to puppet that character at least to a point where you can have them leave the party in order to not break things for the people who stayed. That's why GMs have the right to use any character created for their games.

It's a little different for a GM to have you, say, make a character - never play it - and then kick you to steal the character to use as their own NPC...and even that, at the end of the day, is legal within the rules of RPoL. But I think we can both agree that it's wrong, allowed or not.

We're quibbling about details and instances other than the one the OP asked about, now. I think we can all agree that just because you -can- do something, doesn't mean you -should-. That's a decision that people have to make for themselves.
donsr
member, 3128 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 02:23
  • msg #10

Can we use dead games?

 yeah?  I mean, That's in. in a nutshell. None of us should steal  someone's  work. It's as simple as that,

 however, to take  an idea  and make it  your own, is different.  You play a D&D game that has. Robot orcs in...you say..I like this  robot  Orcs thing. GM goes off to start a game  about unicorns  in space suits, and you and your  buddies  are left in a dead game.

 so?  you start your own game, with Robot  orcs...then  add in cyborg Dragons, and  wind up goblins..and  you tell those other players. 'come play in my game ,sicn ethis one is dead"

 you used  an idea... we all use ideas. I use  Myths  and sci-fi  and  UFO  stuff... Just  don't carbon copy  some other  folks  things.
bigbadron
moderator, 16240 posts
He's big, he's bad,
but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 02:39

Can we use dead games?

In reply to Dream Sequence (msg # 6):

This is absolutely correct.

"Sole ownership" just means that we won't give the game to anybody else if the GM vanishes.
Sir Swindle
member, 420 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 03:22
  • msg #12

Can we use dead games?

donsr:
Just  don't carbon copy  some other  folks  things.

Or do, no one will stop you.
donsr
member, 3129 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 03:28
  • msg #13

Can we use dead games?

yeah?..But i mean if you want to be a stand up person. there isn't a game  out there, anywhere, that didn't take something from somewhere else. But flat out copy the whole thing..not  so cool.
Dream Sequence
member, 104 posts
Certainly the loveliest,
most civilized of us all
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 05:27
  • msg #14

Can we use dead games?

In fairness to the OP, it doesn't sound like they're talking about stealing anyone's work and passing it off as their own.  The opposite, actually - it seems like they're perfectly willing to give credit where credit is due.  They just really enjoyed a game before it fizzled, and want some of its ideas to live on in a new game.  SleepofReason should start a new game, make super clear in its setup where the original idea came from and that the new game is an homage to that old one, and then enjoy years of happy guilt-free gaming.  :)
Hunter
member, 2119 posts
Captain Oblivious!
Lurker
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 11:51
  • msg #15

Can we use dead games?

I was under the impression that "Sole Ownership" only applied to the game itself.    Given that many of the games are from "official" or "canon" sources (such as Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms), that definition makes sense to me.
bigbadron
moderator, 16241 posts
He's big, he's bad,
but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 14 Jun 2024
at 14:58

Can we use dead games?

In reply to Hunter (msg # 15):

As mentioned above, the "Sole Ownership" flag simply means that we will never transfer ownership of that game.  And that is all it means.  So yes, it applies only to the game itself.
SleepofReason
member, 2 posts
Sat 15 Jun 2024
at 04:39
  • msg #17

Can we use dead games?

Wow, I appreciate the conversation--this is all quite interesting! For the record, I was never trying to pass anything off as mine. I don't consider myself some kind of author; I just played a fun game, thought it was neat, and wanted to know what the etiquette was about how closely I could 'draw inspiration' from the setting. Thanks for all your input!

Edit: It's a pre-written module! I found it. I guess that makes a lot of this moot, but again, thanks!
This message was last edited by the user at 05:57, Sat 15 June.
V_V
member, 1178 posts
For 2024 is the year
of Health and Career
Sun 16 Jun 2024
at 00:29
  • msg #18

Can we use dead games?

In reply to SleepofReason (msg # 17):

For a final bit of context, in case you look back. I've had my RTJ text and even rules of the game, ripped, as in straight up copied and pasted. I found it TBH more of a complement than anything. Is this the norm? I truly don't know. The part for me that really was sweet, was my rules had an example, I named a character, as often rules will to explain application. The plagiarist, if we want to apply the strictest terms, as plagiarism is a crime and legally speaking that can be problematic; but I'm not naming them, so no fire not smoke. They included the example character'ss name. MY example character. Which I felt showed two things, they really liked my rules, and didn't have the time to make their own. It could be they were trying to shine me on, because they were recently rejected on a RTJ. I then RTJ to their game though, and got in. After all, it had my rules, not just one post, I should add. Character starting traits, "do's and don'ts" color scheme. So, and this is just ME, it was wonderful. I got to play in  a game of my designed specs. The game died, of course, but it was still fun.

That said, I did share with my players, and one player said to contact the mods. I didn't, but (I can't cite it now) there was a previous citation that referenced stealing game ideas, which I felt confident annulled my needing to contact them. So I felt maybe 10%, maybe 15 % offended the GM didn't credit me, but...even if I wasn't accepted to play in the game, I found it really a complement. It validated my idea.

Mods...eh hem...modules...:D....can be very personalized. I think if there is a scene you remember described a certain way, that it would be an homage to do your best to recreate the scene. Do what made it fun for you, and then just credit the person in some other group 0 thread. Though that will require your players to be in group 0, don't forget that part. If you hhave such an out fo chsaracter thread, you can even tell a short story, like you did above, of how much fun it was, there, upon that revealing the motivation to create the game, you can credit the inspiration for the post you reworded. Unless the game is still on board, meaning you can access it copy and paste, you'll have to do it from ememory which is totally 100% legal and how pretty much everyone has to justify inspirations. If you copy paste, just credit the game by name--not here obviously--but in your game. You can't start hate campaigns for users, even inn your own game, but you can very much cite other games in your games. So if the game is dead, people may still see the board, even if the posts are not group 0, you can say "This from <user's> game <game name> <link>".

Modules can be personalized. I say this with confidence from playing a D&D 3.5 "official" version that was very meticulously made to have characters you could play at any official module. The version was/is called Living Greyhawk. There was also Living City, and Living (sp?) Kalamar, and even a d20 non-D&D Living Force for Star Wars. The thing is, a module, which these games were exclusively comprised of; they can be given some (jazz) sugar, and they can be given some spice, and personal flourish. All while still running the module straight. So if the GM of the game thast inspired you didn't do much of this, you're golden. If they did, it's a nice nod to quote them, maybe even just that as code, or maybe just credit st the bottom of the post, in maybe gray and then again in out of character. I personally enjoy it when players do that for me. Seldom does it happen any more, but in my hayday, a few players would do that every so often, and let me know how it worked out. That made me feel good. Or sometimes a bit villanous for giving some spice to another GM to make a module event more impactful.

Bottom line: Have fun! There is such a limit upon which we err, and should feel okay about apologizing when we do our best to be respectful, but still end up trespassing another. I wish you luck with your game, if and when you create it. ;)
Sign In