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[ERROR] No.46663642 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

I have a legal question for you /tg/, how close can you get to another game's basic system without infringing on copyright? for example i have a d20 based system for an RPG which plays similarly to Infinity (the wargame)'s "roll-under-or-on-stat+situational-modifiers" system. i love it, it's great for what i want to do. but i don't want to get sued for making something which, at it's core, is similar. can ya help a guy out?

pic unrelated. unless you consider shovel knight derivative. which it is but in a good way.

>> No.46663662

And yes, i do have intent to sell, not distribute for free.

>> No.46663699

You can't copyright game mechanics. As long as you take care to use different enough nomenclature, and don't use any of the actually copyrighted stuff in the IP, you should be set.

>> No.46663728

So, what you're saying is, as long as i'm not using their setting and/or names for mechanics, all is fine with the world?

>> No.46663763

I think so, although in the end it entirely depends how devious their lawyers were with the copyrights and if you walk into any of their "gotcha!"-s (see the whole "tap" fiasco for MtG).

>> No.46663785

I'll be honest with you man.

If you intend to sell, you should ask for some professional help, instead of 4chan.

Like a copyright lawyer.

>> No.46663915

The only elements of my game that resemble theirs is the rolling element which works as follows:
success = (stat+modifier)≥(roll)
success = (opponent's roll result)<(stat+modifier)≥(roll)

that's all.
I did find this: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html which is official, but still a bit vague.
I'd agree, but /tg/ knows it's shit most of the time. seems like a good place to start before a deeper delve.

>> No.46663952

better format on that math:
success = (stat+modifier)≥(roll)>(opponent's roll result)

>> No.46664290

Not the same type of game, but take a look at what Force of Will did with Magic: The Gathering to see how close you can go.

>> No.46664334

You also need to not use the same text to describe the rules, so you can't just copy+paste and then just find and replace theirnames with yournames.

I've definitely played a game before that had cards get tapped under certain circumstances, except the game described it as "tipping" those cards.

>> No.46664360


If that's the case why has nobody ripped the beautiful tactical combat guts out of DnD 4e and repackaged them?

>> No.46664388

>If that's the case why has nobody ripped the beautiful tactical combat guts out of DnD 4e and repackaged them?
>implying people played 4e long enough to enjoy the few good parts of it

>> No.46664404

US copyright stuff from Magic is the best example to look at. They are the only people who can call "turning a card sideways to indicate it has been used" "Tapping". L5R Bows cards. Many other games Exhaust cards.

RPG mechanics are largely "Compare die roll to number(s)". What kind of die you roll, how you position the various things it compares to, those are not legally enforcable. Exact setups with names may be - if I were to just take all the mechanics of 40k Exactly As-Is and make a new tabletop wargame setting, I'd be legally in the wrong. If I renamed most of the system words, I'd be fine. Replace "Ballistic Skill" with "Sexual Prowess" or whatever.

>> No.46664416


Do you have a moment to talk about Strike! ?

>> No.46664436

Well, of course. aside from that basic idea, it's totally different. i just get stressed thinking of the possibility of getting sued over it.

you guys have any examples of games from separate companies that had similar base mechanics?

>>46664404 makes some excellent points on MTG clones. any D&D clones out there that didn't get sued?

>> No.46664453

>any D&D clones out there that didn't get sued?

There's an entire genre called "fantasy heartbreakers" that is basically that. It's like a right of passing for everyone even a little system inclined. Houserule->make your own D&D->give up or make an actually somewhat original game

>> No.46664470

Can you see the wood for the trees?

Pro tip, go have a look in this thread for some clues about a high-profile D&D clone in recent years.

>> No.46664504

3.5 is not a good example, given that one of their design decisions was to make the basic rules free.

>> No.46664511

Pathfinder was based on the open source 3.5, which is legally fine to use as 5e now is because of its own OSR. that's different than using an existing system without one.

>> No.46664548

Yes please helpful anon

>> No.46664742


As someone who is in the development credits for Strike! yet makes zero money off of it, partially due to having been the one person on the development team to have had the least input simply for having joined development just a few months before the game's release, I can field any inquiries regarding the system.

My standard disclaimer here is that I fully disavow the noncombat mechanics of Strike!, which I find clunky, swingy, and overly punishing.

>> No.46664817

Short description:
-It removes number inflation, stats, small modifiers, and uses d6 instead of d20. Classes are distilled into 10 levels.
-Instead of each class having its own role, you make characters by selecting class+role. Class gives the mechanical schtick, and role gives the combat role. So for example while Thieves in 4e were all strikers, thieves in Strike! have striker setup, but you can easily make a defender/leader/controller version of them by selecting that role
-feats are supposed to be really meaningful instead of situational small bonuses. Brewing feats is encouraged.
-brewing new powers is easy because of the simple maths involved. again, homebrewing is encouraged.

>> No.46664903


Question 1: Is it good?
Question 2: How exactly does a class/role fit together, and how... I guess the word would be 'broad' are they?

Like, I can imagine a Defender Wizard being all about magical barriers/dodge tanking with teleports/just spam healing on themselves, but if I want to be a Striker junker-from-a-shitty-desert-planet-who's-got-rusted-scrap-metal-guns-and-a-big-makeshift-buzz-saw-axe,...?

>> No.46664937

A1: I really like the combat. I think it is excellent if you like the 4e style tactical mini game.
A2: It's fluff neutral, so you'd find the class/role combination that best represents your ideal character and play that.

"Wall wizard" for example could be a summoner/defender whose summons you fluff as walls. The Junker Striker could be an archer or a Duelist, or possibly even a Martial Artist+Striker, depending on what combat mechanics interest you.

>> No.46665017

It's nice seeing some more unusual stuff like Shapechanger/Summoner/Buddies being represented.

>> No.46665021

And here are the roles just for completeness sake.

>> No.46665043

Yeah, that's one of the strong points. The classes are more mechanically diverse than the 4e ones out of the box (although they do tend to follow the "2-3 at-wills + level appropriate number of encounter powers" paradigm).

>> No.46665071

So you mentioned the number inflation and levels have been pretty strongly curtailed. Do you think there's still a rewarding sense of progression (Getting cool new powers in combat) to leveling up?

>> No.46665095

Fuck yes. It's much denser, in fact. You get a new power every level (half of them coming from your role, the other half from the class).

>> No.46665104


Strike! is excellent if you would like 4e-style, grid-based tactical combat without the heavy character sheet math of 4e. That is the one thing that Strike! does well.

For every other aspect of an RPG you could possibly want, Strike! is middling to poor.

For your second inquiry, >>46664937 and >>46665021 already cover you.


Strike! grants you a role upgrade at every even-numbered level, and a class upgrade and a feat at each odd-numbered level. There is still a rewarding sense of progression, but purely in terms of overall character strength in combat compared to enemy strength under the encounter-building guidelines, level 10 (the maximum level) characters are exactly 3.25 times as powerful as level 1 characters.

Compare this to D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, where level 5 characters are exactly 4 times as powerful as level 1 characters under the encounter-building guidelines.

>> No.46665176


What other RPG would you say does 'Group Conflict' (or something analogous) like Strike but better?

Everything that's not either Tactical Combat or Group Combat is basically just a pretty light system so I don't really see what's worth commenting on there - it's really just an excuse lightweight system to hold the combats and conflicts together.

>> No.46665187

To add to this, because of the modularity it's quite easy to just bolt the tactical combat system onto something else; I personally plan on doing so with my FATE/Accelerated game if we ever get a second session.

>> No.46665196

You can't copyright game mechanics, only terminology.

You can straight up publish a game using the same system as another but not use any of the same terminology and there's shit anyone can do about it.

At least that's how things are supposed to be. Since US copyright law has changed so that the only thing that matters is who has more and more expensive lawyers, it's up to you if you want to risk doing something that is supposed to be perfectly legal.

>> No.46665219


Strike!'s Team Conflict mechanics are *very* well-balanced and playtested from a mechanical standpoint and are actually an intriguing numbers game, but that is just it: the subsystem is a numbers game. It strongly rewards those who mentally calculate the probabilities and strategize based on those; simply doing "whatever seems cool and/or fitting" will cause you to lose.

With this in mind, the optimal thing to do in Team Conflict is entirely disassociated with what would be sensible to do in-character, so there is a significant disconnect between mechanics and flavor.

Team Conflict tends to be difficult to explain to players new to try; every time it has come up in a game, half of the group simply could not comprehend it, and subsequently complained about the disconnect between mechanics and flavor.

Team Conflict would work better as something that operates like an abstracted, number-balancing minigame even in-universe, such as a complex ritual that requires balancing two different types of magical energies.

>> No.46665241

In your opinion, then (and assuming you have a wide variety of system knowledge) would you draw a parallel between Strike's Team Conflict and Burning Wheel's conflict, where you have the options of Attack, Defend, Maneuver, Feint, but what makes sense to do 'in the fiction' doesn't match up with what the optimal things to do in a given scenario are?

>> No.46665327

As far as I know, Burning Wheel/Mouseguard was the direct inspiration for that system (it is even credited as such).

I haven't used it enough in practice to see how "reasonable" your choices have to be IC to work out, but losing is supposed to be kinda fun as well, so it's a wash.

>> No.46665342

Because they realised it was 2e's Combat and Tactics supplement for idiots and used C&T instead.

>> No.46665890

Man, I need to get a copy of that.

>> No.46666025

Here you go.

It's got stuff like three different scales (missile, melee, combined) and shorter combat rounds (1/5 of a normal round), but the entire thing's designed to be modular, so each chapter is technically standalone.

It's even got siege rules.

I'm not sure how the division between Battlesystem Skirmishes and C&T goes, but I do know that BS is the skirmish-scale version of Battlesystem 2e.

>> No.46666207


I am familiar only with Torchbearer's equivalent of "Team Conflict," but I understand that it is very similar to Burning Wheel's, and that Burning Wheel was the direct inspiration for Strike!'s "Team Conflict."

I can safely say that the same sort of disconnect occurs frequently in Strike!'s "Team Conflict."

On another work, I am running playtests of a rogue (backstabber)/striker build on behalf of Mr. McGarva. I am credited in the PDF for the new rogue class for some basic rules edits, but even so, I am trying to stress-test the rogue.

I can safely say that a rogue (backstabber)/striker builds is profoundly overpowered and against the spirit of the game. It is really quite trivial for such a character to set up flanks and attack with advantage, and then subsequently one-shot enemies with attacks that deal tremendous damage. It is against the spirit of the game because it tends to make the party's focus-firing irrelevant (the rogue deals titanic quantities of damage, so much that every other PC's damage becomes irrelevant), and it also invalidates any debilitating effects the PCs might place upon enemies (because those enemies simply die very swiftly).

>> No.46666259

Wouldn't optimal tactics suggest high risk enemies could be debuffed to hit or damage your allies and you less, while the backstabber strikes unhindered enemies to take them down?

If such attacks require the debuffs to strike, then in a very real sense it's a team attack to pull off such tremendous damage.

>> No.46666286

Depends on the country.
Broadly speaking, if you are asking yourself: "Am I breaking the law here?", you should probably back up and reconsider.

>> No.46666328

13th Age was based heavily on 4th Edition mind you

>> No.46666344


Optimal tactics suggest that the rogue (backstabber)/striker simply one-shot enemies via a flank, which, given the rogue's move action powers, is not very difficult to achieve. My testing has shown a rogue as able to reliably attack with advantage on every single round past the first, with only a small chance of *not* being able to attack with advantage in the first round.

Paired with a warlord, a rogue (backstabber)/striker becomes completely unreasonable.


Despite this, 13th Age has precisely none of 4e's grid-based tactics.

>> No.46666365

See pathfinder/DnD.

It's almost literally the same system, but since it's the open D20 system Paizo can just use it however they want.

>> No.46666404

Because it has a whole lot of baggage attached.

Its a solid tactics game, but how the hell do you sell it? Players pitting parties of 4 adventurers against each other? Cause a single 4th edition hero has a lot of stuff to keep track of.

Groups of players working together against a GM? cause that was called D&D 4th edition. It was fun. If i want to play it again it is on my shelf.

>> No.46666478

Why are 4e's weapon ranges so retardedly short? A 4e longbow can hit up to 40 squares (20 feet) away, while a 2e longbow can go up to 210 yards (630 feet) with flight arrows.

>> No.46667137

40 is more than enough for most fights, and I think you can easily get more.

What's the realistic range of a longbow anyway, assuming you are not mass shooting but actually trying to precisely hit a target?

>> No.46667173

>40 is more than enough for most fights
Assuming you aren't, you know, outside, where you can actually use your range.

>What's the realistic range of a longbow anyway,
Modern longbows have a useful range up to 180 m (200 yd). A 667 N (150 lbf) Mary Rose replica longbow was able to shoot a 53.6 g (1.9 oz) arrow 328 m (360 yd) and a 95.9 g (3.3 oz) a distance of 249.9 m (272 yd). A flight arrow of a professional archer of Edward III's time would reach 400 yds.
Quoted from http://history.stackexchange.com/questions/8022/how-far-could-an-english-war-bow-shoot

>> No.46667210

The infinity system is not released under ogl.

>> No.46667219

Rules can't be copyrighted. You can publish the exact same game as long the text visuals and theme and stuff aren't all too similar. There should probably be a little extra something or a twist of some sort or people won't bother to buy it instead of the old classic.

Board games do this all the fucking time.

>> No.46667240

>Rules can't be copyrighted.
Why is this?

>> No.46667436

>Assuming you aren't, you know, outside, where you can actually use your range.

Even with double moves, that would mean 4 turns to move up to you for average enemies... except you can also use your move to move away, so more like 7-8 I think.

I mean, you are right, but in practice it matters little. I don't think it'd really upset anything if you got to use it at those ranges, though I wonder how you'd fit it on a table.

>> No.46668079

D20 3.5 and 5e are the only systems in the world with an OGL. Pathfinder didn't go the "different nomenclature" route, they're utilizing the OGL for their core rules.

It's not almost literally the same system, it IS the same basic system, with different fluff.

>> No.46668172

Any love for Rule of Cool's Legend in here?

>> No.46670022

Probably my favorite !D&D.

>> No.46670901

Shouldn't Rumia be the rogue, Wriggle be a monk, and Cirno be the strongest?

>> No.46671645

tfw impossiburu to find a group

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