Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

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ChrisDDickey
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Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:59 am

I have been developing an Earthdawn character sheet for Roll20 as a not for profit volunteer hobby activity. It is pretty nice, will roll correct step dice and even automatically roll and assign damage. It is about ready to be published and made available to the entire Roll20 community.

So far I have just been leaving blank text boxes where players can enter details of the talents and spells.
I would like to update the sheet so that all the standard 4th edition talents, skills, and spells were already known and the player merely had to select a talent or spell from a list, and it's full information would automatically be filled in by the computer.
My understanding of copyright law is that my providing a space where a player can fill in information is not a problem, and a player copying it into my sheet is fair use. However for me provide a computerized sheet with all the (copyrighted) information already programmed in is problematic.

Is there some way for me to get official permission (or official assurance it is not a problem) to include the text and other details of Talents, Skills, and Spells within the Roll20 Earthdawn character sheet I hope to make available to the entire Roll20 community?
Whom could grant such permission and how could I obtain it?

AquaAlex
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Re: Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

Post by AquaAlex » Fri May 18, 2018 10:29 pm

Would be nice, but I think full descriptions on use of talents/spells should be left to reading the book. So people still need ot purchase materials to use the sheet. But save them from typing the major stuff into the sheet manually

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Andrew1879
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Re: Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

Post by Andrew1879 » Sat May 19, 2018 1:17 pm

Noted. As discussed on Discord, I'll try to review this over this weekend, and get you some kind of answer. The short version is that, if your implementation makes it possible to play Earthdawn without ever buying the book, we're either going to need to charge for it or deny it. If your work just automates playing the game, but you still need the book as a reference and guide, then we can probably approve it. We'd like to have an official, sanctioned, Roll20 presence. The question is how to achieve that.

Bonhumm
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Re: Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

Post by Bonhumm » Sun May 20, 2018 4:15 am

Andrew1879 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 1:17 pm
if your implementation makes it possible to play Earthdawn without ever buying the book, we're either going to need to charge for it or deny it. If your work just automates playing the game, but you still need the book as a reference and guide, then we can probably approve it.
As someone who played with that (awesome) sheet I'd like to point out that this would simply speed things up. The sheet already include a blank space for every talents, skills and spells slots where the player can write whatever they want (usually: a cut-and-paste of said talent/skill/spell from the books).

That cut-and-paste does imply actually owning the book (in pdf). Having the data already there would not seriously affect the need for the books; the whole game mechanics, world background and everything else would remain untouched.

The data would be available at a press of a button to be posted in the gamechat of Roll20 whenever a player or the gamemaster require the information instead of having the put the game on hold to browse the books for the details, but otherwise the books would remains absolutely essentials.

Thank you.

Lursi
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Re: Roll20 Earthdawn Character sheet - Permission to use text.

Post by Lursi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:10 pm

large amount of people on this world that give a honk about copyrights patents or the like. The graphs of my employers paid tutorials turn up at many places....

What protects ED4 most is its number of copies sold. I guess we all want to change this.
Let's look at your target group:
Group A: GM is very experienced, players also.
GM will have everything and some player will have individual copies. These are fans, they know you and wait for releases...

Group B: GM is very experienced, players are not.
GM will have everything and Players will use GM ressources. Someone doing work for you to create Group A

Group C: GM is a Novice, players also.
Few GM of younger age will go and buy stuff rightaway that they can organize otherwise.

I think being present at the right online game spot with a luxury hero document is rather enhancing your turnover. Group C is most important and difficult and plays other games right there. Further, GM in online games are less inclined to share their PDF with unknown people, so more people actually pay for content. You can also sell directly playable fallen kaers. Put one up for free with Earthdawn branding and people will abuse it for their system. However they will love the idea and there is hardly a system where mechanics and the setting are so tightly intertwined like in ED.

I have written an Excel with all talent effects and then per Discipline an overview and despite its crudeness, new players loved it to have an A4 with their Talent mechanics what to roll. For previous editions were also spells listed in this way.

Roll 20 and the likes do have issues, but they gather crowds and online is getting bigger for pnp. Not being there or at a different competitor is no clever option, how to be present and playable online an important question.

Just my 5 cent.

P.S. Splittermond, a german RPG more aimed at teenagers actually gave their basic rules away for free. Just to spread the word. I liked parts of the mechanics so bought the paper copy just to donate it to my local library. It is made from former DSA editors, DSA is probably as big as D&D in Germany if not bigger.

https://splittermond.de/wp-content/uplo ... atiert.pdf
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

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