Episode 12 — “IP Freely”

From design intent to the elements of good RPG IPs we cover enough ground for TWO shows. Your feedback about Alien Intelligence, different ‘punks’, and making faces carries us along on a merry discussion that leads us to a very serious realization.

Brian: https://twitter.com/Fiddleback
Scott: https://twitter.com/TheAngryGM

Website: http://www.DigressionsAndDragons.com
Email: DigressionsandDragons@gmail.com

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The voice and producer of GM Word of the Week, he is also a Freelance Tabletop Game Editor and Writer as well as a long time podcaster. He has written and edited for Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars RPGs, Modiphius Entertainment's Mutant Chronicles and Infinity RPGs and several others. He is currently working on his own Transit RPG.

11 thoughts on “Episode 12 — “IP Freely”

  1. I’d endorse Starfinder as a pretty open system, even though I’m not particularly fond of the default Paizo setting. I’ve run both Halo and Starcraft in the system without any strain; I think a Metroid game would definitely be doable. I think I would also use it for a certain IP that I dare not even say because their lawyers would send the Inquisition after me. You know. The one that currently uses a d100 system.

  2. Would definitely be interested in what you think of Starfinder. I’ve started running it after a break from d20, and it’s been good so far. I agree with the Commodore on the default setting, but for someone who wanted to build their own setting it seems pretty open. The inclusion of advanced technology and the way equipment scales makes it easier to do a low or no magic setting. That’s just my impression so far.

  3. Re: IP discussion point 2

    The way I would distill your back and forth would be like this

    “You need to see characters who do exciting and interesting things and feel like you could do those things without being that character”

  4. The discussion on pain scales has missed what they are actually for: they are not for comparing pain between different patients, they are for comparing changes in pain in the same patient over time. Different patients have different physiology, psychology and expectations of pain -one may rate a given pain stimulus (say shooting a nail gun through the palm of one’s hand) as a 9 while another rates it as a 7. It doesn’t matter that these are different, what matters is that going forward, the medical staff can ask again after time/intervention (removing the nail, giving pain relief etc.) to assess if these are having a positive or negative effect on the pain outcome. Individuals are remarkably consistent in rating their pain over time – different individuals will be wildly divergent.

  5. Just thought I’d chime in as I’m the one who runs the Star Frontiersman site.

    Since the podcast was recorded, WotC has also released the Knight Hawks spaceship rules but still haven’t released the original character rules. They have said more is on the way but nothing specific.

    As for the content on the Star Frontiersman site, my agreement with WotC is a bit more than a handshake agreement, I actually have it in writing and (among other things) it basically allows me to post those materials until asked to remove them. Which at this point, I have not been asked to do.

    The Star Frontiersman hosts a remastered set of the rules (basically the original rules but reorganized and with some expansion) and some of the modules (I don’t have all of them). In addition, there are 25 issues of the Star Frontiersman fan magazine. I did not create the remastered rules and modules although I did edit several of the magazine issues. I simply curate them now (and hope to publish more Star Frontiersman issues in the future).

    If you want scans of the originals, head over to http://starfrontiers.com where you can find scans of all the original material. The owner of that site has agreements going all the way back to TSR to host the originals and I believe his current agreement (which dates back to the 2000-2001 era) stipulates that he can keep them up until such time as WotC makes them available for purchase. To that end, I believe he has removed the scans and now links to the DriveThruRPG pages for those products available there.

    Additionally, I own/edit another, active Star Frontiers fan magazine called the Frontier Explorer that has 22 issues so far (23 will come out in January) that you can find at http://frontierexplorer.org or on DriveThruRPG.

      1. And if anything else happens, you’ll see me post about it on twitter.

        Also the trademark application by unnamed party is still pending. Technically people had until yesterday to file an opposition but the process can run out longer than that, it can actually take up to something like 6 months before it is officially closed and up to a year after that for the trademark to actually be granted if unopposed. I’ll be watching it to see what happens.

  6. I am dexter, if it matters. Used to fight armoured in the SCA, and my left hand is just stupid.

    I’ve been thinking of an arcanepunk setting for DnD, based on a really interesting map I saw recently that just screams for airships. And I agree – magic > psionics, and one or the other but not both. Plus, DnD would be an awful system to run Discworld in.

    Thank you for the discussion on what constitutes an interesting rpg setting, and I agree with what you gents said on turning popular media into a gameworld – after said popular media is done stripping their portion from the bone, there has to be enough meat left over for your players to have some, too. Still working on Emberverse, cause I can see the leftovers at the edges of the story, and I’m just stubborn like that.

    Many of us RPG players are also tabletop wargamers. Are either of you gents into that (no judgement, mere curiosity), and if so, what systems and scales?

  7. Regarding the discussion on whether D&D matches the designer’s intentions on how the game should be played, Scott made a point about how, on a game designed by a group of people, the final result does not match any single person’s idea of how the game should be. I’d like to add that, talking specifically about 5e, it goes even further than that. Considering how the game went through multiple iterations of public playtest, I’d argue that it doesn’t even match the designers’ collective view. I could even argue that much of the game’s nostalgic undertones are a direct result of the public playtest, with people voting against 4e’s innovations and pushing for a game way more similar to 3.5. You can find evidence of that in the early playtest documents. If you check the classes that were being playtested, you can notice innovative ideas that were eventually either excluded from the game or at least relegated to subclasses. For example, the playtest fighter had combat maneuvers in the base class, but, due to negative feedback from the playtesters, these abilites were scraped from the fighter and put into one of it’s subclasses, thus making the “core” fighter a more generic class, just like it was in 5e. And this is one of my main problems with D&D5… the feeling that ot could have been so much more if only the designers were freed from the pressure of public playtesting.

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