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[Reborn] Convicts & Cthulhu: Australia in the 18th Century

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Taavi

You guys are amazing.

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andreroy

All new level of Hack-n-Slash!!

 

"What? A wallaby bit your hand. 10 minutes ago. Sorry mate we'll have to amputate the arm at the soulder, wouldn't want you to die of blood poisoning now would we?

 

Here take a swig of this and bite on this broom handle after."

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dce

Indeed -- and historical sources[*] make it quite clear that the wounds from Dropbears could really only be treated by dousing liberally with rum and immediately amputating. Only way to stop people from ... turning.

 

Hope you guys find ways to make your players suffer with a bit of medical mayhem ... I feel like we'll have done our job then :-)

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

 

 

[*] note I didn't say *reputable* ones :)

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dce

Totally within the wheelhouse of this thread, although I'm sure dce has seen this elsewhere:

 

200-year-old almanac of sacred charms and folk remedies offers insight into history of magic in Australia.

 

Sometimes this stuff really does write itself!

 

Great pickup, sasori -- Geoff Gillan sent me the exact same link. Chances of this somehow getting woven into a future Convicts & Cthulhu plot-line: almost certain :)

 

Of course that doesn't stop anyone using this awesome piece of real-world history to spice up their own game in the meantime!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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MOB
On 23/05/2018 at 05:55, dce said:

Note: as with all recent PDF we've created for the "Tickets of Leave" series, this one is released under Chaosium's "Fan Use" policy -- this has meant that while the version supplied as a direct download from Cthulhu Reborn can include Call of Cthulhu game statistrics, the version on RPG Now cannot. Most folks here will likely want the STATTED version (from Cthulhu Reborn), but both are linked above. And for people who have asked me why this curious restriction exists ... honestly, I don't understand it either.

 

To help protect our brands, the new licensing policies we instituted last year require a license for Chaosium IP to be offered on retail channels such as DTRPG (even if offered for free). This is how Stygian Fox, Darker Hue, Golden Goblin etc. operate with their Call of Cthulhu material. We offered Cthulhu Reborn exactly the same licensing terms, and still would be happy to proceed if Cthulhu Reborn wishes. 

 

Aanother option now available to independent creators like Cthulhu Reborn is putting such content in DTRPG's Miskatonic Repository community content program. Here the creator sets the price, which can also be free or pay-what-you-want.

 

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andreroy
On 25/05/2018 at 11:05, dce said:

Indeed -- and historical sources[*] make it quite clear that the wounds from Dropbears could really only be treated by dousing liberally with rum and immediately amputating. Only way to stop people from ... turning.

 

Hope you guys find ways to make your players suffer with a bit of medical mayhem ... I feel like we'll have done our job then :-)

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

 

[*] note I didn't say *reputable* ones :)

 

Well yeah! Dropbears are nasty AF, don't want them running amok :)

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dce
On 26/05/2018 at 14:02, MOB said:

To help protect our brands, the new licensing policies we instituted last year require a license for Chaosium IP to be offered on retail channels such as DTRPG (even if offered for free). This is how Stygian Fox, Darker Hue, Golden Goblin etc. operate with their Call of Cthulhu material. We offered Cthulhu Reborn exactly the same licensing terms, and still would be happy to proceed if Cthulhu Reborn wishes. 

 

Aanother option now available to independent creators like Cthulhu Reborn is putting such content in DTRPG's Miskatonic Repository community content program. Here the creator sets the price, which can also be free or pay-what-you-want.

 

Thank you, MOB, for re-posting the same explanation provided several times previously by Chaosium.

 

To be clear on the point, I don't believe there is any ambiguity about WHAT Chaosium's licenses say in regard to limiting creators, but they say nothing about WHY such limitations -- which (on the surface at least) appear to be entirely arbitrary and illogical -- exist.

 

At any rate, it's somewhat of a moot point for Convicts & Cthulhu. As announced last year, we are now well down the path to publishing our own d100-based system (based on the OGL Renaissance ruleset) to support continued development of the C&C setting in both paid and free supplements. Whether we continue to create CoC7e versions of our free supplements after that date is a decision we've yet to make.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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MOB

To be clear on the point, I don't believe there is any ambiguity about WHAT Chaosium's licenses say in regard to limiting creators, but they say nothing about WHY such limitations -- which (on the surface at least) appear to be entirely arbitrary and illogical -- exist.

 

Our copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual properties are valuable assets. If anyone wants to offer these on a commercial site we consider them a publisher and a license of one form or another from Chaosium is therefore required. The exception is our community content resource on DTRPG, the Miskatonic Repository. Otherwise, we have our Fan Materials policy to encourage and facilitate acceptable non-commercial uses on non-retail channels. You can consider this arbitrary or illogical if you want, but as a game company we are not alone in this distinction (for example). 

 

If you want to offer Cthulhu Reborn fans CoC statted versions via DTRPG/RPGNow, the options are to get a license—which we've said all along we'd cheerfully grant—or put the material in the Miskatonic Repository. 

 

 

At any rate, it's somewhat of a moot point for Convicts & Cthulhu

 

Then nothing further needs saying, unless you change your mind.

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dce

Our copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual properties are valuable assets. If anyone wants to offer these on a commercial site we consider them a publisher and a license of one form or another from Chaosium is therefore required. The exception is our community content resource on DTRPG, the Miskatonic Repository. Otherwise, we have our Fan Materials policy to encourage and facilitate acceptable non-commercial uses on non-retail channels. You can consider this arbitrary or illogical if you want, but as a game company we are not alone in this distinction (for example). 

 

If you want to offer Cthulhu Reborn fans CoC statted versions via DTRPG/RPGNow, the options are to get a license—which we've said all along we'd cheerfully grant—or put the material in the Miskatonic Repository.

 

Hi MOB,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply (even if just to requote the boilerplate text from Chaosium's policy documents and previous announcements).

 

As an "explanation" I feel that these policy quotes fall short in a number of ways. The logic that I believe is missing is:

 

(Proposition 1: Chaosium has an obligation to protect its trademarks) + (Proposition 2: X?) --> (Conclusion: Chaosium will allow anyone to publish free unlicensed content on any website EXCEPT DriveThruRPG, where one must be a licensee or MiskRepo user to publish).

 

If your statement supplies the X in the above chain of reasoning, I cannot extract it though I am happy to admit that may just be down my own limitations. I fully support the first proposition, and perhaps may support the second were it to have been supplied.

 

Given that this debate is evolving into a word-for-word replay of conversations that have already been held here on YSDC, I think it's better to spare the YSDC community and just conclude that there is a divergence of opinions that is unlikely to be resolved through discussion. As mentioned, Cthulhu Reborn has invested significant time, effort, and money in forging a path that steers clear of these ambiguities. In this we are following a well-worn trail: already walked by numerous game companies, and at least one prominent community group.

 

I certainly wish Chaosium well as they continue to evolve the way in which they define and manage what they consider to be their Intellectual Property.

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide) 

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MOB

(Proposition 1: Chaosium has an obligation to protect its trademarks) + (Proposition 2: X?) --> (Conclusion: Chaosium will allow anyone to publish free unlicensed content on any website EXCEPT DriveThruRPG, where one must be a licensee or MiskRepo user to publish).

 

If your statement supplies the X in the above chain of reasoning, I cannot extract it though I am happy to admit that may just be down my own limitations.

 

Dean, your conclusion is not correct. If we consider you a publisher, you'll need a licence to publish on any retail channel, not just DriveThruRPG. And while we are pleased to see non-commercial Call of Cthulhu content proliferate on non-commercial sites, such content is expected to abide by the terms and conditions of our fan materials policy if it uses our IP.

 

BTW, Trail of Cthulhu is produced under license from Chaosium.

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dce

Dean, your conclusion is not correct. If we consider you a publisher, you'll need a licence to publish on any retail channel, not just DriveThruRPG. And while we are pleased to see non-commercial Call of Cthulhu content proliferate on non-commercial sites, such content is expected to abide by the terms and conditions of our fan materials policy if it uses our IP. 

 

BTW, Trail of Cthulhu is produced under license from Chaosium.

 

Hi MOB,

 

Ok ... I am happy to concede that you are indeed correct. However, I do note that while you have been careful to clarify the conclusion, you haven't added anything to the reasoning behind it (which was really the point under discussion).

 

Edit: Instead of linking to Pelgrane's "Trail of Cthulhu" I should probably have linked to their "Cthulhu Confidential" RPG which is *not* produced under license (seemingly).

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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dce

Although it's only been a month or so since our last (delayed) release for Convicts & Cthulhu, we're delighted to be back announcing yet another free/PWYW PDF title for our colonial Australian horror game. You can see the full details of the release over on this blog posting.

 

1636891158_cr3005l-convicts-cthulhu-ticket-of-leave-12-fallen-stars-sml1.jpg.e06018f5dbee431e61f8bcd7b2d9bd19.jpg

 

Ticket of Leave #12 is titled "Fallen Stars" and marks a number of milestones for Convicts & Cthulhu. Firstly it is our opportunity to welcome a brand new writer to our line-up, Matthew Ruane (who also lurks here on YSDC and posts from time to time). The second notable thing about this supplement is that its scenario content will form the basis for our first Convicts & Cthulhu game at GenCon 2018.

 

The supplement draws upon two themes of life in the early penal settlement of NSW: the annoying difficulty white settlers encountered in finding a convenient pass over the natural barrier of the towering Blue Mountains, and the powerful interest that the unfamiliar flora and fauna of the newly-discovered continent held with English scientists of the day. Matthew has capably woven those two themes into a scenario which revolves around Investigators being drawn into participating in an expedition to track down the crash site of a meteorite which blazed across the night sky above the colony just a few days ago. The colonial administration hopes the specimens recovered from this scientific marvel will yield significant favour with those back in Britain.

 

However, what the expedition finds out in the remote and unexplored bushland at the base of the Blue Mountains is both more and less than they expected. And the things that find *them* are something different altogether ... (as ably depicted by awesome artist Reuben Dodd)

 

1420360149_CC-DingoAttack(sml).jpg.45fe32fcf5d8cd52ec3f7285f2fecc1e.jpg

 

This 22 page PDF is available right now as a free download direct from the Cthulhu Reborn blog or as a "Pay What Your Want" title on RPG Now (for folks who would like to send a small donation our way to help us keep this product line viable).

 

Note that, for reasons that were (slightly) explained by MOB further up this thread, Cthulhu Reborn has been obliged by Chaosium's "fan use" policy to create two separate versions of this PDF. The version hosted on our blog includes full game stats to play the scenario with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. The version on RPG Now is a generic Lovecraftian horror product, which could be equally well be played with any game based around the Mythos and it's attendant horrors (CoC, Pelgrane's excellent Trail of Cthulhu, the rules-light Cthulhu Dark, Cakebread & Walton's "Dark Streets", the Delta Green RPG, or many other fine games). We know that some of our readers find this annoying, but we honestly have no other way to comply with the terms in Chaosium's policies. I suppose ultimately it's a boon for people who play those other systems ...

 

We hope you enjoy this new addition to the Convicts & Cthulhu setting. We have certainly enjoyed welcoming Matthew to the C&C writing family, and have been thoroughly impressed with the dedication and skill with which he has wrought this fine historical delving into dark Lovecraftian horror. Also, although set in the specific time and place, the scenario portion of this PDF would also be readily transplantable to other historical (or maybe even modern) settings ... so, what are you waiting for? Grab your musket, load up the bullock drays, and let's get this expedition started!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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MOB
12 hours ago, dce said:

Note that, for reasons that were (slightly) explained by MOB further up this thread, Cthulhu Reborn has been obliged by Chaosium's "fan use" policy to create two separate versions of this PDF. The version hosted on our blog includes full game stats to play the scenario with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. The version on RPG Now is a generic Lovecraftian horror product, which could be equally well be played with any game based around the Mythos and it's attendant horrors (CoC, Pelgrane's excellent Trail of Cthulhu, the rules-light Cthulhu Dark, Cakebread & Walton's "Dark Streets", the Delta Green RPG, or many other fine games). We know that some of our readers find this annoying, but we honestly have no other way to comply with the terms in Chaosium's policies. I suppose ultimately it's a boon for people who play those other systems ...

 

If you want to stop annoying your readers, the remedy is quite straightforward. As we've said all along, we will cheerfully grant you a license to put your stuff on DTRPG/RPGNow (or you can put the material in the Miskatonic Repository). 

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dce
3 hours ago, MOB said:

If you want to stop annoying your readers, the remedy is quite straightforward. As we've said all along, we will cheerfully grant you a license to put your stuff on DTRPG/RPGNow (or you can put the material in the Miskatonic Repository). 

 

Hi MOB,

 

Many thanks for your response. Your continued interest in Cthulhu Reborn and the Convicts & Cthulhu product line in particular are very much appreciated by us. It's highly flattering to see that Chaosium are following our publication output so closely; it certainly makes us feel appreciated!

 

Your comments about licensing gave me brief hope that perhaps Chaosium had reconsidered its Byzantine approach to managing the content it permits licensees to consider publishing. However after revisiting the Chaosium website I can't see any press releases about changes of policy. Thus I can only evaluate your suggestion on the same basis that I have evaluated the several previous identical suggestions and politely decline your kind offer.

 

BTW: the specifics of the concerns which underlie Cthulhu Reborn's position with respect to licensing are, I would imagine, topics that Chaosium would prefer we do not discuss in a public forum. That seems entirely fair and we respectfully will not air any "dirty laundry" here. However, should any publishers (current or prospective) wish to understand the rationale behind our position, please PM us here on YSDC and we will gladly give a full and frank account of the interactions which have led us to our decisions.

 

We wish Chaosium and all its licensees the absolute best in their continued publication efforts for Call of Cthulhu. We equally support publishers of Lovecraftian RPG material who have elected to go it alone via a more independent "open source" approach to releasing content. We hope that future releases (commercial and fan-based) can continue to celebrate the full diversity of the Cthulhu Mythos, without fear that legal challenges will limit the scope of creations that we can include in our games.

 

Thanks again,

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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MOB
16 hours ago, dce said:

Hi MOB,

 

Many thanks for your response....

 

You said earlier on that this issue is "somewhat of a moot point for Convicts & Cthulhu" but if you keep posting passive-aggressive comments about unfair it is you can't have CoC7 material on DTRPG we will just continue to reiterate that the remedy is a simple one, and entirely in your court.

 

As we understand it, the main sticking point for you not wanting a license is the provision that proposals require approval at the conceptual stage. This is to ensure proposals don't compete or conflict with existing projects or areas of interest, either by Chaosium or other licensees. We don't have any problem with you being the "Colonial Australia" guy. Of course, anything goes on the Miskatonic Repository, where there is no approval process whatsoever for community content.

 

We don't consider our licensing policies "Byzantine"—nor have we had such feedback from any of the dozens of Chaosium licensees we currently work with, and your insinuation there is "dirty laundry" we don't want aired is ridiculous and offensive.

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dce
10 hours ago, MOB said:

We don't consider our licensing policies "Byzantine"—nor have we had such feedback from any of the dozens of Chaosium licensees we currently work with, and your insinuation there is "dirty laundry" we don't want aired is ridiculous and offensive.

 

Hi MOB,

 

I am sorry if my posts about the impacts of Chaosium's policies about Intellectual Property protection for licensees have caused you personal offense. That was certainly not my intent, and if that's the result I apologize wholeheartedly.

 

I do stand by everything I have said, though. The many interactions I have had with the present Chaosium administration make me question the company's one-sided expectations about IP ownership and the notion of "giving away" ideas that are presented in good faith to Chaosium for approval at the conceptual stage. If there is now a documented policy about such things, I'd certainly be happy to reconsider Cthulhu Reborn's position in light of any new information. But for now I feel that the statement's I've made are fully justified.

 

We certainly do see that this issue is somewhat of a moot point for Convicts & Cthulhu *in the long term* ... but as you would appreciate the effort of putting together a new core book takes some time. In the interests of keeping the Colonial Australian product line well supported we must navigate the Chaosium licensing policies for these small interim products. I'm sure both of us will breathe a collective sigh of relief when that's no longer necessary.

 

It is, BTW, a little disingenuous of you to cite as evidence the dozens of satisfied Chaosium licensees when a standard term of the Chaosium contract stipulates that none of those parties is permitted to post any negative comments about Chaosium in any public forum. While it's quite possible that every one of those publishers is fully behind Chaosium's stance on Intellectual Property rights, even if they were *not* the general public will never hear about it because of those clauses. So ... a lack of public complaint is not really evidence of much.

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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Lammomedes

As the author of the latest Ticket of Leave, I hope you enjoy what I have put together.

If you have any comments, feedback, etc. I would be more than welcome to hear it.

This isn't my first writing for a Cthulhu oriented author, but it has been a while since I was last published non-academically.

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MOB
On 01/07/2018 at 10:56, dce said:

It is, BTW, a little disingenuous of you to cite as evidence the dozens of satisfied Chaosium licensees when a standard term of the Chaosium contract stipulates that none of those parties is permitted to post any negative comments about Chaosium in any public forum.

 

? There is no such standard term or stipulation. Our licensees can say whatever they want.

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