Thursday, 26 July 2012

BLOOD WAR: In law there is only battle.

So what's the legal standing of our retro-clone project? and what of our contributions to this blog?

Developing a project like BLOOD WAR ( Bucket Loads of Old Dice WAR - a retro-clone of Warhammer) is a minefield of misunderstandings and potential conflict.

Do we, as the authors want to financially gain from our hard work?
Do we want other people to be able to financially gain from our hard work?

I don't know the answers, but unless we're all clear on where we stand with it then there will be trouble ahead.

Bruno suggested this Creative Commons license:

I think it's the right way forward and I hope all contributing editors / authors can agree to it as a legal framework, we can stick the icon on the blog, forget about it and get on with the gaming!

But if anyone reading that license has any questions, queries or concerns then drop a comment. I've no intention of trying to railroad this through.

I should also note that I have had personal correspondence suggesting the OGL might be a good framework so check-out OSRIC and it's license to give an idea of how that works too.

BTW, none of this provides us with legal protection against claims of infringement of other companies copyrights, it's just about making it clear what people can do with the things we post here.

BTW II, The OLDHAMMER: In Battle There Is No Law banner / logo is released under  CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 which basically means you can use and share it freely, but not modify or do anything commercial with it. 


  1. Well I quite like it just because of the human-readable disclaimer!

    All sounds pretty straight forward and fair.

    Just to check I've got the right end of the stick - Whatever we come up with and publish is free for anyone to use, share and adapt, but only if they mention the original source (or whatever attribution we decide should be made).

    If other users decide to adapt and share our work, it must be done under the same license.

    We can decide to waive these conditions.

    Two questions - I'm assuming that by taking out a license like this our rules wouldn't be classed as public domain?

    Other people can make money out of our work but only with our permission and the correct attribution?

    1. Yep, sounds like the right end of the stick!

      To answer your questions (under the proposed CC BY-SA 3.0):

      The rules would not be in the public domain.

      People would not need to ask permission to make money off them, they could just do so so long as they attributed it in the way we decide. So for example you could write a campaign scenario and publish it for money, or a version of the rulebook with your own fluff and army lists and publish it for money.

  2. I'm happy with the creative commons thing. I'm only intrested in doing this so we can openly share stuff we come up with without the threat of being told not to by people who may or may not have a legal let alone a moral right to be telling us such.

    Also it seams like fun.

    1. Cool (or is that Fortitude! ?) that's a "yes" vote then.

      This does not protected us from certain people from the Sherrif of Nottingham telling us to stop, but it allows us to freely work on each others things.

      If you want to physically stop people making money off of it then CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 might be a better option. But personally I'd have no problem with people charging for PDFs of campaigns or settings, or rules variants based on a core FREE Oldhammer BLOOD rule-set.

    2. I don't have any particular worries on that front - just wanted to check I'd understood it in full.

      As Erny says, fun is the main objective as well as providing a resource to get a few more players hooked on Oldhammer.

    3. Understood.

      But doing this protects our work more than not so to speak.
      If we come up with something usable by all, free of charge, with a classic feel I would be absolutely fine with people making money from fleshed out pdf settings or adaptions.

  3. I feel that in addition to the rules we should create our own fantasy background, complete with maps, nations etc. This is certainly something I would be very interested in contributing to!

    1. I think a background would be really great, Amazons, Pygmies, Fimir, Red Orcs, proper Slann, Night Elves and all the other cool old stuff. IMHO The core rules should be available fluff free, tying the game down to a specific campaign world would hamstring the ruleset. The idea deserves it's own post and thread.

      What do you think about the CC BY-SA 3.0 license?

    2. Must say I'm really enjoying fleshing out the old 2nd/3rd ed Warhammer world with my Orc's Drift and Magnificent Sven projects - working on our own background could be fun as well, as a separate concern.

      I agree that the rules should stand on their own so anyone can pick them up and play with their own background.

      Sorry to continue the discussion here - did someone say something about setting a forum up? Not something I know much about I'm afraid.

  4. As said on the other thread yes I'm for this licence, a lightweight free version, that everyone can use and adapt and even make money doing so as long as it refers to the original.

    That seems a good way to attract supportive people and have them "publish" the way they intend to, stuff for the game !

    OGL and OSRIC licence may be fine but from what I do understand OGL is still tightly attached to D&D (I may be wrong on that point, I'll have to check it).

  5. I like the way this is going, kudos to Zhu! I take it the 'slimmed down' core rules will include a list of basic/generic troops of various races and an introductory scenario and the rest of the project (Phase II, if you will) will be developing said races and introducing new ones with specialist troop types and such?

    What about the very flavourful but legally protected races like Fimir and the Druchii? do we just generalize them with a nod and a wink (Turn Witch Elves into Dark Elf Warmaidens, Fimm warriors to Bog Raiders) or is that stuff totally hands-off?

  6. There is no problem that I can see with having Dark Elves or fanatical even dark elves, leave the sex up to the user. As to Druchii, I belive this is a name thought up some years after I collected my first dark elf army, I'm happy to pass on the name and certainly any of the fluff not already present in TSR modules.

    I think there wouild be no problem having a generic, un-deified Fomorian list.

  7. @ Thantsants, from what I understand setting up a forum (something I'm all for) would take little effort. There are any number of free forum hosts, even ones with chatbox functions which we could use. All we'd need is to set up an account with such a provider and have a contributer put the address on the Sites list, maybe throw up a blog page about it to ensure everyone knows. I sent Erny a message about it, I guess I messed up sending it 'cos my e'mail didn't even notify me that it was sent.