Saturday, November 21, 2009

The latest bad news

For those who have missed it, it seems like the Tunnels & Trolls world have been experiencing a landslide the last few day. The dirt just keep piling up.

It started as some dubious use of art on RPGNow, and now it seems like the main fan publisher for T&T stand accused of having used stolen art in products sold for profit. As if that wasn't enough, there are also indications a scenario for D&D have been "converted" to T&T and sold without permission, and also that the free retro game Mazes & Minotaurs once was for sale from Outlaw Press until the writer complained. It's a maze indeed.

How much of all this is true and how far does it go into the abyss?

From what I've gathered from my contacts it's now totally out of the reach of anyone pontificating on the web, and the lawyers have been set in motion. It's a sad day for us all.

Extra sad is the fact that even if it's get all sorted out, James Shipman at Outlaw Press have been seen one time to often in extremely dubious circumstances for me to want to have anything to do with him. Running a business can't be done by playing loose and fast, that's just not the way to do it. Even if you manage to keep your balancing act on the right side of the thin line there are some things you just don't do, like revise somebody's text without telling them, and then going to print.

In the D&D end of the OSR we have seen a bunch of people starting publishing themself, based on the OGL and their imagination. My reaction to all this is that I feel sombody should step up, and bring more fan publishing to T&T. Do you have anything lying around, like new monsters? Spells? Adventures? I'm looking into options and want to get the wheels turning. Feel free to contact me if you want to join in!

If we are lucky, this mess might still have some positive effect in the end. Let's hope so.


  1. I hadn't heard any of this news, I hope it's all rumor. I really like some of the stuff that Outlaw Press has put out.

    But I do agree that I'd like to see more fan-made T&T gaming accessories. I'd be interested in working on some stuff. I have a setting that I've been trying to flesh out, and I'm also an artist if you're interested.

  2. Sounds very interesting, Atom Kid!!

  3. #Atom Kid - I doubt it is all rumour considering that a significant number of artists have come forward to state that their work is being used without license or permission - with many of the pieces in question belonging to major publishers like Games Workshop.

    @Andreas - Regarding the "things you don't do", in many cases the whole "revising someone's text without telling them" is standard in the RPG industry when working with authors who do work-for-hire. The editor & publisher cut, paste and change material as they want / need prior to publication and they don't run that revised text past the author for approval.

  4. Well, there are different ways to do bad things. It's when they add up, and seem to include arrogance and bad judgment that I get vary. Fans doing things for and with fans should be different as well. In any case it's my feelings that way to much seem to have happened in the dark.


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