Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Illo Trove Lives, Kinda

I have the trove site on its way into reality.

It's just a sketchy little site right now -- Art Trove -- and I'm trying to figure out what to do for the licensing arrangements, whether I need some special legal verbiage to say "thanks for the simoleons! you now have the right to treat all present & future art presented as part of the Art Trove as clip art, for your own royalty-free use. This license is non-transferable."

I'm also thinking that there's no reason I should discourage people from joining up without asking for a specific piece to be added. You can always take a raincheck on your request. I just am a little nervous about accepting cash for pieces of art I haven't produced yet -- what if I am unable to create a piece that satisfies a buyer?

I think I can solve that this way: the 25 clams are not for the free piece. They're for Trove membership. The free piece is a bonus freebie, and so in case I'm not able to produce exactly what you want, well, I'll do the best I can, but I'm not going to stress about you already having "paid me for it" -- cause you didn't, you paid for the Trove membership.

I'm also thinking of having a standing offer for new pieces for a flat fee (maybe $20 unless it's a complex/elaborate piece, in which case I'd price it up from there, but still trying to make it a "discount rate") to be done to the specs of an existing trove member and added to the trove.

So once you're in, you can call on me to build up what's in the trove, cheaply, in the ways you need.

Presumably under this system the trove will grow naturally to include things that the people who are most likely to fork out extra cash want. :)

Does anybody know where I could look to find appropriate legal verbiage for the "I give you and only you permission to go nuts with this art royalty-free" statement?

Stephen Colbert on Gaming

From an interview in the Onion's AV Club:

AVC: You were into Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, were you not?

SC: Yeah, I really was. I started playing in seventh grade, 1977. And I played incessantly, 'til probably 1981—four years.

AVC: What's the appeal?

SC: It's a fantasy role-playing game. If you're familiar with the works of Tolkien or Stephen R. Donaldson or Poul Anderson or any of the guys who wrote really good fantasy stuff, those worlds stood up. It's an opportunity to assume a persona. Who really wants to be themselves when they're teenagers? And you get to be heroic and have adventures. And it's an incredibly fun game. They have arcane rules and complex societies and they're open-ended and limitless, kind of like life. For somebody who eventually became an actor, it was interesting to have done that for so many years, because acting is role-playing. You assume a character, and you have to stay in them over years, and you create histories, and you apply your powers. It's good improvisation with agreed rules before you go in.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Illo Trove

So I was almost going to go to bed but then I had this idea. Here's the idea.

I start an Ed's Illo Trove service.

To join the service, you pay a one-time fee of N dollars. For those N dollars, I create one piece of art to your specification and add it to the Trove. N is significantly less than I might normally charge for an illustration.

That one-time fee entitles you to use all the Trove art forever, royalty-free, as many times as you want. All the art in the Trove is yours to command, to use as if it were clip art.

The Trove art is also available to anyone else in the world, but only under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license. So anyone can use all the art, no questions asked, without even paying the one-time fee, as long as they are willing to pull a Clinton R. Nixon and share with the world just like I am sharing with them.

The result:

I get money.
I get published.
I get to contribute to the Commons.
Trove members get tons of art for their games for a small fee, the only downside being that it's not necessarily going to be unique to their games.

Anybody see any big holes in this plan?

Anybody have suggestions as to what would be a good price for N?

Now I can go to bed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bacchanal Recognized

Rock! (Via Michael S. Miller on the Forge!)

But the greatest thing of 2005 (or of 61 A.D.) that has weird shaped dice, characters, story lines, and dice pool mechanics -- while still not quite being an RPG -- is Paul Czege's unforgettable Bacchanal. Sex, drunkenness, and now the 2005 Outie for Best Sui Generis RPG.
Congrats Paul! Bacchanal deserves it! Now if only I knew a bunch of people who wanted to play it with me...

YES that's my art, yes it rocks, yes Paul rocks for designing a game I could do an image like that for. Woot.

(All kinds of congrats to Emily, Ben, and Clinton for their runners upness.)


I can't believe this. Ryan, the Guild of Blades dude, is still hanging out on the Forge, giving people advice about publishing games.

I don't know Ryan from Adam. I did some art for him long, long ago. As best I remember he paid well and was a very responsible businessman. To the best of my knowledge he's a great guy.

But man, he made shit games. I mean, embarrasing, terrible shit. Dark Realms and W.H.A.T? (at the time, an unexplained acronym) were simply the worst things I had ever seen published as roleplaying games.

They weren't even "good bad," like Ed Wood bad, they were beyond "so bad it's good" and into "so bad it's bad."

Ron talks about "Fantasy Heartbreakers," which are terrible D&D imitations with flashes of brilliance and which are obviously labors of love.

As I remember Deark Realms and W.H.A.T.?, they were more like "Fantasy Backstabbers," terrible D&D imitations without flashes of brilliance, which one imagines have never been played even by their creator, and seem to have been written and marketed in the belief that roleplaying gamers have no standards or taste whatsoever, and will buy any random dreck that a cynical writer and marketeer can crap out.

So let me throw this open to the peanut gallery.

Has anybody seen more recent guild of blades stuff? Is the horrifying shit a thing of the past? Has he either learned to write RPGs that exceed the level of Spawn of Fashan, or else perhaps hired someone who can actually write games and turned it over to him or her?

I dunno, it just boggles the mind. I remember seeing GoB stuff the time I went to Games Plus with Andy; a lot of it seemed to have improved considerably in presentation from the stapled-photocopy specials of the days I knew. But has it improved in content?

In the event Ryan himself sees this post -- dude, I apologize, I'm calling it like I see it. Nothing against you personally; you're a prince of a fellow to the best of my knowledge. I just don't get the deal with the games you used to sell.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Friday, January 13, 2006

burning wheel character sheets

man I need to get smaller pencils -- that should be in the rules -- "0.7mm lead is too coarse to use on the Burning Wheel character sheet. 0.5mm -- yes, with great effort. 0.1mm is recommended. And a jeweler's loupe."