Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

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Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:15 pm

Donald J. Bingle and Skip Williams are trying to arrange some sort of event with one or more classic RPGA adventures for Gen Con 50. See the: Classic RPGA call to arms for GenCon 50 topic for more details and I wonder if Living Greyhawk could be part of that.

I'm not sure if the deal that Donald J. Bingle and Skip Williams made with "the powers that be" only covers 2nd Edtion AD&D, but it would be great if Living Greyhawk could piggy-back on this event. Maybe LG people could help with the admin for non-LG events.

Are there any LG fans would would be willing to help out? Do you think that any of the Greyhawk Reborn people would be willing to run old LG events at Gen Con?

And does anyone want to see Living Greyhawk get it's own space on DMs Guild?
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Actually, I've been thinking about another way that Living Greyhawk might be brought back, for a while.

Image

One of the things I've been told is that Living Greyhawk can "not come back" because LG adventures are derivative works owned by the original authors, that contain IP owned by Wizards of the Coast and the end of the Living Greyhawk program has made it illegal for them to be published in their original form by the author (as they don't have WotC permission) and illegal to be published by WotC (as they don't have the author's permission).

For a long time, I thought that meant that it would never be possible to bring back Living Greyhawk. And, as authors could not publish the adventures, I imagined that they would be lost over time. (I imagine some are already lost.) And I've been told that you can't just get all the authors to hand over their work to go onto a free site, as, at least some of them, want to be paid.

It can't be done. It won't be done. It's too difficult.

;( ;( ;( ;(

But then, Wizards of the Coast did a deal with DriveThru RPG/RPG Now to open the D&D Classics website...and then they opened up Dungeon Master's Guild to anyone who wanted to make Forgotten Realms adventures (and adventures set in FR subsettings and Ravenloft).

Image

So if:
  • Wizards of the Coast have authorised the sale of old "D&D Classics" content,
  • Wizards of the Coast have authorised the sale of new 5e content connected to Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft and
  • The DMs Guild website is able to cope with old TSR stuff, old WotC stuff, new DMs Guild stuff (uploaded by fans) and classify it all on a campaign setting basis...
...that means that WotC have everything they need to sort out this "neither side can do anything without agreement of the other" issue, without actually needing to negotiate hundreds of contracts (or buy all the Living Greyhawk copyrights from the authors).

All they need to do is get a lawyer to look through the DMs Guild contract and adjust it, so that it covers unconverted Living Greyhawk material*. Then DMs Guild can give authors the following choices for uploading their old Living Greyhawk adventures:
  • Free to download,
  • For sale at a price or
  • Pay what you want

* = Hopefully, they would make a more generic RPGA contract, rather than one specific to Living Greyhawk, as this would also allow Living City, Living Jungle, Living Forgotten Realms and even Mark of Heroes and Xen'drik Expeditions adventures to all get put up on the same part of the website. But Living Greyhawk would be a great place to start getting people to upload their content.

If that was done, then some authors could throw up some of their Living Greyhawk content, at whatever deal they wanted to offer.

There are already additional drop-down menus on DMs Guild (that are not on DriveThru RPG or RPG Now) and they would probably need to add one more to allow people to choose from the five regions (and the non-regional stuff) as well as the 31 metaregions and the two core derivatives.

Image

But, they already have the logistical framework for this. And they already have a legal deal that almost works for this.

So I don't think that bringing back Living Greyhawk is "imposssible". I don't even think it is difficult. I think it just takes WotC and the owners of DMs Guild/DriveThru RPG/RPG Now to sit down together, have a meeting and then make this happen.

Who else wants this to happen?

EDIT: Just to clarify things, as I've had a few comments elsewhere, suggesting that DMs Guild and D&D Classics are not the same thing, I am suggesting that DMs Guild has a new "RPGA Classics" section, that has old content (similar to D&D Classics) but that it has RPGA content instead of mainstream TSR/WotC content. There is some RPGA content that already belongs to WotC and that could just go up (although if DMs Guild do not possess a copy, they could pay people the standard rate for sending in a scan). There is some content that does not belong to WotC and that could go into a section where the author decides if they want to sell it via DMs Guild (presumably at DMs Guild rates as it contains WotC IP).

I'm guessing that there will be some authors who decide that they do not want to sell their stuff. And I'm guessing that there will be some authors who will not know this exists, or who will have moved on from D&D. That's fine. I'm just after a process that can facilitate getting as much stuff back online as possible. :)
Last edited by Big Mac on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby scottdprt » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:29 am

Living Greyhawk may not be able to be brought back, but the spirit of it lives on in Greyhawk Reborn. It is an independent organized play campaign currently taking place in CY 617. Greyhawk Reborn just finished a very active weekend at Mepacon and judges are finishing preparations for Gen Con. Check us out at http://greyhawkreborn.net/.

Disclaimer: I am a DM/writer for Greyhawk Reborn.
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby beasterbrook » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:53 am

I believe one of the conditions of Living Greyhawk is that only the writer of the module can run it?
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:43 am

Just to clarify things, as I've had a few comments elsewhere, suggesting that DMs Guild and D&D Classics are not the same thing, I am suggesting that DMs Guild has a new "RPGA Classics" section, that has old content (similar to D&D Classics) but that it has RPGA content instead of mainstream TSR/WotC content. There is some RPGA content that already belongs to WotC and that could just go up (although if DMs Guild do not possess a copy, they could pay people the standard rate for sending in a scan). There is some content that does not belong to WotC and that could go into a section where the author decides if they want to sell it via DMs Guild (presumably at DMs Guild rates as it contains WotC IP).

I'm guessing that there will be some authors who decide that they do not want to sell their stuff. And I'm guessing that there will be some authors who will not know this exists, or who will have moved on from D&D. That's fine. I'm just after a process that can facilitate getting as much stuff back online as possible. :)

(I''ve also edited this into the bottom of my top post.)
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:06 pm

scottdprt wrote:Living Greyhawk may not be able to be brought back, but the spirit of it lives on in Greyhawk Reborn. It is an independent organized play campaign currently taking place in CY 617. Greyhawk Reborn just finished a very active weekend at Mepacon and judges are finishing preparations for Gen Con. Check us out at http://greyhawkreborn.net/.

Disclaimer: I am a DM/writer for Greyhawk Reborn.


Thanks Scott. Greyhawk Reborn is awesome. I started a Greyhawk Reborn topic back in 2014. (If you know of any new information, please bump the topic.)

You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself heretopic and say "hi" to the community at large. People tell people a bit about themselves and the stuff they like there, and you could mention Greyhawk Reborn and what part you play in it. :)

You might also want to edit your forum signature, to include a link to Greyhawk Reborn, or any other RPG projects you want to support, so that any time you talk to people here, your signature can help them find the Greyhawk Reborn website. :)

Don't you think it would be awesome, if WotC and DriveThru RPG worked together to get some of the Living Greyhawk events up online, so that the Greyhawk Reborn team also had the option of running one or two Classic Living Greyhawk adventures, from time to time? :D

I hope that your team have taken steps to ensure that none of your adventures risk getting lost (the way that RPGA adventures - especially the later Living Greyhawk ones that WotC do not own - currently face a real risk of being lost). Your stuff is an important part of Greyhawk fandom. And it's important that in 100 or 200 years time (after we are all gone - or have become brains-in-jars) there are still people out there who can enjoy Greyhawk Reborn. :D

If you don't already Greyhawk Reborn have a plan to ensure your adventures survive forever, please bring it up with the people who run the organisation.
Last edited by Big Mac on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:19 pm

beasterbrook wrote:I believe one of the conditions of Living Greyhawk is that only the writer of the module can run it?


I've heard of "Author Only" adventures. I think that might be something else.

The issue here is that WotC paid people to write Living Greyhawk adventures, but then didn't pay people to write other adventures. People submitted Living Greyhawk adventures to a now-defunct system that made them available to anyone who wanted to run them at events.

Instead of planning for Living Greyhawk to last forever, which would have been my choice, WotC made it part of the 3rd Edition RPGA support. And when they wound up 3rd Edition, they wanted the RPGA to move over to Forgotten Realms, so they shut down Living Greyhawk instead of doing something like making it self-governing. I belive they did the same with Living Forgotten Realms at the end of the 4th Edition era, although I'm not totally sure if D&D Adventures Guild may have picked up where Living Forgotten Realms left off.

I would put everyone who worked on Living Greyhawk on my "I would buy this person a drink" list, but that would bankrupt me. :lol: It was the largest organised play campaign ever run. And, from a historical point of view, it's a very important part of D&D and RPGA history.

WotC made a tactical error not planning for what would happen after they stopped supporting Living Greyhawk and the other Living Campaigns.

One thing that is making me happy is that I'm discovering a small core of hardcore fans who are fighting to revive things like Living Jungle and Living City. I really hope that those people can come together and bring these other LIving Campaigns back. (It might be easier for Living Jungle/Living City, as they are both based on the Forgotten Realms and are covered by the DMs Guild deal for creating new 5th Edition Forgotten Realms content.)
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Re: Can Living Greyhawk get brought back?

Postby scottdprt » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:07 pm

beasterbrook wrote:I believe one of the conditions of Living Greyhawk is that only the writer of the module can run it?


That is correct. We have to work within the copyright and the graces of WotC.
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