Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Industry news, rumoured and announced new products, and discussion of games company policies.

Moderator: Chimpman

Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:05 am

There is a Kickstarter project up called Necromancer Games: Back for 5th Edition!:

Necromancer Games on Kickstarter wrote:5th Edition Rules: 1st Edition Feel! Monsters, Adventures, and Spells for 5th Edition!

5th Edition Rules: 1st Edition Feel! Necromancer Games re-animates itself bigger, better, and badder than ever before for the 5th Edition of the *world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game. With the help of Steve Winter and Ed Greenwood, we are going to be creating supplemental books (up to 3 of them!) to play the new edition Old School Style — the Necromancer way.

  • 5th Edition Foes - between 200-250 additional creatures, beasts, monsters and titans to challenge your players and enhance your adventures!
  • Quests of Doom: X Adventures Worth Winning -12+ adventures worth winning, each written by one of our many iconic authors. (X begins with 12 and increases based on stretch goals.)
  • Book of Lost Spells - Hundreds of new spells to enhance your 5th edition spell casters and NPCs.

Just like we did with the Third Edition, our objective isn’t to compete with the the upcoming 5th edition; it’s to offer resources for playing the game the old way, old school style. In general it’s darker and deadlier gaming than the official recommendations. It’s not for crybabies. Between 1999 and 2006, we racked up award after award, picking up worldwide recognition as a publishing powerhouse... and now we’re back!


There is more there (and plenty of namechecks) but the thing that intersts me is that although this Kickstarter says that Necromancer Games is back, its is Necromancer Games, but not quite as we know it. Clark Peterson (one of the two founders of Necromancer Games) sold out to his partner (Bill Webb) and it seems that Necromancer Games is now a subsidiary of Frog God Games.

I am also wondering what campaign setting product lines Necromancer Games will be able to restart.

Wilderlands is almost certainly out of the question. Judges Guild have taken that back.

World of Warcraft reverted to Blizzard and Ravenloft reverted to Wizards of the Coast.

I see no mention of Scarred Lands. I think that Necromancer Games owned that, but I'm not sure if they sold it off or licensed it to someone else.

Does anyone else recall any of the other Necromancer Games product lines and have any idea if they belong to the company?

Perhaps this is literally only going to be the Necromancer Games line and the sub-brands that Necromancer Games used to distribute (like Sword and Sorcery Studios and Arthaus) are not included in this relaunch.

EDIT: Louis Porter has written this about Necromancer Game's Kickstarters Are Necromancer Games being opportunistic or smart business people?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 21475
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Seethyr » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:54 pm

I've always been very unaware of the procedures involved with copyright issues. Is a company other than WotC allowed to just publish books (already) based off of 5e?
All Maztica Alive Netbooks Available in the Link:The Maztica Alive Campaign

Newest Book: TWC6 True World Bestiary II - Monsters A-H

Maztica Alive! Yahoo Group Join Us
User avatar
Seethyr
Frost Giant
 
Posts: 943
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:07 am
Location: Tulom-Itzi

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby ghendar » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:50 pm

Had no idea that Clark Peterson had sold out to Webb.
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?
User avatar
ghendar
Hill Giant
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Havard » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:06 pm

I have to admit I was rather surprised when I got an email with a similar content. I knew that Frog God (Bill Webb) had bought Necromancer Games some time ago, but I assumed they wanted to keep the Necromancer Games title dead and buried. It is a name with some brand recognition though, so on the other hand I can see them wanting to bring it back.

Another possibility is that Frog God wants to distance itself from Necro in case the whole 5E line becomes problematic.

Big Mac: I am pretty sure Scarred Lands was never owned by Necromancer Games. Necromancer Games published multiple products under the Sword & Sorcery title, but that was always a White Wolf imprint so presumably this was all under some lisence from White Wolf.

Seethyr: I haven't looked into the legalities of this, but either Necromancer Games/Frog God have obtained a lisence from WotC, or they are benefiting from loopholes in the system. For instance you can no longer copyright a rules system and probably "5th Edition" is also a title you cannot copyright. With the usual IANAL* disclaimer etc etc.

*=I Am Not A Lawyer

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
 
Posts: 17208
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:57 am

Seethyr wrote:I've always been very unaware of the procedures involved with copyright issues. Is a company other than WotC allowed to just publish books (already) based off of 5e?


...and...

Havard wrote:Seethyr: I haven't looked into the legalities of this, but either Necromancer Games/Frog God have obtained a lisence from WotC, or they are benefiting from loopholes in the system. For instance you can no longer copyright a rules system and probably "5th Edition" is also a title you cannot copyright. With the usual IANAL* disclaimer etc etc.

*=I Am Not A Lawyer


There is no way for any company to publish now (not without an independent agreement) but WotC have already said they are doing an OGL-like licence for third party publishers after all three core rulebooks are out.

So what this new Necromancer Games company could do is create the adventures, get the artwork done and then drop in the exact stats at the last moment. If they can do that, they can get the product out of the door within days of the 5e OGL going live.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 21475
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:06 am

ghendar wrote:Had no idea that Clark Peterson had sold out to Webb.


I believe that Clark Peterson was getting problems with his day job (he is a judge) from legal people looking for an excuse to try to get one of his decisions overturned. I think they were arguing that he was spending time talking to RPG fans instead of thinking about court cases. In my opinion, those people were making strawman arguments and Clark was totally able to do his legal stuff and do RPG stuff on the side. But I think he put the RPG stuff to one side to stop them having an excuse to keep digging up the same strawman argument against him.

Havard wrote:I have to admit I was rather surprised when I got an email with a similar content. I knew that Frog God (Bill Webb) had bought Necromancer Games some time ago, but I assumed they wanted to keep the Necromancer Games title dead and buried. It is a name with some brand recognition though, so on the other hand I can see them wanting to bring it back.

Another possibility is that Frog God wants to distance itself from Necro in case the whole 5E line becomes problematic.


Necromancer Games always used to be "3rd Edition Rules - 1st Edition Feel" so the brand name has recognition with people that like some old school aspects.

If 5th Edition is supposed to appeal more to fans of older rules, then there may be some people that enjoy the idea of 5th Edition adventures that have a 1st Edition feel. From that point of view, the Necromancer Games name is a good marketing tool. It already has some level of brand-awareness.

More importantly, if other stuff has Frog God Games on it, that stuff will not be mistaken for 5e stuff...or 5e stuff with a 1e feel.

Havard wrote:Big Mac: I am pretty sure Scarred Lands was never owned by Necromancer Games. Necromancer Games published multiple products under the Sword & Sorcery title, but that was always a White Wolf imprint so presumably this was all under some lisence from White Wolf.


Looks like I am confused. White Wolf had so many companies associated with it, I could never work out what was what. :oops:
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 21475
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby dulsi » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:59 pm

Big Mac wrote:There is no way for any company to publish now (not without an independent agreement) but WotC have already said they are doing an OGL-like licence for third party publishers after all three core rulebooks are out.

You could do it the same way Goodman Games did 4E adventures before the 4E GSL. They used all the terms from the 3.5 OGL. In the same way that people have made 1E products under OGL, you could do 5E.
Dennis Payne -- Identical Games
Support Roon's Raccoon Sprintladder on Lego Ideas.
ImageImage
User avatar
dulsi
Storm Giant
 
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Necromancer Games back (sort of)

Postby Big Mac » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:54 pm

dulsi wrote:
Big Mac wrote:There is no way for any company to publish now (not without an independent agreement) but WotC have already said they are doing an OGL-like licence for third party publishers after all three core rulebooks are out.

You could do it the same way Goodman Games did 4E adventures before the 4E GSL. They used all the terms from the 3.5 OGL. In the same way that people have made 1E products under OGL, you could do 5E.


There is that. Players might need to tweak a few things, but it could be done.

I guess it comes down to if companies want to get things out of the door fast or make them compatible with the new OGL.

I bet that someone would love to have bragging rights for the "first published 3PP for 5e".
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Newsflash!: The Piazza is moving!
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
 
Posts: 21475
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Location: London UK


Return to The Wishing Well

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Big Mac and 3 guests