....which struck a chord with me for a number of reasons.Big Mac wrote:I'd eventually love to see people in those forums create wikis and new fan content for all of these subsettings*.
* = I've got a plan. We could build campaign settings and suppliments. Start again from scratch. With just a handful of men, we'll start D&D all over again!
In our community (formerly Mystara community, now including the expanded Piazza community) we have an awful lot of talent: writers of all kinds, historians, cartographers, and even some artists. But I have often thought that in some ways all of our talent goes to waste - not because what we are doing is not worthwhile, but because we are working under the yoke of a copyrighted setting. Because of this fact, not only do we have limited options on what we can do, but in fact we live at the whim of the copyright holders, who could in theory shut us all down at any minute. Everything we create is constantly threatened by this, even if we don't think the threat will ever become a reality. On top of that our setting is out of print and we don't have the right to actively advertise it, which means that our community is pretty much limited to people who were fans of the original printed works during their release 20 or more years ago.
Of course none of these facts really threaten our day to day activities and discussions. But it leads me to wonder... what if we had control of these settings for ourselves? What if we didn't have to worry about unfriendly copyright holders, lack of support, and lack of new blood?
What if we used our greatest asset - our wonderful, talented, international community - to create our own sandbox to play in?
What if we created our own world?
Imagine it: a world built from scratch that is completely our own, based on our own principles and ideals; a multicultural, patchwork world, hand-crafted by writers of multifarious backgrounds from across the globe; a world of diversity and enchantment, where all our favourite themes run amok; a world that truly belongs to us, that truly reflects our own diversity and talent.
Doesn't it sound like it could be something great?
What I'm suggesting is that we work together to create a world which is governed by one of the creative commons licenses. We could structure it any way we liked - as a 100% democratic endeavour; with a committee of overseers; as a benevolent dictatorship (like the Piazza); with people assigned to "rule" over different areas; as a collection of parallel or alternate worlds (as Mystara currently is); or any other way we can think of.
We could advertise and distribute our world however we wanted to - including the possibility of eventual publication (which is why the creative commons license is quite important).
To sum up: we could work together to create a world in the spirit of our favourite TSR campaign worlds, but which isn't restricted like they are.