Robert Bohl has proposed a new contest, the Hardcore Freegan Game Contest. What’s the aim? To create a printed-out RPG without spending any money. Use a computer you didn’t buy, printing you don’t pay for, software you got for free.

And art and text you don’t have to pay royalties for.

What better source for that than the Year of Living Free wiki? We’ve got plenty of open games to scavenge from, and we have a list of open resources – from software to public domain art to US Government photographs.

If you do decide to enter the contest, why not make your game free-as-in-speech as well as free-as-in-beer? Use a Creative Commons licence and let others share and expand on your work for free.

March was a busy month for open gaming. A few new open games were released and plenty more were discovered in the dark depths of the Internet. We’ve got traditional dungeon-crawls, Lego-based war games and games set in the transhuman far-future. Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Hundred

March 21, 2010

A few years back, Ryan St created a project called The Great Hundred. It was an exercise in collective world-building – he sketched out a Bronze Age land of god-kings and city-states and invited the community to fill in the gaps.

The project led to dozens of pages being created, but it never built up momentum and the proposed final book (with one page for each of the best 144 entries) never came close to publication. Still, creating a campaign setting collectively and in encyclopedia form struck me as a sound idea.

I prefer lite and freeform games without rich and well-developed settings. Working with no or little setting is great because you can give your ideas free rein. The problem is that sometimes you need rich and well-defined ideas and none come to you.

That’s why I’ve reimagined The Great Hundred as an encyclopedia of role-playing elements. Some might be loosely connected to other entries, but mainly they should stand on their own. That way, people can insert as few or as many as they need into their games, when the need arises.

If you have fantasy ideas you’ve never put to use, and you’re happy for them to come under a Creative Commons licence, please post them on The Great Hundred.

Read the rest of this entry »

State of Open Gaming 3

March 2, 2010

Over February, I added several open games to the Year of Living Free wiki. These include old favourites like Arcana Evolved as well as new – or newly discovered – games like Xceptional.

I also created several System Reference Documents. These present the rules of a certain game in an easily readable and copy-pasteable format so others can reuse or adapt the product.

If you know of an open game not on the wiki, please email Chris Sakkas at <sanglorian@gmail.com>.

Read the rest of this entry »

State of Open Gaming 2

February 1, 2010

I’ve decided to make these State of Open Gaming Addresses monthly, since I don’t think there’s enough material to justify making them any more frequent than that.

I wrote an article on how to open license your game, for those of you wondering if open licensing would work for you and which licence to choose.

I also wrote a 24 Hour RPG called A Strange Charm. It uses Otherkind dice as its main mechanic and is under CC Attribution.

The Logic of Tales and Dreams was written by Reason of Principia Infecta. It describes itself as ‘the fragments of a story game, come from afar’ and is under CC Attribution.

Bully Pulpit Games has had its own section added to the wiki, for its games Dulse, Ghosts, Pirate Squad, The Plant and Dungeon Squad. It has also released two Lady Blackbird hacks, Bloody Forks and the mouthful Post Apocbird.

Midian has a page dedicated to it and its public domain SRD, the Dark Fantasy Core Set.

The Mustang has been added to the one.seven design studio’s page, since I missed it when I added John Harper’s other open games.

The Vintyri Project has its own page, since its flagship product Dungeons Daring is open.

I added HG Wells’ books Little Wars and Floor Games to the list of libre games. Are they role-playing games? Not really (although Floor Games is pretty close). But they’re proto-role-playing and I think they deserve a mention.

Have I missed an open game? Shoot me an email at <sanglorian@gmail.com>.

Chris Sakkas (admin of the Year of Living Free wiki).

This is a draft. Do you have any suggestions? Email me at <sanglorian@gmail.com>.

Why Go Open?

Why not? Let others build on what you’ve created, share your work and develop it further.

  • What if shoddy products reflect badly on my own? You can prevent this, most easily with the Open Game Licence. See ‘Product Identity and Closed Content’ below.
  • What if other people take my work and sell it? You can prevent this with a Creative Commons Noncommercial licence. See ‘Why Noncommercial?’ below.
  • What if other people adapt my work and don’t make it open? You can prevent this with a Creative Commons Share-Alike licence or the Open Game Licence. See ‘Why Share-Alike?’ below.
  • What if I’ve used other people’s copyright in my work? You can work around this. See ‘Legal Stuff’ below.
  • Will people use my material in a way I don’t like? It’s unlikely. I know of only one case where an author’s open work was used in a way that wasn’t appreciated. The author complained and the problem was resolved.

Benefits to going open include:

  1. It increases circulation of your game, because people know they can distribute it legally and ethically.
  2. Others may create supplements or modifications of your game, as people have for Donjon (Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike) and 4C System (public domain).
  3. It allows you to give back to the community

You might prefer to read this article as a DOC.

Read the rest of this entry »

I added DoubleZero, a retro-clone for the James Bond RPG, to the Other Wiki Games section of the wiki. DoubleZero was written by Berin Kinsman and is in the public domain.

Valent Games has made most of its games (including the famous Sufficiently Advanced) available under Creative Commons licences – though some still cost a dollar from the RPGNow store. There’s a page for them on the wiki.

I’ve added a page on OpenD6, the D6 System released under the Open Game Licence.

The Treasure RPG now has a PDF download option.

Games Added to the List of Libre Games

Berin Kinsman also wrote Toybox Wars and Bad Attitudes Revised, both of which have been added to the wiki.

I’ve added two of Christian Griffen’s games. Beast Hunters is a well-known indie RPG though its SRD doesn’t have any beasts or tattoos. Anima Prime is in beta mode, so playtest it!

Not-Too-Silly Stories is an RPG designed for children with a mechanic to stop them from being too outlandish or ruining the game with nonsense.

Iliamna Unknown is a game about software engineers and their computer program, Undead.

1KM1KT Open RPGs

When I stumble across an open RPG on http://www.1km1kt.net I add it to the wiki under this category. If you find any, let me know at sanglorian@gmail.com or add it to the wiki yourself.