Omakase Amzn

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Intellectual Property/Domain Name Case: RPGLife Site Dispute

So, this isn't terribly interesting or relevant to RPGs overall, but I came across this somewhat novel example of copyright/intellectual property and internet domain names. Essentially, a medical site established as having "distinct" intellectual property terms including "RPG" and "RPG Life" had filed a complaint that the website had registered a domain name "in bad faith", to simply squat on the name.

An international arbitration found otherwise, and RPGLife, owned by an American, dealt with the more universally "generic" abbreviation for "role playing game". Apparently the Indian claimant did essentially NO homework on the term and believed "RPG" to be their own distinct term. How the company's legal team missed this rather common usage is perhaps explained in that the Swiss arbitration also noted that this was not the first claim the Indian company had made in this manner, and found that company itself, to have a history of making such claims of intellectual property violation "in bad faith". Interesting.

Amusingly, the current owner of RPGLife offered then to sell their domain name to the Indian company, who in the article was said to be considering the purchase. Currently, redirects to, an online retailer for role-playing game materials, so apparently the Indian company RPGLIfe decided the asking price was too high, though the value wasn't revealed. The article was published in Times of India in Feb of 2014, however, so it is possible there are still negotiations over the domain name.

On a personal note, I was a member of the now apparently defunct roleplaying game site RPGLife, as well as RPGBomb and RPGArchive, all of which are now redirecting to other things, indicating perhaps a lessening or at least increasingly focused avenue or venue for role playing game interaction, which to me is probably not overall a positive sign, as it probably means less variety - plus rpgarchive had a ton of free adventures people wrote and submitted (myself included) for a variety of systems and genres, and that is all apparently gone now.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Free West End Games (WEG) Ghostbusters  Adventure - Forever Halloween

This is an episode of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon/animated series that I adapted into a Halloween adventure for the original West End Games Ghostbusters RPG.

The Lord of Night, Samhain, has been brought to the USA and your fair city, by accident, and unleashed upon the nice folks by a pair of hench-goblins. His plan is to bring about eternal night – eternal Halloween! Based on “When Halloween Was Forever” by Michael J. Straczynski 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview: FATAL RPG Primary Contributor, Part One (audio)

Hi all, I just wanted to share this link to an interview with James Hausler, who is all but in name a co-author of the second edition of Byron Hall's FATAL RPG. The audio is scratchy because I'm an idiot, but it's interesting to hear different takes and some surprisingly reasonable answers to some questions. This is part one of a nearly four hour interview, so I'll probably have to break it up into 6-10 "episodes". Thanks for your time.

MP3 Audio Files of the Interview (Twelve Parts Total):
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Parts Seven-Nine (one file, 38 MB, 41 minutes, added Feb 21, 2014)
Parts Ten-Twelve (one file, 48 MB, 51 minutes, added Feb 21, 2014)

More Info:

I originally did a 14 part video review of FATAL, and THAT plan is probably what needed the most questioning. My plan was just to go through the entire book and thoroughly examine it to see if it was completely without merit.

Mr. Hausler watched at least some of those videos and contacted me on Youtube/Facebook and just basically wanted to clarify a few things - it quickly became apparent that what he had to say was potentially much longer than a couple of comments, so we both decided to just do an interview so it was done. He obviously had a lot he wanted to vent, I more suffered from track-wreck syndrome, though also was curious to see, again, if there could possibly be any actually valid points or reasons for how things were done.

Basically, Mr. Hausler wanted to set things straight that FATAL 1e was NOT 2e, which he felt was more significantly influenced by him and is far and away the superior product, and should be considered two entirely different games. Your mileage may vary on whether or not there is any validity in that idea. The interview was done in two days/parts of roughly 3 hours each - the first 3 hour interview was really crappy audio, but luckily (well, if you consider anything about FATAL positive) I learned from that and the second 3 hours is quite clear, and I managed to trim out 2 hours worth of "um..." from both of us.

Also thanks to the posters for their discussion from RPG.NET and the brave souls that transcribed the interviews!