Format Question: WotC IP


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

Grand Lodge Star Voter Season 8

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

(POSSIBLE SPOILERS, JUDGES!)

I'm tinkering with an item for submission and have a good 20 words or so for some descriptive fluff.

Now, the crunch for my item is completely OGL & SRD. But I have room to include a one or two liner of italicized, optional fluff, the same as the italicized descriptions before each spell in the SC.

My question is this, can the fluff, which is separate from the actual item and its crunch (separated via paragraph), contain WotC IP such as "Maure Cstle" or "Rel"?

All this accomplishes for my item is to help it jump out at the judges; it is fluff that could easily be eliminated -- CERTAINLY without detracting from the quality of the item -- if it were to be published in a book.

Now, the fluff doesn't at all take away from the OGL crunch; it emphasizes the item's usefulness by using a famous name in WotC IP while at the same time employing a gimick to make a judge look at it a bit longer.

Sovereign Court

Molech wrote:


Now, the fluff doesn't at all take away from the OGL crunch; it emphasizes the item's usefulness by using a famous name in WotC IP while at the same time employing a gimick to make a judge look at it a bit longer.

Look at it a bit longer before they throw it out for using non-OGL material and not following directions.

BY ALL MEANS DO THIS!

;)


I would say avoid non-Paizo IP at all costs. But that's just me.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Lilith wrote:
I would say avoid non-Paizo IP at all costs. But that's just me.

Nope. It's me too.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Nevermind. I was going to say something but I changed my mind. If you have any questions, I would suggest you simply refer to the instructions.

Scarab Sages

Isn't the whole point of this contest to write material for Golarion?

If you start referencing Greyhawk in your wondrous item, then will you (or others) use that as a precedent to crowbar such references into their submissions?

And to continue doing so for their NPCs, monsters, countries and adventures?

I don't think the judges are quite looking for an adventure where the PCs search for Bigby's Gauntlet of Beholder Eye-poking to be used against the gauths, overseers and eyes of the deep around Rary's Tower in the Bright Desert...

...but I could be wrong...

Spoiler:
...bet I'm not...

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

The whole point is to design a cool wondrous item. Tying it into Golarion neither helps nor hurts, and is by no means required. I don't necessarily encourage it. Focus instead on making the item as well conceived and as well written as possible.


Erik Mona wrote:
Tying it into Golarion neither helps nor hurts,

But your rules say "You may only use the material from the 3.5 OGL as listed at www.d20srd.org. All other books are off limits".

If I tie my item into Golarion, isn't that using another book and thus disqualifying it? Can an entry reference Paizo IP? - Darkmoon Vale, Desna, etc.?

Scarab Sages

DMFTodd wrote:
If I tie my item into Golarion, isn't that using another book and thus disqualifying it? Can an entry reference Paizo IP? - Darkmoon Vale, Desna, etc.?

Hmmm, I had assumed the restriction was merely on using the IP of other publishers, so as to avoid legal hassles. It never occurred to me that they would forbid people contributing to their own setting.

In fact, I assumed that was the whole point of the contest, to ensure Paizo will always have a stack of submissions, especially if you look at the later stages (design a country...). What use are 32 disconnected countries, created in isolation, with no world to give them context? No clue as to what lies over their borders?

This contest is harder than it looks, not because it's hard to design items, but because it's hard to design something that hasn't already been published (or implied) already, using only the SRD, without having to create a whole new category of wondrous item. I can design items, as needed, for a game of my own, no problem. My only reservation is that they wouldn't necessarily 'Wow!' an impartial reader. Most items are fairly flavourless if presented in their generic game terms, since they mostly tend to be 'temp stat/skill increase', 'continuous aura of spell X', or 'activate spell X, Y times/day'.

If you step away from those models, you're in very murky waters, as far as pricing your item. Which is fine in your home game, since the PCs will either want to keep it (making its cost moot), or, if they sell/trade it, they have to accept whatever an NPC offers for it (which need not bear any relation to its actual cost).

I haven't entered yet, for all the above reasons, and as I was assuming I needed to make time to sit down and really study the existing Pathfinders for flavour. I was worried I would be disqualified for my item not being 'Golarion' enough...

Sovereign Court Contributor

In another thread, soemoen asked if we could use Pathfinder setting Flair, and the answer given was 'yes.' How much Paizo IP that opens up is debatable. But I think the key is to not infringe on someone else's IP, such as WotC's.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DMFTodd wrote:

But your rules say "You may only use the material from the 3.5 OGL as listed at www.d20srd.org. All other books are off limits".

If I tie my item into Golarion, isn't that using another book and thus disqualifying it? Can an entry reference Paizo IP? - Darkmoon Vale, Desna, etc.?

If I read things correctly, they are referring to rules on magic items, construction, and various effects put into an item.

There are tons of stuff out there that you could do to a magic item, specifically a wonderous item, that are not in the d20SRD and 3.5 OGL, hence their restriction.

When it comes to thematic elements, I'd stick to either no setting/generic or Pathfinder/GameMastery, since it would not infinge on anyone's IP as Paizo owns the later, and once you submit it they would own the former, as well.

For my submission, without detail of course, is themed for Pathfinder, but it is not dependant on it.

I could have easily made the item generic, but I liked the flavor aspect of what I did and, thus, I wrote it up in Golarion and submitted it.

My key focus, as the thematic was woven into things once I decided on the item, out of the twelve concepts I wrote up, that I would submit and then I flavored it with Pathfinder sprinkles. :D

Hopefully, even if I'm not one of those selected for the next round, Paizo will want to use it in one of their books and let me know.


Quote:
But your rules say "You may only use the material from the 3.5 OGL as listed at www.d20srd.org. All other books are off limits"

The FAQ says the above. The rules when you actually go to submit your entry though say any public domain or IP owned by Paizo is OK. I'm guessing the later is the correct.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

You assume correctly.

Scarab Sages

DMFTodd wrote:
But your rules say "You may only use the material from the 3.5 OGL as listed at www.d20srd.org. All other books are off limits"
DMFTodd wrote:
The FAQ says the above. The rules when you actually go to submit your entry though say any public domain or IP owned by Paizo is OK. I'm guessing the later is the correct.
Erik Mona wrote:
You assume correctly.

Thank God for that.

My item is generic enough for any OGL game, and doesn't use any mechanical elements from Pathfinder, but there's just one line of flavour text, which name-checks the setting.

My confusion still stands over the intent of the competition, since I really thought this was intended to find a writer for a Golarion-themed product.
Now, this initial stage may just be a way to test the water, and a collection of generic OGL magic items are always useful. As are monsters and NPCs.
But I can't think what you'd do with 32 unrelated countries, if they weren't rooted in existing canon. I'm predicting (possibly wrongly) that we'll be asked to flesh out a far corner of your globe, well away from current modules and APs.

Of course, if you actually came right out and told me so, before the 28th November, you'd have to hunt me down like a dog and kill me.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Snorter wrote:

My confusion still stands over the intent of the competition, since I really thought this was intended to find a writer for a Golarion-themed product.

Now, this initial stage may just be a way to test the water, and a collection of generic OGL magic items are always useful. As are monsters and NPCs.
But I can't think what you'd do with 32 unrelated countries, if they weren't rooted in existing canon. I'm predicting (possibly wrongly) that we'll be asked to flesh out a far corner of your globe, well away from current modules and APs.

Yes, the winner will have an opportunity to write a GameMastery Module set in Golarion, but this isn't "Golarion Idol"—it's "RPG Superstar." We're looking for a good designer, and whether or not they know the ins-and-outs of our world is not currently an issue.

The other mistake is assuming that we're planning to use these submissions for something other than finding a singular talent. We don't plan to "do" anything with 32 countries, or with hundreds of magic items, so it doesn't matter if they fit in our world or not.

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