If I submit my item, and I lose, do I still forfeit ownership to Paizo?


RPG Superstar™ 2012 General Discussion

51 to 85 of 85 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Shortly after I started at TSR, I asked the staff artists if any of them would be willing to do a sketch of the PCs in my friend Paul's play-by-email game. Jeff Easley said he would. For free. Paul has a signed, original Jeff Easley sketch on his wall, for free, because Jeff is awesome.

I'll say it...

Lucky <expletive of choice>

So Jealous

So very very Jealous

...

Hits print, waits patiently, puts on wall...

Whaaaaaaat?

<innocent look>


If anyone is going to be a publisher/writer then they will have lots of idea over the years. Potentially losing one idea should not hurt them unless it is the only good idea they will ever have. If that is the case you won't be a good publisher anyway.
This one idea you are potentially giving up could get your foot in the door in the very near future since even those that don't win get noticed, and contacted for future projects. I don't see the issue.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't have a problem with giving up the rights (I've put in a submission).

There are scores of success stories filled with massive rejections. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses. So not making the cut on one contest is hardly the the Gauge of Likelihood to Succeed. (I know, she didn't give up the rights, but that's not the point here.)

So, I don't get picked. (I don't expect to. There's a lot of amazing talent and I'm looking forward to the winner's module.) But taking inspiration from stories like J.K. Rowling's, I slink off and later I persevere and get my item published in a book (I'm an aspiring writer), or another RPG, or even in a Kobold Quarterly article.

While I consider the possibility somewhere between slim and none, what really is the likelihood that Paizo is going to come after me?

This of course assumes my item was notible enough to remember, or Paizo has a memory like an elephant, and discovers I made money off IP I gave them the rights to, but they rejected.

Thanks, Sean, Ryan, Clark, and Neil, we appreciate your time. And thanks to Paizo for a shot at the top.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

It certainly is a legitimate concern. If you're working on a larger project you'd like to publish someday (even if publish just means post to a blog for free somewhere,) then you shouldn't submit an item linked to that project.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't come up with an item and submit it however. A good freelancer should be able to come up with other interesting ideas. Also, look at it as a chance to write up a Golarion magic item that you couldn't publish commercially anyway.

It should also be noted that Sean's freelancer rate is probably rather generous. You might get that as a freelancer for Paizo or WotC, but I think most 3PP pay around half that last time I checked.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Corbain wrote:
There are scores of success stories filled with massive rejections. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses. So not making the cut on one contest is hardly the the Gauge of Likelihood to Succeed. (I know, she didn't give up the rights, but that's not the point here.)

Almost every writer has their story of how many rejections they've received. What makes a writer is someone who keeps writing and keeps submitting until the succeed.


Corbain wrote:
Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses. So not making the cut on one contest is hardly the the Gauge of Likelihood to Succeed. (I know, she didn't give up the rights, but that's not the point here.)

The thing is, until someone pulled her manuscript out of the slush-pile and decided to print it, she had given up her rights, and so had the publisher, just for the high crime of possibly-having-read-it. (I'm not a lawyer)

Paizo has the clause in its click-to-approve for a reason, those are the requirements for submission; that's sort of just what the requirements are.

By the way Paizo, i sent you my worst idea; take that! /wink

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

All I said was that this is something that might make people less inclined to submit an item, in counter to all the hype about how there's nothing bad about submitting an item. That's it. I never said this contest is horrible, I never said that this would be the only good idea a person ever had or any of the other words people are putting in my mouth.

I'm now bowing out of this discussion because people here are starting to get under my skin and I'm finding it hard not to be a jerk.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Hitdice wrote:
I've dealt with comic-book writers more than RPG writers, but most of them won't even take a script-and/or-sketches to critique for just that reason. Having an unpublished copy of someone else's work banging around your house puts you in some very weird IP territory without such a clause.

This is just plain good advice for ANYONE who works in publishing. It's why I avoid giving feedback on fan designed content for sure.

As for RPG Superstar... what Paizo doesn't want is the following possibility:

Spoiler:
John Doe sends in his item to RPG Superstar 2013: a "hat of invisibility" that turns you invisible when you put the hat on. It's one of several hundred or thousand or so items folks submit, and since it's a spell-in-a-can, it gets rejected and is not one of the 32 finalists.

Then, in 2023, when Paizo publishes "Ultimate Headwear," a big book of magic hats, one of the hats ends up being a "hat of invisibility" that turns you invisible when you put the hat on.

The designer of the 2023 hat wasn't aware of the original hat designed by John Doe back in 2013, because the designer wasn't a judge (and thus never saw the hundreds or thousands of items that didn't make it into the top 32), or even if he WAS a judge, didn't remember it since he's waded through TENS of thousands of failed items over the past 10 years of RPG Superstar.

Book goes to print, John Doe buys the book, sees a hat of invisibility in the book. John Doe, of course, remembers perfectly clearly his own hat designed for RPG Superstar 2013, so he sues Paizo for stealing his idea.

Whether or not his lawsuit is successful or not... it costs Paizo money. It costs Paizo time. It costs Paizo public perception. It hurts Paizo in some way or another, even though the idea itself was coincidentally identical to the original design... and the design itself was hardly all that original in the first place, since there's been plenty of "clothing of invisibility" in fiction down through the ages.

By including the "We own all the entries" legal text, we prevent that from being a problem, since as long as that text is part of RPG Superstar, John Doe REALLY has no legal footing to stand on to sue Paizo.

When it comes down to it... unless you're self publishing, if you are an RPG designer, you generally won't own the rights to your ideas—the company you wrote for buys them from you. And RPG Superstar, among other things, requires you to be comfortable with that truth from the start. If you're not comfortable with that, you shouldn't take part in RPG Superstar at all.


I don't think anyone was attacking you Shadow.

Just saying, the prize for winning RPG Superstar is a business relationship with Paizo, so be very aware of what a business relationship is. RPGs are a great hobby, but i get the feeling it's a high pressure career.

Did I just talk myself out of even wanting to win? Mmmaybe.

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 6

For myself, I'd gladly pay $18 cash to get a foot in the publishing door. I can't understand why someone wouldn't happily trade a magic item for it.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

uriel222 wrote:
For myself, I'd gladly pay $18 cash to get a foot in the publishing door. I can't understand why someone wouldn't happily trade a magic item for it.

Exactly. The reason is because this issue is less a real issue and more an excuse for not entering.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
uriel222 wrote:
For myself, I'd gladly pay $18 cash to get a foot in the publishing door. I can't understand why someone wouldn't happily trade a magic item for it.

If you pay slightly more than that for an Open Design patronage, you get a chance to pitch magic items, races, monsters, feats, spells, adventures, and more. Your ideas still have to be good to see print, but you've got a much better chance there.

Even if your stuff doesn't make the cut, you still get some of the best gaming products produced for your trouble. And just by participating in the brainstorms you help shape the final product. It's a great experience and a great view into the life of an RPG writer/designer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Neil Spicer wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
If your talent is limited to one wondrous item and one location then it's a non-issue regardless.

Let me add to what I think Dennis is saying here...

** spoiler omitted **...

Really? Because he really just came off as arrogant.

And if his talent is limited to arrogant statements that need several paragraphs of clarification from a fellow writer, then...

:P

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey now, the only ones who get to come off as arrogant around here are me and Sean!


Clark Peterson wrote:
Hey now, the only ones who get to come off as arrogant around here are me and Sean!

Winning the contest doesn't mean you're the only one who entered...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Clark Peterson wrote:


I'm actually surprised. We usually get the "what, Paizo gets to own my submission! No way!" Thread way earlier in the contest. The fact we didn't get it until the day before the last day is impressive.

Yeah, it has been a bit like going all of December without hearing White Christmas played on the radio once. Now it really feels lke it's Superstar time. :-)


Vic Wertz wrote:
Seth White wrote:
The judges and developers have said they don't do this so they can steal our ideas. They all have enough talent to come up with their own awesome wondrous items. It's for legal issues in case they come up with something in the future that happens to be similar. They don't have time to search through the hundreds of submitted wondrous items to make sure they didn't accidentally come up with something along the same lines.

All correct.

Seth White wrote:
Now, considering that we are designing items under the Open Game License, I'm not sure how that works. To be honest, I'm pretty sketchy on the OGL and its full legal ramifications...
The OGL doesn't transfer or undermine copyright in any way.

So basically you submit Golden Torc of Antaaka. That name becomes the property of Paizo. The rest is basically crunch that is covered by the OGL and Paizo's Pathfinder Reference document. So if you really love your avatar's name and expect to use in in a future release of your own, DON'T use it in your submission.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Bruunwald wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
If your talent is limited to one wondrous item and one location then it's a non-issue regardless.

Let me add to what I think Dennis is saying here...

** spoiler omitted **...

Really? Because he really just came off as arrogant.

And if his talent is limited to arrogant statements that need several paragraphs of clarification from a fellow writer, then...

:P

Dennis is a good guy. He was just keeping it real.

And Neil is unselfish with his time as well. He probably would have spoken up on his own anyway.

And I think the "18 dollars to be a freelancer" is really apt here. Just sayin'.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If I ever bump into you judges in the UK at any conventions or I go to the US at anytime and catch you at a con there.

I would be proud to buy you a round of drinks at minimum.

For your commitment you deserve no less at minimum.


Clark Peterson wrote:
Hey now, the only ones who get to come off as arrogant around here are me and Sean!

Hey now, us ArchMage's get that right too! We've made waaay more than our share of wondrous items...

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Clark Peterson wrote:
Hey now, the only ones who get to come off as arrogant around here are me and Sean!

*shrug*

I just thought I was being to the point. Offending people is an inborn talent of mine I suspect.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Madgael

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seth White wrote:
I can't speak for the others who got their RPG Superstar items published in KQ, but it was really awesome to see mine in print, credited to me, and complete with art. And much, much more valuable than the $10 or so a 300-word submission is "worth" at normal freelance rates.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. Getting one of the items in KQ was probably the high point of my non-career to this point. The rush even helped me get over the typo in my item.

Spoiler:
Though I feel like I should go look it up again to make sure I am remembering that correctly.

Then stare at the page.

Stare at the page for hours and stroke it lovingly...

Seth White wrote:
The Winklevii? That's a good example. The Winklevoss twins came up with a couple of the ideas, but Mark Zuckerberg is the one who did all the work coding Facebook and coming up with a viable business strategy. And the courts sided with Zuckerberg.

Hey, Spiderman helped too.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

The only reason to be concerned about losing the rights to your item would be if you are currently trying to sell that exact item to someone else. And even then, that's probably a bad idea.

If it's a maybe, or if it's in the future, submitting your best ideas to RPG superstar is an infinitely better investment.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

RonarsCorruption wrote:

The only reason to be concerned about losing the rights to your item would be if you are currently trying to sell that exact item to someone else. And even then, that's probably a bad idea.

If it's a maybe, or if it's in the future, submitting your best ideas to RPG superstar is an infinitely better investment.

The real reason this whole issue is a cop out is that there is actually no unique intellectual property that a *good* wondrous item would have--it wouldnt contain your setting info or backstory or character names or organization names--since we have said over and over superstar entries don't contain that stuff. NONE of the stuff you might have any desire to protect should be in a wondrous item submission. Other than the item itself. And if all you got is one item, then your chance at publishing anything ever is nill. If you are a publisher/writer/creative type, this stuff flows out of you. You can't stop wanting to create stuff.

So, again, this issue is really just a lame excuse not to submit and item and be judged.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Entering the contest has no real downside.

Entering the contest with the best idea you think you will ever have has a theoretical downside, if you truly believe in your heart of hearts that you will be able to get it produced and promoted on your own steam through some other avenue and really hit it big.

As others have suggested, that's possible, if vanishingly unlikely without having some means of building up your reputation and profile as an RPG author first. Not saying you can't make it happen, but the odds are against you. The best thing you can do for yourself if you DO want to self-publish is to first find a way to get your name out in front of RPG fans in a positive way. Ironically, this contest is one of the best avenues to do precisely that.

Publishing your RPG stuff isn't just about having great ideas, great writing, and the ability to lay out an aesthetically pleasing product; it's also about getting someone to pick it up off the shelf (or figurative electronic equivalent for online PDFs) and put their eyeballs on your product for more than two seconds. You have to give them a reason to not just glance right past it. Having a name that people recognize isn't the only way to do that, but it helps a lot, especially if you don't have boobies on the cover... :)

Seriously, though, if your best idea is so entwined with a bigger THING that you honestly believe you are going to market commercially, then you just have to be creative enough to think of something else for the contest. Come on, it's 300 words, MAX. This is a challenging task, but it isn't rocket science. If you think you've got the chops to professionally market an RPG product, you had better have enough faith in your reservoir of creativity that you can churn up 300 good words any day of the week, and spend a little time making them better than just good, and a little more time still making them great.

Think of it not as Paizo quizzing you, but as you quizzing YOURSELF. "Do I have what it takes to do this?" If it takes a person a whole year to come up with one great idea, I would submit that that person is not quite ready for the pace of opportunity that might come along if they did win... or even just for the pace of the remainder of the contest. Those rounds come fast and furious once the contest gets rolling, and that's part of what separates contestants as the rounds go along. You might start out with a whopper of an idea in Round 1, and you've got a lot of time to preview the rules for Round 2 so you probably can gin up a good idea, but do you have the stamina and enough water in your well to keep good stuff coming round after round? It may feel forced, but it's not really. Maybe a little, but not much. You're banging away on one freelance project with the deadline coming, then another comes up, and another after that. You've gotta keep it coming.

Look, your wondrous item idea doesn't have to reinvent pizza, the wheel, and sliced bread all at once. It needs to be cool enough to show the judges some spark and give you an opportunity to tee it up and knock it out of the park in the contest. Then you can self-publish your magnum opus.

Like RonarsCorruption just said, though, it might be a better investment to lead with your very best idea and hope the spark you get from kicking backsides and taking names in the contest gives you the impetus to self-publish your NEXT magnum opus. Who knows, you might have a bunch of 'em in you!

All this is water under the bridge for this year's contest, of course, but for anybody with this thought a year from now, hey, it's food for thought.

Scarab Sages

Matthew Morris wrote:


Definate +1 here. and if the tankard* makes it into UE, I'll squee a little more.

I know my PFS cleric of Cayden Cailean would LOVE for *your* tankard to be in UE! I was so disappointed when I realized the tankard I had been thinking about for my character was a RPG Superstar Item/Kobold Quarterly, and thus couldn't be used legally in PFS.


Jason Nelson wrote:
Think of it not as Paizo quizzing you, but as you quizzing YOURSELF. "Do I have what it takes to do this?"...

That's some great advice. Part of the job is the challenge and you've gotta love it, otherwise you'll go crazy.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Clark Peterson wrote:

The real reason this whole issue is a cop out is that there is actually no unique intellectual property that a *good* wondrous item would have. <snip>

So, again, this issue is really just a lame excuse not to submit and item and be judged.

Clark, I think you're being a tad overly abrasive here.

I'm the first to agree that the "ownership belongs to Paizo" clause is necessary, and that it shouldn't be any kind of barrier to anybody taking the contest seriously.

That being said, IP is always a big issue, and I think it's correct and wise for people to make sure they understand precisely what they're handing over. I wouldn't assume, as you and Sean seem to, that the fear here is that this item could have been used in some amazing breakthrough debut RPG product. It can be much subtler and more ordinary than that.

Technically, I'm not allowed to repost my submission to my personal website or Facebook page once results are in. Even if I want to share my item with my friends, it's now property of Paizo. As another example, I personally happen to be part of a website which comes up with cool snippets of ideas for fantasy games - obviously, I won't be able to use my item over at that site. Even if I make some changes and strip the mechanics out, using something recognizably using the same core concept would probably be problematic. In fact, I'll probably be withholding some of my more homebrew-item-ish rejected ideas from the self-reject thread, because I'd rather use 'em on this other website.

And, if I put on my Paranoid Hat, I'd need to steer clear of even touching upon similar topics in overly similar ways - for exactly the same reasons that concern Paizo, to protect myself from a frivolous lawsuit. If Paizo's afraid that me submitting an Invisibility Hat would make trouble for them a decade from now when they tried to write an Invisibility Hat, then surely I should be worried that submitting an Invisibility Hat would rule me out of ever being able to write about Invisibility Hats ever again - and I've just established myself as a person who thinks Invisibility Hats are among the coolest things he can think of. I might even worry about writing much more about invisibility, or about hats. That does seem a bit much for a 300 word item that never even saw light of day.

Now, taking off my Paranoid Hat, it's clear that anything substantially different than that one specific item wouldn't be any trouble at all, and I'm not afraid of Paizo taking up the lawsuit business (though, boy, they'd sure have a huge database of contestants to sue if they did! :P). And, yes, the contest does demand you give up a snippet of IP; that's not a bad thing, and anybody who can't deal with that is not ready for Superstar.

But my point is, there's plenty of reasons to regret needing to give up IP, which have nothing to do with "I could totally use this to break into RPG publishing in some other manner." Sean's reference to the money supposedly "forfeited" here, as though that was what had OP worried, seems similarly off the mark.

What might somebody want to protect? The right to share his work with people who'd enjoy it. The right to re-use an idea he thought was cool in other ways, not necessarily professional. The name he thought up, and if he's Superstar-level, the basic theme, feel and concept he's pursuing. None of that is a big deal, certainly not to somebody with a deep desire to break into the industry. But it's not nothing, it's not a cop-out, it's not lamesauce, and your posts have been more worked up about it than those of anybody asking about the policy. I know that we've had some touchier threads on this subject in previous years, but IMHO this one really wasn't it :P

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Unless you make it into the top 32, or somehow make a big impression on the judges in another way, I'd bet there's no chance of Paizo being interested in taking someone down for re-using their RPG Superstar submitted item somewhere else.

The whole point is so that the reverse isn't true - because it's happened many times before where some little guy thinks he owns something that a big guy used, and then sues the big guy for it.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

That doesn't make it legal for those submitters to reuse the item. You're not suggested I break the law just because I can get away with it, are you? :evil grin:

Of course, should the need actually arise, this could probably be solved super-easily with a few emails back and forth; in all probability, Paizo would grant permission and be done with it.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

deinol wrote:
uriel222 wrote:
For myself, I'd gladly pay $18 cash to get a foot in the publishing door. I can't understand why someone wouldn't happily trade a magic item for it.

If you pay slightly more than that for an Open Design patronage, you get a chance to pitch magic items, races, monsters, feats, spells, adventures, and more. Your ideas still have to be good to see print, but you've got a much better chance there.

Even if your stuff doesn't make the cut, you still get some of the best gaming products produced for your trouble. And just by participating in the brainstorms you help shape the final product. It's a great experience and a great view into the life of an RPG writer/designer.

Let me second this one.

If you're a patron, you are guaranteed you'll see your name in print, even if only as part of the giant "list of patrons" block. Plus, in virtually every project, you get to offer up ideas that while not directly credited, end up part of the product. It's a nice feeling reading something like Northlands or Red Eye of Azathoth and knowing that you contributed to what's in there.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Standback wrote:

That doesn't make it legal for those submitters to reuse the item. You're not suggested I break the law just because I can get away with it, are you? :evil grin:

Of course, should the need actually arise, this could probably be solved super-easily with a few emails back and forth; in all probability, Paizo would grant permission and be done with it.

Granting exceptions is a can of worms that shall not be opened.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
So, if you wanted to quote your own submitted item under the OGL and attribute it to Paizo, I think that's allowed.
Actually, that's kind of unclear. The Top 32 are, by necessity, published under the OGL, but the other entries haven't necessarily been published at all. Unless, that is, Wizards would consider the actual act of submission as publication, but I don't think we'll ever know the answer to that.

The act of publication is what establishes a copyright.


RJGrady wrote:


The act of publication is what establishes a copyright.

No.

From the copyright office:

Quote:


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work.

Copyright protection is available for all unpublished works, regardless of the nationality or domicile of the author.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I don't think copyright is relevant here as that agreement transfers and/or licenses legal control over the submission to Paizo. It doesn't matter when copyright kicks in because you give it to Paizo when you submit the entry.

Contest Rules wrote:
Contestants must agree to the submission agreement found on the submission form during the entry period.

Is the submission agreement, which contains the relevant language about granting ownership of the submission to Paizo, available anywhere? That might help put this ongoing debate to bed.

51 to 85 of 85 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2012 / General Discussion / If I submit my item, and I lose, do I still forfeit ownership to Paizo? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion