Adapting Someone Else's Campaign


Gamer Life General Discussion


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Long time lurker, short time poster.

This has been on my mind for a while. About 5 years ago, I read through a homebrew campaign here on the boards that I loved, but like many games on these boards seem to do, it faded and disappeared. Now I'm getting to a point in my life where I'm thinking of building a campaign world for future games, and I really want to adapt that homebrew world. I have my own changes I want to make to it, but I feel bad because it feels like I'm taking advantage of someone else's work. I'm not going to be running a podcast or stream something, or even write a full book where I try and profit off of this pre-created world, so there isn't any ethical dilemma, but still...I feel bad.

Maybe it's because it's not a big publicized setting like Golarion put out by a company. From the campaign notes I read, this world was crafted with lots of love and passion for the game. The premise was really exciting and there were lots of fun places for the adventure to go

Not sure if this is the right place for it, but should I feel bad? Or am I just overthinking things?

Anyone else ever adapted someone else's campaign? Not just a setting like Paizo or WotC puts out, but something you or a friend played in or heard about?

TL,DR: I'm using someone else's campaign as a template so I don't have to write everything up and I feel guilty for some reason


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There's a fine line between "inspired by" and plagiarism. Your post here is too vague for me to know the difference. The guilt you're feeling though suggests you might be copying more than taking suggestions from the original material.

Now that being said, is the original material just notes from someone posted on these boards, or are we talking about published material? Could the creator be working towards monetizing this or capitalizing in some other way through a stream, podcast or YouTube channel? If any of that is yes, or even maybe, I'd check w/the creator first.

If not, if you find no evidence that what you're using is anything more than someone's thoughts and ideas put down in the public domain, there's nothing really stopping you from using them. That being said, and this is just my opinion here, if it were me I'd still try and find the creator and ask them. It clears the conscience knowing you've done your due diligence, not invading anyone else's creative space or at least gotten their blessing.

Who knows; it might lead to an epic collab. The original creator may give you the green light but ask if they could hear your changes, suggest some of their own, and together you evolve this thing into the next Midgard or something.

TL/DR: my suggestion would be to always err on the side of the positive and don't ignore your gut instincts.


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I appreciate the straightforwardness of your response, because it helped me form my own thoughts a little more clearly.

To answer your question, this isn't published material, this is a game that ran on these boards for a while approximately 4-7 years ago, so it's not extremely recent. To the best of my research, the creator is not working towards capitalizing on it.

I have been able to get in touch with one or two of the original players who were in this game and they did indicate that the GM left the original material alone for about a year before coming back to the game, resurrecting it, moving it to Discord, and then dropping it to run a different campaign.

I suppose that all I really want to take from their campaign is the utilize the overarching plot of the campaign. The initial conflict that gets the players moving and then make it my own from there.

I do really appreciate the feedback, and I will try and get in touch with the GM to stay on the safe side.

Scarab Sages

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I remember years ago some folks around here started a kind of shared world thing. Someone set up a website (now defunct, I think), and a bunch of us contributed stuff.

I contributed an island continent called Shandura. Eventually, someone picked that up and ran with it for a bit, in a play-by-post campaign here on the boards. I was always happy that some folks seemed to get enjoyment out of that place.

These days, I have an entire FB page where I share maps with some of the folks I know from this message board whom I’m also FB friends with. I don’t know if any of them have ever used my maps, but if they did I’d be happy.


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

A question we should ask the original poster is whether he plans to sell or publicly post his version of this campaign. If nobody else will ever see it but the players in his personal face-to-face campaign, I think he can get away with nearly anything in this regard.


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David knott 242 wrote:

If nobody else will ever see it but the players in his personal face-to-face campaign, I think he can get away with nearly anything in this regard.

Some people want to behave ethically, whether or not anyone else knows.

Of course, other people think that the only thing that matters is if you get caught.

From the OP, I suspect they're more likely living in the first moral universe, not the second.


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David knott 242 wrote:


A question we should ask the original poster is whether he plans to sell or publicly post his version of this campaign. If nobody else will ever see it but the players in his personal face-to-face campaign, I think he can get away with nearly anything in this regard.

No selling. I'm creative but not that creative. The closest it would come to being publicly available is if I choose to use something like obsidian portal or a similar site as a means of storing and sharing campaign info with my group.

Quote:

="Dancing Wind"]

Some people want to behave ethically, whether or not anyone else knows.

Of course, other people think that the only thing that matters is if you get caught.

From the OP, I suspect they're more likely living in the first moral universe, not the second

It is that I'm trying to the right thing, whether the original creator ever sees anything I do or not, and it's been a hard one to figure out. Which is why I brought my question here.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dancing Wind wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

If nobody else will ever see it but the players in his personal face-to-face campaign, I think he can get away with nearly anything in this regard.

Some people want to behave ethically, whether or not anyone else knows.

Of course, other people think that the only thing that matters is if you get caught.

From the OP, I suspect they're more likely living in the first moral universe, not the second.

I would put it in the same realm as using the Golarion campaign setting in your home game, though Paizo was more explicit about publishing it for general private use by the public.

But that point is moot since the OP was considering publicly posting info from that campaign, and the originator of his source presumably does not have a place set up where he can reasonably reply to that person to tell him "Here is what I am doing with your campaign idea."

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