State of Mongoose 2019, 2020 and in to 2021: Legend

Vile

Banded Mongoose
Carew said:
soltakss said:
They have clarified that the Legend OGL is perfectly valid.
So what does Jeff of Chaosium mean when he said on 28 march on the BRP SRD thread: "If you think the Legend OGL is "cast-iron", then you are fooling yourself. Heck, on the face of it, the very license used is invalid."?
I believe the term for it is called "vague booking" or something. Making unsubstantiated statements in the hope that enough people will believe you to have the desired effect. Given the almost universal pushback (and the fact that out of the entire RPG industry only one company keeps taking this stance), I don't think it's working.

Back to Legend, another thing I've come to realise because of this furore is just how pervasive Legend has beome as the D100 OGL of choice - Delta Green, Revolution D100, OpenQuest (though still waiting for D101's update?), Open Cthulhu - possibly more. Even I am looking at it again, and I have my own D100 systems in the works - but there are some things I may prefer to do with Legend, for the simple reason that the OGL was designed to do - to produce content that can be taken and expanded upon by others with no oversight from me.
 

Carew

Mongoose
I believe the term for it is called "vague booking" or something. Making unsubstantiated statements in the hope that enough people will believe you to have the desired effect. Given the almost universal pushback (and the fact that out of the entire RPG industry only one company keeps taking this stance), I don't think it's working.

Yes. It also means you can't trust anything he says because he seems to amend his position according to how he feels. That does not bode well for a license that has so many restrictions and prohibited things!
 
In my opinion, what they are attempting to do regarding the Legend OGL would be called FUD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty,_and_doubt
 

Vile

Banded Mongoose
FUD, that's what I was thinking of! I think we really need to push back against this tactic, because it does seem to be working on a number of gamers going by their responses on forums. Well, in any case I have lost interest in the BRP NOGL as it's plain the authors are evading all serious questions from potential users. I'm suddenly much more interested in developing something under the Legend OGL now, and have started delving into the core book in detail. I expect to be seriously working on something within this year.
 

soltakss

Cosmic Mongoose
Carew said:
soltakss said:
They have clarified that the Legend OGL is perfectly valid.

So what does Jeff of Chaosium mean when he said on 28 march on the BRP SRD thread: "If you think the Legend OGL is "cast-iron", then you are fooling yourself. Heck, on the face of it, the very license used is invalid."?

He doesn't think that the OGL will stand up to a serious legal challenge in the courts, as non-D20 implementations are outside the scope, from what I have seen.

Having said that, I don't think Chaosium is interested in such a legal challenge and have accepted that the Legend OGL is valid inasmuch as the OGL is valid.
 

Carew

Mongoose
He doesn't think that the OGL will stand up to a serious legal challenge in the courts, as non-D20 implementations are outside the scope, from what I have seen.

Does the OGL say that its only intended for D20 systems? or WOTC systems?

Having said that, I don't think Chaosium is interested in such a legal challenge and have accepted that the Legend OGL is valid inasmuch as the OGL is valid.
Yeah I saw what he said a few posts on. Weasel words. All these aside comments are a challenge, just not in a court room with lawyers and juries. They are designed to sow doubt and confusion. Its mounting a challenge against the industry and the way its worked for a long time. Can't see the industry being too happy if throwaway things like this result in a court case.

But hey, yeah. My opinion of Chaosium ain't all that high right now. Not that it matters one way or any way.
 

Vile

Banded Mongoose
FUD is standard corporate practice. Spreading rumours and sending boilerplate C&D letters costs nothing but gets results (as we're all aware in this age of Facebook memes). 99% never go further because lawyers cost money and most claims are dubious at best and spurious at worst.

The (real) OGL has withstood the test of time, with a vast catalogue of successful examples of use well beyond d20 - as the licence is in no way constrained or even related to specific systems.

That said, it is up to us to call BS and shout it from the rooftops when certain parties try this on. The power of the internet is huge, and if false claims like this are allowed to go unchallenged, everybody loses. FUD can become de facto reality very quickly.

In another attempt to drag this back on topic, does anyone know just which games are making use of the Legend OGL?
 

Prime_Evil

Mongoose
soltakss said:
He doesn't think that the OGL will stand up to a serious legal challenge in the courts, as non-D20 implementations are outside the scope, from what I have seen.

Back around 2000, WoTC sponsored the creation of the independent Open Gaming Foundation to support non-D20 use of the OGL. Indeed, Ryan Dancey from WoTC was the chair of the foundation for a couple of years. The website is still extant, but the mailing list is long dead:

http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/

It's worth reading the sections of the Official OGL FAQ from Wizards dealing with trademark compatibility. The reason there was a separate d20 Trademark Licence was to give publishers the right to claim a degree of compatibility with D&D - by default, the OGL is a "universal" licenses; you need a separate Compatibility licence to claim compatibility with a specific trademarked game system.

In the case of Legend, Mongoose, released the entire contents of the Legend Core Rulebook and all of the XXXXX of Legend books as Open Game Content. This includes Pirates of Legend, Samurai of Legend, Gladiators of Legend, the Arcania of Legend books, etc. It explicitly DOES NOT include anything from the Elric product line, the Xoth product line, the Deus Vult product line, or the Sheoloth product line*. Land of Ice and Snow is a special case - it contains a small amount of OGC, but most of it is closed.

To use the Legend OGC, you must comply with the terms of the Open Game License - which means that you need to attach a copy of the licence to your work and update Section 15 to list ALL of the works that you used Open Game Content from. You also need to clearly identify what parts of your work are designated as Open Game Content and which parts are Product Identity. It's considered good form to give at least some Open Game Content of your own back to the community.

If you want to indicate compatibility with the Legend game system and use the Legend logo on your work, you need to comply with the Compatibility license offered by Mongoose. This was available at http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/leglogopack.zip but it seems to have gone AWOL. A copy is still available from the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20160403203216/http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/leglogopack.zip. The full text of the Compatibility Licence was:

Legend Compatible Logo

The entire text of the Legend RPG is designated Open Game Content, as is the entire text of all books in this line with plain colour covers and the words ‘… of Legend’ in their title.

By using any Open Content material in any of these books, you also have permission to freely use the Legend Compatible logo on any publication or web site where this Open Content is used or modified. The Legend Compatible logo may be re-sized but may not otherwise be altered in any way.

Legend, the text of Legend rulebooks, the Legend logo and the Legend Compatible logo remain Copyright Mongoose Publishing 2011.

Any and all artwork included in Legend rulebooks is specifically not designated as Open Content, and may not be used without written permission from Mongoose Publishing.

In legal terms, this appears to be a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to use the logo. It is very permissive compared to other compatibility licences out there.

* There are a couple of minor things in one of the Sheoloth books that I wrote here on the forums and released as OGC, but that's the only exception I'm aware of. The author asked me for permission to include them anyway, so it's all good :)
 

Bifford

Banded Mongoose
I think I am the only one who lives anywhere close to Swindon, UK (I work there currently and live just 40mins away). In case any of you do live there and are lurking, note that Mongoose are recruiting an editor. Right up my alley, if but I don't think it would work for me at this time financially.
 

Prime_Evil

Mongoose
Mongoose seems to follow an aggressive schedule for Traveller these days. And some recent books in the line are great (although I'm still waiting for an updated 2300 AD). This probably explains the need for an extra editor. But it's a pity that Legend still doesn't some love!

Curiously enough, I've been cleaning up the text of my homebrew Legend variant. The phrasing in some sections of the rulebook are clunky. If we ever get another edition, it could use an editorial pass for clarity and conciseness.
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
Well, from all that, it seems we'll only be getting new Legend material from 3PPs...at least for the foreseeable future.
 

Herne'sSon

Mongoose
DamonJynx said:
Well, from all that, it seems we'll only be getting new Legend material from 3PPs...at least for the foreseeable future.

Which is really too bad. Legend is a fine game, and much more accessible than other BRP-alikes currently on the market. It could do with a bit of a polish/2nd edition, and some marketing.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
Herne'sSon said:
It could do with a bit of a polish/2nd edition, and some marketing.

This is the big hurdle for us frankly - we agree that it could use a second edition to smooth things out and elevate the production quality. The problem with that is that we would really like to see a setting/universe to run alongside it... and at the current time we don't really have anything in the pipeline.
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
This is the big hurdle for us frankly - we agree that it could use a second edition to smooth things out and elevate the production quality. The problem with that is that we would really like to see a setting/universe to run alongside it... and at the current time we don't really have anything in the pipeline.

And unfortunately, coming up with an interesting, unique setting/universe that shows off the rules to best advantage is no easy task. The rules are so universal; Swords & Sorcery (Lieber, Moorcock, Howard), Epic Fantasy, Grimdark (Mark Lawrence et al), Renaissance, Dark Ages, Sci-Fi, are all genres the rules can accommodate, so which do you use for the setting and how do you make it unique? Most of these have already been done for one system or another...
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
DamonJynx said:
And unfortunately, coming up with an interesting, unique setting/universe that shows off the rules to best advantage is no easy task.

This is true - the term 'fantasy' defines certain 'defaults' and if you stray too far from those then it is always less well received. On the other hand, if you do not deviate you end up with another D&D/RQ clone.

On the other hand, the post I just responded to was by Herne's Son - I always had a soft spot for the old Robin of Sherwood series, and I cannot help thinking that it would be a perfect little setting for Legend. Or, going back in time a bit, something like Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, which rank alongside my favourite books of all time...

There is scope, we just need to find the right project that will give impetus to revise/re-jig/re-write the Legend core.
 

Herne'sSon

Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
Herne'sSon said:
It could do with a bit of a polish/2nd edition, and some marketing.

This is the big hurdle for us frankly - we agree that it could use a second edition to smooth things out and elevate the production quality. The problem with that is that we would really like to see a setting/universe to run alongside it... and at the current time we don't really have anything in the pipeline.

There was some chatter on BRP Central awhile ago about "Xyserdon" which is apparently a whole setting book which was written for the Magic World game, but canceled by the publisher when those new guys took over Chaosium. The author (Kevin Ross, it seems) had posted he's interested in talking to other publishers about it. Maybe reach out to him?

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/14814-anything-like-astonishing-swordsman-and-sorcerers-of-hyperborea/?do=findComment&comment=232577
 

Herne'sSon

Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
DamonJynx said:
And unfortunately, coming up with an interesting, unique setting/universe that shows off the rules to best advantage is no easy task.
On the other hand, the post I just responded to was by Herne's Son - I always had a soft spot for the old Robin of Sherwood series, and I cannot help thinking that it would be a perfect little setting for Legend. Or, going back in time a bit, something like Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, which rank alongside my favourite books of all time...

I think a RoS-inspired setting for Legend could be neat. Keep it small in scope, rather than trying to create an entire world, just something like the area surrounding Nottingham/Sherwood. A county-level game, rather than a whole kingdom or world. Something where the PCs could have the opportunity to affect change on a local level. Instead of saving the world, you're trying to help small groups of people to better their lives. IMHO too many fantasy games rely on creating entire worlds to explore, and nobody ever has time to explore every detail of them. The industry could use more "small settings."

There was a BRP monograph "Val Du Loup" that was sort of like this. The "Southern Reaches" setting in the BRP game "Magic World" was also like that.
 

DamonJynx

Mongoose
Herne'sSon said:
The industry could use more "small settings."

There was a BRP monograph "Val Du Loup" that was sort of like this. The "Southern Reaches" setting in the BRP game "Magic World" was also like that.

Mythras, though it has loads of setting supplements now, does the same with it's default setting, The Realm. This is actually a great line of thinking and certainly more manageable.

As I pointed out, the issue is to have a setting that allows ALL of the rules and systems to shine, yet is also unique. A setting based on historical/mythological England would need a really good hook as there are several about; Pendragon, Mythic Britain, Merrie England these are the ones I'm aware of, there are probably more.

A Grimdark setting based around something like Mark Lawrence's, Broken Empire trilogy would probably work, though then you have licensing/copyright issues to contend with...
 
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