[Dark Eye] Scriptorium Aventuris - One way to open source an RPG


WH40k: An unending holy space Brexit. (Nic Rueben)
Validated User
In a way that reminds us of why Nylon is called Nylon, Ulisses now unleashed the Scriptorium Aventuris.
Which seems a lot like the Dungeon Master's Guild, but has been in planning for slightly over a year.

It will work in a similar way: People can create material for The Dark Eye (Both German and English versions) and offer it up for free or for sales on the DTRPG-powered Ulisses E-Book store.

To make this slightly easier for people, they also decided to offer up some additional and official resources.

A Layout-Kit (Fit for use with InDesign). (Roughly 200MB) (This also includes fonts.)
An illustration collection. (Roughly 500MB)
And a comprehensive set of maps. (Around 26MB)

All of those are official and licensed works of art and design that have been used to create official Dark Eye products, and the Layout Material is supposed to help people create fan-products that look as much as official products as possible.

And they're all free.

And they're not all.

Next week, the final piece of the puzzle will drop: A comprehensive and 'living' wiki of Dark Eye rules, allowing content creators (As well as players and GMs) to always have access to any rules they might need in order to realize a particular product.

The Dark Eye, along with Shadowrun (Which had one of the most thriving and amazing online fan-creator communities in the world, in the late 90s and early 00s, in the US and in Germany both.) , has always been one of those RPGs that have thrived with fan-created content. From character sheets to modules and full-on supplements. And the various DSA publishers have always tolerated and even pushed those creations. With a lot of official writers having been recruited from the pool of amazing fan-content creators.

But with this, they combined FATE's openness, Eclipse Phase's "Hack Packs" and the DM's Guild "offer it up as sanctioned" ideas, and added the promise of continued support with the rules-wiki.

(And don't worry, I've already suggested that English translations of the content guidelines and the readme's of the additional resources be created ASAP!)

Even if you don't want to publish anything within the Scriptorium, or if you don't even /play/ DSA/Dark Eye, the offered materials might be of use in your own games and campaigns. There's value for everybody in here.

I really like the ways into which the modern RPG scene goes, with more and more open design principles.
It only pushes me onward more and more to give back all that that I received when the internet was young and it all was new, exciting and more enthusiastic. Maybe we can get that level of involvement back across the hobby.
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Registered User
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Indeed the Content Guidelines needs to be translated. Actually it should have been translated by the time this option was released. It doesn´t make much sense to have the general description for the licensing and publishing of fan made content and then fail to have the "content guidelines" that establish the framework and boundaries of what can me created in english...


WH40k: An unending holy space Brexit. (Nic Rueben)
Validated User
This analysis is founded in a pretty skewed view of only German right. As it stands, yes. You do agree to a contract with DTRPG when you publish something on DTRPG. But parts of their analysis are... Well... Just flat out wrong. Take their part about FATE conversions being impossible: They aren't. There already are non-Evil Hat FATE products on DTRPG.

And all interactions with German law are pretty simple and stated in the text itself: "Einige Rechtssysteme erlauben den Ausschluss implizierter Gewährleistungen nicht, weswegen die obige Ausschlussklausel möglicherweise nicht in Gänze auf dich zutrifft." and "Falls dieser Verzicht auf Urheberpersönlichkeitsrechte nach einem geltenden Gesetz unwirksam ist,[...]"

Many of the other things they mention as problems are, sadly, something that's simply doing business with OBS/DTRPG, but complicated because you're using another publisher's IP. (One of the comments in the Nandurion articles hit me as weird: Complaining that you might get less money out of your stuff. ... Well. Yeah. But that's only possible because you're getting any kind of money /at all/. Without this program, it would be totally illegal to take money for your stuff. And even with it, you're still free to publish non-Scriptorium fan-works and "finance" them via Patreon/Donations as long as they aren't also offered on Scriptorium.)

Are there still problems? Yes. It's a clear DM's Guild Copy-Paste. But that's on Mr. Montgomery (of OBS), not on Ulisses. From the looks of it, they might have launched a day too early.

But I'm really not that bothered by most of the things there. Mostly because in these kinds of programs we aren't working with out original IPs.

The only thing that doesn't sit well with me is that OBS seems to want to claim all rights for themselves without a possibility of getting them back even after pulling your work. THAT one should get cancelled. But it's unenforceable in Germany to start with, so it won't be a problem for German contributors.


WH40k: An unending holy space Brexit. (Nic Rueben)
Validated User
And I just got confirmation that OBS will comment on that soon. (I'm guessing that Ulisses isn't too happy about the copy-paste job either, to be honest. ;) )


Registered User
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It is basically like dmsguild for TDE if I understand everything correct ?

I guess they will need a few day to iron out the interactions of that with German law. Is probably a first for OBS as well. :D
The thing went online yesterday with some delays thanks to drivethrurpg having server problems. So there might still be some kinks. We will probable hear some clarifications from Ulisses or OBS soon.

Still I am rather delighted that Ulisses had the courage to try something like this. As active as the German TDE fans are we will see some nice stuff soon. :)

And I don't think that we will need to wait long for some stuff for the englisch translaton as well. Ulisses just announced a second print run for the core book. So it seems to sell well enough on the international marked. I know that print runs for RPGs aren't big these days but still nice news.


WH40k: An unending holy space Brexit. (Nic Rueben)
Validated User
Clarification: http://www.ulisses-spiele.de/neuigkeiten/2016-11-16-scriptorium-aventuris-ein-holpriger-start/


"Inzwischen ist die neue Version der AGB auch schon online (ihr bekommt sie angezeigt, sobald ihr selbst Material hochladet) – und natürlich könnt ihr wie in unseren Leitlinien angekündigt, auch eure eigenen Anpassungen für andere Regelsysteme als DSA auf den Server laden (wie zB für FATE und sofern ihr auch deren Veröffentlichungsrichtlinen beachtet), ohne dass ihr mit rechtlichen Schritten rechnen müsst. Ihr müsst dafür nicht selber Rechteinhaber des betreffenden Systems sein. Es ist richtig, dass ihr mit dem Hochladen eurer Werke garantiert, dass ihr sie nicht noch auf einer anderen Plattform online stellen werdet (sonst würde das ganze Konzept einfach keinen Sinn ergeben). Doch natürlich bleiben die Urheberrechte bei euch – und auch eure Namen werden natürlich immer genannt werden."

tl;dr of the summary:

The part of "only upload Scriptorium stuff to Scriptorium stays.
YOU retain the copyright.
YOUR name will remain and quoted and linked.
You CAN create translation works for other systems (like FATE) if the licenses of the other systems allow that.

Steve Wieck himself commented that it was a OBS-sided copy-and-paste error and the new version is already online an

Damn. While I was trying to summarize, they uploaded the original note. So here's Mr. Wieck explaining it in his own words. :D

Dear DSA Community,

Yesterday on the www.ulisses-ebooks.de website that we operate under license from Ulisses, we began to release the webpage tools that will power the Scriptorium Aventuris program. We released the tools that will allow any DSA fan to write, publish and sell expansions for DSA. We did not intend anyone to make use of the webpage tools yesterday. We were (and are still) doing final testing of the tools on our live webservers. We planned to finish the final tests and then when everything was ready, we would make the formal announcement of the program.
As it has been pointed out by the community, the webpage we released yesterday that allows authors to submit their DSA title had a version of the author agreement that was an old version. This old version of the author agreement had internal comments where we were openly questioning whether parts of the agreement were fair and if they posed a legal problem. This old version of the author agreement was never intended to be the final version of the author agreement. I hope that is self-evident.

When we were setting up this page over the last months, our coders needed text to put on this page so we could test the page on our development servers. Rather than use “ipsem lorum” text, we just used the version of the author agreement as it existed at that time, complete with internal comments on the parts of the agreement that still needed work. When we released the webpage yesterday for testing on our live servers, we forgot to update this old version of the author agreement text to the more current version- the version in which we attempted to solve these problems that we had identified.

Again, I hope it is self-evident that we were identifying problems with the agreement and that we never planned to release for actual use a version of the agreement that discusses these problems instead of solves them.
We will be updating this webpage to the current version of the agreement as part of a list of things we still have to do to make the Scriptorium Aventuris program webpages ready for your use. Once everything is ready we will put up a banner on the homepage of www.ulisses-ebooks.de and invite you to publish your own DSA title.

I will add that probably the current version of the agreement is still not perfect. I say this because this is a very unique and experimental program. The program creates unique questions for intellectual property law. We are an American company under license from a German company. We are sub-licensing to German (and Austrian and other) authors the ability to use Ulisses intellectual property. We need to consider both American copyright law and German copyright law. We want to protect both Ulisses intellectual property and the rights of authors. So the probability that we have the agreement perfect is not high. Once we post the current version to that webpage, I welcome anyone’s feedback if the current agreement is imperfect and if so, in what way it might be improved. If the agreement is still not clear and fair, then we can have German and American attorneys who specialize in copyright review it again with your feedback in mind. We run other community content programs and have updated their author agreements as we find ways to improve the agreements. Please help us get it right.

Steve Wieck
OneBookShelf, Inc.

Me said:
From the looks of it, they might have launched a day too early.
Mr. Wieck said:
We did not intend anyone to make use of the webpage tools yesterday.
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