Should a setting reproduce core rules?

DavetheLost

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#11
Personally, for setting books I don't want to see the full core rules repeated. Stat blocks are a good thing. Include any rules changes or additions. If I were buying a campaign setting supplement for Star Finder I would expect to need the Star Finder core rules to use it and wouldn't want to essentially buy those rules again.

If you are making enough substantial changes in the rules that playing the setting essentially becomes a new game then I would include the full rules, but otherwise I wouldn't. It is perfectly reasonable to say "This is a setting for Star Finder and you will need the core rulebook to get full use of this product."
 

Kredoc

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#12
I definitely don't want core rules in my settings books. If you do explicit references to rules in other books, be sure you describe exactly which books you're referring to.
 

torbenm

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#13
If you don't have the license to reproduce the core rules, you are more or less forced to refer to the core book (and mark clearly on the front of your product that it is not a stand-alone game). If you do have license to reproduce the core rules (or you own them), you can make a thin volume with just the core rules so you don't have to include them in every product. You can even make the core rules available for free on your web page. It all depends on what the license allows you to do.

If you don't care about the name recognition you get by using a licensed name and rules, you can make your own phrasing of the core rules and include these, with no mention of the original name, nor any phrases that the original rules may have trade marked (such as "dungeon master"). This was basically what Pathfinder did: Make a "clean room" reproduction of the D&D 3.5 rules without mentioning that this was the case. Note that even saying "compatible with <original name>" can be a problem.
 

LuciusAlexander

PalindromedaryRider
Validated User
#14
I'm pretty used to seeing the "Requires the ZXY Players' Guide to play"-type tagline on my rules-variant or setting books.
I've known that tag to be neglected, and the oversight to lead to angry customers.

Lucius Alexander

The palindromedary notes, put the message on the FRONT of the book where it can't be missed.
 

Knaight

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#16
I'd identify two main forms of product lines, which have very different expectations. There's the core book plus supplements model, where one publisher is making an extended library intended for general aggregate use, embodied by D&D (where a lot of splat books saw simultaneous use), then there's the shared mechanics model where you're probably using one specific game and it happens to have shared mechanics with other games. For the former I'd favor not replicating mechanics in the setting books, for the latter I'm all for it, where you should be able to just get the one setting you actually want and play with that.
 

torbenm

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#17
I'd identify two main forms of product lines, which have very different expectations. There's the core book plus supplements model, where one publisher is making an extended library intended for general aggregate use, embodied by D&D (where a lot of splat books saw simultaneous use), then there's the shared mechanics model where you're probably using one specific game and it happens to have shared mechanics with other games. For the former I'd favor not replicating mechanics in the setting books, for the latter I'm all for it, where you should be able to just get the one setting you actually want and play with that.
That depends on how large the rules are compared to the setting. If you have a very extensive rules system (50+ pages), then including the rules in every setting may not be a good idea. GURPS is an example of this, and The Hero System have taken this to an extreme (where even the abbreviated rule book is 128 pages). On the other hand, Amazing Engine (and old TSR product) had a quite thin common rule book and thicker setting books (all of which were fairly thin compared to modern books, though). Here, it could have made sense to include the common rules in every book. An alternative is to publish the core rules for free on the company web page (possibly together with a very basic setting) and then sell more extensive setting books for money.
 

Wulfgar22

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#18
I tend to prefer setting books with the core rules included. I'm thinking Atomic Robo for FATE Core and Young Centurions for Fate Accelerated. Having setting and system explained together helps me get my head around things.
 

CWalck93

Doom Priest of Peace and Happiness
Validated User
#19
I am fine with having the core rules and the setting book being separate. Add the specific rules that you need for the setting itself and just reference back to the core book for everything that stays the same. It's better to me to do it that way instead of saying, "Okay... 200 pages of this you already have from your core book but I need to add it here because of reasons..."
 

macul

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Validated User
#20
I've no issue with setting books not containing the core rules. It's my preference. I don't have an aversion to reading, though I'd rather not have to read, skim, or skip through reproduced material.
 
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