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General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: Pramas on November 04, 2002, 12:20:44 PM



Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Pramas on November 04, 2002, 12:20:44 PM
Thought this might interest folks here.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GREEN RONIN PURCHASES DRAGON FIST
Origins Awarded Nominated Game to Come Back in 2003

November 4, 2002-SEATTLE, WA: Green Ronin Publishing today announced that it has signed a purchase agreement with Wizards of the Coast for the Dragon Fist RPG. Chris Pramas, Green Ronin's founder and President, designed Dragon Fist when he worked at Wizards of the Coast. Although only released electronically, the game was nominated for an Origins Award in 2000. A new edition of Dragon Fist is scheduled for Summer 2003.

"I've been waiting a long time for Dragon Fist to see print," said Chris Pramas, "and I'd like to thank Anthony Valterra of Wizards of the Coast for making it possible."

Dragon Fist is the fantasy game of martial arts action. Inspired by classic Hong Kong wuxia and martial arts films like Come Drink With Me, One Armed Swordsman, Bride With White Hair, and A Chinese Ghost Story, as well as Chinese mythology and folklore, Dragon Fist propels players into the land of Tianguo, where they face the corrupt emperor and his nefarious eunuch sorcerers.

"A huge number of people downloaded Dragon Fist on release and that was before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon showed America how rich the wuxia tradition is," added Pramas.

Like all Green Ronin releases since the groundbreaking Death in Freeport, Dragon Fist will take advantage of Wizards of the Coast's Open Game License.


Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories.  A leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products, the company holds an exclusive patent on the method of playing trading card games (TCGs) and produces the world's best-selling Pokémon® and Magic: The Gathering® TCGs and publishes adventure games, family card and board games and electronic media products.  Wizards of the Coast is also one of the world's premier book publishers of fantasy series fiction whose novels have made numerous appearances on The New York Times best-seller list and have sold millions of copies worldwide.  For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at wizards.com.

Green Ronin Publishing is a d20 System pioneer. Its adventure Death in Freeport was released on the same day as the 3E Player's Handbook and went on to win the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Adventure of 2000. Since then Green Ronin has led the pack of d20 companies, with acclaimed products such as Legions of Hell and the Book of the Righteous. Point your browser to www.greenronin.com for more info.

Green Ronin Media Contact
Nicole Lindroos
nicole@greenronin.com


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: greyorm on November 04, 2002, 08:57:37 PM
Excellent, Chris!

I loved Dragon Fist when it first came out on the web, and I still think it rocks!  Looking forward to seeing an updated, hard-copy, for purchase verison of it!


Title: Question
Post by: quozl on November 05, 2002, 05:39:18 AM
First, congratulations!  I'm so happy that you finally got your baby back from WOTC.

If you could, could you answer a question about the system of the new Dragon Fist?  Will it be straight D20 or will still have the awesome stunt system you designed for the original?  I know you've said before that Dragon Fist's system is the best thing about it so I'm hoping that we don't lose any of it in the new version.

Thanks!


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 05, 2002, 09:51:58 AM
Hi Chris,

In the interest of making this thread as useful as possible to fellow publishers (as opposed to being a advert release), could you provide us with an account of how one acquires such a license, with this experience as an example?

- Whom do you contact? That is, what "professional person" who handles such things for the ownership of the property, not necessarily the specific person in this case.

- What do you present about yourself?

- What kind of costs are involved? Do you set up something legal first? Who writes the contract? Why?

And so on.

Best,
Ron


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Jonathan Walton on November 06, 2002, 08:51:41 AM
{WARNING: Off-Topic}

Coincidentally, Jay Chou ("Zhou Jielun") has a recent album containing a track called Dragon Fist ("Long Quan").  The song rocks.

You can look at/order the album, The 8th Dimension, here.  Jay is probably the best of the Chinese R&B crowd, with the additional perk that he writes all of his own lyrics (and a good portion of the music too) and likes to insert bits of traditional Chinese intrumentation into his songs.

This might be something to listen to while you're revising/rewriting your game.

{/Off-Topic}

I'm also interested in how one acquires rights.  I've often pondered what it would take to get the rights to old game lines that haven't been supported in years, assuming, of course, that the owners would be open to the possibility.

Later.
Jonathan


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Pramas on November 07, 2002, 12:01:52 AM
Quote from: quozl
First, congratulations!  I'm so happy that you finally got your baby back from WOTC.

If you could, could you answer a question about the system of the new Dragon Fist?  Will it be straight D20 or will still have the awesome stunt system you designed for the original?  I know you've said before that Dragon Fist's system is the best thing about it so I'm hoping that we don't lose any of it in the new version.


I haven't made any firm decisions on the redesign yet. I have a couple of other GR projects to finish up before I dive into DF. However, I certainly plan to retain the stunt system. I would like the typical d20 player to get something out of the game, so there will be lootable things like new feats and monsters, but doing the genre justice is my top priority.


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Pramas on November 07, 2002, 12:27:09 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards

- Whom do you contact? That is, what "professional person" who handles such things for the ownership of the property, not necessarily the specific person in this case.

- What do you present about yourself?

- What kind of costs are involved? Do you set up something legal first? Who writes the contract? Why?



With WotC, it was easy enough for me to know who to talk to and to have easy access to them. I worked there for four years after all, so I was known (as was GR). I told them I wanted Dragon Fist, and they asked me if I was willing to pay some money for it. I made an offer, they accepted it without negotiation. WotC's legal department wrote a contract based on my proposal. That was really it.

It's usually more complicated dealing with other companies. First, you need to find out who to talk to. This is best done with personal contacts if you have them (cold calling a receptionist is unlikely to get you anywhere, at least with larger companies). If you are lucky, they are familiar with the gaming industry. If not, you first have to outline the industry in broad strokes, then show your place in it. You basically want to show them why your company is the best place for their property. It helps if you have previous products you can show off.

The tougest part is putting together an actual proposal. You need to make an offer that they'll take seriously, but that you can afford. The natural tendency is to lowball, with the assumption that the price will rise some during negotiation. If your offer is too paltry though, they'll just say no and walk away. It needs to be worth their time. If you are buying something (like we did with Dragon Fist), you only need worry about the purchase price. If you are licensing something, then you need to make some revenue projections showing them how much money they can expect to make from you. Oftentimes, contracts have guarantees (meaning no matter how the product in question sells, they make money; be careful with those). Advances are also common. Again, it proves that you are serious.

If you come to an agreement, then it's lawyer time. Larger companies have legal staffs that work up contracts. Naturally, you want to take such contracts to a lawyer of your own to have them look it over.

Those are the basics, in very general terms.


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Paganini on November 07, 2002, 02:35:04 PM
Rock on, Chris! Keep us posted!


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Mike Holmes on November 08, 2002, 12:51:31 PM
Good to hear. Do you have an interest in picking up Chainmail? Would it even be possible?

Mike


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Pramas on November 08, 2002, 08:23:59 PM
Quote from: Mike Holmes
Good to hear. Do you have an interest in picking up Chainmail? Would it even be possible?


I am not really interested in picking up Chainmail. Green Ronin isn't set up to properly do a minis game, for one thing. Also, it's a damaged property and it'd be a really hard sell to distributors and retailers.

I'm not sure if it's possible. Depends on how serious WotC is about their next minis game.


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: greyorm on November 08, 2002, 08:33:36 PM
Chris,

What do you mean by "damaged property" in reference to Chainmail?


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: Pramas on November 10, 2002, 12:44:36 PM
Quote from: greyorm
Chris,

What do you mean by "damaged property" in reference to Chainmail?


I mean that Chainmail is seen as a commercial failure by distributors and retailers. Anyone who tried to revive Chainmail would be facing an uphill battle. Convincing people that you can make a success out of a game that was cancelled after only nine months on the market is quite difficult, especially if they are sitting on dead stock from the game's launch. You'll note that even WotC retail stores have had 75% off sales on Chainmail minis.

You can see this in action with Warzone and Chronopia (two minis games). Those games died off when Target Games imploded. Now a new publisher, Exselsior, is trying to revive them and he's having to sell direct to retailers because distrbutors no longer believe Warzone and Chronopia are viable games.


Title: Dragon Fist is Mine!
Post by: greyorm on November 13, 2002, 08:13:33 PM
Ahh, I see.  Thanks, Chris!

I was under the assumption that since Chainmail had done well, and won awards, that it wasn't "damaged"...I can see how it would be considered as such given what you presented as the distributor view of the product.