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Compiling Forge texts (split)

Started by mogunus, July 03, 2009, 11:01:52 PM

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Hello all.

I am a huge forge neophyte. I started reading literally two days ago and was instantly hooked. There is a really wonderful resource and community here.

Anyway. I like to typeset things, and I was wondering if it would be okay for me to take some things from the "articles" section and some things from the "forum" and typeset them into a sort of "so you want to build a role playing game and know nothing whatsoever beyond D&D? Read these things!" book. I know the articles are copyrighted. I do not know the copyright status of forum posts. The book would, of course, be available for free online as a PDF, and I would also release the code that I use to typeset it (I would be using ConTeX, a macro package for TeX). If I'm just giving away the code I use and the PDF, is this okay? Obviously articles would include author and copyright data and all original, unmodified text.

I must confess that I have already started doing this for my own ease of reading and annotation purposes, but I would never release such a thing on the 'net without permission from authors, etc.

Ron Edwards

Shoot! Thanks for posting (and welcome to the Forge!); it reminded me I totally fell down on my promise to provide the links.

OK, I must get to this soon. I absolutely cannot at the moment.

As for your question, it depends a lot on what you mean by "book." If you mean a commercial object that you would sell and collect the profits from, then your use of my writings (I'm only speaking of mine) should be limited by the legal standards of fair use (which you can look up and ask knowledgeable people about). If you mean simply a compendium of text that you are consolidating and more-or-less indexing, then making publicly available with the references indicated, then hey, I'm all for it (again, in reference to my work; I can't speak for others).

Best, Ron


On this topic, is it possible for me to get a machine-readable text of The Forge for language processing and search purposes? A database backup would do fine. I believe that the SMF forums can do this in the admin control panel.

...I realize that this is a somewhat odd request, but I have nifty software that can automatically model the word/topic associations in a large body of text, and pull out important articles using reference counting and sense disambiguation. I can make some really cool visualizations of the forum text and link to them from here. It would be very useful to my digesting the forge (as a total noob) to employ these tools, and without a dump I would have to write a script to scrape all the HTML (unless there is some kind of API for getting an XML dump of all forum content?)


M. J. Young

I guess I have to post, because one of those articles is mine; I've also got a few articles referenced from here posted at Gaming Outpost and Places to Go People to Be and RPGnet (those are the ones that stand out in my mind) that you might wind up finding or at least seeking (if the links have moved) in the process, so I'll cover that, too.

My policy is not to give anyone "blanket" permission to use everything, but to address everything on an item-by-item basis.  Part of that is that I have at least moral obligations to some of the publishers, and sometimes legal obligations as well.  On the other hand, I'm usually very open about letting people republish most of my stuff.  (The nearest thing to "carte blanche" I've given is that the French Edition of Places to Go People to Be is permitted to translate anything of mine on the web into French, but that's a special case with its own rules.)

Part of that is that I do want to know where my work is appearing, and who is using it to what ends.

So if you're using anything by Mark Joseph Young (in any of its reduced forms), drop me a note either by private message here or by e-mail (usually quicker) and we'll get things approved for you.

--M. J. Young


Thank you, M.J. I have recently encountered articles of yours at Places to Go, People to Be that I would love to include, I am unsure which ones yet, although I know "applied theory" will be among them. I am trying to produce a tight focus on learning theory and applying it to game design.

I would not be interested in selling this. This would be a freely available compilation of role-playing theory and design articles and threads, useful for referencing or bootstrapping someone into forge terminology and discussion. The source for typesetting it oneself will also be available, probably from github.

Currently, I'm trying to collect threads from the forge, and settle on a nice way of typesetting them. I think that is is important to reproduce the discussions in full. Here is the list I have come up with so far. I've been looking through by "view count," so I may have missed some gems.

I am probably going to ask for all the "Forge Articles" except those which deal primarily with the business and publishing aspects of RPG's.

For a sample of what this will look like, please see:

The above is a very rough cut, and took a while because I had to write some scripts to translate the "Articles" HTML into ConTeX. The chapter headings and page headers will change drastically after I add some more content.

M. J. Young

It occurs to me that republishing threads is a bit tricky; I don't think anyone at The Forge was ever asked to surrender rights in what we post here, and that might mean that someone could object to having his posted threads reprinted elsewhere.

For what it's worth, I've skimmed through those threads, found a few things in them that I wrote, and have no objection to anything I wrote in those threads being reprinted alongside my name.  Consider that permission from me.  Also, I'd be happy to see Applied Theory go to print, so include that.

Get back to me on the PtGPtB articles and any others that caught your interest.  You can hit me by PM or e-mail.

--M. J. Young