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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: SJG and independence (reply to Jason Kottler)  (Read 2369 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: April 02, 2003, 03:53:50 PM »

Hello,

In the thread Applying modifiers, Jason Kottler asked this question, which belongs in this forum.

Quote
Completely off topic: If the definition of indie around here is "Creator Owned", does GURPS qualify as an indie RPG?


The quick answer is, "It did." The issue here is "creator." I think that SJG as a company produces, essentially, a line of encyclopedias which are researched and written by freelancers. I think the activity passed over a crucial line, long ago, from Steve's game, Steve's company, into Steve's company, production of books by other people. GURPS as an isolated rulebook no longer exists as a game, in my view - the line is [/i]defined[/i]by its role as a series of references. I think saying "GURPS is independent" would wrongly mean saying that Steve Jackson is the personal creator of the whole works.

The somewhat more nuanced answer concerns just what extent freelancers can be employed for a game to "stop" being independent. Greg Stafford uses freelance work extensively in the Hero Wars/Quest line, for instance. That's a bit of a judgment call, but GURPS, most especially due to its primary reference role rather than its role as a played-game, is long past the gray area for this issue, to my thinking.

Please note that no judgment accompanies this viewpoint. Nowhere is it written that "It's good to be independent" or "bad not to be independent."

Best,
Ron
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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student, second edition


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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2003, 04:17:53 PM »

Quote
GURPS as an isolated rulebook no longer exists as a game, in my view - the line is definedby its role as a series of references.


The existence of products like Transhuman Space, which includes a custom-fitted version of the rules, would back up your view pretty well, I'd say.
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Gordon C. Landis
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I am Custom-Built Games


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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2003, 01:58:30 PM »

Not that it really matters, but I'm curious - anyone know enough about how Talislanta works in publishing terms to know if it qualifies as "indie"?  I know SMS retains a lot of editorial power, but he does let a lot of other folks do the writting . . .

Gordon
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2003, 02:36:15 PM »

Gordon,

Talislanta, as of its last publishing, is independent. SMS split the writing with John Harper of Shooting Iron Games, who publishes the game. As I understand it, Shooting Iron (which is two guys, basically) makes most of the publishing decisions, but also owns the game, with SMS as a silent partner.

I'll see if I can get John to come on here and comment.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
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