The Making and Breaking of Deities & Demigods - Page 12
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  1. #111
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    This is a great book and I loved all the follow up books. Great resource. I used several of these pantheons, especially Sumerian, Babylonian, and Finnish in several homebrew worlds. Thanks for your hard work Jim Ward.

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanveen View Post
    Ironically, I would have kept the Cthulhu stuff in. Who did you contact for the "rights"? Sauk City/August Derleth? They didn't actually hold them as far as I'm aware, even though Arkham House acted as if they did for many years. HPL's copyrights were a mess.
    Lovecraft is now in the public domain, one reason so many games have appeared in the past few years.
    And apparently you just ignored James post that stated it was a TSR Legal group decision to remove the content without further input from him?

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    And apparently you just ignored James post that stated it was a TSR Legal group decision to remove the content without further input from him?
    I read the post in detail. The larger point was that the "TSR Legal" group decision was, as far as I can tell, a mistake based on insufficient research.

  4. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanveen View Post
    Ironically, I would have kept the Cthulhu stuff in. Who did you contact for the "rights"? Sauk City/August Derleth? They didn't actually hold them as far as I'm aware, even though Arkham House acted as if they did for many years. HPL's copyrights were a mess.
    Lovecraft is now in the public domain, one reason so many games have appeared in the past few years.
    At the time Deities was being put together, Arkham House was the claimant to the Lovecraft/Mythos copyrights. That claim seemed legitimate and did not fall apart in court until the mid-1980s, long after Deities was out.

    While Arkham House may have given TSR some permission, as Jim describes, Arkham House also had a contract with Chaosium that gave Chaosium priority on the Cthulhu Mythos rights. Chaosium had a similar existing contract with Michael Moorcock. Chaosium contacted TSR after Deities came out and informed them of the contracts, then offered to let TSR continue to use the Eternal Champion and Cthulhu material at no charge, if TSR would simply acknowledge on the copyright page of new printings of Deities that Chaosium gave them permission. Someone at TSR decided not to do that and instead pulled the Cthulhu and Eternal Champion material.

    --James Lowder
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  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanveen View Post
    I read the post in detail. The larger point was that the "TSR Legal" group decision was, as far as I can tell, a mistake based on insufficient research.
    No. Chaosium had the contracts they claimed to have with Arkham House and Michael Moorcock. They still exist in the company files, the last I heard. (I work with Chaosium a lot these days.) Pretty much everyone in publishing at the time--including both TSR and Chaosium--believed Arkham House controlled the Lovecraft Mythos material. TSR was given a simple, free solution and turned it down. I don't know who at TSR made that decision, but from Jim's description, it sounds like the legal department is the likely culprit.

    --James Lowder
    Last edited by JLowder; Friday, 31st May, 2019 at 08:06 PM.
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  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLowder View Post
    At the time Deities was being put together, Arkham House was the claimant to the Lovecraft/Mythos copyrights. That claim seemed legitimate and did not fall apart in court until the mid-1980s, long after Deities was out.

    While Arkham House may have given TSR some permission, as Jim describes, Arkham House also had a contract with Chaosium that gave Chaosium priority on the Cthulhu Mythos rights. Chaosium had a similar existing contract with Michael Moorcock. Chaosium contacted TSR after Deities came out and informed them of the contracts, then offered to let TSR continue to use the Eternal Champion and Cthulhu material at no charge, if TSR would simply acknowledge on the copyright page of new printings of Deities that Chaosium gave them permission. Someone at TSR decided not to do that and instead pulled the Cthulhu and Eternal Champion material.

    --James Lowder
    They pulled them instead of a simple acknowledgement, it seems petty sadly.

  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
    They pulled them instead of a simple acknowledgement, it seems petty sadly.
    Probably didn't want to provide free advertising for a competing game.

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Probably didn't want to provide free advertising for a competing game.
    It wouldn't have been free. The advertising would been paid for by allowing continued use of two popular categories of deities. TSR just determined that it wasn't worth the price.

  9. #119
    As a kid I hunted that book down like Ahab and the white whale. It kept getting mentioned in the Historical Supplements of 2nd Edition but I could never find it. I think it's interesting how enduring the choices made were. Take for instance the Celtic pantheon. All the pantheons are much more nebulous in the original literature than a canonical RPG supplement can make them. However the Celtic pantheon is particularly fraught, as it is collected fragments of Welsh, Gaulish, and Irish literature written either as rumors of the barbarians during the Roman era, or half remembered fairy tales of Christianized descendants. It seems that 38 yearsکشمش پلوییlater the 5th edition Celtic Pantheon hews still pretty closely to the choices made in Deities and Demigods. It's a good synthesis . . . but now that I'm older having done my own scholarship I would of course create a very different pantheon Thanks for the work Mr. Ward!

  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanveen View Post
    Lovecraft is now in the public domain, one reason so many games have appeared in the past few years.
    It is now, because he's been dead long enough, but I'm not sure that was the case in the late 1970's. Lovecraft died in 1937, and I think at the time 1e was published it was a 50-year wait before works hit the public domain (so, 1987). Then the law was changed to 75 years (so, 2012); hence the recent explosion of Lovecraft-based material.

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