log in or register to remove this ad

 

TSR Did TSR Sue Regularly?

Shannon Appelcline (Designers & Dragons) talks about it here! With infographics!

"Every company interacts with the rest of the industry in a different way. For Chaosium it's been more than 40 years of licensing, while Target Games created and defined roleplaying in its home country of Sweden. Dave Nalle's Ragnarok Enterprises instead influenced designers and publishers through interactions in A&Eand Abyss. As for TSR, the founder of our industry: as wags have put it: they sue regularly."


They also sued WotC once!
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

I was going to respond a bit more about Aftermath, but its true that's manifestly off-topic for this thread.

Regarding Trav2300, it also made a genuine attempt to have actually alien aliens; one could question how interesting they are, but its a rare enough attempt its worth commenting on.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

The glory of 2300 was not character creation nor the gear but the Near Star Map - and the associated Near Star List, complete with IRL astronomical data and 3-D coordinates. An irresistible lure to any amateur stargazer!
It inspired me to buy Star Cruiser, the starship combat game set in 2300's future history.

I bought a couple of Space:1889 sourcebooks, because I liked the milieu and the use of IRL semi-science. Never played the game (or even tried), just let my historian's imagination run wild.
Hehe, I remember using my C64 and some linear algebra fu to write a program which let you input the distance, right ascension, and azimuth of all the nearby (well any really) stars and then printed out projections from different angles, with some sort of notation to crib in the 3rd dimension (I lost all those maps long ago, along with the code, so I don't remember the details). Also, the game Imperium from GDW is a map of the local neighborhood, complete with jump routes (it is set in the Third Imperium timeline). I think they might have fudged a tiny bit, mine looked a bit different.

Anyway, the idea of an 'explore the local area' game is interesting, except it is a bit less exciting when the assumption is "nothing much has been explored." So 2300's changes to the technology were, I think driven to a large extent by the idea of making such a scenario a bit more interesting. Where Traveller's jump tech begs the question of why nobody has just jumped further out (refueling being pretty easy even without facilities for a properly equipped starship). Nowadays there are a good number of programs out there which can do 3D star charts suitable for games, though none of them seems super easy to use...

GDW definitely did publish some fun wargames. I always liked the Sci-Fi ones best. Imperium and Dark Nebula are both pretty good games, as well as being set in the Traveller milieu.
 

JustAnIdea

Villager
Hehe. Well, they may have s-d the pooch, but they left some good offspring behind, no? I quit in 1976 (but was made job offers in 1980 and 1985 to return) so I take no responsibility for their antics. This article actually surprised me as I learned of some I had not been aware of.
What was your official Job when you created the Beholder? How were you paid for it. Were you work for hire, or a regular employee?
 


JustAnIdea

Villager
My brother Terry Kuntz created the Beholder and wasn't paid anything for it. Sorry, wrong "Kuntz".
Thanks for your fast response Rob ( you are a legend by the way... eternal thanks for your part in my childhood) I am really not sure how Terry does not have a co-authorship from a legal standpoint... like far too many Terry did not get paid well enough for his contribution.
 
Last edited:

Thanks for your fast response Rob ( you are a legend by the way... eternal thanks for your part in my childhood) I am really not sure how Terry does not have a co-authorship from a legal standpoint... like far too many Terry did not get paid well enough for his contribution.
Well, that's been a, to date, dead issue, yes. But I will not speak for Terry. I have had many ruminations about the matter over the years, covered in part in my ongoing work (coming 'round a bend and racing for the home stretch) Lake Geneva Days.

You're welcome! All my earliest days with the LGTSA and TSR were golden as we pursued a dream for all. I'm glad that you received a slice of it!
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Thanks for your fast response Rob ( you are a legend by the way... eternal thanks for your part in my childhood) I am really not sure how Terry does not have a co-authorship from a legal standpoint... like far too many Terry did not get paid well enough for his contribution.
Most work on D&D, both back-in-the-day and today, is/was work-for-hire. Which means, you create something for the franchise, get paid for it once and you have no ownership over the element you created.

Is this a fair deal? It's debatable, some folks think it's a terrible way to treat your creatives, others find it a perfectly acceptable way to build a shared-universe franchise. It's a thing in tabletop RPG land, and in comics as well. Big lawsuits in comics-land over characters created that go on to be big deals, but the original creators don't see the financial return the franchise owners do (Superman is a great example).
 

Most work on D&D, both back-in-the-day and today, is/was work-for-hire. Which means, you create something for the franchise, get paid for it once and you have no ownership over the element you created.

Is this a fair deal? It's debatable, some folks think it's a terrible way to treat your creatives, others find it a perfectly acceptable way to build a shared-universe franchise. It's a thing in tabletop RPG land, and in comics as well. Big lawsuits in comics-land over characters created that go on to be big deals, but the original creators don't see the financial return the franchise owners do (Superman is a great example).
Correction. Terry was not employed by TSR at the time he showcased his short story about the Beholder, first to me and then to Gary, this as Gary and I were finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk (its FC is where the Beholder (drawn by Bell) first appears as an illo).

@ALL: As I've indicated I am not going to get into the matter, any further than I already have, on these boards.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Correction. Terry was not employed by TSR at the time he showcased his short story about the Beholder, first to me and then to Gary, this as Gary and I were finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk (its FC is where the Beholder (drawn by Bell) first appears as an illo).

@ALL: As I've indicated I am not going to get into the matter, any further than I already have, on these boards.
I get that this is something you aren't super interested in talking about, and that's more than fair. It certainly sounds like something unfair happened during those wild-and-wooly pre-publication days. If I'm reading you right, your brother shared the idea and didn't get credit or payment for it at all . . . which would definitely be super uncool, despite how new everyone was to publishing back then. Especially considering how iconic the beholder has become to D&D.

Sorry to continue the conversation, I certainly don't expect a response. I'm just one of many nerds fascinated by all that went on during the initial creation of D&D . . . both the good and the bad. Seems like there was a lot of both in those early TSR days.
 


Well, that's been a, to date, dead issue, yes. But I will not speak for Terry. I have had many ruminations about the matter over the years, covered in part in my ongoing work (coming 'round a bend and racing for the home stretch) Lake Geneva Days.

You're welcome! All my earliest days with the LGTSA and TSR were golden as we pursued a dream for all. I'm glad that you received a slice of it!
Yeah, I have to say that we were all pretty blown away. When I HEARD about the idea of D&D (I think I was 11 or 12, but I loved wargames already back then) it was like a bolt of lightning struck. THIS IS IT! It actually took a couple years to get hold of enough of the rules and people to play regularly (the big kids would have none of us, we got to play with them once, when our Boy Scout leader told them they weren't allowed to leave people out, lol). Once we got started it was pretty cool.

In terms of who got what out of the whole TSR thing... I got involved with some game development in the late 70s, and got to know some of the Game Science, and Metagaming/Steve Jackson guys and soon learned, there's no money in this! I mean, we were simply utterly thrilled if someone used our stuff at all. I remember writing a space combat game that MANY people played for years, and we even hacked together RPG rules and whatnot, but who ever made a dime off that, really? I guess my point is, your brother was probably just thrilled at the time that his awesome monster was all over the game and got used a lot. I doubt he even imagined there would be money involved in any significant quantity. But that's just my guess, maybe things were different in Lake Geneva. Gary certainly operated at a bit different level from everyone else, lol.
 

JustAnIdea

Villager
Correction. Terry was not employed by TSR at the time he showcased his short story about the Beholder, first to me and then to Gary, this as Gary and I were finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk (its FC is where the Beholder (drawn by Bell) first appears as an illo).

@ALL: As I've indicated I am not going to get into the matter, any further than I already have, on these boards.
You have been extremely generous with your person insight on this history. Can I ask you one final question? At the time that you and Gary were " finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk" what was your official job title? I had actually heard some where your job was in the shipping department. And you did not really "officially" hold any creative development type title.
 

JustAnIdea

Villager
That 'My Good Bear' is the understatement of the year.
You have been extremely generous with your person insight on this history. Can I ask you one final question? At the time that you and Gary were " finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk" what was your official job title? I had actually heard some where your job was in the shipping department. And you did not really "officially" hold any creative development type title.
 

You have been extremely generous with your person insight on this history. Can I ask you one final question? At the time that you and Gary were " finishing Sup 1 to D&D, Greyhawk" what was your official job title? I had actually heard some where your job was in the shipping department. And you did not really "officially" hold any creative development type title.
Actually I'd rather not derail the topic any further through focusing upon my general history. If you have personal or commercial interests in that line of questioning I'd rather be contacted off-board: Go to Three Line Studio and scroll down to my estate's contact e-mail.

Thanks!
 




Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top