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Flying Buffalo Being Sold?

Flying Buffalo's CEO Steve Crompton has indicated that the company is being sold to an undisclosed buyer! Flying Buffalo a tabletop gaming company founded in 1970 - published Ken St Andre's Tunnels & Trolls back in 1975 (just a year after D&D launched), and is the oldest tabletop RPG company currently in existence.

"OTHER NEWS - FLYING BUFFALO TO BE SOLD SOON Sale PENDING

I'm letting you all know now - once the new company takes over Flying Buffalo, they have told us they plan to remove many of the items that are currently on our Drive-Thru page. So get them NOW before they are gone FOREVER..."


Tunnels & Trolls was created as an alternative to D&D, with point-based magic and a d6 core mechanic. It has been through numerous editions over the decades, and is currently on its 9th edition (some of which were licensed to companies like Fiery Dragon and Grimtooth). There have been two video games based on the system.

tunnels_and_trolls2_6431.png
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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We STILL play Nuclear War. Hands down that game is the best value gaming purchase I or my group has ever made. (based on cost/hours played). Even exceeding D&D, because amongst all of us we have bought a LOT of D&D books, but only 1 copy of everything for Nuclear War.

We have been playing it for 40 years. (I'm so very old) and before the Germpocalypse it still got dragged out every month.

I would be THRILLED if this purchase means new material will be released for it!
 

paleblade

Explorer
The expectation is that the publisher wouldn't pull such a wrong-headed move and the site you purchased it from wouldn't allow the publisher to do that to its paying customers. It's fine if the publisher decides to shut down pdfs but people who paid them shouldn't get screwed over.
This is the problem with all digital rights tho. You don't actually own the digital product, you are licensed to use it. If the licenser pulls the rights to it, the purchaser can lose it. It happens all the time with digital movies, there's actually several lawsuits against apple and amazon happening right now from customers that have purchased digital movies then lost them.
I'm not defending the practice, I think it's absolutely stupid, but want to help let people know, maybe backup your digital copies before they disappear.
 

Voadam

Legend
This is the problem with all digital rights tho. You don't actually own the digital product, you are licensed to use it. If the licenser pulls the rights to it, the purchaser can lose it. It happens all the time with digital movies, there's actually several lawsuits against apple and amazon happening right now from customers that have purchased digital movies then lost them.
I'm not defending the practice, I think it's absolutely stupid, but want to help let people know, maybe backup your digital copies before they disappear.
Not quite the same issue. You can buy a PDF on DTRPG and own it just like a book. They are still protected by copywrite and such but you can own them.

New Flying Buffalo could take down PDFs from DTRPG but they could not remove the copies of ones you've bought from your computer. At most they could make the files not available for purchase or redownload later.

Backups is a good plan in any case.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I love Flying Buffalo and was deeply sad when I heard Rick Loomis passed away in late 2019. I played their Play-By-Mail games for many years (my favorite was Battle Plan). I loved Illuminati and Nuclear War. My friend and I played every Lost Worlds! battle we could, including some rare books. I remember when the Starweb PBM was made famous briefly by it's appearance in a sci-fi novel (Octagon by Fred Saberhagen).

I've been really enjoying the Tunnels and Trolls app on my phone. Tons of fun (and free, though you sometimes have to watch a brief ad to get points to buy another play).

I even went to a PBM convention Loomis held in Scottsdale, AZ. It was a blast!

I am not sure why the topic was almost immediately hijacked into a discussion about electronic rights and downloads, but I am happy to hear someone is going to buy the company rather than letting it disappear into oblivion. I just hope the buyer respects the properties and the Loomis legacy and returns them to availability.
 


aco175

Legend
I love Flying Buffalo and was deeply sad when I heard Rick Loomis passed away in late 2019. I played their Play-By-Mail games for many years (my favorite was Battle Plan). I loved Illuminati and Nuclear War. My friend and I played every Lost Worlds! battle we could, including some rare books. I remember when the Starweb PBM was made famous briefly by it's appearance in a sci-fi novel (Octagon by Fred Saberhagen).
I remember my father playing Starweb for years with the PBM. I think he played with my uncle a few times and they would try to coordinate plans with others in other states and something about plastic artifacts. I never played, but he would plan out all sorts of moves back in the 80s.
 


I am happy to hear someone is going to buy the company rather than letting it disappear into oblivion. I just hope the buyer respects the properties and the Loomis legacy and returns them to availability.
I cannot imagine anyone wanting to buy a deep cut like Flying Buffalo if they didn't love and care about the brand. If they just wanted to do generic fantasy, they are free to do so without buying an old company with limited name recognition in 2021.

I am guessing we will see Tunnels & Trolls, Grimtooth and the CityBooks back in new editions soon-ish.

My guess is it's Goodman or maybe Necromancer/Frog God, but it could certainly be Paizo or an OSR publisher as well, although most OSR publishers don't have deep pockets.
 
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EllisEthel

Explorer
I have fond memories of enjoying T&T. I hope it’s a decent publisher that acquired the company and it’s games and does something good with it all. I’d love to see a nice slimmed down and tweaked new edition of T&T. The latest Deluxe T&T was good but all a bit too much for my tastes. I thought character gen was a bit broken and I’d like to see a few other slight changes to the rules too. Fingers crossed it’s Free League....they’d respect the game and do it right. A nice little T&T rulebook like the Forbidden Lands ones would be just perfect 🥳 I’d get that.
 

Historically the issue has been that when that happens, things often don't come back on, and people who owned the product cannot necessarily download it from DriveThru in perpetuity. For example, WotC removed the original 2E PHB/DMG from DriveThru after I purchased them. Just straight-up gone, and DriveThru weren't allowed to let existing owners download them (still aren't). They were replaced later by the horrible late-2E versions, but people who bought the originals, did not get access to those (when I spoke to DriveThru about it they slightly grudgingly gave me a voucher for the cost of the PHB lol which did not greatly endear them to me).
It's worth noting that some products were restored - specifically the Cyclopedia and the Gaz line. And even the revised scans, too. (I purchased them in the 00's, and they showed back up about a month after DMGuild went live.)

I'll note that my hope would be Fiery Dragon. They did a great job on T&T 7E.
 
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It's worth noting that some products were restored - specifically the Cyclopedia and the Gaz line. And even the revised scans, too. (I purchased them in the 00's, and they showed back up about a month after DMGuild went live.)

I'll note that my hope would be Fiery Dragon. They did a great job on T&T 7E.
Interesting. I wonder why some and not others?
 





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