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Two Cities of Brass?

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Eosin the Red

First Post
Melan said:
As for opinion - I have one, but since it isn't exactly well informed (all I have is cryptic e-mails, cryptic posts and cryptic rebuttals), I am keeping it to myself. I would encourage other people to do the same.
On the subject of publishing two cities - I make no opinions but on this:

Have you not heard the news? Stranger things are afoot besides message posting, and likely even before these ocurred!

Robilar
__________________________

I cannot speak on this further as other routines beckon me. Let me just say that my Royal Messengers are enroute and I will make an announcement of their successes when they return from the Steppes.

Happy Gaming. No wars for the nonce.

Robilar, Lord of Dragons
_______________________

Yes, Great Khan, everyone is in control of their own destinies, thus the images they portray are theirs to sculpt alone.
__________________________

No need for more apologies, Mr. McDonald. Curosity comes in many forms and from many sources.

I'm sorry that there are no instant answers to your queries and concerns. But my messengers are galloping hurridly to their objectives even as we speak, so something should soon be known by all.

Tarry not upon the road, lest the Night Hags have their way with you! ; )

El Raja Key
________________________

Yes, Great Khan. 'Tis my e-mail and yes, receive a message I did. But yet, forsooth, I cannot answer your queries, but crypticness I can give in barrelfuls. My messengers will clarify all.

Robilar
_________________________
"sound and fury, which I frankly am not surprised by."

Sounds imflammatory. You wouldn't be trying to start an argument here with one of our board members, would you?
If so, take that to the Abyss where such discussions are held. Kinda like an arena for those who can't get along otherwise, as well as for Guinness drinkers, but beware the Demonlord of Puns who has a realm therein!
I myself preach peace, but there are some who just can't follow that route, that I am well aware of.

Best of Luck!

Rob--Site Admin.

These probably make as much sense reading them here out of context as they do in context? That is some strange babble. I cannot think of a way to analyse those posts that would not get personal so I will leave it - but boy, do I want to discuss what kind of person posts like that.

On the posting of private e-mails - no other info needed. That is wrong and unprofessional, doesn't matter who does it or for what reason.
 

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Theuderic

First Post
Rob likes to speak in riddles doens't he. I felt the same way, I couldn't make sense of it except for the parts that were obviously well, you know.
 
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JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Just my opinion:

I think, because they had a relationship that was terminated, and because Necromancer knows that they were originally going to adapt Rob's work...

They should change the name of their product. It doesn't matter if it's public domain, or what. They did spend a lot of time plugging RJK in the past, and it could lead to confusion.

It's a simple solution, really.
 

JeffB

Legend
Yikes, after reading Rob's posts over on his boards, all I can say is my opinion of the man at least from a professional standpoint has been substantially lowered.

I thought the whole thing was in quite poor taste.

Think I'll be skipping anything done by him in the future (unless it's a collaboration with Gary ala Greyhack or whatever it is).
 


Maybe I'm missing the reason for the outrage here?

Should everyone just sit around on their hands for YEARS waiting for Rob to do this project because he publicly said he wanted to at one time?

"No - I called Superman. That's not fair - boo hoo"

Let's see capitalism in action
 

Buttercup

Princess of Florin
I think BigFreakinGoblinoid hit the big freakin nail right on the head.

Further, after reading the entire content of the three links posted above, the party who stands out as consistently professional is Clark. And I'm not sure why Mr. Kuntz thought it was a good idea to air this in public.
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Think you are missing a few areas.

I personally don't think people should be judged on so-called "professionalism". Just because somebody chooses not to comment on private dealings between two parties doesn't always mean that it is improper behavior--it's not like this was truly a private thing or an NDA was signed--it's not personal facts or the like. In fact, people sometimes commend whistleblowers.

Or, put in on the other foot with an example. Gygax has commented publically about his dealings with TSR. Lorraine Williams has rarely ever commented about Gary's dealings at all. Does that make HER a better person because she didn't speak out about their conflcit where Gary did? Public opinion woild say otherwise. Let's not be hypocritical here. If some gamer revealed private correspondance between him and Hasboro I'd bet a different tune would be spewed here.

The only reason you guys are complaining is you think the Necromancer has better products and/or is a better writter, or one person may be (to our eyes) kinder than the other.

Here's where I think Rob has issues:

It's sure Necromancer can use "City of Brass" as the name. However, why is the name so important? It probably wouldn't matter except for the following--the term "City of Brass" is legendary in (A)D&D Lore. It has been mentioned since the beginning, it has been there for a while, etc. Heck, it was hinted on the cover of the book. Basically, the name is being used because City of Brass is part of AD&D Lore, and Necromancer wants to have adventures with "1st Edition Feel". Saying they are doing the "City of Brass" harkens to those gamers wanting to see the land of the Efreet.

But, in my opinion, it isn't cool for them to use the name City of Brass after having seen and having a prior relationship with Rob. Heck, they even published a prelude written by Rob. If they are doing work independently, it shouldn't be a problem.

But, I think in terms of ETHICS, they should CHANGE THE NAME, at least to show that they are doing a seperate work. And considering that they both plugged Rob, and that Rob's truly comes from the roots of the AD&D/Greyhawk campaign. Since there could be some confusion, I think it's only fair for Necromancer to consider a name change. I dunno if this will happen--wanna bet they think it will sell better if named "City of Brass" than without? But I think it is only the right thing to do in this particular situation.

Just think about that.

Note that I am not commenting on either person personally...I just think that in this situation, Rob does have a legitimate beef, and Necromancer should understand that fact.
 

Lucifer

First Post
Re: Think you are missing a few areas.

JohnRTroy said:
I personally don't think people should be judged on so-called "professionalism". Just because somebody chooses not to comment on private dealings between two parties doesn't always mean that it is improper behavior--it's not like this was truly a private thing or an NDA was signed--it's not personal facts or the like. In fact, people sometimes commend whistleblowers.
I think a person should be judged on professionalism. And Mr Kuntz has shown zero professionalism concerning this. If he had a "beef" with it, it should be handled in private between all concerned parties, not aired in public by posting private emails he had with anyone. I get the insinuations he is attempting to imply, and frankly think he is reaching at straws. Clark Peterson has already indicated the City of Brass will not contain anything Rob has done in the past or talked about with Clark. That should be the end of it.

And Gene isn't a potential "whistleblower" as you put it. Search around for some of his other posts here or anywhere, he seems to be always near controversy, similar to Mr Kuntz.

Or, put in on the other foot with an example. Gygax has commented publically about his dealings with TSR. Lorraine Williams has rarely ever commented about Gary's dealings at all. Does that make HER a better person because she didn't speak out about their conflcit where Gary did? Public opinion woild say otherwise. Let's not be hypocritical here. If some gamer revealed private correspondance between him and Hasboro I'd bet a different tune would be spewed here.
[/b]
Not hypocritical at all. Lorraine Williams ran TSR into the ground. Gary Gygax is not the only one to speak out on this. It is fairly well known. It doesn't make her a better person, but then again, all we know from Gygax is what he has told us.

The only reason you guys are complaining is you think the Necromancer has better products and/or is a better writter, or one person may be (to our eyes) kinder than the other.
[/b]
What has Rob produced lately? The Maze series seemed to be the poorest received Necromancer Games products to date. The reviews are average or worse (not just here but other review boards as well).

And yes, I think Necromancer Games will do a better job. Rob seems reluctant to embrace third edition which is no big deal, but it comes through in his writing. He has even stated he doesn't like third edition on his boards. Again, no big deal, but why bother writing for a game system you hate? An example of a poorly done d20 product where it clearly shows that the writer's either don't care or don't know 3e? Check Chaosium's Dragon Lords of Melnibone. The same applies to the Maze series.


Here's where I think Rob has issues:

It's sure Necromancer can use "City of Brass" as the name. However, why is the name so important? It probably wouldn't matter except for the following--the term "City of Brass" is legendary in (A)D&D Lore. It has been mentioned since the beginning, it has been there for a while, etc. Heck, it was hinted on the cover of the book. Basically, the name is being used because City of Brass is part of AD&D Lore, and Necromancer wants to have adventures with "1st Edition Feel". Saying they are doing the "City of Brass" harkens to those gamers wanting to see the land of the Efreet.
You are right. City of Brass does harken back to the old days of D&D. Right along with "First Edition feel." And I am sure that that is why Necromancer Games wanted to do City of Brass to begin with, because it is first edition AD&D.


But, in my opinion, it isn't cool for them to use the name City of Brass after having seen and having a prior relationship with Rob. Heck, they even published a prelude written by Rob. If they are doing work independently, it shouldn't be a problem.
Why? It happens all the time with companies (not just game companies either). A person is brought on board to do a project, they drop the ball or leave, and the project continues. Look at bands for example. Musicians come and go. They are replaced. The band doesn't change the name. It works along the same lines. Look at software developers. They come and go as well. The project continues. A software company doesn't rename the product just because the designer or developer leaves or is fired.



But, I think in terms of ETHICS, they should CHANGE THE NAME, at least to show that they are doing a seperate work. And considering that they both plugged Rob, and that Rob's truly comes from the roots of the AD&D/Greyhawk campaign. Since there could be some confusion, I think it's only fair for Necromancer to consider a name change. I dunno if this will happen--wanna bet they think it will sell better if named "City of Brass" than without? But I think it is only the right thing to do in this particular situation.
In all honesty, I don't believe there will be two Citys of Brass. I don't think Rob will ever produce his. Look how long it has taken him to get Maze 4 out. (I don't think we will ever see Rob's book from Troll Lords either. They advertised it at the beginning of this year, and it still isn't out yet.)

And I don't think they should change the name. What better to invoke that First Edition feel than the name City of Brass? The book is about the City of Brass, why not call it that. Now if they could only get Dave Trampier to do the cover.
 

JeffB

Legend
I was going to address John's post, but Lucifer did a great job. I'd just like to add this:

It boils down to the fact that depsite controversey I was ready to buy Robs if I thought it would be good (see my earlier post) as well as Necro's. Now after seeing the ( IMO ) immature and unprofessional way Rob handled himself on his own boards regarding the matter, I have no interest in putting any money in his pocket..good product or not.

If this is indeed an "ethics" issue (and that is a personal judgement everyone will have to make for themselves), don't forget that Ethics work both ways.
 
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Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
I'm down with that Jeff. :) Besides, time and tide wait for no man. I know people will try to hit back with "Well what about this Bard's Gate being delayed?" If you look at the number of products that Necromancer is trying to put out, compared the low number that Rob had done, I'd say that Necromancer comes out ahead.

Besides, Necromancer's has been harkening back to first edition well before Kuntz was on board. Btw good post Lucifier.
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Re: Re: Think you are missing a few areas.



I think a person should be judged on professionalism. And Mr Kuntz has shown zero professionalism concerning this. If he had a "beef" with it, it should be handled in private between all concerned parties, not aired in public by posting private emails he had with anyone. I get the insinuations he is attempting to imply, and frankly think he is reaching at straws. Clark Peterson has already indicated the City of Brass will not contain anything Rob has done in the past or talked about with Clark. That should be the end of it.
I've not seen him indicate any accusations that stuff was stolen, but I thought he was more or less angry about the name stealing.


And Gene isn't a potential "whistleblower" as you put it. Search around for some of his other posts here or anywhere, he seems to be always near controversy, similar to Mr Kuntz.
Not talking about Gene here, but Kuntz himself.


Not hypocritical at all. Lorraine Williams ran TSR into the ground. Gary Gygax is not the only one to speak out on this. It is fairly well known. It doesn't make her a better person, but then again, all we know from Gygax is what he has told us.
How is it not hypocritical. If you want to be hypothetical, do you have proof she was the one who did it?

Devils advocate.

I am a little annoyed people are focused on behavior and game design prowess over objective judgement. You guys are free to buy what you wanna buy, but let's not pretend it's for a "moral high ground" here.


What has Rob produced lately? The Maze series seemed to be the poorest received Necromancer Games products to date. The reviews are average or worse (not just here but other review boards as well).
Doesn't make it right what Necromancer Games did or will do. Again, you guys are judging Rob's game design ability--which may or may not be better or worse than the Necromancer people. However, that doesn't change the fact that, I believe, that Rob probably does have a legit grievance.


You are right. City of Brass does harken back to the old days of D&D. Right along with "First Edition feel." And I am sure that that is why Necromancer Games wanted to do City of Brass to begin with, because it is first edition AD&D.
Well then, I see through that.


Why? It happens all the time with companies (not just game companies either). A person is brought on board to do a project, they drop the ball or leave, and the project continues. Look at bands for example. Musicians come and go. They are replaced. The band doesn't change the name. It works along the same lines. Look at software developers. They come and go as well. The project continues. A software company doesn't rename the product just because the designer or developer leaves or is fired.
Yeah, but sometimes this gives them the right to sue, or companies to rip off the idea.

I don't think that's the case, but I do think that the least they can do is change the name. And since he first provided the ideas, even if they don't use them, he may have the right to sue.


In all honesty, I don't believe there will be two Citys of Brass. I don't think Rob will ever produce his. Look how long it has taken him to get Maze 4 out. (I don't think we will ever see Rob's book from Troll Lords either. They advertised it at the beginning of this year, and it still isn't out yet.)
Again, that's not the point here. It doesn't matter if Rob isn't good or timely. That shouldn't be a judgement factor as to if Necromancer is not behaving "above board".


And I don't think they should change the name. What better to invoke that First Edition feel than the name City of Brass? The book is about the City of Brass, why not call it that. Now if they could only get Dave Trampier to do the cover.
Well, unfortunately, they won't be getting my purchase unless they change the name. And no, it's not a Necromancer boycott, just that product is now tainted.
 
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Darrin Drader

First Post
Count me in as being opposed to the name change idea.

The project existed before Rob dropped out. When he decided to leave or became too difficult to work with, or whatever, then the project goes on with a new developer. As long as the material he submitted previously isn't used, or he is adequately compensated for it, then I'm satisfied that the product will be "untainted."

If it is such a big deal, and suddenly Kuntz has the moral rights over a name that is public domain, maybe he should call his "Rob Kuntz's City of Brass."

I'm still in favor of shutting this thread down. It isn't doing anyone any good.
 

Lucifer

First Post
Re: Re: Re: Think you are missing a few areas.

JohnRTroy said:


I've not seen him indicate any accusations that stuff was stolen, but I thought he was more or less angry about the name stealing.
Name stealing? So, should the writers of the original City of Brass (the ones from Arabian lore) be upset with Rob for "stealing" the name. He certainly didn't invent it.



I don't think that's the case, but I do think that the least they can do is change the name. And since he first provided the ideas, even if they don't use them, he may have the right to sue.
Right to sue? For what? "Since he provided the ideas, EVEN IF THEY DON'T USE THEM".

So, if you and I collaborate on a project about Greek gods and had some initial discussions about the project, including idea exchanges, and then I walked away or you fired me, would you be required to halt the project? Or if you went forward with it, using NONE of my ideas, but brought other writers on board to complete the project, would I have the right to sue?



Again, that's not the point here. It doesn't matter if Rob isn't good or timely.
Perhaps not the point, but it does matter. Ask any publisher (software, game, music) about writers, developers, or designers handing material in in a timely matter.


Well, unfortunately, they won't be getting my purchase unless they change the name. And no, it's not a Necromancer boycott, just that product is now tainted.
So, if the material is outstanding and they called it "Journey to the Plane of Fire" and you bought it and got more than your money's worth out of it, you'd be happy? But, if the same outstanding material was published under the title "City of Brass" you wouldn't buy it? Makes sense.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
My last post on this subject

You know, I think one of the reasons people like subjects like this is that they can post their ideas and share their opinons on the way they think things should work.

Me? I don't know enough legally about the situation to know what type of defense Rob has.

I do know I havent' enjoyed his D20 modules, from Troll Lords or Necromancer but have enjoyed other material from those companies.

Say the best situation comes up and both make a product "City of Brass" that are both fantastic. I'll enjoy both.

Otherwise, I'll enjoy the one, Rob or Necromancer, that's better written and has a better grasp of the rules.

It's just that simple.

Necromancer does indeed have a proven track record with many great releases and Rob, in my opinion, for 3rd edition, hasn't done a thing worth keeping.

As a reviewer and player of the game, for me, it's just that simple.
 

Eosin the Red

First Post
You know pointing out someone elses moral or ethical flaws does not make yours any more correct. By your logic anything is excusable as long as someone else has done it before. It is not. I don't judge the merits of the case that I will never understand - that would be wrong. I can judge someones public actions. You judge the case you have little to no understanding of, yet deride others for condeming poor public behavior. How does that jive?

It does not matter what ill things occured - if a breach in law was made, take it to the courts. Then we all hear the facts and not uniformed supposition. This part will take care of itself through the law - I need not concern myself with it. But there is not a court of professional conduct, it is up to the society or sub-set to enforce mores against such bad behavior. Public condemnation and professional shunning of poor behavior is the tool used to discourage bad behavior.

You are watching civics in action.
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
When did I ever say you guys were conducting improper behavior. You are free to do what you want.

I'm just making sure you guys are not "mixing" the judgements. You have to seperate the various talents of the people involved, and seperate the public face of the people involved, from the judgement of whether or not Necromancer announcing a "City of Brass" right after they parted ways with Rob Kuntz from which they planned to publish a similar product might be a conflict of interest.
 
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Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
I personally don't feel there's any moral high ground on Rob's part. Necromancer asked him to do it. He futz around and didn't do it. Now he takes away his toys and when Clark and Scott decided they wanted their own verison, some people cried "Foul!" because it sounded like they stole from Rob, when in fact he didn't. Pretty simple here. The name stealing isn't any more prevelant than any other business, especially the RPG where good original ideas that are mythologically based, are very hard to come by.

So why should I feel upset at Clark or Scott for trying to give us what we, the gamers want? I thought that's what D&D and d20 was about. Not about whose name is on the cover.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Re: My last post on this subject

JoeGKushner said:
Necromancer does indeed have a proven track record with many great releases and Rob, in my opinion, for 3rd edition, hasn't done a thing worth keeping.

As a reviewer and player of the game, for me, it's just that simple.

Agreed. While don't have the Maze series, I have skimmed Dark Druids. Let me say I put it down well before I got 10 pages deep into it. Even with stuff from guys like AEG and Monkey God Games, I can at least get through some of their modules and sourcebooks. I couldn't with this. I don't blame Troll Lords (I got copies of the first 4 modules. Pretty decent/good stuff.) But I do think Rob Kuntz has been out of the loop for too long.
 

Eosin the Red

First Post
JohnRTroy said:
When did I ever say you guys were conducting improper behavior. You are free to do what you want.

I'm just making sure you guys are not "mixing" the judgements. You have to seperate the various talents of the people involved, and seperate the public face of the people involved, from the judgement of whether or not Necromancer announcing a "City of Brass" right after they parted ways with Rob Kuntz from which they planned to publish a similar product might be a conflict of interest.
You chastise us for not having the facts and leaping to defense of someone on personal reasons, right before you sumize the case for us and indicate that in your opinion there is a conflict of interest. Curious?

Let me say with total confidence, that I am not mixing issues. Unlike others, I have made no comments on a case I don't understand. You should heed your own advice. Unless you understand the particulirs, let others handle the legal stuff.

But we are free to judge others public behavior, in fact for our society to function it is necessary. Posting private e-mails is poor form, unprofessional, and immature. Your continued defense of such behavior and your assumption of "facts" reguarding the case speaks volumes about who is biased on this issue.

I know people who will defend child rapists and drug dealers - I have a sick fascination with how others excuse bad behavior. While this is nowhere near the scale nor seriousness of such issues, I still find myself wanting to know how you justify RJKs behavior? How can you, in good faith, say that such actions are acceptiable? How can you defend another that does these things?

Where do you draw the line on the public disclosure of private e-mail? If your girlfriend posted a love letter would that be wrong? How about if you were told that you weren't accepted into a school? What if debt collectors posted your debts and lack of payments on message boards? How about if WotC sent an announcement to all of the relevant website that you had recieved a cease and desist?

My guess is that all of us will agree those are all wrong - so what makes it OK for your friend to do the same and for you to offer excuses for it?

[edit: clarified question]
 
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