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Two Cities of Brass?

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CRGreathouse

Community Supporter
Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

rpace said:
It's been said that NG has every right to publish a D&D book with that title, but, if they are an ethical company and Clark Peterson is the stand-up guy most people say he is, then they should dump the title. A book about the City of Brass doesn't have to carry that title.
I want NG to publish City of Brass. I want it to be titled "City of Brass", too.

I know NG will make a good write-up for the City. I trust Clark completely in terms of ethics. I have no reason to think consumers will be decieved -- surely if they care that much about RJ they'll check for his name on the cover?

My only questions for Necromancer: When will this be out, and when can it be preordered? :cool:
 

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rpace

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Nightfall said:


That is absolutely the most circular reasoning I've EVER seen posted on any message board. There's no way RK EVER had any legal claim on the name. Just because a product has the same name as something else, doesn't make it illegal to use it. Hell the entire RPG community has used many of the SAME titles in different ways. If Necromancer games came up to me and said "We want you to write a sourcebook about the Abyss." I'd be happy to do that.

Necromancer games expected to see some results from the Maze series in terms of finishing it on time. RJ did quit on them. Those are facts.
Sigh. . . .

Please -- ask someone with the time to explain to you just what circular reasoning (or logic) is.

While you're waiting for that to occur, please reread my message: I wasn't even suggesting that there was any legal prohibition against NG using the title.

To some people ethics and ethical behaviour are important. Right now, NG isn't acting in a manner I consider ethical.

Had they approached Kuntz with their own, already named project and he bailed, they'd be ethically in the clear to pursue someone else for it -- it was always their project, after all.

They wanted his City of Brass and, when that didn't work out for various reasons, they announced they were publishing their own CoB -- effectively destroying Kuntz's ability to sell it elsewhere.

Legal? Probably.

Ethical? No.
 

Lucifer

First Post
Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

rpace said:
then they should dump the title. A book about the City of Brass doesn't have to carry that title.
How about the "City of a yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes including small amounts of other metals, but usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc"? :)
 

Lucifer

First Post
Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

CRGreathouse said:


I want NG to publish City of Brass. I want it to be titled "City of Brass", too.
All indications are that it will be entitled the "City of Brass"


I know NG will make a good write-up for the City. I trust Clark completely in terms of ethics. I have no reason to think consumers will be decieved -- surely if they care that much about RJ they'll check for his name on the cover?
According to Clark he said they are using exactly zero of anything that Kuntz may have supplied or discussed. So, everything seems to be good.


My only questions for Necromancer: When will this be out, and when can it be preordered? :cool:
According to the press release they made, it comes out in Spring of 2003. It will be 128 pages or more. It seems that it will be soft cover and sell for $19.95, though there is talk on the Necromancer message boards of possibly bumping it to a hardcover book similar to Necropolis.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
rpace said:


Sigh. . . .

Please -- ask someone with the time to explain to you just what circular reasoning (or logic) is.

I know what it means.

rpace said:
While you're waiting for that to occur, please reread my message: I wasn't even suggesting that there was any legal prohibition against NG using the title.

To some people ethics and ethical behaviour are important. Right now, NG isn't acting in a manner I consider ethical.


Really? Because they want to give the people what they want, instead of waiting probably years for one man to make up his mind? Especially since he pulled out of his contract WELL before they even GOT to this product?

rpace said:
They wanted his City of Brass and, when that didn't work out for various reasons, they announced they were publishing their own CoB -- effectively destroying Kuntz's ability to sell it elsewhere.

Legal? Probably.

Ethical? No.
They want A City of Brass. It's not Kuntz's in any sense, other than it's a city filled with Efreeti and Noble Efreeti, much like if they had done an Arabian sourcebook. Necromancer might not be doing it the way you'd like by calling it "City of Brass" but it's not like they are doing anything even remotely unethical. If it's unethical to use a name, we should really stop stealing halflings, cause everyone believes they were ripped from Tolkien. Is that ethical?
 
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rpace

First Post
Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

CRGreathouse said:

I have no reason to think consumers will be decieved --
My concern isn't for consumers -- who often only care if they, themselves get screwed-over.

My concern is for freelancers -- of which I am one -- and publishers behaving in an ethical manner.

NG may be a haven for otherwise exemplary ethical conduct, but this incident has them behaving far below what I consider a professional standard.

I don't for a moment think that many consumers care if a freelancer gets ripped off. . . .

Some of you should think for a moment -- I expect professional people to behave better. In a more ethical manner.

And you're disagreeing with me.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

rpace said:


My concern isn't for consumers -- who often only care if they, themselves get screwed-over.

My concern is for freelancers -- of which I am one -- and publishers behaving in an ethical manner.

NG may be a haven for otherwise exemplary ethical conduct, but this incident has them behaving far below what I consider a professional standard.

I don't for a moment think that many consumers care if a freelancer gets ripped off. . . .

Some of you should think for a moment -- I expect professional people to behave better. In a more ethical manner.

And you're disagreeing with me.
I'm not quite a freelancer, but I don't see a problem with what Necromancer is doing. If they want to give the public a product that someone else isn't willing to take the time and energy to do it right and in a timely fashion, I don't see the problem.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

Lucifer said:
According to the press release they made, it comes out in Spring of 2003. It will be 128 pages or more. It seems that it will be soft cover and sell for $19.95, though there is talk on the Necromancer message boards of possibly bumping it to a hardcover book similar to Necropolis.
This is something I'd wish they'd do. If nothing else it could be in same vein as Necropolis, especially if they add in more stuff, say for Elemental Gods or perhaps even connections to other planes.
 


Outlaw

First Post
Ethics of publication

I'm not quite a freelancer, but I don't see a problem with what Necromancer is doing. If they want to give the public a product that someone else isn't willing to take the time and energy to do it right and in a timely fashion, I don't see the problem.

And there's where you're going to continue to disagree with rpace, Nightfall. You're not a freelancer. You're a consumer. You're going to get a quality piece of work from a company that you're a fan of. What's the problem?

But for those of us who do the work behind this, there is a problem. Rob Kuntz has no legal right to the City of Brass. Everyone is quite aware of this. He IS, however, the person who wrote the original D&D adventure. He is the author who brought the myth to the D&D world. His name is associated with the myth within the D&D world. Although not ownership, in terms of marketability, it's the same thing.

The law cannot support his claim to the material, but his name has been established with that product. He was contacted by NG to write a new module based on the original for 3E publication. Both parties agree that the CoB release date was pushed back until after other publications like the Maze series (so don't say he couldn't deliver). Ties were severed and the project goes on anyway.

As a freelancer, that worries me. If I publish work and am contacted to do a new version of that work, regardless if I have actual ownership, my name is associated with that work. rpace is right, Rob will have trouble shopping the project to other publishers because they don't want to overlap identical projects. That will diminish sales. No company, not even those that had contacted him directly with interest in the project, want to take on something that won't sell well.

Consumers are going to get what they want, but I as someone who is still working within the industry (including being contacted to convert Rob's material to fit the rules that I know much better than he), I am nervous of a similar situation happening to me in the future.
 

Dragongirl

First Post
{sarcasm}Well then, lets start making a list of things that can't be written without permission of the person most know for writing about it . . . Even though orcs, elves and dwarves are all in historical references, it is Tolkein's idea of them that pervades in most Fantasy RPG worlds and since he is dead, guess we better get the permission of Tolkein Enterprises. But then Gygax is the name most think of when thinking of D&D, maybe we need his permission to write ANYTHING about it. {/sarcasm}

Please!! It didn't work out between NG and Mr Kuntz, let it go. Mr. Kuntz should just wait and see if any of his materials are used in the NG product, if so sue them, if not, get on with his life. He doesn't own the idea, unless he is some Lich centuries old that wrote the original references.
 

rpace

First Post
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

Nightfall said:


I'm not quite a freelancer, but I don't see a problem with what Necromancer is doing. If they want to give the public a product that someone else isn't willing to take the time and energy to do it right and in a timely fashion, I don't see the problem.
I'll take a shot at clarifying the problem:

I've been around gaming long enough to know about RJK's CoB long before D20 (Hell -- long before 2E). The fine folks at NG also must have been around that long -- to the point where they wanted Rob's CoB when they started their business relationship.

The project gets announced -- a larger group of consumers now want the project -- a project that would not have existed without Rob's original work on it.

So we can agree that City of Brass is an extant D&D property, as yet unpublished -- largely due to D20 being a recent phenomenon.

By extant, we should understand that means there has been work put into this project prior to NG's involvement.

Terminate the business relationship.

RJK has a project he's now trying to publish himself.

NG's decision to pursue their own project of the same name and subject when they know RJK will be trying to publish it himself intentionally undermining a project by a former freelancer.

If it were merely the content NG were interested in, then it's unlikely they would have hung onto the title: most people are unaware of the source for City of Brass and it previously only carried much weight in the D&D community when attached to RJK's name or early issues of The Dragon.

From the outside, it looks like NG is intentionally damaging a former freelancer and potential competitor.

Did NG really have to immediately publish a City of Brass book when they knew RJK would be publishing it elsewhere?

Do they really have so few projects on their list that they have to rework, from the ground up, another project they know is in development?

Did they really have to keep the title?

No. No. And No.

By doing several things they didn't have to do at someone else's expense they fall below what I consider a professional standard of ethical behaviour.

How many of the people here cheering for NG's CoB wouldn't buy this supplement from NG if it bore a different title?
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
I honestly wouldn't care. BUT will say I am a Freelancer, BECAUSE I AM in a product by Bastion Press. Therefore, I DO have some right so say how I feel. Just because I may not have the experience, doesn't detract my own knowledge. I HAVE knowledge of some of the stuff that it takes to get published. I just choose NOT to flaunt it because I respect the people I work with.

As for Clark, he's been there BEFORE there was a 3rd edition or a d20. He's said as much and I believe that Anthony Valterra can back that claim as well.

The product WOULD have existed since 2nd edition has used the city in reference along, along with 3rd. Are we to believe that just because Kuntz wrote it, that maybe the product won't be different, or that it might bear SOME similiarities to an existing product? That's happened a lot at WotC. Are we to then assume they are the bad guys?
 

Horacio

LostInBrittany
Supporter
So...

I've been out of boards all the weekend, had other thing in head...
And now it's too early here in the west corner of the old world, so my only surviving neurone may get overclocked if I think too much...

I fI have undrestood it correctly, Mr. RK is rather angry because he think that he has the right to write City of Brass, as he wrote the original, so he write it... And the folks of NG write their own version based on the original public domain texts... And now we will have two different versions of the City...

And some people are angry with NG because they think that only RK, who created the original adaptation for D&D should write the new adaptation for 3e...

Choose the version you prefer. Mr. RK has his name, and a long tradition of D&D works, NG folks have some (IMHO) great modules, see both versions, compare them, and buy that you think better.

But please, people, don't try to ban somebody to do its own adaptation of an Arabian Nightss mythe. It's not as if NG were going to make it's own Middle Earth, or Planescape. Mr. RK made a good job, but he doesn't (IMHO again) own the idea... And everybody has the right to give his/her vision...

And for the Meta fans, yes, this is almost something new, I agree with the dangerous Dragonperson of last post...
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

rpace said:
Did NG really have to immediately publish a City of Brass book when they knew RJK would be publishing it elsewhere?

Do they really have so few projects on their list that they have to rework, from the ground up, another project they know is in development?

Did they really have to keep the title?

No. No. And No.

By doing several things they didn't have to do at someone else's expense they fall below what I consider a professional standard of ethical behaviour.

How many of the people here cheering for NG's CoB wouldn't buy this supplement from NG if it bore a different title?
Why should THEY be the ones to change? They aren't the bad guys.

While it's true they have a LOT, they are committed to the gamers. That's what 3rd edition is about. Not waiting around for some RPG fat cat writer to write at his own pace. Now we can have our choice and have our voice be heard. That's part of the fun for me as a writer, listening to INPUT.

As for how many would be cheering, doesn't matter, cause I cheer for these guys 24/7. They are class act. Always have been and always will be.
 

Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Dragongirl said:
Please!! It didn't work out between NG and Mr Kuntz, let it go. Mr. Kuntz should just wait and see if any of his materials are used in the NG product, if so sue them, if not, get on with his life. He doesn't own the idea, unless he is some Lich centuries old that wrote the original references.
Amen to that DG. Horiato, I agree. But I guess some people still believe that there's only "ONE TRUE WAY" to write RPGs...
 

rpace

First Post
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

Nightfall said:


Why should THEY be the ones to change? They aren't the bad guys.

While it's true they have a LOT, they are committed to the gamers. That's what 3rd edition is about. Not waiting around for some RPG fat cat writer to write at his own pace. Now we can have our choice and have our voice be heard. That's part of the fun for me as a writer, listening to INPUT.

As for how many would be cheering, doesn't matter, cause I cheer for these guys 24/7. They are class act. Always have been and always will be.
I don't think you're comprehending any of this -- perhaps it's really just outside your ability to understand the ethical issues involved.

They're the bad guys because they aren't changing the name.

~R
 

Dragongirl

First Post
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ceasar's Wife. . . .

rpace said:


I don't think you're comprehending any of this -- perhaps it's really just outside your ability to understand the ethical issues involved.

They're the bad guys because they aren't changing the name.

~R
There was a City of Brass before Kuntz ever wrote about it. If he wanted his original work to be more unique, maybe HE should never have used that title.
 

Le Freeke

First Post
Maybe Wizards of the Coast will jump in here and declare their own City of Brass. After all, the write up for the Efreet in the MM has a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge (by MM standards) description of the City of Brass.

That's their PI.

Nuh-unh.

Yuh-hunh.

Nu-unh.

Shut up.

No, you shut up.

Loser.

I know you are but what am I?

LF
 

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