Friday, July 08, 2005

Big brother White Wolf

More than once have I wondered exactly how you are allowed to use the roleplaying games you own. With books and movies things are easy as the main way of consuming them is in a rather passive and "simple" way. Roleplaying games are a bit different. By using them you have to alter and use the material in ways the holders of the intellectual property never thought about. This in turn has lead to a culture of great freedom when it comes to the liberties taken with the material. People run games at conventions charging fees to cover their costs. Magazines publish unofficial material about the games (at least here in Sweden).

The reason for the rpg companies to allow this freedom is obvious. The games has to be able to be used to be popular. Most companies in the business do not got the money for heavy advertising, relying on fans to spread the word about the games.

This way of handling it may be about to end. With the beginning in 2006, White Wolf will ban all money transactions connected to playing their games if you do not belong to their official fanclub. It do not matter if the money is only for covering venue or material costs, as long as money changes hands you will have to register and pay.

I have been running an Orpheus chronicle for about two years. I occasionally charge my players a small amount for paper costs. This will now be considered illegal by White Wolf. Not that I will ever pay for this, but I really shouldn't have to break a law just to play the game as it was originally intended.

Read all about it at and cry...

Update: White Wolf seems a bit worried about the massive criticism on their new policy and seems ready to modify the rules a bit. Still stupid...

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