After the longest court battle in the history of tabletop roleplaying games -- four years, eight months and 16 days -- the creators of Villains & Vigilantes have secured the rights to publish the game they created as teens in the 1970s. On Tuesday night, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman of Monkey House Games uploaded a version of the game to DriveThruRPG that included some new text in the copyright indicia (emphasis mine): The Monkey House Games logo is a trademark owned by Monkey House Games. All characters, character ... read more

After a 20-month legal battle, the creators of the super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes have prevailed in their court fight with the game's longtime publisher. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court for Arizona ruled on January 15 that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions of ... read more

An epic battle is underway over one of the oldest super-hero roleplaying games, but sadly it won't be settled by muscle-bound men in tights. The creators of the game Villains & Vigilantes, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Scott Bizar, the longtime publisher of the game. The suit, filed July 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claims that Bizar has no right to publish the game or any related products and illegally profits from their sale. ... read more

A story I missed last month: After University of Alabama-Huntsville professor Amy Bishop was arrested for shooting up her faculty department, Boston Herald reporter Laurel J. Sweet blew the lid off a shocking angle of the crime: Bishop was an avid player of role-playing games. Accused campus killer Amy Bishop was a devotee of Dungeons & Dragons -- just like Michael "Mucko" McDermott, the lone gunman behind the devastating workplace killings at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield in 2000. Bishop, now a University ... read more

I'm working on a relaunch of Wargames.Com, the wargaming site that attorney Wade Duchene and I successfully defended from a UDRP arbitration challenge by MGM Studios two years ago. The site began as a wargame store, but sales and traffic weren't enough to justify the aggravation of running an online storefront, so I retreated from ecommerce after 18 months. (I was the entire customer service department. You'd be surprised at the number of people who order from one web site, then call a completely different site to ... read more

I love the thick coat of BS that Wizards of the Coast President Greg Leeds laid down to justify the layoffs this week of around 20 employees, including longtime Dungeons & Dragons game designers Jonathan Tweet and Dave Noonan: Consolidating internal resources coupled with improved outsourcing allows us to gain efficiencies in executing against our major digital initiatives Magic Online and D&D Insider. Wizards of the Coast is well positioned to maximize future opportunities, including further brand development ... read more

I subscribe to Pyramid, a roleplaying game magazine published for the past 15 years by Steve Jackson Games. The company keeps track of past orders so you can redownload issues in PDF format. I found a surprise when I checked my subscription today. That's probably a bit more than I should have spent, but the deduction will make it a lot easier to pay my 2008 taxes. ... read more