Villains & Vigilantes Creators Win Settlement to Publish Game

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 ... (read more)

Villains & Vigilantes Creators Win Rights to Game

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 ... (read more)

Villains & Vigilantes Creators Sue Game's Publisher

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 ... (read more)

Boston Herald: Alabama Shooter Played D&D

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, ... (read more)

Creating a CSS Menu Bar with Listamatic

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 ... (read more)

Streamline Your Consolidated Resources

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 ... (read more)

Most Expensive Magazine Subscription Ever

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)

Game Designer Rob Heinsoo Meets Roy G. Biv

Rob Heinsoo, the lead designer on the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, began his new blog with an amazing story about how he stopped being colorblind: Until 2006 I was colorblind. Show me a sunset and I saw shades of green. Hand me a pink shirt and I was sure it was grey. Before my first date with Lisa, my future wife, I gave her my address and described my house as the gray house on the corner. The only gray house on a corner anywhere in the neighborhood belonged to the local drug dealers, ... (read more)

Non-Disclosure Agreements Have No Saving Throw

Last Friday, Wizards of the Coast published the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the first major release of the game in eight years. During the development of the game, the company has been so generous with confidential information that it got almost 1,000 people locked under non-disclosure agreements. The company has followed this up with a friendly warning that in spite of the game's release, these people are bound until the end of time by the agreement: Q: Can I talk about my playtest ... (read more)

LiveJournal May Be Unsuitable for Minors

While reading roleplaying game designer Chris Pramas' blog this morning, I discovered that LiveJournal can display an "adult content notice" when one of its bloggers is talkin' dirty: In this case, Pramas was discussing a fight that took place at his bus stop between a drunk and a middle-aged Native American with a walker. This paragraph contains a gerund that could potentially be unsuitable to minors: As we were finding seats, somehow the tide turned. Walker guy had gotten his arms around the ... (read more)