Willem Verheij
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I am working on a game, and it is mostly similar to A touch of evil.

At least in the part that the map is more a local enviroment and players get to pick one of various heroes with their own strenghts and weaknesses, and various tests need to be overcome.

Very different setting however, and there won't be much gear gathering.

Still, the basic concept of this combat system seems like it would work well for what I have in mind. I tried some other things but it usually ended up being too complex and thus taking up too much time.

But the thing is, would it be alright to use this way of combat? characters having a combat stats that determines the amount of dice they roll for the damage they deal?

Or at least start with this system, and maybe modify it a bit as I go along to suit my needs? I'm considering using custom dice for example.
 
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Mauricio Montoya
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Mechanics are not and cannot be copyrighted. You will get in trouble if you copy original texts verbatim, any original art, the fictional setting from an existing game (if it isn't in the public domain), use similar or derivative names, brands, or copy any physical device originally created for them, because those things are protected by copyright, trademark or pantent law and belong to their respective creators/owners; but game mechanics aren't protected even if some designer was the first to come with the idea, because methods (as in the steps to carry over an action using any object or tool) aren't covered by any of that legal hullabaloo (thankfully). The dozens of new tile laying games that come out every year don't have to pay royalties to Klaus-Jürgen Wrede (Carcassonne) and his game wasn't even the first one that used that mechanic.

Besides that, the dice pool concept (rolling an amount of dice equal to a given stat number and checking for successes or fails) isn't an original idea from this game. Role playing games like Vampire The Masquerade already used it in the exact same way a couple of decades before AToE came out.

The whole thing was the crux of a big legal fight among TSR and Mayfair back in the 80's because TSR was trying to sue anyone that published RPG systems with dice throws and similar stats to D&D in them. It never held in court, and they only succeeded in scaring away the small publishers that didn't have enough lawyers to put up a fight. The very existance of AToE nowadays is proof that you cannot get in legal trouble for having the same mechanics as another very well-known game.

Now, using a lot of similar stuff on your own game can bite you back for a completely different reason. While you won't get into legal trouble, people may not give your game a fair chance if it's seen as just a rip-off from a better one. So make sure you either have enough differences to generate some interest, or that your game is significantly better in some key aspect(s) despite the similarities (shorter/longer/simpler according to taste, better written, better illustrated, geared to a different public, has less fiddly rules or components, etc).
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
United States
Oakland
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What about this?

Time Travel Mechanism Patented by Looney Labs: http://www.wunderland.com/LooneyLabs/PressReleases/ChronoPat...

 
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Willem Verheij
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Thanks, thats a very good explanation.

It's definatly going to be quite different, if a game like what I had in mind existed, I would buy and play that instead of trying to make this.

It's a fantasy theme for one, but unlike most games like that, it wont be a hunt for gear. No leveling or gear grind. Each hero starts with their own assets instead, they come fully prepared.
It's more about choosing the right gear for the location you'd be heading to. Plan your adventure out.

 
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Mauricio Montoya
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randomlife wrote:
What about this?

Time Travel Mechanism Patented by Looney Labs: http://www.wunderland.com/LooneyLabs/PressReleases/ChronoPat...



T.I.M.E. Stories says hi!

Sure, you can patent pretty much anything as long as you throw enough money at it and describe it in a convincing/vague/obscure/ambiguous manner on the documents, as demonstrated by the amount of patent squatters that did the paperwork for imaginary non-existent stuff 20+ years in advance of the people who actually put their money and brains into inventing them them for real, and also by other people that sucessfully get patents for ideas/things that have existed as common knowledge for years or even centuries.

But it doesn't mean that those patents will hold up in a court case. Once again look at the huge amount of legal disputes with patent squatters over stuff whose ownership cannot be enforced or sustained (i.e. using cross-shaped buttons as a directional pad on every controller/remote out there), or ideas that existed as common knowledge but were issued a patent because they were descibed in a weird way and the patent office's worker didn't read it thoroughly that day (i.e. A method to transform food with the application of indirect thermal fluctuations... or what we know as cooking a meal).

And sometimes people try and succeed in patenting stuff that really isn't covered or enforceable under patent law but is already protected in part under something else, like copyright or trademarks, because legal stuff is really confusing for people like us. And this kind of thing only helps to make it even more confusing.
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