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Subject: No Mans Land help rss

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Brand Marsden
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Hello I am new to the board and have some questions i hope i am in the right spot. For the last few months I have been creating my own board game based on the graphic novel Batman: No Mans Land. I am not looking to sell or make any money off of this, i just love Batman and thought it would be cool to take elements from games i enjoy; Elder Sign, Arkham Horror, Last Night on Earth, and combine them with some of my own ideas of what would make the perfect game.

My question is am I allowed to ask people to playtest a game if it is copywrited material? Again im not selling it or anything its just for me and my friends, and anyone else who likes Batman.

The biggest issue i am running into is balancing the characters, and getting the difficulty right. Any help or tips anyone could give me would be appreciated. I have been working on this for months and it has become a bit of an obsession. And not to toot my own horn but its pretty great so far.
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Nate K
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Shouldn't be any legal issues if you're just playing it at home with your friends. You DO run the risk of getting Cease and Desist letters if you post too much information about the game on this or any other website, but even that's unlikely if all you're doing is discussing rules and strategy.

How does the game work?
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Brand Marsden
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I divided a map of Gotham city into gang territories like in no mans land. Joker two face penguin black mask all have territories. Batman has gone missing so it's up to his allies to save him to do so you need to get leads by defeating gang bosses and random villians. To defeat a boss or villians I took the play style of elder sign(matching dice ) . You also have to worry about the villians henchmen and thugs. Each round new thugs spawn on the streets and rooftops. When you enter a area you have to fight the thugs. Basically you fight as many as your attack attribute will allow the rest will be fireing ranged attacks at you. I chose a combat style sort of similar to last night on earth. So let's say you are fighting 10 thugs you will roll 10 dice. I should mention my dice have special faces which are bam1 bam2 bam3 agility science/tech and joker face. Every bam defeats that many thugs and joker face damages you

This is just a quick overview I would like to post more info and maybe get others to play but I'm not sure if this is the place to post it . Where should I go about this?
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Nate K
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Brandonvstheuniverse wrote:
I divided a map of Gotham city into gang territories like in no mans land. Joker two face penguin black mask all have territories. Batman has gone missing so it's up to his allies to save him to do so you need to get leads by defeating gang bosses and random villians. To defeat a boss or villians I took the play style of elder sign(matching dice ) . You also have to worry about the villians henchmen and thugs. Each round new thugs spawn on the streets and rooftops. When you enter a area you have to fight the thugs. Basically you fight as many as your attack attribute will allow the rest will be fireing ranged attacks at you. I chose a combat style sort of similar to last night on earth. So let's say you are fighting 10 thugs you will roll 10 dice. I should mention my dice have special faces which are bam1 bam2 bam3 agility science/tech and joker face. Every bam defeats that many thugs and joker face damages you


So what do agility and science do?

Quote:
This is just a quick overview I would like to post more info and maybe get others to play but I'm not sure if this is the place to post it . Where should I go about this?


Here's just fine

Do you get to play as different characters? It's been years since I read No Man's Land, but I remember Robin, Nightwing, and I think a new Batgirl showing up.
 
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Brand Marsden
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Yes characters are divided into 3 specialties; agile, detective, Deadly

The Agile characters are good at getting around and avoiding damage
.Nightwing
.Catwoman
.Spoiler

The deadly characters are good at taking down thugs and henchmen
.Red Hood(Jason Todd)
.Huntress
.Damian Wayne
.Black Bat

The detective characters are good at completing objectives and encounters
.Robin III (Tim Drake)
.Batgirl (barbra gordon)

Im also presently adding batgirl II some of the suicide squad, maybe captain boomerang or Deathstroke. Also some of the Birds of Prey also

Other people like Gordon, Bullock, Alfred will be used as ally cards, similar to ally cards in elder sign.

I know some of these people wernt around during No Mans Land, but im not really following continuity, as much as the overall style and feel of No Mans Land.

As for the other question about Science/Tech and Agility. There are certain weapons such as Remote Batarang, and Remote Electrical Charge Gun that will Hit on Science/Tech. Things like Batarangs, Whips, And bolas will hit on Dexterity.

The other die faces are also needed to complete certain encounters that deal with collecting clues, Escaping traps, fighting certain villians
Thes encounters are set up similar to Elder Signs room encounters. I switched the dice around to batman related things though for instance

Magnifying Glass X1 x2 x3 - has been changed to BAM x1 x2 x3
Scroll- has been changed to Dexterity
Skull- to Science/Tech
Terror-to Villany (Joker Face)

I will start posting pics and rules as soon as i can
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Brand Marsden
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Gotham City divided into Gang territory
Yellow= Penguin
Brick= Blackmask
Blue= Lock-Up
Brown= Two-Face
Green= Poison Ivy
Orange= Maxie Zeus
Purple= Scarecrow
Red= Scarface & Ventriloquist
Neon Green= Joker

The gun with the number is the max amount of thugs the area can hold
The squares are Where i am going to place the Buildings to show LVL 2 rooftops and LVL 3 rooftops.
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Brand Marsden
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here is an example of an encounter card
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Brand Marsden
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Robert Beachler
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Looks and sounds pretty cool. If you decide to distribute this as a Print and Play I'll certainly be jumping in on it.
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Brand Marsden
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Sure thing just got to tweek some things
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Ben Pinchback
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Ya, before I even read your post I thought, "This board reminds me of Arkham Horror." because of the city layout with different colored districts. That's not a bad thing, as AH is thematic and cool.

Seems like a ton of work though if you're just gonna use existing IP (Batman) and stop there. You should work an alternative theme where you overlay your own theme, art, characters, lore, etc and give it a go. It would be a shame to put so much time into something and have it inherintly limited by using someone else's IP.
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Confusion Under Fire
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I think the following is correct.
I think the mistake many people make about copyright is that it is ok to copy as long as you are not making any money out of it. This is not true. Think of a situation where you produce a free game just to discredit a company by purposely making it a bad game or where you alter characters to what a fan base may desire. Now I do not believe for one moment that this is your intention but just pointing out the fact that it isn't just about money.

After saying that how many people produce games at home for their family and friends to play that could potentially breech copyright. The figure is probably in the hundreds. Personally I think you will be ok to make your game for personal use but just be careful and aware of where you might be touting the game.

The board and cards that you have produced look fantastic and I wish you well in finding solutions to your system. You will find answers to most of your problems and realise new problems by playtesting. This is by far the most important aspect of creating a game. It can also make you become tired of the game through continual playtesting and as it is just for you then it might be ok to playtest as you go along but explain to the other players that some situations may cause the game to be broken. No matter how much you playtest it someone will find a situation that you did not think of so when you modify a rule try to see how it affects other areas of the game.
Good Luck
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Santiago
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Even not only due to the cases where there's damage to the brand, or and non expected use of it. Simply, one cannot reproduce copyrighted material (this is often no t just a character design, but names, other designs, scripts, brands, etc) if one is not the author, or have rights for publishing it, etc. No matter if it's all with very good will, etc. If permissions aren't granted,(contracts, all written stuff) no way around it. Again, something you do it at your home, without distributing (freely or not, that's not really the point) or publishing... No issues there.

Have seen quite some fan art pages, with no income, all very innocent, closed by letters from whichever the company or author(s). Not that I like this fact, btw. As I see no harm in it. Just saying how things are...
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Robert Beachler
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If this is simply distributed as a Print and Play game instead of a for profit deal I doubt it will even register as a blip on Warner Brothers radar. Artists create thousands of images using DC (and Marvel for that matter) characters on a regular daily basis and share them online. Some even sell them and that is not an issue.
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Brand Marsden
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I thought of the same thing so I am keeping more generic versions of everything i make to later make a game based on my own characters. However wanting a good Batman game in the first place is really what inspired me which is why I am starting with this. My alternate version would be more of a gang themed game where you take territory for yourself, one thing at a time however.

I will say this though it dosnt really feel like work to me because I very much enjoy the work, and usually work on it while my girlfriend is watching Housewives so it gives me something to do.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Brandonvstheuniverse wrote:

I will say this though it dosnt really feel like work to me because I very much enjoy the work, and usually work on it while my girlfriend is watching Housewives so it gives me something to do.


If that is "Desperate Housewives" then the bad news is it is coming to an end soon. I think it is the last series that is coming soon in the UK.
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Filip W.
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Brandonvstheuniverse wrote:
My question is am I allowed to ask people to playtest a game if it is copywrited material? Again im not selling it or anything its just for me and my friends, and anyone else who likes Batman.


No, you're not. You can't use any copyrighted materials without the IP holder's permission, except where it constitutes fair use. What fair use is, is often up to how good a bunch of lawyers the IP-holder has.

robbdaman wrote:
If this is simply distributed as a Print and Play game instead of a for profit deal I doubt it will even register as a blip on Warner Brothers radar. Artists create thousands of images using DC (and Marvel for that matter) characters on a regular daily basis and share them online. Some even sell them and that is not an issue.


And here's the crux of the matter: you aren't interested in whether it's legal but whether you'll get punished for it. You might, but the chances are pretty slim. As robbdaman says, WB aren't likely to ever find out about your game. If they do you're likely to get a cease and desist letter (i.e. "stop this or you'll be sorry"). It's very rare to be drawn into court if you're a small time player; it just doesn't pay for the company as you don't have enough assets to seize if you loose the case. And if you ever happen upon an IP troll that's the best way to proceed: tell them you haven't got a thing of value and they'll leave you alone (no profit in taking action).
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