Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Oh Palladium Books, Why Can't You Get With the Times?

A confession: I love Palladium Books and Palladium Fantasy Role-Play in particular. I love the settings more than Greyhawk, more than Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, and more than any home brew setting I've ever done; BUT as things stand right now you will never see me post anything about my own efforts in those games. You will never see me create random charts, monsters, classes, or adventures for it. 

Why? 

Because of their restrictive internet policy. Unlike Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and most independent game companies active in the market today Palladium Books demands that anything you create for their game be given over to them and put under their copyright. While it is true that they are well within their rights to continue acting like the world is the same as it was in 1995, it is also true that few in this age will go along with that policy. I know I certainly won't and surveying the blogging community I only know of three blogs that even come close to supporting Palladium Books products.

Yet even if the internet policy were fixed Palladium would still have an uphill climb because of how bloated the system has become. The whole system - which is a lot of fun if you use nothing but the core books - needs to be cleaned up and simplified again. The storylines need to be refocused and in general the whole thing just needs a good refurbishing. Then it needs a version of the open gaming license so that all of us who love it can openly support it and create the sort of community that exists for Dungeons and Dragons.

Yeah, none of that is going to be happening anytime soon because Siembieda doesn't see the need. But I'm still bitching about it because I would love to put stuff out there and won't until the internet policy is more open and reasonable for this day and age. So I guess I'll be holding my breath until I get my way. 


8 comments:

  1. Growing up down the road from Palladium's original offices, I and my Gaming Amigos always tried to support the company. 'Rifts' is a fun game with fine concepts, but man, I have a hard time to this day with anything that uses the prefix 'mega'. And, as you say Charles, system bloat. Holy sagging book case! Thankfully -that guy- that made off with my MERPS boxed set (I'll find you, bitch.) also had most of my Palladium material when he vanished. More room for all kinds of other stuff I'll never crack open. I can dig a company wanting to protect its IP where the core is concerned, but in this day and age the virtual world is where ideas are created, mutated and tweaked. For God's sake, writing about someone's game is going to drive at least one person to find said game, buy it, maybe run it and if he likes it, tell his friends about it. Or at the very least, drop a disrupter cannon that doubles as a four foot diamond tipped chainsaw into his 'Caves of Chaos' 5e game. It, of course, deals Megadamage, is being wielded by the minotaur and, yes, it has seen you.

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    1. Fucking megadamage laser guns haunt my nightmares,

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    2. Actually all megadamage weapons do, but laser guns hold a particularly bad place.

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  2. See, I have a love hate relationship with Palladium. I grew up and still live in the Detroit vicinity, so Palladium was a big deal. I love TMNT and Palladium Fantasy. Rifts grew too fast and was too "cannony" for my tastes, but it was still cool. I loved a lot of Palladium's stuff, but always hated how tightly they held their IP and how law suit crazy Siembieda seemed to be. That said I am taking ideas from Palladium Fantasy and shoehorning them into "Goldenrod."

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  3. Some of the folks in my gaming group were talking about this just the other day. The consensus was that while the concept behind Rifts was awesome, the game had become unplayable and that Stan Taylor's Pockets Full of Adventure was a superior take on the idea.

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  4. It's on my bucket list to create a Rifts game using either the Savage Worlds rules, or maybe even D&D 5th edition. The game was a lot of fun, but between convoluted mechanics and serious system bloat, it really isn't/hasn't been playable. It would be so very doable, but unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time to devote to a project like that. A collaborative effort with a large group of internet folks would be the way to go, but if Palladium caught wind of it, they'd do everything in their power to shut it down. Which makes me sad.

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  5. I've been writing and posting about Rifts and Palladium in general on the internet since the internet was called the Information Superhighway. I've never been given notice or heard a peep from Palladium. I've never, in fact, met anyone who has been given a C&D or other legal-type notice from Palladium. I read on online forums all the time how someone knows someone who heard about someone else getting threatened by Palladium, but I disregard that as hearsay and bullshit. However, Palladium has a LOT of problems, all of which reside in the owner/writer/publisher being trapped in the 80s.

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  6. I got a C&D for posting a correct mini-missile table in a private (but unsecured) folder for my gaming groups back in like 95 (maybe 94, maybe 96). Took all my palladium content offline, and started playing other games. I guess I saved a bunch of money, so win-win?

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