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Are there open source/creative commons fantasy worlds out there?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by J_C, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    What the title says. Somewhere in the future I can see myself creating an RPG, but I'm too lazy/too alone/too talentless to create a fantasy world from scratch. So I was wondering if there is some kind of already written world out there, which is open source and anyone can use it?
     
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  2. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    basically any mythology

    Irish mythology is incredibly underused in nearly all mediums despite being well preserved due to the gradual christianization.
     
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  3. Gregz Arcane

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    Mike Mignola wrote more than a few Hellboy arcs based on Irish mythology.
     
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  4. Bester ⚰️☠️⚱️ Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    LOTR enters public domain in 20 years. You should be able to finish your rpg by then, perfect timing. You can start now.
     
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  5. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    What's wrong with the usual general European fantasy grounded in history?

    I am telling you, something general and rooted in popular's common belief is easy to get familiar fast.

    YOu can do a quick research through ALL the common fantasy tales and find inspiration there.
     
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  6. fork Scholar

    fork
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    Lovecraft.
     
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  7. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You could always rip off the good ideas from /tg/
     
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  8. Blaza Educated

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  9. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    This, but specifically the Dreamlands setting would be good for a high fantasy game.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    W.H. Hodgson died in 1918, and the setting described in his classic novel The Night Land has been public domain for some time.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Artwork by Stephen Fabian
     
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  11. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    Robert E. Howard's work is also in the public domain. Of course, the problem with that is Conan is trademarked and they're rabid dogs about it. As long as Conan doesn't appear in the title or the description I think you're good though.
     
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  12. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Absolutely top class setting.
     
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  13. laclongquan Arcane

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    I suggest against Lovecraf in particular and horror in general.

    Reason: market is terribly tiny.

    Unlike the huge marketing breeze surround this topic, the reality is that people who actually like dark atmostphere and horror topic is a tiny portion of paying customers
    -- Counter: Dark Souls is not horror. Dark Soul is Skyrim focus completely on hard combat. Or to speak the other way, Dark Soul is fighting games in 3D environment. Not horror.

    Problem is, devs generally like to do artsy thing and horror is artsy.

    So they are going to sell like rot mud.
     
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  14. HoboForEternity sunset tequila Patron

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    Undertale
     
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  15. DeepOcean Arcane

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    Read a few books on history, the Bronze Age Collapse or roman civil wars have alot of juicy RPG material. If you are going for a generic fanatsy setting, it is better to go with your own.
     
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  16. Justicar Dead game

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    Prosper extented universe.

    :prosper:
     
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  17. deuxhero Arcane

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    How about early sci-fi, like Verne, where the heroes used new-fangled technology to explore the unknown? Plenty of monsters and civilizations to steal.

    Beyond that, a good chunk of early comics that aren't from the big 2 or Faucet are public domain and could be a good basis for a superhero game. Be warned a good chunk of them, like Conan, have very anal trademark holders. Likewise, there's a bizarrely eccentric mix of films that are public domain due to that time when copyright had to be manually renewed.
     
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  18. fork Scholar

    fork
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    If you start your argument from the perspective of what would sell best, I'd suggest not starting at all, because your product will be shit.

    The thing with Lovecraft is simply that most peope don't get Lovecraft or are untalented hacks incapable to translate the material properly. There's really no satisfying Lovecraft game that I know of. So there's a challenge for a dev who loves Lovecraft and wants to do the source material justice.

    And Dark Souls' atmosphere is bleaker than most horror games.
     
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  19. laclongquan Arcane

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    Hahahahahaah

    A typical answer from artsy lover.

    For one thing, I suggest you focus attention to my word "tiny", not "paying".

    You will only make a game for maybe ten thousand audience, and possibly 1 or 2 will buy your Lovecraft game.

    But then artsy lover like their artsy game and the less people like their art the better. because "tragic misunderstood art creator" is one thing they like as well.

    They also fap to exhaustion with the concept "artist starved to his death due to misunderstood art and no one buy his arts."

    "His" because sensible people usually beat sense into artsy girls and force them to marry so their husband can take care of them.
     
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  20. Moaning_Clock SmokeSomeFrogs Developer

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    As others pointed out dead authors are a great source (if they died long enough ago). As for open source games that establish a universe - The Battle for Wesnoth (for actual stories) or NetHack (for creatures etc) maybe? I would also suggest fables from other countries and mash stuff together.
     
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  21. Humanophage Arcane

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    I agree that a mainstream mythological setting complete with realistic geography would be good. The less you twist it into weirdness, the better. Also Hyboria is a pretty great setting, and is actually more fun if you don't concentrate on Conan.

    It is nice when people use existing settings instead of creating the umpteenth slightly different take on fantasy. It really lends the game a sense of depth, and often helps them not to make things excessively epic and gameworld-defining. For comparison, Pathfinder has a pretty generic setting, but it still feels deeper and more detailed than e.g. Pillars of Eternity because it has been worked on for a long while.

    Darkest Dungeon? Silent Hill? Resident Evil? Cthulhu is essentially a pop culture phenomenon.

    Also horror is generally trashy and low-brow, not artsy. Lovecraft is distinctly less trashy on his own, but is usually redone in such a way as to be trashy.
     
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  22. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Take time to understand the open gaming license(specifically, understanding what is product identity) and you can pull OGL material from the likes of various OGL-licensed TTRPG material, including D&D 3.5e/5e system reference documents.
    essentially everything you find on this site(and its sister sites) are part of the SRD and fair use:
    https://www.5esrd.com/gamemastering/monsters-foes/

    If somethingis in both pathfinder and D&D, odds are really good that it's OGL content btw.
     
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  23. laclongquan Arcane

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    From my impression Silent Hill is hyped as fuck but actual sales is... so-so? for their level of fame. 8.4 million unit over the whole series compared to 105 million of RE. Same deal with Darkest Dungeon. 2+ million for a single tittle is good but compared to RE it's just peanut. Artsy, the lot of them, but not selling as hot cakes.

    And Resident Evil is essentially Hollywood horror, aka with only the label on. it's more like action game with some horror elements as dressing~ Like I described Dark Soul as fighting game combined with Skyrim and cover with horror elements.

    I know you are going to react to my "rot mud" comparison, but all the artsy developers are going to notice is that DD sell, SH sell, and they will keep on doing their artsy game and starved. half starved because our society is not barbaric.

    As for "horror is not artsy", that is what you think. Artsy devs dont think so. To them horror is artsy and they damned well going to bring their art to the mass.
     
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  24. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Steampunk.

    Steampunk also is artsy as fuck. I love steampunk.

    But my horror argument also apply to steampunk too. Audience sized is tiny compared to other subgenre.

    Our Rpgcodex steampunk game is Arcanum and its actual sale is not that good. There's other reasons for it but steampunk, ingeneral, test audience's mind, which mean lower sales.
     
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  25. Unreal Arbiter

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    steampunk is one of the worst genres in existence
     
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