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Copyrighted Material Questions

Copyrighted Material Questions

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In the future, I'm pretty confident I am going to want to run Frog God Games' Rappan Athuk megadungeon, set in their Lost Lands setting.
I foresee a problem, I was hoping to circumvent...
...the Lost Lands Setting, and, no offense, Frog God Games' material, are kind of obscure. Most people have no experience whatsoever with the world of the Lost Lands; the history or the deties, most importantly.
I thought I would solve this, either by dedicating a Wiki or maybe linking to a handout to preface play. But I think this material would be copyrighted and linking to it or reproducing it from the manuals I own, would violate the rules.
Am I right on this? In real life, I think I'd just print off the handouts and give them to my players or email it to them ahead of the game? Would that be violating copyright?
I guess I'm just wondering how I can give players the materials they need to play the game and be immersed in the world while staying on the right side of the rules. Is there any advise, guidelines or examples?
EDIT: I have a feeling, though, the ultimate answer might just be I'll have to ask my players to purchase the materials.

There are a few players guides out for Frog God games stuff that you can distribute. I run a 5e Rappan Athuk game on here. Here is a link to the players guide, it is system neutral if you cut out the back section that has my house rules in it

Originally Posted by bwatford View Post
There are a few players guides out for Frog God games stuff that you can distribute. I run a 5e Rappan Athuk game on here. Here is a link to the players guide, it is system neutral if you cut out the back section that has my house rules in it
Hiya @bwatford I have a Pathfinder version of that same guide, but I've still got two issues:
1) The Player's Guide is still, copyrighted material and contains the text, "All characters, names, places, items, art and
text herein are copyrighted by Frog God Games, Inc."
So, you actually, might be in violation of the site's rules by linking to that download.
But I'm hoping a mod'll clarify.
2) The Player's Guide isn't actually suitable to what I want to do; while the stories around Zelkor's Ferry are colorful and good for establishing that location, creating plot hooks and foreshadowing, I'm actually looking to provide players with information about the deities, prestige classes and surrounding lands of the Lost Lands, so they can actually create characters from that world.
The Player's Guide is more about 'setting the mood' than actually informing players about the world of the Lost Lands.

Limited sharing of bits and pieces falls under the Fair Use doctrine, but if they need substantial access to the setting materials (to include the Player's Guide version), they'll need to own a copy. See this thread for prior interpretive guidance.


I do know that they are working on a setting book for The Lost Lands, which will compile a ton of the current scattered information. They have not yet posted a release date.

Right now players information is scattered through different "players guides" for the Borderland Provinces, Rappan Athuk, The Blight, etc.

It is something I would contact them directly about since they don't have an "acceptable use" policy available to read.

I do know that as far as art and graphics goes it is very limited to promotional stuff (Front Cover, etc.) I did purchase the VT Maps separate which gives use of those for gaming.

I also would distribute the players guides as they are in pdf, I would not copy information from it and post it.

Redistributing copyrighted documents is 100% against site rules unless the document author has provided an explicit release. The fact that the rules are available in electronic format does not by itself convey authorization to redistribute. The Rappan Athuk Player's Guide PDF is available from the publisher's web site for $4.99, indicating they are very much interested in being paid for their work.


It seems by trying to help I have earned myself a 6 point infraction.

Lessen learned, sorry for trying to assist.

Will keep to my games and go back to as little interaction with the community outside of that.
@Eric that was a dick move to accuse someone of purposely ripping a copyright page. The 5e copy of the RA players guide did not have a cover page or credits page when I received it. The 5e version is not for sale on the FG website. I received mine with the Kickstarter along with my hatdcopy and pdf of the adventure and maps.

I am not saying you should not have issued an infraction, but for someone that runs over 10 games here and has been around for quite some time, I believe the situation could have been handled much better.

Just my two coppers.

Pardon my jumping in here, @Eric , but shouldn't there be a warning of some sort before the infraction is issued?

Now, I'm not a copyright lawyer, But a DM who purchased a product legally who shares it with his players hardly seems to be the kind of case that copyright lawyers care about. In fact, a DM sharing a legally purchased players guide with his players has been the norm since the dawn of the hobby.

Is this the kind of attitude the Admins normally take toward what surely seems to be an unintentional copyright violation (if in fact it is at all)? From what I can see, upon seeing the suspected issue, there was no communication, only the assessment of the infraction. If the Admins plan to take this sort of "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude in general, then they will lose a lot of respect and, I suspect, users.

PS I might also note that the user was not trying to hide the fact that he is sharing the document with his players; notice that it was he who called attention to it himself, in an attempt to help out other user. Intentionally revealing his activity is hardly what someone who is intentionally violating copyright is likely to do.

Unfortunately due to copyright laws, a GM in an online game may not share materials online with others, due to the ability to make copies. It is not a great thing, but as Myth Weavers is a US site we are bound by US copyright laws. Such sharing in the past has led to the site receiving Cease & Desist orders, which can be followed with worse legal repercussions quite rapidly.

On top of that, it can cause the site to have Google Ads participation revoked (due to terms and conditions), which is the site's primary source of funding. Loss of funding, or having the site shut down due to copyright lawyers (Wizards' are particularly vicious) is something that is to be avoided at all costs.

Verifying copyright of a document before sharing it is completely on the individual sharing it, and members of the site agree to follow the site rules (which are linked) during the registration process.

That said, sometimes a knee jerk reaction occurs and things can be harsher than warranted. That is why we have an appeals process. An initial moment of, "Seems reasonable," can easily be, "Whoa, too harsh," upon reflection, especially with something that threatens the site.

@bwatford The infraction is being reversed, and I encourage you to PM (or DM on Discord) me if you have any follow up questions. Please accept my apologies for the entire situation.

Originally Posted by Colin View Post
@bwatford The infraction is being reversed, and I encourage you to PM (or DM on Discord) me if you have any follow up questions. Please accept my apologies for the entire situation.
And mine as well. (I could blame Colin for the staff training regimen... :o But then again, I did volunteer for duty.)

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