Wednesday, February 27, 2019

To Recycle or Not Recycle Ideas In Published Works?

So here I am in my car on my Wednesday morning commute, trying something a little bit different. And forgive me if I get a little rambling or off topic, just kind of one of those things, and it seems like this may work out... or it may not work out. But I wanted to talk a little bit about recycling. This idea was prompted by the fact that after my podcast on taking notes, and catching the idea when it is when the Muse strikes, I thought it would be a good idea to go out and buy a standalone voice recorder Well, I found some inexpensive ones, but I'm kind of a cheapskate when it comes to some of that stuff and I couldn't justify spending even $20 for a voice recorder. So for the past week or so I've been just kind of trying to convince myself that I needed to spring for the hardware and then while having a conversation with a friend and hit me, I've got a lot of old technology just sitting around. I've got this recording pen thing and I thought I could use that. I just use the recorder. It wasn't working and I don't know why I didn't think about this at first, but I also have an old iPhone that is just sitting around collecting dust on my nightstand. I occasionally use it to as a soundboard for when I run games. I will use it to control my Bluetooth speaker so that I have other devices free, but for the most part, it just sits dormant. It works perfectly fine without a sim and it can still connect to Wi-Fi.  I just updated the OS so it's pretty functional and new. So why don't I use that? As a result, I am testing out this "new" old piece of tech and doing a Wednesday drive-time Microburst. That also led me to thinking about the idea of recycling things in games.

Now I'm familiar with the quantum ogre and this may kind of seem like that idea, but I'm really more interested in seeing how much can we recycle from a one published product to use in another published product. Is it worth it? Also, I have a lot of stuff that I end up throwing away when I'm working on a project or an adventure or a product that might well fit into another project. So I'm thinking let's go ahead and reuse.

For instance, you have an encounter that wasn't used in one adventure that you could easily move into another adventure if the players never experienced that encounter. They wouldn't be any the wiser. As far as reusing a an idea from one adventure to another, even if it's published, would that be ethical? Would that be smart? Maybe ethical isn't even a question maybe it's just smart? You could reskin something which also leads me to the question of what about reskinning an adventure and republishing the entire adventure? I have [an adventure] actually it's the only real published adventure that I have. It's a space horror, a gothic space horror adventure and a friend of mine has run this and reskinned it not just in space, but he's reskinned it for Rifts. He's reskinned for fantasy I believe. So why, I mean, how would you go about doing that? How could I reskin an adventure? And would it be okay to publish it? or How could I get more mileage out of a single adventure republishing it because sure a lot of good GM would be able to very easily reskin it but what about the people who don't either have the talent or the time or the experience to reskin it? Am I doing them a disservice? Or am I doing them a favor by reskinning the adventure? Call in let me know let's get a conversation going.

Something also occurs to me that the major publishers of adventures have been reusing and recycling material since the very beginning. I think there are three different versions of Keep on the Borderlands all with slightly different material and Wizards has been reusing a lot of the old TSR material, either updating it with some new stuff and new stats, also reissuing old material with new bonus material. Goodman games does that a lot, they will reissue old adventures with bonus material which I think is fantastic idea because it keeps those things fresh and not everybody has seen [some of those older] things. By reissuing it, it gives them an opportunity to re-advertise for those [adventures] and bring [them] to the forefront once again, and maybe give some new life to an old classic. That is extremely valuable.

The more I think about this, the more I think that yeah, this is an okay idea and why not?

Based on a transcription by

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