On Tuesday I came across a game called A Slight Mistake. It is a Pay What You Want game on RPGnow but do not pay anything to the author! When I say author what I really mean is thieving scum bag.
A Slight Mistake is, in the ‘authors’ own words…
“For a few years now, I’ve been writing a series of novels set on a Dyson Sphere.
Then the opportunity arose for me to run a game based upon them. I created a beespoke set of rules, based upon my own preferences and so I decided to put it out there and see if anyone else would like to play it.
I’ve broken the rules into two books, the GM’s guide and the Player’s guide. Hopefully someone out there might find this useful.
I’ve set it to ‘pay what you like’ as I know this won’t be everybody’s preferences.“
You see the bit where is tries to say “I created a bespoke set of rules” what he actually meant was “I ripped off Rolemaster or HARP and try to pass it off as my own.”
The only bit that is ‘his’ is that he turned the individual combat tables into something that looks like this.
He had the amazing thought of grouping spells like this
And that weapons could have their own fumble charts like this.
The combat system seems oddly familiar, lets look at shields and parrying.
I guess you get the picture?
Isn’t it amazing that half the time we agonise about how we can share playable adventures or NPCs without violating ICE’s intellectual property while someone else will happily rip off the entire game system.
I did vainly try to see if there was a mention of Rolemaster/HARP anywhere, any sort of acknowledgement or word of gratitude but nothing. The only kind of introductory preamble is a push to get you to buy his book on Amazon and a reference to Star Trek TNG. I won’t be buying his book.
I am not entirely sure if ICE can do anything about this either. You cannot copyright game mechanics and he has not used any of their logos or trademarks. It is just a wholesale plundering of ideas and presenting them as his own.
It wouldn’t surprise me if his next book was about a sea captain that builds a submarine and sails around under the ocean. He could call it “69046.767miles under the sea”. That is unique after all.