Several weeks back, I made some cards for use with my favorite game of 2014, Shadows of Brimstone. I posted one group of those cards to this blog, and announced I'd be making more. While I did make several more, and have played a ton of the game in these past months, I never got around to posting any other Town Item cards here. I just used them in my home.
Some other fans have produced similar cards for their own use. Many of those were posted to the various corners of the web. This made my efforts less necessary. I slowed down my work a lot, and didn't feel very motivated to go to the trouble of posting the cards I did make. Why go to the trouble when there were so many alternatives.
At least one of those other fans made his files available via a "lightning press"-style company, where you could click a button, and pay money to have the deck printed commercially and shipped to you. The person who did this set this up so they'd get a commission from the printer, and the printer would make money, but FFP, the makers of Shadows of Brimstone would get zero money for it.
FFP, publishers of Shadows of Brimstone, asked that person to cease and desist. This was a completely reasonable request. As much as I support remix culture, copyleft, creative and artistic freedom and fan-created expansions, I can understand that Flying Frog Productions has a need to protect their Intellectual Property rights. The fan in question was profiting on these cards, which included significant amounts of text stolen straight out of FFP's rulebooks and charts. That's not cool, and FFP was in the right for asking them to stop it.
Today, that so-called fan tried to start a nasty rumor about FFP*. I'm not going to repeat it, or link to it because I don't want to give it any support. (Nor am I naming that person, nor linking to the printing company he'd partnered with, because I don't want this nastiness to drive any business or internet traffic to them.) From my perspective, it seems like that person is childishly lashing out in retaliation. I can only guess at their motives, but given the context the guesses that pop into my head are all pretty damning. That so-called fan's actions were reprehensible.
So, I'm taking the high road here, and am going to remove my versions of the Town Item cards from my previous post. FFP hasn't asked me to do anything of the sort. They probably don't even know my site exists or that I made such cards. But they've made their wishes clearly known in the more severe case of someone else making money by plagiarism and piracy, and I don't want to be (anything like) that guy.
*: Speaking of That Guy: He's responded at the original place and says it wasn't meant as a rumor, just a joke. Feels like he's just backpedal-ing once I called him on it, but I don't know the guy, so I can't really say what's going through his head. If it was a joke, it was ill-considered. Either way, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I guess I should give the guy the benefit of the doubt and assume he was so innocent regarding this that he had no idea anyone could misinterpret his words and motive the way I did. The alternative would be to pick further fights over the internet, and that's never a worthwhile use of time or energy.
(Also, FFP had previously announced they'd be releasing an "Expanded Frontier Town" supplement, which I assumed was new material, but I now realize may actually just be the sorts of Town Item cards that fans were making. I don't want my little fan project to make the original designer's previously announced expansion unprofitable. That would suck.)
I've been brainstorming entirely new cards for when my Brimstone encounter decks run low, and I'll probably still post those whenever I complete them. They'll be entirely new cards for use with the official Shadows of Brimstone blanks, not merely plagiarized or infringing text, and if I make them available, they'll be available for free.