One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Thanks for posting Andy! Technical issues kept me from responding. If you are reading this post but have been unable to post recently, delete your cookies and the problem should be resolved.
Since Andy successfully posted, I presume that everyone else in the OJ Editors usergroup also has had their permissions changed.
Ron and I've discussed release dates. The end of this month is not possible but wasn't terribly unrealistic. It looks like we'll actually release OJ 15 in mid-July.
I'd also like to discuss the future of the OJ. For the next issue, our submissions include a gazetteer entry on Ahlissa and the revised Geopolitical History of Keoland. We also have a graphics intensive article about the Calendar of Oerth (including imagery of the constellations) and a chronology of Greyhawk.
Because of law school and other committments, the time I give the OJ is very limited during the spring and fall. Also, most of us have had less time for "extra-curricular" activities like the OJ. What are your thoughts as to production and regularity?
Hi Marc and everybody else who reads this,
Thanks for the update! I figured with Law School time is at a premium. With a new IT position and a 1.5 year old I can relate with time shortage. I also think it is reasonable to reconsider when we can produce a new issue. Trying to push out one out four times a year may be tough. Maybe we should shoot for 3 or even twice a year? Also who is handling what parts now of the OJ? Marc is the editor in chief, but what is everybody else doing? Right now I have only been writing articles. Also maybe we should be looking getting a few more people to help out. It has seen to me that all the political issues have been worked thru over the past few years. It is too bad to see some people come and go but I think this group has matured to be more stable. Also Marc can you create a group with all active OJ members and send us an email? That way we can all get addresses for each other. Well that all for me. P.S Hey Nell, You live in Concord NH? I live in Milford NH we will have to talk off line some time
Aka Fallon the Ranger/Sage
At latest count, these people constitute the OJ staff:
Marc Tizoc Gonzalez
In addition, Nathan Irving has access to this folder - as do the regular CF! editors.
In terms of duties, I'll describe my perception of them, and folks will correct me as useful.
Family committments arose some time ago and interrupted Chris Anderson's ability to help. While the committment remains, Chris is interested in supporting the OJ when it ends. When he was active, Chris helped with the first review of submitted works and also engaged the substantive editing of the Keoland piece.
Ron's new son and full time work restricts the time he has for OJ illustration and layout, but Ron remains our production editor. For this issue, I've found pertinent art at Elfwood and also asked my wife to up the number of pieces so as to maintain a good selection of art for the issue while reducing Ron's load in this aspect of his position. If the OJ was ever submitted for an ENnie or some other award, given the quality of issue 14, I have little doubt that we would win the top prize. In no small way, that quality is the direct result of Ron's craft.
I've already described generally my time constraints, but here I'll add that absent a group of folks able to help with different components of Journal production, I find it difficult to exhibit consistent motivation. Related, if not directly, are the recent spate of flamewars on GreyTalk and the general dearth of GT posts: with you I can honestly and directly say that my interest in GH has waned substantially since the release of issue 14. I'm hoping this folder and the improved communication it facilitates will help revive interest in the Journal. As for duties, I review submissions and then edit them substantively -- typically using several rounds of edit - revise - edit, with no preordained deadline. Instead I work a piece until I think that no more editing would be useful. The intent is to hone an author's work to communicate effectively the ideas presented.
In the past, Allan has helped with the initial review of submissions, but his main work is the interviewing of GH luminaries. Most recently we've had difficulty securing Modi Thurgosson's (sp?) (the author of the Vecna graphic novel) interview, but we do hope to conduct it, and he already sent us (Allan) a review copy.
Issak's education has limited the time he has available for OJ editing. Similarly his plan to submit additional Pale articles has been interrupted. Issak helped review submissions and contributed his own submissions.
Andy also has helped review submissions and as noted in a previous post provides us with a steady supply of submissions.
What I could use from everyone is increased communication about the time you have available. Ideally, we could check in at least every month with an update. However, more than anything else, it be great if someone was interested in engaging the substantive editing of accepted submissions. While time intensive, this is the step that I presently do for every article, and it is this "apparent" aloneness that most obviously affects my motivation to keep working.
Thanks for the update MTG. I can pick up more editing if that will help. I have a couple of friends who are Tech writers and get a kick out of this stuff. Besides I'm their DM... I can do content and they could do grammar. Just a thought
In addition, Nathan Irving has access to this folder
I feel special...and it's not just the little white pills. :-)
My time is severely limited, since I'm a) working on my house, b) dipping my toe into the rpg pdf market, c) running a weekly campaign, d) contemplating another campaign to replace the existing one, and e) just generally doing stuff. I can no longer use getting married as an excuse, since I did that last weekend. :-)
However. In an effort to seem like I'm being helpful without actually doing anything, I'll happily volunteer to oversee and edit one regular OJ department. My preference is for something to which a standardized outline can be applied, but I'll take whatever Marc wants to assign me.
Marc, you're doing a great job. Hang in there. I don't want the job back. :-)
Re: schedule: I managed to get issues 8, 9, & 10 out at a roughly 4-month interval, or 3 a year. It worked, but I was working much as Marc is now (doing nearly all substantive editing, plus layout and art), and it worked at the expense of my personal writing and creativity. With a reasonable diversification of jobs, though, a thrice-yearly schedule should be possible without requiring blood (honestly, I've always thought a quarterly schedule, while neat and pretty, essentially a pipe dream.)
Fallon: I'll send you an email next time I head down to the Wizard's Tower, and we can meet there?
who's got to be bloody flippin' insane
Hey guys. Thank you Nellisir. I accept your offer! Of Oerth & Altar is presently the most consistently published column. In this issue (15), we will publish "Norebo: the Daredevil" by Paul Rokuskie, aka Jachyras. Up next is a version of Pelor by the same author. I've already edited it... but of course everything can use an extra pair of eyes! I'll email it to you.
Regarding your technical writer friends, Andy, would any of them be interested in receiving credits for their help? The biggest article in the queue that is not completely edited is Kirt Wackford's revision of his "Geopolitical History of Keoland." If you and your friends are willing to take it on, then I am ready to "let go." Either respond here or email me again, and I will forward you the latest revision of the article. Additionally, I will introduce you and Kirt.
Presently the OJ is layed out. All the text has been formatted. I have a couple illustrations in the works and I am talking with a friend from work who illustrates for comic books. He said he could help with a couple. I am shooting for the end of this month (July).
I won't be working full time anymore as I will be starting law school in mid-August. I will be doing some freelance at my present job while I attend school. I am not sure how much I can offer at that time. I will have to wait and see what free time I have. Right now I think I may have more, but I can't promise that as I may be seriously deluded ;-) _________________ bree yark!
Does this mean that you're going to illustrate all those called for in the druids article? I have the remaining drop-case letters to send you. Otherwise, I have no further art although I've asked for Naomi to draft some images to accompany the folklore article...
Marc - I sent you a few emails after I received that article, and am waiting to hear back before I do anything. let me know if you need me to resend or rephrase the questions. I just want to be clear on how you want things done.
I'll be out of town until Sunday. I'm flying to Boston tomorrow morning. I was unable to scan the final drop-case letter (for the Norebo article), but it has been produced. I also need to finalize my editorial.
This looks great! I'll continue reviewing it today and will send any corrections to Ron directly. The only staff members no longer a member during issue 15's production are Russ and Vashnaar. While Vashnaar should remain credited for his logo design, he should be removed as webmaster. I'll work on shutting down that old website...
If anyone else, Issak, Allan, Andy, have comments/corrections, please send them directly to Ron and cc me. I am not requesting additional help on this final line edit, but if you feel so moved, go for it.
Ron, thank you greatly once again! The cover is striking, the design looks great!
Very soon, either via email or this folder, we should discuss the future of the OJ. I'll start:
Both Andy and Issak indicated interest in taking the reigns. Ron has informed me that this will be his final issue as layout/design man. He may be able to contribute one or two pieces of art for a future issue, but that is not guaranteed.
For my part, as I've indicated several times amongst us -- the OJ staff, I recognize thoroughly that the OJ ranks below a host of other daily and weekly priorities for me. It has languished.
If either, any, or most of you remain dedicated to the idea of publishing the OJ regularly, then please post a brief prospectus outlining your vision and production schedule for the next two issues.
We have several submissions already in initial editing for issue 16 and additional submissions that might be good for 16 or for issue 17. What the OJ requires is a team of people willing to prioritize the project and having the time to produce it regularly.
I've been loafing and not very active in GH stuff at all this past semester. At least now I'm educated, but jobless. I'm certainly interested in the mantle of the OJ, as well as continuing and re-starting my GH interst. Of course that does come after a job, but we'll see how things go.
M:tG asked me about hosting the OJ with its own site. I've been wanting to do that for sometime now. I mentioned it back in the Jason days. With www.GreyhawkOnline.com hosting CanonFire files, Grodog's site, Greyhawk Risk (I wish he'd re-create the title page), and another GH site I think it is perfect. In fact I've purchased www.OerthJournal.com....yes, so now we can have a spot for it to be directed to from CF. I've always been one to believe that the OJ should have its own website - bring it more concrete with the umbrela triad of CF/GHO/OJ. See it all fits so nicely. And most besides us won't know that its all the same. So we can have a site dedicated to the OJ, as I think that Marc wanted, I always pushed for and something Rich wanted so as not to "bring down" CF with its lackzidaizal (SP?) style of publishing!
I'll have oerthjournal.com up and running - right now it is propogating throught the net for its pointers.
Now that I have some time I'll be looking at the boards more often (yes with oerthjournal.com we can have our own mailing list as well as forums not on the CF Site). I'll set up an OJ mailing list if M:tG gets me the members.
Anything else I can do for the OJ?
War, power and conversion -
Theocrat Issak _________________ Theocrat Issak
Let's try to cobble together some pages. Vashnaar's going to send me the old hypermart site, and we can use parts of the present CF OJ webpage. I've been back at coding HTML this past week -- working on several websites related to my student activism that lack proper webmasters, so I could try to put some time into designing a simple OJ page. However, if things go well, I'm about to start working part time, which will be great but crazy once school starts again (on the 20th).
Also, Ron has already started school again. He has all the edits I've provided, so I think 15 is closer than its ever been -- which is why I put that bit on the frontpage in the CF Crier...
Yeah, M:tG, I'm having add-on issues with it right now. I'm working with tech support to find out what and why I'm having the problem.
Hopefully OJ.com will be up by this weekend. I'd love to have it up for the opening of OJ 15 - as well as make that the place to get the rest of the issues as well as the Best of AOL's PDF's. But that's for later.
When the site is up, I'll make an account for you to access the FTP as well as a generic master account to pass on to Ron, and whom ever else needs it.
Theocrat _________________ Theocrat Issak
Everything Looks Great!!! Congrats to All. I had sent Marc an email when he asked if anyone was interested in taking over the reigns of the OJ and outlined my ideas for the OJ. Rather than bore everyone with the full tilt here it is in a nutshell. I think our user community is shrinking. The average age is growing an unless we start attracting new memebrs in 10 years we might not even be here. Greyhawk is still the best gaming world out there. It's very rich in its history and has huge amounts of potential. WoTC has shown no interest in keeping it alive for the most part. The only way we can keep it going is by spreading the word. I think its great the Issak has a few sites available and the time to maintain them(I do hope you find a job, though, being unemployed does have its downsides!) I think we have to work with other sites and communities and bring interest back. Canonfire is still the best site but some people have shied away do to flame wars on greytalk. We have to bring them back. Also what has happen to all those people that have contributed in the past? The other thing we have to do is really get the journal on a schedule and make it. Its pain to do but we have to it. There it is in a nutshell. Again the OJ looks great.
I'm really, really, really sorry I continually flaked and never helped out.
Fallon - Just a few thoughts: Canonfire! (I was suprised to notice) has over two THOUSAND registered users. I don't know how many are signed up for Greytalk, but I'd expect not more than a tenth. So flame wars on GT do not, IMO, necessarily affect CF!.
Publicity (and nostalgia) are key -- I've noticed a generally amiable attitude towards GH, CF, and the OJ on the boards that I frequent. The trick is to build on that goodwill. Reliability has always been the OJ's bugaboo -- with all due respect to MTG, the fastest OJs were my first...3? (was I editor for 3 or 4?). Unfortunately, I found I could either write or edit, not both, and I prefer to write (why I'm only restarting now, after 5-ish years, is another story).
What'd be nice is someone or someones with the time and mental fortitude to troll all the LG mailing lists and pimp the OJ to the masses -- get the people burning to write something outside of their region to write for the OJ.
Enough for now...I'm old and out of touch.
Yes, Nellsir's OJ's were done very well and quickly, but I think that with a few hardcore dedicated people like Erik, Gary, yourself and Roger writing it might have be easily done. Even the OJ of a few years ago was good and quickly done - although there was a lull there for a while. But with the advent of the d20 system, Greyhawk has been lost to the massess, 2K registered users not withstanding (I'd think that the actual person count is likely to be 1.5K or so with people double registering).
With the Council handing the reigns over to Jason and then to Marc the OJ has been in good hands. I've always believed that the OJ was as good as Dragon magazine in terms of canonish material - I know that my Pale articles were researched and checked - even moreso with Marc's handling of the OJ. This is something that needs to be continued with the next editor. Yes, I too would like to be the next editor - but I know that my past 2 years has been lackidazial - but school tends to do that too me (how Marc did it all is beyond me). Plus I feel that I have to put forth the effort into a real life game (otherwise what's the point of all this work).
As such I'd support Andy's role as a potential editor, but I'd love to continue to help and work with the others invovled (I'll finish my articles on sorting the many new domains and the weather). I'd like to re-establish helping as an assistant editor like I did with Marc and some articles.
As for website hosting - it's only $7.95 to buy a domain name at godaddy.com and I've shown time and time again that I don't mind spending money for the betterment of the Greyhawk Community (well, the wife's money right now). We've got lots of pictures from the Luis Porter book (it allows companys to use the artwork for any of it's purposes - and as I am a member of The Thursday Group this is allowed - for CanonFire, the OJ and whatever else we produce), as well as the 2 commishioned pieces that we have. I'm also still paying $6 a month for cafepress - which has now cost me almost $30 and I've only purchased 3 shirts. So if we continue not to support it though no advistersing I will quit paying for the premium service (it allows the ability to have more shirts and other things vs the 1 shirt). I originally wanted the pictures to use as tshirts for cafepress, but we can also use them thoughout the site (like with what Gary did with the elven archer) or for cover/ interior art for the OJ. So even if I'm not the editor, I'm at least still willing to help host the website (I have oerthjournal.com and still have lots of room on the server). I'm not that good at html or whatever it is done in now-days so someone else has to be able to do that, but I'll grant any access that is needed.
So I think that for future OJ's a better presence is needed. A mixture of CanonFire support, EN World, an OJ website and blasting of of many forums. Many forum members at WotC don't know about CanonFire, so keeping in touch with that forum is important. We have so many smart dedicated people here at CaonFire and GreyTalk that content shouldn't be too difficult, it's the keeping of the information in an easily understandable format.
Well that's all for now. I'll be at chat thursday. _________________ Theocrat Issak
Yes, Nellsir's OJ's were done very well and quickly, but I think that with a few hardcore dedicated people like Erik, Gary, yourself and Roger writing it might have be easily done.
I'm not sure what this means. If it's addressed to me, and you meant "...might have be[en] easily done..." then check my issues. Erik (Mona), Gary (Holian), and Roger (Moore) didn't write anything for me (and neither did I). They all disappeared into Team Greyhawk at that point. Getting OJ articles has -never-* been easy.
*Except maybe issue 1.
If it's addressed to someone else, and you mean to say "...it might be easily done...", then...perhaps. But I wouldn't expect to get any of them (except, possibly, Gary.)
I'm not trying to start an argument. But running the OJ has never been easy.
I've always believed that the OJ was as good as Dragon magazine in terms of canonish material - I know that my Pale articles were researched and checked - even moreso with Marc's handling of the OJ. This is something that needs to be continued with the next editor.
I'm all for canon material, so long as whoever edits the OJ doesn't -require- canon. There are some damned interesting non-canon games out there, "Gunhawk" and "Middle Oerth" being the two I always think of (being as old and stuck in the past as I am). I'd love to see variant GH campaigns/material in OJ.
Congratulations Andy: it looks like you'll be moving into the EiCship. In principle I'm willing to stay-on as Senior Editor or somesuch, but practice may prove me unable to help this coming semester. On Tuesday I begin part time work as a law clerk in addition to taking classes, writing my law review article, student activism, being a good husband, and my position in the Nat'l Latina/o Law Student Association...
As far as I know, Allan remains interested and available to help with editing. Allan's help in finishing the line-edits for issue 15 was invaluable.
Ron, as I've indicated previously, must end his role as graphic & layout director. He may be able to help supply one or two pieces of art for the next issue but is a husband, father, worker, and a 2d semester law student...
Tzelios indicated interest in joining the OJ team and is eager to learn about his duties. I've given him access to this folder and invited him to post an introduction. Most of you are already familiar with him from postings on GreyTalk and here at CF.
Yesterday I rec'd another email from a fan indicating interest in joining the editing team. I'll follow up with him later this morning. So far he sounds like a good candidate: he edited a student publication during his college years.
The following articles were submitted and have already been accepted for issue 16:
Oerth & Altar -- Pelor the Great Source by Jachyras
Geopolitical History of Keoland by Kirt Wackford (with cartography by Eric Anondson!)
Alternate Oerths -- The Principality of Ahlissa by Scott Casper
These articles have all had initial edits but could use more work. Substantively for the 1st and 3d and mostly in source collection/citation checking for Kirt's piece (available long ago in a different version on the Codex of Greyhawk).
Also both Andy and Issak submitted tentative article proposals -- Andy's piece being a short story about the gnolls of the Vesve Forest, and Issak having a Complete History of the Pale as well as a Weather of Greyhawk article.
Finally the CF poster who recently uploaded his Mist Golem adventure has indicated interest in posting the second part of his trilogy in the OJ.
I've been thinking of going through the OJs and converting the Oerth & Altar specialty priests to prestige classes, and otherwise updating them mechanically (no change to background info!). I could simply post them on CF!, but I think it'd be more appropriate (and I'd have more motivation) in the OJ, since that was where the articles originally appeared.
Absolutely! I think that many fans would love that kind of an article -- though to be honest, my "spider sense tingles" now that we've released the OJ again. Wizards is hard on their d20 license, and all kinds of folks agree contractually to it.
While I believe that the OJ remains protectible* by fair use and noncommercial doctrines, I've yet to find good caselaw. It's a long-term project for me (probably publish on it next year or just after graduating) but something to be aware of as an author...
*protectible rather than presumptively protected, in other words, if push came to shove things would suck for us more than for Wizards (until we received final judgment and won the appeal!)
Absolutely! I think that many fans would love that kind of an article -- though to be honest, my "spider sense tingles" now that we've released the OJ again. Wizards is hard on their d20 license, and all kinds of folks agree contractually to it.
A number of D&D campaign fansites, including Al-Qadim, Planescape, and Dark Sun, have released 3.0/3.5 rulesets for their respective campaigns. To my knowledge, they've been alright, and the material has been far broader in scope than anything the OJ or Canonfire! has ever published.
No matter how you slice it, we're using WotC's property. I am NOT a lawyer, but I have a relatively good understanding of the d20 and OGL license, and back when they came out, I advised Gary to totally ignore them. CF! and the OJ survive solely on their fansite status. IMO, it actually opens up alot of options -- I won't use d20 material from 3rd party publishers, but I'm free to use anything from any WotC product -- something I can't do with a d20/OGL product.
Hope that makes sense -- basicly, I think WotC can crack down as hard as they like on the d20 license, and it needn't affect the OJ. If the OJ paid any attention to the d20 license, the OJ wouldn't exist.
As an aside, I think the OJ should be posted somewhere that doesn't require registration to download, and any protection on the pdf file should be disabled. It's protecting a free product that can't be legally commercially reproduced anyways.
I saw Gary's recent post to the editors list about making the OJ section of CF easier and with thumbnails. I'd like to see this and a combination of what Nellsir's talking about with free downloads. I think the CF should link to oj.com which would have thumbnails of all the oj's. But I'm guessing that most of that is out of my hands - I just provide the space and domain name - not, faciliating the releasing of the journal.
On the d20/OGL front I have to agree that we're under the fan status and should be ok. But if WotC did wish to punish us for our sins, it would be more of killing our content and removing it and not a fiancial aspect of things. But I doubt that is the case. I stated previously that I believe that the OGL title would become bigger than d20 alone - as as such, with OGL we (authors) can use stuff from other companies in our writings for Greyhawk content. We can also use WotC stuff, which publishing companies would not be albe to use that is not part of the SRD, because of our fan status.
Be kind to animals! _________________ Theocrat Issak
I stated previously that I believe that the OGL title would become bigger than d20 alone - as as such, with OGL we (authors) can use stuff from other companies in our writings for Greyhawk content. We can also use WotC stuff, which publishing companies would not be albe to use that is not part of the SRD, because of our fan status.
For the time being, I'd stay far, far away from any attempt to be OGL compliant. Personally, I'd stay away from 3rd party projects altogether, unless you get their permission beforehand to use their material in a non-OGL fashion (as copyright holders, they can grant that)*.
The exact issue is labelling Product Identity. In using the OGL, we are required to identify any of our PI, and cannot use anyone else's. We don't own Greyhawk or any of the associated terms -- we can't legally mention GH AND do right by the OGL. Doing otherwise is like robbing a bank, and then paying taxes on the proceeds. Sure, we're rendering unto Caesar...but it's still stolen. It's a mess we're better off staying far away from.
I'm a huge supporter of the OGL and the d20 system, but it doesn't apply here. WotC is letting us play in their boat -- don't rock it.
*Incidently, I think 90% of publishers would have no problem with an author using material from one of their products in a free fanzine, including PI and other protected terms. PARTICULARLY if it introduces their product(s) to a larger, closer to "core D&D" audience, and links their stuff with The Original Campaign.
Grr. I lost a post describing my understanding of the law and don't want to retype. ;)
In summary: IP law provides for fair use (copyright) and nominative-noncommercial (trademark) exceptions. As fans we arguably fall into these exceptions and therefore might succeed if the issue were ever litigated.
Licenses fall under contract law. Under contract law, fans could lose (bargain away) their fair use and noncommercial "rights." That's why it's crucial never explicitly to accept either the OGL or the d20 license. However, if the matter was litigated, a court might find that we implicitly (by our behavior) agreed to the license...
Remember this is not legal advice! I am not an attorney!
Onto the OJ per se (legal joke there): Ron removed the protection and took care of a lil error that popped up. This new version has been uploaded. The baby is done.
I remain ambivalent about signing into CF. We work closely with CF and but for Gary's programming would not have the digital support CF provides. If he prefers all downloads to be available only to folks who sign-in, that's not unreasonable. However, I agree that the OJ needs its own website -- something more than an index, a pretty yet simple (functional) site. The main thing I'd like is for the OJ staff to record accurately information about downloads. This information is interesting and provides a sort of benefit to the staff. Did you know that OJ 14 has been downloaded over 6,100 times! It's not crucial that we know this kind of information, but it's not unreasonable of us to want it.
If potential readers may appear to download the files from the OJ website *and* from CF, I think it'd be best. However, I'd want one accurate number of the times the issue has been d/led.
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