Ripoff vs. Reference – Afterthought 20

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Where’s the line between a good old fashioned ripoff and a well-crafted homage?  At what point does imitation cease to be flattery?  Also what would we name our kids if we had to name them after our own in-jokes?  Find out here.

8 responses to “Ripoff vs. Reference – Afterthought 20

  1. I almost hate the fact I know this but the reason there isn’t a Sailor Earth is because the Sailor for Earth is actually Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon’s boyfriend.

    Also as a native Ohioan I associate Ohio with Bagels.

    • Having seen maybe a grand total of 2 episodes of Sailor Moon, I always assumed Tuxedo Mask was like the Batman in the Sailor Justice League. Everyone else is powered by some weird cosmic force and he’s just a guy with a tuxedo and a mask.

      • See he LOOKS like he’s the batman of the group, but actually he does have weird cosmic powers. It’s just that in the tv series those powers generally manifest as him throwing roses at people.

  2. Oh, boy, Rifts supplements sound hilarious. Ah, diversity for straight white male teens, edgy as heck.

    And I thought that old WoD supplements were the worst the world have to offer when it comes to weird-ass ethnic stereotypes (Rage across Russia made me laugh so hard I woke up my neighbors: WW clearly didn’t think that that work of art was going to be read internationally by the actual members of the described ethic groups ). Oh and they has magical Roma racist stereotypes book as well: hope new WoD is doing better.

    • The tricky thing with ethnic and cultural stereotypes though, is that you pretty much have to have some of them in your setting, because that’s the only way to even know what you’re aiming for. If you go out of your way to avoid having any, you have just created a generic fantasy/scifi setting that doesn’t evoke the feel of whatever real-world locale or culture you hoped it would. Like plot cliches, stereotypes are fundamentally useful, and the line where they become silly and embarrassing through overuse is blurry and thin.

      • Actually the line is rather clear for the people who are outside of the target audience (it holds true for sexism, racism, homophobia etc.)
        I can survive some of the bullshit and inaccuracy, no problems. But the said Roma book, well it was somewhat similar to a hypothetical African-American book full of Minstrel show fluff.
        I am not sure you can evoke the feel of a culture you know little about anyways, so the last point is somewhat contested.

  3. I agree that mash-up games can be fun if the blended genres have common themes and the game uses those themes to justify those themes, like Cronenbergian body horror in CthulhuTech or the outsider hero in G.M. Skarka’s theoretical Far West RPG.

  4. I have no idea why this might be, but this is the second time you guys discussed 3rd Edition D&D and the d20 system as if they came out in the mid 90’s. 3rd Ed D&D came out in 2000, TSR was dead at that point and Wizards was still finding its feet. To quote you about a hypothetical TSR Garfield RPG: “Which just means its going to be the OGL”. And chronology aside, TSR would have never done anything like the OGL, pre- or post- Gygax, so I find your confusion very confusing.

    Not to say that a Garfield RPG would have been good as TSR sort of game, either… “As a cat, you can optionally take either the Cute or Fat kits (see Appendix F), but it is assumed GM will place appropriate restrictions on core statistics for those that do.” Then it never mentions what those restrictions might be, or why they need to be there in the first place.

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