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Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: shadowcat (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2006 01:24PM
Hello:
Longtime reader of both Clark Ashton Smith and the site, just never had a need to create a thread. Does anyone have any information of who one would contact to license Clark Ashton Smith material for a product such as for a role-playing game?
I know that some companies, like Chaosium and Wizards of the Coast mention various Smith aspects of the Cthulu Mythos in their products, but I am kicking around the idea of organizing a book that encompasses the cycles of Hyperborea, Xiccarph, Poseidonis and Zothique and I am in contact with an rpg publisher that is interested in Clark Ashton Smith and sword & sorcery in general.
The idea came from an enjoyment of Clark Ashton Smith and seeing how well another fantasy setting, Glen Cook's Black Company series, was handled by Green Ronin (not the company I am seeking to work with) and figuring that this can be done with the fantastic works of Clark Ashton Smith. The idea is to get the works of Clark Ashton Smith back out into the mainstream and create a product that people enjoy. I was hesitant as there are many adult themes in the works of Smith, but there are also in the Black Company books as well and this is handled without diluting the source material.
My purpose is not to exploit Smith or ride the coat-tails of a superb writer, anyone who knows the rpg business knows that it is mostly a labor of love and not a high profit endeavor (unless you are one of the big guys, which I am certainly not). I really enjoy many of the themes and stories that Clark Ashton Smith presents and as many games and supplements have used his ideas, maybe it is time his ideas were used within their own context. If the idea takes off, by the way, I am by no means interested in being the sole contributor and would certainly need help in putting the work together.

Thank you for your time,
Steve


Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2006 08:17AM
That would be Bill Dorman. Contact me offlist for information. However, be aware that Casiana and Arkham House, which acts as agent for the Estate, have had bad experiences with rpg companies, and are as a result somewhat leery of such proposals. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Blame the guys who burned them in the past.

Scott

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: shadowcat (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2006 10:28PM

Thank you for the reply, I appreciate that very much. I am going to backburner this idea for now and work on something related, but not using any actual Clark Ashton Smith material or IP.

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: DanHarms (IP Logged)
Date: 21 October, 2006 10:34AM
For future reference, the RPG rights to Smith's material have already been assigned.

Dan

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: shadowcat (IP Logged)
Date: 21 October, 2006 11:12AM
Excellent, as long as something comes of Clark Ashton Smith's work in this hobby. The company I was going to try the idea with is currently down to one person (the president/owner) and I am trying to get him to pay one of the artists who has been owed money for a year. So, it seems, I was not going to get very far with them anyway. If payment takes that long, I am better off not even getting started with them. My front burner sword and sorcery idea at least pays upon publishing.

I hope that whoever is working on an rpg of Smith's work gets it in print and on the shelves.

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: patmal3 (IP Logged)
Date: 24 October, 2006 05:39AM
hello
I am 35, born in switzerland, live and work in paris (I speak french, so please, excuse my sometimes unapproriate english !). I am a comic book artist, and a long-time fan of CAS's works.
I just read that you want to do a rpg based on smith's cycles.
Matter of fact, a few years ago (well, 10 years ago, okay…), I did create a rpg based on zothique. I could never publish it because the price of the license was too high (the french rpg compagnies could not afford it - small budgets they had !)
I have a lot of work already done for this rpg, and - I think - some good ideas to respect CAS 's cycle.
On eldrithdark.com, you can have a look at a small presentation of my rpg (in english !), plus some illustrations I did at the time (just type my name : patrick mallet, and you will have the correct links). I do not draw this way anymore, but at the time this was what I did…
I don't want to interfer with what you have in mind for your rpg. But if you need collaborators, I would be very pleased to join your team !
What I can offer you is this :
- my rpg "zothique, the last continent" can be a part of your global rpg on smith's cycles
- I did a "zothique encyclopedia" (in french…) with every important name of the cycle followed by a small definition
- my talent as an illustrator : recently, I did a comic book adaptation of "vathek" by william beckford. If you know smith well, you might have heard of that book, a 1001 nights-like story of an omnipotent caliph who goes to hell. I put some CAS's themes in that comic book, because it has a quite similar atmosphere as zothique's. I can show you some extacs of it if you want.
- for years, I have been doing rgp layout for a few rpg compagnies (multisim, for dark earth, deadlands and nephilim ; plus I designed the jack vance's adaptation of his Lyonnesse cycle in french)
regards
see you
patrick mallet

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: shadowcat (IP Logged)
Date: 24 October, 2006 02:46PM
Patrick:
You have created an excellent rpg framework for Zothique. Maybe you can find out who has the rights to the rpg and submit your ideas. The basic structure is good, but you will need to expand, provide magic examples, a bestiary, sample characters, etc. When you release a game based on a setting there will be people who buy the game before having read the stories/book(s) that the game is based upon. You will also need to provide narrative that evokes the feel of the world of Zothique. More illustrations, even a few to start chapters or fill in the blank spaces can add a lot of appeal for people as well.

shadowcat

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: patmal3 (IP Logged)
Date: 25 October, 2006 03:50AM
thank you !
…but I thought YOU were going to create a rpg based on zothique…
as for now, I don't really have time, energy and money to go on doing such a work all by myself (…sometimes I wish I could !)
that's why I would have been pleased to join an already existent team
what you are listing here is exactly everything I still have to write, and it is so much work !
here in france, rpg is not very wealthy (some would say it keeps dying for years !), so there are not really a supportive market here to do such a thing (again, it would be a pleasure to join an american team !)

patrick

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: shadowcat (IP Logged)
Date: 25 October, 2006 09:16AM
Well, as Dan Harms mentioned, someone else has the rights to the game and I will be doing my own sword and sorcery thing that is not rpg and pays better. The rpg company whose system I wanted to use is rather delinquent in their payments to at least one artist, therefore this is probably for the best. Rpgs anywhere don't make much money anymore, unless it is one of the big companies, like Wizards of the Coast or Palladium.

So, sure, I did want to get involved, but if another company has taken up the game there is little that can be done about it.

Re: Licensing of Clark Ashton Smith material?
Posted by: cataclib (IP Logged)
Date: 1 March, 2015 08:04AM
DanHarms Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For future reference, the RPG rights to Smith's
> material have already been assigned.
>
> Dan

How can we be sure of this? Where did you get this piece of information?



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