Author Topic: Anybody Still Have the UMT?  (Read 5894 times)

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Offline Kwan Yu

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Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« on: June 18, 2009, 05:34:54 PM »
Since the SDS has discontinued all 3rdR distribution, I was wondering if anyone could shoot me a copy of their Unified Tech Manual? Or was it copy protected?
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 11:29:53 AM »
It's not copy protected and several people on the list will have a copy. However, everyone will be a little reluctant to get involved though due to Marvin Lamb's (the owner of Starfire) attitude towards 3rdR. Although the rulebook is 'out of print', he is still threatening legal action against anyone who copies it so you will need permission from him for someone to send you their copy.

Steve
 

Offline Kwan Yu

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 03:48:15 PM »
Thank you for the reply, Mr. Walmsly. I'm not in dire need of it anyway, that I would risk troubling Marvin over it. I doubt he'd respond anyway, no matter if I did buy all of his 4th & 5th edition products before I was interested in 3rd edition. I'm still playing 2nd ed from 1984. I know most of the player's, yourself included, were huge fans of 3rd ed, but I still have so much more fun without the record keeping of every missile and PU growth accounting. I'm a huge fan of the novels, though and I can't wait to see if Steve White follows up on his Exodus series. I guess the fun for 2nd ed is that it feels more like a Pen & Paper edition of Master of Orion 1, which is still my favorite 4X Strategy game. I wonder if Microprose actually based a lot of MOO1 on the TFG's Starfire, because I noticed Mr. Lamb's name among the "special thanks" credits of both games. Oh, well.  If someone wishes to contact me about my above request, please feel free.
 

Offline Tregonsee

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 11:29:39 AM »
But does Marvin have legal standing should one person who owns a legal copy sell it to another person?  If he does not, I would like to buy someone's (should they not want it anymore)
 

Offline Kwan Yu

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 03:02:05 PM »
Tregonsee brings up a very good point, and I too wish to extend an offer to purchase someone's right to own the PDF.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 02:24:29 PM »
Quote from: "Tregonsee"
But does Marvin have legal standing should one person who owns a legal copy sell it to another person?
No idea but it is a fascinating question. I had a quick search but this was the only page I could find that even referred to such a situation.

http://http://www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/Copyright.html

Steve
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 04:56:07 PM »
Steve, I read that interesting link.  That webpage seems to accurately describe the situation that'd be involved with something like the UTM.
 

Offline miketr

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 12:59:36 PM »
I take it from this that Marvin is still having his fit over 3rd Ed.  What is the status of the new 3rd project, Cosmic Starfire?  After a couple of years off I am looking at starting a new 3rd Campaign and having copies of core rules for new players would be helpful.  So I take it that we can't buy even Sky Marshal II and 3rd Revised?  

Michael
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 02:52:18 PM »
Quote from: "miketr"
I take it from this that Marvin is still having his fit over 3rd Ed.  What is the status of the new 3rd project, Cosmic Starfire?  After a couple of years off I am looking at starting a new 3rd Campaign and having copies of core rules for new players would be helpful.  So I take it that we can't buy even Sky Marshal II and 3rd Revised?  

Michael


Michael,

I am in a fairly unique position to answer some of these questions (or direct you to where you might get some answers), given that I just happen to be the Lead Designer of Cosmic Starfire and, now, a member of SDS.

First of all, I'd suggest that you visit the new SDS site and SDS forum:

SDS Site: http://http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/index.php

SDS Forum: http://http://www.starfiredesign.com/forum/



Secondly, from what I can see on the current SDS Ordering page (  http://http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/order/index.php  ), it does appear that the 3rdR rules, nor SM#2 nor the UTM are available for sale.  However, you might want to consider joining the SDS Forum and posting a question about this in the General Starfire forum, and see what sort of response you get.


Thirdly, Cosmic Starfire is progressing slowly, so don't be expecting it any time soon.  I'm the only person writing the rules, though I do have a small handful of people with whom I brainstorm ideas, etc. (I also took a few months off from working on Cosmic because I was a bit worn out from focusing on it so intensely for so long.  But I'm back in the saddle again...)

I suppose that I should say that I'm not as chatty as Marvin was a decade ago when he was working on what became GSF, in part because because I don't want to get dragged into spending more time chatting about Cosmic than working on it... though I have to say that even when I've tried to be a little chatty, it's been like pulling teeth to get anyone to talk about it... which in turn can put a little bit of a damper on my own enthusiasm.   :wink:
 

Offline miketr

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 05:43:14 PM »
I have a request pending for an account to post on the SDS forum.  We will see what happens.

Crucis my interest in Starfire stated in the 90's.  I picked up a copy of Crusade at my local gaming store and found it interesting, I really liked the background and wanted to learn more.  I found the novels and then the game itself.  Quickly I picked up ISF and SM2 at the same time; later I got all the other supplements.  When SDS released Starfire 4th Ed I was one of those who strongly disliked the new system.  So the group I am part of has kept playing starfire 3rd ed but our last game was about 2 or perhaps 3 years ago.  I have copies of all my stuff but I am not sure who else has what.  Also we never used SFA for our games where I was the space master we used excel to keep track of things.  Most times we do games with about 20 or so systems per player and they last about 60 to 80 turns  before they fall apart for one reason or another.  

As you pointed out people in our group play for different reasons, some want to do empire building and combat doesn't matter all that much. Some combat is key and some its in between.  Even for the empire builders economics and paper work is an issue and we have used a number of different things to reduce the paper work load from SM2 rules set.  For example in the new game most likely we are going to have only T/ST worlds with colonies on them and for the universe to start fully explored.  The concept I am toying with is for the players to be sector governors of a single empire that spins off into civil war.  

I will be interested to see where you take 3rd Ed.  ISF was interesting but the economics that could be generated were something else on fully built up systems.  One of the issues that most annoyed me about the way things played out when Marvin and Steve had their bloodbath is the UTM was about done and now no one can buy it.  "PLEASE NO ONE ELSE RESTART FIGHTS MANY YEARS DEAD."  I had hoped that at least 3rdR and SM2 would be available for sale.  Our group will figure something out if we can't buy stuff.  If nothing else our groups customs rules I still have.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Michael
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 06:02:38 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
Quote from: "Tregonsee"
But does Marvin have legal standing should one person who owns a legal copy sell it to another person?
No idea but it is a fascinating question. I had a quick search but this was the only page I could find that even referred to such a situation.

http://http://www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/Copyright.html

Steve


It depends on where you live, where the seller lives, where the buyer lives, and what the local laws are.  It depends on whether the UTM was sold as a software package, or a software license.  It depends on how the UTM is sold and paid for.

And above all, it depends on whether Marvin (or someone else) wants to sue.  Being in the right doesn't mean you can't be sued, it just means you are likely to win . . . eventually . . . if you keep on top of the suit and file all the paperwork correctly and don't do anything stupid during the process.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 08:53:01 PM »
Quote from: "miketr"
I have a request pending for an account to post on the SDS forum.  We will see what happens.

Crucis my interest in Starfire stated in the 90's.  I picked up a copy of Crusade at my local gaming store and found it interesting, I really liked the background and wanted to learn more.  I found the novels and then the game itself.  Quickly I picked up ISF and SM2 at the same time; later I got all the other supplements.  When SDS released Starfire 4th Ed I was one of those who strongly disliked the new system.  So the group I am part of has kept playing starfire 3rd ed but our last game was about 2 or perhaps 3 years ago.  I have copies of all my stuff but I am not sure who else has what.  Also we never used SFA for our games where I was the space master we used excel to keep track of things.  Most times we do games with about 20 or so systems per player and they last about 60 to 80 turns  before they fall apart for one reason or another.  

As you pointed out people in our group play for different reasons, some want to do empire building and combat doesn't matter all that much. Some combat is key and some its in between.  Even for the empire builders economics and paper work is an issue and we have used a number of different things to reduce the paper work load from SM2 rules set.  For example in the new game most likely we are going to have only T/ST worlds with colonies on them and for the universe to start fully explored.  The concept I am toying with is for the players to be sector governors of a single empire that spins off into civil war.  



I was personally a bit in between on the empire building player vs. tactical player scale, and played a number of solo campaigns that were strictly paper based, and never had much problem with the paperwork.  Then again, I never used the SM#2 PU/PTU system of economics, so once any OP or Colony (even on Type O1/O2 moons) was established, it could pretty much just ignore it and rake in the incomes without worrying about the details until that empire's TL increased and the EVM values needed changing.  It seems to me that having to worry about tracking colonial population growth yearly, or worse, monthly, would be a paperwork nightmare.  This could be mitigated by ruling that only populations on T/ST planets grow naturally (which was the case in ISF), which would prevent any natural growth on Desolate or Extreme worlds and hence mitigate the need to worry about that little annoyance...

BTW, remember that one reason for allowing colonization of Desolate and Extreme worlds (paperwork annoyance aside) is that they offer one alternative for players who find themselves unable to expand.  (I suppose that you could allow Desolate/Extreme colonization only for those empires that find themselves in this unfortunate situation...)


Anyways, something else you might want to consider in the search for paperwork reduction could be to not use NPR's.  I know that this seems like a radical step.   NPR's add a considerable amount of paperwork to the game for the SM, if there's no player handling the NPR's.  Also, NPR's are the most serious random factor when it comes to exploration luck (referred to by some as "survey luck").    That is, NPR's are almost entirely random in nature, since so much about them is die roll based, starting with their very existence.  The existence of an NPR on a T/ST, rather than the T/ST being empty, is the first random factor.  Then there's the question of what sort of political relationship your own race will be able to form with the NPR.  If you're lucky (there's that random factor again), the NPR will form some sort of alliance.  But if you're unlucky, they'll be hostile.  (And of course, if one is playing solo, then all races are sort of NPR's, so what the heck...)

At this point, I should say that one may want to consider the motivations of the players...  Are they playing strictly to play against each other, to beat each other, or are they playing more for the fun of the game?  (Not saying that either motivation is wrong...)  If the players are more interested in beating each other, then NPR's can definitely be seen more as an annoying random factor that can "unfairly" help or hurt, whereas the playing for fun players might see hostile NPR's as an amusing challenge.

Note that this is very much of a personal taste thing...  But it is worth considering that if one's group of players is more intent on playing against each other in a highly competitive manner, then NPR's may be an annoying distraction, and perhaps one can save time, paperwork, and some general annoyance, by simply not using NPR's in a highly competitive game.




Quote
I will be interested to see where you take 3rd Ed.  ISF was interesting but the economics that could be generated were something else on fully built up systems.  

Well, I'm not so sure that I'd blame colonization of the non-T/ST planets for the size of ISF economies...  That should probably be more accurately blamed on the REI multiplier.  I will agree that the tracking of all those non-T/ST populations could be a paperwork pain though...  Also, it's worth noting that the general consensus was that non-T/ST colonization was for the most part an economically bad decision in pure ISF, since the economic returns were far lower than could be achieved from NPR alliances or conquests... which was a reason for some of the changes to colonization and NPR's starting with SM#2.



Quote
One of the issues that most annoyed me about the way things played out when Marvin and Steve had their bloodbath is the UTM was about done and now no one can buy it.  "PLEASE NO ONE ELSE RESTART FIGHTS MANY YEARS DEAD."  I had hoped that at least 3rdR and SM2 would be available for sale.  Our group will figure something out if we can't buy stuff.  If nothing else our groups customs rules I still have.

You may want to check out Ebay for a copy of 3rdR.  I've seen hardcopy SF products on Ebay from time to time... In fact, that's where I bought my own copy of 3rdR a couple years back.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2010, 12:15:42 AM »
Quote from: "miketr"
I will be interested to see where you take 3rd Ed.  ISF was interesting but the economics that could be generated were something else on fully built up systems.  One of the issues that most annoyed me about the way things played out when Marvin and Steve had their bloodbath is the UTM was about done and now no one can buy it.  "PLEASE NO ONE ELSE RESTART FIGHTS MANY YEARS DEAD."  I had hoped that at least 3rdR and SM2 would be available for sale.  Our group will figure something out if we can't buy stuff.  If nothing else our groups customs rules I still have.
The Unified Tech Manual was released, along with a v1.1 update. It was the Unified Rules that were 95% complete when the sky fell in. I still have them somewhere, as does every other member of the 3DG I assume, but obviously I can't start handing them out, even if 3rdR is out of print, without agreement from Marvin. That seems unlikely to happen :). It seems to appeal to 3rd edition players.

Steve
 

Offline procyon

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2010, 03:57:11 AM »
This is directed more to crucis than to the UTM issue,

For my part I have been playing Starfire since the baggy editions oh so many years ago, as have most of us that you probably are going to talk to.  We've been here quite a while, aren't really going anywhere, and can occasionally be a picky and hard lot to please (my wife tells me I am all the time).  I will probably end up picking up a copy of Cosmic when it comes out even if it was written on the side of milk jugs.  Among us old gamers, we have probably already decided whether we want to pick up another copy of Starfire or not (I realize I don't speak for everyone, but most of us have our preferences on what we like to play, and base our decisions on that).
From where I stand Starfire doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.  I'm not well informed, but other than my kids, none of their friends/schoolmates/ball team buddies have a clue what Starfire is.  If Starfire is going to go anywhere (from my point of view), it isn't about keeping all us old timers happy with whether it is about ISF or SM#2/3rd vs 4/5th, its about making it something someone new would want to play.
I've got six kids, a wife, and several friends.  Not one of them started in a full blown game.  They started with baggies, or small bites and simplified systems.  As did I a long time ago.  If someone had tried to interest me in playing a game the first time as complex as what 3rd/4th/5th looks like now, I'd never had gotten into it.  Sorry.
Starfleet Battles (that may be a dangerous subject round here, I'm a little new) grew into a monster.  Nobody would have started it.  But some of my kids friends know about it through their new Cadet set up.  Perhaps laying out the first layer of the new game should be something that will get new players interested.  300 pages won't.  I didn't even know about the new Cadet PDF until my middle son brought it home from his buddy.  Now he plays Starfleet, and loves running Federation CA's.  Even ASKED for the new Capt.'s Basic Set for his birthday.  So he could play with his buddies.  He's 14.
Anybody out there know of 12-15 year olds tracking down 3+ Ed Starfire so they could play with their friends.  On paper and pencil sheets with a paper map.  I don't.
I've only been on this site for a few months, but I've played games for a long time, and been a dad for almost as long.  The folks here already know what they want.  But it looked like my Nemesis Campaign was the first new post in the Starfire Section for over a year (with the exception of your announcements on Cosmic).  I really would rather not see Starfire die off, but unless something is aimed at NEW players, the future doesn't look so good from where I stand.

Perhaps something like the baggies (without the baggies).  Something perhaps about groups way before the ISW's and their trials and strife as they formed some large union (I'm sure you have already thought of that or you wouldn't be the one doing it)?  Something with the battles that catch the new/young players, a story to interest them (and give us old timers something to read.  Especially if we can relate it to something else we have read somewhere if that is possible [hint] - I have always loved reading the interludes), and directions to how they can start creating their own stories. When I started as a trainer in the Army, the first thing they told us was the best way to teach someone nothing, was to teach them everything at once.  It would also give you a smaller bite to work on.  Revising the whole thing at once would be an ominous task.

"Not all change is progress, as all movement is not forward."
Just a thought.  And best of luck.  I have ALWAYS loved Starfire.
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Offline Summercat

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Re: Anybody Still Have the UMT?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2010, 06:37:57 AM »
Yo. Summercat rising from the dead here...

Anyone know what the recourse is to redownload previously-purchased stuff? I'm afraid that my last encounter with Marvin (...and my first, thinking about it) were ... well, they could have been friendlier (the last one on both sides).

...now to find a copy of the 3rd Edition rulebook. A neighbor was sold me a copy of Starfire and Starfire II: Strikefighters, so now I want to get back into playing 3rd edition again. Guess what went missing! =D
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