Quite a few people have reached out and asked about creating their own adventures and material for The Forest Hymn & Picnic, so I have created this document of questions and answers that should give you some answers to your questions. Consider this document an agreement between me, Cecil Howe, and whomever wants to make supplemental material for this fancy game.
can i make a new game using the system from tfh&p?
Not really, no, and no new game system should ever exist described as “Powered By The Forest Hymn & Picnic” or some similar variation. This isn’t because I want to guard all the secrets or protect anything, it is because TFH&P is an endpoint of design that started with another game, and if you want to make a game using this system then TFH&P is likewise not your starting point.
TFH&P is derived from the underlying system in Shadow of the Demon Lord by Robert J. Schwalb. It is used with permission from Robert through our own licensing agreement. If you want to make a game using that system, please contact Robert and leave me out of it. If you have questions or doubts about what is and is not protected by copyright within the vein of game mechanics, please contact a lawyer and do not take legal advice from Reddit or Twitter or your aunt who owns a floral shop and successfully sued someone once for trying to pay with a bad check.
is there a community content program for tfh&p like some other games?
Nope, and there will not be. I have no interest in your money and I have no interest in being a middleman for your money and someone else. Please keep your money for rent and weed.
is there a system reference document (srd) for tfh&p?
No, and there will not be one. Again, TFH&P is a licensed derivative. It is an iteration already.
can i make 3rd party products for tfh&p?
Yes! You can, with some limitations. This is a list of things you cannot do:
You cannot copy and paste, or recreate the rules from TFH&P in your 3rd party product. For example, you can say there is a magic mirror that gives an adventurer a grade of +2 to their decorum subject, but you cannot include the game’s description of decorum in your text. You can tell the reader to make a Q&A roll, and explain what might happen on a flop or fortune, etc, but you cannot copy the game’s text to explain how to do these things or what they are.
You cannot use the art or trade dress assets from TFH&P.
You cannot claim affiliation with CONE or me, Cecil Howe.
You cannot use material from other people’s third party TFH&P products without their permission.
For legal reasons, you cannot send me your product whether it is published or drafted. You can totally email me with questions or for advice or to bounce ideas off me, but please do not send drafts or products. Please send me a link where I can download or purchase your finished product when it is completed, though.
Suffice it to say, I am not here to tell you how to write a good adventure for any game, much less a good adventure for TFH&P. I will say this: a good adventure doesn’t recreate the game rules—a good adventure sticks to exactly what it needs only for that adventure. Trust that your readers will have the needed material to run your adventure.
what is allowed?
Lots of stuff, I promise!
You can use the name of this game—you don’t have to say “Compatible With The World’s Best Game About Sad Ghosts” or some other clever clue; just put that your supplement is compatible with The Forest Hymn & Picnic.
You can mimic the layout or trade dress of TFH&P products, but with your own assets. Make your supplement look radical by looking at children’s books and old cookbooks for inspiration. You can use the Old Cupboard font however you want, too. Here are the colors I use for various things, with their RGB values and HEX values:
You may reference proper nouns from TFH&P. If you want to write an adventure about King Bear, or one of the many celebrations listed in the book then you may. Like the rules however, you can not copy the text from the game. For example, if you want to write an adventure about King Bear then you should assume your readers have read the King Bear section of the game.
You can reference page numbers from official TFH&P sources. PDF and print pages are the same; you’re welcome.
You can use this fancy graphic to let your reader know your adventure or supplement is compatible with TFH&P. If you don’t use this, it is fine, but you must make it known in the front matter of your book or PDF that you are not affiliated with CONE or Cecil Howe, and that TFH&P is copyright 2017-2020 Cone Of Negative Energy.
You do not have to put my name on your third party product, or link to the rules or any CONE store pages.
You don’t have to worry about me using your things. If you make some new proper noun stuff for TFH&P, it will remain unofficial, but I will never claim it as my own or use. It will always be your intellectual property, it will always be yours to capitalize on.
what should i make?
Adventures will always be in demand for tabletop adventure games. Keep them simple, don’t make them too narrow in scope. Things that are useful for a TFH&P adventure supplement: side quests, main quest, a prominent cast of one or two characters, jokes, intrigue, and most importantly a list of possible WHAT IFs or IF the adventurers do this THEN this happens during play. Feel free to pilfer the official adventures for a solid format.
Supplemental material about festivals, items, and minigames would also likely be popular.
Let’s address this: I do not care if you make money on your third party TFH&P products, and I have little to no advice on what you should charge for them. As with CONE’s stance on third party Hex Kit tile sets: I encourage you to make and sell cool new shit that works with the things that CONE has made, and I will never take a cent of it. So please, keep as much of what you earn to yourself.
However, if you are using TFH&P assets, arts, or copy-paste jobs, or if you are using someone else’s third party party TFH&P products without their permission, then I will be very upset and there will be trouble.