The creators of Villains & Vigilantes, the superhero RPG that shaped my gaming growth and led to the creation of HeroPress, have turned to crowdfunding to help raise the finances necessary for their ongoing legal battle over the ownership of the game's trademark.
On their Gofundme site, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman - now operating as Monkey House Games - state that:
"We created the classic 1979 superhero tabletop role-playing game, Villains and Vigilantes. We re-released V&V in 2010 when we learned that the original publisher, FGU Inc., ceased to exist in 1991 and that the publishing rights to V&V reverted to us at that time.If you feel able to chip in, there are rewards on offer for various levels of support - ranging from a thank you in the planned third edition of Villains & Vigilantes for $20 right up to a four-hour, online, game of V&V for you and five friends, run by Jack and Jeff for $1,000.
"Unfortunately the old publisher's former president is not willing to let go, and so we have become embroiled in a lawsuit. Our claim that the publishing rights reverted to us has been upheld in court, but our opponent still claims to own the trademark to our game's name and he's suing us for using it. If he wins on that count, he'll be able to seize our creation and financially ruin us.
"We've been fighting for our rights for several years, and frankly we need money in order to carry this battle to a final victory. We just want to get back to making our games! If you've enjoyed our game, or simply support our rights as creators, then we need your help."