Plagiarism in Unconquered (2022)

Ultimately [UVG2E], like UVG1E, are books [sic] that long to be cut to pieces, chopped & screwed and re-arranged and re-organized and repurposed into the collected loose-leaf notes of a GM binder, to be pulled out and smoothly interjected into a Something Else.

Noora Rose, “UVG, UVG2E, and Me” (2023-06-30)

I was originally going to put this post (at least, the commentary parts) through an AI Gary Gygax translator and publish it on a friend's burner blog. However, this is too serious to be treated like a joke, so here it is instead. Staking my name on it, lol.

A Something Else

Unconquered (2022) is an OSR-style science-fantasy adventure game and setting by Noora Rose of Monkey's Paw Games. Originally intended to have been based on Knave, according to the 2020 Kickstarter campaign, Rose refactored it to be based on Into the Odd instead—although with significant influence from Jared Sinclair's The Vanilla Game. I previously threw Unconquered into my big OSR rules families analysis, so here's a basic summary: stat-based resolution with three categories loosely interpreted from the typical Odd-like ones; two classes, fighter and mage; no attack rolls, but damage rolls; two pools of hit points. You get the picture.

Just over a year ago, I heard whispers that Unconquered plagiarized locations, encounters, and setting-elements from previous, more prominent science-fantasy setting books: Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City by Luka Rejec (2020), and Vaults of Vaarn by Leo Hunt (2021). This was very frustrating on one hand, but I also missed doing critical analysis of texts. Seeking justice and wanting to exercise my little gray cells, I challenged myself to produce an intensive comparison of these texts as well as a history of how Unconquered developed. Since Rose published a pre-release version in 2021, we not only get to look at the resemblances between UVG and the final Unconquered, but also see how these resemblances were sanded off from an even ballsier draft. Sincerely, I find this really interesting. But I also wanted to share my findings because this is an offense to the original authors' creativity, and to a community of readers.

I have been working on this since May, but waited to publish it until now for two reasons. First, this was simply a massive project, and I've been busy both inside and outside this hobby. Second, I didn't want to post this anytime near the release of the only big thing I'll ever publish. I already don't benefit monetarily from any of this, but I didn't even want to have the appearance of clout-farming leading up to a release (which is not an uncommon tactic I have seen). This is a journalistic endeavor, so to speak, meaning that I needed to treat it like one and tried my best to do so. Maybe a third reason is that this is a little stressful, lol.

Below are how I will refer to the relevant texts:

  • UVG: Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City by Luka Rejec, from 2020.
  • VOV: Vaults of Vaarn, issue 1, by Leo Hunt from February 2021.
  • UC21: Pre-release draft of Unconquered by Noora Rose from July 2021.
  • UC22: Published version of Unconquered by Noora Rose from 2022.

I will provide page numbers for references from UVG and UC22, but I only have the HTML version of UC21 (although, I think, a PDF version exists somewhere). UC21a will refer to the player's guide, and UC21b will refer to the referee's guide. All Unconquered files, including an OCR-converted PDF of UC22 (since the PDF on Itch is not searchable), can be found here; I will not provide UVG because it is not already available for free. Google is, though.

What Constitutes Plagiarism?

This is important to address, before anything else, because our hobby is one full of pastiche and a widely-accepted form of "plagiarism": the retroclone. There's countless copies of TSR-era Dungeons & Dragons that loudly declare themselves as such; I've made one myself. Although this practice is pretty bold-faced, it is both legally permissable and entirely ethical. On one hand, game algorithms (i.e., mechanics) cannot be copyrighted. On the other hand, Wizards of the Coast has released D&D under increasingly promiscuous licenses over the years, so even elements of D&D that do not fall under formal mathematics are allowed to be reproduced. More important is that these works are obviously and self-declaredly facsimilies of other works. No one reads OSRIC thinking that it was a product of the author's own mind; it is obviously, and self-declaredly (albeit in vague terms, to avoid speaking of the devil), a copy of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

But none of that is actually plagiarism, anyway. Thankfully there is a whole website dedicated to defining it for us:

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. But terms like “copying” and “borrowing” can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.

Thanks,! To be precise, then, I claim that Unconquered lifted ideas as well as actual passages directly from culturally adjacent sources, claiming these passages as the author's own rather than something she took from elsewhere. Rose does actually cite UVG as an inspiration on the book's "Appendix N" (p. 190), but not as an actual—and significant—source of Unconquered's textual contents. This is not just about uncited influences, which any creative work will have, but about literary fraud by which the author disguises her own lack of creativity.

As a communist, I want to clarify that none of this is out of respect for anyone's intellectual property. I would download a car if I could. I am just offended by the author's flagrant disrespect for other artists, from which she monetarily benefits. Edit: Crader only copy-edited the book, and did not participate in its creative process. Jarrett Crader also served as editor of both UVG and Unconquered.1 Given the familiarity that he would have had with UVG, and seeing that there were conscious (if unsuccessful) efforts to erase references to UVG in Unconquered, I am in turn offended that this plagiarism was seemingly noticed and then (unsuccessfully) covered up. How and why did this happen?

So, with all that being said, we can proceed to the textual analysis.

Vaults of Vaarn, Issue #1

I want to look at Vaults of Vaarn first because the passages plagiarized were more self-contained. Below is the drugs table from UC22 p. 177, which is virtually unchanged from UC21b, and the one from VOV p. 34:

Entries highlighted in green correspond directly, while those in orange seem derivative if less direct. Below is an explanation of orange entries, and how they relate to each other:

  • "Red" seems to have been rephrased as "Crimson".
  • "Azure" appears on both lists, but in UC22 was put in the spot where "Blue" previously was. This is conspicuous since azure is a shade of blue.
  • "Violet" seems to relate to "Ultraviolet", but so do "Ulfire" and "Octarine" as colors which are supposed to be outside of visible light. Rose may have combined those two, and inserted "Rainbow".
  • "Honey" appears on both lists, but "Nectar" seems like a derivative of it.
  • "Sugar" seems to have been rephrased as "Dust".
  • "Stewed" seems related to "Cook it".
  • "Cast into Flames" seems derived from "Burn and Watch the Flames", as well as possibly "Burn and Eat the Ash".
  • VOV divides hallucinations into "Auditory" and "Visual", whereas Unconquered divides them into "Mild" and "Major".
  • "No Pain" finds a functional analogue in "Deaden Nerves", but also a potential derivative in "Dull Pain".
  • "Fearless" seems to relate to "Remove Inhibitions".
  • VOV uses the term "Heightened" but applies it only to "Empathy"; it seems that "Heightened Aggression" in Unconquered is a direct inverse.

"Crimson"/"Red", "Honey"/"Nectar", "Smell It", and "Euphoria" appear in the same positions on both tables.

Edit: Jacob Marks gave me some tips for VOV!

The Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City

This section is far more involved and sprawling, since UVG served as a major source of locations, encounters, fictional elements, and even explanatory prose for Unconquered. I'll talk more about it as we go along.


From UVG p. 3:

You have in your hands a roleplaying adventure setting designed to help a traditional rpg referee take their friends’ heroes on a long strange trip across a mythic steppe filled with remnants of space and time and fuzzy riffs.
If you’re just reading for the weird world, imagine a character, turn the page and begin reading with the Violet City of the cats. […]
But! Though the UVG plays fast-and-loose, there is a solid, metal roleplaying game skeleton behind the simple notation—SEACAT. […] If you want to start by making an explorer, building a caravan, and heading off into the wild and weird, go to Heroes and the Cat (p. 133).

From UC22 p. 8:

You hold in your hands UNCONQUERED, a role-playing game. In it, one player takes on the role of chronicler and presents a world full of peril and wonder; the others take on the role of Travelers, who describe how their characters act and react within that world. We play to find out where drama and dice may lead us.
For those merely interested in using the Million-Million Spheres as a toolkit for your own adventures in your own rulesets, imagine a traveler and begin turning the pages. What you seek may lie within. Or it may not.
For those seeking to use the ruleset detailed further within, turn to Creating a Traveler.

The above does not appear in UC21, which means it poses an exception to the rule that its author and/or editor removed references to UVG between UC21 and UC22. Instead, here, a “reference” was added.

Note, also, that its usage in Unconquered does not make any sense given how the book is organized. In UVG, the passage is telling the reader to continue onto (what is implied to be) the next page if they are interested in the world, and to skip to a specific page later in the book if they want to proceed to character creation. Unconquered tells the reader that they can use the book just as a setting if they wish, and to turn to the character creation rules if they want to use it as a ruleset—where it happens that the character rules are just on the next page (not really “detailed further within”). It turns a paragraph with purpose into a weird platitude that does not guide the reader in navigating the book.

The phrase “begin turning the pages” is a funny revision of “turn the page”, but it’s a necessary one since the reader cannot turn to the next page to read about the setting. It’s a couple more pages deep but, unlike in UVG, the author won’t tell you where.

The "Million-Million Spheres" is also certainly inspired by A Thousand Thousand Islands and Troika!, but that's the only phrase in this post that falls under "inspiration" rather than "plagiarism".

History & Myth

From UVG p. 180:

In Lieu of Histories

The past and the cultures of the UVG are a mist-shrouded country. I do not describe precise dates, locations, or periods because I want no canon. Each group of players should (together) invent, discover, and be surprised by the past they uncover.

From UC22 p. 99, originally titled “In Lieu of Histories” in UC21:

Myth, Not History

The past, present, and future of the Loom and the Million-Million Spheres within are shrouded in mist and fog and dimly illuminated by strange and far-off stars. There are no precise dates, times, locations, figures - as you walk, crawl, sail, or fly through these strange and beautiful lands, discover, discuss, invent, and be surprised by what it is you dream together.

Lings & Viles

“Lings” (UVG pp. 54, 101-2, 165, 180; UC22 p. 109) serve as a synonym for human beings in UVG by way of being a pun on “halfling”. UVG extends this word as a suffix onto Moon-Lings, Quarter-Lings, Post-Lings, and Para-Lings. Retro-humans are also included in this category, representing non-mutated human beings.

The common humanity of the Rainbowlands includes all the close-to-baseline sentient and soulful post-humans. This includes the retro-humans, dwarfs, half-elfs, half-lings, quarter-lings, and half-orcs.

Unconquered categorizes Half-Lings and Quarter-Lings under Para-Lings (UC22 p. 108), using the same language by which UVG categorized these races as regular Lings. Elves and dwarves are mentioned in the Para-Ling rumor table rather than in the paragraph describing Para-Lings below.

Not-quite-immortals of unclear origins and indiscernible abilities, tseri [Para-Ling] is a comprehensive term for a commonality of close-to-baseline sentient and soulful para-lings including all manner of retro-humans, half- and quarter-lings, lammasu, scorpion-kin, nereids, serpent-kin, and fomorians, among others.

One reference to Quarter-Lings persists on UC22 p. 108:

Quarter-lings often possess a single extraordinary trait from their tseri parentage, like prehensile tails or the ability to breathe fire.

Which is similar, at a glance, to UVG p. 165:

Quarter-Lings are a motley collection of moderately rare human phenotypes marked by lingish traits such as exceptional hand-eye coordination and odd fur patterns.

Interestingly, Unconquered also keeps retro-humans but groups them under Para-Lings with elves and dwarves. Unconquered also invents the race known as Trans-Lings. Much of the original world-building surrounding Para-Lings was repurposed for Trans-Lings in Unconquered. Compare UVG p. 165 (also notice also how the “not-quite-liches” is similar to the phrase “not-quite-immortal” above from UC22 p. 108):

Steppeland not-quite-liches who seek immortality by spreading their vital cognitive essence among several bodies linked by real-time glandular psyche-to-psyche links. […] Their own name for themselves, if they even have one, is not common knowledge. Customarily each polybody entity uses the same porcelain masks for every one of its drones.

With UC22 p. 107:

  1. They are all named ‘Belet.’
  2. There is only one true trans-ling; the others are all clones.

“Viles” (UVG pp. 180-1) were originally the enemies of Lings. They no longer appear in the final version of Unconquered, but are referenced once in UC21a:

Kuri, anubisaat gambler (they/them). Hunting the vile who slew their mentor. HD 1.

Where the “vile” is replaced with a wizard in the final version (UC22 p. 64). Viles were also seemingly referenced three times in the Chronicler’s Handbook as “Vile Intelligences”, before also being removed.

Carousing Table

Compare the following items from the carousing table on UVG p. 12:

  • Found the anthropic fighting pits. Reduced to ½ Life. Succeed testing Strength to win €1d4 x 100.
  • Your table dancing routine is the talk of the Townships.
  • Wake with a bag of strangled cats drained of blood, a hundred ominous pieces of silver (€100), and a sense of foreboding. Hours later (roll d6) an (1) inn, (2) cat house, (3) opera shack, (4) general store, (5) political café, or (6) mansion collapses in a whisper of necrotic decay.
  • You’re known as a good sort in the Township fleshpots.

To the following items from the carousing table on UC22 p. 55:

  • Known as a “good sort” among houses of ill-repute.
  • Table-dancing routine is the talk of the town.
  • Found the fighting pits. Lose half your maximum Stamina and gain ten times that amount in g.
  • Wake clutching a bloody knife, a leather pouch containing 100 ominous pieces of silver, and a sense of foreboding.

“Generic” Encounters

The following “generic encounters” from UC21b, nine out of twenty total, are pulled directly from UVG:

  1. Pack of feral steppe-hounds (HD 4, territorial) hosting a picnic in the tall grass.
  2. Radiation ghosts (HD 1, mournful), trapped within the remains of a blast-shelter. Stockpiled with bottles of carbonated syrup, cans of desiccated starch, and a cache of small tin “coins” painted red and yellow.
  3. A pair of ur-condors (HD 2, suspicious) spying on the Travellers from afar.
  4. Marmots infected by a memetic virus (HD 1, loquacious) uncontrollably spouting poetry at passers-by.
  5. Monkey-handed canids (HD 1, flatulent) gorging themselves on blue coffee berries.
  6. Porcelain-clad stilt-walker bearing a satrap (HD 7, bilious) and their entourage of groupies, flunkies, simps, and hangers-on.
  7. Raiding party of lowland nomads (HD 2, corrupt) searching for sacrifices to burn in a wicker effigy.
  8. Biomechanical aurochs (HD 6, belligerent). Fiercely territorial.
  9. A pair of armored wagons (HD 12, trigger-happy) bearing a satrip’s personal seal, heavily laden with prismatic cloaks and soul-gems for sale in distant markets.

Compare UVG p. 28:

Monkey-handed canids pilfer supplies in the night (-1d3 supplies).

UVG p. 32:

11-15. Spoor of large herd of biomechanical monstrosities.

UVG pp. 36-7:

Crossing a last purple ridge, the wide vale promises relative respite from the harsh grassland.
Inside, on one of two hillocks, looms a great wicker-man of woven grasses, vines, and thron bushes.
"The Colossus Dances (200 xp): the shamans celebrate the life-giving Moon by immolating the least-favored in the Grass Colossus’ wicker-and-bone heart. A slave or very uncharismatic traveler is seized, stuffed with saffron and steak, and burnt in the harsh radiant heart of the Colossus.

UVG p. 42:

Two great Satrap clock wagons (L12, loaded), swaying serenely, attended by their mirror-faced guards (L3, poker-faced). They carry lovely loads of prisms (€250/sack) and many-coloured shift-silks (€750/sack) that change colour with the emotion of their wearer.

UVG p. 44:

  1. Radiation ghosts (L0, glowing) of a troglodyte family, their spark-dead eyes accusing, lead to a shelter (+1 day). It is still stockpiled with sugar-filled bottles, cans of poisonous tubers, and a cache of finely carved indigo ivories (€1d8 × 100).

UVG p. 46:

  1. Feral steppe wolf-hound pack (L4, territorial) ranging through the tall grass.
  2. Two ur-eagles (L2, intelligent) spying from afar.

UVG p. 56 (walker originates from the “Places of Polished Porcelain”, from UVG pp. 26-7, which contains references to a Porcelain Walker and memetic virus):

  1. Spectrum Satrap announcer walker (L5, booming), patrolling on three stilt-like legs announcing, to all who care, the border of the Satraps is nigh and listing the taboos that are not to be violated. If properly beseeched (admiration for its crystalline body), it shortens travel to the Moon-Facing Ford by 1d4 days.

The above “generic encounters” appear heavily edited in UC22 on p. 118, but are still clearly derived from their pre-release version as well as UVG by extension:

  1. Feral hounds in the belly of a rusted war-construct.
  2. Pre-human city, choked with poison fumes.
  3. Two-headed condor, reporting on the traveler’s [sic] movements.
  4. Stilt-walker bearing a satrap’s scion and their entourage of groupies, flunkies, simps, and hangers-on.
  5. Raiding party of nomads searching for sacrifices to burn in a wicker effigy.
  6. Biomechanical aurochs, fiercely territorial.
  7. A pair of armored wagons bearing a pair of sacrificial princesses.

Encounter #2 is especially interesting to me. Originally, in UC21b, Rose reinterpreted the ghosts as being of Fallout-esque blast-shelter inhabitants. Instead, in UC22 she goes back to them being “pre-human” like the original troglodyte (cave-dweller) ghosts from UVG. The ghosts actually appeared a second time in UC21b, appearing in the low-world encounters, but this was removed in UC22.

I also love the pair of eagles being changed into a two-headed condor. That's clever!

Miscellaneous Passages

“Lavender-colored cliffs towering above neon purple grasslands” (UC22 p. 133) is, perhaps, just an homage to the lavender cliffs of the Ultraviolet Grasslands (UVG pp. 22-3). The ones below are less excusable, in one case (in UC21) containing a word made up by Rejec.

Predatory Plants

Compare the location and random encounters on UVG p. 117:

The carnibotanic disaster zone of the Forest of Meat creeps up on the traveler slowly. The trees grow thicker and fleshier, leaves begin to leer, birds fall silent, shrubberies click thorns like teeth, soil runs red with slime, mushroom eyes open in sudden clearings and, by night, howls of willow wolves (L3, fleet-rooted) echo across drinking bogs.
Blood-gorged bloodobab (L12, spear-fingered) and its brood (L2, projectilian) emerge from the dense phytovores, apex predators of the carnibotanic jungle.
Howl of willow wolves (L3, fleet-rooted) dropping from the canopy onto unsuspecting prey.

With the following passage from the UC21b (notice, also, the reference to Quarter-Lings):

Blood-gorged carnibotanic willows (HD 12, garotte-limbed) decimating an adventuring party of quarter-lings (HD 1, desperate) who foolishly sought to make camp beneath the boughs.

And then with the published UC22 p. 146, with “carnibotanic” removed:

Blood-gorged man-traps decimating an adventuring party who foolishly sought to make camp beneath the boughs.

This contains, also, a weirdly literal reading of the encounter. I would think that the unsuspecting prey in UVG is the players’ own adventuring party. When Rose copied this encounter, she interpreted it as the target of the attack being a non-specific third party—initially filling the void with quarter-lings, also from UVG, and then removing that reference so it’s once again a non-specific party. We love a multiplicity of interpretations, I guess. Thought it was interesting! I could be the one reading it wrong.

The word "carnibotanic" was made up by Rejec, and was removed between UC21 and UC22.

See also UVG p. 21:

Great Biomechanical Baobob

Famed in the tales of the Green Tangerine Clan, the biomechanical tree is an unbelievable sight that dominates the plain. It secretes natural oils (€200/sack, harvest 1 per 1d6 days) that lubricate machines and cure aching joints. They say an artificial dryad (L4, lovely plastic) resides in the great tree’s slow-brain, dreaming of the awakened ecosphere.
Over 300 meters deep, the lower depths are filled with vicious wire-and-bone biomechanical fish (L1, carniphilic) and abyssosaurs (L5, echolocating cave saurians).


Earth-swimming biomechanical serpents (HD 1, swarm) violently reprocessing any and all organic matter in their path.
The stunted silhouette of baobob trees dotting a flat savannah. Each tree clanks and hums as clockwork machinery grinds and rattles, half-exposed by sheets of bark.

These encounters appear mostly as-is in UC22, pp. 135 and 145, except that the parenthetical stat block for the serpents was removed. As shown in other encounters between UC21 and UC22, Rose or her editors made great efforts to remove such stat blocks—mostly derived from UVG, as I've indicated in bold, replacing 'L' for level with 'HD' for hit dice.

For context, 'L' maps to both (the equivalent of) hit points and armor class in UVG, even if it's approximate to hit dice. However, by translating 'L' to just 'HD', Rose ignores that fuller aspect of level in UVG and doesn't provide the info you really need to put that monster in play. It makes sense why these stat blocks were removed from Unconquered, whether because they were basically unhelpful or were too obviously lifted from UVG.

Vampire Grass

Compare UVG p. 56:

Attacked by blood-draining vampire grass in the night (-1d8 Life).

With UC22 p. 128:

Fields of blood-draining vampire-grass. Sweet-smelling and pollen-laden, those who fall prey to the glamor return from the grasses desiccated and pallid.

Lightning Strikes, Purple Sky

UVG p. 36:

Lighting strikes from the purple! Moderate Agility test or -2d10 Life, alternatively lose a henchman or beast of burden.

UC22 p. 128:

Lightning strikes from a purple sky. Once, twice, three times. An ultraviolet [!!!] flashfire.

The Near Moon / A Near Moon

UVG p. 58:

Pack animal sickens in the light of the Near Moon, displaying lycanthropic tendencies (-1d4 days for treatment or lose the animal).


A Near Moon provokes a rash of lycanthropy.

UC22 p. 128:

A Low-Flying Moon [!] provokes a rash of therianthropy [!!!].


A Near Moon floats past. A gravitational well, gathering debris and detritus as the moon grows larger and larger.

UC22 p. 140:

A Low-Flying Moon floats past. A gravitational well, gathering debris and detritus as the moon grows larger and larger.

UVG p. 62:

Skyscrapers and towers and stairs of a half-dozen fallen cultures slither out of the dank bogs beneath the Near Moon, peopled by hermits, hardy soldiers, and ka-zombie keeping moon-lings of quaint disposition. They bridge the airy void, coming within a ten-foot of the Near Moon and its strange gravity.

I found it funny that a specific location from UVG, The Near Moon, was transformed into a non-specific, recurrent phenomenon, a Near Moon (or, later, a Low-Flying Moon) in Unconquered. I think this speaks to the larger pattern of Rose taking specific places from UVG, severing them from their original context, and as a result making them much less cohesive and compelling. It's like if you threw UVG into an AI's knowledge base and asked it to come up with a random occurrence.

Prismatic Fogland

UVG p. 92:

Sudden ultraviolet prismatic fog envelops caravan. Blinded (difficult Aura test) or lose 1d2 days waiting for it to fade.

UC22 p. 128:

A roiling prismatic fog descends, casting the landscape in a riotous ultraviolet. Aggressive mask-vendors insist their masks and their masks alone protect from the rays.

Well-Provisioned Adventurers

UVG p. 42:

A very well-provisioned party, led by the bespectacled dwarf engineer Laszlo Montague IV (L2, lucky), the golden-masked rogue polybody Gilded 3-era (L3, coordinated), and flame-haired RDC twins Sena (L5, calculating) and Xina (L3, ambitious) in biomech cool-suits searching for the tomb of the machine “The Dragon Also Rises.” They are also quite candid about their goals and how much they could make with it in the SD Metropolis Museum (€75,000). They have maps, they claim.


A well-provisioned archaeological expedition of dwarf engineers (HD 2, lucky) searching for a mercury-flooded tomb. Insists they know the way, but slowly losing patience with lack of progress.

UC22 p. 141:

A well-provisioned archaeological expedition of engineers searching for a mercury-flooded tomb. Insists they know the way, but slowly losing patience with lack of progress.

This one struck me as very bizarre. A single character from an NPC adventuring party in UVG became the characteristic trait of an entire NPC adventuring party in Unconquered. First, there's one dwarf engineer; then, they're all dwarf engineers; finally, they're all engineers but no longer dwarves. The original concept becomes increasingly jarbled. It makes sense for there to be one dwarf, who happens to be an engineer (also makes sense), in an adventuring party. What are a bunch of dwarven engineers doing, going on an expedition? And then a bunch of non-specific engineers?

Conceptual Lifts

These ones are less significant, being concepts taken from UVG rather than verbatim phrases.

Lamarckian Monster

UVG p. 32:

Lamarckian monstrosity (L18, self-improving, decaying) a huge beast, origin obscured in its soul decay. Pulsating with creative energies, growing new limbs, armors, defenses, and abilities when attacked. If given a wide berth (-2 days) it can be avoided. It loses 1L/week until it collapses into a copse of fast-growing UV bamboo (€50 per sapling and sack of dirt).

UC22 p. 140:

Lamarckian megapede rapidly evolving as it consumes everything in its path.

Maze of Light

UVG p. 90:

An unnatural aurora of unhealthy pinks and toxic blues marks the Maze of Light. Husks of old biomachinery, petrified into disturbing grotesques, mark a perimeter beyond which light itself becomes solid. The bends, whorls, and twists of light look off. Unhealthy. Nomads warn that the lights drive people mad (true), but shamans say there are secrets within (also true).

UC22 p. 146:

Ancient maze of fractal light, visible only by the steady accumulation of dust particles over the aeons.


That's most of what I had. It all speaks for itself, but I also wanted to dig a little bit into how the material lifted from UVG was not just lifted but made worse. Since UVG is a bespoke, cohesive setting—as much as it leaves to the reader's imagination—many of the passages that Rose lifted were thus severed from an original context significant to that passage's meaning. The most egregious example to me is "The Near Moon" that became "a Low-Flying Moon", a random event that occurs in some places. The general setting of the Ultraviolet Grasslands, the place, have also been transformed into vague randomly-occurring phenomena in the world of Unconquered, like the lavender cliffs becoming a random hex aesthetic or the purple sky being part of a random event rather than an aspect of the world.

A more general tendency Rose displays is to disguise her plagiarism by over-generalizing the encounters or locations described, and turning them from events that directly impact the adventuring party into vignettes impacting non-player characters in the background of the game-world. A giant biomechanical baobob tree becomes an entire savanna of biomechanical baobob trees. An adventuring party with a dwarf engineer becomes an entire party of dwarf engineers, or later just engineers, for some reason. Carnivorous willow wolves lying in wait for unsuspecting prey—which, again, I'm pretty sure is a coy way of saying they're going to attack the players' party—become man-traps already attacking another party. These are all really strange changes that feel contrived both in fiction and in practical play.

There's also something to be said for the impact and usefulness of random tables compared to a concrete, cohesive setting. Ironically, given Rejec's own proclivities towards anti-canon settings, exemplified by UVG, that book presents a world complete with specific locations and actors, which Unconquered throws into a blender to produce a science-fantasy slop. Maybe there's something significant to how Rose modifies the introduction she plagiarized, where it's not only the past that's shrouded in mist but—indeed—the present and future as well. The world of UVG has a past lost to history, but its artifacts are there to uncover and interpret. Unconquered is full of vibes, but nothing you can actually grasp and explore. More than one old-school grump has told me that there's no effort spent making a bunch of aesthetic tables that wouldn't have been better spent developing something specific, concrete, and real. I get it.

All of this would be moot if this was Rose's personal GM binder, made up of all the books she "cut to pieces, chopped & screwed and re-arranged and re-organized and repurposed". It would have been something she made for her own use, and maybe something she shared with others under that understanding. Think about Skerples' rework of Veins of the Earth. Instead, Unconquered is a commercial book with a Christian name that purports Rose as its auteur. None of the passages above were cited, but instead reworked over time to obscure their real source. If one did not know better, they would be under the impression that this was Rose's own work. This is both deeply dishonest and uncreative.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this. This is also completely unrelated to the earlier Trophy post. I remember working on this and feeling like, oh shit, I really want to talk about Trophy because it's interesting to me but don't want to criticize the same writer twice. I chose to say what I wanted to say. Now, I want to see you be brave! Write your own fiction and express what interests you, or be open about the fact that this is a collaborative hobby where we all stand on the shoulders of giants. We are all influenced by everyone else, but we can choose what to do with that influence.

Edit: Misread "panoply"! Also see the followup.

Update: 17th Century Minimalist

Jacob Marks pointed out to me that Unconquered also plagiarizes extracts from 17th Century Minimalist. Compare:


Roll 1d10 before firing the weapon on the table below.


1-8. Nice shot. The firearm works regularly.
9. Misfire! The firearm doesn’t shoot and the action is entirely wasted.
10. Backfire! The shot backfires, causing damage to the user instead.

Damp places (optional)

In humid locations, characters should roll on the table below instead of the one above.


1-6. Nice shoot [sic]. The firearm works regularly.
7-9. Misfire! The firearm doesn’t shoot and the action is entirely wasted.
10. Backfire! The shot backfires, causing damage to the user instead.

With UC22 p. 70:


When rolling damage with a firearm:

  1. A flash of powder and a splintering crack. The firearm backfires, causing damage to the user instead.
  2. A dull click, and a muffled pop. The firearm doesn’t shoot, and the action is wasted.
    3-6. Well shot. The firearm works regularly.

Damp Places

When rolling damage with a firearm in damp or humid locations.

  1. A flash of powder and a splintering crack. The firearm backfires, causing damage to the user instead.
    2-3. A dull click, and a muffled pop. The firearm doesn’t shoot, and the action is wasted.
    4-6. Well shot. The firearm works regularly.

  1. Fiona Geist was also credited as an editor of UVG and a contributor of “additional words” in Unconquered, although her work on the latter does not seem to have been in an editorial capacity. Putting this here to correct an earlier version of this paragraph, where I speak of Crader and Geist’s involvement in the same breath. ↩︎


  1. for added fun, look into Troika, and classic literature references made with zero attribution in this text.

  2. Not saying this as an excuse or even in defense of the books in question but this hobby is particularly risky in this regard as folks will take a table or two, modify them for use in their home campaign then create a product out of their home campaign forgetting the source or even that they got chunks of the table form someone else. Creators need to be extra generous in their credits or extra selective in what they choose to use.

    1. That's why it is critically fucking important that you keep track of what you're copying, who it came from, and where it's going, even for a home campaign. Citing your sources religiously is the only way to use other's work without risking accidents (or "accidents") like this.

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  5. Given HBomberGuy's recent video "Plagiarism and You(Tube)", I think now is a perfect time to call out "creators" who think properly attributing and giving credit is beneath them. Thank you for taking the time to put all this together, and having the guts to do so.

  6. Another thing nobody seems to be mentioning is that the PDF of Unconquered is all images so it's hard to copy the text. When I first got it this was annoying but now I suspect it might have been done to avoid plagirism checks. There's a free version on drivethru for anyone who wants to check for themselves.

    1. The full game is available for free on as well for those who want to check this out. Pick up UVG too it's awesome.

  7. I was already liking your work in general, and appreciating the courage it takes to publicly denounce plagiarism – and in such a thorough fashion, no less. But then you drop that fantastic "I would download a car" line on top of that ?? Thumbs up !

  8. Some of the carousing results struck me as familiar! Well, they're in the Kanabo Expert rules, still for sale on the Monkey's Paw website:

    "4 Known as a "good sort" among houses of ill-repute."

    "7 Found the wrestling ring. Lose half your maximum Wounds and gain ten times that amount in copper."

    "14 Wake clutching a bloody knife, a leather pouch containing 10 ominous gold, and a sense of foreboding."

    No good!


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