Ownership and License (OGL) Questions

Jeff Montgomery -

How is Dungeon Masters Guild different from the Open Game License (OGL)? 

The Open Game License and the Dungeon Masters Guild are two distinct and separate things.

Under the DMs Guild program, you can publish D&D material that either

  1. has no setting or

  2. uses the Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft setting.

Under the Open Game License, you can typically publish material that

  1. has no setting or

  2. uses your own original setting.

When you publish material that has no setting, then publishing under the DMs Guild program allows you to use the entire D&D 5th edition rules, not just the subset found in the SRD. It also allows you to sell the material here on the DMsGuild.com marketplace.

If you’re still not sure about the distinction, check the table below to see if that helps.

I want to…

OGL

DMs Guild

design content using 5th Edition rules for D&D

Yes

Yes

publish my original campaign world using 5th Edition rules

Yes

No

print and sell my 5th Edition D&D product on my own

Yes

No

publish content for the Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft

No

Yes

sell my product in the official D&D online marketplace

No

Yes

have my content rated by the largest network of D&D players

No

Yes

have my content considered for additional publication by Wizards

No

Yes

have my content considered for inclusion in digital games

No

Yes

have my content considered for inclusion in Wizards marketing

No

Yes

 

 

Does Wizards own any unique IP that I create in my DMs Guild publications?

Wizards does not own any of the unique IP that you create in your publications. Wizards does own the IP that they contribute, plus the DMs Guild agreement will grant Wizards and other DMs Guild authors a license to use your IP.

That said, if your work merits incorporation into canon, Wizards will contact you about purchasing your IP outright.

 

What do I include in the legal text within my DMs Guild title?

We recommend a legal section in this general format:

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, Wizards of the Coast, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, the dragon ampersand, and all other Wizards of the Coast product names, and their respective logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast in the USA and other countries.

This work contains material that is copyright Wizards of the Coast and/or other authors. Such material is used with permission under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild.

All other original material in this work is copyright [2016] by [your legal name or company name] and published under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild.

 

Can I use creatures like the beholder and mind flayer, which the OGL lists as “product identity,” in my DMs Guild title?

Yes. Product identity exclusions apply only to publishing under the OGL. Product identity has no meaning under the DMs Guild program.

 

If I use content from other DMs Guild authors, do I need to credit them?

As more authors contribute to the DMs Guild’s pool of community content, we do not expect to maintain perfect attribution every time an author re-uses elements originally contributed by another author. Such attributions are not strictly required. However, we do think two things would be best practices for all DMs Guild contributors:

When re-using a larger element that you have taken from another DMs Guild author’s work, include a reference to the original work as a link to it on DMsGuild.com within your PDF. For example, if you are using a Rainbow Unicorn creature that you found in another author’s work, you might reference that inside your own work where you provide stats for the Rainbow Unicorn the first time, using an internal citation such as, "(Rainbow Unicorn from Cloud Forest by Jane Doe)."

On your title’s credit page, make a list of such references.

 

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