Content and Format Questions

Jeff Montgomery -

What can I use in my titles on the Dungeon Masters Guild?

When you create your own title for the Dungeon Masters Guild, you get access to a hoard of resources. Your work can use any of the 5th Edition D&D rules published by Wizards of the Coast, plus decades of published material for the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Ravnica settings. Additionally, Wizards and OneBookShelf will from time to time make additional resources such as stock art, template cover designs, template stat blocks, and other such assets available on the DMsGuild.com site for you to freely use in your Dungeon Masters Guild titles.

As other authors create content for the Dungeon Masters Guild and expand the Forgotten Realms through their titles, you then have access to use that material in turn. Was there a subplot another author didn’t fully explore? A tavern you’d like to re-use in your own adventure? All Dungeon Masters Guild authors contribute to a pool of community content that can be re-used, expanded, and explored by other authors in the Dungeon Masters Guild community.

I don’t see anything that would stop me from publishing a Greyhawk or Zendikar or Dark Sun product on DMs Guild. Can I do that?

For now, DMs Guild is limited to the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Ravnica settings only, although you can also publish anything for 5th Edition that (i) is generic enough to be used in a permitted setting without effort and (ii) doesn’t explicitly use anything related to another official Wizards setting.

For example, you can mention Forgotten Realms deities such as Azuth or Mystra, but you can’t mention Boccob, Lunitari, or any other deity from another official D&D setting that hasn't been permitted here. Some deities or characters (such as Vecna or Lord Soth) appear in several settings; they can be mentioned only in the context of approved settings.

Is DMs Guild going to remain Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Ravnica only, or will other settings be considered in the future?

As we did with Ravenloft when Curse of Strahd was released and with Eberron when Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron was released, we intend to open up additional settings and IP as D&D 5e grows.

However, for the time being, only Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Ravnica are permitted.

I have a new game setting I’ve developed. Can I post it to DMs Guild?

No. The DMs Guild site is geared toward setting-neutral, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, and Ravnica content only.

If you have a campaign setting of your own, that would fall under the OGL and be perfect for your publisher account on DriveThruRPG.

Can I use iconic Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, or Ravnica characters like Drizzt, Elminster, and Strahd in my DMs Guild title?

Yes.

Can I use characters/locations/etc. from other intellectual properties that partner with Dungeons & Dragons (for example, the Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook)?

When crafting content for the Dungeon Masters Guild, you may not use content (including characters, locations, artwork, or any other elements) from any products for which D&D has licensed/partnered with other properties, or used intellectual properties with permission, as resources for your own products.

Such products include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook
  • Stranger Things Starter Set
  • Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty boxed set
  • The characters of Arkhan the Cruel, Krull the Tortle, Torogar Steelfist, and their distinct likenesses, which appear in Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus

Can I create and sell content for older D&D editions on DMs Guild?

No. The DMs Guild site is geared toward 5th Edition content only.

Can I copy any information from the 5E core rulebooks in my DMs Guild title?

You can include information like summary stat blocks of monsters from the Monster Manual in your adventure. Similarly, you can include spell effects and other useful information as needed to make running your adventure an easy and streamlined experience. Please note that sometimes it’s just as easy to refer the Dungeon Master to the Monster Manual or other core rulebook instead.

In short, avoid copying large sections of Wizards titles. Stick to summary information needed and not easily referenced.

Can I convert old D&D content from earlier editions to 5E and publish it on DMs Guild?

With some restrictions, the answer is yes. You can convert magic items, monsters, character classes, spells, etc. from earlier edition books to 5th Edition and publish your conversion at DMsGuild.com.

There are two exceptions:

  • Do not convert content from settings not yet released in the DMs Guild program, with the exception of classic D&D adventures (see #2 below).
  • No direct, full reprints of classic adventures converted to 5E. If you want to publish something based around a classic adventure like Against the Giants or Queen of the Demonweb Pits, then you could consider options like:
    • a distinctly new 5e adventure that is perhaps a prequel or sequel to the classic adventure content;
    • a streamlined, bare-bones conversion guide for someone who already owns the classic adventure (i.e., encounter-by-encounter conversion notes with any 5E stats needed, leaving out all other content, augmented with ideas for setting the adventure in the Forgotten Realms); or
    • a unique take in the spirit of the classic adventure. Yeah, Acererak’s tomb is horrific, but what about that other lich’s place?

Can I publish comic books, novels, spell cards, item cards, computer games, apps, etc., on DMs Guild?

No. The DMs Guild site is geared toward D&D 5e RPG supplements only.

Can I sell my Dungeon Masters Guild title in print as well as PDF?

At this time, we are allowing only a VERY LIMITED list of Community Creator titles into our print-on-demand offering, with a focus on launching NEW titles from top-selling authors as print and digital at the same time. Selected titles must also be at least 40 pages in length and created by designers familiar with our print on demand specifications. If you have questions about this or would like your title added to our waitlist for consideration, please contact lysa@onebookshelf.com.

As of August 24, 2019, DMsGuild will pause review of DMsGuild print-on-demand requests through the end of 2019, with the exception of titles submitted by the D&D Adventurers League, Guild Adept program, and Wizards of the Coast. Applications received by August 23, 2019 will be the last requests reviewed before this hiatus, during which time the program and sales will be reviewed and evaluated. Thank you for your understanding!

What is a Phone PDF and how can I create one?

Read all about our Phone PDF format, including design tips and file specifications, in our Phone PDF Information and File Creation Guide.

How do I prepare the PDF of my title for sale?

There are many different programs to lay out and prepare your book for digital download. Here are some things to help you ensure your PDF will download properly and look great:

  • Create. If you want to lay out your Digital PDF from scratch...
  • Prep. You've already created your PDF and just need to see if it is all set to upload.
  • Enhance. You've already created your PDF and want to add enhancements.
  • Ready. Once your print files are ready to upload...
    • UPLOAD - Will show you where and how to upload your files for digital download.

What are other rules or requirements for my content?

Neither your Work nor any promotional material, including blog posts or press releases, may contain racist, homophobic, discriminatory, or other repugnant views; overt political agendas or views; depictions or descriptions of criminal violence against children; rape or other acts of criminal perversion; or other obscene material without the express written permission of Wizards of the Coast in a document separate from this License.

Illegal and Infringing content is not allowed. It is the content creator’s responsibility to ensure that their content does not violate laws, or copyright, trademark, privacy, or other rights.

Create, don’t copy. We reserve the right to stop publishing and selling your work if we think it goes against the spirit of the Dungeon Masters Guild program. All authors should respectfully use the content originally created by Wizards of the Coast or other Dungeon Masters Guild creators. For example, if a Dungeon Masters Guild author releases a trilogy of adventures, and another author takes those three adventures, compiles them, and republishes them as a single collection, without substantive original additions or changes, then we would stop publishing and selling that collected work because it adds no value to the Dungeon Masters Guild community content. It’s simply one author copying another author’s work and looking to make a royalty on it.

 

 

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