Dungeons & Dragons – Open-Gaming License

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Dungeons & Dragons Logo

This month we continue our look at Dungeons & Dragons; specifically how you can write for the game.

This can be done in two ways. Either using the Open-Gaming License or through the DMs Guild.

Today, we examine the former.

In 2000, Wizards of the Coast published the first version of the OGL (Open Game License) for use with the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. They published a more restrictive version for 4th Edition, but returned to something more open for the 5th Edition of the game.

The Open-Gaming License allows other companies and individuals to publish material using the Dungeons & Dragons game mechanics.

This is how companies like Goodman Games and Kobold Press can publish material for Fifth Edition Fantasy.

Now, there are some limitations. You cannot use the Dungeons & Dragons branding, you can’t set an adventure in one of the official setting and you can only use certain game mechanics. For instance, the use of iconic monsters like the Beholder and Displacer Beasts are off-limits.

But there are many creatures and other elements which are open to use. This is how some writers have been able to use these elements in other mediums, such as comics.

More details can be found in the Systems Reference Document, which is located here – http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/systems-reference-document-srd

As long as you follow the rules laid out in this document, you can either work for another company writing adventures featuring the Dungeons & Dragons game mechanics or even self-publish.

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