Skip to main content

Content and Format Questions

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, Ravnica, Theros, Arcavios (Strixhaven), Radiant Citadel, Spelljammer, and Dragonlance 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, DMsGuild is limited to the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, Ravnica, Theros, Arcavios(Strixhaven), Spelljammer, and Dragonlance 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, Ravnica, and Theros 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, Ravnica, Theros, Arcavios (Strixhaven), Radiant Citadel, and Spelljammer are permitted.

 

If Wizards of the Coast has put out an official Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition book using a setting, or if there is an NPC, monster, magic item, etc, and is NOT third-party licensed (Exandria, Rick & Morty, Stranger Things, Acquisitions Inc) than you can probably use it in your DMsGuild title. If you have a questions you can reach out to dmsguild@roll20.net

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

No. The DMsGuild site is geared toward setting-neutral, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, Ravnica, Theros, Arcavios (Strixhaven), and Spelljammer content only.

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

Can I use iconic Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, Eberron, Ravnica, Theros, etc. characters like Drizzt, Elminster, and Strahd in my DMsGuild title?

Yes! DMsGuild is designed to allow community creators to use approved Wizards of the Coast IP and sell it without the need for special license.

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
  • Explorers Guide to Wildemount sourcebook
  • Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep

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

No. The DMsGuild site is specifically for 5th/current edition content only.

Can I copy any information from the 5E core rulebooks in my DMsGuild 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 DMsGuild?

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 DMsGuild 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 DMsGuild is geared toward Dungeons & Dragons RPG supplements and play aides only. In most cases, only a PDF, text, or image file should be used with your title.

Note: In the case of Fantasy Grounds content we do allow .mod files, but no other file type may be used when creating Fantasy Grounds content.

We do hope to allow other content, document, and file types in the future, but for now we must abide by these restrictions. 

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

Please find our print-on-demand guidelines here: https://help.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/12776855666839-Print-on-Demand-Guidelines

 

Can I publish content for Adventurers League?

Dungeoncraft adventure titles using the Adventurers League guidelines found in the Organized Play section of the D&D website here: https://dnd.wizards.com/ddal_general may be published on DMsGuild. Dungeoncraft titles MUST use the Dungeoncraft Adventurers League filter found at the top of the Enter New Community Created Title page.

If these filters are not used correctly your title could be deactivated.

Current Dungeoncraft rules can be found here: https://yawningportal.dnd.wizards.com/

AL Dungeoncraft titles can also use the Adventurers League Community Logo found in our Logos and Artwork section.

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

Lay out your Digital PDF from scratch...

QUICK SPECS (PDF) - To get you started.

QUICK CHECKLIST (PDF) - To be sure you don't miss anything.

Microsoft Word Tutorial and templates

Download MS Word Tutorial - Advice on how to use Microsoft Word, and a few other programs to prepare a DIGITAL ONLY title. POD titles can not be created in Word
Download MS Word Templates - A ZIP file containing Word (94) templates for 6" x 9", 6.14" X 9.21", 6.25" X 10.25", 7" x 10", 8.5" x 11", and 8.25" x 11" products.

InDesign Tutorial and templates

Download InDesign Tutorial - This tutorial will offer you some advice on how to use Adobe InDesign to prepare an optimized digital edition PDF book.
Download InDesign Templates - A ZIP file containing CS4 InDesign templates for6" x 9", 6.14" X 9.21", 6.25" X 10.25", 7" x 10", 8.5" x 11", and 8.25" x 11" products.

Scribus Tutorial and templates

Download Scribus Tutorial - This tutorial will offer you some advice on how to use Scribus to prepare an optimized digital edition PDF book. Scribus is a free layout program available at www.scribus.net.
Download Scribus Templates - A ZIP file containing Scribus templates for 6" x 9", 6.14" x 9.21", 6.625" x 10.25", 7" x 10", 8.5" x 11", and 8.25" x 11" products

EPUB & MOBI Tutorial and templates

EPUB & MOBI EXPORT TUTORIAL - FROM INDESIGN (PDF) - To show you how to prepare your InDesign file for export to the ePub format, and how to use Calibre to convert your ePub file to the Mobi format.

EPUB & MOBI EXPORT TUTORIAL - FROM MICROSOFT WORD (PDF) - To show you how to prepare your Microsoft Word file for export to the ePub format, and how to use Calibre to convert your ePub file to the Mobi format.

Phone PDF 
Phone PDF information and file creation guide

Prepare 

You've already created a PDF and want to see if it's upload ready. Our PDF's for Digital Titles are best when a few guidelines are followed. Check the links below to get your files ready!

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?

More than a platform, Dungeon Masters Guild is a license of Wizards of the Coast’s fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Because titles published under the DMsGuild license are strongly associated with Wizards of the Coast, they must follow content guidelines intended to protect the Dungeons & Dragons brand. Please read below for specific guidance for all Community titles added to our catalog December 2020 or later. If you have questions or concerns about these guidelines, please e-mail dmsguild-help@roll20.net 

This license does not allow:

  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, discriminatory, or other bigoted views or hate speech.
  • No mentions or implications of rape or other forms of sexual assault as defined by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). Content warning: This link details definitions of assault, rape, force, etc.
  • Mentions of overt real-world political organizations or individuals. For example: A parody of a politician is ok, but the exact likeness and name of that politician is not.
  • Gratuitously explicit depictions or descriptions of harm being done to children, especially such descriptions that cannot be distinguished from real life. For example: A scene that details how a human bandit tortures a child after kidnapping them is not ok. A reference to monstrous hags luring children into a forest is ok with no “on-screen” depictions of harm. A scenario involving a human bandit restraining but not harming a young prince to abduct him for ransom is acceptable.
  • Explicit descriptions of sexual acts. Any reference to sex or suggestive behavior by or targeting creatures under the age of consent in their respective fantasy cultures.
  • Sexually-derived or excessive profanity.
  • Illegal and Infringing content. 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.

This license does not allow artwork that depicts:

  • Real or simulated sexual acts (including manual, oral, anal, vaginal, etc.).
  • Full nudity or exposed genitals. The region of the breast, coded for any gender, that contains the nipple and areola must be covered by an opaque material and not be visible as an outline through that material.
  • Extreme gore, mutilation of body parts, and intense violence. Some fantasy and unrealistic violence allowed. For example: Bloodless dismemberment is acceptable.

D&D historically has touched on dark or mature themes. To help you navigate the boundaries of what is listed above, here are just a few examples of what is allowed:

This license allows:

  • Alcohol use, tobacco use, and fantasy drug references. For example: A phosphorescent mushroom that produces hallucinatory effects when eaten is allowed. A reference to a real-world drug like cocaine is not allowed.
  • Suggestive themes, including references or non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior in written material and any same-sex or gender-queer expressions of said behavior.
  • Depictions of disease, physical illness, and mental illness that are respectful of the dignity and personhood of real-life individuals with similar illnesses.

Please keep in mind that your DMsGuild customers will have varying degrees of comfort with these themes and others. When in doubt, we highly recommend including a Content Warning in your product description to list any mature or controversial themes and always treating such themes with thoughtfulness and respect. This resource gives some instruction on how to give an effective content warning.

If a creator violates one of the guidelines above, a DMsGuild staff member will contact them to address changes, potentially deactivating the title from sale until necessary changes are made or working with the creator to move their title to another platform provided it follows the Open Gaming License. Violations identified by our internal team or reported by customers are reviewed by Dungeon Masters Guild employees. Questionable violations are reviewed by the OneBookShelf team and discussed with the author.

It is always our goal for the guidelines above to be all encompassing of all content produced for all time. However, we must recognize the possibility a future title could shed light on a guideline we had not considered. As such, these guidelines are subject to change, and such changes are made with serious consideration and external feedback/consultation. Creators are expected to adhere to the most recent version of these guidelines.

 

 

Was this article helpful?
57 out of 58 found this helpful
Powered by Zendesk