On Publicly Sharing Paid Content: Legality, and all around Best Practices.


WotC President Runner-Up.
Good morning EN World.

So I started blogging. I want to write, and I need practice. I figured a blog would be a good way to do that. I've mostly been telling stories, and also publishing my Campaign Diaries there. Not only is this proving to be a fun writing exercise, but it's also been a nice way for me to chronicle my game. I like to think that in one, five, or maybe even ten years from now I can look back and see how much I've progressed as a both a writer, and a dungeon master.

I'm currently running my party through a VERY modified version of the Sunless Citadel. I've been working off the 3.xe version that I purchased from The DM's Guild.

In addition to that I'm using monsters from the 5e Monster Manual, Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts and Creature Codex, and EN Publishing's Monstrous Menagerie. I like to take my monsters and cut and paste them up. As an example I grabbed core stats for a troll-like creature from the Codex for the 'Failed Dragon Priest' encounter, but then stole some abilities from black dragons found in the Menagerie. I took a Kobold Shaman from the Codex and gave it spells from the 5e Player's Handbook.

I'd like to chronicle my adaptation in my blog. I know that I can post anything I've made myself, for instance the hand-drawn map I've used for the dungeon, while inspired by the top level of the citadel, is still my own creation. Would I be correct in assuming that I should probably avoid sharing anything on my blog that is from these various published sources? For instance posting the original map along side my new one? Or my chopped up, hack job monster stat blocks which include cropped snips from the books?

I see that a lot of blogs do include things clipped from official books and what-not.. But I didn't want to just willy-nilly go and post this content that I paid for, if it might be something that is potentially illegal, or even legal, but considered in bad taste.

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Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
You can rely on Fair Use to do many of the things you're doing. Fair Use allows people to use copyrighted material for a variety of mainly non-commercial or at least transformative purposes. Describing how you take something and transform it in a blog is probably kosher as long as it's not a large proportion of the work in question*. I'd recommend making sure you identify the sources, maybe even link to a way people can get them.

*Something to consider - if a map is one of several in an adventure, it should be OK to post it (or a cropped version of it), but if map constituted the whole product like a flip map, I would definitely NOT include it since you'd be sharing the whole work.
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