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Tell me About Creating for DMs Guild

Reynard

Adventurer
I am a writer an designer who has created material for Savage Worlds, Starfinder and other games. i am considering trying my hand at self publishing through DMs Guild but I wanted to get an idea of how it works and what makes it a better option than, say, publishing via the SRD through DTRPG.

First of all, how are rights maintained? If I create something and sell it through DMs Guild, do I own the copyright? Obviously I would have no claim to WotC IP, but am I still the copyright holder of the work. If I produce or commission artwork, do I (or my artist) retain ownership of that artwork? Assuming that the work would fall within the bounds of the OGL and SRD, could I remove the work from DMs Guild and sell it in a different format or through a different venue? Does anyone else gain rights to my work by publishing through DMs Guild?

If you have published through both DMs Guild and via the SRD through other venues, what are your experiences with each? What sorts of products would you suggest selling through one or the other?

Thanks!
 

Morrus

Administrator
Staff member
If you publish on DMsG, you grant a perpetual license to others, including WotC, to use your work. Artwork, I believe, is excepted. While this doesn’t transfer the copyright, you are also prevented from publishing the work elsewhere. In addition, you pay 50% royalties.

In exchange, you get access to some of WotC’s settings and other IP, including art assets.

If you want to publish in the Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Ravenloft, or Ravnica, or to use trademarks like “D&D”, DMsG is your only option.
 

Reynard

Adventurer
If you publish on DMsG, you grant a perpetual license to others, including WotC, to use your work. Artwork, I believe, is excepted. While this doesn’t transfer the copyright, you are also prevented from publishing the work elsewhere. In addition, you pay 50% royalties.

In exchange, you get access to some of WotC’s settings and other IP, including art assets.

If you want to publish in the Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Ravenloft, or Ravnica, or to use trademarks like “D&D”, DMsG is your only option.
Thanks. So for a generic adventure that does not use WotC IP, normal OGL publishing is probably preferable, especially if I care about maintaining rights?
 

Morrus

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks. So for a generic adventure that does not use WotC IP, normal OGL publishing is probably preferable, especially if I care about maintaining rights?
Well that’s for you to decide. I can tell you what I did — I supported the d20 STL and the GSL for about 15 years give or take, but I went with the plain OGL this time around. Third time lucky. But what’s right for me isn’t necessarily what’s right for anybody else. Also, I use tools like Kickstarter and Patreon.
 
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Slit518

Explorer
You can also publish at DriveThruRPG if you wish.

Just don't use any WotC copy-written material, and you're golden.
 

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