What is the Dungeon Masters Guild?

The Dungeon Masters Guild is a new program that allows you to create content (adventures, monsters, backgrounds, etc.) using Wizards of the Coast intellectual property (IP) and to make some money while you’re at it.

To get involved, all you need to do is read the Content Guidelines (see below), write your content, and click through a Community Content Agreement with OneBookShelf when uploading your content. OneBookShelf is the parent company of DriveThruRPG and RPGNow and operates the DMsGuild site and the Dungeon Masters Guild program, under license from Wizards of the Coast.

Once published, all Dungeon Masters Guild content is available at www.DungeonMastersGuild.com or www.DMsGuild.com. You can monitor the website for your sales data, plus ratings and reviews of your work. To promote sales, we encourage you to publicize your work through social media and other reputable media outlets where D&D fans gather.

Why should you participate in the Dungeon Masters Guild?

  • As part of the Dungeon Masters Guild, you have access to a select body of Wizards of the Coast IP for use in your original content design. In short, this is an opportunity for creators outside of Wizards of the Coast to engage with the Forgotten Realms to inspire and elevate their own work.
  • The Dungeon Masters Guild provides an easy-to-use, push-button service that allows you to publish your work quickly and easily, without printing costs or other unnecessary overhead, so you can focus on what you do best… designing great adventure content.
  • The content you create and submit will be published in a central, online marketplace hosted by OneBookShelf, making it available for sale to D&D fans everywhere, while fostering an active and growing community of creators and consumers.
  • The Dungeon Masters Guild is an opportunity to share your original content with the rest of the Dungeons & Dragons community, while you make money at the same time. You set the price other fans will pay for your DMs Guild title. You then get a 50% royalty whenever your title sells.
  • Your content is rated and reviewed by fans who purchase your adventures, allowing you to improve as a designer, and allowing Wizards to easily identify the best creators for additional publication opportunities. The best work will also be eligible to be selected by the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards, to provide our digital partners with salable, downloadable content (DLC) for games such as the Neverwinter MMO and Sword Coast Legends.

Content Guideline

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 fifth edition D&D rules published by Wizards of the Coast, plus decades of published material for the Forgotten Realms setting. Additionally, Wizards of the Coast 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.

There are a few limits on what you can put in your work, but these limits are pretty much what you’d expect. Nothing offensive or pornographic. Nothing that infringes someone else’s copyright or trademark. Nothing libelous.

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.

While all types of content are welcome in the Dungeon Masters Guild, there are certain types of content we think are more in demand by players, and we will therefore tend to promote it more prominently on the DMsGuild marketplace. Primarily, we’d like to see short adventures that can be run in a single session, especially ones that can complement larger campaigns already published by Wizards (e.g., Rage of Demons). Also in demand are fifth edition conversions of monsters absent from the fifth edition Monster Manual and new backgrounds for players to use with their characters. Again, we’d like to emphasize content that would be useful for other D&D players looking to expand on existing official storylines, such as a collection of demons useful for Rage of Demons. At the end of the day, though, the best content for you to write is the content you’re inspired to create. The Realms is a big place. We look forward to seeing what you create for it!

Please read the FAQ further below for more information on the use of art and logos in your content.

How Do I Start?

Go to the Account page at DMsGuild.com and look for the My Content section of the page. There you will find links to webpage tools that allow you to upload your new title, edit your existing titles, and see sales reports for your titles. The My Money section of the Account page also has a webpage tool that allows you to withdraw royalties via PayPal.

Community Content Agreement

When you are ready to upload a Dungeon Masters Guild title, the title set-up page includes a Community Content Agreement that you must agree to in order to publish your title. To see the full agreement, visit the My Content section of your Account page and select the Enter New Title option. Scroll to the bottom of that page to see the agreement in full.

Frequently Asked Questions

Open Game License vs. Dungeon Masters Guild

How is the Dungeon Masters Guild different from the Open Game License (OGL)?

The Open Game License and the Dungeon Masters Guild are two distinct and separate things.

Under the Dungeon Masters Guild program, you can publish D&D material that either 1) Has no setting or 2) Uses the Forgotten Realms setting.

Under the Open Game License, you can typically publish material that 1) Has no setting or 2) Uses your own original setting.

When you publish material that has no setting, then publishing under the DMs Guild program allows you to use the entire D&D 5th edition rules, not just the subset in the SRD. It also allows you to sell the material here on the DMsGuild.com marketplace.

Activity

OGL

DMs Guild

I want to design content using the fifth edition rules for D&D

X

X

I want to publish my original campaign world using fifth edition rules

X

~

I want to publish content using the Forgotten Realms

~

X

I want to print and sell my fifth edition D&D product on my own

X

~

I want to sell my product in the D&D online marketplace

~

X

I want my content rated by the largest network of D&D players

~

X

I want my content considered for additional publication by Wizards

~

X

I want my content considered for inclusion in digital games

~

X

I want my content considered for inclusion in Wizards marketing

~

X


Can I use creatures like the beholder and mind flayer that are "product identity" in my DMs Guild title?

Yes. Product identity exclusions only apply to publishing under the OGL. Product identity has no meaning under the DMs Guild program.


Logos and Artwork

What kinds of artwork and maps can I use in my DMs Guild titles?

The artwork (illustrations or maps) that you include in your title does not become part of the DMs Guild content which other DMs Guild contributors can use. Here is general advice for these types of artwork:
1. Art and Maps provided by Wizards of the Coast - The art you find in the Resources for DMs Guild Creators category is owned by Wizards and can be freely used in your DMs Guild titles. No other artwork from Wizards of the Coast titles can be used, only the art specifically released for DMs Guild Creators.
2. Public Domain Art - Art that you are certain is in the public domain can be used.
3. Stock Art - Usage of stock art depends on the license associated with that stock art. Most of the stock art sold under the Publisher Resources category on DriveThruRPG includes a license that would allow it to be used in your DMs Guild titles.
4. Commissioned Art - Usage of art that you commission from an artist depends upon your terms with the artist. You must have the rights or license to use the art in your title. The artwork does not become owned by OneBookShelf or Wizards; you simply must have rights to use it in your commercial work.
5. Creative Commons - This depends on the type of creative commons license. Some allow commercial use, others do not.


Can I use the D&D logo on my DMs Guild title?

The only Wizards logo you can use in your title is the &Guild logo found here:

http://www.dmsguild.com/images/site_resources/DMsGuildProductLogoLarge.png


What Can I Publish?

Can I create content for other editions of D&D?

Fifth edition content only please.


Is this going to remain Forgotten Realms only, or are other settings/IPs to be considered in the future??

We intend to open up additional settings and IP as time goes on. However, for the time being, we will remain focused on the Forgotten Realms.


Can I publish comic books, novels, computer games, etc.?

For now, roleplaying game titles only please.


Can I convert [X] from earlier editions to fifth edition and publish it with DMs Guild?

In general, the answer is yes. You can convert magic items, monsters, character classes, spells, etc. from earlier edition books to fifth 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.

No direct conversions of classic adventures. If you want to publish something based around a classic adventure like Against the Giants or Demonweb Pits then you could consider options like:

1) An distinct 5e adventure that is a prequel or sequel to the classic adventure content.

2) A conversion guide for someone who has the classic adventure. Encounter-by-encounter conversion notes with needed 5e stats. Augmenting your conversion notes with ideas for setting the adventure in the Forgotten Realms would a be a plus.

3) A unique take in the spirit of the classic adventure. Yeah, the tomb of Acereraks tomb horrific, but what about the tomb of that other liche?


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

Yes, you can sell your title through OneBookShelf’s print-on-demand program, as well as in PDF. However, preparing print specification files requires professional-level skill with Adobe InDesign or a similar program. If you or someone you know has such skills, then refer to the details on this page. When you have print files ready, use the Contact Us page to get in touch with us about the next steps. OneBookShelf staff will not be able to coach you on print file creation, so make sure you (or someone you have contracted) have used the print file templates and checklists and have covered all of the detailed specs for your print files.


Can I submit non-English language titles to the Dungeon Masters Guild program?

Yes. Only original content please, no direct translations of Wizards of the Coast titles.


Can I use iconic FR characters like Drizzt and Elmnister in my DMs Guild adventure?

Yes


Can I copy [X] from the core rulebook and include them in my title?

You can include things like summary stat blocks of monsters from the Monster Manual in your adventure. Similarly, you can include spell effects and such as needed to make running your adventure easy on DMs. Often it is just as easy on the DM if you refer her to the Monster Manual or other core rulebook instead.

Avoid copying large sections of Wizards titles. Stick to summary information needed and not easily referenced.


Other Questions

How should I price my title?

When you upload your Dungeon Masters Guild title, you will enter all of the metadata for your title, including setting its price. You have the option to set the price to be zero or free. You can also set the price to be Pay What You Want (PWYW), meaning that each customer can set their own price (from zero up) to pay for your title. Most titles, though, will be priced at a fixed price. The ideal fixed price varies with the length of your title and its quality of writing, art, and design.

Based on historic data from DriveThruRPG PDF sales, the most successful price points are $1.00, $2.00, $2.95, $3.95, $4.99, $7.95, $10.00, $14.95, and $19.99. More detail can be found in this OneBookShelf blog post.


How do I get paid?

Once you activate your Dungeon Masters Guild title for public sale, your account will begin to accrue a 50% royalty every time your title sells. You can withdraw your accumulated royalties via PayPal by going to the My Money section of the Account page. Note that the My Money section of your Account page will not display until you have a balance accrued. There is a $2 fee taken from each withdrawal, but you will pay no other PayPal fees to receive the money. To prevent certain types of fraud, we have to hold your royalties for 60 days after the date of a sale before the royalties from that sale are eligible for withdrawal by PayPal. We only pay royalties via PayPal. Creating a PayPal account is free and easy, and in most countries, you can connect your PayPal account to your bank account and transfer money from PayPal to your bank in a few business days.


How do I create an account?

All you need to do is set up a customer account (not a publisher account) through any one of OneBookShelf’s sites (i.e., DriveThruRPG, DnDClassics, RPGNow, etc.). If you already have an account on any of those sites, your existing account also works on DMsGuild.com


Can I distribute or sell my Dungeon Masters Guild title other places?

Except for short promotional previews, you can only distribute and sell your Dungeon Masters Guild titles through the DMsGuild.com marketplace.


If I use content from other DMs Guild authors, do I need to credit them?

As more authors contribute to the DMs Guild’s pool of community content, we do not expect to maintain perfect attribution every time an author re-uses elements originally contributed by another author. Such attributions are not strictly required. However, we do think two things would be best practices for all DMs Guild contributors:

  1. When re-using a larger element that you have taken from another DMs Guild author’s work, include a reference to the original work as a link to it on DMsGuild.com within your PDF. For example, if you are using a Rainbow Unicorn creature that you found in another author’s work, you might reference that inside your own work where you provide stats for the Rainbow Unicorn the first time, using an internal citation such as, "(Rainbow Unicorn from Cloud Forest by Jane Doe)"
  2. On your title’s credit page, make a list of such references.

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

You can find lots of helpful advice on this page.


What do I include in the legal text within my DMs Guild title?

We recommend a legal line in this general format:
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, Wizards of the Coast, Forgotten Realms, the dragon ampersand, and all other Wizards of the Coast product names, and their respective logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast in the USA and other countries.

This work contains material that is copyright Wizards of the Coast and/or other authors. Such material is used with permission under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild.

All other original material in this work is copyright [2016] by [your legal name or company name] and published under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild.


Does Wizards own any unique IP that I create in my publications?

Wizards does not own any of the unique IP that you create in your publications. Wizards does own the IP that they contribute, plus the agreement will grant Wizards and other DMs Guild authors a license to use your IP. That said, if your work merits incorporation into “canon,” Wizards will contact you about purchasing your IP outright.


What does it mean to be selected by the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards? What can your content be selected for?

You could be selected for any number of things. They include, but are not limited to… publication in an official Wizards product; inclusion in DLC or even main storylines for one of the games created by our digital partners; etc.


Will material be approved by Wizards before it is published?

There will not be an approval process by Wizards or OneBookShelf per se. However, if you’re found to be breaking our content guidelines, there will be repercussions. For example, your content can be pulled from the site, you might be ejected from the Dungeon Masters Guild as a content creator, and you would receive no payment for copies sold.


Would I be able to separately release fifth edition products for the Dungeon Masters Guild, and then other fifth edition products under the OGL?

Yes. They are two separate programs. For example, you can manage your Dungeon Masters Guild content from your Account page on DMsGuild.com and also use your same OneBookShelf customer account to create a publisher account on DriveThruRPG, managing your OGL products from your Publish page there.


Can anyone rate my Dungeon Masters Guild content?

Only people who purchase your content are allowed to rate and review it. Anyone can join the Discussion on your title page.


Can I become an administrator for the Dungeon Masters Guild?

At this time, all administration responsibilities are handled by OneBookShelf and the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast.


I am Already a Publisher on DriveThruRPG

I already have a publisher account at DriveThruRPG, should I use my normal publisher tools for submitting DMs Guild titles?

No. DMs Guild titles are managed from the My Content section of your Account page on DMsGuild.com. Do not use your normal Publish hub to set up new DMs Guild titles. Royalties for DMs Guild title sales will likewise accrue in your customer account not in your publisher earnings account


Can I use my publisher tools on my DMs Guild content?

DMs Guild content is only associated with your customer account, not your publisher account. The tools available to you for your DMs Guild content are found on the Account page of DMs Guild. They are a simplified subset of your normal publisher tools.



ENWorld has done a nice summary of the Reddit AMA that Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay at Wizards did on the Dungoon Masters Guild. If anything there conflicts with information above the information on this page is more current and takes precedence.