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2024 D&D Rules Updates to be Released Under Creative Commons

Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons, has announced that the 2024 updates to its flagship role-playing game will be released under a Creative Commons license. This move is beneficial for third-party creators. This ensures that there won't be a repeat of the 2023 OGL incident.

The adoption of the Creative Commons license provides a stable foundation for creators to develop their content. Once WotC releases the material, it cannot be retracted. However, this does not grant unlimited freedoms to third-party publishers. It is important for creators to understand the scope of what is permitted under the license.

A copyright license, even one as permissive as Creative Commons, is limited to the content released under it. The planned System Reference Document 5.2 is intended to encompass the game's three primary rulebooks—the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual—but not supplementary rulebooks or modules. Additionally, this license does not extend to other intellectual property types, such as trademarks. Creators can incorporate new monsters and rules into a module, but setting it in one of WotC's trademarked worlds would require additional licensing.

For game publishers aiming to create materials for the new system, it remains a best practice to conduct an intellectual property review of their upcoming products to ensure compliance with the relevant licenses.

More than a year since Dungeons & Dragons’ publisher relinquished its publicly maligned fight to change the popular tabletop RPG’s Open Gaming License, Wizards of the Coast has announced that its upcoming rulebooks will release their material under a Creative Commons licence.


ttrpg law, ip