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I've had artistic skills since I was a kid and I love D&D, and I want to create some books. I would be trying to fund them with KickStarter — 100 new monsters, 100 NPCs, 100 map tiles, and stuff like that. I would be doing all the art.

Is this something I can do? Is copyright a problem, and if so is there any way to avoid those problems?

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Angry GM (theangrygm.com) wrote a comprehensive article on the subject here. You'll learn a lot about Open Game License (OGL), System Reference Document (SRD) and other copyright considerations there.

However, be warned that his writing, while full of good advice and wisdom, is liberally sprinkled with rude and vulgar language (I'm borrowing nitsua60's words here).

Basically, you have to choose between two models : limit yourself to the content given in the SRD (with all it's limitations) or sell your work through the Dungeon's Master Guild. Be aware, though, that if your choose the latter, you won't be allowed to distribute it (even for free) anywhere else, and that includes any copy you would want to give as rewards to your contributors.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, as much as I enjoy his site, his inability to use 50 words, but instead 500, is off putting, even with profanity allowed for. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 5 '17 at 1:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ As to "limit yourself to the SRD", that only applies to re-use/reproduction, correct? You are free to create completely new stuff? \$\endgroup\$ – Weckar E. Oct 5 '17 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WeckarE. As far as I know, that's correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Meta4ic Oct 5 '17 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LupaShiva Unfortunately, successful professional publishing (i.e., that results in making money instead of losing money) is an activity that requires either knowing a lot of information on how to do it, or investing time and energy into learning that information. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 5 '17 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ While Angry can be a bit ranty and long-winded, when he gets to the meat of what he's talking about he makes it as clear as he can. This topic is simply very difficult to navigate in general. I enjoy Angry's work. \$\endgroup\$ – Aviose Oct 5 '17 at 22:14

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