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Recently, I emailed Roll20 about optimizing an adventure for their platform so it can be released both on DMsGuild and Roll20.

Roll20 replied that they are very interested in having DMsGuild content on their platform.

However, DMsGuild states that if you publish an adventure on DMsGuild platform that you are unable to sell the adventure anywhere else.

To prevent breaking that rule, you might consider giving your digital content away for free on Roll20 - but I received an email from Roll20 that states that they do not allow digital content to be given away free - you must charge for it at a minimum of $4.95 (and they get a percentage of that.)

To avoid breaking the DMsGuild rule of not selling your adventure anywhere else, you might then consider creating just a digital bundle to sell on Roll20 which only has the digital assets (not the whole adventure) - but I received an email from Roll20 which states that they only want to have "complete adventures" on their platform.

These seem to be irreconcilable requirements: either you put something on DMsGuild and nothing can be made available on Roll20 or you put something on Roll20 and nothing can be on DMsGuild.

We emailed Roll20 about this and they said to contact DMsGuild about it. This didn't seem like a viable solution as DMsGuild is unlikely to change their requirement about selling on other platforms.

Has anyone figured out how to release an adventure on DMsGuild and also provide digital content for Roll20? Has any previously published adventure accomplished this?

We are simply trying to make it easy for the people who buy the adventure and have digital content to play it on Roll20. We wanted it to be free but if Roll20 wants to charge that's fine too. This scenario seems so common and so simply in the interest of Roll20's platform that it seems like there would be a path to make it possible.

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You have to choose

Accepting that your interpretation of the contracts is correct and that it is impossible to comply with both, you have to choose which company you will do business with.

Subject to two alternatives:

  1. You have enough power to negotiate changes to one or both of the contracts - unlikely.
  2. You publish on both and are willing to defend a suit from WotC (or initiate one) on the basis that their terms are an unlawful restraint of trade. That is at least arguable and you may wish to consult a lawyer. Of course, if you lose, the costs will likely bankrupt your company (under no circumstances do this personally). Needless to say, the costs of a lawsuit, even if you win, will be way more than anything you could reasonably expect to make from an RPG product, so you’d be doing it for the principle.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Side note on that last parenthetical: unless the company is specifically a corporation, there’s no separation between personal and the company for purposes of risk exposure. (Even then, small LLCs provide much less protection of principals’ personal assets in event of corporate bankruptcy than they used to.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 5 at 16:14

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