I thought that only the SRD content was supposed to be offered for free, but on some websites I can find content from the Basic Rules document (that isn't in the SRD) or even the Xanathar's Guide to Everything book.

I usually classify sites that offer such content as piracy but there are some sites that I think to be legitimate. Here are two sites for instance:

  • D&D Beyond with basic rules content on their character builder (subraces, backgrounds) or their data (wood elf from the basic rules - there is even a footnote on this webpage: "Basic Rules, pg. 21")

  • Another site [name removed by a moderator to not endorse piracy sites] with spells/feats/invocations from XGTE, but not magic items nor monsters

Do you know why we can find such content on these websites? Should I consider these websites legitimate (i.e. non-piracy)?

How can I know?


1 Answer 1


Websites displaying D&D content without a notice implying a license agreement with Wizards of the Coast are likely published without their permission.

Websites typically include necessary disclaimers in the footer. As an example, dndbeyond.com, who prominently use the D&D logo, have a note at the bottom of their site:

Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, their respective logos, and all Wizards titles and characters are property of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. ©2020 Wizards

WotC has released a public guideline for fans to use their IP: the Fan Content Policy. The agreement requires derivative works to be free and include a public notice indicating they are unofficial.

“[Title of your Fan Content] unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.”

So you should see a note such as the one above displayed beside D&D related content.

The brand ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is WotC intellectual property (IP). Only publications adhering to their license are permitted to republish D&D material.

The document popularly referred to as the OGL or SRD is itself a license.

WotC uses a broad definition to classify their IP. Namely, it includes the cards, creatures, books, games, gameplay, pictures, stories, logos, animations, artwork, plots, locations, histories, characters, graphics, files, text, and other materials published by Wizards of the Coast.

It is WotC's obligation to notify web hosts of suspected IP infringement; then the alleged infringer may take steps to takedown content before facing legal repercussions.


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