I've actually had some of my questions answered browsing through the forums; however, I wanted to address some issues that may come of my conclusions!

First off, I haven't DM'd since the first edition of AD&D, so its been maybe 27 years or so, but I have played 4e.

I am creating my own campaign setting with my own NPCs, their special pets, summons, etc, but I want to incorporate characters from classic D&D campaigns. For instance: I want an NPC to have an acquaintance or even friendship with both Drizzt and Jaraxle and to call for their aid, and I think I've found a way to do this--but are there rules I must follow in contacting characters from other settings such as Forgotten Realms? I was going to use portals and animals of flight to travel between my world and established D&D campaigns and have the messages sent using the methods above. Any suggestions to incorporating this would be highly appreciated!

I am concerned not only with violating any rules, but also if there are legal complications I should be aware of.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ According to Spelljammer and Planescape, most published campaign settings (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk) are usually different planets in the same universe; A few (such as Ravenloft) are separate planes and demiplanes, and others (such as Al Quadim) are specific regions of other settings. However, 4th edition played havoc with D&D cosmology and cannon, and the rules for travelling between settings vary from one edition to the next in any case, so I'll hold off on posting an answer until the question's tags are clarified. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jul 12, 2013 at 8:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, 4th edition? Then Spelljammer and Planescape aren't really applicable - they're second edition, you see. Hopefully someone else can provide an answer, then. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jul 12, 2013 at 8:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ well I.suppose Ill just make Drizzt. I found some pre Fab lvl twenties googling that satisfy fourth ed! Ill use Plains of Lights as the continent to travel to? \$\endgroup\$
    – Corb
    Jul 12, 2013 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


There is no legal problem with using intellectual property in a private game.

Unless you're making money off it or making it available to large numbers of people, what you do in your game probably isn't interfering with copyright.

Of the established settings you're mentioning, only Forgotten Realms is codified in 4e.

D&D Fourth Edition has its own "Points of Light" setting (which I love dearly for its lack of codified detail), and the following established "legacy" settings: Dark Sun, Eberron, Forgotten Realms. Each of them has two books dedicated to it (FR has a Player's Guide and a Campaign Guide), as well as articles in the Dungeon and Dragon magazines.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no established means of crossing between settings.

4e doesn't have the massive infinitely-multiple-planes cosmology of previous editions, so the idea that each setting is just another spoke on the wheel makes little sense: there isn't a wheel anymore.

But don't let that stop you.

There is no legal reason not to massage the setting into something pleasing to your group and conducive to your story, and no private RPG group is bound to use the "official" setting without modification. So long as everyone involved is safe and happy, go right ahead.

It's your group's campaign and the setting belongs to you to invent and reinvent. Every group's world is a little different, and most are a LOT different. So if you want this to be possible, then it's possible. There aren't established system rules for this in your chosen system, so make 'em up. If there were established system rules and you didn't like 'em, you'd be free to change 'em; RPGs are cool that way.

(Your ideas about flying animals to move between realms sounds awesome, by the way, and I may want to use it in one of my games some time.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for that! I have some pretty trippy ideas, I think but most have probably been used somewhere! \$\endgroup\$
    – Corb
    Jul 12, 2013 at 15:51

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