I am working on a simple Android app. My app implements a D&D 5e character sheet. It lets the user fill form fields and calculates the effects of level progression and attributes. I am not using any grsphics from the official character sheet, only the names of attributes and skills.

The big question here is: Am I allowed to publish this app for free at Google Play or not?

I did my research and found this post: Is there a OGL or GSL license for D&D 5e? From what I understand (there is not much of it), there is a document called System Reference Document 5.0 (“SRD5”), which is basically a free version of the Player's Handbook licensed under the OGL.

I am not sure what “OGL” means. But would I be able to use information from the SRD in my app as long as I add the licence statement?

Or perhaps there are no copyright materials in the character sheet, considering it only consists of basic attributes and skills and few more form headers? And as I stated before, I am not using any graphics derived from the sheet itself. Maybe the only thing that might be problematic is the use of “Dungeons and Dragons” in my app.

I am very confused about all this, so any help would be very welcomed.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Try posting this on the law se site \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 10:13
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Just because something is on-topic at another Stack, even arguably more so than here, doesn’t mean it’s off-topic here. Many users here have published things using various licenses; that’s a part of this industry, so it’s a part of this site. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 12:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related answer with a good legal primer. Note that the 5e SRD can be found here \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ For anyone interested in something similar to what the question covers, read the Open Gaming License in the SRD – it's not very long and it's relatively clear (for a legal document). Practically, you can use anything in the SRD as long as you (a) include the SRD copyright notice in your product's copyright notice; (b) include the OGL license in your product (e.g. it's license or copyright info); (c) don't violate any other terms (e.g. use content NOT covered by the OGL). Basic character info is in the SRD, so it should be usable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer. But the following is my understanding of current law and the licenses. It does not constitute legal advice.

To publish an app that has OGL content, the OGL content inside your app must be open source. That doesn't mean the whole app has to be open, just the files that contain OGL content. So, if you have a list of spell names, races, stats, etc. in a sqlite database or XML file in the app, you must release that sqlite database as open source under the OGL.

Note, that only one sub-race for each race, and one path/domain/option/sub-class for each class is in the SRD. If you need/want more than that, you'll need to look at other licensing options.

There is also the DM Guild, which would let you use all the content -- but you couldn't then sell it outside the Guild (which would mean a pain for people to try and get the app on a phone from there). Moreover, I don't think the Guild can handle software yet.

Lastly, a certain amount of information might possibly maybe fall allowed under Fair Use depending on usage and intent, but Fair Use is difficult and tricky beast in that you don't know if it is or isn't Fair Use until it comes before a judge and they make a ruling.

This sort of thing hasn't been gone after recently, but WoTC tends to be "moody" about their property. They will let stuff live for years without issue or action. Then, management will get squash happy again, and begin sending out DMCA notices and Cease and Desist letters. The ebbs and flows typically have a lot to do with products they are going to release. If they are about to release a product that does the same thing, they kill the competition that is in the space they want to move in. If they aren't about to release something similar, and the community is benefiting from it, they'll ignore it... Sad thing is, they will sometimes clear a space for a product, and then kill the product before release.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .