Questions tagged [intellectual-property]

For questions related to copyright, trademark, and/or patent law as it applies to the publication and distribution of tabletop RPGs.

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0answers
31 views

How can Forgotten Realms maps be used in DMsGuild adventures?

JVC Parry's recent intriguing DMsGuild adventure Call from the Deep includes a hex map of an area of the Sword Coast from Forgotten Realms. As JVC Parry is a third-party author outside of WotC, this ...
6
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1answer
161 views

Who owns content posted at Paizo.com forums?

I am working on a guide containing many Pathfinder tactics and rules commonly overlooked by new players, such as delaying until you get buffed. I am using this thread as one of the important sources. ...
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0answers
156 views

How hard is it to navigate D&D 5e copyright and licensing? [closed]

I'm developing the concept of a website to help DMs run campaigns. Imagine a beefed up D&DBeyond site. I'd like to be able to have spells and classes on said site for a few games, but does anyone ...
11
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1answer
592 views

Is Forgotten Realms geo-location data copyrighted, or free to use?

I am in the process of creating a gis map of Toril, starting from the Faerun Continent. (More details are in this question on GIS.SE: Starting a QGIS project for a fantasy world map from raster images....
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1answer
585 views

Who owns the Dragonlance intellectual property?

This answer states that Margaret Weis "owns" Dragonlance, and that she "won the rights to Dragonlance in a court battle." Is this accurate? I could not find any details of such a court battle, or ...
8
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1answer
262 views

How to get permission to use Monster Manual images in articles and adventures “courtesy of Wizards of the Coast”?

We notice that a variety of online articles appear to have received permission from Wizards of the Coast for use of their images from the Monster Manual (such as this Nerdarchy article which uses a ...
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1answer
518 views

Can a PC protected by copyright be used by the DM without player permission? [closed]

A player owns the copyright on their character as long as that character meets copyright criteria and was featured in something before being in the campaign, such as a backstory or drawing. This has ...
2
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1answer
190 views

Dungeons and Dragons god symbols in real life crafts [closed]

I understand that the D&D deities of the multiverse and various setting pantheons are protected by copyright laws, as are official artworks, but is there anything prohibiting a hobbyist from ...
11
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1answer
556 views

If Drow and Duergar are allowed as monsters in the D&D 5e SRD, are they allowed as subraces as well?

I'm developing a campaign setting with my S.O. which we intend to publish. (We're uncertain of exactly where we'll publish yet.) I was reading through the D&D 5e SRD released under OGL to see what ...
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1answer
2k views

Which part of the PHB is free for public use?

I'm designing an iOS app could help us in game. The app including a "spell quick reference" section. Can I use the spell list in the PHB? In the future, I want to add more to it, like feats. Can I use ...
5
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1answer
368 views

Creating an RPG with a similar setting to Shadowrun: is it a derivative work?

I have spent a lot of time looking at both other posts on this form about derivative work and its actual definition/ conditions, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this specific case. I have ...
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1answer
330 views

What can I include in 3rd-party content? [duplicate]

What WotC 5e D&D content am I and am I not allowed to use in published 3rd-party content? Core books? Books like Xanathar's and Volo's? Unearthed Arcana? How do I avoid plagiarism, copyright ...
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1answer
384 views

Are monster names covered as identity under the OGL or otherwise copyrighted?

Can I reuse the names of monsters from works published under the Open Gaming license, specifically monsters found in the Pathfinder Bestiary, the Open Pathfinder SRD web site or books published under ...
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2answers
664 views

Can I use the example character names from the PHB for characters in a story I'm writing?

My problem is that I was in need of a nice-sounding name for a character during one DnD session, so I used one from the Player’s Handbook, since I thought that it’s not going to be an extremely ...
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1answer
2k views

Can I mention Dungeons & Dragons in a D&D 5e OGL product description?

I have been thinking of publishing a D&D 5th edition module under the open gaming license (OGL). I understand the phrase "Dungeons & Dragons" product title is copyrighted trademarked and thus ...
2
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0answers
155 views

How hard is it to get a license from WotC to publish a novel set in a D&D setting? [closed]

Everybody is trying to get around writing their own stories without infringing any copyrights by WotC. That got me wondering... How hard could it be to obtain a license to actually publish a book ...
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1answer
3k views

What kind of license or ownership does uploading content to D&D Beyond grant WOTC?

I remember when DM's Guild first came out there were some concerns regarding the licensing terms you agree to when uploading homebrew content. At first it seemed like you granted ownership of your IP ...
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1answer
1k views

Can I publish my own books for use with D&D 5th edition?

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 ...
6
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2answers
523 views

Is there any copyright infringement if you prepare a campaign setting based on a published book or movie?

I'm working on a project to prepare roleplaying settings. We first wanted to make it for ourselves but we thought that if anyone wants to use it why not. We even thought further and figured that it ...
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1answer
244 views

Is there a definitive set of monster icons or images that is royalty free? [closed]

I'm about to start broadcasting a D&D campaign on roll20 via twitch.tv. My current account is loaded with images that are, suffice to say, copyright infringement. I intend to replace all of the ...
3
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1answer
192 views

Open Gaming License and Novels

I would like to write an RPG licensed under the OGL that draws inspiration (but does not contain any copyrighted material etc.) from novels and other forms of media. How could I reference those books ...
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4answers
1k views

What's the legality of making a character editor?

I want to develop a character editor for role-playing games. At first just for one game, but I want to expand it later to cover multiple games. What laws (like copyright and intellectual-property) do ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Is there public domain prior art for frost-breathing Winter Wolves? [closed]

Does anyone know of any public domain prior art for the breath weapon of D&D's winter wolf? I ask because I'd like to use ice-breathing wolves in fiction, but would have to avoid litigation in ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Is it legal to make a D&D 5e character sheet app?

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 ...
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1answer
132 views

May I link to SRD in a document under OGL?

I am writing a house rules document for a Pathfinder game. Not publishing it would be a pity, and not using OGL to publish it likewise, since publishing the house rules under OGL allows others to use ...
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1answer
5k views

Legality of publishing a book based on a D&D game

I'm planning to write a book based on a game of Dungeons and Dragons. The rest of the people in my party will get credit as will the DM, who wrote the adventure. If I change the things that were ...
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2answers
1k views

Does the OGL let me write D&D 5e compatible rulebooks legally?

In the D&D 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, there are two magic items named The Book of Exalted Deeds and The Book of Vile Darkness. In their description, under "Vile Lore" it says that the DM ...
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3answers
424 views

Is the Greyhawk pantheon protected “Product identity”?

A bit off the usual topic here but I thought I'd see if anyone knew: Specifically, I'm wondering whether I could make and sell non-game products (like t-shirts, for example) that feature Greyhawk ...
4
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1answer
291 views

What legal issues will I have with copying themes and ideas from existing RPG's?

So I've ben building a tabletop RPG for quite a few years, gone through all the mechanics, we have a timeline laid out for doing a TON of playtesting (individually, local friends, local game stores, ...
6
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2answers
534 views

Can you publish a commercial rpg using the Gumshoe SRD?

As a Kickstarter reward, the Gumshoe ruleset (used in games such as Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues) was released as an SRD. You can get it here: https://pelgranepress.com/index.php/tag/open-...
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1answer
653 views

Can I Write A Story Within The Forgotten Realms And Publish it? [duplicate]

If I were to use a character, say a Deva, and create a story using them can I publish it? For things like town names, God titles and small amounts of lore I can change them. But the real question is, ...
6
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1answer
669 views

Writing stories based on a D&D homebrew setting

I've been considering writing and posting (for free) stories based on a homebrew D&D setting I came up with. Most of the questions on here deal with the legality of posting rules mechanics etc, ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the required process to (partially) reproduce D&D rulebooks?

Say I wanted to create (and sell) an original design of the D&D 5e Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and some original cartography of Forgotten Realms locations. This would mostly be a ...
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2answers
2k views

What is an SRD for?

Some RPGs have SRDs. Wikipedia tells me that they are System Reference Documents, but that it's largely a D&D thing, and doesn't explain why they exist. Only that they do. This answer suggests ...
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5answers
4k views

Is it legal to write and publish a novel based on a pre-existing campaign or setting?

I have read over the OGL and researched copyright laws, but I still am not sure how much of what I want to do is legal. What if someone wanted to write a story about a pre-existing campaign, such as ...
14
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4answers
1k views

What are the legal/ethical considerations of republishing old adventures for new editions?

I am a lazy GM and I rely a lot on published adventures. Particularly shorter ones: I get a lot of pleasure from tweaking and arranging them into a coherent narrative frame for a campaign. I've been ...
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1answer
1k views

Do Tabletop RPGs Require a Copyright?

I am currently creating a Tabletop RPG and I have already found a few ways to publish it. The main problem I am having is this: if I want to get credit for making the game, and receive any and all ...
23
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3answers
10k views

What Information Can I Use If I Want To Publish My Own D&D 5e Module?

I intend to write a D&D module and publish it under the OGL (I know 5e itself isn't OGL, see note below) for use with both D&D 5e and AD&D. I know there are areas where I can't draw ...
24
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6answers
4k views

Is it legally okay to blog a D&D 5e story (actual play)

Okay, this might be a stupid question (sorry about that) and possibly even a duplicate, but is it okay legally to blog a D&D 5e story, that is, to publish a kind of "actual play" publicly? Sure I ...
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3answers
3k views

Are the Gods in Forgotten Realms under copyright?

I'm in the midst of writing a story involving Cyric and Tharizdon butting heads over a group of mortals attempting to obtain one of Cyric's toys and destroy it. (based on a 2 dungeon master, dungeon ...
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1answer
438 views

Is the NDA for DnDNext still in Effect?

When signing up for the playtest, you sign an agreement that basically says you can't quote or share material from the playtest packet. However, recently, Wizards of the Coast has started to sell ...
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3answers
872 views

What exactly does Paizo consider Product Identity?

What I am trying to do: I am building a character sheet application for use on my phone or tablet and would like to be able to make a few bucks off of it should it turn out handy during my own game ...
10
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2answers
699 views

Reproduction of copyrighted content by website users [closed]

TL:DR Do I need to restrict users of my site from contributing RPG content that is copyrighted (non-OGL)? Or is there some way to allow the reproduction of such content by users (or even by the whole ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Is it legal to “use” (reference) copyrighted material in a way that requires ownership of its original publication?

The actual question: Suppose I wrote a campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, and wanted to say something like “To use this material, you need Tome of Battle by Wizards of the Coast,&...
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1answer
1k views

What guides and resources exist for creating custom classes in Dungeon World?

I already own and have access to the Dungeon World book/manual and I've read and will refer to the Advanced Delving section. Beyond that however I'm looking for any other guidelines and tips when ...
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2answers
441 views

Does White Wolf still own BESM and is anyone licensing it from them?

I would like to know what the current ownership situation around BESM is. Here's the story as I know it from my research: In 2006, when Guardians of Order went out of business, ArtHaus, a subsidiary ...
2
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0answers
264 views

Is the SPECIAL attribute-system (the one used in the Fallout games) copyrighted? [duplicate]

I have tried to search the Internet for this. I am thinking of creating my own (commercial) RPG and I am also thinking of using the same set of attributes the popular Fallout games are using, also ...
20
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3answers
6k views

Is it legal to write and distribute adventures or campaign settings for D&D 3.5?

I am considering writing and selling adventures and/or a campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 and I am wondering if it is legal to do so. Also what am I allowed to use from the official ...
22
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2answers
8k views

Can I use existing game mechanics in my own designs?

To what extent is it permissible to use aspects of a given system (for commercial use)? Say I wanted to have rules for how a skill check works, do I have to be careful that I am not using the same as ...
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3answers
2k views

What are the legal issues for making a fan RPG of a licensed property using GURPS?

There are a lot of great franchises which don't have tabletop RPGs for them and I've seen that GURPS can handle, or give a valiant attempt at least basically anything, and I've seen for example ...