[RPG] OGL or GSL license for D&D 5e


With the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Basic Rules being a free PDF, they are practically the SRD.

But is there a license available for content creators that want to create commercial products based on 5e?

Wizards still lists only the Revised 3.5 under OGL and 4e GSL, but I realize that 5e is still in the release process.

Best Answer

Yes, originally expected in 2015, 5e OGL and SRD arrived on Jan 2016.

OGL is now embedded in the SRD, available here:


5e OGL is essentially the same with 3r OGL word for word (see below).

Like 3r SRD (and unlike 4e's), it contains de-flavored basic player and DM resources that you can use to create other OGL materials. Please keep in mind that Basic Rules is not SRD5, and SRD5 is not 3r SRD. For example, SRD 5.0 includes experience table (under "Beyond 1st Level", page 56), but simplified all classes to their archetype, and contains only one feat.

Wizards of the Coast has also created a new online market, Dungeon Masters Guild, that allows you to extend proprietary materials such as Forgotten Realms and sell them, sharing the profit with Wizards.

Otherwise, what you can do with the SRD and what you cannot do remains the same as 3r. You can still distribute (and sell) your SRD based OGL materials, outside the guild, as long as the materials does not use "Product Identities" and does not violate other copyrights.

Differences between 5e OGL with 3r OGL:

  1. Term 7, last sentence, rights are now retained for Product, not Product Identity.
  2. Term 15 now refers to System Reference Document 5.0 instead of System Reference Document. The years and authors has also been updated.
  3. Legal Information, Product Identity list now includes "Underdark", and also refers to new SRD 5.0.

Historically, the plan was an announcement @ 2014 fall and release in 2015.

Here is an official post about it:

We want to ensure that the quality of anything D&D fans create is as high as possible. Basic D&D is aimed at new players ... not for material that you want to share broadly.

It'll take time for everyone to absorb the rules and how they all interact.

While the details are still in flux, we can say that we plan to announce the details of our plans sometime this fall. After that announcement, we plan on launching our program in early 2015.

This matches some other third party comments, which hints that they want to do something different from OGL:

Mearls' plan for D&D is largely the same goals that were created for the OGL. The difference was that the OGL (assumed) that publishers would create a better game by cooperating through iterative design; instead, authors were motivated to ignore each others' innovations and recreate the same rules so that they were paid additional cents per word.

It may be related that Wizards has not granted any translation license yet. Perhaps the developers are focusing on core rulebooks and neglected licenses. The real reason may be unrelated, of course.

As far as I know, as of 2016 Aug, there is still no official 5e translation. Everyone may translate and release SRD5 under the terms of OGL, however, which is what Hobby Japan do.

(Update 2017 March: Finally, after 3 years, Gale Force Nine will translate D&D 5e into multiple languages, starting with French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese. This stands in contrast with previous editions where a local publisher would buy the right to translate and distribute the local language.)