Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Dungeons & Dragons will release its 2024 ruleset under a Creative Commons licence

Fears of a future OGL are DOA.

Dungeons & Dragons Bastion system unearthed arcana library automa
Image credit: Izzy/Wizards of the Coast

More than a year since Dungeons & Dragons’ publisher relinquished its publicly maligned fight to change the popular tabletop RPG’s Open Gaming License, Wizards of the Coast has announced that its upcoming rulebooks will release their material under a Creative Commons licence.

A new System Reference Document, called SRD 5.2 by Wizards, will collect all of the new and updated core material printed in the 2024 editions of the Players’ Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. This includes all class features, monsters, rules expressions and anything that isn’t trademarked as intellectual property. Essentially, you get mechanics for cover but not Beholders, martial archetypes but not the city and denizens of Baldur’s Gate.

Releasing this material under a CC-BY-4.0 Creative Commons licence makes good on a promise Wizards made back in 2023, when players and critics protested the company’s attempt to lock down the OGL. Ostensibly done to protect Wizards’ IP and strengthen access for third-party creators, many feared the result would be a walled garden where Wizards - and thus Hasbro - controlled anything created under D&D’s legal banner.

Why you should play The One Ring RPG Watch on YouTube

Now, we know the OGL boogeyman is dead and will likely stay buried. SRD 5.2 is an effective update to its predecessor and will be published “within weeks” of the 2025 Monster Manual’s release in February 2025 - the company claims it wants to wait until all three books are publicly available and “don’t want to release an incomplete document to creators.” SRD 5.2’s Creative Commons licence is irrevocable and will allow compatible game material to be published in any storefront - anything that directly references or uses Wizards’ IP will need to use the DMs Guild, instead.

D&D’s SRD 5.1 was published in 2016 and paved the road for a thriving ecosystem of third-party material to exist today. The new document will include the same core rules expressions alongside revised design work that separates the not-quite-6th Edition from its 2014 counterpart. SRD 5.1 isn’t going anywhere but will remain an extant framework that folks can use for their independently made supplements and adventures.

SRD 5.2 will be localised in all languages where you can purchase D&D books, but don’t expect it at the same time as the English language release. Wizards is reportedly reviewing older SRDs for previous D&D editions but doesn’t expect to make significant progress on that project until after the 2024 rules revisions are published in 2025 (yes, it’s weird). Until then, folks can continue to create under an OGL that did not close its gates to designers and, given this news, won’t attempt another takeover anytime soon.

Read this next