DMs Guild – Licensed Fan-made D&D Creations…SOLD FOR MONEY!
Dungeons and Dragons (aka D&D) has a HUGE place in my heart due to the many hours of pen and paper gaming I invested during my teenage years. Sleepovers became all night custom made fantasy movies crafted by myself and my friends as we guided our fictional heroes through long and drawn out stories. D&D not only got me into reading more (so I could learn about the settings that I would be putting my characters or my friends through), but also gave me my first taste in writing as a DM or dungeon master. Now, Wizards of the Coast (D&D publisher) has developed the DMs Guild “that allows you to create content (adventures and locations; new monsters; character classes, archetypes, and backgrounds; etc.) using Wizards of the Coast intellectual property (IP) and to make some money while you’re at it.”
Restricted to creations made for their recent 5th edition ruleset, the DMs Guild seems to be a welcome system that centralizes the D&D community. In the same way that Steam localizes the fan made mods for computer games, DMs Guild catalogues fan made material and allows those hunting for pre-made material to purchase, use, and rate the material to help others make their choice as well. Then the creator gets a cut of the proceeds too.
Thinking back to those days, I certainly could have filled a few pages of the Guild with my own custom Oriental Adventures and Drow (dark) Elven characters and adventures that highlighted my high school creations. From my Tinker Gnome in Dragonlance that liked to build mechs to my Bo weilding psionicist/monk who hated the Red Mages of Thay in Forgotten Realms! Oh the possibilities!
Doing so centralizes the material in a good way that promotes creativity and bypasses the droning work of searching for a 3rd party publisher with a license that will publish your material (or going about that painstaking process yourself).
Also, if you think about it, this allows for said publishers and even Wizards of the Coast to easily find new talent. In an interview with Kotaku, the Wizards of the Coast actually stated that they wanted this level of interaction with the fans with the intent of possibly doing this. With the official Adventurer’s League setup organized in conventions and hobby stores much like Magic the Gathering card tournaments, D&D is surging in an all new way.
Harnessing the power of live streaming, D&D is even using licensed software like Fantasy Grounds to digitize and organize the pen and paper portion of the game. With maps, miniatures, character sheets, and all other kinds of resources, this software allows player and DM to play online and even make it enjoyable for live stream sessions on Google Hangouts or Twitch!
Needless to say, my creative juices are flowing so let me go and find all my old D&D binders! DMs Guild, here I come!