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D&D Copyright question in regards to module creation using Yuan-ti

1585687967
Daniel S.
Pro
Sheet Author
I've been working on a module that I ran at an in game table that worked really well. I'd like to try to publish it on Roll20 with my own tokens, artwork etc. However, the lore, mystery, and "puzzles" of the dungeon rely heavily on Yuan-ti lore. Specifically: Yuan-ti trying to ascend everything else and become gods That yuan-ti used to be people who evolved into snake people with some sort of rituals That they keep prisoners for their experiments and to try to convert them to yuan-ti, etc. That they can transform (polymorph) into "regular" snakes Various diety symbols like the Eye of Set And also Yuan-ti game stats in general. Yuan-ti are not in the OGL. I could publish this to DM's Guild but think it'd be more fun with Roll20 integration. So I'm wondering. Can I change it to "snake people", change some lore subtly to 'imply' Yuan-ti lore but not go there directly. And otherwise find a way to publish it. Or will I need to get rid of a bunch of Yuan-ti stuff that has a likeness copyright, etc. Wondering what I'm able to do or if I should honestly give up on this project for Roll20 and work on something more, let's say, copyright generic. Thanks.
1585695872
DarkDeer
Forum Champion
Marketplace Creator
Compendium Curator
Hi Daniel,  We currently do not have a licensing relationship with DM's Guild. We are only able to accept products that follow the OGL standards put out by Wizards of the Coast. A DM's Guild partnership would require quite a few moving parts seeing as they sublicense from Wizards of the Coast. My recommendation would be to do one or the other, and if you choose to come to Roll20, make sure that you are within the OGL guidelines with your own IP! Thank you for your inquiry!
1585707710
Daniel S.
Pro
Sheet Author
Okay, thanks a bunch for the info. Looking at the OGL, I do see Yuan-ti on the list. I guess I'm wondering from a more technical standpoint what it means to use product identity, if there would be a way to do it while still using the OGL (such as changing the lore so that they behave somewhat different and are actually different creatures), etc., or if it sounds like what I'm doing would be encroaching on product identity.
1585718830
B Simon Smith
Marketplace Creator
tbh, it's best to just remove the idea completely rather than trying to figure out a way how to skirt IP laws.
1585721128
keithcurtis
Forum Champion
Marketplace Creator
API Scripter
My personal rule of thumb is "When in doubt, don't"
1585725853
From a creative point of view, this could be the point where you add the extra work to make it 100% your own creation. It is not uncommon that a product becomes better by reworking it a few times, though I completely understand that it doesn't feel great. For research, there are mythologies with snake-people, like the Naga, Dragon Kings or Djinns.
1585753944
Daniel S.
Pro
Sheet Author
Hmm. Sounds good guys. Looks like I'll need to put some more work in, either improving it or just trying something else.  Too bad Yuan-ti lore is just so dang interesting.