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DnD Beyond gets first book not published by Wizards of the Coast

The new Critical Role book on DnD Beyond could indicate a big change coming to the platform, which might affect third-party 5e creators.

DnD Beyond Critical Role book cover showing a giant purple monster attacking a sky ship.

The latest book on DnD Beyond may be big news for third party creators making and selling 5e content. That’s because the Critical Role DnD book, Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, is published by Critical Role’s own publishing imprint, Darrington Press, and not by DnD-owner Wizards of the Coast itself.

Tal’Dorei Reborn, a DnD setting guide which arrived on DnD Beyond on Thursday, August 17, is therefore the very first piece of third party content to make it onto the platform.

Critical Role has, of course, had other works featured on DnD Beyond, including Call of the Netherdeep and Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. The big difference is that these books were published by Wizards of the Coast.

Currently, third party designers making content for DnD 5e must find their own methods of self-publishing, selling, and marketing their work – using the DnD OGL to make use of components like the 5e classes and 5e backgrounds found in the Standard Reference Document. Or they can use DM’s Guild, which gives access to specific DnD-brand content like mind flayers and named characters, but also involves giving Wizards of the Coast a hefty cut.

It’s not clear what it would mean if third party creators were suddenly able to have their content featured on D&D Beyond. It would presumably still involve paying Wizards of the Coast some of the dividends – but we don’t know any of the terms of this new deal struck with Critical Role. We also don’t know if this is special treatment bespoke to the popular DnD Actual Play show, or if it’s something that will be extended to other big (or small) creators.

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Still, it’s an interesting step for Wizards of the Coast to take with DnD Beyond, and could be the first signs of a shift in direction for the online RPG platform going forwards.

If you’re trying to find the perfect DnD build, you might need our guides to the DnD classes, DnD stats, and best DnD feats to help you out. DMs can instead look to the best DnD campaigns, or the top 5e magic items to slot into a dragon’s hoard.