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New DnD edition will go into Creative Commons in 2025

Wizards of the Coast has announced that the upcoming 2024 DnD rulebooks will be included in an updated SRD, free for content creators to use.

A DnD party surrounded by enemies

Wizards of the Coast has announced that the upcoming rules changes arriving in the 2024 core rulebooks will be included in the System Reference Document (SRD). Essentially, the next DnD edition will be available in Creative Commons, and third party creators will have no barrier to cross or hoops to jump through when it comes to making content based on the updated rules.

Fans will have to wait a little longer, after the first of the new DnD books arrives, for the content to make it to Creative Commons, however. According to the DnD release schedule, the updated Player’s Handbook will release on September 17, 2024, but the updated SRD 5.2 containing the new content won’t drop until early next year. In a DnD Beyond post, Wizards has promised to put it out “within weeks of the release of the 2025 Monster Manual,” expected on February 18, 2025.

A DnD Rogue stealing from a corpse

Wizards says this is because it doesn’t wish “to release an incomplete document to creators”. It claims that making a campaign setting or new subclass using information from just the Player’s Handbook would be difficult, and that – for balance purposes – you’d need to understand how DnD monsters may have been altered before doing so.

In fairness, we can see that there’d be frustration if a third party creator published a new book, only for a new rule in a later core rulebook to fundamentally break some aspect of it. On the other hand, by its very nature this staggered release schedule, with books published several months apart, is going to force players and homebrewing DMs to play with an incomplete document.

So what exactly will be in the SRD 5.2 document and what won’t? Well, the SRD contains the core rules of DnD, including the DnD classes and many 5e monsters. You can get by just fine playing a DnD campaign using just what’s in the SRD, but it does leave some things out.

A DnD beholder blasting someone

For instance, certain character progression options like 5e feats aren’t currently contained within the SRD. Nor is anything Wizards considers a part of its product identity, such as Beholders, Mind Flayers, or any official DnD settings like the Forgotten Realms.

Obviously, if Wizards of the Coast wants to promote its updated rules and see fans switching over to them (which it must do, otherwise no one will buy its books) then making them freely available for fan content makes a hell of a lot of sense.

But after the DnD OGL debacle of early 2023, when we saw the company making some unpopular and quite baffling decisions regarding rights around its ruleset, this news will still be pleasing, and perhaps even surprising to many fans and creators.

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