Mearls calls it a “marketplace of ideas.”
You can create whatever you want.
They will look at content, create categories, and creators, and focus their attention: three featured categories.
“Background Check” for new backgrounds for the Realms.
“Monstrous Compendium” they will make resources available, as in the art archive, and uploading bundles of art they haven’t updated to 5E yet. Create a new monster or update a classic monster. Plus art for creatures from other non-monster sources.
If you meet the guidelines, then you qualify to get tagged as part of that category!
“Sidetreks” basically short adventures. DMs want this but WotC isn’t producing it. This will be a featured category on the marketplace. For the sidetreks they have a collection of maps! Use that to write your own adventure and upload it. Again, bandwidth (in this case, human eyes to review the work) will limit what they look at. 100 page epics won’t necessarily be reviewed.
Building on what’s in the DMG, roleplaying game design is a skill. People that produce by the pound (read: by the page) do better work than those who go for making one awesome thing.
Make all that CK stuff free?
Again, they are focused on SHORT stuff so they can read through it. THEY SAY TO START SMALL!
Mearls wrote 1000 word essays to start.
Promote your work. (Yeah, they want you to do all the social media work yourself.)
They are going to watch how people use it, and adjust accordingly. It will adjust and be adjusted as time goes on.
To make a background, check the PHB, or look at HIGLY RATED backgrounds by others. Mearls may have written something too.
Templates for backgrounds and adventures will become available to use, in Word.
As new stories and expansions to the game come along, expect new templates.
A feeling of shared ownership in the Realms. The D&D team will always be responsible for establishing Canon in the Realms, but there are other people out there that have equally good ideas, maybe it will give users a chance to write into canon at some point.
They want us to use the novels and everything else as fodder, sort of. Core rulebooks, Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, Out of the Abyss. Start small and add more resources to that list. Future products, and then past products, and then possibly the novels. The novels are OFF LIMITS for now.
They are nuking the gatekeeper steps. Instead of submitting, you just post it to the community, and the community act as initial gatekeeper, then WotC final call (on what gets promoted to something like canon).
They’re trying to eliminate the divide between caretakers of D&D and the Community. It’s beneficial for them to have new ideas improving on the setting and skilling up over time, to improve things.
They are ready to shift things, to support the community of creators and increase the overall quality level of work.
On the DMSG right now, there’s the Adventurer’s League content. Going forward, AL authors stuff will go up on the DMSG, and their stuff will sell and the authors will benefit.
AL coordinators will look at DMSG offerings to offer people writing opportunities.
OGL is for the wholly original campaign setting. Or I want to publish on my own and also do DMsG…(does that mean what I think it means?)
OGL is 5E, plus anything in the OGL in the past.
OGL they imagine you will create your own subclasses, and only use their iconic subclass (they keep the rest).
Anything totally unique, or a knock-off (i.e. your take) on a classic setting like Spelljammer.
DMSG is meant to be “push button,” as in simple, easy to upload. If you want art, layout, design, etc., they assume OGL people will do that sort of thing.
Reading the material just for the fun of reading gaming material; they remember doing that. This program opens that up again.
Christopher Lindsay hasn’t gotten any questions about program on twitter. He’s at @onnatryx. I will hit him up on the Realms. Ask him if it’s OK to expand on Volo’s Guide to Cormyr.