Welcome to the Cthulhu’s Foundry! Tread these halls carefully, as eldritch knowledge and monstrosities await those who delve to deep. The following are guidelines to help you utilize and publish your own Cthulhu Mythos content for 5e below.
What is it?
Cthulhu’s Foundry is a way to publish and distribute Cthulhu Mythos for 5e content you have written, including scenarios, settings, spells, artifacts and more.
You create content, format it to our design template, and then upload the PDF to the site. Your work becomes part of the Cthulhu’s Foundry content on DriveThruRPG – able to be accessed by the community and, optionally, providing a financial return to you.
Petersen Games has created easy to use style templates and free art packs specifically created for the Cthulhu’s Foundry to help you create your own content.
Can I sell the content I create?
Yes, creators can make money from their published community content – or make it freely available (it is entirely up to you). Any retail sales are split between the creator (i.e. you), OneBookShelf (DriveThru's parent company), and Petersen Games. As creator, you get 50% of the sale. For example, if your product retails on the site for USD $10.00, this is how the split of revenue is made:
$5.00 to the creator
$3.00 to DTRPG
$2.00 to Petersen Games
You set the price. Which could be free or otherwise. The financial process is fully automated, requiring no additional administration from the creator. You can read DriveThru’s notes about this at: https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/categories/201257283-Community-Content-Programs).
Note: you may be familiar with the existing community content for D&D, ours follows the same model in terms of revenue split and general rules.
What rules can I use in my product for Cthulhu Mythos for 5e?
Your work can use any rules and setting materials from the following SPCM books and materials published by Petersen Games:
Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e
Ghoul Island Saga
Yig Snake Saga
Dark Worlds Saga
The Big Sleep Saga
What can’t I use in my Cthulhu Mythos for 5e product?
Any material that infringes on copyright held by someone else.
How can I use Cthulhu Mythos for 5e art?
The Cthulhu’s Foundry art is licensed for use in content submitted to our community content program. That’s it. What you write for the program is the only place you can use those materials, and you must properly attribute the artists of any program art materials you use. Stock art and templates from Petersen Games will be available for your use via OneBookShelf. Any other art from official Sandy Petersen Cthulhu Mythos material cannot be used for the Cthulhu’s Foundry products, but you can commission art for use in your product. Responsibility for sourcing art that is available for commercial use is that of Cthulhu’s Foundry product creators.
This Community Content Program follows the DTRPG Guidelines with AI Art.
Tool- and AI-Generated Images
The following policy applies only to titles listed by publishers on DriveThruRPG. Other sites and community programs are, for now, exempt from these rules.
3rd Party Tool-Generated Images
All product listings that feature art or maps generated using a tool or service designed to reduce or offset the artistic process (such as donjon, Inkarnate, or Dungeondraft) are required to utilize the Format > Creation Method > 3rd Party Tool-Made title filter, except in the following instances:
the tool uses only art assets that you have created by hand;
the art has undergone additional processing or modification post-generation (such as animating generated maps or tokens, painting and compositing over content, etc.); or
the product is expressly approved by OneBookShelf.
All product listings that feature art created automatically by an AI-generation tool meant to bypass or replace human artistry, such as ArtBreeder, MidJourney, NightCafe, etc. are required to utilize the Format > Creation Method > AI-Generated title filter, except in the following instances:
the art has undergone significant processing/modification post-generation; or
the product is expressly approved by OneBookShelf.
Note for AI-Generated Stock Art
Titles containing any art rendered by AI-generated tools that are sold as "Stock Art" (under the Product Type > Publisher Resources filter) must also display the following statement in their product description:
This product contains assets that were, wholly or in part, procedurally generated with the aid of creative software(s) powered by machine learning.
Titles that do not comply are subject to removal from the marketplace. Repeat offenders may have their publishing permissions revoked.
What kind of products are welcome in Cthulhu’s Foundry?
Original scenarios, settings, spells, stats for monsters and background dossiers.
You may also create your own version of handouts for official Cthulhu Mythos campaigns (but remember that handouts for Petersen Games scenarios bear our copyrighted text, so ensure you properly credit Petersen Games: see the notes on credits and copyright below).
Products in Cthulhu’s Foundry may be in English or any other language.
What types of content are prohibited?
Conversions of content from other roleplaying games or other copyrighted media into 5th edition rules.
Comics, fiction (unless short vignettes in roleplaying game materials)
Software or apps.
Products that infringe on the intellectual property of others.
Material included in Petersen Games products under license.Licensed material not available for community use includes, but is not limited to, the Mythos creations of Ramsey Campbell, the Mythos creations of Brian Lumley.
Your Work does not contain material that a reasonable person would consider libelous, defamatory, racist, homophobic, or discriminatory; that violates the copyrights or trademarks of another party; or that violates the law.
Your Work does not contain material that the general public would classify as extreme adult content, such as pornography or extreme violence.
Can I copy information from Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos into my product?
You can reference information in products, but please refrain from copying directly from the books whenever possible - an exception to this is monster statistics taken from Petersen Game’s 5th Edition products, which you may reproduce in material for the Cthulhu’s Foundry.
Who owns material in Cthulhu’s Foundry?
You retain the copyright of any original IP you create for Cthulhu’s Foundry. Petersen Games owns the IP it provides for use including rules, settings, characters, concepts, plots, storylines etc.
How does credits and copyright work?
Our template features the trademark and licensing language you must include on the Credits Page of your work. This acknowledges Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e is a trademark of Petersen Games and is used with permission.
You should also include a copyright notice of your own – [title of work] [©date] [name of authors]
If you use any art from one of our Art Packs, simply follow the crediting guidelines from that pack.
If you intend to use art from elsewhere, ensure that you have clear permission to do so and credit the artist or source.
How do I prepare the PDF of my title for sale?
There’s a few steps here to walk you through if you’re a creator using DriveThruRPG for the first time. There’s also an additional step for you as a community content creator. After creating your content, go to your account page and look in the "My Content" section. You can use the "Add a new title" link after you agree to the Community Content Agreement.
Ownership and License Questions
How does Cthulhu’s Foundry differ from the Wizards Community Use Policy (CUP)?
Both Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e and the Wizards Community Use Policy allow you to use Wizards’s IP, reference Dungeons and Dragons and other trademarks, and use some Wizards-owned art. The primary difference between them is that the CUP is strictly non-commercial, meaning you can’t sell the content created under it or restrict access to it behind a paywall.
How is Cthulhu’s Foundry different from the 5th Edition Compatibility License?
Both Cthulhu’s Foundry and the 5th Edition Compatibility License allow you to indicate that your game material is compatible with the game, but Cthulhu’s Foundry also lets you use the Dungeons and Dragons setting.
Under the 5th Edition Compatibility License, you can publish rules material under the OGL while also claiming compatibility with the 5th edition rules. You may sell this content on any marketplace, but can’t use any of the Dungeon and Dragons setting or Wizards-owned artwork allowed under the CUP or Cthulhu’s Foundry.
Does Wizards own any unique IP that I create in my Cthulhu’s Foundry publications?
You retain ownership of any unique IP that you create in your publications (characters, events, locations, magic items, organizations, etc). Additionally, the Cthulhu’s Foundry agreement will grant Wizards and other Cthulhu’s Foundry authors a license to use your IP in their own works without compensation or royalty.
If your work merits incorporation into officially published material, Wizards will make a good faith effort to ensure you are properly credited for your contributions.
New rules you create under the terms of the OGL are Open Game Content and can be used freely by any party as allowed by the OGL. You may not declare any rules you create Product Identity, nor may you release any previously declared Product Identity as Open Game Content.
Is content on Cthulhu’s Foundry canon?
Content published on Cthulhu’s Foundry is considered unofficial and non-canon. This is true even if the author is professionally associated with Wizards, either as a member of the staff or a former or current freelance author.
What do I include in the legal text within my Cthulhu’s Foundry title?
Include the following text in your product where you are otherwise including copyright information:
If you are publishing content containing RPG rules you must include the OGL in your product with an accurate Section 15. The following language must appear on your title/credits page or alongside the OGL wherever it appears in your product:
This product is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.
Product Identity: The following items are hereby identified as Product Identity, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(e), and are not Open Game Content: All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper nouns (characters, deities, locations, etc., as well as all adjectives, names, titles, and descriptive terms derived from proper nouns), artworks, characters, dialogue, locations, organizations, plots, storylines, trade dress, the historical period called the Gap, the terms kishalee, sivv, skyfire, Dreamer (the official Open Game Content term for which is “dreaming barathu”), and the Drift (the official Open Game Content term for which is “hyperspace”). (Elements that have previously been designated as Open Game Content, or are exclusively derived from previous Open Game Content, or that are in the public domain are not included in this declaration.)
Open Game Content: Except for material designated as Product Identity, the game mechanics of this Pathfinder Infinite game product are Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Game License version 1.0a, Section 1(d). No portion of this work other than the material designated as Open Game Content may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
All products released on Cthulhu’s Foundry must include the following legal declaration in a clearly visible place, preferably the title page.
[[XXProduct_Name]] © 2021, [[Your name or company name here]]. All rights reserved. Wizards, the Wizards and Dungeons and Dragons logo, Dungeons and Dragons, the Dungeons and Dragons logo are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast Inc.
This work is published under the Community Content Agreement for Cthulhu’s Foundry.