Third-Party Publisher Hub
With more than 150 third-party Kickstarters launched, DCC is the second-most popular TTRPG game system on Kickstarter! You can join this energizing community by publishing under our DCC third-party publisher license. Goodman Games offers this royalty-free license for third-party publishers to support Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, and Xcrawl Classics! Bookmark this page since it’s your master source for all 3PP (third-party publisher) content.
Summary of the License and Support
The DCC 3PP license has existed since 2011 and has been copied by many other publishers, yet offers several unique aspects that make it particularly appealing to creators. For example:
- The license is free and requires Goodman Games to approve the final product. The most important criteria for obtaining approval is that you produce quality material of interest to our fans. We approve all well-intentioned creations.
- We encourage brand-new creators to take the plunge! It’s perfectly fine (and, in fact, encouraged) for you to use this license to publish your very first product. Welcome to our publishing family! You’ll only get better as you get more experienced.
- We purchase copies of your physical product to sell in our online store and at conventions. We offer generous terms. We also will sell your PDF edition in our online store and pay you a royalty on those sales.
- We will help support your Kickstarter with advice and promotion via our web site, social media, and newsletters.
- For experienced creators, we offer fulfillment and wholesale distribution services. It is possible to have your product included in DCC Day kits and even sold to hundreds of additional stores.
Email us at email@example.com for a full copy of the license!
How To Publish
Once you’ve written your own DCC material, what do you do next? Here are some resources to begin publishing.
- There are hundreds of DCC and MCC 3PP books available in our online store. Click here to browse them and become inspired.
- There is a thriving community of creators on the DCC RPG Rocks Facebook page. Join in!
- Watch episodes of The Scrivenary where existing creators offer advice on publishing.
- We have done shows in the past with additional advice. This video on Getting Started With Third-Party Publishing is a great introduction.
- Here is another helpful presentation on How To Be An Awesome Game Designer
- Look for events that will help promote your crowdfunding. For example, Kickstarter typically runs a Zinequest event every February where they spotlight new small-press projects.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are questions we’ve been asked over the years. If you have additional questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
FAQ – Creative Content
Are there certain items from the published DCC material I’m allowed to use? (Or not?) In general, you can use any DCC, MCC, or XCC rules mechanics, but proper nouns and “named characters” are off limits. However, we have granted exceptions to this rule, especially when someone has a really cool idea. Email us if you’re unsure.
Can I republish stats, spell results, or other material from the core rulebook? In general we ask that you don’t directly reprint material from the core rulebook. Create your own new material!
Can I offer the product for other systems in tandem with publishing it for DCC? In general, yes! We find that most publishers who do this discover DCC outsells almost all other systems.
Is it okay to suggest in advertising that the material can easily be converted to other game systems? Yes, that is fine.
How can I find artists or writers? Start by posting to the Goodman Games social media sites. You can also email email@example.com for recommendations. Watch for our periodic publishing events where we’ll put you in touch with them. It can also be extremely rewarding to attend conventions and directly make contact with prospective artists and writers. Gary Con, Gen Con, Gamehole Con, and Origins can be particularly useful in this regard.
FAQ – Licensing Process
What does the process of “approval” look like? We ask that you email us a PDF of your finished product. Showing us versions prior to “final” is optional and up to you. If you new or unsure, it is okay to email us a draft manuscript earlier in the process. If you intend to launch a Kickstarter, we ask that you email us a draft of the Kickstarter page at least two weeks before it goes live.
Is there more than one license? Yes, there are three licenses: one for DCC, one for MCC, and one for XCC. The license fundamentals are very similar but the trademarks involved in each are different, so you have to sign the license appropriate to what you’re publishing.
What logo can I use? You can use the appropriate compatibility logo. We will send you a high-resolution print-ready version when your project is approved.
FAQ – Book Production
Am I allowed to use my own ISBN or barcode? Yes!
What should I choose for an MSRP? (Manufacturer Standard Retail Price) We encourage you to look at the marketplace and your own costs to decide this. There are many existing third-party products in our online store to consult for comparison.
What kind of paper do you print on? What are your printing specs? In the past our books have typically been printed on 60# or 70# uncoated text stock (or GSM equivalent). We are currently converting to FSC stock, which is from sustainably harvested forests. In most cases our future books will be printed on 60# FSC-certified uncoated paper stock. Our “skinny modules” utilize 10 pt C1S stock for covers, with gloss lamination on the outer cover. Hardcovers are casebound with adhesive and Smythe-sewn binding.
Can you recommend a good printer? Certainly! We print with PrintPapa for our short runs and convention specials. For most “skinny modules” and some hardcovers, we work with Walsworth Publishing. For boxed sets and many hardcovers, we work with Regent Publishing.
FAQ – Sales and Marketing
How do I get Goodman Games to spotlight our product on your Twitch channels, web site, newsletter, and so on? In general, simply make a point of communicating with us! If you record videos helping to sell your product, we’re happy to share it. Just remember: if you don’t email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we probably don’t know about it.
How do I ensure my product is salable on the Goodman Games online store and at conventions? There are a few simple things that will ensure your books are easy for us to sell. Print a price on the back cover. Print a SKU code on the back cover (for example, the DCC core rulebook has GMG5070 printed on the back cover). If you can get an ISBN bar code, please print it on the back cover. Be prepared to send us cover art at 1200 pixels wide, or, even better, an attractive photograph of your product. Finally, you’ll need to complete this product setup spreadsheet.
What are best-in-class examples of online selling graphics? We have learned that product photography tends to sell better than flat cover art. The more you can show the dimensionality and physicality of your product, the better consumers understand what you’re offering them. This is especially true of products that have physical appeal, such as boxed sets, multi-booklet sets, thick hardcovers, miniatures and other three-dimensional items. “Lifestyle shots” showing the products in use or in an appropriate setting can also be popular, but make sure not to let the imagery get too cluttered. Here are some examples of what we consider strong examples of online selling graphics.
- Examples of product images (click to enlarge):
Can you display a selling video for my product? Yes! We’re happy to embed a selling video on your product page, and spotlight it where possible. You should upload the video to YouTube and send us the link when you send in your product info.
- Examples of selling videos from Goodman Games and Third Party Publishers:
If I am crowdfunding a product before it is completely done, can I get pre-approval for the 3PP license so I can include the logo in my crowdfunding video/page? Yes, definitely! Please send us a draft of your product and a draft of the Kickstarter page at least two weeks before it launches.
If I add content to the approved product because of stretch goals reached in a crowdfunding campaign, do I need to resubmit for final approval? Yes, please! We’d like to see the final version. If your initial submission was approved it is likely your final submission will also be approved.