DM's Guild: What Do The Customers Think?
  • DM's Guild: What Do The Customers Think?

    The DM's Guild has been around for a couple of months now. There have been lots of threads about it from the seller's point of view discussing all manner of aspects of the site (if you're thinking of selling there, there are tons of advice and discussion threads right here on EN World, covering things like price, art, folks sharing how much they've made, and so on). There haven't been quite so many from the customer's point of view, though. So what are your overall impressions of the DM's Guild, now you've had chance to get used to its offerings? What do you think of the products all these new publishers are offering? Are you using DM's Guild more or less than you were a month ago? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    Comments 72 Comments
    1. Salamandyr -
      I bought something for the first time this week-end. I got what I consider was a really good module (though not right for my table) and a set of interesting, but not particularly viable archetypes for the warlock class. One was listed as a dollar, and the other was pay as you want (in this case I paid a dollar).

      My biggest concern was that I felt I was buying largely sight unseen, which caused me to spend less than I might with a larger view of what I was getting. I don't regret my two dollar purchase, but as I didn't really get any use out of either thing I bought, I probably would have been disappointed if I had spent four or five dollars.

      But I'll definitely purchase some other things, as long as they are at a low enough price point as to be an impulse purchase that I won't care if they don't work out.
    1. Kite474's Avatar
      Kite474 -
      I've bought a few things here and their but I have the same problem of not really knowing what I'm buying.

      Really I would like to see more high value items compared to one-off adventures and uninteresting subclasses whose descriptions revel jack squat at what said subclass does. Stuff like Dreamscarred Press's Psionics or Path of War would be nice.

      All in all it feels like the Apple App Store. Except their does not seem to be any diamonds in the ruff.
    1. Shroomy's Avatar
      Shroomy -
      I've bought a handful of adventures and one or two monster files; I'm mainly focused on proven names (whether professional or otherwise), so I wish there was better search functionality on the website, but I'm otherwise satisfied with my purchases. I'm not really interested in the endless deluge of player content, though I did check out a handful of the popular PWYW offerings to see what the fuss was about.
    1. aco175's Avatar
      aco175 -
      I'm a bit player with 2 short modules on the site based on Southcrypt (shameless plug). I have noticed when posting the 2nd one last week that I had the option to list the amount of preview people can see. I want to say if was up to 20 pages. I'm not sure if most of the new books and modules posted will have more preview based on this new feature.
    1. jerryrice4949's Avatar
      jerryrice4949 -
      Underwhelmed. I have bought seven or 8 items and the quality had been okay to good but nothing great yet. DMs Guild seems to be based on quick and cheap. I would rather there be some more expensive items of higher quality and original art.

      By far my biggest gripe is the stock art. while stock art is a great idea to a degree, seeing the same art in item after item really takes away from some of the products.
    1. AaronOfBarbaria's Avatar
      AaronOfBarbaria -
      I've not sunken any money into things just yet, but I've been checking out products that are free or pay what you want to see if I find the contents suitable to use in my campaigns, or get inspired by the ideas within. I've been making careful study of the other products too, reading whatever previews are available and getting a sense of whether something goes on my wishlist or not.

      All told, I've not yet come across a product I've put into use - but that doesn't mean that I don't look forward to seeing what new things have been uploaded since my last visit to the site, or that I don't think there is a chance that whatever the next product I take a look at will be one that I put to use in my games.

      ...and I think if I were a player, rather than a DM, I might actually get more out the DM's Guild products out there so far since so many of them are new races and classes.
    1. jayoungr's Avatar
      jayoungr -
      It was worth it for me just to get The Frozen Castle. I'd be thrilled if it becomes an outlet for more supplemental sidequests for official adventures that couldn't fit in the printed book due to page count.
    1. ShadowCat5's Avatar
      ShadowCat5 -
      I think its a good idea. It is something that happens anyway with the various fansites. I do wish they were categorized by type of content. Adventure, Gear, Class Options, Race Options, Campaign Information, etc....
    1. Reinhart -
      I know it's still young, but there's a definite lack of reliable product information and consumer reporting so far. Like most voluntary customer rating systems, there's not going to be a lot of variance in most of the products. For a long time we can expect to see the majority of titles hover around 4-5 stars regardless of their comparative quality and value. Most of the problem is that no one's stepping up yet to curate the DM's Guild or to give proper previews. So, it's on us to take the time and effort to carefully provide public feedback on our purchases.

      Now, to practice what I preach:
    1. ZeshinX's Avatar
      ZeshinX -
      I've only bought one thing from it (Adventurers of Kara-Tur), but I like the concept. Still, I'm old school and prefer book-in-hand, so this will be mostly ignored by me.

      I'd rather see more sourcebooks (be they splat or setting), but if they've determined that's not a business model they want to use (or can't afford to), fair enough. I'm happy to give Paizo my money.
    1. Inchoroi's Avatar
      Inchoroi -
      I am a fan of the website, solely because it promotes homebrew. I wish there were more longer adventures, rather than single-session sidequests.

      There's only a few homebrews that I've actually bought, but only because I've talked with the author on several occasions, and liked his homebrew.

      I am, however, completely and utterly disappointed in WotC for using Unearthed Arcana to promote DMsGuild.
    1. Bad Fox's Avatar
      Bad Fox -
      The biggest issue for me (so far) is storefront navigation and the way in which product lists are sorted.

      For example, I haven't been able to see a way to just search for adventures. This seems pretty fundamental. (Is there a way to do this that I'm just missing somehow?)

      In regards to the way that products are sorted, it should be easy to switch between sorting them by "Best Selling" and "Top Rated" and maybe even character level. The current "sort by" tab is pretty weak in terms of usefulness.

      Anyway, although I agree with earlier commenters that there's a lack of reliable product information and consumer reporting, I feel like this will naturally resolve itself (more or less?) as DMs Guild becomes more established. I definitely think that better site organization and search options would help speed this up.
    1. Guilberwood's Avatar
      Guilberwood -
      I think DMís Guild is experiencing a process similar to what happened when 3rd edition and the SRD were released. A bunch of new people are putting their products out there but most are not of a very good quality. In time, though, the community will learn how to distinguish the good from the bad, the good authors (and their products) will get recognition, and the community will know which products to look for.

      I also believe that right now we are getting "quick and cheap" items because that's the kind of product you can produce in the timeframe in which DMís Guild has been around. If someone wants to publish a big sourcebook or a large adventure through DMís Guild that product is probably not ready yet, unless it was already written and waiting on a shelf (which is probably what happened to Kobold Pressí Tyranny of Dragons adventure).

      Itís our job, as a community, to review as many products as we can and spread the word about the good ones. In time we can build a database of all the good products available and when someone needs to find something specific, they know how and where to look for.

      Itís something similar to what Bryce is doing at with modules and Meric is doing with modules, sourcebooks and novels at
    1. BMaC -
      Quote Originally Posted by jerryrice4949 View Post
      Underwhelmed. I have bought seven or 8 items and the quality had been okay to good but nothing great yet. DMs Guild seems to be based on quick and cheap. I would rather there be some more expensive items of higher quality and original art.

      By far my biggest gripe is the stock art. while stock art is a great idea to a degree, seeing the same art in item after item really takes away from some of the products.
      The price of art is astronomical relative to what the DMsGuild authors make (pizza money) so the art will remain cheap and cheerful unless the author has access to a cheap/free source. In addition, the terms of the DMsGuild prevent some freely available art that has certain Creative Commons designations (CC-BY-SA) from being used.

      Most of the things I've purchased have .pdf previews available.
    1. ninjayeti's Avatar
      ninjayeti -
      I picked up Journey Through the Center of the Underdark for a buck and was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was.

      But overall it seems like there is too much stuff, by too many different authors with essentially no organization beyond the "top sellers" list to make much sense of it. And this problem will only get worse as the amount of content grows. At the very least they need to add organization by type of product (adventure, rule expansion, setting, etc), price, and page count.

      It would also be helpful to have a curator or two willing to wade through everything and provide "Picks of the Week" from the DMG along the lines of what Sean Fannon does with the RPGNow stuff.
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      I think it's going to take a bit longer for the dust to settle and the real diamonds in the rough to get there. I've bought a few things, mostly Pay What You Want, but have been very underwhelmed. I am optimistic about the future, however.

      I'm hoping the OGL really picks up steam as well.
    1. tuxedoraptor's Avatar
      tuxedoraptor -
      I have looked at a few options, like druidic circles (deathbloom, beast and lifewater) and ways to rebuild the ranger, however..... none of them are truly inspiring me to want them in my game, they all costed nothing since I never pay for something if I can find a legal method around that, but it still means that wizards of the coast is missing out on something they should be doing: Publishing an offical, well made, well balanced ranger that doesn't suck so hard.
    1. JDBausch -
      I've only ever paid (one dollar each) for 2 "pay what you want" items. But I think if they really want it to be "pay what you want" you should be able to easily increase it later. I actually had not even downloaded anything "pay what you want" before this weekend, because I hadn't found anything that I knew for a fact I wanted, and I don't want to just keep d/ling things for free with no easy way to up the payment should I decide it is worth it.

      Related, they need to have a better preview system than the one page view they have. because I simply don't know if some of these things are even worth checking out.

      Having said all of that, I regularly check for new items on there, so they must be doing something right? I hope they will smooth out the edges, and keep improving the site.
    1. JudgeMonroe's Avatar
      JudgeMonroe -
      It's creating a real long tail of crap products, and it will take a while for the cream to rise to the top. The best I can hope for is a compilation product that collects the best DM's Guild products on a semi-annual or better basis, gives them an editing and artwork pass and gives them an official stamp of approval.

      I already dislike the fact that everyone has permission to use "product identity," such as iconic characters and etc. It's a turn-off to see an amateur product with a presumptive title name-checking Drizzt (ugh), recycling or remixing a well-known book title, and generally clogging the Press Releases feed with a torrent of bottom-shelf content.
    1. Jabborwacky -
      It's a nice, professional looking website whose professional appearance happens to be a double edged sword for its intended purpose. I think it succeeds at making buyers interested in looking through the available products, although the quality of products vary much to the same degree games once did on Valve's Steam store. Some quality assurance would go a long way to improving sales at the site.
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