Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
  • Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!


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    Comments 99 Comments
    1. eyeheartawk's Avatar
      eyeheartawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      The Realms, if anything, probably help.
      How would we know that? Saying it's the most popular setting by far when it's the only real official choice is just sort of winning by default, right?

      Ravenloft only partially exists as a one-off AP.

      The only other real setting release is very recent and based on a non D&D specific setting (which, if I had to bet will likely not sell as well as WoTC would hope and reinforce their perception that it's the Realms or nothing).

      Even as not really a fan of the Realms myself, I would even take non Sword Coast FR content at this point. Even that would get me more excited than more of the same.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by eyeheartawk View Post
      How would we know that? Saying it's the most popular setting by far when it's the only real official choice is just sort of winning by default, right?

      Ravenloft only partially exists as a one-off AP.

      The only other real setting release is very recent and based on a non D&D specific setting (which, if I had to bet will likely not sell as well as WoTC would hope and reinforce their perception that it's the Realms or nothing).

      Even as not really a fan of the Realms myself, I would even take non Sword Coast FR content at this point. Even that would get me more excited than more of the same.
      The Realms has long been the setting for New York Times best selling novels, and hit video games, and board games. Sure, there is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy, but the popularity is not something WotC can overlook.

      While acknowledging that it has stereotypical elements (or rather, archetypal), I really like the Realms, particularly the Sword Coast and environs. I am not alone in this. If one out of three groups want to use the Realms, and another third are willing to take Realms material and shave off the serial numbers...WotC is making the smart move.
    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by eyeheartawk View Post
      How would we know that? Saying it's the most popular setting by far when it's the only real official choice is just sort of winning by default, right?
      Because WotC did a poll, and FR was heads, torso, and feet more popular than every other setting. Is it likely due to FR getting more spotlight than any other setting since 2e? Sure, quite possible. Doesn't change the fact that, unfortunately, it's the most popular D&D setting.
    1. eyeheartawk's Avatar
      eyeheartawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
      Because WotC did a poll, and FR was heads, torso, and feet more popular than every other setting. Is it likely due to FR getting more spotlight than any other setting since 2e? Sure, quite possible. Doesn't change the fact that, unfortunately, it's the most popular D&D setting.

      Fair. I happen to think it's because of the almost laser focus on the setting for multiple editions more than anything else. But a safe bet is a safe bet. Though, by that logic maybe a real FR book? Since, you know, SCAG is pretty limited (being generous here).

      WotC offices earlier today. Pic Unrelated.

      Spoiler:

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    1. vpuigdoller's Avatar
      vpuigdoller -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
      I've only just gotten a hold of Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and Dungeon of the Mad Mage, and I've been slowly digesting the contents of the two ever since. From what I've read so far, these are really high quality and well written products!
      GGtR has actually inspired me to write backgrounds and factions in a way that both blends flavor and mechanics (in a more intertwined way), with also using the renown system.
      And I've been mining Dungeon of the Mad Mage for dungeon ideas and even game ideas for one-shots.
      The Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica is actually really cool, I think it will benefit from a bigger official adventure in it maybe spawning lvls 1 to 5, I think more people would be able to digest and understand the setting better that way. There is a total of four adventures in the dmsguild in which none covers a range of more than one lvl. I believe people are having a hard time understanding the setting even with the explanation in the book, the adventure seeds and the intro adventure included in it.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by eyeheartawk View Post
      Fair. I happen to think it's because of the almost laser focus on the setting for multiple editions more than anything else. But a safe bet is a safe bet. Though, by that logic maybe a real FR book? Since, you know, SCAG is pretty limited (being generous here).
      WotC did try to do make Greyhawk (my personal favorite) a thing in 3E, but bent to commercial pressure in the end. In 4E, they tried to displace FR and relegate it to a one-year deal, and in the end bent to commercial pressures. Hardly a laser focus at all, WotC tried and failed to escape Toril's orbit.
    1. Rhylthar's Avatar
      Rhylthar -
      I really love the Realms. When I look behind me there are most of the books (and novels) ever published. I do not nearly have the knowledge of the Realms as the Sages of candlekeep.com, but playing 20+ years in this setting helps a little bit.

      But here in Germany a lot of players have prejudices against them. May be it is the influence of Aventurien (The Black Eye´s Setting), I don´t know. I recently convinced some players in a forum that there is more to the Realms than they might have heard. I recommended some novels (especially Murder in Cormyr), wrote some articles...and now they bought all the old stuff especially FRCS 3E.
    1. Hussar's Avatar
      Hussar -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      That does not change either of two facts: 1) the modules still aren't generating buzz and my main point, 2) this is likely not because they're set in the Realms.
      Not generating buzz on En World, maybe. I dunno. The FB Dragonheist site has 2000 members and is pretty active, with posts by Mr. Greenwood on occasion. The https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/ subreddit has 1800 users and new posts daily. It's sitting in the mid 400's on Amazon.com, what, six months after release? DotMM and Dragonheist are the top two modules WotC has out in terms of sales on Amazon right now. There's a couple of dozen supplementary adventures and background products for Dragon Heist on DM's Guild, many of them done by Guild Adepts.

      How much better do you expect a module to do? What would you consider "generating buzz"?
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      The Realms has long been the setting for New York Times best selling novels, and hit video games, and board games. Sure, there is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy, but the popularity is not something WotC can overlook.

      While acknowledging that it has stereotypical elements (or rather, archetypal), I really like the Realms, particularly the Sword Coast and environs. I am not alone in this. If one out of three groups want to use the Realms, and another third are willing to take Realms material and shave off the serial numbers...WotC is making the smart move.
      I don't understand the whole Realms/Greyhawk anger thing. I never have. Aren't they both fairly generic fantasy worlds? What's the big deal?
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
      I don't understand the whole Realms/Greyhawk anger thing. I never have. Aren't they both fairly generic fantasy worlds? What's the big deal?
      They are both generic, but both have individual character. Economically, there has turned out not to be room for both, hence fan rage.
    1. MechaPilot's Avatar
      MechaPilot -
      Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
      Because WotC did a poll, and FR was heads, torso, and feet more popular than every other setting. Is it likely due to FR getting more spotlight than any other setting since 2e? Sure, quite possible. Doesn't change the fact that, unfortunately, it's the most popular D&D setting.
      Every other published setting. Homebrew was more popular than FR, but WotC doesn't own homebrew.
    1. Hussar's Avatar
      Hussar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
      I don't understand the whole Realms/Greyhawk anger thing. I never have. Aren't they both fairly generic fantasy worlds? What's the big deal?
      Well, a lot of that is carry over from a long time ago. Obviously, when 1e changed over to 2e and Gygax's ouster from TSR, Greyhawk basically got shelved. And, of course, FR was then brought very, very much into the foreground. There's still a lot of hard feelings from fans over this. Throughout 2e, the system that is known for its settings, Greyhawk got very little loving and what little it got was largely crap. The Greyhawk 2e modules were bad to worse - Puppets? Gargoyles? Yeesh.

      Then 3e comes along and Greyhawk gets a big shot in the arm. It's the base setting for the game! Wow. And then... well... nothing. Paizohawk probably has more actual 3e support than Greyhawk ever got in 3e. WotC, despite making Greyhawk the baseline setting, pretty much buried it in later books. And, then, FR gets what, half a dozen or more beautiful full color source books including the FRCS.

      Add that to 4e's complete retreat from Greyhawk and now 5e hasn't exactly done anything either, and Greyhawk fans are a pretty bitter bunch. And, honestly, they have a point. Forgotten Realms has gotten encyclopedias worth of material. Thousands of pages of support across now four editions and the better part of thirty years. Greyhawk has gotten pretty much taken out behind the barn and a gun put in its ear.
    1. Hussar's Avatar
      Hussar -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaPilot View Post
      Every other published setting. Homebrew was more popular than FR, but WotC doesn't own homebrew.
      Well, to be fair, there is not such thing as a "homebrew" setting as a single thing. Homebrew is limited to a single table and pretty much means that those who homebrew have taken themselves out of the market.
    1. CapnZapp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Not generating buzz on En World, maybe. I dunno. The FB Dragonheist site has 2000 members and is pretty active, with posts by Mr. Greenwood on occasion. The https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/ subreddit has 1800 users and new posts daily. It's sitting in the mid 400's on Amazon.com, what, six months after release? DotMM and Dragonheist are the top two modules WotC has out in terms of sales on Amazon right now. There's a couple of dozen supplementary adventures and background products for Dragon Heist on DM's Guild, many of them done by Guild Adepts.

      How much better do you expect a module to do? What would you consider "generating buzz"?
      Why are you asking me this? I am merely responding to a thread where the lack of buzz topic came up, and like others, offer my suggestions for explanations. Why don't you go talk to the poster that started this (sub-)topic.
    1. eyeheartawk's Avatar
      eyeheartawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rhylthar View Post
      But here in Germany a lot of players have prejudices against them. May be it is the influence of Aventurien (The Black Eye´s Setting), I don´t know. I recently convinced some players in a forum that there is more to the Realms than they might have heard. I recommended some novels (especially Murder in Cormyr), wrote some articles...and now they bought all the old stuff especially FRCS 3E.
      I don't get this. Aventuria really isn't all that different from FR. They both are pretty vanilla fantasy.
    1. SkidAce's Avatar
      SkidAce -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Well, to be fair, there is not such thing as a "homebrew" setting as a single thing. Homebrew is limited to a single table and pretty much means that those who homebrew have taken themselves out of the market.
      Running homebrew for over 30 years has not taken me out of the market. I like examples and I scavenge parts.

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    1. CapnZapp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Well, to be fair, there is not such thing as a "homebrew" setting as a single thing. Homebrew is limited to a single table and pretty much means that those who homebrew have taken themselves out of the market.
      Well, not really.

      I've read a big reason for the dominance of the Realms is that lots of homebrewers accept that setting as an acceptable source for their homebrewed worlds.

      That is, something like: of all 5E customers, half is using their own world, 25% are using Forgotten Realms and then every other setting is in the low single-digit numbers.

      So if half of homebrewers consider Realms content acceptable for their worlds, a whopping 75% of all customers are potential buyers of Realms material, many many many times the next best selling setting.

      This certainly explains why WotC keeps publishing Realms books in my mind.

      And it means homebrewers aren't necessarily out of the market. Instead, they probably contribute to the continued dominance of Forgotten Realms.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Well, a lot of that is carry over from a long time ago. Obviously, when 1e changed over to 2e and Gygax's ouster from TSR, Greyhawk basically got shelved. And, of course, FR was then brought very, very much into the foreground. There's still a lot of hard feelings from fans over this. Throughout 2e, the system that is known for its settings, Greyhawk got very little loving and what little it got was largely crap. The Greyhawk 2e modules were bad to worse - Puppets? Gargoyles? Yeesh.

      Then 3e comes along and Greyhawk gets a big shot in the arm. It's the base setting for the game! Wow. And then... well... nothing. Paizohawk probably has more actual 3e support than Greyhawk ever got in 3e. WotC, despite making Greyhawk the baseline setting, pretty much buried it in later books. And, then, FR gets what, half a dozen or more beautiful full color source books including the FRCS.

      Add that to 4e's complete retreat from Greyhawk and now 5e hasn't exactly done anything either, and Greyhawk fans are a pretty bitter bunch. And, honestly, they have a point. Forgotten Realms has gotten encyclopedias worth of material. Thousands of pages of support across now four editions and the better part of thirty years. Greyhawk has gotten pretty much taken out behind the barn and a gun put in its ear.
      You know, I had totally forgotten that GH was the base setting for 3e! I think I assumed it was FR, and still recall just how badass that FR sourcebook was for 3rd edition. I admit i don't know much about Greyhawk, but I'm sorry the setting doesn't get much support. It must have been very flavorful or people wouldn't be so upset.
    1. Nebulous's Avatar
      Nebulous -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      Well, not really.

      I've read a big reason for the dominance of the Realms is that lots of homebrewers accept that setting as an acceptable source for their homebrewed worlds.

      That is, something like: of all 5E customers, half is using their own world, 25% are using Forgotten Realms and then every other setting is in the low single-digit numbers.

      So if half of homebrewers consider Realms content acceptable for their worlds, a whopping 75% of all customers are potential buyers of Realms material, many many many times the next best selling setting.

      This certainly explains why WotC keeps publishing Realms books in my mind.

      And it means homebrewers aren't necessarily out of the market. Instead, they probably contribute to the continued dominance of Forgotten Realms.
      We have used the FR setting for many, many years, ever since the little gray box. But neither myself or my players are what you would call hardcore realmsfans. Other than a few early D&D novels back in the 80s and early 90s, and later on with Baldur's Gate and especially Icewind Dale (damn I love me some Icewind Dale!) I don't follow any published canon about what happens there. Doesn't really matter to us, it's just a shared world with landmarks and cities that we are familiar with. I ran Phandelver, Princes and Tomb, all set in the FR, but they could have been anywhere really - desolate town, large hill lands, a jungle.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Well, a lot of that is carry over from a long time ago. Obviously, when 1e changed over to 2e and Gygax's ouster from TSR, Greyhawk basically got shelved. And, of course, FR was then brought very, very much into the foreground. There's still a lot of hard feelings from fans over this. Throughout 2e, the system that is known for its settings, Greyhawk got very little loving and what little it got was largely crap. The Greyhawk 2e modules were bad to worse - Puppets? Gargoyles? Yeesh.

      Then 3e comes along and Greyhawk gets a big shot in the arm. It's the base setting for the game! Wow. And then... well... nothing. Paizohawk probably has more actual 3e support than Greyhawk ever got in 3e. WotC, despite making Greyhawk the baseline setting, pretty much buried it in later books. And, then, FR gets what, half a dozen or more beautiful full color source books including the FRCS.

      Add that to 4e's complete retreat from Greyhawk and now 5e hasn't exactly done anything either, and Greyhawk fans are a pretty bitter bunch. And, honestly, they have a point. Forgotten Realms has gotten encyclopedias worth of material. Thousands of pages of support across now four editions and the better part of thirty years. Greyhawk has gotten pretty much taken out behind the barn and a gun put in its ear.
      Ed Greenwood is mostly to blame here: he has been eager to give volumes of material whenever asked, by anyone, for any reason whatsoever. Gygax basically ignored Greyhawk after blowing up the Gord novels.

      As somebody who prefers Greyhawk, I see TSR and WotC fairly constantly attempting to make Greyhawk a thing between 2E and 3E: but it never had the critical mass commercially, nor a creative force like Greenwood, to compete with a setting that covers the same genre bases.
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