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D&D 5E A Closer Look At January's D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set

WotC earlier announced a D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set for January, which includes three books - Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and the new Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse. These were intended for the holidays, but the global production issues mean they'll be out in January. Here's a closer look at them!


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It‘s a bad choice for the game and the fans, and it is frustrating as hell, but it’s a good business decision (i.e. the only thing that matters is making as much money as possible). I’m just tired of people pretending WotC isn’t a business first and a game publisher second. If the new hotness was pogs, we’d have D&D content released as pogs. For any adult or child over 12 who’s paid any attention at all to act surprised about business decisions being profits first is rather gauche.
I don't think anyone is confused about WotC being a business for profit first. It seems to me that the message here is asking businesses not to exploit our weaknesses as consumers. We appear to be very efficient consumers and easily manipulated, and a lot of people will buy the boxed set not because they need all three books but because they can't wait for the new book to release separately. The supposition is that the business is aware of this, and can improve profits by doing this limited set first, then waiting a while for the individual book to release. That is arguably pro business/profit but predatory on consumers.

I do not think it's inappropriate to suggest that maybe as business practices go this is a bad strategy, one which can backfire on the business if they pull this sort of stunt too often. But....and this is probably the businessman in myself speaking here, I would also postulate that maybe we need to resist the FOMO and "get it now" feelings as consumers and maybe stop being such good consumers on occasion. This stunt will work because we can't resist buying the set, even when we know its a bad idea for us to do so. If we could just show restraint, this problem would actually go away.
 

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Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
Wizards doesn't care about completionists because they are a tiny subset of the tens of millions of D&D players. A vast majority of players don't own any book within the Core2.
Now they might.
If they weren't motivated to buy the single editions before, I am not sure why a collected and more expensive set would be motivating casual players to buy these books. Specialized covers with a new book in early release seems aimed very specifically at the collectors and the hardcore players who buy everything and aren't willing to wait a few more months for the single release of the new tome.
 



Li Shenron

Legend
Wizards doesn't care about completionists because they are a tiny subset of the tens of millions of D&D players. A vast majority of players don't own any book within the Core2.
Now they might.
I don't get it...

If I didn't already own part of this set of books and was interested in getting also the remaining material (which I'm not), I would still see no reason to spend this much money when I could buy the separate books for less, because normal books get discounted now and then but gift set do not (mainly because they're limited runs so the get out of print instead).

Maybe the only person who should buy this trio, is someone who specifically likes the new monsters book selection and doesn't like the other content of Volo (and also likes Xanathar and Tasha but hasn't bought them yet). Quite a specific combination.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I don't get it...

If I didn't already own part of this set of books and was interested in getting also the remaining material (which I'm not), I would still see no reason to spend this much money when I could buy the separate books for less, because normal books get discounted now and then but gift set do not (mainly because they're limited runs so the get out of print instead).

Maybe the only person who should buy this trio, is someone who specifically likes the new monsters book selection and doesn't like the other content of Volo (and also likes Xanathar and Tasha but hasn't bought them yet). Quite a specific combination.

These bundles usually make a lot of sense as gifts for friends/family. From an economic perspective, they don't make sense to buy for yourself. But as a gift, the slipcase and stuff makes it a nice looking present.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
The interesting question to me is if the publishing of MotM will mean that VGtM and MToF go out of print. I'm guessing yes, and that this box set is also a test of the process to retire the current Core in favor of the refreshed Core in 2024.
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
What new material? It's a box with 2 books already published and a third book that contains a "best of" previously released monsters repackaged in alternate format.
My understanding is that the statblocks will be updated. Whether that counts as new or not, might be up for debate.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
The interesting question to me is if the publishing of MotM will mean that VGtM and MToF go out of print. I'm guessing yes, and that this box set is also a test of the process to retire the current Core in favor of the refreshed Core in 2024.

They definitely won't, at least not soon. They still sell very highly on Amazon.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
This doesn't feel predatory to me at all.

But then I cut ties with collecting things a while ago.

Businesses sell collectors editions of things all the time to tap into this, D&D isn't unique here.

It is a game and isn't even needed to play it.

If you want to see this in high gear take a look at wizkids' collectors set of the witchlight minis. $750 to get 2 unique minis. Without those 2 minis the set could be purchased as singles for hundreds less.

Even that though while exploiting collectors I would call 'predatory'. Charging for healthcare is predatory. Payday loans are predatory.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I mostly want to see if they have a Hydro64 alt cover of MP:MotM. If the only way I can get the book is in generic cover or in the gift set I might need to get those two books over again, which sucks, since I already own them both in alt-cover and on DDB.
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
This doesn't feel predatory to me at all.

But then I cut ties with collecting things a while ago.

Businesses sell collectors editions of things all the time to tap into this, D&D isn't unique here.

It is a game and isn't even needed to play it.

If you want to see this in high gear take a look at wizkids' collectors set of the witchlight minis. $750 to get 2 unique minis. Without those 2 minis the set could be purchased as singles for hundreds less.

Even that though while exploiting collectors I would call 'predatory'. Charging for healthcare is predatory. Payday loans are predatory.
But that's the rub. I can go and buy those minis regularly for cheaper. Here if I don't want to get taken for a ride I get to wait six months or whatever.

Like, if you don't have enough copies at release and want to maximize your profit just say that. Because right now it looks like they aren't selling it separately for awhile (something never done before) just because?

Naw, miss me with that garbage.
 


ad_hoc

(he/they)
But that's the rub. I can go and buy those minis regularly for cheaper. Here if I don't want to get taken for a ride I get to wait six months or whatever.

Like, if you don't have enough copies at release and want to maximize your profit just say that. Because right now it looks like they aren't selling it separately for awhile (something never done before) just because?

Naw, miss me with that garbage.

There are 2 minis that are exclusive to that $750 collector's pack. The only way to get them is to get the pack.

Would you be upset if there was no way to buy the book for another 6 months? Why does it injure you that there is a way, just one you don't want to take?
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
There are 2 minis that are exclusive to that $750 collector's pack. The only way to get them is to get the pack.

Would you be upset if there was no way to buy the book for another 6 months? Why does it injure you that there is a way, just one you don't want to take?
Fair on the minis. I meant outside of the 2 exclusive minis, but didn't specify that.

But to the main point, I don't see why it is so hard to grasp why people would be annoyed. Let's say next year they make a new Planescape book but for the first six months it's only available in a $400 Beadle & Grimm Shaggy Special. You don't see why it's annoying that somebody who already has the books bundled here is made to wait to buy the books without also buying books they already own?

What a fantastic way to reward loyal customers. So yeah, I don't want to see that normalized.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Fair on the minis. I meant outside of the 2 exclusive minis, but didn't specify that.

But to the main point, I don't see why it is so hard to grasp why people would be annoyed. Let's say next year they make a new Planescape book but for the first six months it's only available in a $400 Beadle & Grimm Shaggy Special. You don't see why it's annoying that somebody who already has the books bundled here is made to wait to buy the books without also buying books they already own?

What a fantastic way to reward loyal customers. So yeah, I don't want to see that normalized.

I guess I just question the strong wording.

"Predatory" is a bit much.

Planescape is the thing I most want from D&D right now. But if it came out 6 months early as an expensive collector's item only I would just wait. I would prefer that it be out earlier but I would be more happy that it was happening and I had something great to look forward to.

I don't think that's entirely the same thing either. The new book is just a revised version of previous books. I will probably get it as I don't have Tome of Foes but I am not in a hurry.

I also have no need to get special editions of anything unless I find that cover more aesthetic. I understand that attitude isn't the norm.

One thing that I do think is very cool that they do is not charge extra for the collector's editions and they give them only to game stores to drive business to them. That's a really cool thing that they don't have to do. They could charge more for them and people would pay it.
 

DerekSTheRed

Explorer
During 2020 I stopped visiting my FLGS to buy hardback D&D books and started buying them on D&D Beyond instead. The option to buy a la cart is a nice way to avoid double purchasing stuff like this. If a particular book is especially full of duplicate I can just buy the new stuff a la cart and skip the duplicates.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I don't think anyone is confused about WotC being a business for profit first. It seems to me that the message here is asking businesses not to exploit our weaknesses as consumers. We appear to be very efficient consumers and easily manipulated, and a lot of people will buy the boxed set not because they need all three books but because they can't wait for the new book to release separately. The supposition is that the business is aware of this, and can improve profits by doing this limited set first, then waiting a while for the individual book to release. That is arguably pro business/profit but predatory on consumers.
Right. That’s what businesses do. It’s literally how and why they exist. Asking them not to make as much money as possible by any and every means possible is like asking the sun not to shine.
I do not think it's inappropriate to suggest that maybe as business practices go this is a bad strategy, one which can backfire on the business if they pull this sort of stunt too often. But....and this is probably the businessman in myself speaking here, I would also postulate that maybe we need to resist the FOMO and "get it now" feelings as consumers and maybe stop being such good consumers on occasion. This stunt will work because we can't resist buying the set, even when we know its a bad idea for us to do so. If we could just show restraint, this problem would actually go away.
But we can’t so it won’t. Business, man.
 

Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
The interesting question to me is if the publishing of MotM will mean that VGtM and MToF go out of print. I'm guessing yes, and that this box set is also a test of the process to retire the current Core in favor of the refreshed Core in 2024.
Almost certainly not. It doesn't seem sensible to make Monsters in the Multiverse available as a stand-alone product if the plan is to let MotM/VGtM go out of print and only keep a gift set of all three books in print. More likely is that the gift set will be a limited run and all three individual book will remain in print, even after the revised core books are out.
 

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