D&D 5E A lesson I hope WotC learns from Paizo (with regards to 5E)

Zardnaar

Legend
The PHB's are analogous, but the AP's and splats have a very different, more dynamic style. 4E non-core books are relatively plain.

Some of them look alright I think the big banner cutting through them is a pain. Not really a fan of any of the Pathfinder covers.
 
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Halivar

First Post
DISCLAIMER: This post makes a number of unfounded assertions based on my understanding of how the RPG market works. If I'm wrong, just remember that I am a delicate snowflake and you need to be gentle.

Another thing: you need a lot of books, but you HAVE to do with without bloat, and it has to still be quality. At my local B&N the Paizo books outnumber the D&D books 3:1, simply because of the sheer number of titles. And these are NOT "advanced" books or somesuch with rules bloat. For the most part these are adventures, GM helpers like the NPC Codex, etc., i.e. things that help GM's start and run a Pathfinder game. Meanwhile, the 4E books are all player options books. Players don't drive your sales, DM's do.

I think the heart of it is this: stop making books for players and start making books for GM's. Adventures, adventures, adventures. Stop putting them on the website and start putting them in binding and battle Paizo for shelf-space. Don't make adventures this add-on afterthought to selling the core rules. Rather, make the core rules just a gateway into the purchase of adventures and modules.

NOTE: I don't buy adventures or modules. I have no care for them at all. As a player, I buy every player options book I can get my hands on. But the fact remains that I am in the vast minority (I think), and I am not one to be catered to. Ever. I'm niche at best.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
DISCLAIMER: This post makes a number of unfounded assertions based on my understanding of how the RPG market works. If I'm wrong, just remember that I am a delicate snowflake and you need to be gentle.

Another thing: you need a lot of books, but you HAVE to do with without bloat, and it has to still be quality. At my local B&N the Paizo books outnumber the D&D books 3:1, simply because of the sheer number of titles. And these are NOT "advanced" books or somesuch with rules bloat. For the most part these are adventures, GM helpers like the NPC Codex, etc., i.e. things that help GM's start and run a Pathfinder game. Meanwhile, the 4E books are all player options books. Players don't drive your sales, DM's do.

I think the heart of it is this: stop making books for players and start making books for GM's. Adventures, adventures, adventures. Stop putting them on the website and start putting them in binding and battle Paizo for shelf-space. Don't make adventures this add-on afterthought to selling the core rules. Rather, make the core rules just a gateway into the purchase of adventures and modules.

NOTE: I don't buy adventures or modules. I have no care for them at all. As a player, I buy every player options book I can get my hands on. But the fact remains that I am in the vast minority (I think), and I am not one to be catered to. Ever. I'm niche at best.

Players books still sell but you have to make an edition that people want to buy. 3.5 apparently was worth 25-30 million per year while Paizo's best year was 11.2 million in 2012. Paizo outsold PF using adventures and we can speculate why but the bar was fairly low it seems ie 4th ed did not do very well after the initial shiny coat feeling wore off.

I suspect a lot of DMs buy players option books for their players to use. I know I do. Would not surprise me if 80-90% of D&D's sales come from 10% of the player base. The peak of D&Ds golden age (1983) TSR made $20 million (48 million adjusted for inflation) with one hard cover a year. That is about 4 times the size of Paizo and more than Paizo got in 2009-2012 combined. Keep on the Borderlands sold 1-1.5 million copies or something crazy like that.
 
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Halivar

First Post
4th ed did not do very well after the initial shiny coat feeling wore off.
Well, TBH there isn't really much more to buy, is there? Once you got the core, you can either get on the crunch treadmill, or just get DDI like I did. I suspect that overall, WotC got less money from DM's by offering crunch in downloadable format at a cheap price, and nothing else they'd want in print.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
DISCLAIMER: This post makes a number of unfounded assertions based on my understanding of how the RPG market works. If I'm wrong, just remember that I am a delicate snowflake and you need to be gentle.

Another thing: you need a lot of books, but you HAVE to do with without bloat, and it has to still be quality. At my local B&N the Paizo books outnumber the D&D books 3:1, simply because of the sheer number of titles. And these are NOT "advanced" books or somesuch with rules bloat. For the most part these are adventures, GM helpers like the NPC Codex, etc., i.e. things that help GM's start and run a Pathfinder game. Meanwhile, the 4E books are all player options books. Players don't drive your sales, DM's do.

I think the heart of it is this: stop making books for players and start making books for GM's. Adventures, adventures, adventures. Stop putting them on the website and start putting them in binding and battle Paizo for shelf-space. Don't make adventures this add-on afterthought to selling the core rules. Rather, make the core rules just a gateway into the purchase of adventures and modules.

NOTE: I don't buy adventures or modules. I have no care for them at all. As a player, I buy every player options book I can get my hands on. But the fact remains that I am in the vast minority (I think), and I am not one to be catered to. Ever. I'm niche at best.
They shouldn't publish adventures until they learn how to write a good one.
 



I agree with the OP.

I want 2-4 books each each crammed with content for characters new and old. I want big sizable books with content I look forward to for months. There should be a lot to each release. It should seem big and special, a must-buy product.
 


Sound of Azure

Contemplative Soul
I agree with the OP.

I want 2-4 books each each crammed with content for characters new and old. I want big sizable books with content I look forward to for months. There should be a lot to each release. It should seem big and special, a must-buy product.

I definitely understand this sentiment, but I'm really of two minds about it. If they are going to release fewer sourcebooks, the quality control definitely needs to be very high. With a frequent release schedule, if a title does not appeal enough it is a lot easier for me to skip that book and not feel too bad about it. On the other hand, if it going to be the only book of that type for a couple of months, that would far more disappointing for me. It's a hard call.
 

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