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5E Am I no longer WoTC's target audience?

der_kluge

Adventurer
I'm reading about Mercer's new campaign sourcebook coming out from WoTC, and I've decided that I'm no longer WoTC's target audience. Maybe that puts me in the minority of gamers, and I would imagine that WoTC knows exactly what they're doing with some of the books and supplements they've come out with recently.

I've been gaming since high school, like many people here, and high school for me was around the late 80s. So, that puts me starting with 1st as a player, GM'ing 2nd edition, and then moving (gladly!) into 3rd, skipping 4th, and absolutely loving 5th. I make my own campaigns, so campaign modules are not of interest to me. I'm also a huge fan of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. It's literally more campaign world than I could ever possibly use, so I don't need any more. I loved Xanathar's Guide, and I LOVED Volo's guide. One of the best books WoTC's ever created. I was lukewarm on Mordenkainen's, since many of the monsters I'd never use (and really, who needs a dozen demon lords, anyway?).

But I keeping seeing things like Acquisitions Incorporated, and a Rick and Morty module, and I can't help but think those are probably popular products - for someone... but not for me. I've no interest in that stuff. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting a follow-up to Volo's so I can snatch that, maybe a Monster Manual II, or something that gives me a ton more magical items that I can use, or something else that will add value to my game. I'd even settle for a version of Tales of the Yawning Portal that didn't actually suck (I wanted to like it, I really did, I just couldn't).

Am I alone?
 

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bedir than

Adventurer
You definitely aren't alone in feeling this way.

But it's a mistake to think that 3 products not being meant for you means that WotC is no longer targeting towards you. Because they've made over two dozen products, most of which it seems you like.

My favorite band once put out a bad album. That doesn't mean I don't like that band anymore.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
I'm reading about Mercer's new campaign sourcebook coming out from WoTC, and I've decided that I'm no longer WoTC's target audience. Maybe that puts me in the minority of gamers, and I would imagine that WoTC knows exactly what they're doing with some of the books and supplements they've come out with recently.

I've been gaming since high school, like many people here, and high school for me was around the late 80s. So, that puts me starting with 1st as a player, GM'ing 2nd edition, and then moving (gladly!) into 3rd, skipping 4th, and absolutely loving 5th. I make my own campaigns, so campaign modules are not of interest to me. I'm also a huge fan of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. It's literally more campaign world than I could ever possibly use, so I don't need any more. I loved Xanathar's Guide, and I LOVED Volo's guide. One of the best books WoTC's ever created. I was lukewarm on Mordenkainen's, since many of the monsters I'd never use (and really, who needs a dozen demon lords, anyway?).

But I keeping seeing things like Acquisitions Incorporated, and a Rick and Morty module, and I can't help but think those are probably popular products - for someone... but not for me. I've no interest in that stuff. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting a follow-up to Volo's so I can snatch that, maybe a Monster Manual II, or something that gives me a ton more magical items that I can use, or something else that will add value to my game. I'd even settle for a version of Tales of the Yawning Portal that didn't actually suck (I wanted to like it, I really did, I just couldn't).

Am I alone?
That is okay. You should not feel obligated to like everything Wizards puts out. Everyone has different likes and preferences.

Similarly Wizards has no obligation to put out things catering to only the few.

Also patience is key.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
You're loving 5th edition, so clearly you are a part of WotC's target market. But their target market isn't just you. It also includes people who like things like Critical Role, Penny Arcade, Rick and Morty, and Stranger Things. If the products aimed at those segments of the market don't appeal to you... what can I say but THIS IS NOTHING NEW! There have ALWAYS been D&D products that not everyone is interested in. There always will be.
 


I kind of feel the same way, but I don't blame WotC. They are just responding to demand or perceived demand, after all.

My favorite edition was 4E, so I've been through the feelings of dissonance and disassociation that a significant number of gamers want to buy stuff that I don't want, and don't want to buy stuff that I do want before. I've made peace with that, and I just buy the stuff from WotC that I'm interested in, and increase the probability that WotC will make a similar product by a fraction.

In the meantime, I can come up with my own stuff.
 

Now the strategy is getting a new generation of players. You, the veteran group, aren't forgotten, but today to publish new things starting from zero is easier than remake and continuing old settings. I could bet there are plans for Dark Sun, Ravenloft and Dragonlance, but they need time and learning by trial and error. If you miss the old titles you have got the DM Guild, and now lot of 3PPs are creating new ideas with total freedom. And some fans are publishing free update version of old franchises.

And old settings need a lot of work about the background to can add last ideas from last editions (PC races and classes).
 


You have the core rulebooks? You don't need anything else to play D&D.

As for WotC, it makes better business sense for them to focus on attracting new players, who then go and buy the core rulebooks. Parent company Hasbro are still selling toys and games that have remained relatively unchanged since the 1950s.
 



S'mon

Legend
I'm reading about Mercer's new campaign sourcebook coming out from WoTC, and I've decided that I'm no longer WoTC's target audience. Maybe that puts me in the minority of gamers, and I would imagine that WoTC knows exactly what they're doing with some of the books and supplements they've come out with recently.

I've been gaming since high school, like many people here, and high school for me was around the late 80s. So, that puts me starting with 1st as a player, GM'ing 2nd edition, and then moving (gladly!) into 3rd, skipping 4th, and absolutely loving 5th. I make my own campaigns, so campaign modules are not of interest to me. I'm also a huge fan of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. It's literally more campaign world than I could ever possibly use, so I don't need any more. I loved Xanathar's Guide, and I LOVED Volo's guide. One of the best books WoTC's ever created. I was lukewarm on Mordenkainen's, since many of the monsters I'd never use (and really, who needs a dozen demon lords, anyway?).

But I keeping seeing things like Acquisitions Incorporated, and a Rick and Morty module, and I can't help but think those are probably popular products - for someone... but not for me. I've no interest in that stuff. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting a follow-up to Volo's so I can snatch that, maybe a Monster Manual II, or something that gives me a ton more magical items that I can use, or something else that will add value to my game. I'd even settle for a version of Tales of the Yawning Portal that didn't actually suck (I wanted to like it, I really did, I just couldn't).

Am I alone?
You (and me) are not the target audience for those recent releases, but then we already have a ton of stuff. Apart from the 5e core we have Xanathar's; the encounter tables are wonderful in a Wilderlands hexploration campaign. I agree that TftYP has its pronlems but was aimed at our play style and I have used several adventures from it in Wilderlands. Funnily enough the Starter set and Essentials kit are also aimed at very traditional sandbox play and are well worth picking up.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
Buy what you like. If it happens that they publish a few books that you don't like, so be it. I've been a DM for a long time. I don't have everything that came out when it was BECMI, 1ed, 2ed, 3.Xed, 4ed or even 5ed (though I can say I have a lot). I buy relatively few 3PP stuff. But buy what you like. So far I've bought everything "official" but that does not mean that I should've.

I am personnaly about to leave the wagon of buying everything. More classes is not the way to go for me. More adventures? Count me in. An update on Greyhawk? I'm in. But things like AI, Ravnica and now this new setting leave a bit disapointed. Still, I hope...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think only you can answer that question. There's two books that aren't your thing; what did you think of of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Eberron, or Descent into Avernus, all of which come out last year? If you didn't like the idea of any of those, either, then I guess maybe you're not. Otherwise -- they product a variety of products, some of which are targeted at you, and others maybe at someone else.
 


schneeland

Explorer
You seem to like 5e a lot, so like others, I'll argue that you are one of their target audiences. Maybe not their primary target audience, but still someone they'd like to sell books to.

I think the main challenge here is the comparably slow release cadence of 5e. E.g. with both 2e and 3e, my primary interest was in setting books, monster books and books about magic items, not in books containing additional mechanical options or in published adventures. But because the release frequency was so high, there was always enough to buy (in fact a lot more than I could afford). With 5e, that's not so much the case.

But I think, as long as you enjoy the game and like the previous books, I think you shouldn't worry too much. If you find yourself nitpicking about too many things in the core game and start selling your books and looking woefully to your old books and boxes (like me), that's maybe when you should start worrying about beginning grognardization :)
 

Nebulous

Legend
Meanwhile, I'm sitting here anxiously awaiting a follow-up to Volo's so I can snatch that, maybe a Monster Manual II, or something that gives me a ton more magical items that I can use, or something else that will add value to my game.
Have you looked at Expanded Monster Manual on DM Guild? It is 3rd party, but it's the MM2 WotC should have made. It expands on the core monsters with hundreds of variants, really good stuff. There's a sequel now that does the same thing with Volo and Mordenkainen monsters. More powerful/alternate versions of the the official ones. It's pretty fantastic and should scratch your monster itch.
 

Coroc

Hero
...
1. (and really, who needs a dozen demon lords, anyway?).
...

2. Am I alone?
1. Me.

2. You sent them demon lords away didn't yo? :p

Now, pun aside, i am oldschool also, with similar timeline on when i started etc. It was 2e for me, no active playing during 3e, but much CRPG and skipping 4e, while liking 5e as the best edition ever and heavy into PnP again.

I can understand your concerns up to a point.
You said you do something like complete homebrew. I use (Greyhawk atm.) official settings as a backbone for my homebrew, means i take the names npcs etc. and parts of the official lore, but i make my own thing.

For me Mordenkainens and Xanathars is like some optional stuff, i may integrate or may not. But besides that, those two products are into supporting Wotcs FR stuff mainly, they are not specifically tailored for it, but it goes into that direction. So for me these books do not offer much fluff, because that is what i decide on my own.

So for your homebrew, that no one at Wotc is aware of, which is only remotely based on some official gameworld, if i read and interpreted your post correctly, how do you expect them to cater specifically to you?

What do you, as an experienced DM who can do his own homebrew world and has got a favourite theme for it also, need from Wotc? I bet you are able to convert stuff from almost any edition properly to 5e.

Otoh there are tons of potential new players, players which do not know nothing about the classical campaigns, (which partially do not meet todays Zeitgeist anymore) and for them it will not matter if something is in Greyhawk, wilderlands or the new setting they now bring out which name i already forgot again.
These potential customers do not know how to convert stuff from older editions, and it might even confuse them, so from Wotcs marketing standpoint i cannot see them doing anything wrong.
For my part i am glad if they bring out only products which i might opt to use, instead of "mandatory" stuff.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
WotC only cares about people playing D&D... they don't care about who's playing what. Nor who's buying what. So long as you are playing D&D (and that means whatever edition of D&D, not even just 5E)... they don't care if you do or do not buy the new products released.

And no one should care that they aren't choosing to buy the new products release either.

If you choose not to buy new products but are still playing the game, congrats... you get to save your money and WotC's still completely happy for you. Why anyone would think that's a bad thing is beyond me.
 

I have mentioned some times the media projects, videogames and series in the streaming services. There it's the money factory. And I have said this may be the reason some metaplots are paralyzed, to avoid potential troubles about canon and continuity.

This is like saying Marvel Cinematic Universe has forgotten certain characters when really it hasn't appeared yet, but there is an open door in the future.
 

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