Am I no longer WoTC's target audience?

tetrasodium

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?
Those aren't a new trend. Think back to the d20 days when there was a stand alone d20 sourcebook for anything & everything TSR could make a marketing connection with. It's ok to look at a book and say "not my thing". a good chunk of Rising from the last war falls into the sorts of things you mention though, it adds a lot of new & really useful subsystems & tools that could have been in the core books.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
5E has been a veritable love letter to the history of D&D and long-time fans.

I6 and Ravenloft
The Temple of Elemental Evil
Acererak and the Tomb of Horrors
White Plume Mountain, Against the Giants
The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, The Isle of Dread
Mordenkainen, Volo, Xanathar
Waterdeep, Underdark, Demon Lords
Undermountain, Halaster Blackcloak, Baldur's Gate
The list goes on and on.

Honestly, if you can't tell you're being catered to, then I don't know what to say. WotC has been chasing after you as desperately as a
teenage boy chases after the girl in an 80's romantic comedy.
 

schneeland

Explorer
The primary audience they are aiming for are Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers and College students: the rest of us are nice to have as customers.
I tend to say, it also includes people right out of college (who have more disposable income, but no children yet), but other than that, you are probably right. It hasn't been that different with previous editions (except that now I, and many others here, are no longer part of that age cohort).
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Just because several books don't interest you, doesn't stop you from being part of the target audience--they're casting a wider net, now, to get more than just us oldtimers onboard.

And keep in mind, 2e was the same (at least for me)--there was a glut of products (for me: Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, etc.) that not every player was going to be interested in. The difference here is that there's a slower release schedule. You might not be interested in some of the products (like I haven't been interested in the adsventure, AI, this new book, or the starter sets), but there may be a future product you may be interested in (like I'm curious where they're going to put all these subclasses they're playtesting).
 

Mistwell

Legend
I have a memory of them saying something like that. I also remember them saying they were going to make Next very modular, so you could make 5e play exactly like an older edition of D&D. As you can see, that didn't exactly happen. That was one of the biggest selling points of 5e for me, being able to use my 2e stuff with no problem with 5e.
We recently finished a 2e adventure in 5e. It was no problem. The DM had no trouble at all adapting it to 5e, I think on the fly even. Have you tried to use 2e stuff in 5e and found it to be a problem to adapt?
 

Anoth

Adventurer
5E has been a veritable love letter to the history of D&D and long-time fans.

I6 and Ravenloft
The Temple of Elemental Evil
Acererak and the Tomb of Horrors
White Plume Mountain, Against the Giants
The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, The Isle of Dread
Mordenkainen, Volo, Xanathar
Waterdeep, Underdark, Demon Lords
Undermountain, Halaster Blackcloak, Baldur's Gate
The list goes on and on.

Honestly, if you can't tell you're being catered to, then I don't know what to say. WotC has been chasing after you as desperately as a
teenage boy chases after the girl in an 80's romantic comedy.
i like 5E, but I would in no way call it a love letter to the history of D&D. I would call it quite the opposite. It’s almost like they are trying to look somewhat like earlier D&D and yet be quite antithetical to it. That is my opinion. 5E is a good game, but it is a very different animal with very different goals.
 

Mistwell

Legend
The primary audiences for a luxury hobby are the ones with little to no disposable income? Interesting business model; not sure you could get a loan for that, though.
I don't agree with his premise but yours is silly as well. Obviously parents buy stuff for their kids. I'd venture to guess most starter sets are not bought by the people who end up receiving them, for example.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I am no longer part of their target audience. I was in year one, but no longer. And I’m perfectly ok with that. My background is similar to the OP’s. And 5e managed to bring me back in after over 15 years of skipping new D&D products.

Most of the releases don’t appeal to me at all. goSM is the only one, and I suspect a lot of that has to do with it being reskinned retro adventures. I do like half of the UA as well. But that’s it.

Doesn’t matter though. They have me playing 5e 😊. Old school folks like me are used to creating our own campaign worlds anyway, so it’s no big deal. I don’t expect them to put out products that I have to like. They need to bring in fresh blood, and I fully support all these other products even if they have no appeal to me because more people playing is a good thing. For everyone.
 
They’re trying to reach as wide an audience as possible. I think the variety of their line and the broad utility of moat of their products shows that. They want each release to reach as many people as possible.

This means that some products will be your cup of tea and others won’t. I don’t really see how that’s any different from prior editions.

I mean, the basic rules are free. They have multiple starter set kind of products. They certainly want to reach new audiences. I don’t think that means that they don’t want to sell products to their existing audience.

I don’t think it needs to be one or the other.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I have a memory of them saying something like that. I also remember them saying they were going to make Next very modular, so you could make 5e play exactly like an older edition of D&D. As you can see, that didn't exactly happen. That was one of the biggest selling points of 5e for me, being able to use my 2e stuff with no problem with 5e.
Curious. For pretty much the first two years, I almost exclusively used 1e adventures and setting material in 5e. And I found it exceptionally easy to convert. I could even do it on the fly. So I’m curious to know what your hurdles were.
 

Azurewraith

Explorer
Certainly not alone I find myself feeling this way with a couple of my hobbies mainly TTRPGs and video games, unfortunately I think it's just the way of the world companies move on to what the masses want.
 

Parmandur

Legend
The primary audiences for a luxury hobby are the ones with little to no disposable income? Interesting business model; not sure you could get a loan for that, though.
The give the game away for free: the real money is in merchandising, which is a long game of building up customer loyalty. See also, the heavy emphasis the past few years on D&D children's books.

Sure, you won't get a loan for it, that's why it is part of the investment portfolio of a multi-billion dollar corporation that hopes to monetize the IP in the end.
 
Last edited:

Eltab

Adventurer
I am clearly not WotC's target audience:
Except for Rise of Tiamat (which I bought myself - I was DM'ing it) and the PHB (received as a Christmas present), everything I have 5e came from borrowing the book at the Public Library and copying off the rules / chapters containing something I liked.
On top of that, I have left the coveted 17 - 35 demographic (or whatever the exact ages are), with no hope of returning to it.

Why would WotC ever care that I want a Dark Sun Sourcebook? (Besides being one way to actually get money out of my wallet.) Because the most fun to me as DM is bringing new players in to try out this game and see how it works - and they pick up on their own as enthusiastic participants, creating characters, thinking up adventures or campaigns, looking for minis, and presently buying the merchandise they need to 'put it all together'.
 

Advertisement

Top