D&D 5E Amazon best and worst sellers for 5e so far

Lyxen

Great Old One
MTG settings feel half baked. I have them all and I love their ideas but I find it so hard to use them in a campaign. There just isn’t enough guidance, it’s all very light flavor, light aesthetics, light narrative frames.

For example, Ravnica was, to me, a super inspiring book. But what I really needed from it was about one hundred small storyseeds that I could draw into an epic intrigue campaign. and tables for making flavorful Ravnica NPCs. And more then a single location for each guild.

I expect that since such tools are not included, not many DMs are able to easily use the book. So word of mouth doesn’t spread, and they don’t sell that well (still better then basically all other rpgs tho).

I concur. Honestly, if I want a setting, I will find dozens out there, or I can create my own. What is much harder to do is create campaigns and adventure paths.
 

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dave2008

Legend
Current as of the time I posted them here (they update every hour; they could be different by now). I did try to find historical rankings, but didn't have any luck.
OK, that is what I thought as I don't believe Amazon provides historical rankings. From the post it seemed as if that was the ranking the year it was released. Obviously it is not a surprise that older books are lower in the rankings because amazon rankings are real-time.
 

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
Thoughts:
  • The MTG settings are actually the worst sellers in each year (excepting 2021, where Strixhaven beat out Ravenloft). I would have thought crossover sales would have done more for them.
  • D&D original settings tend to sell better than other books in their year (excepting, again, Ravenloft).

All things that I’m very happy to hear.

I’ve always believed that they should update old settings BEFORE they release new ones.
 


jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
For example, Ravnica was, to me, a super inspiring book. But what I really needed from it was about one hundred small storyseeds that I could draw into an epic intrigue campaign.
That's ... what chapter 4 was? It's actually one of the reasons I like that book.

and tables for making flavorful Ravnica NPCs.
I'd like that too, but I don't think any of the setting books have this, so it seems unfair to single out Ravnica.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Apologies after reading through all the posts so far so still don't really understand what these stats mean.

You say current sales, does that mean:

1) Sales within the last day, week, month? (in which case, recent titles would likely have a big advantage?)
2) Sales of that book for all time? (in which case, wouldn't the books from years ago have a massive advantage over new titles?)

Is the ranking a pure indicator of "book A sold X books in the timeframe, book B sold Y", or does it have other factors, such as price/profitability/reviews/etc.
 

TheHand

Adventurer
I did notice that the M:tG settings are all selling much, much better than Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Planescape and Dragonlance.
Not hard to do when WotC hasn’t yet released any 5e books for Dark Sun, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Planescape… or were you being tongue-in-cheek?
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Following the link it's already changed - Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse is in the #10 slot - Tome of Foes has moved up to #9.

Since this shows some kind of current sales rank, what the rankings actually suggest to me is that settings probably trail off over time while core books and rules expansions (monsters, player tools) stay evergreen. I'll bet if you come back in 6 months Strixhaven will have dropped a few places and something new will have moved up (pre-orders for the next book perhaps).

This confirms what has been pretty much standard RPG sales ideas for decades - core books and rules sell better than adventures and settings. The 3e sales strategy was pretty much built around that, as was 4e - cranking out a new player option or monster book every month was the way you hit the target numbers and kept everything going (and since there were more players than DMs, more player option books than DM tools was also the way you hit those numbers).
 

dave2008

Legend
Apologies after reading through all the posts so far so still don't really understand what these stats mean.

You say current sales, does that mean:

1) Sales within the last day, week, month? (in which case, recent titles would likely have a big advantage?)
2) Sales of that book for all time? (in which case, wouldn't the books from years ago have a massive advantage over new titles?)

Is the ranking a pure indicator of "book A sold X books in the timeframe, book B sold Y", or does it have other factors, such as price/profitability/reviews/etc.
I got a clarification for JEB up thread. It is the rank at the time of the OP
 

darjr

I crit!
Sarter set is 85487682-2CFD-42C7-A884-9A32BAFAD4B6.jpeg

Which pings a memory for some reason?

I wonder why it isn’t in the D&D rankings.
 


TheSword

Legend
Actually surprised the PHB hasn't been number 1 every year.
That is the year of release, not the year sales are being measured.

Every product has one aggregated sales rank on Amazon that is comprised of weighted sales numbers with more weight given to recent sales than old ones.

PHB has literally been number 1 every year. But this data just shows that it still is now.
 

darjr

I crit!
The PHB has had weeks less than #1.

One time Fizbahn’s unseated it for a while.

I think it’s also been the CR books, all in presale, I think, and Curse of Strahd? And maybe Tasha’s and Xanathars.

Other books may have bumped it for shorter times.

Note this is all from memory. Take your salt.
 

Take into account that setting books are expected by WotC to be niche products, they don't sell as well as other books, but they still very profitable, and they don't cause burn out like releasing adventures too fast or lead to complaints of bloat, so doing a bunch of setting books allows you to increase the amount of books your selling without the consequences and risks of other higher selling books.

Also a lot of MtG setting books likely sell at MtG LGS instead of Amazon.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As established, these are live sales numbers, not historical, and just for one retailer. Somewhat interesting, still
Player's option books are king, followed by monster books. Not really a surprise there
There are no "player options" books: literally every book with player options has multiple tines more DM information...which makes sense, since WotC has said that DMs do most of the buying, either individually or corporately for the table.
The MTG settings are actually the worst sellers in each year (excepting 2021, where Strixhaven beat out Ravenloft). I would have thought crossover sales would have done more for them.
Again, live sales, but also consider: Magic is a very game store centric community (even though most people who play have never been to a game store), so the hardcore Maguc fans would buy where they get their cards...not Amazon, for the dedicated fans.

The 3e sales strategy was pretty much built around that, as was 4e - cranking out a new player option or monster book every month was the way you hit the target numbers and kept everything going (and since there were more players than DMs, more player option books than DM tools was also the way you hit those numbers).
But the thing is, they didn't hit their numbers: 3E, 3.5, 4E and Essentials all crashed and burned within a few years. The 5E product strategy was explicitly designed around trying to do the opposite of what had failed... and here we are 8 years later, with Rise of Tiamat still in print.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wait?! Really? Wow!
The 3E PHB was published August 10, 2000, while the 4E PHB was published December 5, 2008. That's 8 years and 4 months.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen was published August 19, 2014.

That means it will hit the combined publication lifetime of all of 3E at Christmas this year. Currently it's only the #6,096 selling book on Amazon...but it is still selling, and you can find it in stores. That's pretty shocking, all things considered.
 



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