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

darjr

I crit!
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.
huh, I'd bet there are authors that would give a body part to have a book at that ranking on Amazon.
 

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Well, not out of malice or anything: that's the gobsmacking thing: absolutely no 3E book had as good a run as Hoard of the Dragon Queen, one of the lesst of the 5E books by most measures. Indeed, Tales of the Yawning Portal and every book from 5E that is older than that has outdone every 3x book, including Core!
SCAG's staying power and multiple reprints may even be more impressive
 

darjr

I crit!
Well, not out of malice or anything: that's the gobsmacking thing: absolutely no 3E book had as good a run as Hoard of the Dragon Queen, one of the lesst of the 5E books by most measures. Indeed, Tales of the Yawning Portal and every book from 5E that is older than that has outdone every 3x book, including Core!
The 3.0 Forgotten Realms setting book might, maybe, not sure. But it's also one of the greatest D&D books ever printed. IMHO.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The 3.0 Forgotten Realms setting book might, maybe, not sure. But it's also one of the greatest D&D books ever printed. IMHO.
3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: May 29, 2001.

4E Forgotten Relams Campaign Guide: August 19, 2008.

So, 7 years and 3 months.

Rise of Tiamat came out November 4, 2014, so 7 years, 4 months and counting, and thst is certainly not one of the best D&D books ever printed (though I like it). Princes of the Apocalypse will pass the 3E FRCS soon, and even SCAG will by the end of the year.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Rise of Tiamat came out November 4, 2014, so 7 years, 4 months and counting, and thst is certainly not one of the best D&D books ever printed (though I like it)

I actually like it too, it has moments and it mainly suffers from an early publication that left some inconsistencies between what is in there and monsters published later (for example the assassins). But the reason for it being so high is that, for quite a long time, it was the only adventure available...
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I actually like it too, it has moments and it mainly suffers from an early publication that left some inconsistencies between what is in there and monsters published later (for example the assassins). But the reason for it being so high is that, for quite a long time, it was the only adventure available...
These rankings are current, not historical: it still sells.
 


I have buyer's remorse over "Strixhaven." The UA articles were far more innovative than the book. Adding bonus feats to backgrounds is very lazy game design. I don't like the tedium of Relationship Points either. It's too much like a video game. Not to mention, at least half of the roleplaying encounters are frivolous. I'd rank "Strixhaven" at the bottom of 5e products.
 

darjr

I crit!
I see Rise is out of print. Hoard is in stock but I don't think it's being printed. Tyranny, the combined book, I can't find on Amazon at the moment. Not even used. That happens to some books, like the Pathfinder 2e core disappears off Amazon quite a lot, I think that means a restock is in the works, but don't know for sure.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I see Rise is out of print. Hoard is in stock but I don't think it's being printed. Tyranny, the combined book, I can't find on Amazon at the moment. Not even used. That happens to some books, like the Pathfinder 2e core disappears off Amazon quite a lot, I think that means a restock is in the works, but don't know for sure.
Oh, wild, I hadn't noticed that Rise of Tiamat had gone out of print: it may he the only 5E book to do so?
 

TheSword

Legend
5e’s success is Rise of Tiamat’s success. As with all adventures it’s symbiotic. If 5e ended, people would slow down buying 5e adventures. Stands to reason it would have happened with 3e.

incidentally 3e and 3.5 aren’t different editions. .5 was an update, and very specifically not a new edition… that’s why it wasn’t called 4th edition.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
5e’s success is Rise of Tiamat’s success. As with all adventures it’s symbiotic. If 5e ended, people would slow down buying 5e adventures. Stands to reason it would have happened with 3e.

incidentally 3e and 3.5 aren’t different editions. .5 was an update, and very specifically not a new edition… that’s why it wasn’t called 4th edition.
Tell that to the OGL publishers who had put out 3E material.
 

darjr

I crit!
Huh? At wizards site there are only links to Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds to by Tyranny of Dragons.

Hoard is in stock brand new, but I can't tell if those are recent printings.
 


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 think amazon's rankings are both historical and current, in a secret combination, actually.
The sales ranking is purely determined by number of units sold. While the algorithm rewards consistency of sales over a short term spike, it heavily weights recent sales so think of the ranking as how well the product has done over the last week or two.
 


JEB

Legend
Was curious if the numbers had changed substantively in the last day or so, and checked again:

YearRankings
2014PHB (#1)
MM (#7 -> #4)
DMG (#5)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen (#44 -> #40)
Rise of Tiamat (#121 -> #152)
2015SCAG (#23 -> #21)
Out of the Abyss (#30 -> #28)
Princes of the Apocalypse (#29 -> #35)
2016Volo's (#6)
Curse of Strahd (#21 -> #23)
Storm King's Thunder (#34)
2017Xanathar's (#4 -> #7)
Tales from the Yawning Portal (#19 -> #17)
Tomb of Annihilation (#22 -> #24)
2018Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (#10 -> #9)
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (#18 -> #22)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (#24 -> #25)
Ravnica (#31 -> #27)
2019Essentials Kit (#11 -> #10)
Eberron (#13 -> #15)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh (#20 -> #18)
Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus (#28 -> #32)
Acquisitions Inc. (#38 -> #42)
Rick and Morty starter set (#66 -> #78)
2020Tasha's (#2 -> #3)
Wildemount (#16 -> #14)
Theros (#25 -> #29)
2021Fizban's (#3 -> #2)
Candlekeep Mysteries (#14 -> #16)
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (#26 -> #19)
Strixhaven (#17 -> #20)

Most stayed where they were relative to other releases in the same year, except:
  • the MM is now ahead of the DMG
  • Out of the Abyss is now ahead of Princes of the Apocalypse
  • Ravenloft is now ahead of Strixhaven
Still, enough stuff moved around that these numbers can at best be taken as a general benchmark, even if they factor in historical and new sales as @TheSword mentioned. They would be much more informative when captured over a longer period. Unfortunately, everywhere that does that for you appears to ask you to pay for the privilege...
 


Tell that to the OGL publishers who had put out 3E material.

5e’s success is Rise of Tiamat’s success. As with all adventures it’s symbiotic. If 5e ended, people would slow down buying 5e adventures. Stands to reason it would have happened with 3e.

incidentally 3e and 3.5 aren’t different editions. .5 was an update, and very specifically not a new edition… that’s why it wasn’t called 4th edition.

3.0 to 3.5 was a very big shift towards "balance" at the table. I could once again go into detail, but with hindsight I would say that 3.0 was the better of the two editions in many regards. I still wish a few concepts of 3.0 were in 5e.
 

Muso

Explorer
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.
Nice news. I really hope WoC will stop wasting time and resources on MtG settings.
I still want 5E editions of Planescape and Dark Sun (Birthright is an impossible dream).
 

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