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

overgeeked

B/X Known World
  • 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.
It's a common assumption that's always proven wrong. It's not D&D fans plus MtG fans that picks these up, it's the subset of people who are fans of both.
  • Anthology-style adventures seem to sell better than other kinds of adventures.
Makes sense with easier portability and shorter adventures.
  • I wonder what will happen to sales of Volo's and MTOF once Monsters of the Multiverse is out? Though their rankings are so strong even years after release that even a sharp drop might not be noticeable, at least for a while.
They will likely go out of print and drop like stones.
 

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JEB

Legend
And for the heck of it, listing the last set of rankings by release month instead of year:

MonthRankings
January-
February-
MarchWildemount, 2020 (#14)
Candlekeep Mysteries, 2021 (#16)
Curse of Strahd, 2016 (#23)
AprilTales from the Yawning Portal, 2017 (#17)
Princes of the Apocalypse, 2015 (#35)
MayMordenkainen's Tome of Foes, 2018 (#9)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 2019 (#18)
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, 2021 (#19)
JuneAcquisitions Inc., 2019 (#42)
JulyTheros, 2020 (#29)
AugustPHB, 2014 (#1)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen, 2014 (#40)
SeptemberMM, 2014 (#4)
Essentials Kit, 2019 (general release) (#10)
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, 2018 (#22)
Tomb of Annihilation, 2017 (#24)
Out of the Abyss, 2015 (#28)
Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus, 2019 (#32)
Storm King's Thunder, 2016 (#34)
OctoberFizban's, 2021 (#2)
NovemberTasha's, 2020 (#3)
Volo's, 2016 (#6)
Xanathar's, 2017 (#7)
Eberron, 2019 (#15)
SCAG, 2015 (#21)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, 2018 (#25)
Ravnica, 2018 (#27)
Rick and Morty starter set, 2019 (#78)
Rise of Tiamat, 2014 (#152)
DecemberDMG, 2014 (#5)
Strixhaven, 2021 (#20)

And consolidated by quarters:

QuarterRankings
Q1 (Jan-Feb-Mar)Wildemount, 2020 (#14)
Candlekeep Mysteries, 2021 (#16)
Curse of Strahd, 2016 (#23)
Q2 (Apr-May-Jun)Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, 2018 (#9)
Tales from the Yawning Portal, 2017 (#17)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 2019 (#18)
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, 2021 (#19)
Princes of the Apocalypse, 2015 (#35)
Acquisitions Inc., 2019 (#42)
Q3 (Jul-Aug-Sep)PHB, 2014 (#1)
MM, 2014 (#4)
Essentials Kit, 2019 (general release) (#10)
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, 2018 (#22)
Tomb of Annihilation, 2017 (#24)
Out of the Abyss, 2015 (#28)
Theros, 2020 (#29)
Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus, 2019 (#32)
Storm King's Thunder, 2016 (#34)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen, 2014 (#40)
Q4 (Oct-Nov-Dec)Fizban's, 2021 (#2)
Tasha's, 2020 (#3)
DMG, 2014 (#5)
Volo's, 2016 (#6)
Xanathar's, 2017 (#7)
Eberron, 2019 (#15)
Strixhaven, 2021 (#20)
SCAG, 2015 (#21)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, 2018 (#25)
Ravnica, 2018 (#27)
Rick and Morty starter set, 2019 (#78)
Rise of Tiamat, 2014 (#152)

While the monthly breakdown isn't far off from the yearly pattern, the quarterly one looks slightly different in Q4: MTG and original D&D settings seem much more competitive, though MTG still does worse in aggregate than D&D originals. (Of course, Strixhaven's ranking is also likely to drop in time.)
 

TheSword

Legend
Tell that to the OGL publishers who had put out 3E material.
Ok. Point them my way. 3.5 had minimal impact. You could run a 3.0 adventure with 3.5 rules with no changes (except damage reduction) and vice versa. Like no change at all. Your PCs wouldn’t even know the difference. Let’s no pretend this is like an edition change.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Ok. Point them my way. 3.5 had minimal impact. You could run a 3.0 adventure with 3.5 rules with no changes (except damage reduction) and vice versa. Like no change at all. Your PCs wouldn’t even know the difference. Let’s no pretend this is like an edition change.
It was such a significant change that quite a few people dropped 3e at that point and went back to 2e, you hear about them frequently. In particular, they felt scammed by the need to buy again all the core books, coupled with the frantic rate of publishing that rendered options more or less mandatory to keep up with players demands.
 

TheSword

Legend
It was such a significant change that quite a few people dropped 3e at that point and went back to 2e, you hear about them frequently. In particular, they felt scammed by the need to buy again all the core books, coupled with the frantic rate of publishing that rendered options more or less mandatory to keep up with players demands.
That isn’t an argument for the editions being different. It’s an argument for some people being nuts. There are some people who feel scammed by anything.

As for mandatory book purchases, I’ve never heard anything so daft. The rate of book releases was consistently large under 3e and pathfinder as much as 3.5.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
That isn’t an argument for the editions being different. It’s an argument for some people being nuts. There are some people who feel scammed by anything.

Forcing you to buy a set of 3 core books after just a few years ? Really sounds like a scam.

Moreover, the list of change was not small and in particular the effect on the game, it really felt different, in particular with the changes in the buffs.

As for mandatory book purchases, I’ve never heard anything so daft. The rate of book releases was consistently large under 3e and pathfinder as much as 3.5.

And this is why I never invested in pathfinder after the problem with 3e. Once was enough, I was not ready to do it on something that again felt like a 3.8. Because it was exactly that.
 

TheSword

Legend
Forcing you to buy a set of 3 core books after just a few years ? Really sounds like a scam.

Moreover, the list of change was not small and in particular the effect on the game, it really felt different, in particular with the changes in the buffs.



And this is why I never invested in pathfinder after the problem with 3e. Once was enough, I was not ready to do it on something that again felt like a 3.8. Because it was exactly that.
Good for you. Freedom of choice not to play Pathfinder was yours to make. What did you want? Paizo to change the business model that made it more successful than WOC for a time.

The 3.5 list was long… the changes were small.

90% of It was a tinkering mainly with classes. Clerics being able to spontaneously cast cure mass light wounds 🙄, bards having 2 extra skill points 🙄, ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting being combined into one feat 🙄. Please tell me you’re not bothered by Polymorph being renamed Baleful Polymorph?

Give me a break. These are on par with the changes in Tasha’s. We’re you scammed by the new rules released in that book? It was roughly the same price as the 3.5 phb which contained 95% of the changes.

People were just throwing their toys out of their prams. I go back to my point about $0.5 per hour and it being the cheapest hobby going. I have no sympathy. If your group didn’t want to change nobody had to. You can play 3.5 adventures with 3.0 rules without any difficulty!
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Good for you. Freedom of choice not to play Pathfinder was yours to make. What did you want? Paizo to change the business model that made it more successful than WOC for a time.

The 3.5 list was long… the changes were small.

90% of It was a tinkering mainly with classes. Clerics being able to spontaneously cast cure mass light wounds 🙄, bards having 2 extra skill points 🙄, ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting being combined into one feat 🙄. Please tell me you’re not bothered by Polymorph being renamed Baleful Polymorph?

Give me a break. These are on par with the changes in Tasha’s. We’re you scammed by the new rules released in that book? It was roughly the same price as the 3.5 phb which contained 95% of the changes.

People were just throwing their toys out of their prams. I go back to my point about $0.5 per hour and it being the cheapest hobby going. I have no sympathy. If your group didn’t want to change nobody had to. You can play 3.5 adventures with 3.0 rules without any difficulty!

It's not that easy or cheap. I have piles of D&D stuff bought barely used.

There were a lot more changes between the two you mentioned. Monsters got overhauled as well, hit point bloat etc plus damage reduction, class and spell changes etc.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Good for you. Freedom of choice not to play Pathfinder was yours to make. What did you want? Paizo to change the business model that made it more successful than WOC for a time.

We played some of the Pathfinder AP which were good, but restricted ourselves to the core rules.

The 3.5 list was long… the changes were small.

And still, some noticeably changed the way the game was played, again in particular the buffs and some class changes.

And the problem, in an edition that was extremely technical and generated many debates, you could not do with the previous edition, you needed to have the changes.

90% of It was a tinkering mainly with classes. Clerics being able to spontaneously cast cure mass light wounds 🙄, bards having 2 extra skill points 🙄, ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting being combined into one feat 🙄. Please tell me you’re not bothered by Polymorph being renamed Baleful Polymorph?

And still, it changed the feel of the game, and honestly for what ? The game exploded relatively shortly after (I has been playing AD&D for 20 years and not switched to 2e except in rare cases), overgorged on its own production which made the game completely unsustainable and way too complex to manage.

And, by the way, thinking about it, were there that many more changes from 1e to 2e than from 3 to 3.5 ? We played a lot of planescape and spelljammer and dark sun with 1e without any trouble whatsoever... It was NOT the case with 3 to 3.5.

Give me a break. These are on par with the changes in Tasha’s.

Huh, no. Sorry. First, the changes in Tasha are totally optional, and we are not using most of them. It did not change the game.

We’re you scammed by the new rules released in that book? It was roughly the same price as the 3.5 phb which contained 95% of the changes.

First, it was still a NEW publication, not an old one with small changes all over the place. And it contained more than just changes.

People were just throwing their toys out of their prams. I go back to my point about $0.5 per hour and it being the cheapest hobby going. I have no sympathy. If your group didn’t want to change nobody had to. You can play 3.5 adventures with 3.0 rules without any difficulty!

You are awfully defensive about that, you know ? Why ? What's the subtext here ?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
We played some of the Pathfinder AP which were good, but restricted ourselves to the core rules.



And still, some noticeably changed the way the game was played, again in particular the buffs and some class changes.

And the problem, in an edition that was extremely technical and generated many debates, you could not do with the previous edition, you needed to have the changes.



And still, it changed the feel of the game, and honestly for what ? The game exploded relatively shortly after (I has been playing AD&D for 20 years and not switched to 2e except in rare cases), overgorged on its own production which made the game completely unsustainable and way too complex to manage.

And, by the way, thinking about it, were there that many more changes from 1e to 2e than from 3 to 3.5 ? We played a lot of planescape and spelljammer and dark sun with 1e without any trouble whatsoever... It was NOT the case with 3 to 3.5.



Huh, no. Sorry. First, the changes in Tasha are totally optional, and we are not using most of them. It did not change the game.



First, it was still a NEW publication, not an old one with small changes all over the place. And it contained more than just changes.



You are awfully defensive about that, you know ? Why ? What's the subtext here ?

May be a 3E grognard. They're rare but exist.
 

TheSword

Legend
Forcing you to buy a set of 3 core books after just a few years ? Really sounds like a scam.

Moreover, the list of change was not small and in particular the effect on the game, it really felt different, in particular with the changes in the buffs.



And this is why I never invested in pathfinder after the problem with 3e. Once was enough, I was not ready to do it on something that again felt like a 3.8. Because it was exactly that.
We played some of the Pathfinder AP which were good, but restricted ourselves to the core rules.



And still, some noticeably changed the way the game was played, again in particular the buffs and some class changes.

And the problem, in an edition that was extremely technical and generated many debates, you could not do with the previous edition, you needed to have the changes.


And still, it changed the feel of the game, and honestly for what ? The game exploded relatively shortly after (I has been playing AD&D for 20 years and not switched to 2e except in rare cases), overgorged on its own production which made the game completely unsustainable and way too complex to manage.

And, by the way, thinking about it, were there that many more changes from 1e to 2e than from 3 to 3.5 ? We played a lot of planescape and spelljammer and dark sun with 1e without any trouble whatsoever... It was NOT the case with 3 to 3.5.


Huh, no. Sorry. First, the changes in Tasha are totally optional, and we are not using most of them. It did not change the game.


First, it was still a NEW publication, not an old one with small changes all over the place. And it contained more than just changes.



You are awfully defensive about that, you know ? Why ? What's the subtext here ?
I’d say the folks you claim were scammed by a book are more defensive than I am. The cost of our hobby used to justify people’s arguments in favour of not changing rules continues to be a poor one… it gets my goat and implies that people won’t pay good money for rpg products.

The books tweaked the game for those that wanted it tweaked. Either you like the changes in which case it was an improvement, or you didn’t in which case don’t use the 3.5 phb.

The fact that you said you played with pathfinder core books demonstrates my point that buying extra books are optional. You don’t need them. Sure the rules within update the game, that’s just progress. 3.5 rules were optional. You could play with a 3e bard or a 3.5 bard in the party alongside PCs of the opposite PHB.

Can you point to any changes that actually caused a problem in real play between 3e and 3.5e?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I’d say the folks you claim were scammed by a book are more defensive than I am. The cost of our hobby used to justify people’s arguments in favour of not changing rules continues to be a poor one… it gets my goat and implies that people won’t pay good money for rpg products.

The books tweaked the game for those that wanted it tweaked. Either you like the changes in which case it was an improvement, or you didn’t in which case don’t use the 3.5 phb.

The fact that you said you played with pathfinder core books demonstrates my point that buying extra books are optional. You don’t need them. Sure the rules within update the game, that’s just progress. 3.5 rules were optional. You could play with a 3e bard or a 3.5 bard in the party alongside PCs of the opposite PHB.

Can you point to any changes that actually caused a problem in real play between 3e and 3.5e?

People tend to switch to the latest books.

Up take of 3.5 was only around 50 % and it caused problems with stores obsoleting their stock. Very few people want to buy obsolete books.

3.5 was essentially out of print by 2007 before 4E landed.

Collectively 3E is actually one of the bigger selling D&D's. It's just split over 3.0, 3.5 and Pathfinder. 5E, and Basic/,1E probably outsold it.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I’d say the folks you claim were scammed by a book are more defensive than I am. The cost of our hobby used to justify people’s arguments in favour of not changing rules continues to be a poor one… it gets my goat and implies that people won’t pay good money for rpg products.

I don't like to pay the complete price again for something containing a shitload of vague changes, whatever I'm paying for. The cost per hour or whatever is irrelevant, it's still double the cost on fairly expensive books. Especially for players, by the way.

And it was the same thing with the stupid Essentials in 4e, which were absolutely not needed except to make some money because WotC knew that corebooks and especially the player books are what makes the real sales.

The books tweaked the game for those that wanted it tweaked. Either you like the changes in which case it was an improvement, or you didn’t in which case don’t use the 3.5 phb.

And I'm not the only one telling you that it was a pain to do so, with arguments (like the ruleslawyering that was so much enhanced by this edition and its stupid player-centricity). Deal with it.

The fact that you said you played with pathfinder core books demonstrates my point that buying extra books are optional. You don’t need them. Sure the rules within update the game, that’s just progress. 3.5 rules were optional. You could play with a 3e bard or a 3.5 bard in the party alongside PCs of the opposite PHB.

And we could do this because we also changed the way we were playing the game, from a club where everyone had to be on the same page to simpler campaign with one table.

Can you point to any changes that actually caused a problem in real play between 3e and 3.5e?

No, I have better things to do than go over these damn lists again. Not even mentioning the 20 pages of house rules that we had to write for clarification. I'm done with that edition. You have your feelings, I have mine and I'm not alone in this, deal with it.
 

TheSword

Legend
I don't like to pay the complete price again for something containing a shitload of vague changes, whatever I'm paying for. The cost per hour or whatever is irrelevant, it's still double the cost on fairly expensive books. Especially for players, by the way.

And it was the same thing with the stupid Essentials in 4e, which were absolutely not needed except to make some money because WotC knew that corebooks and especially the player books are what makes the real sales.



And I'm not the only one telling you that it was a pain to do so, with arguments (like the ruleslawyering that was so much enhanced by this edition and its stupid player-centricity). Deal with it.



And we could do this because we also changed the way we were playing the game, from a club where everyone had to be on the same page to simpler campaign with one table.



No, I have better things to do than go over these damn lists again. Not even mentioning the 20 pages of house rules that we had to write for clarification. I'm done with that edition. You have your feelings, I have mine and I'm not alone in this, deal with it.
Cool, no examples. I’ll consider the matter settled. It takes two to tango.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Cool, no examples. I’ll consider the matter settled. It takes two to tango.

If you took the time to read more than argue, you would have seen that I have given you plenty of examples so far in previous posts, and I've not been alone. But you do you, you know...
 




Ok. Point them my way. 3.5 had minimal impact. You could run a 3.0 adventure with 3.5 rules with no changes (except damage reduction) and vice versa. Like no change at all. Your PCs wouldn’t even know the difference. Let’s no pretend this is like an edition change.

It was a big shift, not in rules, but in design philosophy. Rules were very compatible, but the mindset was different. In 3.5 the shift from DM has the last word to players have the last word happened. Also balance over fun was the new guideline. (My personal opinion, but i can back it up).
5e turned the wheel back a bit by presenting a quite well balanced and still fun rules design. And the biggest shift was firmly establishing that the DM has the last word.
 

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