D&D 5E Are DMs getting lazy?

Reynard

Legend
Plus, there is the difference in value between 6 standalone modules that *may* be strung together in a campaign framework but not necessarily must be and can be used individually as needed. It is nice to be a able top pull an adventure off the shelf when your time is at a premium or just because you want to see how your new group handles the Temple of Elemental Evil.
 

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delericho

Legend
Plus, there is the difference in value between 6 standalone modules that *may* be strung together in a campaign framework but not necessarily must be and can be used individually as needed.

That's a good point, and one that's easily missed.

That said, I'm inclined to think Hussar is probably right about return on investment on small standalone adventures - these may very well not be worth WotC's while to produce. As such, they would be better off sticking with the mega-adventures, and letting the third-party providers provide smaller offerings (ideally with the OGL).

But the other vector that would be very useful here would be a return of Dungeon magazine, which should be worthwhile if they make it available on a subscription basis within the DDI. Assuming, that is, they can still muster the ~20k subscribers needed to make it viable.

(That ~20k figure is something of a guess, so take with a pinch of salt. But there is a magic number of subscribers somewhere that marks the "worth it" threshold. And I'm pretty sure it would need to be a subscription-based model - otherwise, they're stuck trying to sell each issue individually to customers, which is a rather harder proposition.)
 

Hussar

Legend
Agreed, mostly. The two "Tyranny of Dragons" adventures together are probably roughly equivalent to six volumes of the Pathfinder AP, minus the non-adventure 'support' material. That, in turn, seems to be roughly equivalent to the 12-part adventure paths that used to appear in Dungeon.

But, at a guess, that's probably closer to the 8 adventures in the original 3e Adventure Path ("Sunless Citadel" through "Bastion of Broken Souls"). I would be surprised if it was equivalent to 12 such adventures, though I might be wrong.



This is true, on both counts - it's less expensive to do one supermodule than six standalones, and the return is better.

However, from the fan's perspective it's easier to budget for six monthly payments of $20 than to budget for two $40 purchases. Especially if that $20 is a consistent monthly expense, and double-especially if I can just set up an automatic payment and forget about it (as with the Pathfinder volumes). That's one of the definite advantages of a subscription-based approach.

That's not to say any of these is "the right" approach, or even that any of them is better than any other. Different weightings of the priorities will give a different result, is all. :)

Just to be clear, I meant 12 modules total - as in six each. Not 24 modules. I don't think that's unreasonable at all and in fact is probably on the low ball estimate.
 

Hussar

Legend
That's a good point, and one that's easily missed.

That said, I'm inclined to think Hussar is probably right about return on investment on small standalone adventures - these may very well not be worth WotC's while to produce. As such, they would be better off sticking with the mega-adventures, and letting the third-party providers provide smaller offerings (ideally with the OGL).

But the other vector that would be very useful here would be a return of Dungeon magazine, which should be worthwhile if they make it available on a subscription basis within the DDI. Assuming, that is, they can still muster the ~20k subscribers needed to make it viable.

(That ~20k figure is something of a guess, so take with a pinch of salt. But there is a magic number of subscribers somewhere that marks the "worth it" threshold. And I'm pretty sure it would need to be a subscription-based model - otherwise, they're stuck trying to sell each issue individually to customers, which is a rather harder proposition.)

Wasn't this a major selling point for the original OGL? That smaller companies could handle this sort of thing - producing stand alone modules and the like, leaving WOTC to concentrate on mechanical stuff?
 

delericho

Legend
Just to be clear, I meant 12 modules total - as in six each. Not 24 modules. I don't think that's unreasonable at all and in fact is probably on the low ball estimate.

Ah, yes, I see what I missed there.

Wasn't this a major selling point for the original OGL? That smaller companies could handle this sort of thing - producing stand alone modules and the like, leaving WOTC to concentrate on mechanical stuff?

Yes, it was indeed. Where it went 'wrong' was that those third-party publishers themselves soon realised that there was considerably more money in producing their own splatbooks (eg Mongoose's "Quintessential" series) or even their own games (Arcana Evolved) than in producing adventures. (I put the 'wrong' in quote marks because whether or not that was actually a bad thing is at least somewhat subjective.)
 


BryonD

Hero
Wasn't this a major selling point for the original OGL? That smaller companies could handle this sort of thing - producing stand alone modules and the like, leaving WOTC to concentrate on mechanical stuff?

I don't know if it was ever official. But that was a very common presumption, at least.
 

Nellisir

Hero
I don't understand. Two supermodules at 15 levels each is the equivalent of at least twelve standalone modules. Thing is, it's not that much more expensive to produce a single supermodules than a standard one. Certainly not six times the cost.

The return on supermodules has tone quite a bit better than on standalone.

I'm not sure who you're responding to. My point, actually, was that I'm not (few people are) a logical buyer. $5 or $10 a month is an impulse buy. $50 is something I have to budget for. I pay more in the long run for the same or less material, but I also get an increase in diversity and the ability to customize my purchases to what interests me. Buying an AP is like purchasing a whole pig. It might be useful, but not so great if I want steak on Saturday and turkey on Thanksgiving.

That said, it doesn't make any kind of financial sense for WotC to revive Dungeon OR Dragon in the traditional print format. It's unclear to me whether or not they would work in a non-traditional print format, or as solely digital formats, or a hybrid (ie, POD). But being the only game in town doesn't make APs more attractive to me, it just makes them the only choice.

Edit: I buy comic books. Nowadays they run $4/issue. In trade paperback form, it's more like $3/issue. It's clearly cheaper to buy in tpb, and they are easier to store, display, etc. But I'm still buying the single damned issues, and even as I cut back, I'm not buying more tpbs. I can drop $8 or $12 on 2-3 products, no big deal. $25 on a single product is a big deal. :erm:
 
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Rhenny

Adventurer
I've LONG held the opinion that creating your own work takes no longer than running published modules *really well*.

It can be less or more depending on my mood, my level of energy, my stress level. I think creating is a different kind of work/energy than reading and using/modifying a pre-written adventure.

When I run a pre-written adventure, sometimes, I feel more like I'm playing a game even as the DM. There are definitely times that I like that feeling. When I make my own adventures and run my own campaigns without borrowing, I feel a constant pressure to make it more interesting and make it work. Sometimes that gets overwhelming and seems to drain me more. Although, I do think it is easier to just wing it when I'm not using a pre-written adventure.
 

BryonD

Hero
It can be less or more depending on my mood, my level of energy, my stress level. I think creating is a different kind of work/energy than reading and using/modifying a pre-written adventure.
Agree it is different and the factors you list are real.

But if you assume that an adventure I've thought through and developed myself is the gold standard, then running a prepared module is going to be something at or below that level. It isn't going to be "as good" without significant energy investment.

I will agree that running a module off the cuff can certainly be better than making it up on the fly (not necessarily, but "can be"). But my statements was based on running "really well".

Individual standards of "really well" may vary.
 

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