D&D General Ben Riggs on how to make D&D a $1 billion brand


I dunno, a lot of this seems right to me. Even if WotC is working on doing some of it, they could still stand to lean into it.

Also, I don't see a contradiction between "Use modern design" and "make boxed sets".

Make modern designed boxed sets.

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And yet most reviews of WOTC adventures seem to include "This needs work" or "This only makes sense if the party does X" or "This could be a lot better."

I suspect WotCs problem is that they simply can't put the time into iterative, complete-campaign playtesting. You'd need to run a bunch of groups through the entire campaign (faithfully as written!), then get all the feedback, synthesise it and make changes accordingly, then run through the same process again, multiple times, and then once you've finally got to a point where you're satisfied, publish the result as is without any further edits for space, word count etc. I don't know if this is how it's done. You probably have some groups testing the balance of individual combat encounters with parties of different composition, you might have some groups going all the way through but offering progressive feedback as they go, etc etc. And of course you probably have different authors working on the post-playtesting fixes to different bits of the campaign, and they might not be the same authors who wrote the material in the first place, and this whole process continues all the way up to the day you send the files to the printer. There's lots of places for things o go wrong.

Also to be fair, I suspect that if most 3pp campaigns were played by as many groups as WotC adventures, or were subject to the same level of scrutiny, then the same complaints would be levelled at them a lot more often. Writing campaigns is haaaard.


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I’m with the group not seeing a contradiction between modern and boxed sets. The Avatar Starter Set at Target is absolutely a modern boxed set. Do something like that. Nerd Immersion did a review today that goes through the contents.

Looking at 4E and most OSR games for more useable and modern layout and design would be a huge step up from the current WotC standard. Using double page spreads. Mini maps next to room descriptions. Keep everything compact and readable instead of sprawling and tucked away.

Likewise, you don’t need a column for a monster stat block, for example. Not even 1/2 or 1/4 of a column. Look at Goodman Games’ Dungeon Denizens. The 5E version is 100+ pages longer than the DCC version because the 5E stat blocks are ridiculously oversized. Same monsters, same text, same everything…except the stat blocks.


Ultimately they need something like a hit movie, TV show or video gane.

RPG won't hit a billion dollars anytime sooner. Eventually they'll hit peak D&D ttrpg. He'll they may have passed that point already.

Not to many of Riggs suggestions well help. They need to grow the entire brand by a doctor of 6 or 7. Good luck with that.


If the box contains anything worthwhile, WotC would have a hard time charging less.

Things are a lot more expensive these days.

I mean, the starter sets are boxed sets, and they're like $20. I know they're loss leaders, but it shows that there's a lot of room for price points in between $20 and $100. The content would just have to be carefully selected.

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