D&D 3E/3.5 Ben Riggs shares Sunless Citadel sales numbers

darjr

I crit!
Ben focuses in on a particular product. I never owned nor played this version.

Behold! Sunless Citadel adventure path sales numbers from 2001!

In honor of my book being published in paperback, I will be taking a deep look at never-before-seen D&D sales data from 2001.

By the end of that year, Wizards had six adventures in that AP available for sale. Two (Sunless Citadel & Forge of Fury) had debuted in 2000, and four came out in 2001.

A few things jump out at me in the data. First, I don’t see a holiday bounce in December. Second, to my eyes, sales momentum seems strong. For example, Deep Horizon sold 64% of the bestselling installment of 2001, The Standing Stone, even though Standing Stone was released in March and Deep Horizon was released in September.

It would be nice to have data from 2000 to pair with this, and I do not have it. If you’re a former WotC employee with sales numbers to share with history, please DM me!

In the comments, you will find the raw data for these numbers.

Also in the comments, a link to buy my book if you have not yet done so!

Next time, let’s look at how these numbers compare to historical data for other adventures. Stay tuned for more!

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Link to the Facebook post

And his book, now also in paperback.

In the following post he has a comparison of Sunless Citadel sales to Darksun adventures.
Since this is still Sunless Citadel related I’ll post here and update the OP

It is with some hesitation that I offer this chart comparing Dark Sun adventure sales in 1992 to Sunless Citadel AP sales in 2001. I have chosen those years because they are the first full year of release for the respective brands, and bluntly, they are years I have sales data for.

This comparison might be apples and oranges

This comparison might be too little data, over too short a period of time.

But! I do think it has some use. Dark Sun had five adventures for sale by the end of 1992. Sunless Citadel had six. But the SC AP sold 43% better than Dark Sun.

If you're looking for data to prove 3rd edition turned D&D around, this might be a piece of it.

Next, I'll release sales data for other adventures up for sale in 2001, such as Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Have you read my book? Link below.

Raw sales data also below.

-Ben


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Raw dsta
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In the below quoted post Ben shares all 3.0 adventure sales for 2001.

More sales data. All 3rd ed adventures for 2001.

Behold! Total D&D 3rd ed adventure sales for 2001, by both month and in total!
In 2001, Wizards of the Coast sold 201,917 3rd edition D&D adventures.
The best selling adventure of the year was Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil with 41,713 units sold, and the worst seller was Into the Dragon’s Lair with 5,529 copies moved.
To me, this data again suggests the strength of D&D after the slow bleed of the late 1990s.
Next week, I will start diving into the 3rd edition splatbooks, such as Sword & Fist and Defenders of the Faith.
Interested in all this data? Check out my book, now in paperback! Link below.
Also, as always, raw data is below.


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raw data
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And a link to the facebook post. As always the comments are interesting.
 
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TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Those later adventures were not that well received, or remembered. The early splats, Deities and Demigods, 3.0 had gotten wobbly, and it would just get worse (epic level handbook).
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Those later adventures were not that well received, or remembered. Those, the early splats, Deities and Demigods, 3.0 had gotten wobbly, and it would just get worse (epic level handbook).
At the equivalent point in 5E's life to when Deities came out was pre-Volo's Guide. 5E had barely even started.
 

Voadam

Legend
I remember Deep Horizon being panned (15 HD size large underdark anti drow batfolk) but I played through Standing Stones and Heartfang Spire and really had a blast in both.

It is a bit shocking to see the actual numbers on things like the 32 page core AP modules. I had no basis for estimating any numbers on such things while the general estimate for D&D players was as far as I can remember a couple million.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I remember Deep Horizon being panned (15 HD size large underdark anti drow batfolk) but I played through Standing Stones and Heartfang Spire and really had a blast in both.

It is a bit shocking to see the actual numbers on things like the 32 page core AP modules. I had no basis for estimating any numbers on such things while the general estimate for D&D players was as far as I can remember a couple million.
Pretty clear why they changed their release strategy.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The whole (sub) edition lasted just 4 years, and had just over 50 products. (Are there 50 5e products?) Skimming them they really are a mixed bag.

You can see them here thanks to echohawk:

Closer to 40, all told, including tje 5 noted sets and all the hardcovers.

I was around for 3.5, and I think Deities & Demigods and Savage Species were the only 3E books we touched on at the time (both of which I quite liked). I only ever had the PHB..
 

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