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


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Iosue

Legend
I think the story that he wants to write is that after years of mismanagement by people who weren't even gamers, D&D fell in the hands of people who were gamers, who loved D&D, and were also savvy business people. And those people brought about a new edition of D&D and a role-playing renaissance that was wildly successful.

And that's kind of the popularly received wisdom. Matt Colville recounted this kind of story in a recent video. After being on the brink of extinction, D&D came back, and was popular, and the OGL changed the industry.

And I think what we are seeing is that, yes, this was the truth, from a certain point of view. But the bigger picture was that 3e was a relative success in a market that had been decimated by TCGs and online computer games. It was a tremendous improvement compared to '95-'97 TSR, but not a sustainable success. Thus 3.5, and thus 4e.
 

Voadam

Legend
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Return to the Temple of Elemental Email :)
 


darjr

I crit!
Chris Pramas replies to Ben with a bit of cool inside info.

Looking at these numbers, I feel pretty good about Death in Freeport (which came out before any of the WotC adventures) selling 10,000 copies. Green Ronin was a brand new company at that point too.
 
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Voadam

Legend
Chris Parma’s replies to Ben with a bit of cool inside info.

Looking at these numbers, I feel pretty good about Death in Freeport (which came out before any of the WotC adventures) selling 10,000 copies. Green Ronin was a brand new company at that point too.

This reminds me of one of the stated goals of the OGL, providing adventure module options to support D&D that would not sell well for WotC.
 

Superchunk77

Adventurer
It would be interesting to see sales for Red Hand of Doom compared to other adventures, as that (along with the stuff Paizo were doing over in Dungeon) was one of their first attempts at publishing a campaign rather than an adventure. That appears to be the code Paizo cracked with their adventure paths: a stand-alone adventure like, say, Heart of Nightfang Spire will have a very small potential audience while an adventure path promises a whole hecking campaign, and that's a much more appealing concept. Similarly, when I think of successful adventures released domestically, they are usually adventure series rather than stand-alones: The Konflux suite for old Drakar och Demoner and Undergångens Arvtagare for Mutant. I understand the Symbaroum series of combined adventures and sourcebooks (same recipe as Undergångens Arvtagare) is fairly successful as well.

It would also be interesting to see how 5e full campaigns fare against adventure anthologies sales-wise.
You're spot on about Paizo. Their adventure paths are the gold standard of adventure design and literally give the GM an entire campaign framework to run. The adventure books for 5e sold well only because D&D is so much more popular now due to social media and marketing. The majority of the 5e adventures actually review quite poorly, with a few notable exceptions (CoS, RotFM, and GoS).
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
You're spot on about Paizo. Their adventure paths are the gold standard of adventure design and literally give the GM an entire campaign framework to run. The adventure books for 5e sold well only because D&D is so much more popular now due to social media and marketing. The majority of the 5e adventures actually review quite poorly, with a few notable exceptions (CoS, RotFM, and GoS).
Honestly I kind of feel this isn't really true. Paizo did some great APs for sure, but man they also penned some duds. Also their APs are known for containing way too much grinding and battles whose only purpose is to pad XP points.

Further I don't see any PF2 AP becoming very popular yet. There are not a single PF2 AP that reaches the heights of Rise of the Runelords, Kingmaker, Age of Worms, Savage Tide and Crimson Throne.

Not to mention they are highly railroading in the extreme (with the possible exception of Kingmaker).

Now, don't get me wrong. I GM a PF1 AP right now. And I really really like them. But to call them a "gold standard" is ridiculous. You will never see something like CoS in a PF2 AP. Because of the 3- or 6-book format they are so highly constrained in plot.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Honestly I kind of feel this isn't really true. Paizo did some great APs for sure, but man they also penned some duds. Also their APs are known for containing way too much grinding and battles whose only purpose is to pad XP points.

Further I don't see any PF2 AP becoming very popular yet. There are not a single PF2 AP that reaches the heights of Rise of the Runelords, Kingmaker, Age of Worms, Savage Tide and Crimson Throne.

Not to mention they are highly railroading in the extreme (with the possible exception of Kingmaker).

Now, don't get me wrong. I GM a PF1 AP right now. And I really really like them. But to call them a "gold standard" is ridiculous. You will never see something like CoS in a PF2 AP. Because of the 3- or 6-book format they are so highly constrained in plot.
I haven't really heard anyone talk about a Pathfinder WP since the whole Copeganda flap.
 

Staffan

Legend
You're spot on about Paizo. Their adventure paths are the gold standard of adventure design and literally give the GM an entire campaign framework to run. The adventure books for 5e sold well only because D&D is so much more popular now due to social media and marketing. The majority of the 5e adventures actually review quite poorly, with a few notable exceptions (CoS, RotFM, and GoS).
Yes and no. My point was less about the quality of the adventures than it was about the structure. While 5e doesn't do level 1-20 adventures the way Paizo does, they still do "full campaign" adventures rather than "filler" adventures.
 

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