I don't think it's sales to be honest. If the upcoming AP is successful and the followed it up with a Domains of Dread book covering all of Ravenloft then it would sell extremely well. They are trying to keep all the focus on Forgotten Realms while using Ravenloft as a little side trek.
I admit that I'm out of touch. I started playing 5e after not having played DnD since 1e nor any TRPG since the early 90s. But when did it become an expectation that an adventure would have class options.
The idea that every single product must be part of a grant story is rather limiting. Sure, they don't need to do what TSR did, but they can't ignore the fact that some non adventure books can sell very well.
I had already known they were missing, but it is still sad to see a lack of Dark Power checks. Not having Dark Power checks in Ravenloft is a bit like not having psionics in Darksun.
I don't understand why there would be a bunch of character options. If the conceit is that the characters are drawn into Barovia from outside, then those options would all be non-Ravenloft stuff.
There were no Dark Powers checks in the original adventure. This adventure has almost nothing to do with Ravenloft the Campaign Setting.
So from the looks of it.
No new mechanics to use as a DM unless those marks of power are that. Even then that seems really small for a setting with a COMPLETELY different feel than the standard.
No new player options.
No real look of Ravenloft in any real depth. Just possibly a brief intro to Strahd and Barovia.
Man. This is starting to look disappointing. I know I'm not the target audience, but still..
I'm not sure how much character creation extras they could add to a Ravenloft adventure.
I would not want to see playable revenants or vampires. . .
In the previous edition of the game, virtually everything was sold as a player book, and the mechanics of the game did their best to trivialize the role of the DM. While very popular for a short time, the edition failed to win over a significant number of long-term players, and resulted in a schism that gave rise to WotC's biggest competitor: Pathfinder.I admit that I'm out of touch. I started playing 5e after not having played DnD since 1e nor any TRPG since the early 90s. But when did it become an expectation that an adventure would have class options. I prefer to keep the crunch separate and really hope that WoTC doesn't go nuts with crunch. Maybe I should put it differently, I like the player supplements to be separate, stand-alone works that make it easy for me, as the DM, to say--no--we are not using that in my game. If you start putting a lot of this stuff into the adventure paths, it become really hard to not have to accept it all into my game.
Also, I don't want my players to be tempted to buy the book for the player options. It would be too easy for WoTC to add a bunch of player options in an attempt to have a larger audience to sell the books to. I'm grateful that they didn't stoop to this.
Even adding new monsters, spells, and magic items is optional. They should only be added if they really add the theme and story and I wouldn't at all feel cheated if an adventure path had none this, so long as the story, maps, and organization were all great.
In the previous edition of the game. . . the mechanics of the game did their best to trivialize the role of the DM.
I suppose it depends on what you feel the DM's role is. To my mind, printing magic items/weapons in the Player's Handbook and encouraging the players to tell the DM what to put in the game/distribute is a pretty serious erosion of the DM's role/authority.
Never mind the board game nature of the combat setup (which admittedly was only a small step away from the 3rd Edition precedent).
It worked for some people, and good on them. I clearly wasn't one of them.
It's an expectation because 1) they have before and 2) if you don't count adventure path books, they have released one supplement with more race/class options in this entire edition.
Then again, you're pretty clearly of the "players shouldn't be allowed to enjoy playing things I don't and knowing the setting is cheating" camp, which does indeed make you out of touch.
I have no issue with players having the campaign-setting material. If I was playing FR, I would expect that many of the players would own SCAG. But Curse of Straud is clearly not meant to be a campaign setting book. It is an adventure path. Different people have different attitudes regarding "spoilers" I guess. As a player, I wouldn't read an adventure module or adventure path before playing it, it would take away from my enjoyment playing through it. As a DM, I would prefer my players have not read the adventure before playing it. Not because they are "cheating" (they are not in competition with me), but because it sucks some of the joy of presenting the story and their explorations.