D&D 5E D&D 5E’s Top-Selling Adventures and What It Means for the Hobby from Teos Abadia aka Alphastream.

darjr

I crit!
@Alphastream has been going thru the sales data from both the Bookscan leak and Ben Riggs. Todays article he tackles what the bestselling adventures are for 5e and shares what he thinks it means for the hobby.


The Top Adventures Here are 5E's adventures in order of the most sales since release. Columns: the Rank is the rank of all D&D book products in the BookScan data. RTD Sales is the total sales since publication. YTD is the sales in 2023 through roughly July. 1st 4/8/52 week columns each show the sales that many weeks after publication. I've added the Edition and Type columns, with Type being my personal interpretation. Rank Product Name Price Publicati- RID Sale - VTDS- 1st4 V - 1st8 V - 1st 52 - Edition - Type 13 Curse of Strahd $ 49.95 3/15/2016 147.244 7,348 8.688 10,524 23.988 SE 18 Waterdeep Dragon Heist $ 49.95 9/18/2018 120.884 12,125 16,140 19,618 49,706 SE 20 Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Tyranny of Dragons $ 29.95 8/19/2014 110,678 2,230 8,728 10,967 22,369 SE 21 Tales from the Yawning Portal $ 49.95 4/4/2017 108,961 4,426 15,026 17,815 33,980 SE 25 Ghosts of Saltmarsh $ 49.95 5/21/2019 93.905 4.021 23,992 27,380 47,859 SE 27 Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (slipcase) § 69.99 8/16/2022 84,283 11,839 46,987 52,963 84,283 SE 28 Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden § 49.95 9/15/2020 83,308 3,848 23,054 30.076 66,138 SE 29 Tomb of Annihilation § 49.95 9/19/2017 81.903 1,514 10,664 12.877 27,696 SE 32 Candlekeep Mysteries § 49.95 3/16/2021 77,959 4,372 29,288 34,762 61,710 SE 33 Out of the Abyss $ 49.95 9/15/2015 75,349 3,173 5,875 7,128 15,657 SE 35 Watedeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage $ 49.95 11/20/2018 74.791 2,711 16,501 22,451 33,439 SE 36 Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus $ 49.95 9/17/2019 73,217 2,922 16,916 19,464 39,369 SE 37 Storm King's Thunder § 49.95 9/6/2016 72,725 1.247 5,995 7,426 20.554 SE 38 Princes of the Apocalypse § 49.95 4/7/2015 66,377 1,093 5,114 6,861 16.505 SE 43 The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: a Feywild Advent $ 49.95 9/21/2021 52.818 3,498 26,441 29.501 44.515 SE 57 Curse of Strahd: Revamped Premium Edition § 99.99 10/20/2020 37,642 3,354 4,860 6,450 18,912 5E 62 Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen $ 49.95 12/6/2022 30,587 11,556 19,032 21,859 30,587 SE 67 Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel $ 49.95 7/19/2022 25,381 3,239 11,760 14.505 25,381 SE 73 Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep § 49.95 3/15/2022 21,531 2.744 11.244 12.456 20.068 SE 84 Keys from the Golden Vault $ 49.95 2/21/2023 18,371 18,731 8,933 12,387 18,731 SE Adventure, Primary; Setting Adventure, Primary Adventure, Primary Adventure, Anthology Adventure Adventure, Primary; Setting Adventure, Primary Adventure, Primary Adventure, Anthology Adventure, Primary Adventure Adventure, Primary Adventure, Primary Adventure, Primary Adventure, Primary Adventure, Setting Adventure, Setting Adventure, Anthology Adventure, Setting Adventure, Anthology The 5 best-selling adventures are CoS, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Yawning Portal, and Saltmarsh.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Very interesting breakdown. The lack of Critical Role sales is surprising, but I suspect that Critters may be even more likely than D&D players in general to go for a FLGS (or Beyond?) option when buying their book.

The context about 1E, 2E and 3E Aadvebture sales shows how success he 5E Adcebture line has been. Just in terms if sales, this past decade was the Adventure Golden Age?
 

dave2008

Legend
That sales data suggest to me why they are pushing settings more!

EDIT: Clearly I must be reading it wrong! After reading the article Alpha talks about how good 5e adventure sales are (in particular compared to historical numbers).
 
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dave2008

Legend
spelljammer is interesting considering how much bad press it got, and yet it greatly outsells the original. However, comparing your sales to a data point that is 30 years old may not be the best approach!
 

Kurotowa

Legend
That sales data suggest to me why they are pushing settings more!
Or if not setting books in the old almanac style, books in the CoS style where it's a mix of setting and a mini-campaign. And while I personally miss the old style books, the new ones do seem to sell. At least, some of them do. The long term prospects of Spelljammer is still unknown.

I am a little worried by the notes at the end at Hasbro getting them to ramp up production. Market saturation and shovelware has been a constant bane of D&D across the editions. Certainly I've felt no compulsion to go out and buy the Fizban's Dragons or Bigby's Giants books.
 



The Spelljammer adventure is good, depending upon your style, and otherwise it has cool things to nab. For the almost 50% discount on Amazon it’s seems to be worth it for many.
I'm digging around in my old posts for verification, but didn't the Bookscan data show Spelljammer had a huge initial spike in sales and a precipitous dropoff?
 


dave2008

Legend
Or if not setting books in the old almanac style, books in the CoS style where it's a mix of setting and a mini-campaign. And while I personally miss the old style books, the new ones do seem to sell. At least, some of them do. The long term prospects of Spelljammer is still unknown.

I am a little worried by the notes at the end at Hasbro getting them to ramp up production. Market saturation and shovelware has been a constant bane of D&D across the editions. Certainly I've felt no compulsion to go out and buy the Fizban's Dragons or Bigby's Giants books.
Fizban's was kind of meh to me - and I am dragon person through and through. However, Bigby's is one of better/best splatbooks IMO. The monster design work is the best WotC has done yet and there is lots of other interesting bits and pieces in there. I planned on not buying (not a giant person), but it was to good to pass up for me.
 

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