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D&D 5E D&D Team Productivity?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean, I clearly see that you want more books like Tasha's/Xanathar's (and you're not alone there, they are probably the best-selling books after the core rules), but that doesn't mean they're the ONLY rules that exist, and that rules that are in books that contain other things like adventures/fluff are entirely irrelevant.

I saw your criticism of the Eberron book earlier, in that you'll never run your game there. I mean, so what? The book has a ton of rules (and I consider monsters an extension of the rules) and you can use them in your own homebrew game.

Or Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which is part adventure but also provides rules for ships, maps, tables and other content to support a seafaring game. You don't have to use the adventure, that's all useful stuff for a homebrew game.
Hey. If the book store is only going to charge me for the bits that I'm going to use and not all the huge amounts of fluff and adventure that I'm not going to use, I'll be more than happy to buy it. That's not generally how it works, though, and I'm not going to waste my money like that.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hey. If the book store is only going to charge me for the bits that I'm going to use and not all the huge amounts of fluff and adventure that I'm not going to use, I'll be more than happy to buy it. That's not generally how it works, though, and I'm not going to waste my money like that.

Fair. But the thread is about D&D's productivity, and just because you don't want to spend any $ on a book with things you don't want, doesn't make the book less valuable for other people, or the D&D team less productive.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Fair. But the thread is about D&D's productivity, and just because you don't want to spend any $ on a book with things you don't want, doesn't make the book less valuable for other people, or the D&D team less productive.
I'm not close to being alone in this, though. I doubt that very many people are going to drop $40-50 for a few pieces of crunch. That means that setting and adventure crunch are not general rules, but are instead narrowly aimed at those specific settings.

As far as moving the game as a whole forward, they are not very productive at all. I don't view monsters as rules, because they use rules, they aren't rules. I don't use a Bugbear to determine how much damage my sword does. I do use combat rules, weapon rules, treasure rules, etc. when playing a Bugbear. That leaves Tasha's and Xanathar's as the only real general rulebooks.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I'm not close to being alone in this, though. I doubt that very many people are going to drop $40-50 for a few pieces of crunch. That means that setting and adventure crunch are not general rules, but are instead narrowly aimed at those specific settings.

As far as moving the game as a whole forward, they are not very productive at all. I don't view monsters as rules, because they use rules, they aren't rules. I don't use a Bugbear to determine how much damage my sword does. I do use combat rules, weapon rules, treasure rules, etc. when playing a Bugbear. That leaves Tasha's and Xanathar's as the only real general rulebooks.

So, if core books aren't rulebooks, and monster books aren't rulebooks, the at this point in it's life, 1E had zero books at all, and 5E has 2. That's approximately infinity percent more.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, if core books aren't rulebooks, and monster books aren't rulebooks, the at this point in it's life, 1E had zero books at all, and 5E has 2. That's approximately infinity percent more.
Never said core books aren't rulebooks. But hey, why not add Strawman to the list of responses to me.

Core books are the base game, not things put out to add to the base game. Every edition has all 3, so there's no point in including them.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Never said core books aren't rulebooks. But hey, why not add Strawman to the list of responses to me.

Core books are the base game, not things put out to add to the base game. Every edition has all 3, so there's no point in including them.

You said that "The PHB, DMG and MM don't count. Those are core for every edition." And that monster books don't count. The only books 1E had at this point in it's life cycle were the core books and two monster expansion books. Ergo, based on your stated criteria, no books that "count."

It's much easier to just look at books with rules (core, no core, setting, monster, whatever), and compare directly.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You said that "The PHB, DMG and MM don't count. Those are core for every edition." And that monster books don't count. The only books 1E had at this point in it's life cycle were the core books and two monster expansion books. Ergo, based on your stated criteria, no books that "count."

It's much easier to just look at books with rules (core, no core, setting, monster, whatever), and compare directly.
Correct. When discussing general rules additions, those do not count.

Edit: and 1e had the Deities and Demigods, which had rules for adding gods to any campaign the DM wanted.
 


Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I'm not close to being alone in this, though. I doubt that very many people are going to drop $40-50 for a few pieces of crunch. That means that setting and adventure crunch are not general rules, but are instead narrowly aimed at those specific settings.

As far as moving the game as a whole forward, they are not very productive at all. I don't view monsters as rules, because they use rules, they aren't rules. I don't use a Bugbear to determine how much damage my sword does. I do use combat rules, weapon rules, treasure rules, etc. when playing a Bugbear. That leaves Tasha's and Xanathar's as the only real general rulebooks.

So I won't deny you're not alone (like I said before, Tasha's/Xanathar's are likely the best selling non-core books) but this is also the best selling edition of D&D, of all time, by a lot. Maybe that's a case of correlation and not causation, but it stands to reason that part of the reason the crunch books sell so well, is because they are so rare? And if we got a new entirely-crunch book every year, would they outperform the adventure books in sales, or the setting books?

IMO, I doubt it. Looking at previous editions, the more books that are released in a fast pace, the less sales each book will get (which makes sense, as the more books there are the less likely people are going to try and buy every book). I find it doubtful that pumping out a new Tasha's/Xan every year will mean they all are as successful as those two books, especially as the quality of those rules will likely decline as they are forced to include sub-par options in order to fill the annual crunch book (which in turn will lead to the game's rules becoming more cluttered, janky, and unsuccessful).

And I can't take your "moving the game forward" critique too seriously, mostly because I know you aren't using the numerous rules included in setting books and adventures. If you're only going to use Tasha's/Xanathar's, which are mostly player's options, then yeah you're not getting a lot of content. But that's your choice, so I would blame WotC release strategy of having balanced books instead of seperating them into "crunch only" or "fluff only." Productivity seems largely irrelevant here; it's your preferences not aligning with the book's format.
 

Now surely that is a pretty low productivity rate?? I mention this now because it seems like a very very long time that this Candlekeep book has been in production.
Secretly this whole slow product output is a sham. WotC has been developing 6E since 8/20/2014 in all the downtime they now have on their hands. This way when the new edition drops in 2024-2025 they can say what a great success 5E was because it lasted 10+ years.

Please don't anyone take this seriously I'm obviously joking.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Correct. When discussing general rules additions, those do not count.

Edit: and 1e had the Deities and Demigods, which had rules for adding gods to any campaign the DM wanted.

Deities & Demigods is a Setting book, and primarily a monster book to boot. Just as much as Ravnica or Eberron.
 

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I saw your criticism of the Eberron book earlier, in that you'll never run your game there. I mean, so what? The book has a ton of rules (and I consider monsters an extension of the rules) and you can use them in your own homebrew game.
I'm probably one of the most pro eberron posters on here but I could have done with more rules crunch in it as I was already doing something similar to patrons and still don't have something that supports magic item progression/churn in a wide magic world better than three attune slots, depth to weapon choice so I can support the eberron/dark sun specific weapons as more thsn yet another 1dx who cares the damage type and at the end of the day am still boxed in by the overuse of concentration/unused by design spells due to a few misleveled spells.so still need to run my eberron game very much like a fr game with specific assumptions about magic level.

Edit:I appreciate the rules added in rising but they weren't enough.
 
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Look at these lazy so-and-sos. Someone crack the whip and get them to start making more D&D doodads.


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While I do think that putting out only 14-ish books in slightly-less-than-7 years is slow, I think there's a far better--and, more importantly, far more objective--measure of the minimal productivity D&D currently has.

That ol' reliable, the Jury Duty Problem.

They had one person be on it. One, singular, person out for jury duty for a few months. Because that one, singular, person was not working actively at the time, WotC was (apparently) completely unable to finish the vitally-important previous-edition-conversion-document, which would have been excellent to have early on as it would smooth the transition to the new edition. And then, when we did get that document...it was incredibly barebones. Only a few pages, highly simplistic approaches (e.g. "if you have a 4e character, multiply their level by 2/3 to get the 5e level"....as if any of us couldn't figure out that 20/30 = 2/3....)

If having ONE person out of commission puts critical projects on hold for literal months, when the final product of those projects ends up being very nearly trivial, that does not speak well of the team's productivity. It says that the rate at which they're working isn't so much a choice as it is a limit; they cannot produce more material, regardless of what they want to do.

(Of course, I'd also argue that the repeated circling around the Ranger, and specifically the Beastmaster, without ever fixing it indicates an issue with productivity as well. Despite being a well-known problem, one the designers have admitted, we go months, sometimes years between new official attempts at fixing it and they never seem to quite get the job done. Their ability to internally playtest clearly still has issues, and that implies either they're doing it badly, or they don't have enough people to do it, or both.)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Only two that are general rule books. Specialized rules settings and modules don't count for this conversation

I don't think you get to decide that unilaterally. Remember, the thread started discussing the teams OVERALL productivity. That does not selectively exclude content, especially when some of that content, while nominally for one setting, sees fairly broad use (like SCAG).
 

Parmandur

Legend
Really? What setting? Because none of those pantheons has one. And all of them can be plugged into whatever the DM wants.

Not into any Setting that doesn't have Norse or Greek gods. It's just as limited in that way as the Ravnica book.

The point is, drawing arbitrary distinctions about what "counts" is obfuscation. Books with rules are rulebooks, so if Deities & Demigods "counts," so does GGtR. Rulebooks is rulebooks.
 

While I do think that putting out only 14-ish books in slightly-less-than-7 years is slow, I think there's a far better--and, more importantly, far more objective--measure of the minimal productivity D&D currently has.

That ol' reliable, the Jury Duty Problem.

They had one person be on it. One, singular, person out for jury duty for a few months. Because that one, singular, person was not working actively at the time, WotC was (apparently) completely unable to finish the vitally-important previous-edition-conversion-document, which would have been excellent to have early on as it would smooth the transition to the new edition. And then, when we did get that document...it was incredibly barebones. Only a few pages, highly simplistic approaches (e.g. "if you have a 4e character, multiply their level by 2/3 to get the 5e level"....as if any of us couldn't figure out that 20/30 = 2/3....)

If having ONE person out of commission puts critical projects on hold for literal months, when the final product of those projects ends up being very nearly trivial, that does not speak well of the team's productivity. It says that the rate at which they're working isn't so much a choice as it is a limit; they cannot produce more material, regardless of what they want to do.

(Of course, I'd also argue that the repeated circling around the Ranger, and specifically the Beastmaster, without ever fixing it indicates an issue with productivity as well. Despite being a well-known problem, one the designers have admitted, we go months, sometimes years between new official attempts at fixing it and they never seem to quite get the job done. Their ability to internally playtest clearly still has issues, and that implies either they're doing it badly, or they don't have enough people to do it, or both.)
That's a good point, it came out since the 4e days that there was a push from cooperate for the team to create new IP that could be copywritten or something rather than focusing on other areas. It's very possible that the one true way & simplicity for the sake of simplicity in a frozen system no matter the cost & FRFRFRFRFR is just the latest command from hasbro & it will continue until 5e falters enough to consider allowing things that might have prevented people from leaving to other systems they are now invested in instead of d&d o5e
 

Parmandur

Legend
While I do think that putting out only 14-ish books in slightly-less-than-7 years is slow, I think there's a far better--and, more importantly, far more objective--measure of the minimal productivity D&D currently has.

That ol' reliable, the Jury Duty Problem.

They had one person be on it. One, singular, person out for jury duty for a few months. Because that one, singular, person was not working actively at the time, WotC was (apparently) completely unable to finish the vitally-important previous-edition-conversion-document, which would have been excellent to have early on as it would smooth the transition to the new edition. And then, when we did get that document...it was incredibly barebones. Only a few pages, highly simplistic approaches (e.g. "if you have a 4e character, multiply their level by 2/3 to get the 5e level"....as if any of us couldn't figure out that 20/30 = 2/3....)

If having ONE person out of commission puts critical projects on hold for literal months, when the final product of those projects ends up being very nearly trivial, that does not speak well of the team's productivity. It says that the rate at which they're working isn't so much a choice as it is a limit; they cannot produce more material, regardless of what they want to do.

(Of course, I'd also argue that the repeated circling around the Ranger, and specifically the Beastmaster, without ever fixing it indicates an issue with productivity as well. Despite being a well-known problem, one the designers have admitted, we go months, sometimes years between new official attempts at fixing it and they never seem to quite get the job done. Their ability to internally playtest clearly still has issues, and that implies either they're doing it badly, or they don't have enough people to do it, or both.)

The Ranger thing is a conscious decision, not a limitation. The Tasha's material is probably the last word on that before 6E.

The jury duty situation was like 6 years ago now, when they had a fraction of the in house team they do now, and nowhere near the bursting pipeline of available freelancers. And that document was not any sort of priority: if one team members tertiary task can wait, nobody else is going to let their own tasks fall while they cover primary and secondary tasks.
 


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