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D&D 5E D&D Team Productivity?


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Mistwell

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.
The DMG and PHB both had the base rules for Deities and Demigods and adding them to any campaign. All the Deities and Demigods book did was simply add more of them based on those existing core rules, with a couple of minor tweaks. Which is less than any of the 5e monster books do, which is add more monsters based on those existing core rules, with a whole lot of more meaningful tweaks on the core rules than you'd find in Deities and Demigods.

I still want to know why you think all the new races and subraces in the two additional 5e monster books are somehow not "new rules"?
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
The Forgotten Realms has Norse, Finnish and more. That book is not intended for any specific setting, unlike Ravnica.
 

Parmandur

Legend
The Forgotten Realms has Norse, Finnish and more. That book is not intended for any specific setting, unlike Ravnica.
It is for the specific Setting that includes any real world deities. That's going to exclude a lot of tables. Calling that "not a Setting book" is odd. Then, if we for some reason were to grant it is not a Setting book, we come to the fact that it is almost entirely a monster book, and you stated earlier that monster books don't count. So it still wouldn't count.

However, since it is a book with rules, it counts as a rulebook by my standards. Just like Ravnica. This is easier for tracking product releases and productivity per the OP.
 

Haffrung

Adventurer
Ok, so what?
What you see as a low productive rate seems to the plan. And the plan seems to be working for the company.... So?
We could identify 7 or 8 strategies WotC have employed with the release and support of 5E (system, artwork, marketing, release tempo, etc). It‘s impossible to identify which of those are responsible for the success of D&D, or even how much WotC strategies are responsible relative to external cultural trends.

Yes, we could say if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Though that same argument could be used to dismiss any changes to WotC‘s approach.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
So by my calculations in the roughly six and half years since 5e's launch WotC have published 24 D&D books and 2 boxes. 3 of the books have been updates of old material (Saltmarsh etc), 5 of them have been partially outsourced to other companys like Sasquatch, Green Ronin etc and 2 have been almost entirely written outside the design studio (Acquisitions and Wildemount).

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.

All of the above comes from a position of love. I own every 5e product in at least two formats and a lot of them in 3 (standard, special edition and Beyond).
6*12 = 72 +6 =78. 78/24. A book done every 3 months and 7 days. You still have talk with and approve outsider designs. Shoot I 5 years into a Cobol to Sql conversion. The Sql guys missed one of my small group of programs.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Regardless of whether 1e has 0 or 1 and 5e has two general rulebooks at this amount of time in production, both numbers = slow. Slow doesn't mean that they have to have the same number of general rules books.

1e and 5e are slow release rates. 2e, 3e and 4e were very fast release rates. There is a middle ground.
 

Haffrung

Adventurer
For my part, the quantity of books published isn’t disappointing so much as the narrowness of the content. Mega-campaigns and the occasional spurt of new player options... that’s about it. WotC publishes almost nothing to support DMs who run their own campaign settings and adventures. Books of lairs, encounters, small adventures, NPCs, etc are left up to amateur publishers. The content the designers teased during the Next development promotion, like systems for naval combat, tactical battles, surviving in extreme climates, etc have been released piecemeal through adventure books.

Basically, if you’re not interested in megacampaigns set in the Realms, WotC doesn’t have a lot to offer.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Regardless of whether 1e has 0 or 1 and 5e has two general rulebooks at this amount of time in production, both numbers = slow. Slow doesn't mean that they have to have the same number of general rules books.

1e and 5e are slow release rates. 2e, 3e and 4e were very fast release rates. There is a middle ground.
2 is twice of 1, and infinitely larger than zero by percentage. 13 is twice 6.

If you include Adventures, and compare material by page count, then the rate becomes higher, as 1E had a fair number of small products, but the 5E page count just in book form dwarfs the 1E page count at 6.5 years.

No matter which metric we go with, the rate is at least double. That is a middle ground.
 


Parmandur

Legend
For my part, the quantity of books published isn’t disappointing so much as the narrowness of the content. Mega-campaigns and the occasional spurt of new player options... that’s about it. WotC publishes almost nothing to support DMs who run their own campaign settings and adventures. Books of lairs, encounters, small adventures, NPCs, etc are left up to amateur publishers. The content the designers teased during the Next development promotion, like systems for naval combat, tactical battles, surviving in extreme climates, etc have been released piecemeal through adventure books.

Basically, if you’re not interested in megacampaigns set in the Realms, WotC doesn’t have a lot to offer.
All of the big adventure books are collections of small modules that can be separated out easily (the chapter headings are helpful that way). They can easily be transferred to other settings with nearly no work.
 


tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
2 is twice of 1, and infinitely larger than zero by percentage. 13 is twice 6.

If you include Adventures, and compare material by page count, then the rate becomes higher, as 1E had a fair number of small products, but the 5E page count just in book form dwarfs the 1E page count at 6.5 years.

No matter which metric we go with, the rate is at least double. That is a middle ground.
Why would we "include adventures" without shining a spotlight on the very when the fact that all of those adventures are set in one corner of one setting wotc has largely spent all of 5e attempting to force everyone to like? Dont forget that the very narrow band of d&d thst those adventures exclusively target has been part of the problem for a great many pages of this thread & pointed out repeatedly.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
RE: The discussion about the SCAG being considered a "rulebook" and expectations around purchasing setting/adventure books and using small amounts of the content in them for homebrew campaigns.

I think there is tacit acknowledgement by WotC that the setting/adventure books aren't looked at as a "general purchase" item in their lineup. My reasoning is that both Xanathar's and Tasha's (and at least one of the monster books) contain material previously printed in other locations and repackaged for consumption by a different pool of purchasers. If WotC expected that the SCAG or Eberron books were owned by a large majority of their fanbase they wouldn't be recycling parts of those books in other books.

This leaves me with the following list of "general purchase" hardbacks suitable for all campaigns.
PHB
DMG
MM
Xanathar
Tasha
Volo
Mordenkainen

If you consider that the first three were released more or less upon the start of the new edition, this leaves us with 4 general consumption books released over the next 5+ years of time...or less than 1 book a year. This is the reason why some people (like myself) feel that 5e is slow.

Note, however, that this particular discussion is about the total output of the D&D team, not just the general consumption output, so everything I say above doesn't affect the fact that they have produced lots more than 4 books in 5+ years.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
"Slow" is subjective. Mathematical ratios are not subjective. By mathematical ratio of number and size of products being released, 5E is in the middle between 1E and 3E/4E. Literally the middle ground.
Unless you count magazine (and other RPG) content, which YOU have decided not to count but which an argument can be made to count. So it is STILL subjective.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
RE: The discussion about the SCAG being considered a "rulebook" and expectations around purchasing setting/adventure books and using small amounts of the content in them for homebrew campaigns.

I think there is tacit acknowledgement by WotC that the setting/adventure books aren't looked at as a "general purchase" item in their lineup. My reasoning is that both Xanathar's and Tasha's (and at least one of the monster books) contain material previously printed in other locations and repackaged for consumption by a different pool of purchasers. If WotC expected that the SCAG or Eberron books were owned by a large majority of their fanbase they wouldn't be recycling parts of those books in other books.

This leaves me with the following list of "general purchase" hardbacks suitable for all campaigns.
PHB
DMG
MM
Xanathar
Tasha
Volo
Mordenkainen

If you consider that the first three were released more or less upon the start of the new edition, this leaves us with 4 general consumption books released over the next 5+ years of time...or less than 1 book a year. This is the reason why some people (like myself) feel that 5e is slow.

Note, however, that this particular discussion is about the total output of the D&D team, not just the general consumption output, so everything I say above doesn't affect the fact that they have produced lots more than 4 books in 5+ years.

@Maxperson has already said he doesn't consider Volos or Mordenkainens as general use rulebooks, as they contain a lot of lore and he doesn't consider monsters as more rules.

Which IMO means he doesn't consider the Monster Manual a rulebook (even though it obviously is), but I digress.

Unless you count magazine (and other RPG) content, which YOU have decided not to count but which an argument can be made to count. So it is STILL subjective.

In @Parmandur 's defense, he has said that if you include a bunch of supplementary RPG content for previous editions, you should also include the DMsGuild for this edition.

My opinion is largely that we are focusing a lot on the count of books, instead of the amount of content in those books, which just seems to grow every year. Last year's adventure, the Frostmaiden, is a whole 320 pages chock full of adventure and content that is well-suited for a frozen environment. It's hard to sell to me that the D&D team is not productive, when they release products like this.

Wildemount: 304 pages
Theros: 256 pages
Frostmaiden: 319 pages
Tasha's: 192 pages
TOTAL: 1,071

If instead, we were given a product with 90 pages every month (which is about the same page lengths) would we complain about productivity?
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
Publisher
I'd say they are a bit too productive and with each subsequent release they worsening the main problem of 5e, lack of focus, instead of solving it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"Slow" is subjective. Mathematical ratios are not subjective. By mathematical ratio of number and size of products being released, 5E is in the middle between 1E and 3E/4E. Literally the middle ground.
That's technically correct, which is the best and in this case pretty disingenuous kind of correct.

If you have a 1e car going 1 mph and a 5e car going 2mph, when you compare it to the 2e, 3e and 4e cars zooming by at 100+ mph, they're both freaking slow and you know it. It doesn't matter that the 5e car is crawling forward a hair faster or that 2 is technically closer to the middle.
 
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