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D&D 5E D&D Team Productivity?


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Parmandur

Legend
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.
They focus on the FR for two reasons: first, it is very popular. Two, it is easy to repurpose to any other Setting. Any FR product in 5E is basically meant to provide generic material. Even SCAG has extensive suggestions for using the material in other Settings.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
@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.



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?
I think we SHOULD be counting DMs Guild content...that is produced by WotC. Not the entire site, but all the Adventurers League 5e stuff for sure.

And for the 1e era we also should include the adventures, the magazine content applicable, and even (if you really want to fairly determine who was productive) Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Marvel, etc...

Distilling down the 1e 80s era to just 13 hardbacks isn't a very accurate accounting for how busy that team was.
 

Parmandur

Legend
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.

Like I said previously, if we count the magazine stuff, then we have to also include the modern equivalent, DMsGuild, which dwarfs that material. We can ignore both, or consider both, but considering one and not the other would be absurd.
 

Parmandur

Legend
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
forward a hair faster or that 2 is technically closer to the middle.
It's more like comparing 15 MPH to 30 MPH on city streets, as opposed to the 3E Autobahn.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think we SHOULD be counting DMs Guild content...that is produced by WotC. Not the entire site, but all the Adventurers League 5e stuff for sure.

And for the 1e era we also should include the adventures, the magazine content applicable, and even (if you really want to fairly determine who was productive) Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Marvel, etc...

Distilling down the 1e 80s era to just 13 hardbacks isn't a very accurate accounting for how busy that team was.
The magazine content was not made in-house, it was submissions, just like DMsGuild. There was some barebones editorial oversight, but really not much.

TSR made other games, but it also had a lot more people working on RPGs (and WotC also has a much larger Magic team, for that matter).
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
They focus on the FR for two reasons: first, it is very popular. Two, it is easy to repurpose to any other Setting. Any FR product in 5E is basically meant to provide generic material. Even SCAG has extensive suggestions for using the material in other Settings.

3. I think its rumored WotC is still contractually obligated to release FR books about annually, part of when they bought it from Ed Greenwood. Just a rumor I think, but the annual adventure books help stymy that if its true.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I think we SHOULD be counting DMs Guild content...that is produced by WotC. Not the entire site, but all the Adventurers League 5e stuff for sure.

And for the 1e era we also should include the adventures, the magazine content applicable, and even (if you really want to fairly determine who was productive) Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Marvel, etc...

Distilling down the 1e 80s era to just 13 hardbacks isn't a very accurate accounting for how busy that team was.

I don't know... a lot of the magazine stuff was barely edited by the D&D team, it was just them taking submissions and putting them in their mag. It doesn't seem that much more "curated" than what the DMsGuild does with its rules on content labeling.

This is an apples to oranges comparison in many ways.
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
Publisher
I don't know... a lot of the magazine stuff was barely edited by the D&D team, it was just them taking submissions and putting them in their mag. It doesn't seem that much more "curated" than what the DMsGuild does with its rules on content labeling.
Well, then if we count barely edited community created content... Sounds pretty much the same to me.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
It's more like comparing 15 MPH to 30 MPH on city streets, as opposed to the 3E Autobahn.
I don't know where you live that a street improperly zoned with the wrong speed limit because the kid of someone important once did something stupid to get killed doesn't cause drivers rage every time they need to crawl past the everpresent speed trap. In such a situation I'm sure people who live on that street & enjoy the needlessly slow traffic allowing a more significant road to get treated as their own personal living street will point to the lack of accidents & say how it's working perfect just as those who are in the narrow band 5e caters to almost exclusively have been doing in this thread with sales comparisons & the ever present appeal to popularity.
They focus on the FR for two reasons: first, it is very popular. Two, it is easy to repurpose to any other Setting. Any FR product in 5E is basically meant to provide generic material. Even SCAG has extensive suggestions for using the material in other Settings.
the popularity of FR is overblown. when nearly 100% of the content & focus is on FR since long before 5e & even the occasional deviation with other settings (5e cos, ddo in eberron, etc) tend to have the setting treated with a general lack of respect to make it support FR. As to FR being some kind of generic easy to port kitchen sink or something, Tasha's finally proved that farce for what it is by republishing the artificer & group patrons from Rising with the eberron fluff stripped to fit in FR fluff. To say that FR is generic is like saying that star trek is generic in a discussion about if starfinder can support star wars, babylon5, the expanse, red dwarf, & star trek inclusion at "spaceshownerdcon".... Eventually even the trekkies need to admit the space-shownerdcon is just failing a large segment of their attendees with that farce of a broom closet devoted to everything not what you all know to be the best space serial ever & only one deserving of mention so just get onboard with the popularity of star trek already.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I don't know where you live that a street improperly zoned with the wrong speed limit because the kid of someone important once did something stupid to get killed doesn't cause drivers rage every time they need to crawl past the everpresent speed trap. In such a situation I'm sure people who live on that street & enjoy the needlessly slow traffic allowing a more significant road to get treated as their own personal living street will point to the lack of accidents & say how it's working perfect just as those who are in the narrow band 5e caters to almost exclusively have been doing in this thread with sales comparisons & the ever present appeal to popularity.

the popularity of FR is overblown. when nearly 100% of the content & focus is on FR since long before 5e & even the occasional deviation with other settings (5e cos, ddo in eberron, etc) tend to have the setting treated with a general lack of respect to make it support FR. As to FR being some kind of generic easy to port kitchen sink or something, Tasha's finally proved that farce for what it is by republishing the artificer & group patrons from Rising with the eberron fluff stripped to fit in FR fluff. To say that FR is generic is like saying that star trek is generic in a discussion about if starfinder can support star wars, babylon5, the expanse, red dwarf, & star trek inclusion at "spaceshownerdcon".... Eventually even the trekkies need to admit the space-shownerdcon is just failing a large segment of their attendees with that farce of a broom closet devoted to everything not what you all know to be the best space serial ever & only one deserving of mention so just get onboard with the popularity of star trek already.
Well, that's certainly your opinion. Doesn't really bear on productivity, though, does it?
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Well, that's certainly your opinion. Doesn't really bear on productivity, though, does it?

You might want to dial back on using using the view from nowhere to add weight to your posts and admit your posts are just your opinion as well. as to the substandardness of the shows in that hypothetical not-trek broom closet shows, fans of those shows should accept that they are the one that likes a tiny niche of the market even if that surprise cowboy buddy series with the cute baby alien got some minor success.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
The magazine content was not made in-house, it was submissions, just like DMsGuild. There was some barebones editorial oversight, but really not much.

TSR made other games, but it also had a lot more people working on RPGs (and WotC also has a much larger Magic team, for that matter).
Do you, honestly, not see the difference between 3rd party content and paid for freelance content?

There is a big difference between the Acquisitions Inc and Heros of Baldurs Gate books. One is a WotC production written freelance and the other is 3rd party and unrelated to WotC.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Do you, honestly, not see the difference between 3rd party content and paid for freelance content?

There is a big difference between the Acquisitions Inc and Heros of Baldurs Gate books. One is a WotC production written freelance and the other is 3rd party and unrelated to WotC.

Yes, I see a big difference between AI and Heroes of Baldur's Gate.

However, I do not see a difference between Heroes of Baldur's Gate published through the DMsGuild license (which does involve some minimal oversight, just ask the people who had their content pulled by WotC) and Dungeon/Dragon magazine content. Like, at all.
 

Parmandur

Legend
You might want to dial back on using using the view from nowhere to add weight to your posts and admit your posts are just your opinion as well. as to the substandardness of the shows in that hypothetical not-trek broom closet shows, fans of those shows should accept that they are the one that likes a tiny niche of the market even if that surprise cowboy buddy series with the cute baby alien got some minor success.
FR isn't a big thing because WotC wants to force people to like it. It is a thing because the largest chunk of their customer base likes FR as is, and the next biggest chunk takes FR material and is fine filing off the minimal serial numbers. I appreciate that you don't like it, but it is not a corporate plot to force something unpopular on the game's population as can be seen by how hard WotC works to make everything in 5E easy to repurpose while making FR fans happy.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That's technically correct, which is the best and in this case pretty disingenuous kind of correct.

So, here's a really important question for you - will you concede to saying, "it is not fast enough for me," or are you going to claim it is is "objectively" slow? Is your position that this is a fact, or a personal opinion?

Be very careful of your answer, given your accusations of others being disingenuous.

... they're both freaking slow and you know it.

You probably want to back off from telling people what they know. Insisting that others do, in fact, hold the same opinion as you is disrespectful, and not a healthy place for this to go, especially coupled with the accusation above.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Do you, honestly, not see the difference between 3rd party content and paid for freelance content?

There is a big difference between the Acquisitions Inc and Heros of Baldurs Gate books. One is a WotC production written freelance and the other is 3rd party and unrelated to WotC.

Instead of quibbling on the DMsGuild thing (it really is mostly irrelevant), can we talk about how even if early editions of D&D were more productive (I still doubt this), that it wasn't very successful? It led to the founder Gary Gygax being ousted, TSR going bankrupt, eventually being bought by another company, gave rise to a huge rival (Pathfinder), before we finally landed on the hugely successful 5E?

I know the faster rate of products is only one factor in why that all happened, but I do think it is an important factor; a higher rate of product releases, if it means their quality was lower, led to fewer sales per product and a lower quality of product overall.

Today, we get about 4 books a year, but they are very large books, and ones that most people seem happy with; I don't know what the last 5E book was that had weak sales (there might not even be one).
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Yes, I see a big difference between AI and Heroes of Baldur's Gate.

However, I do not see a difference between Heroes of Baldur's Gate published through the DMsGuild license (which does involve some minimal oversight, just ask the people who had their content pulled by WotC) and Dungeon/Dragon magazine content. Like, at all.
the dmsguild license terms forbidding the author to use or sell it elsewhere keep out the very content creators making stuff for the niches wotc has been ignoring that you have been saying should be served by dmsguild. Giffyglyph makes crunchier rules stuff & swordmeow makes a ton of spells not unused by design but like many others both refuse to put their stuff on dmsguild because of that.

edit: @Urriak Uruk it's more complicated than that & it wasn't till the end when things were already deep underwater that they started trying to publish themselves out of the hole created by prior bad management choices. Documentaries & books have been written about it.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
edit: @Urriak Uruk it's more complicated than that & it wasn't till the end when things were already deep underwater that they started trying to publish themselves out of the hole created by prior bad management choices. Documentaries & books have been written about it.

Like I said, just one factor. But what it certainly true is that 5E is the most financially successful edition, and also the one with the slowest release schedule. I don't find this a coincidence, especially since I find that each 5E book is usually of larger size and quality than books in previous editions.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Like I said, just one factor. But what it certainly true is that 5E is the most financially successful edition, and also the one with the slowest release schedule. I don't find this a coincidence, especially since I find that each 5E book is usually of larger size and quality than books in previous editions.
This is really a derailing off topic side answer to this, but....

At the same time that D&D has a new golden age of gaming with 5e coming online...the boardgame industry has had a similar golden age. The difference is that in the boardgame I dustry there has been a figurative firehose of new releases....and yet the hobby not only remains solid, it is still gaining momentum.

So, I attribute the rise of 5e more to the general popularity of tabletop gaming as a whole increasing and less because 5e has a slow release schedule.

My opinion, I cannot state WotC marketing knowledge in general.
 

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