D&D General Darksun Adventure sales from Ben Riggs author of Slaying the Dragon

That and some of those boxed sets were being sold for a kiss espicially the more lavish ones eg Planescape.
Boxed sets were pretty much all sold at a loss, i thought. And the revised Dark Sun boxed set would have been worse than most because it had a cloth map in it (which was apparently so expensive that they cut it out of later printings, like the one i have!)

Jeez, though, thinking of a line like Al-Qadim which wasn't a huge seller but which was almost ENTIRELY comprised of boxed sets - that must have been an absolute money sink...
 

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darjr

I crit!
So in the latest podcast Ben said that the first novel sold more than all the Darksun gaming stuff, combined.

They also LOST on average a dollar for every darksun adventure they sold.

So that 250000 item sales year? It COST TSR $250000.

Start at 34:04 , but really listen to the whole thing.

 
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teitan

Legend
That and some of those boxed sets were being sold for a kiss espicially the more lavish ones eg Planescape.

And we don't know the profit margins on the actual adventures either. Looks like big numbers to us but if they were also sold at a loss.......

Think Dancey was saying a few adventures also sold under 10k or a few thousand. We may not be looking at typical adventures sold here.

2E adventures were also generally terrible so there's also that factor. Maybe adventures didn't sell because they were garbage.
And 2e was a very DIY edition with a lot of books dedicated to how to craft campaigns and modify the system to play what you wanted such as the Historical series, the Castlebuilders, Dungeonbuilders and Worldbuilders guidebooks. The Complete Priest was essentially a “how to make a pantheon” sourcebook. The revision was an even deeper take on giving tools to DMs to make AD&D what you wanted it to be than probably any edition provides resources for with the Skills & Powers and Combat & Tactics sourcebooks. So adventures weren’t a priority but the gems in the era were definitely highlights like the Vecna series, the Planescape Dead Gods series, and Dungeon Magazine were the real highlights.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Boxed sets were pretty much all sold at a loss, i thought. And the revised Dark Sun boxed set would have been worse than most because it had a cloth map in it (which was apparently so expensive that they cut it out of later printings, like the one i have!)

Jeez, though, thinking of a line like Al-Qadim which wasn't a huge seller but which was almost ENTIRELY comprised of boxed sets - that must have been an absolute money sink...

Ironically apparently Al Qadim didn't lose money according to a Stan! Interview.

It wasn't as lavish as Planescape or the revised DS box.

I remember I took the PDF of the first DS boxed set to a printer. Getting one map printed at poster size was similar in price to a boxed set off eBay at the time.
 

teitan

Legend
So in the latest podcast Ben said that that the first novel sold more than all the Darksun gaming stuff, combined.

They also LOST on average a dollar for every darksun adventure they sold.

So that 250000 item sales year? It COST TSR $250000.

Start at 34:04 , but really listen to the whole thing.

And here I thought I was being generous with my .25 in my example. Holy dog toes.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
And 2e was a very DIY edition with a lot of books dedicated to how to craft campaigns and modify the system to play what you wanted such as the Historical series, the Castlebuilders, Dungeonbuilders and Worldbuilders guidebooks. The Complete Priest was essentially a “how to make a pantheon” sourcebook. The revision was an even deeper take on giving tools to DMs to make AD&D what you wanted it to be than probably any edition provides resources for with the Skills & Powers and Combat & Tactics sourcebooks. So adventures weren’t a priority but the gems in the era were definitely highlights like the Vecna series, the Planescape Dead Gods series, and Dungeon Magazine were the real highlights.

Yeah I have a lot of 2E material ilike it and the DIY parts.

Only good adventures were Dungeon magazine and some of the late boxed setseg Night Below and return to series
 

teitan

Legend
Ironically apparently Al Qadim didn't lose money according to a Stan! Interview.

It wasn't as lavish as Planescape or the revised DS box.

I remember I took the PDF of the first DS boxed set to a printer. Getting one map printed at poster size was similar in price to a boxed set off eBay at the time.
Yeah but that is a one off. Producing 200k probably has a massive breakpoint so that it is a buck or two in today’s money.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yeah but that is a one off. Producing 200k probably has a massive breakpoint so that it is a buck or two in today’s money.

Without the information I wouldn't asume all the boed sets lost money. WotC made some after all during 2E.

Depends on how lavish they were I think.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So in the latest podcast Ben said that that the first novel sold more than all the Darksun gaming stuff, combined.
That's not surprising. RPGs are (were?) an incredibly niche hobby. Most fantasy and sci-fi fans are voracious readers. Taking a chance on a novel is no risk at all. Worst case you're out a few bucks and you read a terrible book which you can trade to someone else for something you might like.
 

teitan

Legend
Without the information I wouldn't asume all the boed sets lost money. WotC made some after all during 2E.

Depends on how lavish they were I think.
I think most of their money came from novel sales myself considering how poor the rpg started selling.
 

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