5E fifth edition release schedule ... cart before the horse?

Selkirk

Visitor
i'm a huge fan of 5e dungeons and dragons but am i the only one feeling that the release schedule is a bit...slow :mad:. and i'm not talking about dmg specifically (im a player not a dm so the dmg isn't a must). but i am wondering where are the modules? at first i thought my group (we are 10 sessions in and haven't reached cragmaw castle yet :blush:) was moving too slowly thru mines of phandelver...now i'm happy we are going so slow :D. hoard of the dragon queen has gotten enough lukewarm writeups that i'm not exactly itching to play it just yet...

but in the absence of pretty much any other printed modules for 5e what choices do i have? why didn't they have more modules ready? and yeah i know you can just let your dm 'create' a world but i don't want to play fanfiction.. i want to see what the designers put together for this system (which again i really enjoy). it's feeling more and more like wotc jumped the gun with the release of phb and are now caught with their pants down when it comes to actual content. hell i would settle for even a settings book (and i know conversions are available but i didn't but the game to spend time converting other material from earlier editions/other publishers so i could actually play 5e. )

apologies if this has been adressed in another thread...
 

Mistwell

Hero
i'm a huge fan of 5e dungeons and dragons but am i the only one feeling that the release schedule is a bit...slow :mad:. and i'm not talking about dmg specifically (im a player not a dm so the dmg isn't a must). but i am wondering where are the modules? at first i thought my group (we are 10 sessions in and haven't reached cragmaw castle yet :blush:) was moving too slowly thru mines of phandelver...now i'm happy we are going so slow :D. hoard of the dragon queen has gotten enough lukewarm writeups that i'm not exactly itching to play it just yet...

but in the absence of pretty much any other printed modules for 5e what choices do i have? why didn't they have more modules ready? and yeah i know you can just let your dm 'create' a world but i don't want to play fanfiction.. i want to see what the designers put together for this system (which again i really enjoy). it's feeling more and more like wotc jumped the gun with the release of phb and are now caught with their pants down when it comes to actual content. hell i would settle for even a settings book (and i know conversions are available but i didn't but the game to spend time converting other material from earlier editions/other publishers so i could actually play 5e. )

apologies if this has been adressed in another thread...
Playtest-era Material
(Materials here require a watchful eye to make sure they are balanced for the final 5e rules. The adventures chosen to be here were either made specifically with 5e in mind or have official 5e update info available.)
from D&D Encounters:
Season 12: Against the Cult of Chaos (levels 1-3)
Season 13: Storm over Neverwinter (levels ?)
Season 14: Search for the Diamond Staff (levels 4-6)
Sundering
Season 15: Murder in Baldur's Gate (levels 1-3)
Season 16: Legacy of the Crystal Shard (levels 1-3)
Dreams of the Red Wizards
Season 17: Scourge of the Sword Coast (levels 2-4)
Season 18: Dead in Thay (levels 6-8)
from Game Day:
Vault of the Dracolich (level 4) (Can be continued in "Search for the Diamond Staff")
from Dungeon Magazine:
the Last Slave Lord (levels 6-9, #215, 5e data available in the playtest package)
the Battle of Emridy Meadows (levels 5-7, #221)
from Gen Con:
Ghosts of the Dragonspear Castle (levels 1-10, story continued in "Scourge of the Sword Coast" and "Dead in Thay", includes a version of playtest rules)
from Playtest:
the Caves of Chaos (levels 1-3, based on the Keep on the Borderlands adventure)
Mines of Madness (level 3)
Isle of Dread (levels 3-7)
the Mud Sorcerer's Tomb (level 14)
Reclaiming Blingdenstone (level ?)
Other:
Against the Slave Lords (Contains the five adventures below, 5e data available in the playtest package, a "Scourge of the Slavelords" also exists)
Danger at Darkshelf Quarry (levels 1-3)
Slave Pits of the Undercity (levels 4-7)
Secret of the Slavers Stockade (levels 4-7)
Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords (levels 4-7)
In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords (levels 4-7)
Dungeons of Dread (Contains the four adventures below, 5e data available in the playtest package)
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (levels 8-12)
the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (levels 6-10, also seen in Living Greyhawk and Dungeon #151)
Tomb of Horrors (levels ?, also seen in Living Greyhawk, 3E and 4e, a "return to" also exists)
White Plume Mountain (levels 5-10, also seen in 3e, a "return to" also exists, has a 3e web enhancement "Outside the Mountain is Just as Dangerous as Inside")
 

Selkirk

Visitor
thanks for reply and i've actually got scourge of the sword coast ...problem is i'm not interested in playtest materials at this point. these modules were designed for testing...these are not phb modules. i mean just looking thru the pre gens generates confusion. i mean there is undoubtedly a lot of playtest material...but playtest material is different than a 5e module (ala hoard)-with playtest materials i keep thinking are they using the final ruleset?. why are we being forced to rely on conversions and web enhancements? and the confusing (at least to me) adventurer's league material? why didn't they have modules ready? new material and official 5 e conversions of a classic or two would be incredibly welcome. why make the consumer do this kind of work?

pathfinder (for it's flaws :D) got it right...give us an adventure path. right now on wotc website there is nothing but adventurer's league. but beyond that not only is there nothing on wotc website at present...there is nothing on the horizon ^^;.... why? i mean they just launched this game advertised for new and returning players and there is no content. if they had simply put out phb and monster manual with say an ap or 3-4 modules i wouldn't have any complaints...as is i see a blank page on wotc site.
 
You've got two already and a third on the way. They're already producing them faster than most people play them. Plus a ton of stuff that can be converted with minimal effort. It's only playtest material for mechanics; for content it's some of the most played material ever.

It's no different than when Pathfinder came out. They switched to producing content for PF and provided conversion info for the older stuff. The difference was the vast back catalogue of 3e stuff that could be adapted.

Although I'm of the opinion that anyone sticking to published modules is missing the entire point of D&D.
 

TerraDave

5ever
Its not just you. [MENTION=59082]Mercurius[/MENTION] has only started like 10 or so threads basically all wondering when the WotCs are going to announce and release more stuff.
[MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION], a conversion guide for Next, which might just say "increase monster HP 50%" or "use monster stats from MM", would be handy.

On the other hand, 5E should be easier to convert lots of old adventurers to, certainly compared to 4E and probably 3E. I have just started doing this, but was not very hard, at least so far.

Although I'm of the opinion that anyone sticking to published modules is missing the entire point of D&D.
That is definitely an opinion.

I do know that anyone who doesn't use published adventures is missing out on all the great stuff that has been published, as adventures
 

Bumamgar

Visitor
Having a DM create a world is absolutely not 'fan fiction'.

The release schedule is actually pretty good compared to prior editions...

1e: Monster Manual (1977), PHB (1978), DMG (1979) (yes, the Monster Manual was first, total of 20 months between MM and DMG releases)
2e: PHB (Mar 1989), DMG (Jun 1989), Monstrous Compendium Volume One (July 1989)
3e: PHB (Aug 2000), DMG (Sep 2000), Monster Manual (Oct 2000)
3.5e: PHB/DMG/MM all released July 1st, 2003
4e: PHB/DMG/MM all released June 2008

So, for 1/2/3 editions, a staggered release was the norm. 1e was an extreme case, 20 months end-to-end. 2e wasn't too bad at 5 months end to end, and in fact this is the same timing as the 5e release schedule (Aug - Dec for 5e, Mar - Jul for 2e). 3e was a book a month, so only spread the release over 3 months, and of course both 3.5 and 4e were able to do combined releases, with all three rulebooks dropping on the same date.

So really, I don't see much reason to complain at this point.
 

Selkirk

Visitor
well two if you bought starter set...and if you like hoard (again reviews of this are generally lukewarm). but for new players and returning ones-players and dm's just getting familiar with the rules-is converting a module or creating your own (and this does go back to the absence of a dmg) even a possibility? why would i even think to do it? how likely is a new player to pick up a 3.5 module and start converting stat blocks and encounters for balance? this is what we actually pay the game designers to do. or am i supposed to research back in the release schedule and find the playtest modules...would be helpful if wotc had conversions ready on their website.

they could have solved all of this relatively simply... release a full ap or at least 3-4 modules. or linked on website to playtest modules saying they are optimized for 5e as it is now. if i visit the website as a new player i might find links to hoard of the dragon queen (might not). so that leaves me with one module (mines of phandelver if i also bought starter set) and a link to one module. with one more announced at a later date. this simply won't do...remember the phb was released on august 19th.
 

ingeloak

Visitor
thanks for reply and i've actually got scourge of the sword coast ...problem is i'm not interested in playtest materials at this point. these modules were designed for testing...these are not phb modules. i mean just looking thru the pre gens generates confusion. i mean there is undoubtedly a lot of playtest material...but playtest material is different than a 5e module (ala hoard)-with playtest materials i keep thinking are they using the final ruleset?. why are we being forced to rely on conversions and web enhancements? and the confusing (at least to me) adventurer's league material? why didn't they have modules ready? new material and official 5 e conversions of a classic or two would be incredibly welcome. why make the consumer do this kind of work?

pathfinder (for it's flaws :D) got it right...give us an adventure path. right now on wotc website there is nothing but adventurer's league. but beyond that not only is there nothing on wotc website at present...there is nothing on the horizon ^^;.... why? i mean they just launched this game advertised for new and returning players and there is no content. if they had simply put out phb and monster manual with say an ap or 3-4 modules i wouldn't have any complaints...as is i see a blank page on wotc site.
you only need a story to make an adventure. with that in mind, any module from any edition can be directly (more or less) converted to 5th edition. all you have to do is substitute the 5th edition version of the monster. in the cases where an early edition monster is too strong or not strong enough, this is a brilliant and useful encounter building tool: http://asmor.com/5e/monsters/#/encounter-builder

in some cases you will have a monster that doesnt have a 5E stat block. you can sub in a similar monster to fix this: giant lizards and ambush drakes are almost identical; different spiders can be subbed by Giant Spider (or if youre creative, use that as a template to convert the phase spider, sword spider, or whatever).

long story short, you can easily come up with thousands of hours of playable material with some easy conversion work.
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
...and yeah i know you can just let your dm 'create' a world but i don't want to play fanfiction...
Just curious, does this mean that your DM will only create a fan fic world, like use D&D rules to create a Harry Potter Universe, or does it mean that you consider anything your DM creates fan fic? (Which I'm assuming you feel would be sub-par compared to a WOTC-published adventure?)
 

mcbobbo

Visitor
you only need a story to make an adventure. with that in mind, any module from any edition can be directly (more or less) converted to 5th edition. all you have to do is substitute the 5th edition version of the monster. in the cases where an early edition monster is too strong or not strong enough, this is a brilliant and useful encounter building tool: http://asmor.com/5e/monsters/#/encounter-builder

in some cases you will have a monster that doesnt have a 5E stat block. you can sub in a similar monster to fix this: giant lizards and ambush drakes are almost identical; different spiders can be subbed by Giant Spider (or if youre creative, use that as a template to convert the phase spider, sword spider, or whatever).

long story short, you can easily come up with thousands of hours of playable material with some easy conversion work.
Not only is this true for older D&D to 5e, but I have actually done this successfully with other systems. E.g. Keep on the Borderlands with Savage Worlds. It takes a little finesse, but nothing too intense. Especially if the table is okay with the DM admitting that things got out of hand and doing some retcon - as a worst case scenario.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Question for you... if Hoard of the Dragon Queen hadn't gotten lukewarm reviews in your opinion, would you still consider WotC having dropped the ball? What if they had released a third adventure alongside HotDQ and that *also* had gotten lukewarm reviews, would that have been enough for you even if you didn't want to play two of them because you didn't think they were of quality? How many adventures did WotC have to release along with what level of metacritic rating would have been necessary for you to feel they did right by the game?
 

mcbobbo

Visitor
This is not the direction I would go if you're not comfortable designing your own material. There's some small chance you'll convert into a different power level than the 5e core material would have. It's probably better to go Orc for Orc or Giant Spider for Custom Spider, as needed.

Now something that would be cool is an encounter conversion guide. E.g. "3.5 CRs are typically 1 level higher" or similar. I suspect though that this will only develop with practice.
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
This is not the direction I would go if you're not comfortable designing your own material. There's some small chance you'll convert into a different power level than the 5e core material would have.
is this really a problem?

If you're a DM worried about smashing your players, you still have the power to not smash them. If you convert an encounter that might be too powerful, you can alter the encounter at any moment during the encounter you felt was a bad conversion, just like you can make it harder.

If you have put too many monsters in an encounter, its easy to make some of the monsters are previously hurt, so they have less hps and die easier, or they aren't really into fighting to the death so they take off at half hps, or oh no they start rolling really bad and miss more often or roll crappy damage.

If its just one monster that is too tough, you can not kill the players but capture them and make a story moment out of it as they wake up captured.

I am sure Tolkien was running his platoon with a 5e conversion he did, when they ran into the trolls. He had to toss in his OP NPC that he always does when he designs a bad encounter to save the day! wtg J.R.R! Stick to the publish material you clown.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Now something that would be cool is an encounter conversion guide. E.g. "3.5 CRs are typically 1 level higher" or similar. I suspect though that this will only develop with practice.
There is some of that in the guides. They are worth reading, and a lot of work went into them.
 

Selkirk

Visitor
[MENTION=6777934]Maldavos[/MENTION] i pretty much consider all 'homebrew' worlds to be inferior (some might be good...most of them definitely are not). but with a new edition i definitely consider all homebrew material to be inferior. the mechanics are new...mearls and company are still answering rules questions (some of them pretty big ones) and the designers are the ones that have a definite feel and knowledge for this edition. not to mention wotc employs professional writers and artists (and playtests modules) to ensure quality and play balance -which is what i find so delightful about mines of phandelver..the balance of the encounters.
[MENTION=98938]DeF[/MENTION]con1 it really wouldn't have mattered if hoard had gotten good reviews. if we assume that i bought phb on august 19th (it is very unlikely then that i would have paid 20 bucks for mines of phandelver in starter set) i would be left with one module of content. for experienced dm's and players fifth edition is just a bunch of mechanics which they can apply to whatever setting. to me as a new (albeit returning d&d) player-i am incredibly interested in the setting. i want more content tied into this pretty cool world...not some random 'world' from a homebrew campaign or some module from the past (which might or might not tie into the present 5e world). what wotc has given us so far is a very thin reed...a few sentences about setting/one module. and some rules. this isn't good enough!
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
[MENTION=6777934]Maldavos[/MENTION] i pretty much consider all 'homebrew' worlds to be inferior (some might be good...most of them definitely are not). but with a new edition i definitely consider all homebrew material to be inferior. the mechanics are new...mearls and company are still answering rules questions (some of them pretty big ones) and the designers are the ones that have a definite feel and knowledge for this edition. not to mention wotc employs professional writers and artists (and playtests modules) to ensure quality and play balance -which is what i find so delightful about mines of phandelver..the balance of the encounters.
I get that. I won't proselytize here for the beauty that is homebrew except say that the experience tends to be more tailored to you and your group, which for me is a benefit that outweighs the rare chance that I might see a picture from a module I'm playing. Frankly, when my DM starts using a module, things get a little predictable.

Were I you I would simply have your group pick up Hoard. It is the AP for D&D, it will last you at least until the DMG comes out and likely to part II. Most of the issues raised in the 'lukewarm' reviews regarded things like player choice and the deadliness of the encounters, not the professionalism of the writing, art, etc. I don't think you'll miss much in the way of choice as you're accustomed to modules anyway. As for the deadliness.... well there are ways of dealing with that.
 
I do know that anyone who doesn't use published adventures is missing out on all the great stuff that has been published, as adventures
I didn't say 'doesn't use' I said 'sticks to'. There's tons of good stuff in the published modules that can be adapted and used to fill out a home campaign. But slavishly adhering to someone else's story to the point of eschewing homebrew material seems unfun and ignoring the best part of RPGs -- having a GM who can create and modify on the fly in response to your actions. Otherwise, it's little better than a CRPG.
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
[MENTION=6775377]Selkirk[/MENTION] - It sounds like you've been burned on homebrew before, and that's a shame.

The published modules for 5th Edition have been, in my experience, excellent. I haven't played Phandelver or Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but I'm involved in the alpha playtest, and so I've had a chance to see some of the stuff that's coming up. And there's been more of it flooding my inbox than I can handle with my groups.

First off, Scourge of the Sword Coast is a truly excellent adventure that should not suffer at all using the final rules. My group played through a number of the episodes (we didn't have time to do the whole thing), and it was a ton of fun. Very good if you like a little bit of sandbox play, where you can approach a problem from multiple angles.

Secondly, while I can't speak for Hoard, Rise of Tiamat is quite good. It takes a bit of work on the part of the DM to bring things to life, but the scope and scale of this adventure is truly amazing, and as we near the finale, things are definitely hitting an epic note.

Thirdly, there is a series of adventures that are coming out, I'm not sure where. I think it'll be the Expeditions program in stores? If you saw Defiance in Phlan at PAX or Gen-Con, it's associated with that, and it's a pretty beefy set of adventures, all pretty good.

So rest assured, there is more content coming up soon. I can't say when, as I have no idea at all, but keep an eye out.
 

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