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

I think the OP has unrealistic expectations as to how quickly quality material can be written and published. Even a big RPG has a small team, and there's little point in spending time and money on modules before the core game is done. And even after that game is done and you're waiting for it to hit retail, you don't want to dump a ton of stuff on the market from day 1. If you put out three modules one day one, you either have to space them so they're for progressively higher levels, in which case most of the copies will sit on the shelves for a couple months (and the game stores *love* that), or they're all for newbies in which case most people will only buy one (and then gripe 2 months later if there aren't three more choices).
 

Selkirk

Visitor
this really isn't a knock on homebrew campaigns thread (i'll let others do that...just kidding :D). more frustration than anything else here. and again i speak as a new player not as someone familiar with wotc product (i know what forgotten realms is only in the vaguest ways...and i like it-what little i have seen). but the question posed at thread title does beg itself-did they release phb too soon? i mean a phb and a monster manual are parts of a toolset...the dmg is a part (arguably mm is useless without dmg)...now with dmg delayed until december 7th the question becomes-where is the content for the game itself?

if they don't have the modules ready(which we all agree they do not) then official conversions of published modules would be a welcome stopgap and a functioning wotc website would prove helpful :D. the website could be filled with sample encounters or even an ongoing online module (with pieces on a weekly release schedule or something close). instead off the website we got zip...nada...just some fancy graphics and links to outdated articles.
 

TerraDave

5ever
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.
Sure, who wants to be slavish, and, for example, be forced to fight the horrible straw-man when that encounter should just be dropped.

But a DM could primarily rely on published adventures and also create and modify on the fly. By freeing up time and giving ideas and options, the published adventures could even facilitate this.

Yes, they can also be straight jackets. "Old school" adventures, which tend to be collections of maps, monster listings, some traps and tricks, room details, and some minimal back story, can be easier to add story to and improvise with then something that seems to give the DM a lot more narrative and dynamic events. This could be an issue with, say, Horde of the Dragon Queen, which seems to be pretty ambitious in its scope and could take a more seasoned DM to adopt and adjudicate in the face of PCs who don't follow its implied script. But with the right group it could be quite epic.
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
this really isn't a knock on homebrew campaigns thread (i'll let others do that...just kidding :D). more frustration than anything else here. and again i speak as a new player not as someone familiar with wotc product (i know what forgotten realms is only in the vaguest ways...and i like it-what little i have seen). but the question posed at thread title does beg itself-did they release phb too soon? i mean a phb and a monster manual are parts of a toolset...the dmg is a part (arguably mm is useless without dmg)...now with dmg delayed until december 7th the question becomes-where is the content for the game itself?
Yeah, I'd love it if they had everything released at once, but they did that with 4E and had what they thought were too many mistakes and rules clarifications. This time, they wanted a staggered release to finish one book at a time. For a game with 8-10 years ahead of it, they can justify several months of waiting.

As to the 'We all agree they don't have modules ready', I'm not sure I agree. they have Hoard and the starter set officially, and that's plenty of official product (maybe more then there's ever been for a newly released D&D ruleset, come to think of it) for any group until the full game is out. Further, you can run a game sans the DMG, the rules there are more optional than required. Therefore, the game in playable form is available now.

So, I guess I don't understand your frustration... You want adventures produced by WOTC for 5E, and enough exist to keep you busy until more are released. I really think you would be happier with HotDQ than you think, despite the reviews.
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
They have The Starter Set adventure, Hoard and the 3 D&D Exhibition adventures already out with 3 more coming soon. But, I think they have already established that converting older AD&D stuff is something players can do and is very much encouraged.
 

Shroomy

Adventurer
Personally, I find the ideas/attitudes regarding homebrew materials expressed by the OP insulting, but in addition to the Starter Set adventure, HotDQ, and the Rise of Tiamat adventure coming out this month (see there's an entire AP between the two!), plenty of 3PP publishers are already releasing adventures for 5e. Of course, with the PHB, MM, and DMG (or just the Basic Rules PDFs at this point) you could sully yourself and create adventures of your own.
 

Fion

Explorer
I'm personally prepping to run the Sundering series (Murder, Legacy, Sword Coast, Dead in Thay), updated with final rules & monsters. Just waiting on the DMG at this point.
 

SigmaOne

Visitor
I think anyone who expresses a disdainful opinion in either direction is insulting. We can all have our prefer play type. But to denounce a type we don't prefer as "not fun", "slavish", "fan-fic", etc... is narrow-minded. People need to learn how discuss the game without insulting the way others like to play it. Oh, wait. This is the internet. :-/ That would be a bridge too far.
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
Dead in Thay I think could use some work imo. But, I am not big on Giant dungeon crawls. It's brutal. But, some players eat that stuff up.
 

Selkirk

Visitor
i'm not really arguing against homebrew and it really doesn't matter if i was (i can't imagine all the worldbuilders are going to stop due to a comment in a thread :blush:). onwards !

i don't think anyone believes there is too much product for 5e :D. so we are left with most people saying there is plenty (hey noob ever heard of conversions ^^; ) but the amount of official product for 5e is way too limited for my tastes-this 2 months after phb was released. take away hoard and you have a phb and mm. take away phb and you have hoard and mm...well you get my point. so at present...and following the logical assumption that if i bought phb i wouldn't then turn around and pay 20 bucks for lost mines...i just have hoard.

now if i had been playtesting for the past year i would also know of the existence of the playtest modules...but also i would probably already have played them :p. now if i haven't played them and search them down from messageboards i'm still left with playtest documents (no matter how good the scenarios are inside) and without dmg to help build encounters designing my own dungeon (and as a new player ^^; ) would prove problematic...i know wotc stressed they were giving dm's freedom but this borders on laziness :p. i really don't want to playtest a dungeon in 5e-i actually want to play 5e modules (updated for ruleset). anyways, things will improve at some point i guess.

and as additional food for thought ... dungeonscape still in very early beta stages...no ogl for third party...feels like a rushed release to me.
 
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Iosue

Community Supporter
Re: homebrew. I don't care if someone likes or dislikes homebrew. I'd just ask that it not be compared to fanfiction. Fanfiction is inherently derivative, whereas when it comes to D&D worlds, homebrew came first. Before there were any official campaign settings or even any published adventures, there was homebrew. It's how the game was intended to be played.

Regarding the release. I'm not sure how a staggered release over the course of five months could be considered "rushed". It's certainly multi-staged, but they have demonstrated a clear plan for allowing groups to play without needing all three of the PHB, MM, and DMG. I'm playing or running three different games using two different published adventures. If I want to go homebrew, I've got 218 monsters without spending a dime on the Monster Manual. I'm wallowing in D&D without even the MM or the DMG.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
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?
Adventure design is tough. It's very easy to write bad adventures, and it's very difficult to write good adventures. Not only that, but trying to write an adventure for a system that isn't finished yet? Now, *that's* tough! Just ask Steve Winter and Wolfgang Baur.

Wizards are, at this stage, releasing two types of adventure. The first type are the big storyline adventures (Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat), which are used as part of their multimedia story-telling strategy. The second type are the small, organised play adventures seen in D&D Expeditions. At present, there are six of those adventures available, albeit only to those with stores participating in the program or who go to conventions.

Given Wizards are stepping back from producing a lot of D&D material, it seems likely that we'll be a lot more dependent on third-party publishers for adventure material, especially if Wizards produce a license that allows this to occur. (Given the current state of affairs, I think that very, very likely). Even prior to that occurring, I count eleven titles in that category at present. Not all of those titles are good - many are a fair way from that status.

Cheers!
 

mcbobbo

Visitor
Re: homebrew. I don't care if someone likes or dislikes homebrew. I'd just ask that it not be compared to fanfiction. Fanfiction is inherently derivative, whereas when it comes to D&D worlds, homebrew came first. Before there were any official campaign settings or even any published adventures, there was homebrew. It's how the game was intended to be played.
That's only true from a very limited point of view. In truth the very nature of the RPG is derivative of war gaming, right down to how the terms 'hit points' and 'armor class' were lifted from a naval combat game (where they actually make a lot more sense.) And what of elves, dragons, etc, etc? All derivatives, I assure you. Heck five minutes on tvtropes is enough to reveal that we're all standing on someone else's shoulders in some way or another.

As for 'how it was meant to be played' is starts simply with 'more depth than a wargame' and grows outward from there. I am not aware of any evidence that Gary, Dave, et al would never have purchased modules were they available.
 

Henrix

Visitor
A Dungeon magazine edited by someone on lease from Wizards would be good.

Or perhaps a fan made magazine. Just somewhere to get scenarios and stuff that has passed through some sort of review.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
A Dungeon magazine edited by someone on lease from Wizards would be good.

Or perhaps a fan made magazine. Just somewhere to get scenarios and stuff that has passed through some sort of review.
Fan done stuff tends to have serious issues unless someone's making a buck somewhere off of it.

Trollzine, for example, is on editor #4... in 8 issues. The issues of layout, editing, and pasteup make for interesting challenges. Getting maps into an easily used and printed format also is a good bit of work. Unpaid volunteers...
 

Iosue

Community Supporter
That's only true from a very limited point of view. In truth the very nature of the RPG is derivative of war gaming, right down to how the terms 'hit points' and 'armor class' were lifted from a naval combat game (where they actually make a lot more sense.) And what of elves, dragons, etc, etc? All derivatives, I assure you. Heck five minutes on tvtropes is enough to reveal that we're all standing on someone else's shoulders in some way or another.
Yes, but that's not really germane to the point. I'm not saying derivative = bad. I'm simply saying fanfiction = inherently derivative, homebrew = not necessarily derivative (or any more derivative than official settings).

As for 'how it was meant to be played' is starts simply with 'more depth than a wargame' and grows outward from there. I am not aware of any evidence that Gary, Dave, et al would never have purchased modules were they available.
We have the "Afterward" of OD&D - "Why have us do any of your imagining for you?" We also have Gygax and Rob Kuntz on record as being perplexed when first presented with "Palace of the Vampire Queen" (the first module).

I can't find the Gygax quote at the moment, but here's Rob Kuntz:
Rob Kuntz said:
The original game as envisioned saw the province of personalized creation on all levels as the only dominant purpose of the game as first play-tested, written, and promoted in commercial form.

True historians of the game—there are many pseudo-historians promoting their version, primarily as guess work—note very clearly that the products published in the immediate wake of D&D were supportive of this view as embodied in the authors’ philosophy, such as Dungeon Geomorphs, Outdoor Geomorphs, Monster & Treasure Assortments, Player- and Non-Player character record sheets, graph paper and hex paper assortments, and the promotion of a unifying periodical, The Strategic Review, wherein continued additions and refinements, such as optional/variant rules for the game, could see purchase just as they had done in the original Supplements to D&D.

The philosophy/intent is clear as a clear sky at this point.

The actual philosophical change occurs when someone, I forget whom, sent Gary Gygax a copy of a pre-made adventure, Palace of the Vampire Queen. Many of us looked at it—I even picked up a copy for myself-- in a mode of perplexed inquiry. The majority of us were vocal about why anyone would want someone else creating things for them and their campaign worlds whereas all of the resources in primary and supportive categories were available to them to create their own material.
 
the amount of official product for 5e is way too limited for my tastes-this 2 months after phb was released. take away hoard and you have a phb and mm. take away phb and you have hoard and mm...well you get my point.
The thing is, you're missing the Starter Set. It's somewhat questionable to complain about a lack of published material if you're going to casually discount 25% of the available products!

It's probably also worth noting that "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" is a pretty big adventure - half an Adventure Path, in fact. So it's closer to "Sunless Citadel" and "Forge of Fury" (and maybe "Speaker in Dreams") put together than to the first of these alone. It may still only count as one... but it's a big one.

and following the logical assumption that if i bought phb i wouldn't then turn around and pay 20 bucks for lost mines...
The Starter Set is well worth picking up for the adventure alone, especially for a group that finds itself short on adventure material. (And it's currently a bit over $15 on Amazon US, so an even better deal.)

Now, the one thing I think 5e does feel the lack of is support from Dungeon. That's the thing that 3e and 4e had that 5e does not. (Those editions also had at least some third-party support via the OGL and/or GSL... but so does 5e.) I'm afraid there's no real answer to that - WotC just don't have the team to be putting together a monthly magazine right now, and producing that volume of adventure material in-house would be even more challenging (and, actually, the first 3e and 4e issues were mostly done in-house, because that's where they could find designers familiar with the rules). I think, though, that that would probably be true if they had delayed the release of the game by 6, 12, or 24 months - I suspect that's just the way things are now.
 

mcbobbo

Visitor
I admit, I don't know who Rob Kuntz even is, so you may have a point there.

How's about this quote, though:

" I can complete a mission in Mass Effect in about an hour and a half. So why can’t I complete an adventure in D&D in that time? Why does it take me 4, 8, 12 hours just to get from page one of the adventure to the end? I mean, yeah, you can have huge epic adventures but I can’t do it in less than four hours." - Mike Mearls

It speaks to the value of time and the other things competing for our time. In this way homebrew is definitely not a winner. Any ideas that you don't have to develop yourself are a savings in time. Assuming that everyone who runs a game of D&D will decide to devote hours to development ultimately means a smaller customer base, as market research clearly shows.

Point there is even if it somehow was the 'true way to play', they realize now they were wrong. Or at least times have changed.

Back to the OP though, I think this quote I found answers your question, again going back to the research:

" Instead of flooding the market with an endless tide of RPG books, we’re moving to diversify the business. We have two active MMOs, board games, miniatures, t-shirts, novels, and even more stuff we’re working on.

In hindsight, it’s actually a fairly obvious move. Let’s say you buy the three core rulebooks and then the two volumes of the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. That gives you everything you need for the next 6 to 12 months of gaming. Do I really have much of a chance to sell you more RPG stuff during that time? Why fight that battle?"
 

TerraDave

5ever
[MENTION=6680772]Iosue[/MENTION] It--home brew everything--was true in like 1974.

Temple of the Frog was included in the Blackmoor booklet in 1975. They would then license or distribute adventures from 3rd parties (like Wee Warriors) and produce modules for tournements for the next few years.

In 1978 B1 was released with Holmes Basic and the Gs and Ds and S1 Tomb of Horrors came out that same year. The floodgates had opened.

Of course, it was expected that lots of DMs would not use these, and if they used them would use them in their own world. The idea of greyhawk as some kind of "canon" or "default" is something that comes years latter, especially as it is now understood.

As for the whole "derivative" thing...everything is derivative of everything. But of course their are very creative homebrews...and just terrible published adventures. Plenty, along with the gems.
 

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