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

Psikerlord#

Explorer
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!
yeah its really annoying these little mini adventures are not on their website for free. That would be helpful.
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
I agree, we need modules. If they are hard for wotc to create, imagine being a new DM. As someone said above, we really miss Dungeon right now. Stand alone adventures are missing. Some of the replies here are seriously condescending to those that want modules.
yeah Dungeon was awesome. Bring back Dungeon devs!
 

Mistwell

Hero
@am181d not to put too fine of a point on this but if i bought phb on release there is little to no chance i would buy starter set for mines of phandelver. now this leaves me with one module- hoard. there is another module tyranny coming out november 4th. phb released on august 19th. so between release date and now i have one module. by november 4th i have another (albeit a continuation of the first module). the modules are definitely easier to produce than the books (and they are outsourcing the modules !). why not give us some choice and variety. some shorter adventures some longer ones (a full ap would be nice). release some conversions of old modules...throw some encounters up on the website. for now it's either your full on for hoard and then you play tyranny...or...well this is no or.
I am still not understanding this complaint. They put out a bunch of stuff during the playtest that is for 5e D&D. Converting it from "Next" stats to "5e" stats takes almost no effort - in fact if you don't want to convert it you can just play it as-is without any changes and you will find it works pretty well with, at worst, encounters seeming a tad too easy for your players.

But they put out adventures, they're relatively good ones, why don't you want to give them a look? What exactly is so wrong with Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle; Dreams of the Red Wizards, Dead in Thay; Dreams of the Red Wizards, Scourge of the Sword Coast; and Vault of the Dracolich?

Plus third parties have put out some adventures too, like Glitterdoom and The Fey Sisters Fate and The Mines of Faldhun and Wraith of the Goblinoids and it's follow-up Payback, and Assault on the Southern Horn. I mean come on now, that's a lot of adventures to choose from!
 
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Selkirk

Visitor
third party stuff is at present 3.5 stuff that is 'compatible' with the 'latest edition' of the 'world's greatest roleplaying game'. these are not 5 e products(altho they hint at being just that).... there is no ogl(again why not?). the lack of an ogl is actually more understandable than the complete lack of product/website content from wotc. but when you add in the lack of content from wotc the absence of an ogl becomes more glaring.
 

Iosue

Community Supporter
Mines is worth $20 to me.
1000% agreed. If it was something akin to the 4e Red Box (solo adventure for chargen, pared down DM's book with adventure that takes you from level 1 to 2) or even the original Red Box (simplified version of the rules, small mini-adventure), I'd say it would be virtually pointless to buy it after getting the PHB.

As it is, Lost Mine is the meat of the Starter Set. 64-page mini-campaign that takes your characters from 1st level to 5th, and provides a nice Fallcrest-style homebase town. A handy 32 page rule pamphlet that is great for passing around the table if something needs to be checked during the game. A set of pregens that can be given to new players, or used as NPCs. And an awesome set of dice. All for $20.

When the announcements first broke, I quickly pre-ordered the Starter Set and the Big Three. But when I heard that the Basic Rules were going to be available, I considered cancelling my order of the Starter Set, thinking it would be redundant. I'm very happy that I didn't.

And lots of folks are playing and enjoying Lost Mine. It looks like it's going to be this edition's (and this generation's) B2.
 

Mistwell

Hero
third party stuff is at present 3.5 stuff that is 'compatible' with the 'latest edition' of the 'world's greatest roleplaying game'. these are not 5 e products
Uh, you are wrong. Have you looked at any of them? Click on Glitterdoom, and tell me it's not 5e, and not all new.

there is no ogl(again why not?).
There is a 3e OGL, and it's being used to make 5e stuff, by people who know what they are doing and have consulted an attorney to make sure it's on the up and up.

the lack of an ogl is actually more understandable than the complete lack of product/website content from wotc. but when you add in the lack of content from wotc the absence of an ogl becomes more glaring.
Again, there is a TON of stuff from WOTC...for some reason you keep ignoring the list. What exactly is so wrong with Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle; Dreams of the Red Wizards, Dead in Thay; Dreams of the Red Wizards, Scourge of the Sword Coast; and Vault of the Dracolich?
 
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Selkirk

Visitor
i keep ignoring the list because wotc ignores the list. giving me playtest materials (which again wotc isn't promoting at launch) feels like just that-a bunch of playtest materials. so the actual 'official' modules are mines and hoard...that's it. the 3rd party stuff isn't 5th edition-it is 3.5 with some allowances made for 5th (they hope anyways). but...sensible people can agree to disagree. you think there is plenty of material and i think there are two modules.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I agree, we need modules. If they are hard for wotc to create, imagine being a new DM. As someone said above, we really miss Dungeon right now. Stand alone adventures are missing. Some of the replies here are seriously condescending to those that want modules.
There's a world of difference between drafting a decent adventure, and making it ready for print distribution. The hardest part of the process of a print module is the layout. The editing is about #2. The wicked cool module concept? way the •••• down the list of difficulty.

In sharing some stuff I did for my own use, stuff that my players felt really rocked, I discovered a lot of stuff that I just hadn't bothered putting to paper for it. Like "who reacts when a fight happens in location 12" or "how to balance for lacking a wizard"... Not that answering those questions is all that hard, but answering them without being reminded to do so isn't that easy.

And then, the maps. I can draw a decent map. Translating that to a clear, printable map takes time. Not a lot of skill, but a significant chunk of redrawing time. In fact, it's far faster to draw the damn map on the computer from the get go than to remake it from a hand-drawn map.

And, of course, the labeling and keys for the map.

An adventure that took me 20 minutes to write, and 5 hours to run, took me 3 hours to write up to a standard suitable for a playtest copy. (which was fine for my intended audience of 5 people... who wanted copies to run for their own groups.)

Now, reworking it for balance, that would have been harder. Fortunately, I was writing it for T&T, so it wasn't essential to balance things out.

And then there's playtesting. Which said, I didn't have to do, because I wasn't publishing for general consumption. It all adds up to a lot of time
 
and again on mines (which i have played and really like-and which has gotten better reviews than hoard)...why would i pay 20 bucks for starter set just to get mines?
Because if they sold it as a standalone product, they would charge at least that for it?

"Lost Mine of Phandelver" is a 64-page adventure, spanning levels 1-5. It's not the same sort of trivial mini-adventure that you typically get with a Starter Set - it's much more akin to "Keep on the Borderlands" or "Isle of Dread" (both of which were bundled with boxed set rules in the past, one with the B/X Basic rules, the other with the BECMI Expert rules), but it's longer than both.

But to put it in context: "Barrow of the Forgotten King" is a 64-page adventure published by Wizards in 2007. The RRP of that adventure is $20 by itself, and prices have gone up since then.
 

am181d

Visitor
@am181d not to put too fine of a point on this but if i bought phb on release there is little to no chance i would buy starter set for mines of phandelver. now this leaves me with one module- hoard. there is another module tyranny coming out november 4th. phb released on august 19th. so between release date and now i have one module. by november 4th i have another (albeit a continuation of the first module). the modules are definitely easier to produce than the books (and they are outsourcing the modules !). why not give us some choice and variety. some shorter adventures some longer ones (a full ap would be nice). release some conversions of old modules...throw some encounters up on the website. for now it's either your full on for hoard and then you play tyranny...or...well this is no or.
HOARD to TIAMAT is a full AP. It's just in larger hardcovers rather than shorter paperbacks.

I'm not aware of anyone who's bought HOARD that's complained that it won't last them until TIAMAT is out.

I'm not aware of any edition that has offered a "variety" of modules in its first few months of existence. I suppose that could be considered a nice to have, but the idea that WotC has miscalculated by not doing something unprecedented doesn't strike me as a serious argument.
 

Henrix

Visitor
why would i pay 20 bucks for starter set just to get mines?
Why would you pay 30 bucks for Hoard? The Hoard scenario is 1.5 times as long as Phandelver, and you do not get any dice, handy rules booklet or sturdy box. And it isn't as good.
 

Selkirk

Visitor
@Henrix why would you pay 30 bucks for hoard? this is a very good question . the decision to go hardcover alone was a bad one (increases the cost and adds little to no value) and also sets a terrible precedent...modules now cost 30 bucks apiece? ouch ^^;...

@am181d why not do something unprecedented? i mean this is a reinvention/reinvigoration of the game and playerbase...why roll out content like you would have 30 years ago? and honestly is asking for more than one module just something so 'out there' that it's undoable? now wolfgang and kobold will undoubtedly stress how 'hard' it is to make a module-a lot of this is self serving...justifies the incredibly slow pace and also insulates against criticism. but if this were true...contract out to other studios (have like 5 going) and also frankly even tho it is 'difficult' to make a module-that's sort of what they do for a living! i mean is this really an excuse-my job is tough? everybody has tough jobs :D.

and as i've pointed out repeatedly within thread...there are other options...conversions of older modules...adventures and encounters on website...a weekly module released in parts (for free)...why everyone is so willing to cut wotc slack on this (they are a game company!) is beyond me and speaks to the easily satisfied nature of the gaming community.
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
@Henrix why would you pay 30 bucks for hoard? this is a very good question . the decision to go hardcover alone was a bad one (increases the cost and adds little to no value) and also sets a terrible precedent...modules now cost 30 bucks apiece? ouch ^^;...

@am181d why not do something unprecedented? i mean this is a reinvention/reinvigoration of the game and playerbase...why roll out content like you would have 30 years ago? and honestly is asking for more than one module just something so 'out there' that it's undoable? now wolfgang and kobold will undoubtedly stress how 'hard' it is to make a module-a lot of this is self serving...justifies the incredibly slow pace and also insulates against criticism. but if this were true...contract out to other studios (have like 5 going) and also frankly even tho it is 'difficult' to make a module-that's sort of what they do for a living! i mean is this really an excuse-my job is tough? everybody has tough jobs :D.

and as i've pointed out repeatedly within thread...there are other options...conversions of older modules...adventures and encounters on website...a weekly module released in parts (for free)...why everyone is so willing to cut wotc slack on this (they are a game company!) is beyond me and speaks to the easily satisfied nature of the gaming community.
I kind of get the feeling you're not really looking for solutions, but just looking to complain. Which is fine, but everyone trying to offer a solution should probably save their fingers.

I think most people here are satisfied because they don't have the same issue with a lack of content. You have the issue with the lack of content because you have decided that certain types of content don't live up to your standards. Again, that's okay, but it's not a lack of content you're decrying, it's a lack of quality in said content.

So that leaves me with this question: what would convince you that the content you're ruling out is actually good content? I think you can agree that third-party content is not necessarily bad, but you're weary of it, as you are Hoard. But what would it take to convince you that the content now available is good enough?
 

Selkirk

Visitor
@Maldavos the 'solution' you seem to have is that everything is fine...wotc has produced plenty of 5e product-perhaps bordering on producing too much :D. further, this third party stuff you keep talking about is just that a bunch of talk...this is not 5th edition material...not compatible(which is why they do everything with a nod and a wink).

basically what i'm saying (and i have offered plenty of viable and logical solutions-old module coversions/adventures and encounters on website/free module released in parts on website...and yes ...gasp...even the possibility that they could produce more modules) is that there is no product. no guidance for setting (this has been touched on in another thread about forgotten realms...where sundering was talked about and publicized then promptly mothballed). for the people that see endless content in one module i guess there arguably is too much product (hey mines of phandelver makes two modules...^^;...). for those of us excited about this new setting and world...one module at release doesn't quite cut it.

@kachysea i can actually understand no ogl...why give away the game at this point. the problem is that 3rd party publishers are pretending like there is an ogl...and in the absence of content from wotc (and the demand for 5e material) they will start winning the day with these 3.5 'conversions'.

notes-see also hoard as incomplete(stat blocks online ^^; )...badly edited (maps take a beating from reviewers)...and still not fully in sync with ruleset. if this is the case with the only 5e module...don't start giving me the playtest modules as somehow 'finished' or 'optimized' for 5e (but wotc could give me that and i would gladly take it :D).
 

Mistwell

Hero
this third party stuff you keep talking about is just that a bunch of talk...this is not 5th edition material...not compatible(which is why they do everything with a nod and a wink).
Have you seen any of it, or are you saying this on the basis of a guess? The monster stats are in line with 5e but not 3e. The skill checks are in line with 5e but not 3e. Tell me what is not in line with 5e but is in line with 3e, I want to hear about what you read.

I also think we might want to get Joe Goodman in this thread to speak directly to your accusation that the adventure is not compatible with 5e and that it's "just a bunch of talk" .
 
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and as i've pointed out repeatedly within thread...there are other options...conversions of older modules...adventures and encounters on website...a weekly module released in parts (for free)...why everyone is so willing to cut wotc slack on this (they are a game company!) is beyond me and speaks to the easily satisfied nature of the gaming community.
The gaming community is many things, but I don't think anyone can accuse it of being easily satisfied. :p
 

TerraDave

5ever
I am still not understanding this complaint. They put out a bunch of stuff during the playtest that is for 5e D&D. Converting it from "Next" stats to "5e" stats takes almost no effort -
I know from the 4E era having monster math that was not quite right was pretty annoying. And I was just looking at one of the next adventures. I would like to use it at some point, and again felt that same sense of annoyance.

Which was annoying.
 

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