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D&D General (SPOILERS for Vecna: Eve of Ruin) Are My Standards Too High for Adventures?


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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
To me, I just accept that it is statistically impossible for an adventure path that cover 8+ levels to hit a sweet spot for every single player out there. Too many people want too many varied things in what they are happy to run that there's no way to write one of these things that satisfies everyone. Someone wants the AP to be run exactly as-is right off the page so they don't have to do any single bit of work to make the adventure path their own... while another person wants nothing but areas and ideas in their AP that allows them to fill in things their own way and into their campaign world, because otherwise they've just been given a railroad adventure that forces players to just barrel through.

Heck, Curse of Strahd is generally considered one of the best of WotC's APs and yet we'll still find people here on the boards saying it sucks. And the Tyranny of Dragons AP is widely voted as one of, if not the worst AP WotC has written, and yet even a fairly known adventure critic right here, @MerricB will tell us it's one of his favorites. And all the bits he likes about it are the exactly things people have said as to why they hate it. So what kind of consistency of opinion on what a good AP has should we really expect?

Yep, a number of folks here have issues with Eve of Ruin. Same as with every other AP WotC has released. So this shouldn't be a surprise anymore, should it?
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
How do official 5E adventures stand up against all the 3PP 5E adventures out there? Do 3PP adventures often have better writing and more considered design?
For some people, sure. But they only sell to a smaller select group of players, and those players don't often talk about them at places like this. But likewise... the people who do like large parts of the WotC adventure paths don't tend to talk about it that often here either, because what's the point? These adventures are so long that for every positive a person might give about an AP, someone else will show up to decry 3 negatives they have with it because ranting about what you don't like is easier and more satisfying than explaining what you do.
 


Stormonu

Legend
I don't know why folks are giving WotC a pass here because high level adventures are hard or because anniversary or whatever.

WotC has one job: making good D&D books. Maybe they should get back to focusing on that.
I think the current design team's strength is in making supplement material, along the lines of Xanathar's or Tasha's, not in making adventures. Their fare is PG-13 action adventure for the masses; the 0E/1E days of more R-rated fare ended about 1981. A lot of those 1E adventures were originally tournament pieces designed for college age graduates and today's adventures are designed for a crowd of 15+.

There isn't anything "wrong" with what they're putting out, and most people will handle the adventure fine. But I wish for this particular adventure they'd gone a bit more Dark Souls/1st season Game of Thrones than D&D:HAT in terms of grit, theme and difficulty. But 5E is about the power fantasy, and making something that's high level and chews PCs up and spits them out isn't going to appeal to a very large audience in the long run. It'll just be frustrating, put aside and the next book skipped because its "too hard".

I don't think we'll be seeing a sea change in that attitude towards content any time in the future. If it's not heavy enough for you I'd look either for supplements from DM's Guild to buff the adventure up or (better yet) find a 3PP who does adventures more in line with what you're looking for, because WotC is not going to change what's currently working for them.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
You should take out the 'us' part. ;) Yes, they need customers in general... but they don't need any one of us here on EN World specifically. So any complaints or problems any of us may have can be easily swept under the rug if the player base on the whole still buys these APs at strong enough numbers.
The idea that they can publish whatever garbage they want and the rubes will lap it up is not a ringing endorsement for either WotC or the community. EN World isn't particularly representative, demographicly, but I don't think we are particularly special either. I can't think of a reason why opinions here would diverge widely from those in general. We just go on about it here more.

In any case, the point remains: once you have the rules, you don't need anything else. That means the publisher has to sell you something you want but don't need,and that means it has to be worth the money they are asking.

Maybe EoR is. Maybe, like Dragonheist, there's a good toolkit in there worth picking apart and rebuilding into a usable adventure. But I'm not going to give them $60 just to find out.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Their fare is PG-13 action adventure for the masses;
That's fine. That's what 90% of D&D has been for 40 years.

They still need to make good adventures, though, if they want people to give them money.

If an adventure is bad, I want the fans and influencers and everyone to say it loudly. Being "nice" to WotC just means more bad adventures.

Also, just as with the video game industry: stop pre-ordering. Make them earn it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
But I'm not going to give them $60 just to find out.
Exactly. You're not, and I'm not... but the fact they keep writing and publishing these books tells us that enough other people are. And while you can't think of a reason why opinions here would diverge from those in general... I certainly can think of many, any number of which would explain why these books sell enough for WotC to keep doing what they are doing in the way they do it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Also, just as with the video game industry: stop pre-ordering. Make them earn it.
This is something I agree with you 100%. I find pre-ordering to be the most mindboggling phenomenon there is.

Now if a person wants to give to a Kickstarter to see something get made that wouldn't get made otherwise... sure, I understand that. But if a product is going to get released regardless, why anyone would put down their money before getting a chance to look at it is ridiculous to me.
 


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