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

Mistborn

Explorer
Don't you get the impression that the Wizards team has no problems with design at all. These adventures are simply meant to be that way. D&D has come out of its niche and become part of mass culture. It changed everything.
 

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Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
Don't you get the impression that the Wizards team has no problems with design at all. These adventures are simply meant to be that way. D&D has come out of its niche and become part of mass culture. It changed everything.
This isn't the first time D&D has had a big boom in cultural popularity. It's definitely the biggest, but it's been in the cultural zeitgeist for a long while now, since the 80s essentially.

As for the adventures, it sounds like you're saying "just accept that this is how they are and how they're going to be, and it's intentional."

To the first point, WotC has had lots of good AND bad adventures since its acquisition of D&D in the 90s.
To the second point, we know that they're not always "meant to be that way." Lots of stuff happens during the development of a product, especially with a larger company- take "Descent into Avernus" as an example. The designers had to scrap or alter a lot of the original adventure in order to make it "Baldur's Gate: DiA" because WotC wanted to take advantage of the announcement of the Baldur's Gate 3 video game. The adventure was originally going to throw the party into Hell near the very beginning. Significant rewrites of the adventure just in response to the announcement of a game 😅
 

Unknown to the authorities, a cult of Vecna operates in the catacombs beneath Neverwinter’s sprawling Neverdeath Graveyard. Cult members have been kidnapping city residents who carry significant secrets, draining their knowledge and their souls in a fell ritual and passing the collected secrets to Vecna as he gathers power for his Ritual of Remaking. (See the introduction for more information about Vecna’s plot.) In the process, the kidnap victims become creatures robbed of their knowledge and volition.

Obviously villainous. Also not "killing tons of people." It'd be nice to run into some of these victims to help spur the PC's motivations.
There are tons of the cults throughout the worlds of the material plane that you are not thwarting.

Around the world and across the planes, you perceive innumerable cults of Vecna. They snatch away people and strip their secrets in rituals like the one you stopped. Behind them, the withered form of Vecna gathers the secrets like threads, adding them to a glowing sphere of hidden knowledge in some impossibly distant place. The vision fades into darkness, leaving only Vecna’s glaring left eye.
This means there are hundreds if not thousands of people getting their souls stolen.
 

Mistborn

Explorer
This isn't the first time D&D has had a big boom in cultural popularity. It's definitely the biggest, but it's been in the cultural zeitgeist for a long while now, since the 80s essentially.

As for the adventures, it sounds like you're saying "just accept that this is how they are and how they're going to be, and it's intentional."

To the first point, WotC has had lots of good AND bad adventures since its acquisition of D&D in the 90s.
To the second point, we know that they're not always "meant to be that way." Lots of stuff happens during the development of a product, especially with a larger company- take "Descent into Avernus" as an example. The designers had to scrap or alter a lot of the original adventure in order to make it "Baldur's Gate: DiA" because WotC wanted to take advantage of the announcement of the Baldur's Gate 3 video game. The adventure was originally going to throw the party into Hell near the very beginning. Significant rewrites of the adventure just in response to the announcement of a game 😅
I would suggest that a large proportion of the players on the forum, including myself, are from a previous era. People who have become part of DND in the last decade have different needs, attitudes, expectations. The adventures that are now being created are tailored to them.

The same is true in almost every field. Personally, I would prefer adventures for DnD to be like Pulp Fiction, Seven, Goodfellas, Heat, Fargo, Chungking Express, not like John Wick or Fast & Furious (I mean in terms of quality). But they won't.
 



What happens to the people whose souls are stolen? Do they just die or something else?
We see an example of one. They become a living zombie obedient to the Vecna cultists. Given that they no longer eat or have any real will they will die eventually.
I think there was also an implication that some of them were transformed into nothics, but I'd need to double-check.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm not entirely sure that I'm following the logic here.

It's only reasonable to expect that WotC can put out high-quality adventures if other large companies can? So if there aren't other large companies putting out high quality adventures, then are you saying that large companies aren't capable of putting out quality stuff more often than small companies?
BTW there really aren't any other tabletop companies that'd be considered comparable to WotC's size- Paizo's the next up as far as TTRPGs go.

Honestly... it kind of makes sense. A big company definitely loses things along the way, even if they gain other advantages. It's much easier to guide a vision, or stay on course, on a small ship with a single captain than it would be on a big one with lots of captains all having a voice on the direction.
This was exactly the point I was trying to suggest.

DarkCrisis stated that WotC should be able to produce better product than other companies because they have a larger staff and more money. But they have no proof that this indeed is at all true. It might merely be that they feel like this should be true, so I was asking if they actually knew of any other large companies (not even on WotC's scale because no one else is) for which this was true... that having more staff and more cash on hand meant they could produce better adventures than a small independent company could, whose only focus was on that singular adventure.

Paizo would be one that I imagine would be closer to WotC's scale in terms of employee numbers, money to spend, and designers/writers who need to keep several plates spinning at one time (not just work on the singular adventure.) But are their adventure paths as editorially sound and logically progressed moreso that WotC's? I don't know. But that's why I was asking.

It's easy to say "WotC has they money and people, they should be able to make the greatest adventures of all time every time!"... but what proof is there that that's at all true?
 

KYRON45

Adventurer
In fact, I worked out the numbers a while back:


So, in the day (per my research a while back), they cost about $7-9, which today would be $25-$30 MSRP. That's just inflation, but my understanding is that printing prices have actually gone up well aheadd of inflation since the 80's...but for the sake of discussion , let's go with $25-$30 as a realistic-ish modern module price point in your FLGS.

Tales from the Yawning Portal is currently $24.99 on Amazon.

So, buying all 7 5E versions of the Yawning Portal Modules as independent booklets (totally doable, obviously) would cost somewhere between $175-$$210.

As opposed to $24.99

looks sidelong at threads where folks are rending their garments and donning sackcloth and ashes over a $10 price increase in hardcovers
The question here then becomes, do I want all of the individual booklets?
 


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