D&D 5E The Audience - Do you feel like you're the target audience?


well... in some business models, there is such a thing known as the whale - the few individuals buying the majority of the products. Those whales are worth listening to, because they are they one buying!

In D&D, those are often the DMs...
Indeed. And for a very long time, D&D did indeed cater to them. With 5e the model has shifted significantly - sell fewer different items, but sell way more copies of each. Overall, that's working well for them.

In the new model, Whales are catered to with DM's Guild, and especially with those ultra-deluxe boxed set versions that G&B put out.

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Oh, absolutely. I mean, Dungeon of the Mad Mage is incredibly modular. Basically fifteen, sixteen more or less self contained dungeons. I've already borrowed two of them for other games. Another @M.T.Black production is Rats of Waterdeep which I absolutely adore (all the boxed text is written in the voice of one of the NPC's, a conceit that I love and when I run it, the NPC actually monologues scenes and then wonders why people look at him funny). Ghosts of Saltmarsh had a couple of adventures borrowed now - I'm currently using the Lizard folk lair from Danger at Dunwater in my Spelljammer game. One of the Candlekeep adventures featured in my Waterdeep Dragon Heist game as a side trek. On and on.

Again, thinking about it, I wonder how much of this is impacted by the fact that I only buy stuff through Fantasy Grounds. Which means everything is cross referenced and indexed. I own physical copies of the core 3, but, that's it. So when people talk about being able to play mix and match with adventure material, for me it's so easy. Drag and drop and poof, I've got an entirely new adventure, completely ready to go, in far less time than I could ever do it by hand.
I only own physical books, and I've found they work great this way. Iy helps that I'm able to hold what I have in my mind and then go find it when I need it, but my memory is abnormally good.


from discussions here, people often do that with the 5e books as well, except that now they have to buy all 6 or so (as they come as one hardcover), not just the 2 they are interested in running
If you do an analysis of what the old Modules cost adjusted for inflation, the big books are actually a good package deal.

Indeed. The difference, however, was that most of the modules* in those quasi-paths could be split out and run standalone if one desired. I've run G1 twice (or three times?), G2 once, and G3 once; every time as a standalone adventure in each case.

* - the exception being the Dragonlance modules: I own 11 out of 12 and IMO there's only one or two in there that are even vaguely salvageable anyway; the rest are poor.
Out of curiosity, do you know which 1 or 2 you consider salvageable?


When I had a 32 page adventure like Sunless Citadel, I knew I could pick it up and use the thing within 15 minutes. It wasn't a year-long commitment to a singular theme. We could be off doing an urban adventure next, on an ocean-going vessel heading towards an uncharted jungle, or who knows what else!
Now we're locked in to 300+ pages of adventure content, spanning 1-13+ levels. "Everything is a frozen waste with so sunlight." OR "You're dealing with Strahd in Barovia for a year - hope you don't want a break from that."


Morkus from Orkus
BUT... Having to write in 30-40% new content because an adventure isn't sufficiently fleshed out? Not having an index and missing an important chart in table of contents so I have to hunt it down? Gaping holes in the narrative that require in-depth reading, note-taking, reworking, and creating new connective tissue? Taking 500 words to say something that could be distilled to a paragraph? Referencing other books or other pages on the same book, requiring flipping about, when a tidbit of info could have been included inline in the text? Monster stat blocks bloated with combat info while the essential character of the monster is hidden in text? Those things require more time.
I've found that if I have to re-write/add a significant portion of an adventure, it's actually a lot more work for me than just making it up whole cloth. It's tougher to make seamless changes that fit in well to an adventure than to seamless write it from scratch where it all just sort of flows.


I've found that if I have to re-write/add a significant portion of an adventure, it's actually a lot more work for me than just making it up whole cloth. It's tougher to make seamless changes that fit in well to an adventure than to seamless write it from scratch where it all just sort of flows.
Hmm, I've found passing around some wine or whiskey at the game table helps with that.


Personally I would find a number of character, monster, or organization-themed dungeon templates more helpful.

Say you have three example lairs for A'Kin, a table of likely themes for his lair guards and traps, like "Mini-Shemeshka Mannequin Golems - treat as twig blights" and "Living Secrets - treat as shadows", and possible places that Macguffins might be stored, like inside of doors knobs of doors that lead to portals.


I don't know that I'll be able to do that with Dark Sun or Psionics. Those things have strong identities in me beyond Ravenloft and other settings.
I half agree with you. The problem with Psionics is that it's had multiple strong identities, and the fanbase can't agree on which one should have primacy. Dark Sun though... I never actually played a campaign in it, but I had one of the novels and both of the CRPGs. So those are what shape my mental image of it, particularly the latter. And I really don't know how they'd update it for today.

Maybe they could do it. Mad Max pulled off a good new movie in the "wasteland apocalypse" genre. But that's a rarity, and the genres that Dark Sun was building on are even more out of fashion than they were 30 years ago. Not to mention the many, many problematic elements that would either need to be removed or treated with very precise care.

Also it's not just the setting. Is Dark Sun really Dark Sun if you don't have scarcity of metal and elemental Clerics and Preserving/Defiling magic? But all of those would need in depth mechanical support for transitioning into a 5e framework. How do you even do Preserving and Defiling with the proliferation of arcane casters? To say nothing of the "everyone has a Psionic Wild Talent" bit.

I dunno. I have some fond memories of Dark Sun, but boy would it be a heavy lift to update it. Maybe some things just aren't feasible.

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