D&D 5E The cost of D&D 5E (it ain't so bad!)

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
If I bought physical copies of books anymore, I wouldn't really hesitate with the price. It seems well in line with the middle class American income. I'm more curious as to what a digital offering would look like, if there is one. I would probably scoff at $150 for the three copies of the books as PDFs. That seems a bit excessive. I'd considered $20 or so a piece for digital offerings to be right on target (although I think at best it will be $35).
Yeah, my friends and I were discussing this yesterday. I agree, WOTC will either choose to charge full price for PDFs or they will go as low as $35.

They are already charging $18 for PDF only versions of adventures that they'd likely charge $30 dollars for in store. I suspect we will see PDF copies from dndclassics.com but they will be $35.
 

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Kinak

First Post
And again, I disagree. I just explained the cost to see a movie. It's fair for me to say that movies are a reasonable form of entertainment. You can get cheaper, you can get more expensive, but it's your average level of entertainment.
If you want to talk averages, they're fairly easy to find. All movie tickets sold in 2013 total $10.9 billion. Spread across 315 million Americans, that comes out to $34.60 each annually.

So, the 2.6 person average family could spend their annual movie budget and get a PHB. Throw in popcorn and soda, they can afford an MM.

Granted, that assumes your 1.6 other household members are okay with not going to the theater all year so you can get said books. And, like all averages of this type, a lot of families spend far below the average.

As a bonus average, the average American household spends $118 on books every year.

And I think, for most people, it's really not. If you cannot afford the $100 this will be through Amazon, or $33 for just a PHB, or whatever digital offering they give you, then you probably are not a major part of their target audience anyway. If your standard is "free", then they really shouldn't care much about you, because they wouldn't stay in business if you were their target audience.
It's not that I have a problem with dropping a hundred dollars on RPG books. We easily do that in the GenCon exhibit hall every year on top of my Adventure Path subscription, which itself runs about as much as the revealed 5e product line.

But $150, even $100, isn't just going to magically appear in our budget. And 5e won't add hours to the day so we can play it. We can make room for either, but those have costs associated with them. We can't ignore basic economics, even for the sake of D&D.

There are certainly people who just have more money than things they want to spend it on; I've absolutely been there... and have the unused RPG books to prove it. But most people, including myself at the moment, have to make decisions about how they use their money.

Sometimes that means weighing three RPG books you might never use against tickets for the next ten exciting movies.

Cheers!
Kinak
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I stand corrected about the Pathfinder Bestiary, thanks for the info.

13th Age also has all the mechanics in a SRD (it's d20 OGL as well), but not the information about the default setting. Since there's some mechanical tie in to setting (though it doesn't have to be their setting), while you can play for $0 it would also involve some required setting prep time from the DM. (+ players if you like collaborative setting design.)

And I have gotten spoiled by having physical + PDF copies of everything. Means I can carry all my books on tablet instead of massive backpack. Some publishers (like Evil Hat) will even send you the PDF if you just scan them a receipt from your FLGS for the best of both worlds.
 

Hussar

Legend
So buy a soccer ball (or football if you live in the states) then. Same amount of potential fun and even less expensive. If bar or cinema visits are a valid comparisons to the D&D core books, this one is too.

But that's the point. Decent soccer ball is thirty bucks. Hundred bucks for shoes. Not a whole lot of difference here. And it's pretty hard to share shoes.
 

scramasax

First Post
It is not the cost for the book that I have problem with. It is the fact that player will have to buy a player 2, 3 , 4 , revised edition, extension for class, spell template etc.

I play in many systems from Call of Cthulhu, warhammer, shadowrun, vampire, pathfinder but D&D is the one that ask the player to buy more books than all of them.
 

Moreover, I don't think WotC is counting on revenue from the sort of person who balks at spending $150 on multiple years' worth of entertainment. The sort of person who sees that as a poor value proposition is probably not going to be a reliable revenue generator going forward - their financial situation is probably shaky enough that they shouldn't be buying any hardcover gaming books. WotC, like nearly every entertainment company, is targeting people with disposable income.

Actually, my income level is on the high end of middle class, and I live
in an affordable part of the United States. I have a lot of disposable income, and own close to 200 rpg systems (core books), not to mention all the splatbooks, supplements, etc. I have been buying rpg materials since the 70s.

i expect value equivalent to what I'm paying, though. If Paizo can deliver a full game (minus the bestiaries) for $49, so can WotC. Why would I spend an extra $50 because WotC is getting greedy? That's money I can put in the bank, or use to buy a core rule book for another game that is a complete package.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Keep in mind that prices aren't fixed in stone. They can change over time. In 3e the launch price was low, perhaps WotC knew that RPG were in decline in popularity and wanted to boost sales, then the prices went up. It might happen the opposite now, that price launch is high because WotC knows that a lot of people are anxious to buy 5e asap, and may be lowered later once most hardcore gamers have the core books, who knows? We live in an era where a lot of consumers think it's normal to camp outside a mall the night before so that they can buy the latest iGadget on the release day, or pay a higher price to order it in advance, even tho said product is going to remain on sale for years to come.
 

Sonny

Adventurer
Actually, my income level is on the high end of middle class, and I live
in an affordable part of the United States. I have a lot of disposable income, and own close to 200 rpg systems (core books), not to mention all the splatbooks, supplements, etc. I have been buying rpg materials since the 70s.

i expect value equivalent to what I'm paying, though. If Paizo can deliver a full game (minus the bestiaries) for $49, so can WotC. Why would I spend an extra $50 because WotC is getting greedy? That's money I can put in the bank, or use to buy a core rule book for another game that is a complete package.

Except costs to develop the rulebooks are not the same for Paizo and WoTC. Paizo re-used a lot of art assets from their adventure paths in the Core Rulebook, helping to bring costs down. They also spent a lot less money/time "developing" Pathfinder than WoTC has spent on creating 5e from the ground up.
 



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