D&D General Top selling 5E official non-core 3 books? / Why aren't adventure books catching fire?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think that some reasons why adventures don't do as well as the supplementary books are 1) a lot of people like creating their own adventures, but supplements include many useful new things that the DM may not want to or have time to create, and 2) adventures are often one and done for DMs, since many of us don't run for multiple groups. Better to spend money on something useful for 20 campaigns rather than only for 1 campaign.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

In my opinion, the reason why modules don't sell well is because of two reasons:

1. Wizards doesn't put enough history of these places or their associated places into the modules themselves. They expect the DMs to already know all about the history via other sources that aren't available anymore or from other iterations of DnD itself.

2. DMs of this generation are expecting everything handed to them and to not have to do any sort of work in order to actually make the module work and be fun. They get pissed when they have to actually do any form of research outside of the module itself to run the adventure.

Back in the day, modules were maybe a total of 28 pages, maybe more, and I honestly haven't heard too many complaints about them being lacking in information or being boring, but I hear far more complaints about the newer modules that are 100+ pages. This tells me that modules back in the day had more history in them than the ones now, and that DMs today are expecting to have everything done for them without having to actually think even with their 100+ page modules. This could easily be solved though in two ways:

1. Print books like Van Richten's with more of the history of these areas that a DM could pick up optionally to run a campaign. This would encourage people to pick up the modules if they knew they could also pick up a book that has the area's history and whatnot. I mean, this would only encourage Lazy DMs to keep being lazy, and honesty I don't think they will ever stop complaining regardless of what is published. With that said, at least Wizards could point to the supplement and say they have provided it all in one place instead of having to scour the internet for everything. Having modules already 100+ pages and then trying to add history into that would make the books 200+in some cases, which are heavy and clunky to play with really.

2. DMs need to accept the fact that being a DM takes work, work that you might not be ready for and you should really consider that when you take on that role. DMs have more tools now than they did back in the day, where it was literally only graph paper as a resource and one's imagination if you wanted a map that wasn't printed in the module. If you don't want to do a few extra minutes in either coming up with a roll table for encounters, or look up on the wiki pages about the place you are playing in, then DMing is not for you.

I'm not saying DMs need to pour all their free time and energy into looking for information and fleshing out modules, but that's the entire job of the DM is to do that, it's been that way since the inception of Dungeons and Dragons; it's up to the DM to do the work to make the module run and make it fun. WIth that said, Wizards needs to consider making the history of these places more accessable and less scattered throughout different interations of DnD as well as their modules that no one can really purchase anymore. They could print a book of the history for the peopel that want it, or they culd make one centralized website with it on there so that DMs can reference it.

As for 3rd party things...I don't tend to purchase those, those types of things make me a bit leery. I had a bad experince with them (honestly probably would blamde the DM on it as it was one of my first groups that wasn't my family lol) so my opinion on them is a bit biased. There ar epeopel on here far more versed in 3rd party things than I am and probably far less tainted by bad experiences than myself with them lol.
 




Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Could it be that the adventure and setting books that are created by WOTC are not cool enough in theme and innovation to make up for not being made super early and having years and years to sell?

Ebberon and Strahd... cool innovative stuff.
SCAG... came out long time ago.
 

This isn't rocket science.
Who is going to buy a rules book? Possibly anyone.
Who is going to buy an Adventure? DMs, and even then mostly ones who plan to run them. I rarely run written adventures and only have purchased Ghosts of Saltmash, which I foolishly did in the hopes of real seafaring rules for a Pirate campaign I was planning at the time. It's one of the books I am looking to sell off.
Smaller audience. Smaller sales. It's simple math.
 


mamba

Legend
Could it be that the adventure and setting books that are created by WOTC are not cool enough in theme and innovation to make up for not being made super early and having years and years to sell?
I think we can rule out the years to sell part, sales over the first 12 months of the release of the product are down, we are not comparing lifetime sales.

Why that is, not sure, it could be that if you are looking for a new adventure to run, you can now choose between 20 instead of between 5, as they are all still in print, but they could also be not as good as some earlier ones. I was not particularly impressed with the last ones I got and there certainly were complaints about DL, SJ or Shattered Obelisk
 

Hussar

Legend
I think we can rule out the years to sell part, sales over the first 12 months of the release of the product are down, we are not comparing lifetime sales.

Why that is, not sure, it could be that if you are looking for a new adventure to run, you can now choose between 20 instead of between 5, as they are all still in print, but they could also be not as good as some earlier ones. I was not particularly impressed with the last ones I got and there certainly were complaints about DL, SJ or Shattered Obelisk
Meh, there have been complaints about every module WotC publishes.

But they are still selling fantastically well. As in, nothing sells better other than WotC rule books. As I look at it, Curse of Strahd is actually ranked higher than both Tasha's and Xanathar's.

And 2 of the top 10 D&D products on Amazon are modules - Strahd and Shattered Obelisk. I mean, Rime is the worst selling module right now as I look at it at #14479 in books. ((Note, the Von Richten's Guide actually ranks lower)). To put that in perspective, Pathfinder's 2e core book is ranked 7861. Yup, it's better. True. But, it's still not as good as Storm King's Thunder at 5824. That's an 7 year old module that's selling better than Pathfinder Core.

I have no idea where this idea that WotC modules are doing badly comes from. They are doing unbelievably, fantastically well. A 7 year old module in the past likely wouldn't even be in print. The tail on WotC adventures is eye poppingly healthy.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top