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


Heh. There is another side to this as well. The VTT players like me. See, something like these very loose, episodic adventure paths are great because I can pretty easily repurpose them for my own games. Because when I buy something like LIght of Xarysis, I get all the maps already done with light and sight lines, every encounter already set, all good to go. Which means I can yoink those small six room dungeons pretty easily and repurpose them without having to wade through paragraphs of exposition.

So, if you're homebrewing, or simply modifying an existing adventure (Masfroth's Mighty Digressions from Candlekeep mysteries makes an appearance in my Dragonheist campaign, for example), this light format is great.

And the bigger problem with burying all this setting lore in modules is that it becomes very hard to access. OTOH, something like the Forgotten Realms Wiki is a better setting lore resource than any book could hope to be.

I don't want setting books. I want setting wikis or some sort of electronic, searchable format that combines all the lore into one place. I certainly don't want to trawl through fifteen different books just to learn some background material on the Cloister of Saint Ramedar.

log in or register to remove this ad


Bookscan data showed the new books selling around 1/3rd to half of the older adventures in a similar time frame.
That is not at all what it showed. First, assuming you're referring to the Bookscan data discussed in Alphastream's postings, they're from July 2023; not enough for an entire year of sales for the most recent adventures, including Dragonlance.

But let's look at what the Bookscan data show about first-year's sales for recent WotC adventures:
  • Icewind Dale (Sep 2020): 66k - the 2nd-highest first-year sales of ANY 5e adventure (including CoS, ToA, etc.)
  • Candlekeep (Mar 2021): 62k - the 3rd-highest first-year sales of any 5e adventure
  • Witchlight (Sep 2021): 45k - 6th-highest first-year sales, similar to Dragon Heist and Saltmarsh
  • Netherdeep (Mar 2022): 20k - Okay, that's pretty low, but this is a Critical Role product.
  • Radiant Citadel (Jul 2022): 25k - This is the one recent WotC-created adventure that didn't do too well (by 5e standards).
  • Spelljammer (Aug 2022): 84k - During a glut of adventures, at a $70 price point, it's the FASTEST-SELLING 5E ADVENTURE EVER.
  • Dragonlance (Dec 2022): 31k - This would be in the mid-range, IF this represented a full year of sales. A naive extrapolation would put it in 4th place all-time; that's probably generous, but it's definitely in the upper tier of adventure sales.
  • Golden Vault (Feb 2023): 19k - With only 5 months of sales; a naive extrapolation would put it in line with Witchlight, Dragon Heist, and Saltmarsh.
So no, I dispute the contention that recent WotC adventures, overall, aren't "catching fire".


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Reading the new Dragonlance thread and seeing that "The DL adventure book didn't sale enough" and me thinking "No kidding, could it be because it was subpar?"

It's not like it really gave enough info to spawn further homemade adventures. It gives just enough fluff to get the premade adventure rollling and thats that.

Which to be fair it most of their adventure book output.

Has any of their adventure books caught fire except for Ravenloft which got a 2nd book. Spelljammer flopped? Planescape? More one and done products that are supposed to bring in the big fan bucks but....

Of course, there are the expansion books that add new races and classes and spells etc etc etc which everyone would want where as the adventure books are probably bought by only the DM. And I'm of the opinion that you don't NEED those expansion books. Everything you need is right there in the core 3 (plus whatever book has the updated Ranger).

It just seems really odd to hinge things on the sale of your one and done adventure book. Make a setting book. Everyone might buy a setting book. Not everyone is going to buy a 3/4ths adventure book with the barest mention of world building.

So yeah, any maybe have a 1-10 or 20 list of sales (that don't include the core 3)?

I'm going to repost this pic from the DL thread cause its funny and it fits.

View attachment 345600
You seem to be conflating “I didn’t like it” with “it was bad and flopped”.


Actually, I'm thinking more something akin to Red Hand of Doom: a tight level spread (5-10), detailed area with lots of NPCs, dungeons, and quests, and an overarching story element.

Curse of Strahd is close (it sags a little without a good DM to provide reasons to explore until Strahd calls, esp if the cards put most of the quest items IN the castle). Wild Beyond the Witchlight is likewise close. But adventures like Light of Xarysis or Turn of the Fortune's Wheel are too epic to be crammed into "explore this six room dungeon. Congrats, gain a level. Next chapter" structure.

Near the end of Strahd now. Most of the items were in the castle.

RAW the campaign would have collapsed Amber temple.

Bored of undead.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm only including time because of SCAG..

But to me the themes of the later adventures don't invoke a "must buy for the feel" feel. You never feel that you need them or are missing out not having them or that they make the work so much easier.
You don’t, and that’s fair, but I have exactly that feeling from the recent adventures.
I am in sales by occupation. The WOTC adventure don't upsell well.

I'm sorry, but, am I missing a point here? In what way are WotC adventure books not catching fire?
Yeah seriously it’s just a weird thing that people think.

Like…no, Spelljammer didn’t sell poorly. Sorry?

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads