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5E WotC Dungeons & Dragons 2020 Product Survey

Parmandur

Legend
The 3e FRCS is certainly usable, but then again so are the guides to all other settings from previous editions as well.

But this is a well-worn road to a discussion that has been done and re-done here ad nauseum.

Basically, all Realms fans want is to see the rest of the setting get some coverage. This is fine if it's done via a new setting book, or by placing hardcover adventures in new regions like was done with Chult, or by having Ed and other Realms experts create "semi-official" books on the DMs Guild like what was done for the Border Kingdoms. Any of these three are fine. They just need to choose one (and indicate that choice to us so we know what to expect) and go with it.

Well, M. T. Black is doing more products in conjunction with Ed Greenwood.

Honestly, they are opaque to avoid overpromiaing: if they say "we're doing X now," and conditions change...a lot of people would be upset that X stopped.
 

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darjr

I crit!
Ed worked with Alex Kammer and Greg for the Border Kingdoms as well.

And according to Alex it was given the overview by WotC so it’s Ed Greenwood cannon and WotC cannon.

listen to Alex talk about it herehttps://dontsplitthepodcastnetwork.com/table-top-babble/189
 


guachi

Explorer
I'll admit I wrote in Mystara for my campaign as it's actually what I use. Has the benefit of being new to basically every player so I can add or subtract anything and it's all good.

Lots and lots and lots of DM questions, which is good as that's all I do so I felt useful.

EDIT: I also downvoted Chris Perkins and Ed Greenwood on the creators as they were the only names on the list who have made products I actually haven't liked and are still alive.
 
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jmartkdr2

Adventurer
The 3e FRCS is certainly usable, but then again so are the guides to all other settings from previous editions as well.

But this is a well-worn road to a discussion that has been done and re-done here ad nauseum.

Basically, all Realms fans want is to see the rest of the setting get some coverage. This is fine if it's done via a new setting book, or by placing hardcover adventures in new regions like was done with Chult, or by having Ed and other Realms experts create "semi-official" books on the DMs Guild like what was done for the Border Kingdoms. Any of these three are fine. They just need to choose one (and indicate that choice to us so we know what to expect) and go with it.
I'
d push back and say they don't need to limit themselves to just one - they could do a mix of the three.

They'd just need to make sure one person is approving canon so they don't contradict each other to hard. (Little details changing is just unreliable narration, but two different rules of Thay is a bit much.)
 


RobJN

Explorer
Part of me also was hoping we might see some conversion of Arneson adventures like City of the Gods and Temple of the Frog. Sprinkle in a little Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and we can get a Sci/Fantasy Anthology Module set.
In going through which classic treatments WotC has used (Giants? Check. Dragons? Check Ravenloft? Check Drow/Underdark? Check), I've had a Temple of the Frog/City of the Gods/Barrier Peaks/Tale of the Comet mashup on the wish list for years, now.....
 

lkj

Adventurer
To monetize the point of play. The physical D&D products, like the Starter Set, that sold well at Target and Walmart pre-pandemic are not selling right now...and likely won't be for two years.

If the pandemic has changed consumer habits, and WotC has a choice between setups like it already has, or releasing it's own product and capturing more of the total revenue share...rest assured WotC is going to hunt for Dollars.

Maybe. But it's not clear to me that trying to become a software company is the smoothest route to the most money. Nor do I have any idea what their markets look like right now. But of course that's about as far as we can go with this discussion given the information available.

AD
 

The strategy by Hasbro is "don't put all the eggs in one basket". It wants to make money with transmedia franchises, and the best promotion today are the media productions and the videogames, but both need a lot of time to publish the right smashing-hit. Not even the main cinema studios know all the secrets to produce blockbusters and some projects are failed. Today the TTRPG players are two types, teenages and young who haven't got enough money to buy all the sourcebooks, and adults who haven't got enough time to play. This second group is more like collectors, like music fans buying the compilation of their favorite singer or musical band.

And online videogame are the easiest way to play with others. Thanks Fortnite I can play with people from other continents and not even speak a languange I could understand.
 


jasper

Rotten DM
To monetize the point of play. The physical D&D products, like the Starter Set, that sold well at Target and Walmart pre-pandemic are not selling right now...and likely won't be for two years.

If the pandemic has changed consumer habits, and WotC has a choice between setups like it already has, or releasing it's own product and capturing more of the total revenue share...rest assured WotC is going to hunt for Dollars.
Hmm When I was picking up my D&D minis from Walmart this weekend, 3 starter sets were also on the shelf. Along with various that Ticker to ride game, Cantaan ? and other board games I use only find in FLGS.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Hmm When I was picking up my D&D minis from Walmart this weekend, 3 starter sets were also on the shelf. Along with various that Ticker to ride game, Cantaan ? and other board games I use only find in FLGS.

Oh yeah. That's been going on for close to 10 years now (varies by location). WM/Target/Toys-R-Us{:( }/etc... Odds are most of those things are being supplied by an outside vendor, not the main WM supply channel. Same as the Sports Cards, Pokemon cards, etc.
 

lkj

Adventurer
WOTC: The future is virtual and electronic!

Also WOTC: What? PDFs? Why would we sell those?

Honestly? That's not a crazy take. PDF's are not the best form of digital medium anymore by a longshot. I find the DDB digital form to be much, much more useful. I can see why WotC doesn't feel a strong need to make them available.

Note: I recognize there are other advantages of pdf's (e.g., some increased portability, like to a kindle, and that once you have a copy you aren't relying on a service to maintain access to it.).

AD
 

Honestly? That's not a crazy take. PDF's are not the best form of digital medium anymore by a longshot. I find the DDB digital form to be much, much more useful. I can see why WotC doesn't feel a strong need to make them available.

I can sympathize with this, and I'm not married to PDFs myself (they're an aging and not-very-good technology), but I think the key issue is really simple:

that once you have a copy you aren't relying on a service to maintain access to it.).

WotC have shown complete willingness to shut down digital services people have spent a lot of money on, and other services/websites which probably cost them peanuts to keep up, have likewise been casually shut down.

They refuse to make any promises on the subject, and there's no particular reason to believe that once they're "done" with 5E, that they'll actually ever allow long-term store-able digital copies of 5E stuff to be created by D&D Beyond or Roll 20 or whatever, despite people having paid hundreds of dollars for digital 5E materials. D&D Beyond have said that if they ever shut down, if you use your app and download all the books before they shut down, you'll still have access via that, but obviously if you then had to wipe your phone or whatever, that would be that. You'd have no legal way to get the stuff back (and on Apple, perhaps no way at all without jailbreaking the phone, though I dunno), unless you had a backup and were able to sideload it back on to your phone/tablet, and that actually worked (which it might not, depending on how it was all set up).

I do think it's likely that when 5E is done, WotC will release PDFs of all the books via DMs Guild, but given their pricing on 4E books, you'd likely be looking at spending hundreds of dollars to get stuff you already had.

People want PDFs for a lot of reasons, but I think this is the most common one - the ability to legally and straightforwardly back up their books in an era when that should be trivial.
 

That is why I don't buy stuff on Beyond. DM Guild has at least downloadable files. An App is vulnerable to the market trend and can end up being unsupported in the blink of an eye. And when your phone or tablet breaks down, you're out of luck.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I guess I don't see D&D Beyond as a permanent archive. For me it is what I use for active play. It allows me to conveniently read and reference the material during games and when on the go, without having to tote around heavy books. I still buy the books for filling my bookshelves at home and because I enjoy paging through books when relaxing at home. The books will last as long as I do or my interest in the game does.

If the official WotC content was made available for puchase for the Foundry, I'd buy the content a third time. The saved time and convenience is worth it given how many hours of play time I get out of material. So I see a lot of value in digital material, even when tied to specific software or platforms.
 

lkj

Adventurer
I can sympathize with this, and I'm not married to PDFs myself (they're an aging and not-very-good technology), but I think the key issue is really simple:



WotC have shown complete willingness to shut down digital services people have spent a lot of money on, and other services/websites which probably cost them peanuts to keep up, have likewise been casually shut down.

They refuse to make any promises on the subject, and there's no particular reason to believe that once they're "done" with 5E, that they'll actually ever allow long-term store-able digital copies of 5E stuff to be created by D&D Beyond or Roll 20 or whatever, despite people having paid hundreds of dollars for digital 5E materials. D&D Beyond have said that if they ever shut down, if you use your app and download all the books before they shut down, you'll still have access via that, but obviously if you then had to wipe your phone or whatever, that would be that. You'd have no legal way to get the stuff back (and on Apple, perhaps no way at all without jailbreaking the phone, though I dunno), unless you had a backup and were able to sideload it back on to your phone/tablet, and that actually worked (which it might not, depending on how it was all set up).

I do think it's likely that when 5E is done, WotC will release PDFs of all the books via DMs Guild, but given their pricing on 4E books, you'd likely be looking at spending hundreds of dollars to get stuff you already had.

People want PDFs for a lot of reasons, but I think this is the most common one - the ability to legally and straightforwardly back up their books in an era when that should be trivial.

Yep. I think this is a completely reasonable concern and a good reason, as a consumer, to want a pdf. I was specifically responding to the idea that WotC is being completely clueless about the importance of digital mediums by not offering them. As an 'archival' copy, they make a lot of sense. But, as you note, as an active electronic medium, they're pretty out of date. There are just much better ways to deliver content electronically.

That's not to say that WotC has no reason to provide them. Making consumers happy is a strong reason. I presume that, given they do provide older material in pdf form, they've done their own calculus with regard to providing pdfs of current material. And, for the moment, they've decided it's not worth it. I know there have been very lengthy discussions on the board about whether they have made the right decision. I don't really have an opinion on that. I just don't have the information to evaluate their decision from a business perspective.

AD
 

But, as you note, as an active electronic medium, they're pretty out of date. There are just much better ways to deliver content electronically.

I definitely agree. App-delivery method that is used by Beyond's app is one of them - I find it vastly better than using PDFs (on any reader) on Android/Chromebook. But when they shut down, unless they do something very clever, which seems unlikely, as it would require spending money when they're shutting down, it's just a matter of time before that content is lost.

Based on the recent WotC survey, I'd say 6E or something like it cannot actually be that far away, either. It sounds particularly like they're interested in entirely occupying the same space that Beyond/Roll 20 are, and then expanding considerably beyond that space. So this may well be an issue sooner rather than later.

That's not to say that WotC has no reason to provide them.

Well, I don't doubt they'll provide them - when 5E is done, and via DM's Guild, forcing anyone who wants them to re-buy them.

That's the key issue for me - I don't expect WotC to just let the material be lost, like some companies might (even big ones), but rather to not let Beyond/Roll 20/etc. provide long-term/archival copies, even though the material has already been paid for.

I don't think anyone would be particularly talking about PDFs if there was a good prospect of archival-style copies via other digital methods. No-one loves that ancient format that much.
 

lkj

Adventurer
I definitely agree. App-delivery method that is used by Beyond's app is one of them - I find it vastly better than using PDFs (on any reader) on Android/Chromebook. But when they shut down, unless they do something very clever, which seems unlikely, as it would require spending money when they're shutting down, it's just a matter of time before that content is lost.

Based on the recent WotC survey, I'd say 6E or something like it cannot actually be that far away, either. It sounds particularly like they're interested in entirely occupying the same space that Beyond/Roll 20 are, and then expanding considerably beyond that space. So this may well be an issue sooner rather than later.



Well, I don't doubt they'll provide them - when 5E is done, and via DM's Guild, forcing anyone who wants them to re-buy them.

That's the key issue for me - I don't expect WotC to just let the material be lost, like some companies might (even big ones), but rather to not let Beyond/Roll 20/etc. provide long-term/archival copies, even though the material has already been paid for.

I don't think anyone would be particularly talking about PDFs if there was a good prospect of archival-style copies via other digital methods. No-one loves that ancient format that much.


That's all fair enough. Though I don't get the same impression from the survey at all. I guess we'll see!

AD
 

Though I don't get the same impression from the survey at all.

You didn't think the constant detailed questioning about how you play D&D post-COVID, and particularly how you play D&D via online tools and stuff, both as a player and a DM suggested an interest in that sphere?

And the only way they could cleanly get into that sphere is with a new edition which they didn't license out to Roll 20/Beyond/etc.
 

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