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Best Version of DnD?

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4 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Up until 4th edition, the novels were a much more consistent money maker than the game itself.

 

As I have said before - the lead up and release of 4e was a fumbled Profession[Marketing] roll.

 

It did a lot of damage across the brand - from the miniatures game (which had been another consistent money maker), , to the novels line, to the game itself (quite aside from the rules - I am just talking about the marketing here), they pretty much destroyed their market.

 

5e was nowhere near as offensive in its marketing, but the damage had already been done.

 

Hell, Pathfinder is a result of that borked [Marketing] roll - and has a thriving line of novels. (I've only read a few - including one by James Sutter, which was not all that bad.)

 

The Auld Grump - heck, I am a huge fan of the book Bimbos of the Death Sun, from back in the TSR days....

Bimbos_of_the_Death_Sun_by_Sharyn_McCrum

 

 

Yeah, but that wasn’t a tie-in.

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14 minutes ago, Pingo said:

 

Yeah, but that wasn’t a tie-in.

Well, it kinda tied in with GenCon.... ::P:

 

Wizards hasn't just gotten rid of their D&D novel line - they canned the whole thing, including books with no D&D tie ins.

 

The Auld Grump - 'the authors build castles in the air, the publishers sell them, and the fans live in them'... my favorite line from Bimbos of the Death Sun.

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I have been less than thrilled with the whole way 5e marketing has managed the whole circus. Far as I can tell, Hasbro just wants the intellectual property, the trademark. They seem to have little interest in growing it or exploiting it to any favorable degree; if I didn't know better, I'd wonder if they were just sitting on it until the legal mess finally clears so they can rent the trademark out to them what want to make D&D movies. And it seems to me that all the best D&D merch floating around out there is licensed stuff made by third parties (t-shirts and the like). 

I mean, I don't know what sells as far as D&D. Me? I buy miniatures. Sometimes I buy books. But I disliked the "expensive hardback book every month" sales tactic, and near as I can tell, Hasbro insists on doing basically that, except over a longer timespan. Curse Of Strahd didn't have to be a fifty dollar hardback. Neither did Xanathar's Guide. Jeez, whatever happened to softbacks? Are boxed sets a money loser? Someone explain this to me.

They're selling miniatures now. I wouldn't mind knowing what's doing better, the prepainted blind boxes or the unpainted blisters. Is it a wise tactic to try to move both? And whose idea was it to make it so you can't get the green demon head for less than fifty bucks? What is it with the fifty dollar price point, anyway?

...and, of course, the novels. These days, I can get a Drizz't figure easy enough, but try and find the novels (unless you hit the used bookstores). Have we forgotten why Drizz't became one of the iconic D&D characters to begin with? Have we forgotten how Dragonlance rewrote the game for a while?

I don't get it. You have a license to print money, why would you not do so?

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Maybe it's just not marketing to your sensibilities?

The game is selling very well. Just earlier this year the PHB was topping the book sales charts on Amazon.

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1 hour ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

I have been less than thrilled with the whole way 5e marketing has managed the whole circus. Far as I can tell, Hasbro just wants the intellectual property, the trademark. They seem to have little interest in growing it or exploiting it to any favorable degree; if I didn't know better, I'd wonder if they were just sitting on it until the legal mess finally clears so they can rent the trademark out to them what want to make D&D movies. And it seems to me that all the best D&D merch floating around out there is licensed stuff made by third parties (t-shirts and the like). 

I mean, I don't know what sells as far as D&D. Me? I buy miniatures. Sometimes I buy books. But I disliked the "expensive hardback book every month" sales tactic, and near as I can tell, Hasbro insists on doing basically that, except over a longer timespan. Curse Of Strahd didn't have to be a fifty dollar hardback. Neither did Xanathar's Guide. Jeez, whatever happened to softbacks? Are boxed sets a money loser? Someone explain this to me.
 

 

I rather like hardback books, but yes, Hasbro does seem to insist on them.  I've never priced out the cost of making  softcover vs. hardcover so I can only assume that the margins are better for hardback.

 

Yes, boxed sets are a money loser.  TSR lost money on them and you can only sell so many loss leaders before it becomes a problem.  You could charge more of course but then people would complain about how expensive boxed sets are.

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Boxed sets sell well, but I don't think they have any real profit margin.

 

I know that when Paizo released their Beginner box for Pathfinder they were quite open, even to us what sell their books, that all they were looking for was to break even on the box.

 

And we took a bath on the D&D Essentials beginner box.

 

We were prepped for big sales, and then nothing. Essentials in general didn't do well, but at least we could strip the books. The first two shipments (TWO! Before we sold through ONE!) of the 4e beginner box had to be shipped back.

 

The third we ended up crushing, and we weren't even allowed to steal the dice before hand. Dunc was just about crying about that. We crushed it because Wizards had stopped accepting returns on the box, still paying us back our premium, but they weren't selling anywhere. But they were already in the pipeline, so Wizards kept shipping them, and we kept shipping them back, until we were told to start crushing.

 

It is just so wrong that BAM is still around, while Border's has come to dust. Border's was a lot better about stopping the flow on preordered product when the product just wasn't selling.

5 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Bimbos_of_the_Death_Sun_by_Sharyn_McCrum

 

 

 

That cover is just, wow. :blink: I don't know where to begin.

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6 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

I have been less than thrilled with the whole way 5e marketing has managed the whole circus. Far as I can tell, Hasbro just wants the intellectual property, the trademark. They seem to have little interest in growing it or exploiting it to any favorable degree; if I didn't know better, I'd wonder if they were just sitting on it until the legal mess finally clears so they can rent the trademark out to them what want to make D&D movies. And it seems to me that all the best D&D merch floating around out there is licensed stuff made by third parties (t-shirts and the like). 

I mean, I don't know what sells as far as D&D. Me? I buy miniatures. Sometimes I buy books. But I disliked the "expensive hardback book every month" sales tactic, and near as I can tell, Hasbro insists on doing basically that, except over a longer timespan. Curse Of Strahd didn't have to be a fifty dollar hardback. Neither did Xanathar's Guide. Jeez, whatever happened to softbacks? Are boxed sets a money loser? Someone explain this to me.

They're selling miniatures now. I wouldn't mind knowing what's doing better, the prepainted blind boxes or the unpainted blisters. Is it a wise tactic to try to move both? And whose idea was it to make it so you can't get the green demon head for less than fifty bucks? What is it with the fifty dollar price point, anyway?

...and, of course, the novels. These days, I can get a Drizz't figure easy enough, but try and find the novels (unless you hit the used bookstores). Have we forgotten why Drizz't became one of the iconic D&D characters to begin with? Have we forgotten how Dragonlance rewrote the game for a while?

I don't get it. You have a license to print money, why would you not do so?

 

Box sets lose money bad, from what I can tell after reading and hearing about stuff from the TSR days from people involved. The hardcovers, though, I really like. I don't like tiny, fall apart splatbooks that are basically just taped together. Besides, each one of those hardcovers has been around 200 pages, they release one every 3 or 4 months, and they're about $30-40 each. That's as opposed to one or more 32-64 page, stapled, books every month that run about $15-25 each. It's generally a cheaper or equal setup for the consumer and it's doing really well for the publisher. It's providing people with books that are a combination of adventure and gazetteer, while keeping the number of additional rules lower than in the past.

 

Honestly, I really love it. The books look better on a bookshelf, they're sturdier, they're more likely to be carried by even general bookstores, and they don't fall out of print all the time like the smaller, more frequently published, books did. It used to be that I couldn't find any book that wasn't a hardcover, because I didn't have an FLGS that was worth a damn and the local bookstores didn't sell enough to order them regularly. Last time I went to the local B&N they had at least one copy of everything for 5e.

 

But that's just me. I still need to pick up copies of about half of them. Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, both Tyranny of Dragons books, Out of the Abyss, Storm King's Thunder, and Princes of the Apocalypse. I'm actually wishing they would go back to publishing more adventures and cut back on the non-adventure stuff. Maybe one every 2 years instead of one every year. I would like to see a second monster manual come out, though. Reprint the monsters that have been included in the other books, and throw a bunch of "new" ones in.

 

I will also say that if you're looking for simple adventures rather than the big campaign style stuff of the hardcovers, they do sell the adventurer's league stuff as PDFs on the DM's Guild website. They're only a couple dollars a piece, or you can usually buy the whole season's worth for about $30-40, depending on how many are in the season. They're official adventures, they're usually meant to be run in the span of an hour or two, and you can usually tie multiple together pretty easily. Use the AL specific stuff, like the faction missions and crap, as side quests or just ignore them. They work pretty dang well, so long as you're not looking to go above level 12-13. Each season is based on the latest hardcover campaign, so they've got adventures in Barovia, Chult, the Sword Coast, the Underdark, etc.

Edited by Unruly
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On the topic of hardcover, that's what I love about my Shadowrun books.  Sure, they're expensive, but they feel like they'll last a lot longer (and handle abuse better) than softcover, like my poor poor Rifts books from twenty years ago. 

 

I've been tempted to get back into DnD myself O_o ... Kind of miss it. 

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On 4/8/2018 at 11:16 AM, TheAuldGrump said:

Up until 4th edition, the novels were a much more consistent money maker than the game itself.

 

As I have said before - the lead up and release of 4e was a fumbled Profession[Marketing] roll.

 

It did a lot of damage across the brand - from the miniatures game (which had been another consistent money maker), , to the novels line, to the game itself (quite aside from the rules - I am just talking about the marketing here), they pretty much destroyed their market.

 

5e was nowhere near as offensive in its marketing, but the damage had already been done.

 

Hell, Pathfinder is a result of that borked [Marketing] roll - and has a thriving line of novels. (I've only read a few - including one by James Sutter, which was not all that bad.)

 

The Auld Grump - heck, I am a huge fan of the book Bimbos of the Death Sun, from back in the TSR days....

Bimbos_of_the_Death_Sun_by_Sharyn_McCrum

 

Ohhh I read that book!! and Zombies Of The Gene Pool!

 

Better than anything I've read from Salvatore...

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On 4/9/2018 at 2:38 PM, Crowley said:

Ohhh I read that book!! and Zombies Of The Gene Pool!

 

Better than anything I've read from Salvatore...

Sharyn McCrumb is an amazingly good writer, with some weird ability to draw parallels.

 

My favorite is St. Dale, which compares the way folks were following the places where the late racer Dale Earnhardt had been with medieval religious pilgrimages.

Edited by PaganMegan
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My favorite series by her is the Ballad series, based on old folk songs, with The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter at the top of the list.

 

The Auld Grump

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