Essentials Content Delivery Strategy

DnD Essentials HotFL Essentials Content Delivery StrategyFuture player supplements, such as Heroes of Sword and Spell Essentials Content Delivery Strategy and Heroes of Shadow Essentials Content Delivery Strategy will likely follow the template established by the releases of Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms Essentials Content Delivery Strategy and Heroes of the Fallen Lands Essentials Content Delivery Strategy in the Essentials product line. Unfortunately, this means that all new player supplements will contain a lot of duplicate content. Let’s examine what content will be reprinted, and how much unique content will exist in each new publication.

An Essential New Trend

Before I get into the details of what will be the same and what will be different, I think it is worthwhile to explore why Wizards is doing this. In the Essentials line, each book should be able to stand alone. If a new player wants to enter the Dungeons and Dragons world, they can pick up ANY player’s supplement in the Essentials line and have what they need to play. Then the new player can purchase additional books if they are enjoying the game and are interested in more character options. In this scenario, each and every Essentials publication is intended to be a “gateway drug” to more Essentials purchases.

The alternative to this content delivery strategy is to have a basic player book like the 4th Edition Player’s Manual, and then have supplements with more/advanced options, but not repeat basic content. If new players feel pressured to purchase multiple books in order to play, this greatly raises the barrier to entry. The Essentials line is all about lowering the barrier to entry into the DnD world. This change in strategy is intended to increase the player base. With Wizards catering to new players, expect about half of the content in every book in the Essentials line to be reprint.

Topography of Essentials Player Supplements

Content Duplicated:

  • Introduction and Game Overview: 30 pages
  • Character Making Instructions: 25 pages
  • Powers and Combat: 20 pages
  • Basic Races: 10 pages
  • Skills Usage and Feats: 30 pages
  • Basic equipment: 15 pages
  • Glossary and Index: 10 pages
  • Total Content Reprinted: Approximately 140 pages

Unique Content:

  • Character Classes and Builds: ~155 +/- 10 pages
  • Races: 20 pages (we may see more duplication in this category over time)
  • Feats: 15 pages
  • Magic Items: 10 pages
  • Total New Content: ~190 pages

How do you feel about this new content delivery strategy? Do you think it will help bring new players into the game?

1 comment for “Essentials Content Delivery Strategy

  1. Sunyaku
    January 24, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Note that the link to “Heroes of Spell and Sword” is now broken. That’s because of this:


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