Over at the Ennie-Award winning NewbieDM blog, the NewbieDM himself asks the question “Is the D&D module dead?” and explores that question in relation to the latest releases from Wizards of the Coast for the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Defining a module as “cheap, short, low prep adventures that a DM can run in a few sessions and be done with”, he declares that these are, in effect, dead, at least from Wizards, who are concentrating on other types of supplementary product around their core products.
While he does point out ENWorld’s ongoing efforts to produce 5E content in this vein, there are already many other publishers who are releasing adventure content for 5E such as Kort’thalis Publishing [AL], Legendary Games [AL], Kobold Press [AL], Goodman Games [AL], and Frog God Games [AL] among others.
It should also be mentioned that 5E actually allows for easy conversion of modules written for older versions of D&D and for other D&D-alikes that are still having strong support in the form of adventure modules including Labyrinth Lord [AL], Swords & Wizardry [AL], Castles & Crusades [AL], and Adventurer Conqueror King [AL] – all of which have had recent module releases from the publisher or from third parties.
Modules also tend to be part of Kickstarter stretch goals, or even entire Kickstarters themselves, with some of the most successful recent Kickstarters being for adventure modules. While sandboxes and toolkits tend to sell well, the fact that many modules are still being written and sold belies the argument that the module is dead. Wizards of the Coast may not be supporting 5E in that way, but that hasn’t stopped nor will it stop the support coming from other parties.