The Dragon Dies

Here’s the announcement.

I have been a subscriber to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines for 16 years, going all the way back to issue #165 of Dragon and #28 of Dungeon. I go to the mailbox during the second week of every month in hopes that one or the other has arrived. I’ve done so for over half my life.

Both magazines have now been canceled. Neither were in financial trouble, nor were they losing subscriptions. However, someone at Wizards of the Coast believes magazines are not the future. I agree that many of us want digital content. I would love to get the material from Dragon and Dungeon in an easy-to-use format. That being said, you cannot replace the elation of opening the mailbox to find that next issue sitting there. And I’ve had that feeling nearly 400 times! Can anyone honestly believe a download will ever replace that?

My current gaming group is playing the Age of Worms Adventure Path published in Dungeon. We’ve been playing it for a year, and at current speed, will continue to do so for another two before completing it. If I’m willing devote a night a week of my life to something for three years, it must have made some impact.

I hope the decision-makers at Wizards of the Coast came to this after some well-thought discussion. There is nothing that can replace these two montly installments of gaming goodness. Even during times I wasn’t actively playing, those links back to the gaming world came in every month. They are tangible, physical links to the games we so enjoy. Destroying that with no warning and no input from subscribers is really beyond comprehension.

It appears that Paizo will continue releasing material through Pathfinder, which is a series of Adventure Paths that would have made it into Dungeon magazine. As I said above, I’ve already devoted a year of my life to playing one Adventure Path; I’m likely to buy more. I encourage all fans of the magazines to continue to support Paizo in their future endeavors.

For Wizards of the Coast, I don’t know what to say. I greatly encourage making all material available as easily cut-n-paste PDFs or online documents. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I don’t buy RPG books that are not in PDF format anymore. I don’t disagree with the idea they are looking at. What I don’t agree with is that they didn’t give me a choice. Read the messsage boards and blogs; they’ve alienated a large portion of their customers. This online content had best be spectacular enough to win them back. And if they think the current content quality of their web pages can carry this… go fish.