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Paizo to Discontinue Dragon and Dungeon Magazines

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the but-my-ecology-and-sniffle-my-adventure-path dept.

Role Playing (Games) 82

An anonymous reader slipped us a link to a page on the Wizards.com site marking the end of an era. As of September of this year Dungeon and Dragon Magazines will cease publication. Dragon has been in continuous circulation since 1976, while Dungeon will be marking its 150th issue at the end of its run in August. Paizo Publishing, the current printing house for the magazines, is offering several options for what to do with your ongoing subscription. From the announcement on the Wizards site: "'Today the internet is where people go to get this kind of information,' said Scott Rouse, Senior Brand Manager of Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast. 'By moving to an online model we are using a delivery system that broadens our reach to fans around the world. Paizo has been a great partner to us over the last several years. We wish them well on their future endeavors.'" I've looked forward to my issue of Dragon every month for over a decade. It will be sad to see it go.

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How sad (2, Interesting)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802817)

My first issue of Dragon Magazine was #68. While I have long since stopped reading the mag, I enjoyed it immensely at the time (back when Gary Gygax was still regularly writing for it). While it has changed unrecognizably in the intervening years, it's still sad to hear that this last vestige of this once great magazine is to cease to be. What would Woimy say?

Re:How sad (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802955)

I concur, as I started reading about the same time (#68), but haven't subscribed to Dragon since shortly after the launch of Dungeon magazine (which would be something like 17 years ago, right?) ... guess I didn't help matters much.

Way back then, I did subscribe and read long after my interest in RPGs waned. My assumption is that the focus and the content of the magazine shifted over time. Anyone want to say whether it was for the better or worse?

Re:How sad (2, Interesting)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18807267)

[...]shortly after the launch of Dungeon magazine (which would be something like 17 years ago, right?)

Geez, has it really been that long? Let's see. We both started reading Dragon in, what, 1983 or something like that? That would be 24 years ago. Yikes!

Heck, even my time of writing for Imperium Games' Marc Miller's Traveller was 10 years ago now.

And I haven't been to a GenCon in about that long.

Man, I feel old.

Re:How sad (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18811117)

And what's even more scary is that I just found a stack of Dragon magazines in a box from the roughly 1981-1985 or so time period, along with the first 5 Chainmail books. It's amazing what happens when parents move. :)

Re:How sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18803041)

I still get Dragon, but have found that I mostly just read the comics. It's really a rather expensive way to get about 4 pages of comics.

Re:How sad (3, Informative)

Stachybotris (936861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803321)

My first issue was #180, back in April of '92 (or was it '91?). I stopped reading shortly after Paizo took over publishing and decided to move DM-specific to Dungeon and keep Dragon as a player-centric magazine. I really enjoyed it when all the game content was in one magazine and the canned adventures were in the other. Also, Paizo had far too many ads in the magazines (as opposed to when WotC or TSR were publishing) for my taste. If they'd have kept the content where it was, I'd have gladly paid an additional dollar or two per issue just to keep the ads down.

Oh well, such goes the way of the gaming industry. Maybe this on-line offering will make it worth subscribing again.

Online gaming "magazines" (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804627)

I think the online model offers a lot of additional potential than dead-tree formats for gaming: when Steve Jackson Games took Pyramid online, giving subscribers access to a a searchable archive of articles from previous issues (including the print issues), discussion forums (which have somewhat faded, though, since SJGames opened public forums), etc., it was a big improvement.

Re:Online gaming "magazines" (1)

c600g (30798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18813551)

Of course, one you *stop* subscribing to Pyramid magazine, then your access to that content goes *poof!* as well. If you can't download it in a nice format, then the online model loses a lot of appeal to me.

Re:Online gaming "magazines" (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18813881)

Of course, one you *stop* subscribing to Pyramid magazine, then your access to that content goes *poof!* as well. If you can't download it in a nice format, then the online model loses a lot of appeal to me.


Its HTML. It can probably be downloaded as complete webpages with the necessary images with the Save As... feature of most browsers, you can make hardcopies of it, and if you have any of the many (some are free or included with popular software packages) print-to-(PDF or other similar document format) utilities, you can archive it that way.

Now if it were some bizarre, locked-down DRM format, I might agree with your concerns.

Re:How sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18808647)

My collection goes back to #17 (intermittent), though I stopped getting issues years ago because the USPS can't deliver mail reliably in my current neighborhood. (I suspect has better snail mail delivery than my part of Cambridge, MA, USA.)

When Dragon started you had a small scope of gaming with a small market of gamers. Since then, the scope of gaming seems to have grown hugely, so only a small fraction of the pages in recent Dragons are of interest to me. With computer/console gaming of the genre, collectible miniatures gaming, and various campaign settings, few people who have lives outside gaming can afford the time to be involved in much of what Dragon seemed to cover.

I actualy know several people who subscribe... (2, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802833)

Some of them don't have internet access (or at least not regural access).

Yep, dropping dead-tree distribution definetly expands their user base over having both available.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (0, Flamebait)

Anivair (921745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802865)

Bah. There is NO excuse for not having internet access. Everyone (EVERYONE) lives within an easy commute of a place that has free internet access for them even if they are too dense to come by a computer on their own (and considering there are charities that GIVE you computers, I'd say it's more a lack of motivation). Find me one person that can't get internet access for an hour a week.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (1)

Angus McNitt (542101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803009)

I can think of a couple dozen. What do I win? Not everyone has the access you speak of that still games. The closer you get to a Major city, the easier it gets. Conversly, the farther away, the harder it gets. I know of several gamers up in the wilds of north western PA and South western NY who don't have any internet offered anymore. One of them does have AOL (I guess I don't win a prize for him) and it is still a long distance call. And as far as getting online at work, that only works if the company has internet and allow you to use it. Assuming everybody has internet is like assuming that Microsoft is really a kind a fuzzy company. It looks good in abstract, but doesn't hold up to examination.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803209)

Conversly, the farther away, the harder it gets. I know of several gamers up in the wilds of north western PA and South western NY who don't have any internet offered anymore. One of them does have AOL (I guess I don't win a prize for him) and it is still a long distance call.

Anyone who can get phone service can get dialup. And you can get it for $10/mo or less.

Anyone who has a clear view of the southern sky can get Hughes satellite broadband. But it's fuggen expensive.

Regardless, it is very hard to find a place where there is no internet access available. There's satellite phones, there's high speed cellular which you can get at surprising distances with an antenna and amplifier. There's long-range point-to-point WiFi with satellite dishes (with which you could reasonably expect to get 50 miles range.)

Anyone in the US who can't get any internet access (dialup is slow, but frankly, I can manage to read news and find solutions to problems with it - it's all we have at home, and work has only a T1 which is pretty sad for even a good handful of users these days) has chosen to live in bumfuck nowhere. They probably don't have water or sewer service, either. And they'd have to be living on the north side of a north-facing cliff.

If the nearest ISP is long distance... (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18806147)

One of them does have AOL (I guess I don't win a prize for him) and it is still a long distance call.
Anyone who can get phone service can get dialup. And you can get it for $10/mo or less.
Plus a charge of upwards of $6 per hour from the phone company for making a long distance call from your house to your ISP's nearest modem. So there are places where Internet access is available but prohibitively expensive. And a lot of people have families to support in anal-sex nowhere.

Re:If the nearest ISP is long distance... (1)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812495)

So there are places where Internet access is available but prohibitively expensive.

You're absolutely right, the rest of the world should slow down so everyone can catch up. Sorry, this isn't an excuse. If a person chooses to live in bum-fuck nowhere, then they get to take advantage of the lack of services that are offered in those areas. If they want all of the services you get in a big city, they have to move to a big city. Otherwise, they get what they paid for.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18807423)

Wow. Love to have my own T1, or satellite, or be able to spend the amount of $$ some of you solutions require. Just 'cause it's on the market, doesn't mean it's available. Economics plays as much (if not larger) a part as technology does.

As for $10 a month, only if they have a local pop and your telco has compatible equipment. Not every local little telco can support dial up. Modem traffic ties up a full channel and doesn't deal with range extending technology very well. So if you don't have a local pop, you're up a creek. For about a year, all I did was help little telcos figure out how to increase their interconnects to larger ones so they could support more bandwidth (i.e. pass through modem traffic). It was a great, always a challenge. The big companies don't care about smaller areas (not enough density/return on investment) and don't really want to help out the independents. No reason for them to either, they are still a rival company. And dial up equipment is so expensive or rare, depending on your locale, that even setting up a local pop there can be next to impossible.

As for your water and sewer comment... I hate to be the one to break it to you, but roughly half of the county doesn't have public water, and slightly over that doesn't have public sewer. Oh, and two of those telcos did have public water and sewer, but not a powerful enough multiplexer. I guess that means they live in "Bumfuck" then. Or that they are "living on the north side of a north-facing cliff."

But I digress, my whole point is that it Dragon's online coverage is not as universal as one might think. The company has gotta do what it has gotta do to continue make money. Be that as it may, there will be gamers going without.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (2, Interesting)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18808623)

Funny, but you've almost perfectly described a "summer house" that I inherited. It's in the Ozarks, which means no line of sight to anything unless you're lucky enough to be on top of a ridge. I don't know anyone who has a cell phone; even in town there's never anough signal to make it worth while. All of my water comes from a well fifty feet from the house, and (since the indoor plumbing was installed in the sixties) the waste goes into a septic tank fifty feet from the opposite side of the house. There is a land line, but I can never get more that 36KB out of it, usually less. Personally, I love it since I can completely unhook myself from the outside world, but I suspect that my neighbors would like better connectivity. Some of the wealthier families have tried satellite; as you say, it isn't cheap, but it also feels sluggish. Something to do with the packets making a 2x26,000 mile detour. The poorer neighbors, however, have to do without.

(I am thinking about putting an 850 MHz Yagi on the tower holding up my TV aerial and running a cable to my cellphone, for those instances where I really need to make a call to get my land line working. Of course, that's based on the hope that a bit of altitude will let me "see" the nearest cell tower, 18 miles away.)

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18802873)

But one distribution is much, much cheaper and reaches almost all of their audience.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (1)

A Name Similar to Di (875837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803227)

But one distribution is much, much cheaper and reaches almost all of their audience.

Not that WotC has a great history of passing that savings on to their consumer. They typically sell their online content for the same price as their physical content (a policy that extends all the way from Magic:tG to D&D). I think it has to do with their staunch support of brick and mortar stores. They're afraid of damaging the sales of those stores and hence loosing a physical venue where people can play/learn about their games.

I'm actually quite surprised (given their history) to see them move to an online distribution method that lacks a physical counterpart.

Re:I actualy know several people who subscribe... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18805465)

Surely they want to make a revenue, so this probably cost them more to publish than the revenue they make from it nowadays.
And then it doesn't matter for them if they lose a fraction of their user base, as harsh as it may sound.

Goatse @ Twofo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18802871)

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First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1, Interesting)

diabolus_in_america (159981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802939)

It's seems supremely ironic to me that the Internet is killing the best "Geek" magazines.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803155)

It's seems supremely ironic to me that the Internet is killing the best "Geek" magazines.

It seems ironic to me that you can be sitting here, an ostensible geek, utilizing slashdot, and making this statement.

Anyone who has been following the climb of the internet's popularity knows that it is destined to destroy most types of media. The only difference between them being momentum and thus the length of time it will take the 'net to wipe them out.

The reason is obvious. Moving physical things around is costly and slow compared to the cost of transmitting data. If the ISPs in the USA had not been permitted to fuck us around this long (and of course it is continuing daily) then it would be much easier to get a useful connection and more of us would have the bandwidth to move huge files around. And then physical media would REALLY be in trouble.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the only reason it hasn't happened already is due to DRM. DRM is the reason why I don't buy digital media, I go out and buy the physical media, because even though it has DRM, at least it's not likely to be revoked remotely. Of course, that protection doesn't apply to either HD DVD format... But then, I don't have an HDTV, I probably won't for quite some time, so I don't give a shit. And an upscaled DVD really does look quite good.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (2, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803323)

To quote Rupert Giles: Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell... musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is... it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um, smelly.

Furthermore, books don't give me a headache; but reading from a monitor for a long time does. I also like the feel of the book in my hands, the sound made by the pages as I turn them, and the way it looks on a shelf beside my other books. Here's hoping physical books are around for a long time to come.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18803453)

The knowledge gained from a computer is... it has no texture, no context.
My video card supports 64M of texture data...

Furthermore, books don't give me a headache; but reading from a monitor for a long time does. I also like the feel of the book in my hands, the sound made by the pages as I turn them, and the way it looks on a shelf beside my other books.
See this is why no-one wants to hang around you, you creep people out with your book molesting talk.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803559)

Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is.

If all the books smell the same, it's not going to help you.

If each issue of Dragon magazine was scented like a different creature from the monster manual, you might have a point here.

Furthermore, books don't give me a headache; but reading from a monitor for a long time does.

I trust you have heard of E-Ink? It will only ger cheaper.

You may also have good results using a high res display with subpixel font smoothing. I have an IBM Thinkpad A21p with a 15" 1600x1200 display, which works out just over 133 ppi. If you multiply by two, since each pixel is really a 2x2 grid of pixel elements, you get 266 ppi. Granted, the effective resolution is somewhere in between the two, but anything over 150 dpi/ppi is pretty good.

The real reason is probably that you don't move around enough while reading a display. You need to focus on other things occasionally to avoid eyestrain, which is worse from either LCD or CRT than a well lit page. You also need to move around, which you do automatically with a book. Try doing some stretches every so many minutes (30?)

I also like the feel of the book in my hands, the sound made by the pages as I turn them, and the way it looks on a shelf beside my other books.

The computer can't help here yet, but I'm betting that eventually we'll have books that have a hundred pages or so, and you reprogram them by docking them with your computer. This is definitely the area in which digital media falls short.

On the other hand, the computer lets you do things you simply can't do with dead tree media. For instance, keyword searches. That alone is enough to drive me to the computer. Then there's linking and annotation - you can scribble in the margins and you can insert bookmarks with notes on them but the former limits your data size severely and the latter is not secure, it's easy to lose data. What page was that marker on again? Where did this scrap of paper on the floor come from? Et cetera. And of course you can make audio annotations and the like.

But I don't really argue that books will go away completely. They will just become very expensive, luxury items. As well they should; no matter HOW environmentally conscious your process, making nice white paper is always a fairly nasty process.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 7 years ago | (#18817025)

I collect books. In the past, I'd buy a soft-back book to preview it. Then I'd buy the hard-back copy for my collection if I found it worth owning. The soft-backs get loaned out to friends and family. Only my Wife and I touch the hard-backs. Over the last few years I've thought about replacing the soft-backs with e-books. However, the majority of my purchases are still soft-back. E-books will never replace my hard-backs.

On the other hand, the computer lets you do things you simply can't do with dead tree media. For instance, keyword searches. That alone is enough to drive me to the computer. Then there's linking and annotation - you can scribble in the margins and you can insert bookmarks with notes on them but the former limits your data size severely and the latter is not secure, it's easy to lose data. What page was that marker on again? Where did this scrap of paper on the floor come from? Et cetera. And of course you can make audio annotations and the like.

With the exception of reference books, I've never needed keyword searches, linking or annotation. I never was the type to highlight favorite passages. However, bookmarks are indispensable. I'm curious. What software package do you use to read e-books? I've worked with text, HTML, and PDF. Text doesn't offer any features, except maybe a find function. HTML is better, or perhaps I should say HTML/CSS/XML/Whatever-else. It supports images, various typography, multimedia, and limited bookmarks. I say limited bookmarks because you can only bookmark to the nearest anchor. Most of the HTML e-books I've read are broken into chapters, with the nearest anchor at the start of the chapter. I have yet to find a browser that will let you annotate. Perhaps someone has written a Web 2.0 application that let's you open a read-only HTML book, bookmark where you choose, and annotate? PDF has been my favorite format so far. It breaks the document up into pages, offers a variety of views, includes all of the benefits of HTML, and (depending on the viewer) offers a nice interface to the predefined bookmarks. However, using Adobe Reader, I haven't found a way to create bookmarks or annotations.

I'm betting that eventually we'll have books that have a hundred pages or so, and you reprogram them by docking them with your computer.

I already do this with my PDA. It has a nice, high-resolution display and runs Adobe Reader. Of course, I'm not about to loan my PDA to friends and family so that they can read my collection. Copyright restrictions also must be considered before I e-mail them a copy of the book.

But I don't really argue that books will go away completely.

No, I don't believe the Internet, or e-books, will replace books any more than TV replaced radio, or radio replaced books. And despite the proliferation of pirated movies, I still purchase movies I enjoy on DVD.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18817409)

What software package do you use to read e-books? I've worked with text, HTML, and PDF.

I usually convert to HTML and read that. It displays everywhere and it's device-independent. PDF is the worst, because the reader is the largest. Text really isn't bad at all though, as long as you have a reader that will let you set font. Notepad qualifies :)

I have yet to find a browser that will let you annotate.

As much as I hate to admit I've ever used it, Microsoft Reader has annotations. There are various annotation plugins for Firefox. You could bring a doc or html into word (yuck) which does annotation.

There are many ways to annotate PDF.

I'm betting that eventually we'll have books that have a hundred pages or so, and you reprogram them by docking them with your computer.
I already do this with my PDA. It has a nice, high-resolution display and runs Adobe Reader. Of course, I'm not about to loan my PDA to friends and family so that they can read my collection. Copyright restrictions also must be considered before I e-mail them a copy of the book.

Right, but the PDA doesn't emulate a book, which would be a nice feature. Flipping between pages by hand is definitely easier than flipping between bookmarks on a PDA.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18805289)

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the only reason it hasn't happened already is due to DRM. DRM is the reason why I don't buy digital media, I go out and buy the physical media, because even though it has DRM, at least it's not likely to be revoked remotely. Of course, that protection doesn't apply to either HD DVD format... But then, I don't have an HDTV, I probably won't for quite some time, so I don't give a shit. And an upscaled DVD really does look quite good.

So that's why physical media continues to persist; consumers are so darn informed and principled these days!

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18805611)

It's seems supremely ironic to me that the Internet is killing the best "Geek" magazines.

It seems ironic to me that you can be sitting here, an ostensible geek, utilizing slashdot, and making this statement.

And it seems ironic to me that you can be sitting here, an ostensible geek, utilizing the word "utilizing", instead of using the word "using".

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803431)

Since when did D&D become primarily a "Geek" thing? When I used to play, only 25% of our group were geeks.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18803519)

Playing with your three imaginary friends doesn't count.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803717)

Actually, I barely found the process tolerable with the 8 real players. I was like making a movie: two days of "play" amounted to about 45 minutes of actual playtime.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18804651)

Actually, I barely found the process tolerable with the 8 real players.
There's one problem right there. I don't like to play with more than 5 or 6.

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18805815)

rest of time butsecks?

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18813913)

Since when did D&D become primarily a "Geek" thing? When I used to play, only 25% of our group were geeks.

That's like saying, "When I used to play for the Knicks, only 25% of our team were professional athletes."

Re:First InfoWorld, and now Dragon and Dungeon (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18861433)

Many geeks like D&D, but playing it is not their profession and many non-geeks like it too.

Nerdy or Not? (1)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802949)

I never subscribed to Dungeon or Dragon... although I was always intrigued by it because I'd read on the internet about how this or that Adventure, item, Prestige Class, or feat was originally published in "Dragon" and was wondering what I was missing out on.

What brands you as a bigger geek? Having a stack of "Dragon" or "Dungeon" magazines on your bookshelf, or having several folders of bookmarks in Firefox devoted to roleplaying (you have to sort them by which pages are strictly for news, which are for content, ordering books and miniatures, and finally blogs and forums)

Personally... I think finding someone with a stack of "Dragon" would be a bigger geek. You know that sitting right next to those Dragon magazines is going to be every Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novel ever written.

I fall into the latter category though... 4 folders of firefox bookmarks :)

RIP Dragon and Dungeon. I never read you... but the geek in me is still sorry to see you go.

I prefer magazines. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803245)

And I started off MANY years ago with the Strategic Review.

Websites can vanish. But magazines give you the evolution of the concepts. There's also something about being able to hold the magazine that a monitor doesn't give you.

Re:Nerdy or Not? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803485)

I have a box full of old Dragon mags including the "Baba Yaga's Hut" adventure. They are next to my old, 1st edition AD&D books. I never got into fantasy novels though. "Boobs & Swords" books always struck me as cheesy.

I also have a bunch of Advanced Squad Leader boxes but I think that is a different class of nerd.

Re:Nerdy or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18808091)

I never got into fantasy novels though. "Boobs & Swords" books always struck me as cheesy.
Aw, come on!
Cheesiness can be a hoot. Check out the Chicks in Chainmail series [baen.com] edited by Esther Friesner.

Re:Nerdy or Not? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18811743)

OMG, I'm speechless, and curious...

Re:Nerdy or Not? (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804607)

You know that sitting right next to those Dragon magazines is going to be every Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novel ever written.
Well, no... I only have a few of the novels, but they are sort of meh... I once knew a girl who thought D&D the game was stupid but loved the novels... shudder...

I do have the Demons boxed set and one of the related supplements that were published by Mayfair Games during TSRs dark age. (OH, and bunches of other D&D modules. Most of the bound books... A lot of Tunnels and Trolls solitare modules... a frightening amount of Paranoia... Call of Cthulhu (at one time I owned just about every supplement they published)... Um.. Toon... Timemaster... Chill... Torg... Ghostbusters...... I'm sure there is more.... Wargames West loved me...)

Re:Nerdy or Not? (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804805)

Personally... I think finding someone with a stack of "Dragon" would be a bigger geek. You know that sitting right next to those Dragon magazines is going to be every Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novel ever written.
I bought my first Dragon in 1980 or so. I don't remember the issue #. It was the one with the Anti-paladin class, and the "Good Hits & Bad Misses" critical hits/fumbles chart. I do have a large stack of the magazines, though I only subscribed to it for a year back in 2004 or so.

The quality of the magazine was fairly good throughout, in my opinion. Of course I didn't bother to buy some, because they didn't have anything in them that appealed to me.

I had a collection of all the Dragon Magazines in PDF format on CD as of a few years ago, but seem to have lost it. I bought it through TSR or WoTC, whoever it was at the time.

I never liked the FR or Dragonlance books, having read 3 or 4.

I do wish I could find my Phineous Fingers collection :-(. (or was it spelled 'Fineous'?)

Re:Nerdy or Not? (2, Interesting)

spindizzy (34680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18807505)

Ah, Fineous Fingers. I too have the collection mouldering away somewhere, bought in the early '80s. The things I remember most are everyone torturing peasants for directions/info and of course Grond the anti-paladin. But I digress.
And yes, Dragonlance was an abortion of 4th rate Tolkien rip-off only exceeded by anything by Raymond Feist.

Have I alienated enough fantasy readers yet? ;)

Re:Nerdy or Not? (1)

Jbcarpen (883850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18806555)

What brands you as a bigger geek? Having a stack of "Dragon" or "Dungeon" magazines on your bookshelf, or having several folders of bookmarks in Firefox devoted to roleplaying (you have to sort them by which pages are strictly for news, which are for content, ordering books and miniatures, and finally blogs and forums)
What if you have both?

History Repeats Itself... (2, Insightful)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18807289)

This is exactly what happened to BYTE. It was the largest and most respected magazine in its field for at least an entire generation and then the new owners switched to an online model.

It went from a huge subscription to barely on anyone's radar overnight. And content - it sucks.

Sad. The end of an era. Just when role-playing games and the like are beginning to make a strong comeback. Talk about short-sighted.

Re:History Repeats Itself... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18812779)

This is exactly what happened to BYTE. It was the largest and most respected magazine in its field for at least an entire generation and then the new owners switched to an online model.
If I remember correctly (Jerry Pournelle wrote an article about it, but I can't find it now), the dead-tree incarnation of Byte ended some time before it was resurrected online. Perhaps they always intended it to go online eventually, anyway.

However, the explanation I heard is (IIRC) that although Byte was well-respected and had a decent readership of people who should (theoretically) be leading Computer Science and IT types, it was hard to sell to advertisers, because the demographic was unclear. And, as we know (or ought to know) magazines and newspapers make most of their profit from advertising.

Re:Nerdy or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18808835)

Ah, Dragonlance! You were my first brush with truly awful fiction, the reason I buy at random from the fantasy section of Barnes and Noble no more!

Sometimes I do pine for the days when I would read shit like the Dragonlance books and not notice I was reading shit, just because that was easier than trying to explain to my friends that Terry Pratchett isn't one tenth as good a writer as Douglas Adams, and how Dune reads like it was written by a 14 year old rules lawyer. You can't invoke nerd rage when you like everything.

As a one time contributor (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802961)

I will be sad to see them go. I was very happy with the article I wrote for them, and am proud that they published my stuff.

Re:As a one time contributor (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18808677)

Proud? Heck, at it's peak the Dragon had more subscribers than any of the SF magazines; having jut one story published there was sufficient to join the SFWA. Of course, they only bought one story a month, compared to those others.

I miss Wormy (2, Interesting)

tuffy (10202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18802973)

Dragon was never quite the same once Tramp [wikipedia.org] vanished.

Re:I miss Wormy (1)

jiawen (693693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804907)

He's probably driving a cab in Chicago, FYI [rpg.net] .

I sense a tremor in the farce... (2, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803011)

Like thousands of dweebs suddenly cried out and then vanished.

Re:I sense a tremor in the farce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18803289)

Minor correction:

I felt a great disturbance in the farce, as if millions of dweebs suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

That shows you! ...how much...a dweeb...I am.. DOH! /cry

not that big a deal (2, Interesting)

Lord Lemur (993283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803027)

I have a few copies of Dragon laying around some place, and I have to say in 15 years of D&D I never really found them usefull. Seems like everyone would be better surved with forums, a web-page and the normal book releases.

You haven't read recently, then (4, Informative)

TrentC (11023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803649)

Seems like everyone would be better surved with forums, a web-page and the normal book releases.

Forums? Not the same at all. I don't want to have to wade through mindless rules flamewars and irrelevant conversations to find useful stuff.

Existing books? Sure, those have value, if they can get enough material on a topic to create one. But maybe I just want an article with five new, themed spells, suitable for an NPC, new religion, or a dusty tome of "forgotten" spells. Or maybe I want the excellent Dungeoncraft series to continue, or "100 things you'd find in a marketplace".

Websites? We shall see what WotC comes up with, but websites can be impermanent -- the content is only available as long as the site's owners chose to host it. What would have happened had TSR had such a site when they were looking to go out of business? My guess is, the site would be shut down and that information lost; even if not, little of the content would likely still be available on WotC's site today.

Dungeon improved greatly over the past couple of years, culminating in the Adventure Paths -- a series of linked adventures, one per month, designed to take a party from 1st- to 20th-level. The first one, the Shackled City, was so-so in my opinion. The second one, the Age of Worms, was a lot better; I think they were starting to get the feel for writing them. We are over halfway through the third one, the Savage Tide; it will conclude in the final issue of Dungeon. The Dungeoncraft articles are pretty interesting, too; Monte Cook and Wolfgang Baur have both provided wonderful articles about adventure design and campaign-building.

In my opinion Dragon is still of varying usefulness with the addition of monthly columns devoted to WotC's major campaign settings (Eberron and Forgotten Realms) and my favorite series of articles EVER, Core Faiths. Each article explored a deity in the core D&D pantheon and really fleshed it out -- outlook on life, role of the clergy, aphorisms, new spells or magic items unique to the faith, sample NPCs suitable for summoning via Summon Planar Ally, and more. (The Core Faiths for Vecna was a great Halloween treat last year.)

What eventually convinced me to subscribe was the utility of having those articles on hand whenever and wherever I game. No scouring a series of websites, or hoping that WotC's site hasn't "retired" the article. The fact that subscriptions to Dungeon and Dragon were increasing over the past couple of years tells me that I'm not alone in finding this content valuable.

Paizo will apparently be publishing a new periodical, Pathfinder [paizo.com] . It looks to be a hybrid of Dungeon (adventures, including new Adventure Paths) and Dragon (new monsters, spells, NPCs, and locales), and all of their material will be released under the OGL. You will be able to get it in either PDF or dead-tree editions, so people who want that electronic content will have it while old fogeys like me can add to the growing pile of gaming supplements. I'm strongly considering converting my remaining subscriptions and grabbing the first couple of issues.

Re:You haven't read recently, then (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18806395)

I should have mentioned before that I used to manage a game store, and I think part of my blase' about Dragon and Dungeon comes from that. I was barraged with obscure rules, story and content questions. It was our policy to always fall back on the "Offical" word of TSR, by applying a simple formula. What is the latest errata from TSR, what does the most recent printing of the most recent relevant book say, and do you smell funny. So we discounted the "Unofficial", i.e. not books, sources. That was also much better for selling books. Sell Dragon make $1 and them they get a subscription, sell them Fighter's Handbook make $10, and then they need the other handbooks aswell. Seems that the wheat of Dragon and Dungeon always found a good place to live. I'm not sure if 3.5's spell compendium would be a good defendant, but in good old 2nd ed there was a fantastic 4 volume spell conpendium. Sounds like they ended up adding some solid content, however none of the groups I played in were very intrested in moduals. After reading your post, I'm moved from neutral about this to happy. I Love gamebooks in PDF. I wish both versions would come packaged togather. My current game group, once a month on Sundays meets about an hour away from my home, and it would save alot of luggin for me, hopefully Hasbro, WotC, whomever follows the sucess of pathfinder.

Re:You haven't read recently, then (1)

Snowgen (586732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18810797)

Websites? We shall see what WotC comes up with, but websites can be impermanent -- the content is only available as long as the site's owners chose to host it. What would have happened had TSR had such a site when they were looking to go out of business? My guess is, the site would be shut down and that information lost; even if not, little of the content would likely still be available on WotC's site today.

Steve Jackson Games has been publishing Pyramid [sjgames.com] (or the obligatory Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] ) electronically for 9 years now with pretty good results. Of course, you can always print out those important articles and they'll be as permanent as any magazine.

Forums? Not the same at all. I don't want to have to wade through mindless rules flamewars and irrelevant conversations to find useful stuff.

And yet you read comments on /. (Sorry, couldn't resist...)

Re:not that big a deal (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18806105)

I know several games authors who got their start by publishing a module in Dungeon. It would be sad if the new online delivery solution undermined this valuable foot in the door to the publishing industry.

Ah the memories.. (1)

Kim Jong Ill (1033418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803127)

I remember waiting patiently every year for the April issue of Dragon to come around. They always found many ways to make me laugh with those. One thing that still sticks in my head was a magic item that was listed in one of said issues: The Robe of Blending (Three Speed). I always got a chuckle thinking about putting that into a campaign and describing what happens to the hapless character when he hits the button for 'Puree'.

I have to question their marketing data. (1)

StephenW (972389) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803473)

Not to wax anecdotal, but I'm a huge consumer of news and information on the internet and I still maintain a subscription to Dragon. Sure, you could put it online, but there's just something about getting that issue in the mail every month that's so much more fulfilling. You can put your collection of Dragon magazines right there on the shelf next to your gaming books. I echo the sentiments of other subscribers in saying I'll be sad to see the print version go, as will many of my friends and family. :(

This was WotC's decision, not Paizo's (3, Informative)

werdnam (1008591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803617)

I think it's important to note that publication is ceasing because WotC chose not to renew the license to Paizo. Paizo, as you may or may not recall, took over publishing rights for Dungeon and Dragon in 2002. Seems WotC has changed the mind about the value of such content.

This reminds me of the somewhat recent choice by WotC not to renew the license to CodeMonkey for the PC-Gen (character generation software) data sets. Clearly WotC is set to make a big push into online and electronic supplements to their D&D line.

Oh, and I see that Paizo will still be publishing adventures through a publication called Pathfinder. Looks interesting. At least gamers will still have some way to get their paper adventure fix.

RIP WotC (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18806441)

WotC's (aka Hasbro) judgement seems flawed. What are they going to gather by axing the magazine? A declining marketshare. Their "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach" was a lacklustre effort: You wouldn't know that from the corpratized Wikipedia entry, but the reviews are scathing. World of Warcraft and Chri$topher Tolkein are the ones making all the money of the genre these days. Unless WotC can convince us to buy a whole new set of rulebooks, it's hard to see where the new business will come from. It's far easier to get a game together with a MMPOG than it is find six geeks who have time to spare. WotC and D&D may have been big in their time, but they're all but a footnote in history. Axing the magazine will only decrease their mindshare among their remaining geek customers.

Re:RIP WotC (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18814103)

WotC and D&D may have been big in their time, but they're all but a footnote in history.


D&D has always been the leader of the Tabletop RPG market (even before there was a need to distinguish it with "Tabletop"), and that market itself has always been a pretty small, niche market.

D&D is hardly less dominant now that it has been in the past within that niche.

Bummer (1)

Potato Battery (872080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803643)

I just got into buying them again a couple of years ago, with a long break since the late 1970s/early 1980s issues I have. Even though the modern spirit was dramatically different from the old days, the mags still were a lot more fun and imaginative than most things on the newsstand today.

Between this loss and Retro Gamer going down (I know, it's stitched in to some other magazine... not the same), I'm running out of reasons to check out the magazine rack.

Ironic. I was just looking at some online scans of The Strategic Review (predecessor to Dragon) last night, and leafing through a back issue of Dungeon last night. Not sure how much I'll get into visiting the Web site for the mags. Part of the fun of them was the kid-in-a-comic-book-store experience of buying them and leafing through them while engaging in various slacker pastimes.

toss of the dice (1)

cpt.hugenstein (1025183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803679)

With the cost of printing and limited subscriptions I am amazed it was still published. Usually D&D types are computer savvy and would use online resouces. I bet nerds around the world will be rolling a D72 and add their +4 protest modifier to decide if they should petition.

Re:toss of the dice (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804523)

Bah. d72s are for wimps. Real gamers roll d100s! Or d%. Or 2d10.

Anyone remember the early Basic programs in Dragon (1)

wirefall (309232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803689)

Back in the early 80's I was an RPG fanatic - Tunnels & Trolls, Dungeons & Dragons, et al. My step-mother brought home a diskless PC with dual 5-1/4" floppies. I figured out how to use the audio coupler to play Colossal Cave Adventure on their mainframe, but it wasn't until Dragon published a Basic program to automatically create characters that I discovered the path to geekdom. I began automating everything from dice rolls to random monster tables. Years have become decades since the last time I read Dragon, but it still feels like a loss.

Complete collection on DVD? (4, Informative)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18803959)

Quite a while ago, they released issues 1-250 of Dragon in PDF format on (many) CDs. Anyone know if they are planning to do the same again now the collection is 'complete'? I'd certainly pay to have the entire collection of Dungeon and Dragon magazines available.

Issues with Copyright (1)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18804189)

Supposedly they're unable to release the collection due to copyrights held by various content creators. Again, supposedly this is how Kenzer got the rights to publish Hackmaster. Usually this set sells for insane amounts on ebay as well, I can only recommend that you find it on emule and be extremely patient.

Re:Issues with Copyright (1)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18809265)

I already have the original issues 1-250 on CD.

I've spoken to customer services at WotC and they say that any decision to release the entire collection of Dragon and Dungeon as PDF would rest with Paizo. So I've emailed the Paizo customer service address to put my request in.

Re:Complete collection on DVD? (4, Informative)

ricotest (807136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18805637)

Search The Pirate Bay for 'Dungeon Magazine' (134 issues) and 'Dragon Magazine' (335 issues, 5 best ofs, 6 annuals and 7 strategic reviews). Speed isn't too hot right now, but if you're patient you'll soon have a full set of both publications.

Re:Complete collection on DVD? (3, Funny)

Stormie (708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18808819)

Mod parent up. Both because it was a fantastic tip, and also because mentioning a torrent on Slashdot is an innovative way to enlarge the swarm and improve people's transfer rates.

Pyramid's a good replacement (2, Informative)

jiawen (693693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18805041)

For those who want a replacement for the great Dragon magazines of old, subscribing to Pyramid [sjgames.com] is a good idea. It fills a very similar niche to those old great Dragons: lots of very interesting articles about many games, not just ones by the magazine's publishers themselves, as well as good reviews, industry analysis, a forum, etc.

If you had a Pyramid subscription, you just failed (1)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18805197)

You had an excellent opportunity to slip the entire Pyramid Online user referral URL into your post and you missed it! Potential months added to your account from Slashdot signups.

I'd do it, but I let my subscription lapse a couple years back.

Anyway, Pyramid Online is the best out there. Tops in quality.

Re:If you had a Pyramid subscription, you just fai (1)

jiawen (693693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18808697)

I don't actually subscribe -- not enough money. But if I had the money, it'd be the first RPG magazine I'd subscribe to.

Not all kind words are shills.

Electronic no substitute for paper (2, Interesting)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18808213)

This really blows. And I have no interest in WotCs electronic offerings. They have proved utterly inept at this before and show no signs of getting better. Besides which, pen-and-paper gaming is, for a lot of us, a welcome respite from too many hours in front of the damn computer. Dragon and Dungeon magazines were enjoyable to read, the artwork was good, and they had that underestimated advantage of being able to flip through a back issue and maybe see something you'd forgotten or missed the first read through. Not to mention they were great for those times when someone was taking way to long on their turn. Also, these magazines were an entry point for a lot of talent, bot for designers, writers, and artists.

Snarf, Phil and Dixie, I'll miss you. (1)

sscroggins (1018484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18810093)

Ah, for the good old days when my mag would come in the mail and it would have tons of advertisements for dice that would cite their statistical accuracy. Back in the days of Greyhawk when the Forgotten Realms couldn't have been forgotten yet because it wasn't around. Oh, well. I've gotten old and my kids talk about leveling up, but there's no paper or pencils or dice (or face to face human contact) involved. I'm not sure that "progress" has actually made things better, come to think of it.

d'oh (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18810285)

Damn it, now I can't leave issues laying around my apartment to impress the girls I bring home.
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