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Death of a Dragon

So it's official; WotC/Hasbro has ended the license for Dragon magazine, capping the publication's 30-year run, and also put an end to the sister publication, Dungeon Adventures. They've both had good runs, but I'm sad to see them go, seeing as working for TSR Periodicals was the first job I had after college.

I'm not sure what comes next, but I am excited about the prospect of Pathfinder, the new book series that is not only using all the best Paizo talent, but trying new things not possible in a licensed publication. Given the level of talent that Paizo brings to this new venture, I hope it will meet with the same success that Dragon enjoyed. In fact, I'm working hard to make sure that happens in Fortress of the Stone Giants.

Still going to miss seeing the old beast in the mailbox every month. Damn. Didn't think I could get choked up about a magazine, but... Sigh. Onward!

Comments

( 47 sutras — Your wisdom )
ppanavalli
Apr. 19th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Choked up
Same here- I have all of Dungeon mags and have been an infinite source of inspiration for me. I am not sure what direction WotC is headed, but this seems so wrong to me. Pathfinder- the format seems strange, 1 adventure path with no other adventures for $20 a pop? I am not sure about this marketing strategy at all.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Choked up
I'm writing one of the Pathfinder adventures, and I think the new approach has a lot of promise. You'll get the backgrounds and monsters that are currently shifted into Dragon, plus things like Ecologies and other stuff I can't discuss quite yet.

I'm not as convinced that the better-quality paper and binding is the right move, but... we'll see when the first issue hits.
ratzeo
Apr. 19th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm certainly sad to see Dragon and Dungeon end. They were good friends during the spans that I didn't have a gaming group. On the other hand... Pathfinder sounds fascinating to me. Fascinating to the point that I would actually consider trying to get on board writing to support it.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
The Paizo guys seem to be saying that doing a monster writeup for the Pathfinder Bestiary is the way to get started, so that's what I would recommend as your best shot.
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entil_zha
Apr. 19th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Wow! This truly sad. I've been getting Dragon since the days when they did the Marvel File - it was a new Marvel Comics hero or villian every month... :(
open_design
Apr. 19th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was a great series for the Comics world. I think it might have been one of the longest-running too.

I think Pathfinder will find an audience as well.

While it does seem strange for WotC to kill off a success, I guess I'll wait until I see what they offer for online content to replace Dragon. I'd be impressed if it involved the big names like Greenwood, Baker, or Cook, plus art by Brom or Reynolds.
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thebitterguy
Apr. 19th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
Man. It's like losing an old friend from high school. I used to read Dragon fairly regularly, and it was my first professional publication. That, and it was the only place to get info on old AD&D settings.

I'll miss it.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the loss of Paizo's fairly regular Greyhawk support is going to cause some pain. Not to mention the Campaign Classics and the like. There's not many people at WotC with the same depth of expertise in the older settings. Ouch, no more Al-Qadim support, or Planescape.

Though I think Paizo would pick up the torch for Greyhawk content in a heartbeat if the Hasbro folks were willing to license it out. Hadn't thought of that loss.
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the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Publish a monster in Pathfinder!

Ain't no one takin' my dice, neither. *checks dice*

Nossir! :)
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wahcrysob
Apr. 19th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Though I never read either regularly, I am sad to see the mags go, I was planning on getting myself a subscription to Dragon too. And maybe writing for it one day, in the far future of the 41st milenniun when I have time thanks to school.

However, I'm very excited about Pathfinder, as it offers exactly what I'm looking for right now: a way to run without having to do all the work of writing, which will be done, at first, by you, which is a step above my own skills! I'm already considering a subscription, we'll just have to see what the price tag is.

Good luck with Pathfinder, whether I get the chance to actually put it to use or not!
the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Seems that the price tag is steeper for Pathfinder, but there are no ads, and it's printed with thicker, better paper and cover.

$20 an issue, but there's a subscriber discount, and it's month to month. Not sure whether they'll fly off the shelves at this price, but it's definitely competitive with a sourcebook price.
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pithhelmet
Apr. 19th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
So it's official; WotC/Hasbro has ended the license for Dragon magazine, capping the publication's 30-year run, and also put an end to the sister publication, Dungeon Adventures. They've both had good runs, but I'm sad to see them go, seeing as working for TSR Periodicals was the first job I had after college.

I started playing D&D and buying "Dragon" in the early 80s. I stopped buying "Dragon" around 1990 or so. Your issue on Bas-Lag got me to buy my first copy in over 15 years. Thanks for helping my "Dragon" experience go out on a positive note.
sucros
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
Dragon really took an upturn in the past few years too... The new web content had better be *really* good, or they're going to have at least one pissed off regular consumer.

I'm really going to miss campaign classics.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
You and me both. I'm very pleased with what I'm seeing in the Paizo campaign setting (such as the art for Karzoug and the Pathfinder dragon). It's a good sign that they're ready to go with strong stuff; the WotC web content will have to be very good indeed to compete.

Maybe the competition will mean gamers win in the long run. One hopes.
halo_ov_fire
Apr. 20th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
NO! Damnit. Why does this have to happen while I'm in Kuwait?!?! Wait, why does this have to happen at all?

Crap

mr_rakshasa
Apr. 20th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
I used to cut the covers off Dragon - and some of the full page painted monster pictures - and had a big collage of them on my wall when I was a kid.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 20th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was flipping through the new Art of Dragon Magazine book lately. Brought back a lot of memories.

I was raised by a librarian, though, so no cutting up of magazines for me. :)
ppanavalli
Apr. 20th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
Wulf, any thoughts on what portion of the D&D populace the "30ish" crowd is? There seems to be some discourse that "we" are not part of the core market for DnD.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 20th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
No idea, really. The core market tends to be high school and college, but just as video games have moved into older age brackets, so have the tabletop games moved. There once were no older gamers because it was all too new; now, I suspect that it's at least 20% of the market over 30.

I think a broader age group is probably healthy, as long as new people are still joining the hobby.

Whether we're part of the *WotC* core market is another question entirely. Based on what I know of their marketing and brand management, I'd argue the answer is no.
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(Anonymous)
Apr. 27th, 2007 07:00 am (UTC)
Future directions for Paizo and WotC
I think that WotC have taken careful aim at one of their feet and hit the target. They may well find out that they used a grenade launcher and will soon regret getting what they asked for. I, and many other people seem to share this view, spend quite a bit of money on WotC products only to be disappointed by various shortcomings. I will not compound that error by buying on-line content that will cost me even more to have in a portable form.

As for Paizo's upcoming adventure path; yes, I will buy it. The price seems right for the promised content. Even if I don't use it immediately, I will have it for a backstop when I next get the chance to DM.

And the money that I will spend on those Paizo products is money that I would otherwise spend on WotC product. For me it is a zero-sum equation: I spend $x on gaming products; Paizo will soon be getting a larger share of those $'s at WotC's expense.

On a related note, I am going to spend some time this weekend downloading as much of WotC web-based material as possible. It is not inconceivable that such material gets tied to their on-line subscription model.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 28th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: Future directions for Paizo and WotC
Paizo FTW!

Yeah, I wish WotC were more open and transparent about their plans. The secrecy makes me suspect they don't *quite* have it together yet.
( 47 sutras — Your wisdom )

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