R.I.P.: Dragon and Dungeon magazines
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:07 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Erol Otus was the ultimate D&D artist....caught the feel of the early game perfectly.

Just as Morno was the artist for the feel of all the Arduin materials.  I wish we could convince him to revert and become Morno again.

My favorite Dragon articles were always the "NPC" classes such as the anti-paladin, the early samurai, the witch, the bandit the archer and sundry other classes...balanced and sensical or not.

Those NPC's got plugged into our games a lot as PC classes.  What they turned out to be was a series of experiments in expanding the game as a whole.

I also liked the adventures published in Dragon.

My least favorite articles were fan fiction (who cares?) and all of the space wasted on non-D&D subjects.

I remember Gary Gygax, back in 85 or so, explaining the move to 2nd edition AD&D.  

Roughly around the same time there was a readers' poll in Dragon about what we liked and did not like in the magazine.  The goal of the poll seemed to be to get us to say we liked more non-D&D artiticles.

In the section for "What other games would you like Dragon magazine to cover?" I answered:  1) AD&D  2)  AD&D  3)  AD&D.

In the section for "What would you sacrifice from Dragon magazine to make space for new subjects?" I answered:  Get rid of the Ares section and go back to covering AD&D.

Two issues later, the Ares section was gone and the editor wrote, "OK, so we understand that a lot of you want us to focus more on AD&D!"

Presto!  No more space wasted on sci-fi games and Marvel super hero crap!  (Good for toilet paper and little else to AD&D gamers.)

I was impressed that TRS and the Dragon editors had flexible minds that would allow them to adjust to buyer demands...coupled with the sense to see that the TSR spin-off games were a waste of time.

(Now, of course, someone here probably loved Star Frontiers or some such other tripe...you and about six other guys.  :wink:  )

Dragon and Dungeon were living links with the past.  Now they are gone.  Sad.

It is even more sad to me that the WOTC guys seem to believe that something different will suddenly motivate all of us to buy again.  

Since the start of 2nd Edition AD&D there has seemed to be a creative screw or two loose at TSR/WOTC...(The jump from 3.0 to 3.5 was the sort of betrayal typical of the screws-loose theory)...although sometimes the machine also spit out really good products.  

I would have preferred a less glitzy production, more oriented toward actual gaming than (for instance) articles by Will Wheaton...at maybe half the price they were charging.

But...I'm not celebrating anything.  This is a sad event.

Mark   8)


The Archer, Samurai and Anti Paladin saw use around the table back in theday in my campaigns also.  Also, got to love the new monster section back in the day. Pre-internet, Dragon magazine really was the biggest event of the month in my house and in our campaign.  The entire issue was picked apart, dissected, and all useful parts incorporated into our campaigns.  Those who started gaming post-1990 just don't realize the influence it had in the gaming circles.  I mean, there was the core rulebooks and after awhile, Fiend Folio, MMII and Unearthed Arcana (all we really used in our campaign).  When a new spell, monster, magic item or character class appeared, official or not, it was probably immediately incorporated into our present campaign!  Now, with dozens if not hundreds of splat books, a little of the uniqueness is lost.  Plus, through the internet, tons of official and non official sites with pages and pages of new campaign additions can be discovered...in the old days, it was just Dragon Magazine.  
 The Len Lakofka articles were very influential in my campaigns (Leomund's Tiny Hut section).  I distinctly remember many of them, including the Segment of action (incorporated in our campaigns), the article on the insectoids (immediately used as monsters to beat up on my players!!!), the charts on where you were born in Greyhawk, what weapons you used, the STR of monsters, charting experience levels to make a worthy foe for your campaign, etc.  One of the few writers who really got me thinking about game balance and "tweaking" your style of play and campaigns for the first time.....when we first started, it was by the book or nothing.  A lot of the ideas, if not the actual innovations, are still referred to by myself when planning campaigns
  If the insert in any typical magazine from #40-#100 wasn't a module we could run and a game instead, we would happily play the game some nights when we were burnt out on D&D!!!!  (not often, mind you, but did happen).  I remember many happy slumber parties where Food Fight, Awful Green Things, Search for the Emperor's Treasure, or Mansion of Mad Professor Ludlow was the main attraction. In particular, Mad Ludlow's mansion was attempted many times by various groups, with not a one having a character making it through the entire gauntlet...but who cared, it was fun!
   I do flip through the ocassional Dragon mag when I see them in the game store and HPB.  I don't see the "fun" in each issue and haven't for awhile.  Basically, if you didn't play 3rd edition, the usefullness was very thin.  I really miss those monthly issues in the late 70s that brought so much joy to a bunch of high schoolers hooked on what would be a lifetime hobby.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:14 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:Here is the response from WOTC (yesterday). Somewhat more sensitive,  and at least recognising the history of the hobby.  Still smells to me of  suspiciously fake sentimentality and crocodile tears :evil:  


They didn't even put a picture of the magazines on the page "lamenting" their falls---just the 3.5 PHB and DMG  :roll:


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:30 pm 
 

Well, their "damage control" agents of doom are now out in full force...just look at the response I got when I tried to have a little fun with them.  It only took a suspicious 7 minutes for a response:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.p ... 713&page=3

You'd think they realize they messed up and fix it, but they'd rather spar with me over semantics.  I think it'll be a fun week!

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:08 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Well, their "damage control" agents of doom are now out in full force...just look at the response I got when I tried to have a little fun with them.  It only took a suspicious 7 minutes for a response:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.p ... 713&page=3

You'd think they realize they messed up and fix it, but they'd rather spar with me over semantics.  I think it'll be a fun week!


Oh lord that is a classic..."We don't allow boycotts". You don't? That's great!  I've finally witnessed the return of T$R policies...disagree with us and we'll sick the thought police on you!
 Well, since WOTC doesn't allow boycotts on their boards, I guess I'll just have to boycott them in real life...
 Man I hope these asshats get hammered the next few weeks by guys like Deimos....and worse....

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:40 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:  Well, since WOTC doesn't allow boycotts on their boards, I guess I'll just have to boycott them in real life.

My boycott is on Day Four already. Woot! Not a single one of my pennies will be going to WotC. Ever.

Badmike wrote:  Man I hope these asshats get hammered the next few weeks by guys like Deimos....and worse.

I've surfed some other boards (I'm not a member anywhere else), and my overall impression is the Wizards is getting drilled by irate gamers from across the globe.

Dragonsfoot ... ENworld ... RPGnet ... Wizards' own forums, of course ... Paizo's forums ... even some smaller ones, like Monte Cook's ... it's not pretty, if you are a huge WotC fan. There's some real outrage pouring out; actually, most of what I have seen makes what we've written here seem incredibly calm and well-reasoned.  :)

Added together, the casual dismissal of Dragon and Dungeon in the original press release, the uber-lame testimonials in the follow-up release, Wizards' defensive attitude on its own boards, the miscalculation that gamers would supposedly fall all over themselves to obtain online content, and (of course) the original decision to sever 30 years of gaming history could go down as the biggest PR disaster in RPG history. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of soul-less borgs ...

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:52 pm 
 

I have just signed up for the Wizards of the Piss Coast forum and will be cutting and pasting my exact responsce that I have posted on this web forum to theirs. Hopefully I will not be deleated/banned/censored at my post. I hope everyone who is upset will follow suit also and help to knock these basterds dicks in the dirt.  They will not be getting one more cent of mine or my gaming groups dollars..

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:02 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Well, their "damage control" agents of doom are now out in full force...just look at the response I got when I tried to have a little fun with them.  It only took a suspicious 7 minutes for a response:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.p ... 713&page=3

You'd think they realize they messed up and fix it, but they'd rather spar with me over semantics.  I think it'll be a fun week!


OK, to be fair. It's a hard position for the moderators. They have no control, power or say in this situation. Probably most of them are narked by the loss of the magazines as well. The CoC means they can shut down topics like that if it's disrupting the day to day business of the boards (e.g. causing too much disharmony to the community). Moderating stuff like this is always going to be hard for them, because they understand where people are coming from, but sometimes things do get *too* disrputive & pretty ugly (like they had to ban the discussion of 3rd ed on the OOP board for a time because it caused too many flame wars there).


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:08 am 
 

What? huh? .... There is a real serious issue here, to try and pass it off as some sort of minor inconvience that will just pass in time is a real diservice and I dont know how else to express it in a civilized , sanatized manner... but something is really messed up here and the futile efforts of damage control... well everybody is watching.. and this history and its reprecutions will be recorded and .... blah  I hope they get whats comin... major capital loss .... and lots more.


Last edited by Afrika Corps on Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:16 am 
 

It is hard to criticize Wizards of the Coast for not wanting their own discussion boards to be used to flame them.

They do, however, need to listen.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:32 am 
 

And oh yea, why do a few people want to subjucate this forum and turn it into a rememberance of what was the best articles of days of past of Dragon Magazine while the murder and suicicide of this is taking place right now. Dragon Magazine did not go peacefully into the night, it was kidnapped, butchered and exploited as a hostage of the powers in control. To think that this evolution is somehow natural and warranted without any sort of outrage and anger is jacked up. Where are you at?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:03 am 
 

I'm not happy about Dragon magazine being cancelled, either. Although I didn't read much of it since about issue #68 - I believe that was the one with the Tim Hildebrand cover(?) - I've still picked up an issue here or there. I had to pick up the Shannara issue a few years back, just to get the stats for some of my favorite characters.

While that is all fine and good, the folks on this forum - the true D&D fans from WAY back - aren't the people to whom D&D 3.5 is targeted. Great, if we're on board, but if not, they could care less. They're after the NEW generation of 12-24 year olds, the ones who want something "cooler" and more "hip" than the stuff we enjoyed.

As much as I hate to say it - or even THINK it - we are the "has been" generation of gamers who WoTC could give a damn less about. As long as D&D is successful in their target market, who cares what the "old-timers" say?

To us, Dragon and Dungeon are an institution. To new gamers, they're just game magazines. And those are the people I believe WoTC is catering to....


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:10 am 
 

Afrika Corps wrote:And oh yea, why do a few people want to subjucate this forum and turn it into a rememberance of what was the best articles of days of past of Dragon Magazine while the murder and suicicide of this is taking place right now. Dragon Magazine did not go peacefully into the night, it was kidnapped, butchered and exploited as a hostage of the powers in control. To think that this evolution is somehow natural and warranted without any sort of outrage and anger is jacked up. Where are you at?


Because it's a GAME DUDE. Remembering breeds nostalgia and is fun; besides, I haven't been buying Dragon since 3rd edition came out, so why would I feel outraged? To me this magazine "died" about 7 years ago and I"m already over it.  Plus it was a publication...I save my anger for things that matter, not fantasy publications getting cancelled when with the materials I have at hand I can play D&D for the next 50 years of my life and never worry about another magazine again.
    Talking about a GAME as if it was a real person the way you are doing only creeps everyone out.  A magazine cannot be murdered, raped,or butchered. Get a grip.
 If Dragon and Dungeon mags started up again tomorrow, that's great.  If they never published another issue, I don't really care. As I said, "My" Dragon and Dungeon ended long ago.  Don't expect me to get excited over something I never read or used.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:30 am 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:As much as I hate to say it - or even THINK it - we are the "has been" generation of gamers who WoTC could give a damn less about.

I wouldn't give up on us that quickly ... one thing those of us from the 1e generation have (for the sake of argument, let's say that the age-range I'm talking about is 33 to 47) is lots of disposable income.

Wizards knows we're out here, believe me. They might be stupid, but they're not blind. Clearly, we are not the target audience for 3e/3.5/4e/7e/D&D X/D&D 2010 or whatever else they're up to in Renton, but our sheer buying power makes us a factor in their decision-making. Not the factor, certainly, but a factor nonetheless.

+++++

As sort of a sidebar, it's been interesting to note that the Dragon decision is also being harshly criticized by a pretty vocal faction of the younger/3e/never-played-1e crowd. God love the little bastards — they just wants their magazines back!  :)

That's definitely not good news for WotC, as it's clear that this whole "online initiative" farce is aimed directly at the suposedly younger, hipper, more computer-savvy crowd. Essentially, quite a few people from their target audience are telling them that they will not be participating in any sort of e-zine nonsense.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:39 am 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:To us, Dragon and Dungeon are an institution. To new gamers, they're just game magazines. And those are the people I believe WoTC is catering to....


Excellent point made here - look at what this site is about -

What You Won't Find Here:

Much information at all on items produced 1990 and later.  The primary focus of The Acaeum is on items of collectible value; the sad fact is that most items produced after the mid 1980's are pretty much still going for cover price at auctions.

Info on playing D&D.  There's a plethora of other web sites that cover every possible aspect of playing this game, as well as provide homemade modules, accessories, etc.  The Acaeum was created in response to a perceived need for hard data on collecting D&D materials. We are the only known web site on the Internet currently doing so.


While I can't help but be a bit disapointed by the decision to cancel both mags I don't really think that WOTC will be too bothered about what the subscribers here think - the current magazine market is very different to the average subscriber here

It does seem like a huge decision, and IMO, must surely make no financial sense whatsoever. HOWEVER my opinion and financial sense are not things that generally go well together!! - presumably this is a decision made purely as a cold hard business decision. We all know the nonsense that TSR went through - oversimplifying it to say that creative people do not make the shrewdest business decisions but you know where I'm coming from - the decision from WOTC will NOT have been made by the 'creatives', it will have been made with a bottom line in mind.

Nevertheless, as I've said before. a sad day. Both magazines have a place in my heart (and a slightly larger place in my loft!) but somehow the world will continue without them.

(At least now there will be a finite amount of shelf space needed for a complete collection  - somone do the math and let me know how much shelf length I would need if I get myself a complete set of Dungeon/Dragon/Polyhedron and Imagine and a room to keep them in :lol: )


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:54 am 
 

I think WOTC should worry about what people on these types of forums think.

It isn't just the Acaeum members that might be angry.

Remember...their online format is going to be aimed at people who are...online.  If they are getting flack from their online audience, they might want to wonder if they have made the correct decision.

Still...

A game company looks at a game quite differently than their customers might.  They look at profits and generating enough new market to stay in business.  A number of the people criticizing them have not purchased a WOTC product in years.

One thing that they might think about....

A gamer such as myself does not buy large quantities of WOTC materials.  Still, by running weekly games, players like me sustain the larger RPG community.  I don't purchase many products but my players do...  They honestly believe themselves to be geniuses...but their new direction sounds a lot like New Coke.

Either way, I don't think my calling the WOTC executives ass monkeys is the way to reach the brains of WOTC executives.

People who are really angry at WOTC for this decision might write them a reasoned letter informing them of the impact of their genius decision.  That might do more than the ass monkey strategy.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:57 am 
 

gyg wrote:
the decision from WOTC will NOT have been made by the 'creatives', it will have been made with a bottom line in mind.


There it is.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:28 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:(for the sake of argument, let's say that the age-range I'm talking about is 33 to 47)


Oh how convent, leave out the younger crowd, and don't even think your argument skills are adequate by using the ol 'for the sake of argument' bit.
You sir have just been Boycotted!

:D

I'll never spend another cent on Xaxaxe's comments...oh crap I just gave 2, darn it! :wink:

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:35 am 
 

I agree that Wizards (Hasbro) should worry about what the people who use their message boards think - and I know that some of the employees do post there. But it has to be understood that these people can only convey the message/mood to their superiors within the company. The sort of people who work for Wizards who read the boards aren't the ones who make the decisions.

It's sad that Dungeon & Dragon will be lost to the vaults of collectors, but unfortunately, that's the way it is with games (and those of us who prefer to play the older editions should be used to coming to terms with this). I guess my bottom line is, although sad, whatever keeps the game alive in some form for new players. I can't say I like a lot of Wizards or Hasbro's decisions related to the game, but that's the way it is. - I hope that in the future they realise that there is a market for the Dragon & Dungeons magazines & start publishing them again - but until then I think it's wrong of people to rant & be abusive to people like the WizOs who have no say in the situation.

Personally I would say write a letter to Wizards/Hasbro. - Afterall, we're talking paper & pen & a *physical* magazine. In my mind, that would have more weight than emails, boards messages etc.

Hasbro have a different agenda to that of your typical gaming company - for good or ill. We're a small part of their market.

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