Dragon magazine first saw print in 1976, giving readers of a pre-internet age tons of rules, spells, items and information regarding Dungeon & Dragons. It gave the world the Forgotten Realms, and it gave Elminster a place to teach readers about ecology. It was a source of information for players who craved more than their game books could give them, and gave its space to many of the best writer of the genre to showcase their stuff.
In 1986, Dungeon Magazine followed, providing DM’s with modules, adventures hooks and ideas, while in later years providing full adventure paths spanning entire campaigns. As its sister publication did, this magazine was a way for fans of D&D to connect with their game when their hardcovers or already played modules just would not do.
Even in my years away from D&D, a trip to the bookstore always included picking up and leafing through Dungeon and Dragon magazines. They are part of the history of D&D, and today they are no more. Dungeon and Dragon are effectively dead. While some will argue that they died when they left print for digital, at least WOTC attempted to keep the semblance of a magazine alive, maintaining the issue number order that was left from the print days, and releasing a completed digital issue at the end of the month. Until now.
Dragon has become a section on the WOTC website, with articles released under its banner. Dungeon has suffered the same fate as well. Full issues will no longer be compiled.
That’s not a magazine.
At this point, they may as well get rid of the issue numbers and covers. What’s the point if you’re not going to release it as a compiled digital magazine pdf? It’s a blog called Dragon. Not a magazine, not even a digital one.
Pieces of tabletop gaming history have left with a whimper, and we hear about it as a small mention in an Ampersand column.
And this was just one of many more announcements out of Wizards of the Coast yesterday.
Miniatures are also dead. The last set that shipped a few months back will be the final one, unless they decide to release specialty sets like the Orcus mini or the Beholder set. I could probably say with certainty that many of us saw this coming, but it still a bit of a sad piece of news when you hear it officially from the horse’s mouth. While I am not one to buy cases and cases of minis, I can appreciate the fact that many D&D players enjoy collecting and playing with minis and this announcement brings that aspect of the game to an end. At least in as far as pre-painted minis with a D&D logo on them go.
So yeah, clearly there’s something going on at WOTC. Perhaps they are under a lot of pressure to make some numbers, and shedding some of these things is the natural way to go.
But guys, Dragon and Dungeon both deserve a better send off than what you gave them. C’mon now.