No More Dragon (Magazine)

I got an e-mail in my box today that proclaimed that Dragon Magazine would no longer be published and would be eventually converted to an online service of some sort. It was bad enough when Amazing Stories went on hiatus, but now they’re messing with Dragon? I don’t particularly understand the mindset. Wizards of the Coast seems to be revoking licenses for some reason. They did Code Monkey Publishing in last year, they just now messed over Paizo.

Here’s the first paragraph of what I got in my Inbox this morning.

Today, Wizards of the Coast and Paizo Publishing announced the conclusion of Paizo’s license to publish Dragon and Dungeon magazines. The magazines will cease publication following the release of the September issues, which ship to subscribers and newsstands in August. The final issues will be Dragon #359 and Dungeon #150.

Now with Code Monkey the explanation they received was something along the lines of, “In light of future product considerations”. Of course I’m not a huge fan of Codemonkey now anyway, but for a while, when they were actually producing things, they were doing some pretty good work with E-Tools. That RPG Foundry project of theirs was pretty well vaporware. They kept giving people the, “next month” thing and then never delivered claiming mysterious bugs. Of course now it never will be delivered.

This particular move by Wizards interests me more though because Dragon has been in publication for quite a long time, pretty much uninterrupted and Paizo has by many accounts done some of the best work the magazine has ever had. Moving to a purely online model seems risky to me for some reason.

Yeah, it would be really convenient. Just today I told my brother he couldn’t use a barbarian variant in our game because he saw it in a Dragon Magazine and I didn’t want to haul them all out and start flipping through them to find it. I’ve been a subscriber since before #300. That’s sixty plus magazines to flip through. It would be nice to go online, or maybe into a local database that, say, I built for my own personal use and type in “Barbarian Variant” and have a list pop up with the one he was looking for and then read the article from there.

What sucks though is, there’s no hard magazine to hold. No shiny artwork delivered to my doorstep. No anticipation of when or if it will arrive. I’d just get an e-mail on the same day every month and there it’d be. Of course maybe it’ll be updated constantly like the website, who knows?

I am excited about this “Pathfinder” book subscription they’re putting out though. It’ll be a continuation of the “Adventure Path” series they’ve been putting out in the magazines, which I highly enjoy reading. Looks like it’ll be $19.99 a month, but subscribers get a 30% discount so it’ll be $13.99 a month. I did a test run with the purchase, and to have it shipped to Amarillo it looks like it runs about $4 so $17.99. You also get a $13.99 PDF for free every month too. I guess you can look at it before your book arrives. For me that’s cheaper then buying it at Hastings every month, if they will even carry it. Not sure if I’ll go that route though, I might buy one to see if they have Ebberon options or not though.

Not sure $18 a month is a good investment there. Who know though? Wizards has been putting out a whole lot of crap lately and I’m finding it harder to justify $30 for a book half the size of the PHB3.5 for rules that are repeated in books I likely already have.

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