Friday, April 20, 2007

A Sad Day

Tis a sad day at the Troll Cave. News came yesterday of two passings. The first, and certainly less tragic, is the news that the magazines Dungeon and Dragon will soon no longer be published. The first issue of Dragon I ever read was a present to me from my brother. I loved it. I still have the poor, battered, thing. Among other goodness inside, it had an article by Ed “Forgotten Realms” Greenwood called “Seven Swords” that rocked my world, and changed the way I play RPGs. The Trollwife is currently earning her DM’s spurs by running me through an adventure in an old issue of Dungeon.

Apparently, WotC will be featuring Dragon and Dungeon-like content on their web page, possibly behind a for-pay gate. It’s a bold move for them, and it’ll be interesting to see if the possible benefits outweigh the loss of a presence on magazine stands.

Paizo, for their part, are replacing the magazines with a monthly book. That’s right, a perfect-bound, softcover book weighing in at 96 pages. The book, called Pathfinder, focuses in on their biggest success from their five years of running the D&D magazines: the Adventure Path. Adventure Paths are like those series of modules that were released in the heady early days of 1st edition AD&D. Things like the Temple of Elemental Evil series, or the Giants, Underearth, Drow series, adventures that could take your PCs from lowly neophytes to seasoned heroes ready to save the world. Pathfinder will be published every month, and six issues will constitute a complete “path”, taking PCs from 1st to 15th level. They’ve got heavy-hitters like Wolfgang Bauer (who gave the Trollsmyth his first professional game-writing rejection letter) and Wayne Reynolds (who is quickly becoming 3rd edition’s Larry Elmore) to work on the first six books. I think this is the ultimate expression of the subscription model of RPG publishing. Its success or failure could be significant for the RPG industry.

(And click on the pics on the main Paizo page. Each expands into a larger picture. I am especially intrigued by the fighter, the middle piece. Yeah, the sword is still too heavy, but both of his blades look functional, as does the armour. His hair is mussed, and his face looks dirt-smeared and maybe even scarred. In short, while there are clear “dungeonpunk” elements to the piece, there’s also a very strong “old school” vibe. Very interesting…)

The sadder news came via RPGnet. Apparently, Tom Moldvay, the man who wrote the Basic D&D book that started the Trollsmyth in RPGs, passed away last March 8th. I got the boxed set (I think most folks refer to it as the purple one) with the Erol Otis cover for Christmas many years ago now. He’d also written many adventure modules that are now considered classics.

1 comment:

Lea said...

oh! =( I always love the magazine Dragon. It was always so inspiring.