Saturday, January 11, 2014

An Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast, or How to Make Dungeon Magazine Worth Purchasing Again Part II

So we’ve talked about Dragon magazine but I have neglected Dungeon and that simply cannot be allowed to stand! Dungeon has just as proud a history in this hobby as its sister magazine and it is a great place to showcase your new system. But we both know that it’s had just as much neglect as Dragon over these last few years and it has really shown the wear and tear of a maligned product.

How do we fix it?

The Adventures

For years now the formula for Dungeon Magazine has been pretty straightforward: five or six short adventures and perhaps an overarching theme. Occasionally we’re treated to an adventure path that can be stitched together to provide us with a campaign for our players. All of that was great back when we didn’t have the internet.

Today we need more.

As consumers we need you to help us see where this product can go and we need you to do so in a manner that makes us excited for the game again. Just look at how you’ve been doing the Sundering Event. Absolutely brilliant!

You integrated video games, novels, and the Encounters in a way that has made their outcomes meaningful for us. That’s the first time that I can say that in my lifetime. Now you have to take it to the next level.

In Dungeon magazine we need you to start each Encounters season with a Dungeon exclusive adventure – and we need to see support for Encounters to be carried through the magazine so that the most meaningful project you’ve done in the last ten years is tied to a magazine built for our adventures.

We also need you to start putting a concerted effort into providing us with adventure paths. When done correctly there is nothing better than an adventure path, but when done poorly . . . I trust that you can do it well. You have some fantastic Dungeon Masters working in your staff, you just need to let them be great.

We still need consumer made adventures. But we need you to teach us how to make them better.

The Support Articles.

For years we’ve been getting textbooks filled with great information about how to be a good Dungeon Master, and they’re boring the hell out of us. That doesn’t mean we want you to stop putting out the Dungeon Master’s Guide – just break it down for us into meaningful bites of information. Give us articles about how to design a town, make a map, and how to create an exciting wilderness encounter. Teach us how build our monsters and how set traps, ambushes, and terrifying buildups that don’t fizzle when we spring them. And put all of that into Dungeon Magazine.

By teaching us how to build a better encounter, and a better adventure, you’re going to find that the quality of submissions will increase, and as Dungeon’s adventures get better the magazine will become a better resource for us and your sales will increase. A win-win for all of us.

It’s not going to be easy to do all of this, but I know that if you guys make the effort that these magazines can become meaningful for us again, and that they’ll become the sort of things that we have to pick up each month. And if you’ve been waiting for a sign to make the necessary changes I’m telling you this is it - because it’s a rare day when a consumer is begging you to put out a product and take his money. And I’m not alone.

Yours, 

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