Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dungeon and Dragon go bye-bye

Ok, so nobody who's not a long time RPG gamer will really understand this, but this announcement from Wizards of the Coast felt like a kick in the gut and then made me feel like someone had drowned my puppies in a bathtub. (If I had any pets.)

I've been a gamer for most of my life, almost 30 years now, since like 1980 or 1981, though I never really had many friends to play with until college. And a constant companion, almost like a friend when I knew almost no one who played, was Dragon magazine. Its first issue was when I was only 5 years old, before I ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons. The first time I ever became aware of it was when I was on a family vacation in California and saw one at a newstand. I was hooked instantly. It was issue 63. I'll never forget that cover. I soon found an earlier issue on that same trip, number 62. By the time I got home, I was subscribed and soon got issue 64. My subscription lapsed at 89 due to various reasons, but once I found more friends to play with, I was resubscribed and then I set out getting all of the issues I missed. Then I set out getting all of the older ones as well. I succeeded, ironically enough finding that the very last issue I tracked down was issue 61, the one right before the issues I first found in that California gift shop. I even got all of the issues of the precursor, The Strategic Review, which was little more than a black and white newsletter that lasted only seven issues.

Later, they started another magazine, Dungeon, which included adventures. I kind of liked the idea that the game called Dungeons and Dragons now had two official magazines, Dungeon (wiki entry) and Dragon (wiki entry). And of course I have all of the Dungeon magazines as well.

No matter how busy I was, even if I was too busy to play or even to read the magazines when they came, it was always comforting to know they were there. A piece of my childhood that has grown with me to adulthood. Something that represents an activity that I always have fun with and I hope my children will enjoy as much as I have.

But now finding out that both magazines will be discontinued, as of September of this year, it just sickens me and saddens me. So I just had to mention it here, though I have no idea if anyone who reads this (what, all three of you?) even cares about this topic. But I care.

So it ends, with issue 359 of Dragon and 150 of Dungeon. I'll miss you both terribly.

8 comments:

cornucrapia said...

No way! Awwww man, I haven't seen either of those mags in years but they were a huge part of my childhood as well. I'm sad to see them go.

Leung Shuren said...

Druids, Elf Wizards, Paladins, Sorcerers, Bards... Faced with Barbarians, Dragons, Burning Skies, hungry bellies, or just a lack of maiden company, crashing in an all male dorm hallway and finding that D&D wasn't reality all the time... Oh, you brought it all soooo back to my memory, I am contemplating the small brass wizard and a 12 sided die and wondering what to tell the family if I travel along the road that Egbert blazed.

Yes, we will all miss the Dragon and the Dungeon; thanks for letting us know and bringing that era back for just a moment.

DBB said...

Yes, and it is particularly sad when it was just as they were starting another golden age. Paizo did wonderful things with both of thoe magazines. I think Wizards just killed the license to Paizo so they would not compete with them as they brought out their purely on-line form of the magazines. (Which appears to be what they will do). Which is sad, because online just is not the same as a full color magazine you can hold in your hand. There's no excitement of finding it in the mailbox each month. There is no shelf where you can put it and see all the magazines of year's past.

Oh well. The end of an era.

armagh444 said...

This, incidentally, was the post that made me add your blog to my "daily read" queue. Other attorneys who are RPG folks are rare enough that I still count the day that I and a couple of my law school buddies realized we all gamed as one of the best moments of my law school experience.

I read the post to my husband - not a lawyer, but an extremely avid gamer - and after asking twice to confirm that I really was telling him that Dragon and Dungeon truly were being discontinued had a rather pithy and pointed assessment of the situation: "Hasbro sucks."

DBB said...

Gamers in Law School? That does sound like a happy moment. I was too busy to game when I was in law school (I went at night and worked 50-60 hour days during the day) but after it was over, I was right back at it (well, once my daughter was four months old, she was born right when I graduated). I hope she takes to gaming, though it is a little early to tell...

armagh444 said...

My daughter has already taken part in her first D&D session. I think growing up around it just makes taking part natural.

Gaming in law school was pretty rare. We didn't get to play as much as we would have liked, but those Saturday afternoons that we did manage were a major source of sanity for all of us.

DBB said...

How old is your daughter now? Mine is too young to do much but put the plastic figures in her mouth, though she does like to play with some of them. I have this hope that just seeing daddy play will make her interested in it.

TJ said...

My husband is a huge gamer, including D&D. I don't know if he reads those magazines, but I'm sure he has a strong opinion on the whole thing. Sorry to say, the few games I've been reluctantly present at seemed oh-so-not interesting to me, but he loves it.