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D&D 5E How would you improve Dragon+, WotC's Online Magazine?

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I think it's worth noting that Dragon+ WAS a bit better when it launched, and had more of the stuff people are asking for here (more free adventures, maps, creatures, DM advice, etc.) It gradually became what it now is during the course of its third year of publication (sometime after Tomb of Annihilation came out) - ie, mostly promotional items. That change may actually have been data-driven - it takes more effort and resources to make the digital mag most of us would like to read, and maybe the readership levels didn't justify that allocation of time & energy.

I suspect that this may have become increasingly true as 5E matured and that other stuff was available plentifully from other sources. For the first couple of years of Dragon+, there still wasn't all that much 5E material out there, and having that content in the magazine seemed more warranted and even necessary. Now? We're drowning in that sort of content for 5E from every corner of the internet.
 

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In reality WotC does what it wants to do. I sometimes wonder about the efficacy of polls and speculative forays. Jeez. WotC doesn't even have forums anymore, and for how long? So it's like I said in the first sentence. Feel enfranchised when they come out with product, from DMsGuild, and else-wise. I haven't even thought of Dungeon or Dragon since they took them back from Paizo. In between I have heard nary a mention of them, as well, like, "did you see that cool article in issue # X??" They appear severed from the fandom they once nurtured.
 

Who needs Dragon+ when there's En5ider? A brand new piece of D&D content every week sent right to your inbox. Brought to you by the people who made this forum! And for less then an latte at a fancy coffee shop. That sounds like a winner to me#
 

Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
Bring Back:
  • Deities and Demigods (at least 4e)
I liked all of Dave's suggestions. An additional recurring new column that I would love to read would be one that has creators of well-known characters providing the 5th edition statistics for their characters (Ed Greenwood's 5th edition Elminster, Bob Salvatore's 5th edition Drizzt, etc.). I think I understand why we have not seen 5th edition stats for well-known characters in the books, but putting them in Dragon+ would be a way to appeal to those who would like to see the stats, would provide something for people to debate and remain engaged with, and yet also keep those stats out of hardcover books until Wizards wants to publish them. I can't imagine it being that much to create one PC per issue, but I know it would incentivize me to check into Dragon+ when a new once comes out, in much the same way that I routinely check out Mike Myler's new entry for Mythological Figures & Maleficent/Epic Monsters every Monday. As it is, I only look at Dragon+ a couple times a year.
 
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pming

Hero
Hiya!
I probably should have put this in my OP, but I don't think a physical product is on the table... yes WotC has the resources, but everyone I've spoken to has said that a print magazine is not really a profitable enterprise. MCDM has spoken repeatedly on why a print version isn't possible.
I'm calling malarkey on that. Just make it printable via PoD... DriveThruRPG, Lulu, etc. Very little overhead for them to do. I bought all the "Frontiersman" magazines on PoD up to whenever it got canceled (issue #25 iirc; oh, it was a fan mag created by fans for Star Frontiers; BEST fan created mags I have ever read, btw!). I can't remember what I paid for them, but it was reasonable for what you get (I want to say $16 to $21 Canadian for most?). Cardstock full colour cover, black/blue ink inside with colour maps, if any were included. Most between 30 and 80 pages! These aren't just "coffee table mags"...they are gaming mags that I still use today and probably will for the rest of my life.

A good quality PoD mag is EASILY worth more than a $15 "digital only" subscription thing. The cost to use PoD is just not a factor, imnsho, for magazines and small 'books' (say, 1e/2e style adventure modules). For a bigger publication? Maybe. But for a 30-page "Print this PDF for me" service...yeah, I'm not buying the whole "it's too unprofitable" spiel. Sorry.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 


darjr

I crit!
I do not want a print magazine. Maybe a best of book? What I really want is a box of stuff with a digital zine. Minis and maps and terrain and dice and trinkets and art.
 


dave2008

Legend
In reality WotC does what it wants to do. I sometimes wonder about the efficacy of polls and speculative forays. Jeez. WotC doesn't even have forums anymore, and for how long? So it's like I said in the first sentence. Feel enfranchised when they come out with product, from DMsGuild, and else-wise. I haven't even thought of Dungeon or Dragon since they took them back from Paizo. In between I have heard nary a mention of them, as well, like, "did you see that cool article in issue # X??" They appear severed from the fandom they once nurtured.
I think there is truth to that; however, I came back to D&D with 4e (previously a 1e / BECMI group) and I loved the digital Dungeon and Dragon magazines. They had a lot of great content that I still reference (and it was all core - for whatever that is worth).
 

dave2008

Legend
I think it's worth noting that Dragon+ WAS a bit better when it launched, and had more of the stuff people are asking for here (more free adventures, maps, creatures, DM advice, etc.) It gradually became what it now is during the course of its third year of publication (sometime after Tomb of Annihilation came out) - ie, mostly promotional items. That change may actually have been data-driven - it takes more effort and resources to make the digital mag most of us would like to read, and maybe the readership levels didn't justify that allocation of time & energy.

I suspect that this may have become increasingly true as 5E matured and that other stuff was available plentifully from other sources. For the first couple of years of Dragon+, there still wasn't all that much 5E material out there, and having that content in the magazine seemed more warranted and even necessary. Now? We're drowning in that sort of content for 5E from every corner of the internet.
Actually I don't think the original content has really dropped, it is just that there is so much more advertising-type content then when it launched.
 

TheSword

Legend
The problem with just relying on DMs guild is precisely that there isn’t editing. I don’t want to have to wade through piles of tripe on the hope I land on a gem.

Dragon Magazine surprised us with its variety... and general quality. Often around a theme. How to run a dark ages campaign, 101 uses for a bag of beans, spells and short fiction from Ed Greenwood’s Pages from the Mages. I vividly recall a short story about enslaved dwarves having to magically shore up the defenses of an evil wizards castle as it was been attacked... it was amazing. I wish I could remember the author or the edition even.

What dragon magazine was about was quality ideas, that were either useful for your game... or just plain interesting to read. Taken from the best of the D&D community.

I miss that! I don’t care what format it comes in.
 

dave2008

Legend
Hiya!

I'm calling malarkey on that. Just make it printable via PoD... DriveThruRPG, Lulu, etc. Very little overhead for them to do. I bought all the "Frontiersman" magazines on PoD up to whenever it got canceled (issue #25 iirc; oh, it was a fan mag created by fans for Star Frontiers; BEST fan created mags I have ever read, btw!). I can't remember what I paid for them, but it was reasonable for what you get (I want to say $16 to $21 Canadian for most?). Cardstock full colour cover, black/blue ink inside with colour maps, if any were included. Most between 30 and 80 pages! These aren't just "coffee table mags"...they are gaming mags that I still use today and probably will for the rest of my life.

A good quality PoD mag is EASILY worth more than a $15 "digital only" subscription thing. The cost to use PoD is just not a factor, imnsho, for magazines and small 'books' (say, 1e/2e style adventure modules). For a bigger publication? Maybe. But for a 30-page "Print this PDF for me" service...yeah, I'm not buying the whole "it's too unprofitable" spiel. Sorry.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
I don't know about POD, but their is a lot of evidence to suggest traditional print is very difficult to monetize.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Have you looked at dungeon in a box? Not exactly that.....

Man I wish Dungeon in a Box posted their released adventures to purchase on their site. I'm not keen on committing to a subscription service, but don't mind picking on choosing what adventures to purchase that they've already released. Sadly saw no option for this on their site.
 

dave2008

Legend
The problem with just relying on DMs guild is precisely that there isn’t editing. I don’t want to have to wade through piles of tripe on the hope I land on a gem.

Dragon Magazine surprised us with its variety... and general quality. Often around a theme. How to run a dark ages campaign, 101 uses for a bag of beans, spells and short fiction from Ed Greenwood’s Pages from the Mages. I vividly recall a short story about enslaved dwarves having to magically shore up the defenses of an evil wizards castle as it was been attacked... it was amazing. I wish I could remember the author or the edition even.

What dragon magazine was about was quality ideas, that were either useful for your game... or just plain interesting to read.

I miss that!
That seems like some rose-colored glasses to me. I recall having to peruse mounds of Dragon magazines to find the gems back in the day. There was a lot of questionable content IMO. To be honest I much prefer DMsGuild which has ratings, reviews, and sales metrics to base my purchase on. Plus, I can cherry-pick the content I want.
 
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TheSword

Legend
That seems like some rose-colored glasses to me. I recall having to perused mounds of Dragon magazines to find the gems back in the day. There was a lot of questionable content IMO. To be honest I much prefer DMsGuild which has ratings, reviews, and sales metrics to base my purchase on. Plus, I can cherry-pick the content I want.
Perhaps. I don’t remember it that way. I occasionally go back to them for inspiration. I also a big fan of mining dungeon magazine for 5e stuff based on how easy it is to convert. Age of Worms for instance.

Cherry picking just means I’m missing a whole load of content I don’t know id like and therefore don’t buy. I guess I trusted the editions. Considering that one of the columnists of the excellent Dungeoncraft articles is now running D&D, and the lead adventure writer was a regular contributor, they had a good eye for quality.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think it's worth noting that Dragon+ WAS a bit better when it launched, and had more of the stuff people are asking for here (more free adventures, maps, creatures, DM advice, etc.) It gradually became what it now is during the course of its third year of publication (sometime after Tomb of Annihilation came out) - ie, mostly promotional items.
My recollection is that the opposite is true. When it launched it was very much just a promotional fluff piece, but over time it came to have more useful content.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
I probably should have put this in my OP, but I don't think a physical product is on the table... yes WotC has the resources, but everyone I've spoken to has said that a print magazine is not really a profitable enterprise. MCDM has spoken repeatedly on why a print version isn't possible.

Can you link to or explain why a print version of Dragon Magazine isn't possible? Because I have near my desk a copy of White Dwarf and I'm wondering why WotC can't do it if GW can at $9 an issue.

Every article I've read on the topic of print media says that general interest magazines are losing subscribers and advertising but niche magazines (which is what Dragon Magazine would be) are doing very well. It's still a $22.9 billion industry.
 

There are a few very good issues:
The one before Christmas with a solo adventure was nice.
Actually, every issue with a free short adventure is really good. I also like the historic articles. I am not interested in the interviews and so on...
 



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