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Polite Elliot's page

24 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Dragon and Dungeon magazine have both been around for as long as I've been playing D&D and to see them go will mean there will be a empty hole in the D&D landscape :(

It was only last week I picked up 300, 304 & 305 and a bunch of pdf issues. Alas, old issues because the latest incarnation of Dragon has been disappointing (Demonomicon, First Watch and the miserable 344 issue!? (great cover though))

I'm going to miss the great articles but I'll miss the covers the most I think & the outstanding artwork over the years.

End of an era...


A player asked me for tips on running a Cleric & spell choice so I reached for Class Acts in Dragon magazine :)

Because these sliver articles are scattered across so many issues they're not easy to find without resorting to the internet which is a bit of a pain. Before I could reach for the Cleric issue and find stuff like this.

What's more - Cleric spells are spread across 2 issues. What for? So it's fits in with the article format? To me it just doesn't make sense.

The format isn't good - it certainly doesn't enhance the articles contents.


D&D has inspired some fantastic art and fantastic artists. Some have even come to define whole editions of the game:

1st Edition - Erol Otus (http://minipainting-guild.net/eo/eoart.html)
2nd Edition - Larry Elmore (www.larryelmore.com) & Jeff Easley (www.jeffeasley.com)
3rd Edition - Wayne Reynolds (www.waynereynolds.com) & Todd Lockwood (www.toddlockwood.com)

How about giving these artists their due, a thanks and maybe expose Dragon readers to some of this great art. This art and these artists are incredibly inspiring, and that seems to be one of the aims of Dragon magazine - inspire players and readers : )


In 20+ years of D&D I've never seen the issue tackled or even dealt with (steps back waiting to be corrected).

It's regularly addressed in Online RPG gaming but is never mentioned in pen & paper RPG's. D&D relies on the honour system, well that's open to abuse right?

What DM's have experiences with it, is it a widespread issue or does it even happen? Is it a taboo subject, a dirty secret or something that could undermine the game as whole?


Shoot, to be honest I haven't even noticed the change in the Prestige Class format. I'm going to go check it but I can't see it's that big an issue :(


The Haunted House article was excellent - material I'm just dying to get the chance to insert into a game. Well done : )

But that's it - one article in the whole magazine. I got a 1 year subscription in July but I think the magazine is pretty poor after the re-launch. My game store manager is pretty flexible so I'm going to exchange Dragon for a few issues of Dungeon and maybe get some back issues.

Hope you turn the magazine around, I really appreciate Eric Mona's enthusiasm and commitment to make Dragon the best magazine possible. Good luck : )


Yep, I have to say the rather long fiction article in #336 wasn't anything I was interested in, the fiction rarely is.

I'm not sure it's a really necessary part of the magazine. I know it's traditional, but I never use the fiction in my games. I wouldn't mind losing the fiction altogether.


With the approaching release of MC's Ptolus city campaign (it look fantastic) will we be seeing Ptolus material in the same way we see Forgotten Realms material?

Appropriate seeing how this months 335 was heavily devote to Forgotten Realms.


I still recommend any D&D player to take a look at Dragon magazine, and Dungeon too. In fact I'm running a DM'ing workshop tomorrow where I'll be pointing it out as a good source of material, time saving articles and stuff to get one's imagination going and usually worth a look.

But that said I'm not a fan of a few of the changes made and some sections of the magazine and it's not as great as it used to be, but in the future it may pick up. And I'd like to thank Erik for taking the time to watch the messageboards and see what we readers have to say.

I'd say 3 years ago it was a 4/5 ***** publication but now struggling 3 *** (sorry) which is why I wouldn't know what to put in the review.

Is there any way Amazon can get these reviews updated?


I don't know what to write!

Looking through my stack of Dragons I really haven't been to fond of the last 3 (332-335) and they're certainly not great, like maybe the Swashbuckler/Drow/Knights & Chivalry/Gladiator issues for example.

I've just gotten a year of issues for a birthday present (my local game store is putting them aside) and I'm on the verge of trying Dungeon for a few months or trying to get some older back issues.

I've been collecting Dragon again since 2002 really so I do love the magazine but now it seems like there are still some good articles where before there were entire issues that were great (and consistently too).

I'd certainly recommend anyone to pick an issue and check it out but as I'm wavering on my own 12 month subscription I wouldn't recommend one.


bg2soatob wrote:
When dragon and dungeon first did the relaunch, DM articles were lost in the middle.

That's a real shame because DM articles are really important and one of my first reads.

I can see why it might seem like a good idea to transfer them to Dungeon, to seperate each magazine for the type of player but in reality there isn't that clear distinction between us - many DM's are players too.

I'm interested in the DM'ing articles I used to get in Dragon but they're not enough reason for me to buy Dungeon every month, which I don't do because I've got plenty of adventure material already.

Dungeon creates adventures far quicker than any (most?)DM can run.


Does Class Acts lack excitement because there's never any accompanying artwork?

I've had a look at other discussion boards and I can see there's been a lot of debate, which I'm sure won't go unnoticed.

There have been Class Acts I've found useful or interesting but none of them ever made much of an impact on me. I think I'd just rather see some of them developed into something with more substance. Full fledged features on a Class and rotate which class through a series of issues.


The Evolved material is kind of campaign specific and balanced differently but the Eldritch Might/Iron MIght/Hallowed Might/Roguish Luck etc is generic 100% D&D.


I think Crafting is an under developed part of the game and in my experience rarely used. But isn't Crafting a significant part of MMORPG?

How about advice on using Crafters to their full potential, some prestige classes (maybe Dwarven Smith, Elven Fletcher, Human Gunsmith, Gnomish Apothecry), some more Power Components, rules on cutomising armour, weapons and eqipment ("Pimp my Full Plate" anyone?).

I think there's an opportunity to add another dimension to peoples game. The Dwarven Smith is a cool archetype, I like to see him (or her) brought to life.

A Crafter may not be too great in a fight but where would Bond be without 'Q' or Blade without his Whistler? If I were a player I'd like to see one in my party.


I'm a massive fan of Monte Cook & Malhovic - I probably use their material more than Wizards, so for me it would be great to see some supporting material in Dragon.

If Dragon is now independent of Wizards why can't it run Iron Heroes articles in the same way it runs Forgotten Realms material?


Yep, the Underdark is a classic part of the game and I'd like too see some more of it please.

I'd like to see something on the scale of Year of the Drow and an issue as great as the one devoted to The Drow 298 (another Issue that I'm still using regularly - one of my players is a Gloomblade).


Absinth wrote:

There were many very useful issues.

I used issue #301 (Swashbucklers) a lot in one of my campaigns back then.
I always like the issues with darker themes like #312.
The 'Incursion'-issue (#309?) was a blast, too.
The best of the recent issues was #329 with the first part of the Demonomicon and the great ecology on kenku...

You know #301 (Swashbucklers)and 'Incursion'-issue (#309) were also two of the issues I picked out as excellent.

The Swashbuclers campaign component great, useful and really inspired and I loved the little character illustrations (the issue cover was brilliant too by Kalman Andasofszky). It also marked the Resurrection of Dungeoncraft which has too be one of the all time best series of articles.

But the highlight of that issue was DM's Toolbox about pacing sessions and adventures (I'm actually going to use this for a study aid DM'ing Workshop I'm running http://www.n4f.no/forum/showthread.php?t=2705 )

And The Incursion issue - oh wow. Fantastic resources for transforming a game and I'm finally preparing to use it (I'm waiting till my players are 15th). The tie in with Dungeon was really useful too and the Wayne Reynolds art was *awesome*.


I've done a bit of Dragon magazine bashing today so I just want to share what I think are some of the fantastic issues.

Issue 299 - Knights & Paladins
Wow - after 3 years I still find myself bringing it to sessions and using material. The Honour system was fantastic and I'm still using it. Great Paladin spells, useful new monsters (and counters) and some cracking Monk Prestige classes (with eye-popping Jeff Laubenstein art) but it's the Knight & Chivalry Campaign Component that has consistently added colour to my game.

Issue 303 - Gladiators
From the mouth watering Marc Sasso cover to the useful Arena Map this issue really fired the imagination. Like the Knightly Campaign Component the Galdiator one adds a whole dimension of possible play (nicely complimented by a gladiator inspired issue of Dungeon). It's got some useful history, some great fantasy additions and even playtest notes to help a DM avoid pitfalls. Plus other articles - a great Guild of Necromancers, imaginative fighting styles and a brilliant article of using Social Skills in the game (love the Todd Harris art too).

Issue 308 - Dragon Magic
The Dragon orientated issues are usually stand out issues but I think this one has to be the best. Great Dragon spells from Mr Monte Cook, magic items for dragons and magic items made from dragons PLUS weird and wonderful Illithid sybiote & magical gear, thought provoking Tactical tips for pairing monsterous opponents to keep your players on their toes (or running for cover). This issue just ooozed imagination : )

These issues just inspired me and made me want to run games where I could use some of this great material.


Sorry, sorry, sorry - please I don't mean to be rude about writers articles (d'oh I guess I didn't think the actual writers might be watching the message boards).

I appreciate each writer who excercises their talent and imagination each time they come up with material. Thank you.

I'm just not sure the Class Acts format is great. I want more than a single page.


I've done a bit of Dragon magazine bashing today so I just want to share what I think are some of the fantastic issues.

Issue 299 - Knights & Paladins
Wow - after 3 years I still find myself bringing it to sessions and using material. The Honour System was fantastic and I'm still using it. Great Paladin spells, useful new monsters (and counters) and some cracking Monk prestige classes (with eye-popping Jeff Laubenstein art) but it's the Knight & Chivalry campaign component that has consistently added colour to my game.

Issue 303 - Gladiators
From the mouth watering Marc Sasso cover to the useful Arena Map this issue really fired the imagination. Like the Knightly campaign component the Gladiator one adds a whole dimension of possible play (nicely complimented by a gladiator inspired issue of Dungeon). It's got some useful history, some great fantasy additions and even playtest notes to help a DM avoid pitfalls. Plus other articles - a great Guild of Necromancers, imaginative fighting styles and a brilliant article of using Social Skills in the game (love the Todd Harris art too).

Issue 308 - Dragon Magic
The Dragon orientated issues are usually stand out but I think this one has to be the best. Great Dragon spells from Mr Monte Cook, magic items for dragons and magic items made from dragons PLUS weird and wonderful Illithid sybiote & magical gear, thought provoking Tactical tips for pairing monsterous opponents to keep your players on their toes (or running for cover). This issue just ooozed imagination : )

These issues just inspired me and made me want to run games where I could use some of this great material.

What other issues or articles have inspired other Dragon readers?


And the prime culprit - First Watch.

Puh-lease - this month issue 335 "THE GAMESAC"! I buy Dragon for articles that are going to inspire me, add depth to my D&D campaign or improve my game. Reading about a 'fully equipped' sac with pockets for controllers or soda's isn't going to do that.

First Watch reads like 4 pages of vaguely disguised adverts. If I want to read about new XBox or PC games I'll buy a magazine devoted to them. How is a note on a White Wolf Exalted inspired comic really useful to me as a D&D player?

Being brutal, I think the Fiction is filler, I think a whole page of the Editor's thoughts is filler, half the Ed Greenwood article (I notice he has a new book out)- filler/promo material. I think Class Acts is padded and I know this isn't going to go down well - 3 pages of comics could be better spent.

Whether the fiction, cartoons or other stuff are really great or useful is debatable but 4 pages of First Watch is 4 pages too much.

If Dragon aims to "provide D&D players with the tools, utilities, and excitement they need to raise the level of their play experience" (it's certainly the reason I buy it)then at least news items about the lastest GAMESAC have got to go.


Zherog wrote:

But it's not cool (or correct) to say the articles lack imagination. I think you're just flat out wrong in that assessment.

By lack of imagination maybe I mean they can be repetitive sometimes. Issue 328 Class Acts has another 'good spells to know and cast' for The Ranger and exotic mounts for Barbarians, Issue 333 'good spells for a Paladin' and exotic mounts for Druids. Iss 335 we're back to 'good spells for a Cleric' again. Can I see an exotic mounts for Paladin's (or Rangers) article on the horizon or did I miss it?

Sometimes they're just recycling the same idea and slapping a different class on it.

Zherog wrote:


So let me offer you a challenge, Elliot. Send in a query to dragon and write a few articles.

You're 100% right, I should do that instead of just moaning about what I'm getting : )


What I'd like to see is some more depth instead of a 1 page blipvert.

Compare Chaos Monk from 335 to the Ariel Avenger from 319.

The Ariel Avenger article (it's a prestige class) has an exciting, inspirational picture, a bit of history to it and some nice class features.

The Chaos monk article has some nice rules but that's it, it's just rules. And a disclaimer: Beware, these rules may seriously alter your game. What I'd like to see is the background to Chaos monks, maybe their history, a typical character or the leader of their order.

That's what would instantly add flavour and atmosphere to my campaign (as the Ariel Avengers have already done), and that's what I'm looking from Dragon articles. I don't really need to add more rules.


Hei,

The 'Class Acts' articles are pretty much a waste of space!

In 1 page they manage to be short, shallow, mainly useless and even broken!

Issue 335 Class Acts
Clerics: is an article that says Bless is a useful spell really necessary?
Barbarians: If the small mechanical bonuses require special permission to use then doesn't this just mean they're unbalanced?
Paladins: A couple of really obscure uses for a couple of minor skills

Some of the Feats are useful, the Chaos Monk is a nice idea but underdeveloped, same with the Totem Druids.

Come on, use the pages for something with a bit of depth, a bit of imagination.


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