Wil Save replacements?


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion


Yes, I know, we already have two active threads about Wil Save. But they're all about how people love or hate the article. I'd like a slightly different focus here. :-)

With Wil Save gone, there's an extra page available in Dungeon. What would you like to see in that space?

Personally, I've got two ideas. First, I'd like to see a Wil Save-type column, either with a regular writer like Wil or with a rotating list of guest writers. We'd get the same kinds of complaints, but if it were well done it'd keep a lot of the Wil Save fans happy.

Alternatively, and perhaps less controversially ;-) I'd *love* to see a monthly article by Rich Burlew. He's a pretty hard-core gamer, he's got the design chops to be acceptable to the audience, he's well-known enough to be a reasonable bookend, and he's an excellent writer. It doesn't even have to be a Wil Save-type article... I'd love to see a recurring article where he talks about creating villains, NPCs, a campaign world, etc. A lot of the material on his website, basically, but reworked a bit for the new format, and expanded on a bit hopefully. :-)


i'd like to see an article from one of the authors of one of the adventures in the issue.

notes from playtesting. hints about how they used things. something more in depth perhaps about one room or encounter.


I'd like to see the little "blast from the past" sidebars become a full-page at the back. It would be nice to end each issue with a nostalgic piece. Especially if it was written by the original authors, when possible.


"I'd like to see the little 'blast from the past' sidebars become a full-page at the back. It would be nice to end each issue with a nostalgic piece. Especially if it was written by the original authors, when possible."

Info on the history of the game is always great.


diaglo wrote:

i'd like to see an article from one of the authors of one of the adventures in the issue.

notes from playtesting. hints about how they used things. something more in depth perhaps about one room or encounter.

Now this is an awesome idea. :-D


Yeah, it is.

Contributor

I like Diaglo's idea; getting some notes from one of the author's of an adventure could be quite interesting to read. I don't know if it would make a good regular column, though.

What would I like to see? I'd like to see the same sort of article, from a different writer. I want a "fluff" piece about life as a D&D Gamer. I'd like Erik and his gang to keep the concept of the column, and find another writer.


Since this is a mag for DMs, I'd like to see a column from some sort of "master DM". He could talk about anything that came up from his game: Dealing with a problem player, how he made a combat more exciting, how he died some adventures together, funny things that happened, etc.

Barring that, how about opening up the final page essay to be things sent in by readers? Maybe a "What Happened When I Ran Dungeon Adventure X". Funny stories, clever happenings, etc.


Lots of good ideas here to chew on.

Personally I'd like the page to be focused on DMing and D&D since that is what I think the Magazine is about. I'm definitely in the non-crunchy camp. I guess I would prefer it if the author was not always the same. I think there is a great deal of talent out there with interesting things to say that would be of interest to DMs reading Dungeon.

Possibly an eclectic assortment of some of the above ideas would fit the bill? Certainly it would be entertaining to read about interesting aspects of play testing an adventure that was published in Dungeon. On the other hand reading a blast from the past type article would be fun as would something that was just an on topic perspective from DMs on the game and the hobby. Examples of such articles might be one on good ideas for setting up before a game or the perspective of a young DM and the difficulties in trying to learn to DM. Finally anything thats really humorous regarding running an adventure is always welcome.

Anything submitted by the readers and the fan base can be very hit or miss - still thats why there are editors. If what is submitted is not up to snuff then it does not make the magazine. If it has Erik laughing so hard he is in danger of pulling a muscle - well then its a fair bet that the readers will like it as well.

Obviously more professional writers have the right to insist that their material be less tampered with by the editors but then they are professionals and should generally have material thats up to snuff. So long as its on topic I would be happy.

Contributor

Vigwyn wrote:

My first subscription issue was 124--Age of Worms, baby!

I'll be DMing this one for my 10 yr. old son, and you should have seen him as we went over the map and background of Diamond Lake yesterday. His eyes lit up and a smile invaded his face as he imagined saving the world from the approaching Age of Worms!

(source of quote)

This is what Wil Save's replacement article ought to be! Show me the human side of DMing. Remind me why it's so awesome to be sitting behind the screen. Regal me with tales of how it felt once your players pieced together all the clues you've laid out there for the past six months and solved the mystery. Amuse me with tales of how your young kid has a completely different view of the game world from a jaded veteran.


As for Wil Save's replacement, how about a fluffy background on one of the characters (or perhaps a location) from the Age of Worms series; ressurrecting the Living Greyhawk Journal, if you will.


What to replace the 1 page of Wil Save? I vote for 2 additional pages of Downer!

The complexities of the story and the eye-catching art of Downer scream, "Four pages!"

If Downer were 4 pages, I bet nobody would have trouble following the story--which some folks have complained about, I think.

Tony M


No offense, but I don't read Downer for the plot (if there is in fact one); I simply read it for campaign ideas and which bad guys hook up with each other in the long run.


I read Downer for the great bad-guy banter! When Downer tells the ghost companion that his associates were "so-called friends", that was classic!


Zherog wrote:
Vigwyn wrote:

My first subscription issue was 124--Age of Worms, baby!

I'll be DMing this one for my 10 yr. old son, and you should have seen him as we went over the map and background of Diamond Lake yesterday. His eyes lit up and a smile invaded his face as he imagined saving the world from the approaching Age of Worms!

(source of quote)

This is what Wil Save's replacement article ought to be! Show me the human side of DMing. Remind me why it's so awesome to be sitting behind the screen. Regal me with tales of how it felt once your players pieced together all the clues you've laid out there for the past six months and solved the mystery. Amuse me with tales of how your young kid has a completely different view of the game world from a jaded veteran.

I could not agree more. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how much enjoyment and stimulation this games gives young minds, and how positively it affects them too. Sometimes we all need to just stop and look through the looking glass of a child's perspective. I think an article like this would be great!

Contributor

Lex Talinis wrote:
I could not agree more. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how much enjoyment and stimulation this games gives young minds, and how positively it affects them too. Sometimes we all need to just stop and look through the looking glass of a child's perspective. I think an article like this would be great!

Right. I think a human interest column about somebody who games could be really interesting. I think the concept behind Wil Save was the right one for the final page of the magazine, and I also think that Wil was on his way to getting there.

I officially toss my hat into the ring to write the article. :) Granted, I'm not famous - I'm guessing that maybe a dozen people who read Dungeon know who I am. But think of how cheap you'll be able to acquire my services because of that? :D I've been gaming since 1980-ish. I currently struggle to juggle gaming, a 45 hour-per-week job (sometimes longer), two kids, maintaining a house, and trying to have a semblance of a life. I'm perfect. :)

(and yes, I fully expect Erik to reject me - but it never hurts to try :D )

Liberty's Edge

Zherog wrote:

...I've been gaming since 1980-ish. I currently struggle to juggle gaming, a 45 hour-per-week job (sometimes longer), two kids, maintaining a house, and trying to have a semblance of a life. I'm perfect. :)

(and yes, I fully expect Erik to reject me - but it never hurts to try :D )

You have my vote ;)

The same things are true with me, just replace the two kids with two cats and that's it!
I wonder how you manage all this... It sure would be fun to read - as "Will Save" had been!!!

Contributor

Well, you can also tack on a dog and cat to my list. ;) I've pretty much decided that something had to go - and I opted to get rid of sleep. It's overrated, anyway. ;)


Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! :-)

What I'd *LOVE* to see -- and yes, I know it's not my idea -- is a fairly conversational article about running a game for younger players... Whether it's a parent running a game for the kids, or a teacher introducing students to D&D... The idea seems pretty simple to me, I hope everyone understands what I'm saying.

We keep hearing about how the gaming population is aging. D&D players aren't teenagers any more, we're thirty-, forty-, even fifty-year olds (and older) trying to work in D&D between family, home, and jobs. In the meantime, the young'uns aren't being introduced to D&D fast enough to support the continued existence of the industry. Well, an article about running a game for the young'uns (from 10 to 20), about reaching the youth of today and introducing our hobby to them... That'd be perfect. I don't have kids yet, but I will in the next couple years (hopefully). When they get a bit older, I want to run a game for them, like my dad ran a game for my brother and I when we were young. :-)

Anyway. Sorry, I just got really, really excited about the prospect of that kind of article. I'll try to be quiet now. ;-)

Liberty's Edge

otter wrote:

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! :-)

What I'd *LOVE* to see -- and yes, I know it's not my idea -- is a fairly conversational article about running a game for younger players... Whether it's a parent running a game for the kids, or a teacher introducing students to D&D...
Well, an article about running a game for the young'uns (from 10 to 20), about reaching the youth of today and introducing our hobby to them... That'd be perfect...

Perfect you mean?!

As far as I remember, Will did kind like that and got almost stoned for that! Who should write this? Either we get something to use during game, or we hopefully get Will Save back (would be the better decision - if not makeable by the staff of dungeon).


otter wrote:

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! :-)

What I'd *LOVE* to see -- and yes, I know it's not my idea -- is a fairly conversational article about running a game for younger players... Whether it's a parent running a game for the kids, or a teacher introducing students to D&D... The idea seems pretty simple to me, I hope everyone understands what I'm saying.

We keep hearing about how the gaming population is aging. D&D players aren't teenagers any more, we're thirty-, forty-, even fifty-year olds (and older) trying to work in D&D between family, home, and jobs. In the meantime, the young'uns aren't being introduced to D&D fast enough to support the continued existence of the industry. Well, an article about running a game for the young'uns (from 10 to 20), about reaching the youth of today and introducing our hobby to them... That'd be perfect. I don't have kids yet, but I will in the next couple years (hopefully). When they get a bit older, I want to run a game for them, like my dad ran a game for my brother and I when we were young. :-)

Anyway. Sorry, I just got really, really excited about the prospect of that kind of article. I'll try to be quiet now. ;-)

This is a pretty good idea, actually.


Dryder wrote:
As far as I remember, Will did kind like that and got almost stoned for that! Who should write this? Either we get something to use during game, or we hopefully get Will Save back (would be the better decision - if not makeable by the staff of dungeon).

"No one is to throw a stone at anyone - and I want to make this perfectly clear - even if they do say Jahovah!" (Cleric is promptly stoned to death).

I personally think (and I don't mean this as a challenge), but there might be a bit of gun-shyness in whatever gets picked to fill the page. It could just be one more page for something else that is already there (more adventure, more comics) otherwise I think it will be something neutral like a Map O'Mystery, which Erik has already mentioned as a possible replacement. Cartography however is expensive and Dungeon I believe is still lacking money for personnel so we'll have to see.

One page is hardly enough room for anything beside a map or a column. Maps are good but really not as a replacement for a column. For the record I was tepid about Wil Save. I read it first each month because it read like an appetizer. Good prose and quick. Personally, I found it a better read than the On a Soap Box column Gary did a while back. I do however believe the treatment Wil recieved hereon these boards was pretty reprehensible. Regardless of the merits, relavance or lack thereof of his writing in Dungeon the whining got pretty bad.

As for Gary (because I am positve someone will bring it up), the "Let-Me-Tell-You-About-My-Campaign/Characters" angle just felt like someone was telling me about their grandchildren. I know they are important "grandchildren" but still it fell flat with me. That's not a bad thing. You can't be everything to every one. I have a ton respect for the founder of the hobby and the fact he is still a force in it is cool. I knew there were people who liked "On a Soap Box" and it was only one page after all so I just started skipping it after awhile. Done.

A column is going to be tough to put back in. Anyone famous who games and might be interested in writing a column on the cheap is going to look at what happened to Wil and say: "No thanks." That leaves game industry insiders but we already read enough about them and to be honest no non-gamer outside of friends and family is going to pick up a magazine because the author of Sandburnwrack has a column in the back. Wil Wheaton, whatever his merits as a writer, actor, CON-goer, magic swizzle-stick weilder, and father-figure, brought in a few people who wouldn't have even looked twice at Dungeon. The half-dozen or so clinically insane people who did nothing but rag and poke fun at Wil Save and Wil himself for the most part still bought the mag, Wil Save or no Wil Save. But how many doors have they closed by driving him away? He may have left on his own eventually (lack of time and prior commitments and such can do that), but still that would have meant his name on more covers and more sales opportunities for the magazine for at least a few more months. Wil's name alone could entice people not really interested in gaming, but perhaps interested in his writing or his Star Trek career into at least picking up the book and paging through it. Sales are all about getting the product into people's hands and it was a major coup on Erik's part to get someone tangentially connected to gaming (a stigma hobby if there ever was one) who had name recognition to write in this magazine. Love him or hate him Wil at least did that and that's hard to replace.

Okay before anyone stones me for first dissing the Grandfather of Gaming and now giving props to Wil "That Guy From Star Trek" Wheaton, let me explain that I realize there were a lot of other changes to Dungeon that got the magazine back on its feet and that Wil was part of a strong team, but I will be curious to see what sales trends are now that he is gone. It would be the height of irony if the same people who hate the art, hate the color maps, and hate Wil Save because they "aren't" the old b/w, line drawn Dungeon of the days of yore, but say they love D&D, and Greyhawk, and three or four adventures every month are the very people who sink the magazine's sales. I would be smiling - it would be a hollow smile but still - I love good irony.

"old and busted - new coolness." SO far I've liked them both.

I cannot remember a time when I HATED any recurrent aspect of Dungeon Magazine to the point I needed to hammer an editor or art director (or anyone) over the head with it for months on end. The magazine gives me what WotC and Dragon on a regular basis can't - adventures. Three of them for relatively cheap. Really old modules costed 6$ back in the 80's and that was for one 28 page adventure. Now I get a hundred pages of the adventure, tips, color artwork, and character motivations for less (if you figure in inflation). How cool is that?

Man, what rant. I think I just wrote the column. ;) Hey Erik, $bling$?

In conclusion Erik has got a freaking tough job and I admire his perseverance. If he didn't love gaming someone would have yanked him out of Dungeon and taken him to a magazine that can pay him what he's really worth. I say: "Cheers to you, Erik." I know he'll do good with whatever he chooses to place in the space that Wil once occupied. It's strange, I'm a bit curious and a bit giddy to see what the REAL Dungeon Master has instore for us around the next bend. Can I make a Spot check?

Respectfully (for once),
The Great Green God

Liberty's Edge

otter wrote:

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! :-)

What I'd *LOVE* to see -- and yes, I know it's not my idea -- is a fairly conversational article about running a game for younger players...

the black knight wrote:


This is a pretty good idea, actually.

I'm a 26 year old DM. I play D&D with a lot of different people. Yesterday we had two high school students in our game. Not long ago we had another high school student in our game. Our youngest player is 12. The oldest player is 41 (the father of the 12 year old). I've also played with a number of 30+ year olds. Most of my players are in college, and are 18-21 (having turned 21 this year).

I play with a wide range of ages. We're a large group, and we split into 3 related groups most of the time. In any case, a conversational article about "metaplaying" is unnecessary, and generally a waste of space in the magazine. There are subscribers like me who work hard and are successful at integrating highly divergent age groups into a cohesive group. There are other groups that are only interested in playing with the group they've been playing with for the last 20 years. Then, those groups that are actually recruiting new players still might not be interested in players that are much younger than the other players.

The fraction of the community that will be inspired by a conversation article to recruit new players that are far younger (assuming they find themselves capable) is undoubtedly miniscule.

There have been a lot of people mischaracterizing a debate in Dungeon about fluff versus crunch. Most of the people who say there is too much crunch in Dungeon go on to say that they're not interested in more prestige classes or spells. In my opinion, it is obvious they have confused Dragon and Dungeon magazine - and it happens frequently.

I don't mind fluff. I don't mind crunch. But in Dungeon magazine I want something that is, at the very least, game related. Ideally, it will be specifically useful to DMs. It can be pure fluff - how to describe architectural details would fit - of a mix of fluff and crunch - how to describe & modify existing monsters so they seem new - but it shouldn't be unrelated to gaming.

I don't think that is an unreasonable request. Wil Save might have fit in Dragon magazine, but I don't think it ever fit in Dungeon. I don't miss it, and I don't want anything similar to it.

There are other things I don't like in Dungeon. For example, I don't like Downer. But as long as they are at least related to gaming I won't mind. But, please, please, give us something for our game.


Zherog wrote:
This is what Wil Save's replacement article ought to be! Show me the human side of DMing. Remind me why it's so awesome to be sitting behind the screen. Regal me with tales of how it felt once your players pieced together all the clues you've laid out there for the past six months and solved the mystery. Amuse me with tales of how your young kid has a completely different view of the game world from a jaded veteran.

I must confess to not "getting" it.

The "human side" of DMing? The DM is human. The players are human. The folks at my FLGS, where I buy the game, are human. When I go to a con, I am awash in humanity. I need an article about the "human side" of gaming? I think not. In no way that I can fathom has gaming or DMing been "dehumanized" to the point where I would need a specific article devoted to "humanizing" the experience of gaming or DMing.

Remind me why it is "so awesome" to DM? I DM regularly. I need no reminder for I have not forgotten how being the DM is "so awesome." We already have various "DM advice" columns. A column devoted to the "awesomeness" of DMing seems to me pointless and by turns redundant.

"Regal me with tales?" Oh, please dear god, no! Gaming stories, with very few exceptions, fall into the category of, "you really had to be there," if they are good. If they are not good,nothing is as boring or tedious or embarassing. One need only have paused to listen and observe any number of gamers at a convention bending the ear of one booth person or another with their gaming tales. The booth person's eyes glaze over as they are first polite, then try to disengage themself and finally settle in for the duration until they are rescued.

"Amuse me with tales of . . . your young kid . . ." I find nothing "wonderous" about a new gamer's, young or old, experience with the game sufficiently interesting or entertaining to be able to fill a monthly column. And we are speaking of a monthly column.

I don't get it. And I don't want it.

Critical threats. Maps of Mystery. They have my vote.

Contributor

GVDammerung wrote:
I must confess to not "getting" it.

GVD, a lot of us DO get it. You have claimed countless times before that you are an "aberrational" Dungeon subscriber. So, then you should understand that your perceptions of such an article are not the common opinion of a good majority of the rest of us. And, personally, I don't feel beholden to "explain" it to you to help you "get it" nor should anybody else. You either do or you don't. That's all.

But, having said all of that, I could care less what they fill that space with. The rest of the 99% of the magazine has been worth subscribing and re-subscribing for every year for me for the past several and will continue to be for the forseable future.


If not the kiddie thing, then why not have people recount events from their sessions that could be put to good use in other people's games? Kinda like Up on a Soapbox but with different authors. That way, if anyone gets too lame (ala Wheaton), Dungeon can simply plug in a new guy (or girl).

Hey, now there's an idea. Why not have a girl write the thing? You know, a female perspective on what is otherwise a predominantly male game. Could be fun to hear what she'd say. It might even do wonders for the image of gamers everywhere.


I too don't want more "human interest" ideally. Something I can use would be better, even if it's one more page for the normal adventures.


Steve Greer wrote:
GVD, a lot of us DO get it. . . . And, personally, I don't feel beholden to "explain" it to you to help you "get it" nor should anybody else. You either do or you don't. That's all.

You, and everyone else, are not "beholden" to "explain" it to me. I hope it didn't seem like I was asking for an explaination. I figure you are correct ("You either do or you don't" - get it). I don't imagine anyone can objectively "explain" what appears as a highly subjective, "touchy-feely" kind of thing. That said, I think I've fairly well said why one might not reasonably "get it."

I'm with you about not caring what goes on the page - so long as I get Maps of Mystery and Critical threats somehow, somewhere. They can put a picture of the Dungeon staff, kicked back, smiling and having a coke for all I care. It is only if the issue becomes "either/or" that I would be concerned. I want Maps of Mystery and Critical Threats - not necessarily every month but often enough to be considered a regular feature of the magazine. If that means using the former Wil Save space, so be it. If they can do it otherwise, also okay. I'm less interested in how I get Critical Threats and Maps of Mystery than that I get them. For me, they are features that will help keep me buying Dungeon.


Well, no offense, but I'm not here to suggest stuff to you, Yamo, merely to toss stuff in the ring.

If we were to have a female writer, it would be nice if she played D&D on a semi-regular basis, unlike another writer who, until recently, was entrusted to write on the subject.

Contributor

GVDammerung wrote:
I'm with you about not caring what goes on the page - so long as I get Maps of Mystery and Critical threats somehow, somewhere. They can put a picture of the Dungeon staff, kicked back, smiling and having a coke for all I care. It is only if the issue becomes "either/or" that I would be concerned. I want Maps of Mystery and Critical Threats - not necessarily every month but often enough to be considered a regular feature of the magazine. If that means using the former Wil Save space, so be it. If they can do it otherwise, also okay. I'm less interested in how I get Critical Threats and Maps of Mystery than that I get them. For me, they are features that will help keep me buying Dungeon.

I mentioned this on another thread that Jeremy McDonald prompted, but I don't know where the heck it is... If we DO get some Maps of Mystery again, I lobby for an occasional 3D style map. Like the one by D. Sutherland III he did for the "Ravenloft" module. That was about 30 years ago. Imagine how sweet they could make that style of map now with the kick ass mapping software the Dungeon cartographers have!

Liberty's Edge

If we do get another "touchy feely" article, I'll have to go back to complaining. I'll make sure that the author is not the subject (of course, I was pretty good about that anyway, other than wondering why an actor was writing rather than a writer, but that was explained to me...). Anyway, no more of that. The valid complaints that existed about Wil Save (not having anything to do with D&D) would exist with any similar column. So, I'd rather avoid any of that.


otter wrote:

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! :-)

What I'd *LOVE* to see -- and yes, I know it's not my idea -- is a fairly conversational article about running a game for younger players... Whether it's a parent running a game for the kids, or a teacher introducing students to D&D... The idea seems pretty simple to me, I hope everyone understands what I'm saying.

I think this would be great material for a few columns but I don't think you could really work this single topic into a permenent feature.

Still if one went with some kind of soap box which many authours could stand on, if only for an issue, then this sort of material would be the kind of thing I would like to see.


I've said it before, but just to be clear: Personally, I very specifically do *NOT* want Maps of Mystery. I know there are people who find it useful, but I'm not one of them. And since it's been established that typical Dungeon reader etiquette is to b!$*$ and moan about things we don't like, even if other people do like them and find them useful and have been very vocal about their enjoyment of said feature... ;-)

As for Critical Threats... From what I understand, there's already a shortage of really good Critical Threats. And I have no use for Critical Threats that aren't really cool.

Liberty's Edge

otter wrote:

And since it's been established that typical Dungeon reader etiquette is to b%@@~ and moan about things we don't like, even if other people do like them and find them useful and have been very vocal about their enjoyment of said feature... ;-)

I think it is very apparent that overall the readers of Dungeon don't complain about features they don't like if they can see the use others have for it.

Even articles that aren't useful to me, if I can at least tell how they're supposed to help others, are fine by me. When I try and repeatedly fail to see the purpose of an article, that is when complaints start. Especially if the supporters can't explain what is useful about the article, but only say they like it.

I think that Downer makes my point for me. A lot of people don't like it, but it has't suffered the coordinated campaign that Wil Save did because the readers can see what point it is supposed to have - they just don't necessarily agree that it does it well.


DeadDMWalking wrote:
I think it is very apparent that overall the readers of Dungeon don't complain about features they don't like if they can see the use others have for it.

I honestly can't see any value in Maps of Mystery. So that means that I have free reign to complain to my heart's content if Erik makes the horrible mistake of putting that travesty of a feature in the magazine. :-D

Of course I'm not serious about whining about Maps of Mystery the way you guys whined about Wil Save, but I'm dead serious about not seeing any value in it. Honestly, I've tried to figure out what you guys are so fanatic about, but I can't for the life of me understand it.

Let me make this clear: I dislike the idea of using Wil Save's page for Maps of Mystery the way you guys disliked using Wil Save's space for Wil Save. Of all the things that Dungeon could include, Maps of Mystery are one of the very, very few that are completely and totally useless to me.


otter wrote:

I honestly can't see any value in Maps of Mystery. . . .

Let me make this clear: I dislike the idea of using Wil Save's page for Maps of Mystery the way you guys disliked using Wil Save's space for Wil Save. Of all the things that Dungeon could include, Maps of Mystery are one of the very, very few that are completely and totally useless to me.

Fair enough. Let's understand why you feel that way. You do not care for Maps of Mystery because:

(A) You don't use maps?

(B) You use maps but can draw your own of equal of better quality than Maps of Mystery?

(C) You use maps, cannot draw your own maps of equal or better quality than Maps of Mystery but do not care that your maps don't look as good?

(D) You use maps but can find maps sufficient for your purposes in other places? (If answering "yes," please provide a listing of the Top 5 places you find these other maps - share the wealth)

Which is it? "I don't find it useful" begs the question of why you do not find Maps of Mystery of Use.

Contributor

GVDammerung wrote:


(D) You use maps but can find maps sufficient for your purposes in other places? (If answering "yes," please provide a listing of the Top 5 places you find these other maps - share the wealth)

-- Every adventure to ever appear within the pages of Dungeon.

-- Every free adventure published on WotC's site

Those two source are so plentiful I don't need three others.


GVDammerung wrote:
(A) You don't use maps?

Not very often. A lot of my campaigns tend to be out in the wilderness, where there's no real need for a map (other than a quick sketch on a whiteboard).

GVDammerung wrote:
(C) You use maps, cannot draw your own maps of equal or better quality than Maps of Mystery but do not care that your maps don't look as good?

When I do need a map, I can draw one up. It's not as pretty, but it's functional. And frankly, I rarely care about how pretty a map is.

GVDammerung wrote:
(D) You use maps but can find maps sufficient for your purposes in other places? (If answering "yes," please provide a listing of the Top 5 places you find these other maps - share the wealth)

See Zherog's post for my response here. :-)

Basically, I rarely use maps, and when I do I can generally draw one up that's perfectly suitable, and if a situation ever comes up where I actually want a pretty map, I can find a suitable one among the numerous magazines and supplements that I own. So, like I said, Maps of Mystery are of no use to me. :-)


Zherog and Otter,

For a moment I thought you might have something new to say that would undercut the need for/value of Maps of Mystery. Your thoughts have, however, already been taken into account elsewhere in one thread or another here and I won't repeat myself, and others.

With respect to Zherog's note, suffice to say there are immediate and obvious differences between maps keyed to specific adventures and Maps of Mystery which are not so keyed.

With respect to Otter's note, I more than suspect that your limited use of maps is not typical of most gamers or games.

I understand both of your positions but I believe neither of sufficient weight to alter the basic equation - maps matter and Maps of Mystery would add value and weigh in favor of a Dungeon purchasing decision for many.

Please know I am not intending to be dismissive of either of your opinions; it is only that this discussion has gone on at some length elsewhere in this folder and repeating everything herein doesn't seem like the best idea.

Contributor

GVDammerung wrote:
With respect to Zherog's note, suffice to say there are immediate and obvious differences between maps keyed to specific adventures and Maps of Mystery which are not so keyed.

I don't see how it's different at all. On more than one ocassion, I've lifted a map that was for an adventure and made my own adventure - basically using nothing but the map. There are times I don't like an adventure - it's just a fact of life. The map, though, is always useful, and I can easily crib it and redesign my own dungeon around it. So how is that any different from having a map that isn't tied to a location to begin with?

GVD wrote:
With respect to Otter's note, I more than suspect that your limited use of maps is not typical of most gamers or games.

I would tend to agree with this statement.

GVD wrote:
I understand both of your positions but I believe neither of sufficient weight to alter the basic equation - maps matter and Maps of Mystery would add value and weigh in favor of a Dungeon purchasing decision for many.

There were people who found Wil Save to be an article that added value to the magazine. Not everything is going to be useful to everybody. (yeah, you can call me Captain Obvious over this one ;) ). I'm completely willing to accept that I might very well be in the minority about Maps of Mystery, but I just cannot see how an extra map adds that much value - especially when compared to other things that could be used in that place. There's some really good suggestions, for example, in your "One page to fill" thread. Some of those ideas would seem to add much more value than a map with no key. *shrug*

As for being dismissive... I didn't take it that way, so no worries. :)


How about this: each month a different guest artist draws a hot chick in a chainmail bikini! Kind of like Dungeon's version of the "page 3 girl" in the UK. *grin*


GVDammerung wrote:
With respect to Otter's note, I more than suspect that your limited use of maps is not typical of most gamers or games.

Obviously a lot of people do like the pretty maps. And certainly a lot of people have been vocal about wanting to see them. But I'm wondering how many of those folks would actually find a pretty map more useful than some of the other suggestions that have been offered? If the pretty map doesn't cost anything, of course people want it. Hell, I'd like it too if Dungeon threw in an extra page just for the pretty map. But I'd be willing to bet that there's another possible feature that's of more use to more people than a pretty map. We've only got so much space in Dungeon, and a Map of Mystery takes away a full page. I can't help but think that there's a better use for that space.

GVDammerung wrote:
I understand both of your positions but I believe neither of sufficient weight to alter the basic equation - maps matter and Maps of Mystery would add value and weigh in favor of a Dungeon purchasing decision for many.

And, from what Erik said, Wil Save added value and weighed in favour of a Dungeon purchasing decision for many. But that didn't stop some extremely negative, and recurring, feedback. I'm just trying to draw a parallel here.

Basically, all I'm doing here is making sure that my voice is heard. Erik and the rest of the Dungeon crew rely on our feedback to make the best magazine possible. Personally, I have no use for a Map of Mystery, *especially* when you consider the value I'd have for some of the alternatives. I've given my feedback, I think they've heard it, now it's time to move on.


otter wrote:
With Wil Save gone, there's an extra page available in Dungeon. What would you like to see in that space?

Do you guys remember the "Side-Treks" from about ten years ago? I took one called, "Manden's Meathooks" and stretched it into three sessions! The whole thing came out of the DM's butt! No notes. No nothing. I just had some paper behind the screen to keep the players thinking I had it all written out. That's what needs to replace Wil Save!

Erik, bring back Side Treks!!!

--Ray.


I loved Side Treks. It's more than one page, though. Still...


To quote myself from a early June post (different thread):
"I stopped buying Dungeon around #88 and returned with #112 (no old-timer could resist Maure Castle!) and when I returned Side Treks were gone. ... They used to run 2-page Side Trek adventures. Who wouldn't trade a comic and a human interest column for another adventure? I certainly would."

Note that I'm not advocating replacing any particular comic, as I haven't really read them & can't yet offer an opinion. But I would love to see a return of Side Treks ... the more adventures I can wring out of each mag the better (which is not to say shorter adventures are better, I'd just like MORE even if the bang-for-the-buck ratio of Dungeon already rocks).

Yamo is right however, one page does not an adventure make, but what about a single detailed room? A clever encounter area or lair not connected to any adventure? Often when I'm DMing and the party travels through the wilderness or Underdark I'm forced to create a few stand-alone sites; perhaps Dungeon could dedicate a page to these. Simply call the page "Dire Encounters" or "Lairs" or what have you. The column would not put a heavy emphasis on the villain(s)/monster(s) but rather on the environment and lair trappings. (Leveled-up kobolds I don't need, but a interesting kobold lair is another matter entirely.)

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