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New Year's Resolve
Dragon Editorial
by Chris Youngs

I wanted to write this editorial, fresh into 2009, about my New Year’s resolutions. I know this topic has been done to death. Magazine editors across the globe are likely writing similar editorials right now. But the idea was suggested by some co-workers, followed immediately by several suggestions for what my resolutions should be.

I feel like suggesting resolutions for someone else is a lot like making a critical commentary on their life. OK, it’s not a lot like that. It is exactly that. I started to take offense, then realized that this sort of insight isn’t easily come by. After all, if you walked up to a friend on a normal day and said, “Hey, what’s wrong with me? What could I work on?” They’re likely to respond with sarcasm (“Everything.”) or platitudes (“You’re fine the way you are!” Thanks, mom.).

But ask a friend what your New Year’s resolutions should be, and you’ll get responses. Oh yes, you will. In fact, co-workers nearby will shout them over cube walls in an effort to get their two cents in. Apparently resolutions are a free-for-all way to offer “constructive” criticism. Once the suggestions started rolling in, I started to enjoy the experience, and started soliciting more. Here’s a sampling from around the office when I started to ask people what they thought my New Year’s resolution should be.

Sara Girard, D&D Associate Brand Manager: “When you DM, stop making up rules on the fly that negatively affect your players.”

Translation: “Stop telling us when we’re breaking the rules.”

Shelly Mazzanoble, Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard Columnist: “Give your columnists more than three days notice that their column is due.”

Let it go, Shelly. Let it go.

Steve Winter, Web Specialist: “Be nicer to your co-workers.”

Uh, what are you trying to say, you big jerk?

Steve Schubert, RPG Developer: “Be a better fantasy football drafter.”

Touché, Shoe. Touché. But last I checked, we both had the league’s worst record at a glorious 3-11. Pot, meet kettle.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Save My Game Columnist and RPG Developer: “Buy Stephen more drinks.”

Done! Since sitting next to SRM in meetings is like sitting with the delinquent kids at the back of class, I imagine the hyjinks that will follow drinks with SRM could only be entertaining.

The Rouse, D&D Senior Brand Manager (and apparently all-around creepy dude): “Smile more. And wear this…” (as he reaches into a desk drawer).

I didn’t stick around long enough to see what The Rouse was pulling out. I caught a glimpse, and it was leather and had buckles. Creepy.

Bart, Loser of Last Month’s Favorite Adventure Poll: “Bring back the flumph.”

And he wonders why he lost last month. Read my lips, Carroll: It’s never gonna happen!

Chris Perkins, My Boss: “Get a dogsitter.”

In other words, get your butt back to the Wednesday game. Sigh … I’m working on it! Chris’s suggestion is really the best one, which leads me to two genuine resolutions.

Play More D&D

Since I moved recently, I’ve had to step away from Chris’s Wednesday night game to take care of my dogs. I’m working on a dogsitting solution, but it’s tricky and potentially expensive. (Being a dog owner, as rewarding as it is, also can be frequently tricky and expensive.) But regardless, I need to work harder at this. It’s a solvable problem, and I miss the game badly. And I mean, badly. Plus, maybe I can get into another lunch game here at the office. Those are always a blast, and I hear James Wyatt will be starting up his Greenbriar campaign soon. Maybe I can convince him to launch it at work!

Get More New Authors in the Magazines

I’m well aware that we haven’t had enough new voices in the magazines since the launch of 4th Edition. There are good reasons for that. One, the new game means it takes people time to get up to speed on the types of content that work for the new game, so the pitch rate of success is lower than normal. That said, this month we feature an article by new author Daniel Marthaler, tied to the release of Open Grave. The other reason is my fault, which is that we haven’t yet updated our writer’s guidelines. Well, I’m on it. It’s a top priority in the New Year, so stay tuned for an update with new, fresh, shorter, and easier writer’s guidelines.

I think two genuine resolutions should suffice. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin. But what about you? What are your resolutions? Send them to us at submissions@wizards.com.

Favorite Supplements

Last month, we asked folks what their favorite supplements were. We didn’t get a lot of responses (come on, people -- let us hear from you!), but there were a few votes for Unearthed Arcana and Dark Sun. Both are compelling options -- good call, readers!