Here we go with my first-ever Dragon editorial. (In case you haven't been keeping up with current events, you'll want to read last month's Dragon and Dungeon editorials.)
I expect that everyone would like to read about the sweeping changes we'll be making to the magazines—out with the old, corrupt regime and in with the new voice of the people!
I'm here to state that no one is being backed against a wall at dawn with a blindfold and a cigarette. Yes, there will be changes, but no, there won't be any sweeping, flushing, or dumping.
For the immediate future, things will go on about as they have in the immediate past. Dragon Magazine has established a strong format and reputation for providing solid Dungeons & Dragons support colored with interesting flavor and story, along with entertaining and illuminating columns and the occasional piece of short fiction such as this month's Dark Sun tale, "Blood Oasis" by Kevin Anderson.
At the same time, the magazine follows the game's lead, and the Dungeons & Dragons game and worlds are always in some degree of flux. The big changes looming on our horizon are the upcoming launch of Dungeons & DragonsEssentials with the release of the Red Box in September. Bill Slavicsek and Mike Mearls have a lot to say about that in their Ampersand and Design & Development columns; you'll see more than the usual number of words from those two in the next few months.
Other than that, I can share my vision of what makes a particular magazine article strong or weak vis-à-vis our beloved game.
First, I'm all about story. As much as I love a well-tuned power or feat, it's the spin on the gears that really makes things hum. We intend to put a lot of emphasis on story elements that will fire your imagination and expand your D&D perspectives. Even if a particular article is about a class or race you seldom play, we'd like you to find it compelling reading because of what it says about the astonishing worlds where your characters operate.
Second, I'm all about the fantastical. I love that word—fantastical. It's so evocative. The merely "fantastic" seems ordinary compared to the fantastical. The word begs for italics. The great attraction and power of Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying is that it transports players not just to times and places that never existed but to times and places that could not exist outside the players' imaginations. The more you stretch the imagination, the closer you come to the fantastical. That's what we're reaching for.
As always, we'd like to know what you think. There's never enough time in the day to comb the blogs as thoroughly as we'd like or respond to all the forum posts that provoke our thoughts, but you can send them here directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.