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Hail to the Chief
Dragon Editorial
by Chris Youngs

Wow, it’s June already. And it’s 2010! What happened to this year? Time is on my mind, lately. Change is afoot, and I always get maudlin and nostalgic when that happens. So before I get the sniffles, let’s move this along.

The news is rather simple, and possibly important to only a few. But it’s big news to me, and as this is the space I’ve set aside to ramble on about whatever strikes my fancy each month, please bear with me.

This is my last month working on Dragon and Dungeon magazines. As many of you have heard, we’ve reorganized here in RPG R&D. We’re moving into a brave age of new media and new ways to play, and we’ve got a fresh, upstart team of rogues and renegades dedicated to bringing D&D fully into the 21st century. We’re calling it the D&D New Business team, and I’m excited to say that I get to be part of it. My new title is Digital Games Manager, and part of my new gig involves working with the D&D Studio to help with the content for all the tools and other digital gizmos for D&D Insider. The other part involves … well, all sorts of projects, none of which I’m really able to talk about. NDAs, and all that. What I can say is that it’s exciting, and I can’t wait to share more—to our D&D Insiders, of course.

I’m going to miss this, all of it. I’m going to miss writing last-minute, panicked editorials (“That’s supposed to go live tomorrow!?”)

I’ll miss the endless blaze of new. The stream of content that never turns off. The emails with pitches and articles and ideas that just leap out and slap you in the face. The promise of fresh, new talent, something the gaming industry needs endlessly.

I’ll miss the building of content calendars and schedules, equal parts science to art. And I’ll miss collaborating with co-workers to come up with new ideas for D&D that both refresh and reinforce.

But most of all, I’ll miss the people. I work with a tight team now. We’ve been together longer than any team I’ve worked with in my career save the first—the team that welcomed me to Wizards and D&D and Dragon and Dungeon. More on them in a minute.

Bart, Jon, Steve, you guys rock. It’s no lie that working with you has been the greatest part of this job. And Mr. Perkins, what to say? I’ve worked with Chris since day one. Even during my time at Paizo, he was our Wizards point of contact. So I can say that I’ve worked with Chris for my entire career, and for him for almost half of it. He’s the best DM alive, as those of you who listen to our Penny Arcade podcasts know. He’s an inspirational mentor. He’s a creative genius. And he’s been a great boss. Lucky for me, he’s still just one cube away, and we’ll still be collaborating on all sorts of fun projects in the future.

Team Alpha: Dave Gross, Chris Perkins (again), Jesse Decker, Pierce Watters, Larry Smith. My first team on Dragon and Dungeon made each day a challenge and an adventure.

And to the rest: Matt Sernett, Erik Mona, James Jacobs, Kyle Hunter, Eric Haddock, Chris Sims, Stacy Magelson, Stacy Longstreet, Lisa Chido. What a crew! What talent! Thank you all!

I’ve now spent a total of nine years working on these magazines. I’ve held every editorial position they could come up with: Editorial Assistant (as Chris Carlson), Assistant Editor, Associate Editor, Editor (all as Chris Thomasson), and Editor-in-Chief. I’ve worked with the best people the industry has to offer, and despite my name changes, I’m proud to call nearly all of them friends still. I watched the odometer click over for Dungeon #100 and Dragon #300. I’ve see the magazines trade hands twice. I watched them go from print to digital. And my favorite: I’ve seen the arrival of amazing new talent, to these pages and the industry at large.

My first issue of Dragon was #254. But it was working on Dungeon #72, my first issue of that magazine, where I first thought, “This is what I get to do now? Read D&D and get paid for it?” Yes, the job is that cool.

And no, you can’t have it. That honor now belongs to Steve Winter, but I’ll let him introduce himself in the Dungeon editorial. I couldn’t leave if I didn’t know my babies weren’t in the best of hands, but I have no fear on that front. Steve is the best of the best, and we readers are lucky to have him.

With that, I’m off. I’d like to say something pithy and wise now, but I’m fresh out of ink, and mom is calling me in for dinner.

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