Saturday, April 2, 2011

Donating the Dragon (Magazine)

I recently gave away my collection of Dragon magazine.

It was part of the culling of games and books and magazines, and -- quite frankly -- I'm more willing to let go of the magazines than my books.

Part of the reason is the fragility of the medium. I know that you can keep these suckers a long time if you bag them and store them properly, but I can't really justify the extra cost. The newer binding of Dragon magazines (the ones with a flat spine) were friendlier than the stapled ones of old (as in the case of the magazine to the left), because they didn't eventually degenerate into coverless or insertless magazines.

Another reason is the decreasing utility to me. I don't get to play that often, much of what I need is available to me via forums and blogs from the OSR community, and do I really need all that Sage Advice for three different rulesets that I don't play?

But don't get me wrong. I loved Dragon magazine as a periodical. I collected it as best I could during my high school and college years in the U.S. of A., and I went out of my way to find comics shops and magazine stores that carried it during my time in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong when I found my old interest in D&D rekindled by the impending release of 3E.

The art never ceased to inspire a desire to game, various articles opened new arenas of understanding and appreciation of the various worlds of D&D, and regular columns like Sage Advice and Dungeoncraft always piqued my interest as a player and DM. And the comic strips were were always a good draw for me from Fineous Fingers to Nodwick.

Perhaps they'll come out with some fantastic electronic retrospective on the Dragon run some day (if they haven't already). But for now, that's one less bit of gaming in my closets.


  1. The Dragon Magazine archive is (was?) available as a collection of PDFs on CD. Still makes for some good nostalgic reading. I especially like the reviews of non-TSR rpg's that came out during the late 80's and early 90's. Dragon lost its appeal to me when it became a D&D-only mag, as I've always found D&D rules to be too restrictive. (Good decision in the business sense, bad decision for the hobby as a whole. :))

  2. I'd second the idea of getting hold of the Dragon Magazine Archive. Combined with DragonDex, the really useful index of articles, it makes a really good way of actually using material from Dragon.

    Like you, I got rid of my old Dragons. I felt guilty doing so - going through them brought back all kinds of memories and I kept spotting articles I had one day hoped to incorporate into my own games. But that was just the problem - stacked at the back of a cupboard, with useful info buried in between adverts, reviews (which ARE sometimes actually useful when you do a bit of retro-buying on eBay) and other ephemera, it is just too difficult to use the paper copies unless you cut them up and devise a clever filing system.

  3. @dariel: interesting, I should look into the availability of that archive. I find it interesting that you mention D&D rules being restrictive though...

    @DrBargle: Oh, I'm with you there on the DragonDex. Fantastic work done on the indexing and cataloging of the articles!

  4. Yeah...I have a bankers box full of Dragons and some Dungeons in storage. Weighs a ton. I haven't quite been able to let go of them, though I haven't looked at them in years. Every time I moved it was this when I get rid of them? But I couldn't do it. Too many memories are anchored around them.

  5. It's a hard thing to let go. Of course, being forced to do without storage in a rainy country makes it necessary to get rid of it, or let it get destroyed by rain anyway...


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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