State of the Dungeon – Year 4

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 1, 2013

Today marks the fourth anniversary since we launch Dungeon’s Master. Four years. That’s a long time. When we began the blog it was just a way for us to share some of our ideas with the gaming community. We had no idea if people would be interested in reading what we had to say and we had no idea if we were going to be able to stick with it. Well here we are four years later and we’re still going strong.

Dungeon’s Master has always been dedicated to 4e Dungeons & Dragons. Although we focus our efforts on addressing 4e issues, we realize that there are a lot of gamers who play other editions of D&D. With the D&D Next play-testing in full swing and the official launch just over a year away we don’t know what direction we’ll take down the road. For now we’ll keep writing articles that appeal to 4e players but as our regular readers realize we’re trying to keep the topics broad enough that they also apply to older or newer editions alike.

In the four years since we launched Dungeon’s Master we’ve published 1,011 articles, 166 of those in the last year. When we started Dungeon’s Master Wimwick and I shared the workload. Along the way we enlisted some guest authors and even saw regular contributions from Bauxtehude. However, as time went on and personal circumstances changed. Wimwick had two kids and went back to school full time; Bauxtehude also went back to school full time. I’ve done my best to keep the site afloat but changes were necessary. Last March I finally decided to curb back the volume and not kill myself to get a new article out every single day. The result was fewer posts in the last year, but I’d like to think that when we did post that the quality was solid.

As D&D transitions editions my home group is also going through a transitional period. We stopped playing 4e D&D last summer in favour of other new RPGs. Since I’ve always tried to draw inspiration for the blog from my weekly games this has made things a lot more challenging. If it wasn’t for D&D Encounters I’d be lost.

Moving into our fifth year there will be a few changes to Dungeon’s Master. Firstly we will no longer be publishing a Month in Review article; instead we’ll do Quarterly Reviews. When we were publishing over 20 new articles a month the Month in Review made sense, but now that we’re publishing fewer than 10 articles most months it doesn’t seem all that valuable. Secondly we’re going to start a new regular feature on Fridays where we dig up an older article from our archives and breathe new life into it by running it again. After four years there are plenty of articles worthy of attention.

Now onto the stats, here are some numbers from the past year.

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1 Sunyaku February 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

I think all tabletop RPG bloggers ultimately aspire to produce the kind of evergreen content that can transcend editions. I’m sure Dungeon’s Master can still be great, even if you no longer focus on 4e DnD. I’ve been struggling with my own blog these past few months, and my personal goal is to revamp my site, and not worry about volume, but just try to produce the kind of content that will be useful for decades to come. We’ll see how it goes. 😉

2 Angelflavor February 2, 2013 at 2:02 am

I really enjoy 4e and enjoy this blog because of your focus. I’m still not sure about d&d next.

Ideas and inspiring DMs is universal so It really does’t matter what edition you focus on. I’m sure it will be easier to focus on Next when it is published and 4th edition is no longer coming out with new content.

What ever direction I’m sure it will work out.

3 Al February 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Happy Belated Birthday to everyone involved with Dungeon’s Master especially you Derek. Keep up the great work, hope to see more of your efforts in Dungeon and/or Dungeon.

4 Russ Perry February 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome blog. There’s probably a lot of readers out there like me (Novice GM’s that try really hard and spend way too much time on these sites only to have PC’s go off the rails for nothing that I planned), and the content you publish is awesome.

Please keep steam – so many good RPG sites go stale after a good run and this has stayed steady and smart.

Doesn’t matter the content, as long as it’s d20 friendly, we will find a way to make it work in our games.

See you (at my first ever) Gencon this year.

PS – I still dont get skill challenges. 🙂

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