There are very few magazines out there I’d ever had, or wanted to have, a subscription to. Dragon and Dungeon were two of them. There was something enjoyable about grabbing your new copy, plopping down into a comfy chair, and pouring over what new articles, rules, humor, and other magical tidbits were inside. And then WotC went digital. Not my favorite of decisions made by them as that little piece of enjoyment was suddenly snatched away and replaced with pixels and light.
But, since I found myself a fan of the newest edition and wanted to keep up on the issues, I grabbed myself a DDI subscription and continued reading. Some might wonder why, with a subscription to the digi copies, I would grab a copy of an article compilation I already had the articles for. In some small way, I’d hoped to find that little happy place I would find myself going to with the old dead tree magazines.
So, when I started flipping through the Dragon Magazine Annual, the latest release from Wizards, I found myself slowing sinking back into that happy place. Filled with select articles from Wizards digital Dragon publications from June 2008 to March 2009, Wizards went through and narrowed down their selection to what the Forward states is a ‘”Best of” compilation’. Coming in at 159 pages, I’d have hoped they could have included far more than they did. While there have been several posts regarding the contects of the book, here’s a quick recap along with the Dragon Issue the article hails from.
Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Yeenoghu – Dragon 364
Creature Incarnations: Kobolds – Dragon 364
The Ashen Covenant – Dragon 364
Mithrendain, Citadel of the Feywild – Dragon 366
Wish upon a Star – Dragon 366
The Bloodghost Syndicate – Dragon 366
Intelligent Items: Smart Swords – Dragon 367
Fight! – Dragon 368
We who are about to Die… D&D Gladiators – Dragon 368
The Longest Night – Dragon 370
Playing Dhampyr – Dragon 371
Masters of the Planes – Dragon 372
Playing Shadar-Kai – Dragon 372
Art of the Kill – Dragon 373
Other than a few sidebars that are usually words from the author, this book offers nothing new in way of content that’s not already available to a DDI subscriber. To those without a DDI account, the book may hold something worth your time.
- Creature Incarnations: Kobolds provides an interesting look at the little dragonkin including a number of different templates for new kobolds.
- The Longest Night fits in nicely with the Nentir Vale setting presented in the DMG incoporating a local Red Dragon that terrorizes the countryside.
- The Bloodghost Syndicate is an interesting humanoid themed criminal organization written generically enough to fit in any city setting.
The book itself is well laid out save for WotC’s uncontrollable fear of Indexes. Fortunately, this book is simple enough in design that one really isn’t needed. My only question is regarding the last article, Art of the Kill. It’s focus seems to be on incorporating assassins into ones campaign. Given that Assassins were part of a special preview at Gen Con this year, I’m wondering why they would include this article (As apparently it will be released in some upcoming book) and not something else to provide more content to players.
All in all, if you are not a DDI subscriber, I’d recommend grabbing a copy of this book (Which seems to be out early according to WotC’s website) as there’s plenty of useful content one could easily incorporate into any setting. And, if this book does strike your fancy, go grab a DDI account as there plenty more to see in each issue.
Please note: I’ve never really done much in the way of book reviews so my apologies if this one seems amateurish by comparison to other reviewers out there. I figured this book would be easy enough to wet my whistle on. That and I thought it would be nice to incorporate some other content into this site as it keeps me practicing my writing skills.