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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Issue #5 of Gygax Magazine to Ship Soon - Is Anyone Still Reading It?


I'm not sure if the above is just a "placer" cover or the real cover. If it's the real cover, it's accurate as hell, because I've been having a question mark hanging over my decision to subscribe to Gygax in the first place.

Let's be honest, it goes for the look and feel of classic Dragon Magazine but has little if any relevant content. The first four issues felt more filler and "ad driven articles" than the Dragon of old. Heck, I can't even call it a house organ as it has no true house to call it's own.

Gygax #1 released nearly 2 years ago. The quarterly mag has barely managed a twice a year pace. I'm not even sure if my subscription ended with Issue #4 or ends with ends with the upcoming Issue #5. New subscriptions start with Issue #6, not soon to be shipped Issue #5. Yeah, color me confused.

The folks behind Gygax are good folks and people that love the hobby, I just wonder if Gygax Magaine is ever going to find an audience. It tries to be everything for everyone while pulling the nostalgia strings of old school gamers. This has left many of us (myself included) wondering what this doppleganger of Dragon Magazine really is. At $8.95 an issue, I don't think I can afford the price of wondering any longer.


24 comments:

  1. Yeah, there was an email around issue #2 (?) about them extending subscriptions an extra issue due to the 'growing pains' and delays, but honestly, if I got issue #4, it went straight onto the bookshelf - been long enough ago I can't even remember if it came, and content was bland enough I don't even care to go to the bookshelf and check.

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  2. Still no shipping to Europe (as far as I'm aware) so I've had to get mine through third party sellers. That makes the cost about $17 for me. Which I guess makes the decision twice as easy.

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  3. I have to assume most people would rather spend $9 on stuff they knew they would use and enjoy, rather than the mishmash that GygaxMag has put out so far. The best issues of Dragon has inspiring content leaping from nearly every page; GygaxMag has the trade dress, but feels pretty hollow inside. I want there to be a print gaming magazine I can fall in love with, but Gygax isn't it yet.

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  4. I can only confirm I ever got 3 magazines in my subscription. I REALLY wanted to like it, but have found it hard to get into - not much to it really. And you just have to ship on time. I would have to think hard about renewing.

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  5. I am always far more impressed with the free content on blogs, and community efforts like Santacore or One Page then I am with paid magazine efforts. Some of the zines are super solid, but again they are mostly the work of one creator and an eclectic product made from love and nostalgia without profit motive.

    This isn't a dig on Gygax Mag, I just honestly wonder if any hobby magazine can thrive (in any hobby) in an environment where the barrier to publishing is so low and there is a strong DIY community. That said I'd rather see a Dungeon Mag retread then a Dragon one...

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  6. "still" reading? How about "ever"? Seems rather pointless when there are so many other, better options out there these days instead of a Dragon ripoff that can't even maintain a quarterly schedule.

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  7. I decided against renewing when EVERY issue of my subscription was delayed and required multiple emails to them before I received it. I have no idea if I am supposed to get the fifth issue as a bonus for all the hassles from the original subscription or not, but I don't really care. Like everyone else, I love the trade dress and the idea of a print gaming magazine like the Dragon of old. And like everyone else, I have been so disappointed with the content and customer service that it's not worth spending my money on anymore.

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  8. Interesting dissent here. Outside of the valid subscription concern (and I don't subscribe, so no skin off my back there) would this magazine look any different from the countless other periodicals that are popping up on Lulu and rpgnow if it weren't a bit too flashy and sporadic for everyone's tastes?

    I have no bone in this fight....I enjoyed the four issues I have read so far but it doesn't strike me as being all that different from any of the other magazines you can find scattered around--there were some good articles, some meh articles and in general it seemed to accomplish its goal of feeling like a Dragon revival. Beyond that the fact that a #5 may appear is shocking, I figured they'd have cut their losses and run by now.

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  9. Ive been re-reading Dragon magazin (up to 67 so far) and it is remarkable how little worthwhile content s there.

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    1. I'm with you. Found PDFs of pretty well every issue and discovered very little of any use to me. I can't believe how many issues I had in the early '80s. Always enjoyed the Marvel-Phile, though.

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  10. I enjoyed it in the 80s for what its worth.

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  11. I got my issue #5. I found this issue interesting. The GodLike rpg setting material is interesting. The dungeon contest winning entry is pretty cool.

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  12. I dunno. I have issues 1 through 4, but I haven't really connected to it yet. The Top Secret adventure was nice. There have been a couple of almost-useful articles that show promise. It just seems too focused on games that I am not really likely to play. That could well be the market speaking, as my preferred games are hardly the best-sellers today (I don't play Pathfinder, 13th Age, FATE, or Savage Worlds, for instance, and I am only considering playing the new WotC edition of D&D).

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  13. The Internet killed print. The only magazine I get is GameInformer, because it comes free with the GameStop membership. I wouldn't pay for it.

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  14. I thought issues 1-4 were pretty good. I am also pretty relaxed about when exactly I get the magazine, so I didn't have much to complain about. Just got 5 the other day and skimmed through it: Except for Jon Peterson's piece I wasn't too impressed. I like the idea of this thing SO much that I decided to support it for a second year. But if things don't get more exciting in issues 6-8, I don't think I'll renew again. That would be sad, but I guess my idealism only goes so far...

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  15. I would have loved to buy and read the magazine but my FLGS couldn't get copies of it. They tried contacting the folks at Gygax several times and got the run around. Of course, I should mention that my FLGS is THE COMPLEAT STRATEGIST in NYC! If the Strategist can't get a copy, I imagine no one is getting a copy which makes no sense to me from a marketing stand point. If they want me to read their mag they'll at least have to meet me halfway.

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    1. This was my dilemma, too. I requested it and got nothing but "can't find it" from three stores. I need to thumb through a mag when I'm considering a purchase. Back in the day it was the same way with 'Dragon' and 'Dungeon'. The 'zines I've taken a chance on are different. For one the price is lower, but often there's usually some example of the publisher's stuff for me to check out somewhere on the web. I think the days of selling nostalgia are coming to an end for the OSR. So much of what is coming out is good stuff written with strong intent no rose colored glasses are needed.

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  16. I purchased one issue, and I liked it but I was fairly disappointed in it. I expected a lot more than nostalgic pangs for the old days considering the CVs of the people who put it together and wrote for it. So I stopped at one - $8.95 is more than a book costs me these days, and it's a real question if I'll get any use out of what I like. It's beautiful, but after one issue I decided to pass.

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  17. At this point, I feel like Gygax is the lovable loser of RPG mags at this point, which is a definite demotion from its start as scrappy underdog. My dissatisfaction started pretty early, when they delayed shipping the second or third issue to subscribers in order to sell the them at GenCon; treating impulse buy foot traffic better than subscribers strikes me as a really bad business model.

    That said, I renewed my subscription for 4 more issues. I guess lovable out weighs loser in this case.

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  18. I have not subscribed, but purchased some issues through Paizo. It does not bode well for the future that they can't even make a quarterly delivery on time.

    As for content, it's OK... It is hard when you have a magazine that is scrambling for contributors such that you have a wide swath of gaming systems instead of a focused vehicle.

    I think it would be nice if they stayed more in the old school D&D content such that the content could be used with any OSR game or 5e, but it's likely they're taking whatever they can get. This has the side effect of being less useful to anyone not playing whatever systems the feature articles are based on.

    At this point, I'd like to support the magazine, but shied away from supporting it, as the irregular delivery is making me doubt its long-term viability.

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  19. I don't know anything about this (was away from the game for 30 years) product offering but when we sold our last house I pulled about two dozen Dungeon and Drag mags out from under the stairs . . . in a Woodward & Lothrop box. Irony?

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  20. That's the real cover. They're doing a Minecraft issue.

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  21. I', finding & Magazine to be more useful to me these days.

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