First gaming magazine you ever purchased.
Man…Dragon. Didn’t and don’t have much use for Dungeon, since, as mentioned in the last post, I like to write my own stuff. Not just writing it, but really letting it be guided by the players. That was true even during my dark teenage years of seizing campaigns and wrenching the life from disgraced characters. The major campaign we played in high school eventually centered around the party escorting a giant egg–previously an NPC–which contained the reincarnating spirit of the party cleric’s god. That narrative bit did provide an impetus to break them out of the abandoned city they were using as a stronghold and take them through several new kingdoms/environments, and the return trip would have done the same thing as they chased the now-twisted dragon south while the cleric wrestled with his steadily-more-infernal powerset. Most of the villains they fought had something to do with their characters, especially when they got hold of a Deck of Many Things and, hilariously, one of the characters wished that there were no goblins. Due to the history in the campaign, that wish came true by catapulting the entire party several hundred years into the past, where–significantly–none of their races existed and the one of them who was half-dragon was especially unsettling.
Slight digression, but it makes my point! Drag-and-drop dungeons, especially maps, are theoretically of value to me, but many sessions involved more of a “Well, I guess you guys can go attack the orc who rules this area. Gimme twenty minutes,” or its aftermath.
Dragon, on the other hand, was always full of crazy, wonky, weird little rules. It’s what I understand White Dwarf used to be (and may be becoming again) for Warhammer. I loved the idea of those magazines, and their execution. However, when I think back I’m pretty sure I never saw a Dragon magazine until I was in college, and thus done with tabletop and only gaming online for a span of years. I’d pick one up whenever we took a drive to Lafayette, Indiana to buy Magic Cards; trips where we were going there to convince girls at Purdue to come to a party at our college usually didn’t involve a hobby stop. I still have a stack of them, though I think I donated some to a local library with all of my 3.x stuff when I moved out of MN, because I wanted to be a part of some other kid’s version of my own entry into the game. I had the issue with the gladiator rules, and the incredible issue with the demon/daemon/devil-possessed PrC that had a huge slate of options…EXACTLY the kind of thing I love!
I’ve been subscribed to DnD Insider more or less continually for the last five or so years, and continued to glean what I can from the online form of Dragon. That’s been lean, lean times in the last year or so though, so I tend to let it sit for months at a time. But the heyday…ah, the heyday.