In September 2007 Wizards of the Coast pulled the license for both Dragon and Dungeon magazines from Paizo. This could have been the death knell for the small company, but instead, WotC ended up creating its biggest rival in the RPG industry as Paizo refocused on the D&D 3.5 audience and created its highly successful Pathfinder brand from the ashes of its Dungeon ‘Adventure Path’ line.
Still, gamers themselves might have gained a new RPG, but the end of both long-running print magazines still resonates in the market as nothing has been able to come close to taking their place.
Today, I take a look at the final Dungeon, #150, produced in that September culling.
Final issues of anything are inherently sad, and this is no different as Editor-in-Chief James Jacobs pens a touching farewell, and Publisher Erik Mona also chimes in with what subscribers can expect and a bit about the future of the company.
I will give Paizo props for this magazine’s creation in that it is certainly an issue to remember. First and foremost it contains a ‘Complete Dungeon Index’ that details the prime adventures from ALL 150 Dungeon magazines which is incredible in itself.
Aside from that, there are three large adventures beginning with ‘Kill Bargle’, a homage to the D&D Basic Red Box intro adventure from 1984, and written by Jason Bulmahn.
Author Nicholas Logue adds a great city adventure to the mix with ‘Quoth The Raven’, and last but not last Greg Vaughn produces the final Dungeon ‘Adventure Path’ with ‘Savage Tide’ that has the original Paizo inspired iconics taking on Demogorgon. This final piece is an incredible adventure for the simple fact that I believe it to be the greatest high level D&D 3.5 adventure ever created.
Artistically, Paizo’s go to guy, Wayne Reynolds does an incredible cover featuring Demogorgon, and interior art is handled by the UDON studio, Julie Dillon, Ben Wootten and Warren Mahy with contributing comic art by Kyle Hunter who also does some work on the mini-city adventure ‘Bar Fight!’
Nothing here other than the Reynolds cover stands out, but it does foreshadow what Paizo’s art department will become, as they have established a digital style reflective of their vision for the future.
Artistic Rating: 2.5 [out of 5]