Aeryn’s Archives: Dragon #427 (My D&D Swansong)
Posted on February 9, 2022
by Aeryn Rudel
Looking back over my published credits, there’s one that sticks out, a bittersweet entry in my 15-plus years of professional writing. It’s the final article I published with Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons & Dragons, and it happened in September of 2013, in Dragon #427.
My article in this issue (which is also the cover image) is titled “The Lost World.” It’s described in the table of contents thusly: We brush away the dust of ages and reveal primordial beasts that lived before the rise of dinosaurs, or after their extinction. I’m a huge dinosaur and prehistoric animal nerd, and this article indulged my love of ancient critters and, hopefully, gave Dungeon Masters some interesting new monsters to work with. The article includes 4e stats for creatures like gorgonopsids (called urdrakes), sea scorpions, and various prehistoric mammals (called urbeasts). It was a fun article to write and seemed a fitting swansong for my final contribution to 4e Dungeons & Dragons.
So, why was this my last article? Well, if you look at the date of this issue of Dragon, you’ll see it’s September of 2013. In under a year’s time, a new version of D&D would be released. The new edition, 5e, would make the game more popular than ever and change the way the game was designed in many ways. Both Dragon and Dungeon magazines went by the wayside, and since the bulk of my contributions were in those publications, so did my work for WotC. In addition, my position at Privateer Press as publications manager was leaving me less and less time for extracurricular activities, and, what time I did have, I wanted to spend on writing fiction. I’m in no way bitter or upset with how things turned out. Writing for Wizards was a bucket list accomplishment, and I have nothing but fond memories of the five years or so I was writing official D&D content. I worked with fantastic editors, got sneak peeks at awesome upcoming games and content (Dark Sun!), and I learned a lot about writing and game design.
Anyway, if you’d like to check out this issue of Dragon, just click the cover image above. This issue and a bunch more are still for sale out at DriveThruRPG.
I have many fond memories of Dragon and Dungeon, though I mostly stopped buying them when they went online-only and it coincided with a period of poverty.
Same. I have a huge collection of both magazines from the 3.0/3.5 years (and some from the 2e days). The digital switch allowed them to hire more freelancers, so I won’t complain too much since I clearly benefited from it. 🙂