Books : RPG : English
Most Recent Column In PDF: Dungeon #182 (September 2010)
Dungeoncraft.pdf Last Updated: September 30, 2010
Torrent Description Last Updated: April 5th, 2012
What Is Dungeoncraft?
Dungeoncraft is a reoccurring column that first appeared in the January 1999 edition of Dragon Magazine. The column is ongoing, stronger than ever, and currently published in Dungeon Magazine. It is aimed at Dungeon Masters who are interested in scenario, campaign, setting, and/or worldbuilding. Most of the articles are self contained and for the most part the column stays within the confines of "crafting" your ______ (insert personally customized desire) , although general DMing advice is sprinkled throughout its numerous entries.
The majority of Dungeoncraft will most benefit DM's new to creating their own game content. Experienced DM's who have never strayed far from the module are just as much the target audience of the column as are individuals who are just trying their hand at DMing. However, there are a great number of entries that should prove useful even to veteran DMs.
Unfortunately, The Physical Product Has It’s Issues
Unfortunately, each column prior to Dungeon #150 has been obtained from a scanned copy of a Dragon or Dungeon magazine. Due to the large amount of compression artifacts in most of the scans, OCR is sadly not possible without someone manually entering the information for each and every page. At 400+ pages that undertaking is well beyond what free time I am able to contribute at this time. Fortunately, most scans are perfectly readable if you zoom to a level between 100% to 150%.
Sadly, some articles were scanned or compressed so poorly that reading is near impossible. For these few troubled articles I have provided a full text write-up which is placed behind the scanned image itself. The articles that do have a pure text version available will show up as red entries in the PDF's bookmarks. Simply select the red texted bookmark, expand its sub-menu, and click on the View Text Only bookmark.
It is worth noting that a fan typed up the full text for the first 32 Dungeoncraft articles. I have included these with the torrent (Dungeoncraft Texts 1-32.zip). Also, all articles that have appeared in Dungeon since issue #151 can all be found in the Dungeoncraft Archive on the official D&D website (normal website text you can copy).
The Future Of The Dungeoncraft Compilation
With the release of issue #182 James Wyatt, the columns current author, has notified us that he will no longer be writing Dungeoncraft. In the past when these fine columnists have stepped down we have seen both massive gaps in Dungeoncraft activity and temporary authors who keep the column alive temporarily until somebody more permanent has been able to take the reins. Whether the column will live on or disappear entirely is anybodies best guess at this point. Keep those fingers crossed as any news won't be appearing until Dungeon #183!
Issue #195 has been released and there is still no trace of the Dungeoncraft column. For the time being it is safe to assume that the column is on an extended hiatus. I will update this block of text each month, confirming that the column is still unaccounted for in the latest issue of Dungeon magazine, until the column finally reappears. Due to its long life span and popularity I am hopeful that the column will not be down and out for long.
I have been unable to acquire any of the Dungeon magazines for issues #196 to #201. Dungeon #195 was the last PDF I could find online. At this point in time I am unable to update the torrent description with any further updates of Dungeoncraft's possible return. If anybody can help please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks!
An Extended Look At Dungeoncraft
Now, for those who are interested, Dungeoncraft has been written by a handful of individuals. Each one had their own personal style and focus during their respective reigns. I have included a little bit of information for those of you who still aren't sure if Dungeoncraft will prove useful to you or are simply curious. Enjoy!
Ray Winniger, Articles #1-23, AD&D Ruleset (quote from Dragon #255)
A good DM is a writer, actor, game designer, storyteller, and referee all rolled into one. Taking on all these roles is not easy; effective DMing is more art than science. Beginning with this issue Dragon Magazine devotes a few pages each month to exploring the art of Dungeoncraft. In the months ahead, you'll have an opportunity to peek behind the scenes as I prepare and run a complete AD&D campaign. Along the way, I'll discuss how I designed and ran various aspects of the campaign.
I'll also give you tips for creating or improving your own campaigns and for handling special situations that arise during play. Future installments of this column will cover topics ranging from worldbuilding and character creation to dungeon design and playing effective NPCs. Although Dungeoncraft
is an obvious starting point for beginners running their first games, experienced dungeon-crawlers should find plenty of interesting material in these pages as well.
Ray Winniger, Articles #24-38, D&D 3.0 Ruleset (quote from Dragon #278)
As I write this installment, I've just returned from the the Gen Con 2000 Game Fair, where the new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook
was released amid much fanfare. Many of you who have written over the last several months have asked if and when I'll be referencing the new edition's rules in Dungeoncraft
. Now that the project's veil of secrecy has been lifted, I can answer those two questions: 1) yes, of course; and 2) right now. From this installment forward, I'll refer exclusively to the new rules when preparing this column.
Does this mean I'll go back and rewrite the previous twenty-three installments for the new rules? Well, no. Fortunately, the rules haven't changed enough to invalidate the majority of the advice I've offered over the last two years. For the most part, building a world and preparing a campaign under the new rules is much like building a world and preparing a campaign under the old rules. I'll occasionally revisit and revise some of my old advice in the installments to come, but for now you can safely assume that most of what I've presented so far is as valid under the new rules as it was when you first read it.
Monte Cook , Articles #39-60, D&D 3.x Ruleset (quote from Dragon #301)
Beginning with this article, Dungeon Master's Guide
author Monte Cook takes the reins of the popular Dungeoncraft
column. This version of the column, unlike its original incarnation, consists of a variety of short series that focus on building encounters in specific environments, building specific parts of a campaign world, and handling other unusual situations that arise in D&D.Note 1:
During Monte Cook's exclusive authorship of Dungeoncraft, the ruleset advanced from 3.0 to 3.5. However, Monte never comments on this change and all of the content of Dungeoncraft is considered just as applicable to 3.0 as it is to 3.x.Note 2:
In August 2004, starting with Issue #114, Dungeon Magazine underwent a large scale format change. Part of this new face was the addition of several columns to broaden coverage of Dungeons D&D content, which was previously only adventure modules. Dungeoncraft would now appear exclusively in Dungeon Magazine. Monte never acknowledges this move in the article itself and there were no changes to the article structure or focus. The only notable change was Dungeoncraft's venue.
Monte Cook & Kyle Hunter, Articles #61-79, D&D 3.5 Ruleset
When Kyle Hunter joined Monte Cook as the official Dungeoncraft column artist there was no official introduction. No mention of this event within a Dungeoncraft article, Dungeon magazine, or even Wizard's website. His name simply appeared under Monte's on the first page of each article. Whether influenced or coincidently coinciding with, Kyle's arrival marked a new direction for the column. Compared to when it was just Monte at the helm, where Monte had written near exclusively of topics related to encounters, the column now resembled something far more similar to its origins during the days of Ray Winniger. A new and well rounded DM advice series had begun.
19 articles were created that walked a DM through the process of creating, running, and managing a campaign. Note that this is somewhat different from Ray Winniger's articles which focused primarily on aspects of Worldbuilding and, towards the end of his Dungeoncraft career, the creation of a setting using all of the methods and techniques that had been taught up to that point. Monte's writings differed in that they covered the process of creating a campaign (versus world and/or setting). Solid feedback on how a campaign should be run, solutions and tips regarding problems that are likely to pop up during play, helpful suggestions on navigating specific situations, and even often overlooked advice on how to improve the quality of your game through gaming frill, special sessions, and deliberate player manipulation. This methodical "practical advice" approach to the creation and upkeep of a campaign was and remains solid.
While both authors had the same goal -- teaching DM's how to properly develop, organize, maintain, and execute numerous sessions of D&D using your own creations -- both went about it in very different ways. Ray's approach was, in my opinion, verbally more newbie friendly. However, his overall lessons were scattered and greatly lacked, as a whole, cohesion. Monte's methodology produced a solid compilation of topics and his articles flowed naturally from article to article. Unfortunately, he didn't stay around long enough to touch down on the sheer breadth of topics that Ray had.
Wolfgang Baur & Kyle Hunter, Articles #80-87, D&D 3.5 Ruleset
It is unclear if Wolfgang Baur chose to back out of writing the column, after penning a paltry eight articles, or if he was simply filling the gap between Monte Cook's departure and James Wyatt's arrival. I tend to believe the latter myself but just like the arrival of Kyle Hunter, no statements were ever made regarding Baur's short run. Unlike all Dungeoncraft authors/articles before him, none of his entries were thematically related. Each dealt with a single topic, designing mysteries that last for example, and was 110% self contained. His was a short but juicy run and I believe the information was just as useful to veteran DM's as it was to newbies.
James Wyatt, Articles #88-118, D&D 4E Ruleset (quote from Dungeon #151)
The announcement has come and gone, the tempest of emotion it brought is beginning to fade, and the excitement is starting to set in. Seven months from now, you and your players will be sitting down with your shiny new Player's Handbooks, taking a look at all the new rules, and trying to figure out what to do next. You don't have to wait until May to start planning your first 4th Edition campaign. The launch of a new edition is a great time to imagine what new directions you might want to explore, and figure out what new adventures and new worlds might lie before you.
Keep playing for now, but it's never too early to have your eye on what you might be playing when May rolls around. That's what this column is all about. For the next few months, I'll be sharing my thoughts about creating a new campaign for 4th Edition, and I'll actually sketch out my own campaign as I go. I invite you to follow along with me to collect what insights we can find about the job of world-building and campaign design.Note:
James Wyatt's article focus has been a solid mesh of Ray Winniger world and setting building and Monte Cook (the Monte & Kyle Hunter version) campaign building. Simply fantastic!