Monte Cook takes on D&D Insider

Monte Cook, co-writer of 3rd edition D&D, and long time writer of many RPG systems has announced his new venture.

Next week I’m going to be launching Dungeonaday.com, a subscription-based website that will offer new game content every weekday. Basically, what I’ll be doing is building an ongoing dungeon-based campaign of a decidedly old-school tradition, but utilizing all the newest presentation options. So expect an adventure like no other with hypertext references to all the important game content (including various rules references), fluid encounters, and incredible amounts of detail.

There will be a charge for membership of $7/Month and the writing will be aimed at 3.5e but very rules-light so content is portable to other versions of D&D.

This is a really interesting move. Can one man, even the talented Monte Cook, churn out enough material at high enough quality to justify $7 a month subscription? He probably needs about 200 – 500 subscribers to make it viable. This is considerably less than D&D Insider needs as Monte Cook does not have the massive overheads of a large corporation or need to recoup costs already sunk into developing the character generator and other software.

If Cook is successful and gamers accept that a sub $10 subscription is the only way to get regular high quality material then we could see an resurgence in publishing. A return to the 70s & 80s when there were far more gaming magazines and semi-pro zines around than today, despite RPGs being a lot less popular. Except that this time, it will all be online and the cost of getting your ideas out to the public is so much lower.

Full Announcement: Dungeonaday.com

6 comments

  1. Phew! I’ve been waiting for this announcement. I’m so glad we can talk about this now.

    Dungeon-A-Day is a great project – one I hope does well. Subscription models are the way to go, hands down. They allow people to try out the service for a minimal investment and cancel at any time.

    Best of luck to Monte.

    Ed Healy´s last blog post..Master Dungeons (Atomic Array 017)

  2. If anyone can, Monte can. He has the creative talent of 20 men, and a knowledge of working in the role-playing industry that spans (by my reckoning) almost 30 years. I have more faith in him than in a 1,000 digital initiatives from WoTC.

    Excellent news!

    greywulf´s last blog post..Mutants and Masterminds Day 4: Where

  3. Ummm, wouldn’t a better title here be “Monte Cook Copies Insider, but for 3e”?

    I’ve liked some of Monte’s work in the past, but I don’t think that any one person can put out enough content to justify a 7/month charge. I can get Insider for a comparable price, with higher production values and a broader range of content and tools. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting steadily better.

    The only real benefit I can see with Monte’s offering is that it’s a 3e-format, which is definitely a niche that’s missing. I hope he succeeds, though – this sort of high-quality online content is a good thing for the hobby. I’m not convinced that anyone has the pricing right yet, though.

  4. I have faith in Monte. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

    Given his previous output, I know the material will be quality. However, the daily turn is something which I think will be difficult to sustain without help from various areas.

    Now if he’s got help from certain ex-WOTC staff then it’s a dead cert.

    satyre´s last blog post..upon a red horse and bearing a sword

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