Hello everyone, Master the Dungeon is going through some changes and we wanted to take some time to talk about everything that will effect you, our dear readers.
So far, Master the Dungeon has been an effort spanning almost three years with two primary writers and developers. Master the Dungeon started as a hobby project, as we are both Web Developers who play D&D. But over the last year, our readership has grown into the thousands and this hobby project has shown that it deserves more of our attention.
With the added work we’ve put into the site and the added demand for content, we’ve decided it was time to launch a Patreon for those who want to support us directly. In the past we were not in a place where we felt comfortable taking donations, as we were not able to update as frequently as we liked. Lately we’ve restructured how we handle the site to ensure we are always adding new content. With the increase in content production and a greater focus on the site, we are finally at a place where we feel our work is worth the support people wanted to give us in the past.
With the addition of Patreon support, we still fully intend to keep our content free. There will be no need to donate and we will not be putting any existing content behind a paywall. Patreon members will be getting some small extras as a thank you for their support, but these are going to be things like patron discussions and posts and early access to digital maps and models we are working on.
Our intention with launching a Patreon at this time is to hopefully gain enough support that we can focus more resources on the site and its content and begin to create more time intensive works for our audience. We’d like to spend more time making quests, tools, maps, resources, and articles, and every piece of financial support we get contributes to our ability to focus more on Master the Dungeon. If you are interested in knowing all the ways that you can support us, both monetarily or non-monetarily, we’ve created a support page that outlines how you can help.
Growth and Site Changes
The growth of the site includes a few things we’ve done in the background already. For example, we’ve optimized the site and upgraded our hosting. With the amount of traffic we’re receiving, we wanted to make sure the experience remained consistent for everyone. In addition to making our site a bit faster, we started to restructure and fix some older infrastructure. This is by no means complete, but the site is going through a major overhaul. We’re also adding new content, new goals, and undergoing a bit of a face lift at this time. We hope to launch the new design very soon.
With our growing community and huge amount of traffic coming in, we aim to provide not only new content, but structured content. Currently we are posting weekly on Wednesdays with articles about general DMing. But now we are increasing our content offerings to include even more weekly posts. Starting soon we will also be releasing an additional themed series called DnD Trap Tuesdays which will go up every Tuesday and focus on trap design for your dungeons. This series will cover the broad topic of traps, but aims to give you something you can easily implement in your own dungeons.
Beyond the new series that will be bringing us up to two weekly posts, we have several other series planned currently. One of these is more work intensive and will be announced once we have enough content built up to ensure a consistent release schedule. The other two series we are planning will be dependent upon meeting Patreon goals. While that is currently what we have planned, we are not limiting ourselves to just these possibilities. We would love to be able to release new content daily, but writing good content takes time. While one of us is writing quite a bit of content, the other still needs to edit it, setup posting schedules, and ensure it is being setup properly to reach everyone who reads our posts and handling social media. The work that goes into even one of these articles is extensive, and while it is our passion, we need to focus on creating a balance between our site and our day jobs.
We’ve also been busy working on new tools! We’ve recently build the DnD Name Generator which is a simple random name generator for characters and NPCs. It was constructed as a proof of concept and will be the first of many tools like it. We’re hard at work making other generators and calculators for dungeon masters and players. We hope that these tools will be extremely helpful for dungeon masters of all skill levels. These tools are time consuming to build and they are all experimental, so if anyone has any comments or suggestions, please let us know! We’re all about making what is most useful for our readers, so suggestions are always welcome.
Campaigns, Maps, and Quests
While it has always been our plan to make more extensive campaigns, maps, and quests for people to use, the time and quality of these has been below what we wanted to put out. Moving forward, we will be working on taking our existing campaign material that we use in our home games and polishing it for general audience use. We will be adding sections to our site for this content as well as materials for starting, running, and managing your campaign. This is strictly a to-be-determined project, but it is a high priority for us. Maps may soon also get their own page and will be open source and free to use and modify.
Site Redesign and Branding Changes
It’s about time we got serious about some of site’s layout and design. We’ve been using an amateur logo since we started the site and right now we have a professional designer mocking up concepts for a new logo and branding pallet. Beyond just the logo, the homepage will be getting a complete overhaul to be more useful to our readers. We intend on making it more of a content showcase and navigational hub rather than what it is now. Last on our redesign rampage will be the resources page. This page has been very useful to the community and has tons of good links and content, but it needs to be better organized and more worthwhile for our readers.
We also want to take this time to thank you for your years of support. Even if you are just joining us, we’ve been continually creating for this site because we’ve had readers. We’ve gotten nice comments from people saying that the content we made has helped them run a better D&D campaign, and that means a lot to us! If we’ve helped even one person enjoy being a dungeon master just a tiny bit more, than we feel the time we’ve spent has been worth it. We want everyone to know just how great playing D&D can be and we want to share our passion for the game with the world. Your support has helped us grow this simple hobby project into something much bigger, and we cannot thank you enough. We look forward to many more years of role playing with you all. Happy DMing!