This is our 100th article and our first editorial. Our first saw the light of day on August 3rd, so we’re slightly over the six month mark. In that half year we’ve seen quite a lot of developments.
On our tenth day, we published what is so far our most read article – on the truly incredible RPG scene in Sweden. It exploded almost immediately and perhaps gave us unrealistic hopes for our growth at the start.
But it also started something of a theme with us. We are based in Iceland and understandably are very impressed by our Nordic neighbours and have followed up closely on what our northern cousins have been doing. Is it any wonder? It’s a thriving and powerful scene that is producing a lot of truly impressive work, such as Fria Ligan (Free League) with Mutant Year Zero, Coriolis, Tales from the Loop and the upcoming Forbidden Lands. Let’s not forget Trudvang Chronicles and Symbaroum, which we will cover very soon.
It takes a while to warm up
The early winter was tough. For a time, there was little activity amongst the Yawning Portal staff for a number of reasons and it resulted in a slump, both creatively and in viewing figures. However, since the start of the new year, I think it’s safe to say that we are on the rise. January started with a bang and several of our articles became very popular and on a wide variety of topics, such as a further look at Nordic RPG’s, a look back on the Forgotten Realms and Eberron and tips on better GM’ing and subverting player knowledge on monsters as well as our argument that we are in the middle of D&D’s golden age. It became our strongest month since we started.
And then came February. We’re only slightly past the halfway point and it has already become our best month. On February 3rd, we published an article highlighting how D&D, for all its strengths, isn’t the only option out there. It became our second most read article almost immediately. We followed up and continue too see growth, which has been such that we saw the need to expand and added a board game editor to our staff. The future is very bright.
Did we ever mention we love you?
That being said, this is a labour of love. We are all highly experienced, both in RPG’s and diverse fields relevant to running and creating for the site. We have more than a century of total playing experience. But so far, this is not a living for any of us. With the continued growth we may well become more than hobbyists writing about our passion projects. For that to happen we are absolutely dependant on you, our readers. On the other hand, to keep you coming we must continue producing the quality material we believe we are making. It’s a delicate balance. It has been our aim to speak our minds, even if some may not like it.
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We are also looking in other directions for ways to not only share our views, but also our experience. We have already started with a Yawning Portal mini-campaign over on dmsguild, the first chapter is out now and the second chapter is in development. There will be more once the first one is finished.
We are also discussing setting up a Patreon program or something similar. We want to make it very clear that we will not do this unless it involves something of value for the participant. If this happens it will mean that there will be rewards for those partaking, we don’t want to just beg.
And now from the heart…
On a personal note, this has been a lot of fun and will continue to be. If I have a complaint, it has to do with how hard it can be to get attention on articles that don’t discuss D&D. There is no way to ignore the fact that D&D is the giant in the RPG world, but it’s my sincere belief that having an open mind and looking at other things is helpful to anyone’s game. Two things always sell – nostalgia and negativity. That does tend to annoy me, mostly because a glowing look at the past is not always an honest look. I love many of the old D&D settings, whether active or not, but that doesn’t mean I will ignore their shortcomings. It’s not exactly a secret that I really, really don’t like Spelljammer, mostly because of how its potential was wasted. But I took it too far and focused too much on the negatives and less on the positives (there are a few, if you dig deep) and may have turned off some readers. Negativity for negativity’s sake is just dumb. A reasoned critique is a different story, and our look at the Forgotten Realms (our first round table article, there will be more) was a better, more nuanced look at both its positives and negatives. Again, it’s a delicate balance.
Now it’s your turn. What would you, our readers like to see in the future?
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