A few days ago Quinn over at At-Will made a sad farewell post informing his vast readership that the blog would be shutting down, and explaining his reasons. I’ve been a regular follower of At-Will since the beginning, and if you aren’t familiar with the excellent work that this blog has done on D&D design, I’ll let you know that this is a huge loss to the D&D blogging community. Quinn Murphy (aka gamefiend) was one of the first big bloggers of 4th Edition, and since he started At-Will back in 2008, he has consistently written insightful and creative pieces on more effective DMing, more interesting characters, smarter combat strategies, and overall better gaming.
Even more sad is the news that At-Will’s demise is largely due to the pressures of combatting the quarrelsome and fractious nature of the D&D community. A little bit of nerdrage is to be expected whenever gamers gather to discuss the finer arts of polyhedron-throwing, but it’s a tragic day when the community is so vicious that they drive a great gaming resource like At-Will into self-imposed exile.
At-Will’s most famous project will continue: Worldbreakers, truly terrifying solo monsters that mutate, transform, power-up, burst into rage, or otherwise change as the fight progresses. They ramp up the power of an otherwise humdrum monster by allowing a solo’s unleashed power to warp the battlefield and blast the heroes with waves of debilitating effects. Don’t believe me? Ask Bilfaaz the white dragon, Maim the Shining Minotaur, and the baddest of the bad, Etherkai the Nightmare Dragon.
In the future, the long-awaited compilation of Worldbreakers will be published somehow, somewhere, on some date, but for now it’s goodbye. Until then, check out some of the highlights of At-Will’s three-year run:
- A series of instructionals and philosophizing entitled How to Design a Skill Challenge
- Putting their advice to good use with a series of Skill Challenges
- Children of the Hellrock: Duergar reimagined, less spiny, more fun.
- Adding heroic turning points to your battles with 4e and the Art of the Limit Break
- Failure is an Option: When to Use Skill Challenges
- An Open Letter to Wizards, at the turning point of 4e encounter design
- A series of creative and ready-made Lore, including my favorites Random Villagers, More Random Villagers, Mystical Staves, and Dangerous Daggers
- Characters with Character: Break Class Archetypes
- Penniless but not Powerless: Deep analysis of money, magic and loot in D&D
- Better multiclassing through themes in You, Version 2.0 (Part 1) and (Part 2) and Multiclass Mondays
- The Path to Victory: Alternate Victory Conditions in 4e
- A thoughtful examination of how each skill fits into your campaign world: Serious Skills
- Cutting down combat length with The Speed of Choice
- Ryven’s farewell post, with a look at where D&D will go from here