Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Level UP" Your DnD 4E Game!

Many months back, the Dungeons and Dragons community took a blow when Wizards of the Coast decided to cancel the print editions of Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Sure. They still have them available as online editions but you have to subscribe to Wizards' Dungeons and Dragons Insider and, even if you did that, nothing can compare to having a paper magazine to carry around in your back pocket.

Enter "Level UP".

Published by Goodman Games, Level UP is a nice quarterly magazine with a mixture of DnD 4E info for both players and DMs alike. What's even better is that Level UP is 4E ONLY! There's no articles or advertising here from games that you don't even play. It's all 4E, all the time. The topper? For only $2, you not only get the print copy to carry with you but also a free PDF copy for the DM that wants to read on his desktop!

The first issue is on shelves now at your local game shop. Inside, you'll find new weapons including the arbalest (a heavy crossbow with 1d10 damage and longer range than the standard) and character paths (the Arbalestier for the aforementioned weapon, the Crimson Cleaver and the Cudgel Thug). For DMs, there's a set of new monsters called Behemoths (the dinosaurs that were missing from the Monster Manual in 4E) and a fully playable adventure featuring the new beasties! On the "fluff" side of things, there's a new diety, a random monster name generator and more. And to round things out, there's even question and answer columns where readers can get advice from a hobgoblin (weapons and military matters) and an archmage (DM advice on managing your group).

All in all, Level UP is a great replacement for both Dungeon and Dragon magazines and I see potential here for it to top them both. Here's looking forward to issue #2 in July.


  1. I disagree. I bought this magazine after having read your review and I was disappointed.

    On flicking through it looks a good start, but a more indepth read reveals there isn't much in the way of substance to the articles. The agony aunt page would be better off being replaced with an advert.

    It also doesn't help that it is mainly written by only one contributer and the quick reviews were principally for Goodman Games products. Talk about self publicising.

    I will give it another couple of issues to see if it finds its way, but if it continues to have so few contributors,focuses shamelessly on its own products and the quality of the articles don't improve I will have no problem dropping it.

    I do agree about the e copy of Dragon, reading it onscreen is not an option, as neither is printing it out.

    Not having read it for at least 5 years I have only just found out it hasn't been printed for 2 years.