Now, normally, I wouldn't give much consideration to announcements like this, since I'm not really a fan of subscription-based gaming content. What I found interesting, though, is the further explanation Cook gives for the nature of the content on the site:
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. [italics mine]He elaborates on this description further:
Dungeonaday.com describes Dragon's Delve, a mysterious (mega-)dungeon of vast size, fascinating secrets, and great danger. It includes such locales as the Font of Dreams, the Domain of the Venom Cult, the Prison of the Red Saint, the Aberrant Laboratory, the Sprawl of the Demon Leige, and the Secret City. It offers weird and wild encounters with the Bestial Host, the Insidious Kings, swarm-demon Czarzem the Wicked, and the Prince of Dragons. It holds treasures and secrets like the Twelve Secret Sigils, Sao's Bones, and the mystical wendways. But the adventure includes much more than just a dungeon. Dungeonaday.com also describes the surrounding area (filled with intriguing ruins), the nearby town of Brindenford (which is far more involved in the goings-on than it first appears), side trips to a mysterious island and an extradimensional tesseract, and forays into strange other planes. And that's just for starters. Seriously.Notice the use of the M-word -- megadungeon. I can't deny that this does sound very intriguing, particularly since I'd actually been contemplating a vaguely similar concept for Grognardia, although without a subscription component. Though it's far too early to tell how accurate it all is -- and Monte Cook is a master of hyping his own products -- I do get an old school vibe from that description. The mention of multiple named locales, for example, reminds me of Castle Greyhawk and its Machine Level, Bottle City, Black Reservoir, and so on. As things stand now, Dungeonaday is being written with v.3.5 D&D in mind, but Cook intriguingly notes that it's extremely "rules-light" and could easily be used with any edition of the game.
The proof will be in the pudding, of course. Monte Cook is a very talented writer, but his credentials as an old school module designer are slim at best (he was, after all, the writer of the execrable Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil), so I am skeptical. Still, I think the fact that a big name "modern" RPG writer is going to try his hand at a megadungeon is a testament to just how far the old school community's ideas have spread. Likewise, Cook's emphasis on "rules-light" suggests two things. One, he's interested in attracting fans of editions other than v.3.5, including those of us who play pre-WotC editions. Second, I think it's an indication that D&D players are permanently split between partisans of many different editions.
Again, I remain skeptical of the whole enterprise, but I'll be keeping an eye on it when it launches next week. There's supposed to be lots of free preview content available then and I'll certainly be looking into it carefully. Still, there's a big part of me that wishes the old school community could organize itself into a similar kind of project but without a fee. I know we have the talent to do so.