Monte Cook Joins Us Again for a Short Adventure!

The Necropolis of Pergia adventure came to an end on Friday, and we hope you all enjoyed it. We think you’ll really enjoy the next one: Starting today, subscribers get more than two weeks of encounters that create a short adventure entitled The Tomb-World of Alak-Ammur. It’s a 12th-level adventure that can be plaed in any setting. Well, really, it isn’t IN any setting; it sits kind of alongside the game world like a . . . well, I’ve said too much already. If you’re a subscriber, check it out yourself—and if not, well, there’s no time like the present!

Personally, we are really thrilled that Monte had time in his busy schedule to write this adventure for us. Working on Dungeon A Day is cool, but there’s a gray lining to that silver cloud: We too are big fans of Monte’s work, and taking it over means we don’t get our daily dose. We’re very pleased with the work we’ve published, but we’re as excited as anyone to get a little fresh content from one of the world’s premier dungeon designer and the guy who founded the site. Editing and developing Tomb-World has been a ton of fun because it rekindled that opportunity. We hope (and we’re sure) you all will get just as big a thrill out of this adventure as we did.

What’s This New Site All About?

By now you probably know the story: A week ago Subhub, the company that hosts Dungeon A Day (and has, more-or-less flawlessly, since day one) suffered a catastrophic server failure, bringing down DaD and all their other clients’ sites. They quickly scrambled to move to new servers, but in so doing all the domain information somehow got scrambled, and there was no obvious way for users to find DaD. Our response was to hastily throw up the site you’re currently on, point your existing bookmark at it, and then provide a link to get you from here into DaD proper.

Here’s the funny thing: We were planning to do this all along. In fact, we were going to implement a site very much like this one over the course of the next few weeks—the Subhub catastrophe simply forced us to take action sooner than planned. If things had gone to plan, we would have actually built a complete, functional, and good-looking site, and then taken the wraps off it (so you wouldn’t have to watch us evolve from the mess that was posted Friday, through what you see today, to the complete, functional, and good-looking version we’ll hopefully have within a few days). But before we did that, we would have posted the message that I’m posting now.

Which is, basically, why. What this site is for? (Other than responding to unexpected catastrophic server failures.)

Here’s the rationale: Subhub is a great package for providing the utility Dungeon A Day requires. It provides everything we need to post and organize the encounters, maps, handouts, and extra bits we want to put in your hands, and maintain the conversation we want with the subscribers. And it gives us an excellent and flexible paywall to put it all behind.

But outside the paywall, Subhub is a dog. It provides almost nothing of what we need to make the site interesting or attractive to potential new subscribers. The utilitarian layout—perfect for our inside-the-paywall requirements—is cluttered, confusing, and unattractive to the newcomer, and the site is not flexible enough to easily fix that. As a result, the Dungeon A Day site does almost nothing to attract new subscribers. And as a result of that, Dungeon A Day as an organization has done almost nothing to attract new subscribers. It’s the best-kept secret in gaming—which frankly isn’t a very good business model.

The bottom line is this: What existing subscribers and potential subscribers need from the site are two radically different things, and there was no way to get the existing site to meet both needs. Our solution is to build an entirely new site, completely outside the paywall, to greet potential subscribers and tell the Dungeon A Day story. And that’s what this site is. Or at least what it will be, soon.

The basic Dungeon A Day URL ( will now point to this site, because we want people who are looking for Dungeon A Day to end up here before stumbling into the confusing morass (to a non-subscriber) that is the actual site. We’ve put a nice, easy-to-spot “Enter the Site Here!” button near the top of every page, so subscribers are only one click further from their content. (Yes, it’s ugly now, but all this stuff will get prettier once we have time to work on it a bit more.) If you want to skip this site and never see it again, simply update your Dungeon A Day bookmark to the main site’s new URL: The content on this side of the paywall is relatively static and not particularly relevant to you, the subscriber, so there’s no reason to keep clicking through it if you don’t want to.

Once this is done, we’ll turn the Eye of Sauron to the Subhub site. There’s a lot of stuff there that was originally put up to speak to the non-subscriber (and a lot of that is really obsolete or was never finished in the first place). No longer burdened by a need to sell the site to non-subscribers, we’ll be able to clean it up a bit and improve the navigation and functionality for you, the subscriber. In short, both sites will be able to focus sharply on their respective roles, improving the experience for existing subscribers as well as potential subscribers.

And we now have a redundant system in the unlikely event of a recurrence: If you can’t get on the main site, check here for news and updates. (We also try to keep people up to date through Facebook and Twitter. You might want to like and/or follow us if you don’t already. Links to the right.)

So there you have it. One of the ways in which we hope to grow the DaD community and increase the quality and quantity of the content and features is to continue to build the subscriber base, and this site is one substantial step in that effort. Last week’s outage forced our hand a bit, but ultimately this is a step we were headed toward anyway.

If you have any thoughts on this site (or anything else), please feel free to comment below!

The Site Continues to Evolve

We’re continuing to tweak this landing site even as DaD’s internal woes are being resolved. Due to this period of construction—which we will keep as brief as possible—you’ll see a lot of changes, and sometimes certain features might disappear briefly. (Someone pointed out that for a few hours the “Enter the Site” button disappeared, for example.) Please be patient—we know this is a pain in the butt.

As we’ve mentioned previously, an outside-the-paywall site (what you’re reading now) was in the works anyway—we were planning on building it in September. Had everything gone as planned, we would have built the site quietly, tweaked and tested it, and not taken it live until it was done. But the Subhub breakdown forced us to drop everything and immediately create a point of access for our subscribers, and that’s why the site went live in a highly unfinished state (we built the basic version of it in about two hours!), and why you’re now being subjected to the evolutionary process of getting it into a presentable version.

We’ve been trying to keep the major work—that which temporarily remove site functionality, or which create problems navigating within the site—to the wee hours, but that can be tough given the site builders are spread over three time zones. But the good news is that we think we’re past the bulk of that sort of thing, and what’s left is mostly tweaking and making the site look good. So the bulk of the changes you’ll see should just be improvements!

Trying to Find Dungeon A Day?

Dungeon A Day is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. If you’re a subscriber, you can access the main site by clicking the Enter the Site button on the front page of this blog. Be warned, though: The difficulties are not completely overcome, and many internal links on the main site may direct you to pages that have nothing to do with Dungeon A Day. Sorry. They promise us this will all be fixed Real Soon Now.

We apologize for this difficulty. If you’re interested in all the sordid details, check the post below. If not, please know that we’re doing everything we can to get it solved quickly, and that we are not delaying any content—you’ll get the encounters you paid for for the days the site was down. And we’re looking at providing some additional free content as our way of saying thanks for your patience.

In the mean time, we were intending to launch a new area of the site, outside the paywall, for non-subscribers to come and check it out. This incident has caused us to pull our deadline forward a few weeks, so you’re looking at a prototype of that site. Yes, we know it needs lots of work, and we’ll be giving it some love, along with a bit of spit and polish (or a complete facelift), over the next few days. If you have any comments, please feel free to post them here!

Dungeonaday DNS Problems uses a service provider called Subhub. It’s the same service provider the site has used since Monte launched it, and prior to this (massive) problem, we’ve never had an issue with them.

Subhub’s hosting partner, Softlayer, had a major hardware problem, and the site went down. This was not a hack or any kind of security breach, just a case of a lot of hardware going wrong all at once. Since Subhub’s hosting service has been unable to fix their problem, Subhub is moving to a different hosting partner. All Subhub’s data was retrieved, and is being moved to (who include benefits such as guaranteed 100% network uptime, advanced proactive monitoring of the servers, and the faith of clients such as the Mozilla Foundation).

Right now we’re working on some DNS issues with the new hosting service, and the site is pointing to other Subhub clients. They aren’t cyber-squatters, just other Subhub sites that also have messed up DNS issues. We hope to have all this resolved by the end of the day, but that’s a guess, not a hard timeline.

The updates for the days the site was down won’t be delayed, so people will have several days of content once we’re fully back up and running, and we’re working on a gift for our patrons to apologize for the outage. It’s not a result of anything we did or changed, but we’re still taking responsibility for it.

To make a long story short, the site is available at and you can get to each of the various sections of the site (like the forums) by going to the appropriate subdomain. If you want to access the forums you can go here. If you want to get the latest content, then please head over here.