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This article was written on 31 Dec 2011, and is filled under 4e D&D.

Received my rejection letter from Wizards of the Coast

So, on December 14th, I received an email from Stan! at WotC, informing me that the three pitches I submitted were rejected.

While this is very disappointing, I understood where the production team was coming from, as they took the time to explain it.

Below, I’ll show the pitches I submitted, and below that, the letter I received.


I’m submitting three pitches for Dragon Magazine Articles. They are listed below, with their approximate word counts. 
Dragon – This is War: Mass Combat Rules

This feature-length article will detail how to create massive battles utilizing the rules D&D already has. By combining Skill Challenges with combat, you will be able to, on the fly, create fantastic battles that invoke the spirit of books such as Lord of the Rings and Dragonlance. Modified swarm rules allow the DM to scale up any monster into a unit of soldiers. The article would also detail objectives within a battle for the players to achieve.

Approximate length of article: 4000 words


Dragon – The War at Sea

This feature-length article will feature rules for ship-based combat. It’s all a matter of scale. Rather than utilizing the personal-scale measurements of one square equaling roughly five feet, you instead have one square symbolizing a hundred feet. Slight modification of a monster stat-block gives you a whole wealth of ships. A simple addition to the stat-block’s traits. Certainly the rules for ships seen in Adventurer’s Vault works for a one-on-one ship battle, but if you begin introducing multiple ships, there are serious problems. This would allow for battles at sea, large or small.

Approximate length of article: 3000 words
Unearthed Arcana – Grievous Wounds
In combat, heroes often suffer from serious wounds that they aren’t able to quickly heal from. In 4e, a hero simply takes a few healing surges, and they’re at peak health. This can be a problem for DMs wishing to have more gritty campaigns. With the introduction of grievous wounds, heroes now find themselves with wounds that won’t heal immediately: broken arms, ribs, noses and legs, concussions, ringing in their ears, cut eyes and more. The rules would be handled similar to the disease rules, making them recognizable and easy to drop into any campaign.
Approximate length of article: 3000 words
Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Very Respecfully,
Mark Meredith”
This was the response I received:
“Hi, Mark!

Thanks for sending pitches in during our recent open submissions window for DDI articles. Unfortunately, we are going to pass on your concepts. However, below is feedback the Producer team offered during our review of your proposals.

THIS IS WAR: MASS COMBAT RULES and THE WAR AT SEA: We appreciate you thinking big, and these seem like fine concepts. But if we are going to tackle subjects this pervasive, we’re going to do it in-house with our design staff and development resources.

UNEARTHED ARCANA: GRIEVOUS WOUNDS: We have a similar concept already in the works. Sorry.

Overall, we were very impressed with your thinking and hope that you’ll submit more pitches during the next submission window.

D&D Producer
Wizards of the Coast”

So, as I said, overall, it was disappointing, as I would love to see my name in print with a major game producer. However, I just know that I’ll have to work harder and come up with some great pitches next submission window.
I may end up writing up the ideas I had here on the blog. We’ll see.


  1. Seth Drebitko
    December 31, 2011

    Great concepts! They seem like they would make perfect little micro pdfs on rpgnow. Good luck with your next submissions.
    Seth Drebitko´s last blog post ..Entire page of pre cross hatched paper!

  2. Zanazaz
    January 1, 2012

    That’s a bummer, but don’t be discouraged. All you can do is try again. I can’t bring myself to submit anything, to any company, because I’ve been somewhat burnt before.
    Zanazaz´s last blog post ..Game Hacking

  3. Jeff Greiner
    January 2, 2012

    So you have good ideas….the key for next time: pitch more. If they liked three ideas, next time pitch a dozen and a few will be sure to make it through to the next round.
    Jeff Greiner´s last blog post ..Raw Naked Tome!

  4. Jeff Dougan
    January 4, 2012

    Mark – I’ve added your responses to the thread on the WotC forums where I’m tracking such responses. If you’d like to see the rest of what people have said so far, it’s here:

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