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Kobold Quarterly Magazine 14 $7.99 $4.49
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Kobold Quarterly Magazine 14
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Kobold Quarterly Magazine 14
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Brian F. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/04/2014 16:09:35
Yahoo! The Summer 2010 issue of Kobold Quarterly is overflowing with chewy gaming goodness. And if you’re just in the mood for some amazing art, cover to cover is full of spectacular full color and black and white art, starting with “The Paladin’s Treasure” on the front cover. We all knew Paladins were adventuring for something other than the mythical dragon hoard… but don’t tell that to the dragon!

Just in time for Gen Con this summer, the Kobolds were busy bringing theory and practice together to provide inspiration for gamemasters and players alike. But if you’re looking for loot, there’s plenty of that too. As Wolfgang Baur, Kobold-in-Chief, explains in his Editorial – generosity is not an optional quality for good leaders. Viking jarls knew better than to not treat their berserker hordes to good meals, handfuls of gold, and public recognition for great deeds. Wolfgang and his own talented horde do that in each issue of Kobold Quarterly, so I doubt his audience will turn on him any time soon…

I was intrigued in this issue by the wide array of articles – from a detailed description of how to play an Aasimar (angel avatars used to fight evil in mortal realms) from Kolja Raven Liquette to an intriguing ecology article from R. William Thomposon about the Tengu I had no idea were as civilized as they seem to be. The Tengu have intrigued me ever since college when we ran into a few in a session, but now I might have to play one as an NPC!

Also in this issue was the concept of beefing up the ability of “Lay on Hands” for healing. Remember that paladin from the front cover? Laying on hands is one of his abilities that can take a bit of the pressure off the party MASH unit cleric. Though we recently were playing through one of the Pathfinder modules, we were playing in D&D 3.5e and not the Pathfinder revised system, but the more I see of how they’ve tweaked this and that the more I think we should have tried it out. Giving a paladin the ability to remove the effect of a Charm spell, Confusion, Dazzle, or even recent Death would seriously make me look twice at having both a paladin and a cleric in my party.

And one last article I’ll mention here is “Hoard Magic” from Michael Furlanetto. Dragons love their treasure hoards. We all know it. So why shouldn’t they be able to get a bit of power from that wealth? Combat powers based on the size of the dragon’s treasure pile might make a particular critter that much more difficult to kill. If you were defending your pile of gold, wouldn’t you want to have an edge in protecting it? And then, if the PCs are wise enough to take advantage of similar effects, wouldn’t that make a player think twice before leaving his home to go on another adventure?

Issue 14 managed to capture my attention with articles on characters, design, DMing, treasure, and the usual columns (don’t miss the interview with Rob Heinsoo!)… Doesn’t it deserve some of your love as well? Though I (once again) was unable to attend Gen Con this year, Kobold Quarterly gives me a taste of that glory a few times a year, so I think I’ll survive. Just barely though!

If you’re interested in fantasy roleplaying and all the amazing topics that surround it, check out the summer issue of Kobold Quarterly and all the other issues as well. We have to keep those kobolds busy and out of trouble before they come invading our own campaigns… Instead of the “Trouble with Tribbles” it’s the “Kinks with Kobolds”…

(This review first appeared here: http://www.gameknightreviews.com/2010/09/magazine-review-kob-
old-quarterly-summer-2010-issue-14/)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kobold Quarterly Magazine 14
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2010 14:25:21
Kobold Quarterly is easily the best RPG magazine currently available with top-notch writing and a great look - it reminds me of a better looking version of the original Dragon magazine I grew up reading. Even the ads are interesting to read. KQ #14 lives up to previous issues with a variety of interesting articles spanning the various forms of D&D now available. It's not exactly cheap for a PDF but considering it only comes out 4x per year and the contents are always good, it's worth the price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kobold Quarterly Magazine 14
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2010 14:25:07
In the Editorial, Wolfgang Baur muses on Viking styles of leadership, the 'ring-giver' ensuring a loyal following by distribution of largesse: by such standards, Baur's following must be vast, given the quality and quantity of the material held between the covers of the latest Kobold Quarterly.

First up is a D&D 4e version of the Aasimar as a character race. Effectively immortal avatars of angels, they tend to exhibit a very pragmatic approach: they will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Some have been around for a very long time, but whenever an aasimar mates, an aasimar results whatever the other parent might be, so new ones are produced every so often, even if angels no longer seek to create them to serve their patron deity in your world. Interesting story potential here!

Next a delightfully circular article which presents Pathfinder stat blocks and details of some fictional characters, items, spells, etc., which appear in the novel Prince of Wolves... which is set in the Pathfinder core world of Golarion in the first place! It's reviewed later on in the magazine as well.

Then comes one of the renowned 'Ecology' articles. This issue it is the turn of the tengu, flightless avian humanoids. Useful background if they are to be encountered, or if a brave player wants to take one as a character in their next Pathfinder game. Continuing with the Pathfinder ruleset (although applicable wherever they occur) this is followed by a discussion of variant rules for the Paladin's ability to lay on hands - extra healing abilities always come in handy! (Sorry)

Looking next at treasures, a new and exotic idea: perfume! The ladies like it, tis said, and mediaeval towns tended to be smelly places... so why not introduce them to your game world, either as pleasant odours or even with magical properties. The article shows how you can embed the concept into your game world, rather than just have a few pleasantly-scented bottles in the next hoard. More novel ideas in the next article, which looks at ways other than brawling to solve conflicts, even when playing D&D 4e! Here a skill battle is suggested, pitching the characters' skills against those of their opponents in some manner of contest, either an out-and-out race to accomplish a goal or a more subtle 'balance' where each side can negate the others' efforts as well as succeed in their own. An example is given of characters attempting to prevent a bunch of Drow from opening an interdimensional rift - a refreshing change from the normal approach of stopping them by hitting them!

More innovation in treasure... does the presence of massive amounts, say a dragon's hoard, actually warp its surroundings? Written for D&D 4e, this rules variant means that a significant teasure hoard may exert an effect on the neighbourhood... even once it's been looted from its original owner and is now in the characters' possession! More ideas for paladins follow, in the shape of alternate codes for them to follow - not all of them follow the 'King Arthur knight in full plate' image and, depending on deity and paladinical order (if they belong to one) their whole outlook may be quite different.

Next, Monte Cook muses on the tension between 'storytelling' and 'playing a game' that's inherently a part of any role-playing game. Thought-provoking stuff, followed by an interview with game designer Rob Heinsoo and more treasure ideas, these ones close to my heart - books! Complete with adventure seeds that making finding these tomes more than an exercise in profit calculation. Then a whole street stall of various bric-a-brac that too is a potent source of adventure. And then, Ed Greenwood expounds on what makes characters memorable and why it's important to a great campaign that they are... each page turned, more treasures unfold! How to create feats... fantasy languages... games that wizards plays (think a wizarding Olympics!)... moral choices in Dragon Age... I doubt I'll have fully digested this issue before the next one comes out!

And that sums it up: a wealth of excellent articles that delight, inspire and provoke thought. If you like to think about your games as well as play them, you'll enjoy this, whatever game you actually play - and if your choices include Pathfinder, D&D 4e or indeed fantasy in general, you have a treat in store here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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