What about Kobold Quarterly #18? A review…

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Ah the change of seasons, the passing of time. Maddening heat and unending rain have descended upon my tropical island paradise, but there is another sign that summer is here. The new issue of Kobold Quarterly is out. Michael posted about this here, and the publishers were so kind as to provide the blog with a review copy. Since he knows I love fantasy, and I’m in a very bad need of a fix since I’ve been playing supers for over six months now (and I love it, but I miss my wizards and dragons), he let me review it… Happy blogger!

I review a lot of Open Design books, and I make no qualms about admitting how much I enjoy their products. I am a Pathfinder fan true and true, and well they simply publish so many awesome books for my favorite fantasy RPG I can’t help myself. The 18th issue of Kobold Quarterly does not disappoint. This issue weights in at 100 pages with content not only for the Pathfinder RPG but to the other two big players in the fantasy RPG field, Dungeons & Dragons 4th Ed and the newcomer AGE system from Green Ronin. I am a fan of AGE as well and I am happy to see more options for fantasy RPG lovers out there and I applaud Open Design for supporting it. It’s chock full of goodies…

Want to learn more? Read on…

The first thing that jumped at me was the cover. Wow! Dragons fighting mid-flight, one a very traditional looking red dragon and the other an exotic yellow spotted specimen, it just screams action, and I love it. Kieran Yanner provides a great opener for this issue. The art inside does not disappoint, excellent art and layout all around. There is a good mix of articles, mostly are for D&D or Pathfinder, some are for both (Heresy! Just kidding…) but AGE is well represented.

Gift of the Gods, divine talents for AGE, brings divine magic that may be superficially more familiar to fans of other rule sets to this game. An excellent article, which makes me want to play AGE so much more. The Savant is a new class for the Pathfinder RPG, which is intriguing because it lets you do a little bit of everything, and while it may fill the needs of some players it struck me as a little out there. An interesting concept, not one I would play but that’s just me, I can imagine some of my players being really intrigued by it. I liked the Dragon Hunter prestige class much more. There is a Midgard specific article on the ecology of minotaurs. One of my favorite non-traditional fantasy races, it was a great read, even if the rules where D&D specific.

This issue has a lot of adventures. A solo adventure for a halfling thief, which requires no previous knowledge of the rules reminiscent of the “choose your own adventure” books of old, and excellent short adventure ideal to show someone who wants to learn about RPGs what it’s all about. The Exorcist is an intriguing Pathfinder adventure for 1st level characters and last but not least a short and fun adventure for 4th level D&D characters, Who Watches the Watch Fires. And how can you just NOT read an adventure with that title.

There is plenty of more Pathfinder goodness like rules for combining spells for extra effect, for Midgard Cavaliers, and Leadership feats that allow you to have beasts as followers. There is a piece on building mystery adventures, geared to D&D 4th edition but good for any GM. And then there are the columns, advice, rule clarifications (Ask the Kobold), I was particularly impressed by the Heroic Flaw mechanic by Philippe-Antoine Menard (aka Chatty DM) simple concept, easy to use but full of possibilities, very nice…

There is much more this issue has to offer. I just scratched the surface; there are book reviews, a primer on Asian cinema for gamers. I did tell you it’s 100 pages long right? The book is available electronically and in print. It is a steal for all the goodies you get. Congratulations to the kobold on another great issue.

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