Kobold Quarterly - Spring 2011 - Issue 17 (PDF+Print Subscription, PDF Subscription, Print, PDF)
by various talented folk
Published by Open Design
Disclaimer: While I was offered a complimentary copy for my review, I didn't need it as I've had a KQ subscription (Print+PDF) since the beginning and I don't plan on changing that any time soon as I enjoy it, a lot.
Now I could go the easy and obvious route and point out that Kobold Quarterly is the torchbearer to what Dragon and Dungeon magazine was before, but that's not only too obvious its something that's been done before...over and cover again, since it's quite true. Instead, I'm just gonna blather on about some of the cool offerings that this issue has in it and why I like them. It won't be an encyclopedic review, though, because those are rather droll.
So, in no particular order, rhyme, or reason, here we go.
Stan! Seriously, I like Bolt & Quiver, and anytime I see it in print I'm a happy camper.
Allison Theus's cover, 'Charge!', for this issue is pretty sweet, too. If that doesn't scream 'Win or lose, go down swinging' I don't know what else does.
Hell, I even enjoyed a lot of the ads, too. I know, I'm a bit odd, but one of my favorite things to do is flip through and check out the ads for anything interesting. Regardless of edition or genre, too. Sometimes you can find the most interesting offerings, be it a supplement, setting, utility, or software.
Anyhow, on toward the articles.
I like taverns, and I don't think that the cliché can be overplayed, either. Richard L. Smith the Second's 'The Black Goat' hits the spot just right. With art by Kevin Crossley and cartography by Sean Macdonald, you've a nice feel and what you need for an interesting haunt or an encounter. It could just be a place that folks enjoy, regardless of its eerie nature, or just the right sort of place to raise interests and investigations by the characters.
Next we've 'The Value of the Monster' by this Monte Cook fellow, and he seems pretty talented. *grins* Lame joke, I know, but the article is quite good and his introspective on the qualities and characteristics of a monster, of its value, is definitely a solid read. Given his pedigree, it's a given that Monte would produce such a succinct, efficient piece, too. There's something to be said about informative brevity.
Now I'm a sucker for flavor, especially if you can get it to flow off of the tongue and toss around solid coinage values with it. Matthew J. Hanson's 'Elf Needs Food Badly,' with art by Scott Foresman and Rich Hershey, does just that. Now this ain't just foodstuff for the in-character foodie, but it's magical sundries for the 4e game. Conceptually it wouldn't take much to slap down an idea for PFRPG campaigns, either.
Next we've Mark Moreland's Pathfinder Society offering of 'Ambush n Absalom,' with at by Jenny Clements and cartography by Corey Macourek. I really enjoy the organized play offerings from Paizo via the Pathfinder Society, and this one is no exception. I'm a sucker for urban adventures and throwing players in the sewers, as my Ptolus campaign folks know too well, and I could easily see using this offering to help that or just play it as part of the Pathfinder Scoiety its self.
Lastly, there's a Midgard Campaign Setting support article. Again we've another 4e offering, but the material that Stefen Styrsky puts out in 'The Scourges of Vael Turog' is just solid, and Pat Loboyko's art is killer. As I've told the folks over at Open Design before, when I play 4e it's either a homebrew setting or one of their offerings. Period.
If there's accorded neutral grounds within the d20-based gaming world, it's definitely Kobold Quarterly.
Interested? Intrigued? Tempted?
Then check out the following links and pick you method of ingestion: (PDF+Print Subscription: $27.99, PDF Subscription: $15.99, Print: $7.99, PDF: $5.99)
If you can't find a method of receiving and enjoying Kobold Quarterly, then you're really not trying hard enough.