Magazine Review: Kobold Quarterly Summer 2010 Issue 14

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”…

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