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Saturday, 30th August, 2008, 04:47 PM #1
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Kobold Quarterly Issue #6 (Print)
Kobold Quarterly Issue 6
Edited by Wolfgang Baur
Published by Open Design
The cover of the new issue of Kobold Quarterly looks worthy of one of the better issues of Dragon Magazine. First off, the cover by Pat Loboyko is amazing. Wizards of the Coast needs to have him doing stuff. Lots of stuff. The illustration has tons of details, tons of evocative feel, and just damn cool. Second off, look at some of those names. David ďZebĒ Cook, Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur. Some well known figures that.
But how does the inside compare to the awesome cover? Well, there are some color illustrations this time around. As the advertising base has increased and we even have ads from WoTC for 4e and Goodman Games for 4e, among others, we get some full color interiors. Itís a nice touch and adds a little more to the magazine.
In terms of articles, Iíll start with what I thought was a waste of time, the Monte Cook interview. As Iím reading it, all Iím thinking is of South Park with Eric Cartman in his backyard talking to his toys. Monte doesnít bring any real revelations or information that isnít available from his own website or blog and itís just a blah interview.
Iím also not too crazy about book reviews, but Iíll admit when I saw a review for Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin and a review for the new Swordmage by Richard Baker, I read Ďem and look forward to seeing more. All we need now is a miniature review column.
Letter Pages are great to see in terms of seeing feedback but as this started as an online magazine, and has itís own forums, I question their utility to the print only subscribers who have no online access. Seems that would be a small crowd at best and those pages could probably be better used elsewhere.
Stuff I enjoyed? Iíll start with the Ecology of the Phantom Fungus. Now maybe itís because I just saw The Ruins on DVD but the whole idea of a massive plant ecology that not only incorporates new monsters into the Phantom Fungus, but also throws in the Mi-Go from Cthulhu and frames it all with H. P. Lovecraft quotes is a winner for me.
For those looking for more historical data on paladins, Richard Pett does a great job of bringing various codes of conduct to us from various era including the Song of Roland, and Palace Knights as well as other ideas on providing game play. For example, the Knight of the Palace has to create a shrine each level but gain some bonuses out of the shrine as well as a new class skill.
Another thing that this magazine has that Dragon still does not have is comics. One of the things I used to look forward to most about Dragon every month was a new Order of the Stick, a new episode of Whatís New, a new Dragon Mirth to cap of the magazine. Apparently being online means you donít have to do that sort of thing.
In terms of crunch, I thought that the new Ioun Stones were a nice step up as these items, while having a few specials and a few neat guardians, are generally underused and can provide a nice touch when a unique stone is brought out.
The very strange and very different Crab Fortunetellers of Zobeck also stand out. Donít get me wrong, I didnít need stats for crabs and spiders but the different fortunes based on the crabís status were well worth reading and can be used in any game system. Heck, you could use them in a modern game system as the party consults a gypsy woman. I also got a kick out of how Wolfgang did a counter to the yes/no nature of the crabís base answers with his own oracle, this one a miracle of clockwork magics.
My favorite article this issue though goes to David ďZebĒ Cook for his detailing of Tielflings. While he gives them an ancient city/timeline, itís vague enough that it could be used as the background for Tielflings in any world. While he provides little bits of cultural details, they donít overwhelm any flavor that the game mastery may add to his own world. While he provides various options for Tielflings backgrounds, it all has the sense that, ďthe narrator is unreliableĒ and could be wrong. Best of all its well written and an entertaining piece.
Kobold Quarterly continues to fill the vacuum left by Dragon magazineís print demise. The addition of color in the print version is a nice touch and I hope that heís able to keep it going for future issues.
Last edited by JoeGKushner; Saturday, 30th August, 2008 at 04:50 PM.
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