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5E Kobold Press (and are they the new Paizo?)

Has anyone got any criticism of the Kobold Press adventures for 5e? I like to hear praise, but I'd like to hear something more critical from someone who has run the adventures before. I've mostly been re-running old AD&D adventures and Dungeon adventures and translating them to 5e, or else running WotC adventures or the Goodman Games adventures.

Do you need to have the KP monster books to run their adventures? Personally I've found third party monster books a mixed bag where, oftentimes, the monsters are so strange or unique that they sometimes become too exotic to fit in any campaign not purpose built for them.

Are there any issues with adventures presented for both 5e and PF, one way or the other?

Are the map packs worth the extra cost? Are they really just maps, or are they handouts, too? Are there maps in the modules and these really are just intended for VTTs?

The printed books are expensive. How is the book quality? Page quality? Art quality?
 

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The printed books are expensive. How is the book quality? Page quality? Art quality?

I can only speak for the books i own in print (the Midgard worldbook, and the Southlands campaign setting special edition, which was a lucky ebay find since Southlands is no longer in print outside of PoD), but i find them gorgeous. Page quality very high, both books have a removable poster map in the back. They're perhaps somewhat lighter in amount of art than WotC books of similar size - very often there'll be multiple pages without any art other than maybe a map or a heraldic crest - but what art there is I find very evocative and high quality. Mixture of white-background character illustrations in a very WotC style with big scenery paintings, and the odd action scene in a chapter heading etc. Cartography is very nice but sometimes the labels and lettering are hard to discern/read, especially when you have the additional complication of ley lines all over the place.

I haven't owned them for all that long, but they've stood up well so far. The Midgard book in particular is a big, heavy volume and if it had binding problems I expect they'd have started to show up by now.

Be aware that some of the Kobold products are multi-system or Pathfinder. The Midgard worldbooks is 5e/PF dual system, Southlands (if you can get it) is purely PF at this stage. So there's likely to be a bunch of pagecount that's not of much use to you. There's some more 5e mechanical support in the various Heroes' Handbooks and Deep Magic though.
 


They've already posted cover art for Brilliant East. I suspect they'll release that before a 5e Southlands, though as someone mentioned up-thread, it's possible they may not make a kickstarter of it.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I read up on Brilliant East after hearing about on this forum. In a thread (think it was Giant in the Playground), a Kobold representative said a) Brilliant East is not for release due soon and b) all but said directly that the net KS is Southlands.
This was yesterday or the day before.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Has anyone got any criticism of the Kobold Press adventures for 5e? I like to hear praise, but I'd like to hear something more critical from someone who has run the adventures before.
I've run and played several of them. The main criticism I have is that they sometimes have editing issues. For example, there was one adventure (Tomb of Tiberesh) that has an error on the map and also misidentifies the location of an important object. I was only able to clear up the issue by asking a Kobold Press rep about it at the following GenCon. I don't know why they don't just correct it and put out a revised PDF.
 

I've run and played several of them. The main criticism I have is that they sometimes have editing issues. For example, there was one adventure (Tomb of Tiberesh) that has an error on the map and also misidentifies the location of an important object. I was only able to clear up the issue by asking a Kobold Press rep about it at the following GenCon. I don't know why they don't just correct it and put out a revised PDF.

That is a bit odd that they don't put out a revision or errata, but some editing issues are pretty common even in the best modules. Thanks for the input!
 

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
I read up on Brilliant East after hearing about on this forum. In a thread (think it was Giant in the Playground), a Kobold representative said a) Brilliant East is not for release due soon and b) all but said directly that the net KS is Southlands.
This was yesterday or the day before.

On the other hand, they dropped a completely different hint on the website yesterday:

There’s even more to come next month though, so I’ll simply leave you with this teaser:

Who wants to head North?
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Tales of the Old Margreve is the best 3rd party campaign book I’ve read (bar possibly Odyssey of the Dragonlords).

It has a fascinating and rich setting and background with awesome bite sized adventures. Love the style, love the story, love the atmosphere. Awesome production values.

Ive folded it fully into my Kingmaker campaign for the Narlmarch Forest and it works a treat.
 

Marc Radle

Adventurer
I agree some of the issues can be ascribed to the fact that it was the first adventure module. The first adventure is often either kind of rough, or else so heavily polished by repeated playtesting that it shines. HotDQ isn't the one that was polished. LMoP was.

Further, I agree that it being released months before the DMG was significant, too. It was released well before the 5e encounter guidelines even existed. I think that threw a lot of people off. I almost wonder if Crawford took feedback from HotDQ and used it to help figure out how to peg the encounter difficulty to get the gameplay pacing they were shooting for.

Excellent, and insightful, comments ... :)
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Big fan of Kobold Press especially the Monster Books. I do not need more monsters. I have too many monster books. But gosh are their Kickstarted monster books awesome. I go all in and get the book, the tokens, and the lair books. Even though I don't need more monsters these books inspire me to find reasons to work them into my campaigns. I will often replace a monster from a published WotC or Frog God Games books with a Kobold Press monster to keep my players on their toes and bring in some different flavor.

The quality of the writing and editing are as good as WotC's and much better than most TTRPG publishers. I remember listing to an interview with Wolfgang Baur and KP's editor (forgot her name) and it was obvious how much Wolfgang cares about the quality of his product. The monsters are all play tested and while they can often be more deadly than similar CR WotC monsters, I've found them to be balanced and well thought out and tested. As another poster above has written, they do a good job at staying true to 5e mechanics but working in little twists that don't feel like shoehorned in.

The quality of the book materials are good, but the paper if matte and not glossy like WotC and Frog God Games books. I actually find them more pleasant to read because of it but they seem less durable. Certainly easier to rip and stain pages. But the binding is good and I have yet to have one of my KP books fall apart on me, which I cannot say for my WotC books.

They also make cardboard 2d minis (that you stand up in slotted mini bases) for all the monsters in their monster books. When I was running games in person, I got a lot of use out of them. I really wish WotC would ofter a similar product. It is nice having a mini for every monster in the book at a reasonable price. They may be 2d but they are thick sturdy cardboard with nice printed color art.

The lair books are fun and do a good job highlighting various monsters. Also, the images in the PDF are all size appropriately so that it is easy to print them at 1"=5' scale or to use them in a VTT. That is not always, or even often, the case with WotC or Frog God Games maps.

As for the Mid Guard setting I bought the RealmWorks version of it, but never really got around to using it. Also, I've never been interested in buying more character options. So my experience with KP is really all about the monsters and lair books, both of which I heartedly recommend.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......

The Empire has enemies on all fronts and is perhaps over extended.

If they advanced into Nuria Natal they also get away from their own leylines and closer to the Nuria which is a titanic leyline.
 
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Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
The Empire has enemies on all fronts and is perhaps over extended.

If they advanced into Nuria Natal they also get away from their own leylines and closer to the Nuria which is a titanic leyline.

Nuria Natal is also the second most powerful empire in the setting... the Sultanate would have to bring all their legions to bear to even have a chance of defeating them. And that would leave all their other fronts defenseless, so it's not happening.

Even taking the Magdar Kingdom or an alliance between the Septime City-States would probably take at least three or four entire legions... and getting the dragon generals to cooperate that well and for that long would be difficult even for the Sultan himself (but very, very possible). Yet conquring either one would be extremely costly - and invite a potentially devastating reprisal by Morgau and their Darakhul allies, who would love such an opportunity to break the Sultanate's spearpoint and send them running back to their peninsula.

(In fact, there's a good chance this may happen in a future game or campaign of mine... a "Battle of Zobeck" as the new "walls of Vienna", where the allied forces of Zobeck, the Ironcrags, the remaining Magdar and Perunalish forces, Dornig, Allain and Morgau stand against the Dragon legions.... :) )
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Nuria Natal is also the second most powerful empire in the setting... the Sultanate would have to bring all their legions to bear to even have a chance of defeating them. And that would leave all their other fronts defenseless, so it's not happening.

Even taking the Magdar Kingdom or an alliance between the Septime City-States would probably take at least three or four entire legions... and getting the dragon generals to cooperate that well and for that long would be difficult even for the Sultan himself (but very, very possible). Yet conquring either one would be extremely costly - and invite a potentially devastating reprisal by Morgau and their Darakhul allies, who would love such an opportunity to break the Sultanate's spearpoint and send them running back to their peninsula.

(In fact, there's a good chance this may happen in a future game or campaign of mine... a "Battle of Zobeck" as the new "walls of Vienna", where the allied forces of Zobeck, the Ironcrags, the remaining Magdar and Perunalish forces, Dornig, Allain and Morgau stand against the Dragon legions.... :) )

Zobecks a lot weaker than Austria;).

The Dragon Empire has Nuria Natal and the east. There's not a lot in the west comparatively.
 


Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I saw people mentioning the potential of a Brilliant East book, so thought I should share this. It's listed as a pre-order, but I'm not familiar with this website so have no idea whether it's authentic.


1602692677753.png
 

Yeah, that was the cover art Kobold teased on their twitter a while ago. I suspect it's reasonably well advanced, apparently it's been worked on for a couple of years now, and there was another very Brilliant-East-esque piece of art in one of their recent newsletters. Zero official word from them about possible release dates etc though.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
Tome of Beasts II hardcover just arrived in the mail today... and it is spectacular! A nice balance of new creatures across all monster types, a meaty wildlife section at the back with find familiar suggestions, and the expected fun artwork. Can't wait to unleash some of these nasties on my unsuspecting players!

PDF has not been released yet (expecting an email for that tomorrow). And it looks like it is not quite available yet on the Kobold Store for those that didn't jump in at the Kickstarter.
 

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