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Kobold Quarterly no more...

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Wolfgang Baur and the rest of the team over at Kobold Quarterly have announced the sad news that the critically-acclaimed magazine is to join the ghosts of many other RPG magazines and cease production immediately. Kobold Quarterly has been running for five years, and was seen by many as the spiritual successor to DRAGON magazine. In a press release on the official website, Wolfgang says:
It’s a fact that in every fantasy roleplaying game, whether it’s Pathfinder RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, or Castles & Crusades, a kobold’s life is short. They’re wily and quick, but they have few hit points. Sooner or later they go down — fighting.

That day has come for Kobold Quarterly magazine. After five years of publication, Shelly and I are closing the doors on the little fanzine that could.

There’s a FAQ at the end of this post with more information, including details for subscribers (who will have the choice of a full refund or a larger amount in Kobold Store credit) and for writers (editors will contact you about Winter submissions).
That’s the nitty gritty. But as Kobold-in-Chief, I don’t want to talk about that right now. I want to talk about what Kobold Quarterly means to me.

I always hoped that Kobold Quarterly would someday be my full-time gig, but it was not to be. My sincere thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the magazine, starting with our stalwart subscribers, advertisers, authors, and artists. Thanks also to those who bought only an issue or two; for us, every sale was crucial to our continuing. The magazine may be going away, but the Open Design goal of creating new ways for people to publish their RPG ideas will continue.

This is a very sad day for me personally, and I know this comes as a disappointment to many of you. The line on small press magazines these days is, “every issue is a little miracle.” We finally ran out of miracles, but it’s been an absolutely stellar five and a half years with Kobold Quarterly’s contributors, subscribers, and readers.

Thanks for making it more than a “product.” Thank you for making it original, surprising, thrilling, inspiring and quirky. Thank you for making it playable and debatable and fun. All adventures end, and this one has been a blast.

And now, as adventurers do, we will gather in the tavern to hoist mugs of ale and talk about the monsters we slew and the treasures we won. And then we will begin planning and scheming for the next adventure.

Kobolds might be easy to knock down individually, you see, but they always come in big numbers. The kobold crew will keep serving you with free articles, the free Courier newsletter, Kobold Press adventures and sourcebooks, and other projects.

We remain Small but Fierce.
In addition to this announcement, the web page also contains an FAQ which deals with subscriptions, refunds, PDFs, Kickstarters, and more.
 

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Shemeska

Adventurer
:(

Aww man, that's too bad. It was a good magazine, and I was really happy to have it fill the niche that Dragon used to fill before it went away. I was happy to have done a little bit in some early issues, but it's still a shame to see it go away.
 



gamerprinter

Adventurer
Publishing a print magazine is very, very expensive. Delays in ad contracts, and payments from distributors are always late, yet magazine printers expect to be paid up front for printing an issue. Sometimes profits from a given magazine issue doesn't make it to your pocket book for months, even a year or more. So you have many thousands of dollars paid up front, and nothing to show for it for a long time, even if it's profitable.

Add to this magazine distributors are controlled by the Mafia (more or less) - Paizo has said as much, in their years of work producing Dungeon and Dragon magazines.

I looked at creating a short run visitors magazine serving my hometown about 10 years ago, and the reality is for a run of 4,000 issues, it was going to cost me $30,000 each print run to the printers for a 48 page full color mag that was mostly ads (about 20% actual content). Meaning I'd have to have a budget of $240,000 for two years worth of magazines (for a quarterly release schedule), and I might not see a profit for the first issue for 2 years. Who can really afford to do that - not most game publishers, that's for sure.

And to tell you how a magazine is paid for, it's by ads only. That cover price you see, doesn't even cover the cost of distribution. Consider that a $4 cover price magazine costs $12 per issue, not including distribution...

So the reality, that we've actually gotten a great magazine for a couple years is something to cherish, because somebody coughed up enough money to keep it going. The magazine business is a poor one for anybody these days, and only if you have access to huge cash reserves can you even make it work.
 
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Glyfair

Explorer
Publishing a print magazine is very, very expensive.
Which is ironic because Kobold Quarterly started as a PDF magazine. Wolfgang decided to arrange to a some print copies produced for those who wanted only print. By the second issue, if I recall correctly, they produced enough to get into gaming stores at an excellent price.
 


darjr

I crit!
Which is ironic because Kobold Quarterly started as a PDF magazine. Wolfgang decided to arrange to a some print copies produced for those who wanted only print. By the second issue, if I recall correctly, they produced enough to get into gaming stores at an excellent price.

I didn't get it at an flgs but my issue #1 is printed.

That 'tiny little journal' will be missed.
 

Leif

Adventurer
To sad that they cannot continue PDF only. But real life/kids are a (no THE) priority!
Which is ironic because Kobold Quarterly started as a PDF magazine. Wolfgang decided to arrange to a some print copies produced for those who wanted only print. By the second issue, if I recall correctly, they produced enough to get into gaming stores at an excellent price.
Truly, this is a sad, sad day for the FRPG hobby as a whole. Thanks, Mr. Bauer, for keeping it going as long as you did. Surely there's got to be a "Daddy Warbucks" out there somewhere on ENWorld who can step up and take over? Looking for a nice juicy tax write-off, [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION]? And a way to both drive new traffic to ENWorld and simultaneously make both operations more attractive to advertisers? Can you say 'synergy'? Can you spell it? :D

I'm having visions of a new subscription structure that includes both ENWorld and Kobold Quarterly....

Speaking of subscriptions and stuff, didn't Paizo get their start as publisher of Dragon mag? How can they let KQ, the journal of PFRPG, fail?
 
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Roland55

First Post
"Small but Fierce." I like that.:)

I did not buy them all, but every one I did buy is a keeper.

Going to miss that little, green guy.
 

ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
I always wished they did more content for 4e. It was usually all PF, which lost them a customer.

The magazine was NEVER all Pathfinder. It was a mixture of 4E, Pathfinder and AGE (Dragon Age).

They have pretty much always said that they print what gets submitted and as it turns out there wasn't as much 4E submitted content.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Looking for a nice juicy tax write-off, <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->@Morrus <!-- END TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->? And a way to both drive new traffic to ENWorld and simultaneously make both operations more attractive to advertisers?

If folks as clever as the Baurs can't make a print magazine work, I have no illusions as to my ability to do so. Besides, I've tried it a half dozen times, both print and PDF, and it's failed every time. And I ain't as clever as Wolfgang Baur!
 


marv

Explorer
I had the good fortune of sitting next to Wolfgang a few month's ago at the PaizoCon 2012 Banquet. He is a warm creative man. My heart goes out to him tonight. My KQs will keep their place next tony Dragon Magazines on my book shelf.
 

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