Kobold Quarterly Issue 21: Divine Majesty
A few years ago two magazines fed every D&D players need for additional gaming material between supplements. Over the years they changed and some thought that the changes were not for the best. Enter Kobold Quarterly, a publication that takes the word magazine to a whole new level.
By Cape Rust
The popularity of digital publishing has given just about anyone with a computer and a modicum of sense the ability to “publish” whatever crap, I’m sorry I mean content, they think matters. This has made finding quality periodicals an arduous journey to locate even small snippets of quality material. Kobold Quarterly has brought sexy back with their magazine!
Kobold Quarterly issue 21 is an 80-page magazine with around 18 pages of advertisements. This magazine is packed with 16 articles by some of the best in the RPG industry as well as comics. Most of the articles are devoted to all things divine. A great example of the quality of the content of this magazine can be found in Wolfgang Baur’s short, but very interesting, editorial entitled Women, With and Without Reasonable Armor. A few years ago the editorial might not have even been written, but with the climate and demographics of today’s gamers, not only was it spot on, it was well-executed.
While reading Kobold Quarterly #21 I felt like I was watching an RPG all-star game while attending RPG graduate school. I am a sucker for divine casters and this issue gave me enough material to take a god-powered character to epic levels.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Kobold Quarterly is a slick publication that has a budget they are not afraid to use! The cover of issue 21 sports a green skinned redheaded nymph leaning against some vegetation with a green verdant background that almost matches the nymph-like woman’s skin. If it sounds like a copious amount green you are right, in fact if this picture was drawn any differently the reader might OG (Over Green), but with the contrast of the red hair and the splashes of color added by subtle flowers, it works well. This Nymph represents the natural aspect of divine magic but I would have loved a cleric or paladin in full plate standing next to her to add contrast. The table of contents is well-done, and the fonts are easy to read. All of the statistics entries were standard format. I was disappointed in the rather mundane artwork on pages 66 and 67 and had seen the scroll-wielding Dromite on page 61 in another company’s publication. Not a big deal but it is a bit like wearing the same dress to the awards show.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The cover says it all, 100% Official Content. None of the material was too crunchy and all of the mechanics introduced seemed relevant. There were some interesting archetype feats and character concepts. The Witch Louse was interesting while at the same time being a bit disturbing. Imagine having a large louse that can act as a castor’s familiar that happens to have free will and replaces the casters tongue…
Value Add: 10 out of 10
While Kobold Quarterly is focused on fantasy type games such D&D, Adventure Game Engine and Pathfinder, most of the articles have relevance beyond those systems. As an experienced GM I felt like I learned some really interesting real world things about the history of religion as well as the use of it in RPGs. Kobold Quarterly is good about giving each issue a theme and by giving those issues a theme a non-subscribed consumer can decide if they want to purchase a particular issue or not. This isn’t a new concept but the folks at Open Design really stick to that theme. I would recommend not skipping an issue as you never know when you will need the content Kobold Quarterly offers.
Overall: 10 out of 10
In the past I would have been upset because Kobold Quarterly only comes out once every 3 months, but after reading issue 21 I see how important the Quarterly part of Kobold Quarterly is. I love new stuff as often as possible but that is like getting fast food; sure it fills you up, but how pleasing to the palette is it. Kobold Quarterly issue 21 is like a 4-course meal served by experts. You walk out satisfied, not as we like to call it in our family “American full” or stuffed to the gills depending on how you like to say it. Kobold Quarterly issue #21 will make you pray for issue 22 without having to sell your soul. If you are a subscriber or have read a few issues you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, may the gods have mercy on your soul.