I have never before read Kobold Quarterly. I’m just going to put that out there to start out with, so you know where I’m coming from.
I had heard of it, certainly. I had listened to the Atomic Array talk about KQ 8, where they interviewed Wolfgang Baur, and thought it sounded interesting, but still, didn’t pick it up and read it. Wow, I was missing out!
The first thing that stood out was the great cover art. It’s very evocative, and makes me want to play a Kobold Dragon Sorcerer, like, now!
There’s a good editorial inside by Mr. Baur, discussing KQ’s plans to begin writing more 4e stuff.
It should be noted that this issue is for everyone. There’s 3e love as well as lots of stuff for 4e as well, which is good. This magazine would be nearly useless for me if it was only 3e, and I like that they feature 3e and 4e rules right next to one another.
There’s a good article titled Bard Life, which features a lot of new spells and options for the 3e bard. I would have liked to see some 4e bard stuff, but this had to have been made a while before PHB2 came out, so you can’t blame them.
Camazots, Bat God of the Underworld is a good article detailing a batlike minor god who is the diety of bats, vampires and the underworld. He has apparently been a part of the pantheon of Greyhawk for a long time, but being unfamiliar with Greyhawk, I cannot attest to that. Still, a well written 3e article covering his history, cults, allies and his realm. If you’re looking for an archnemesis for the heroes to fight that is perhaps even creepier than Vecna himself!
Unfamiliar Familiars covers many new familiars for spellcasters in 3e, detailing such creatures as Clockwork Beetles, gliding possums, and my favorite, the Blink Dog Pup. I have always loved Blink Dogs, and would love to play a halfling Wizard who had a pet Blink Dog pup. Very nice.
The Ecology of the Maenad is a well written article detailing creatures of pure emotion. Quite simply, I can’t see implementing them in my game, so I did gloss over it. If you’re interested in playing a creature that is a walking contradiction in 4e, however, the Maenad may be for you.
The best part of the whole magazine is undoubtedly the interview with Dave Arneson. I am one of the people who knew nothing about Mr. Arneson before he died. Not until the message about his illness came out did I begin looking into what he did. I knew cursorily that he was the co-creator of D&D, but had no idea about the other fascinating things about his life. The interview was very well handled, and is a testament to all that Dave had done with his very rich life. You will be missed, Dave.
The Living With Dinosaurs article is good, as it details a few new Dinosaurs for your 3e game, but I would have preferred the article be about 4e. Almost every 3e MM has rules for new Dinosaurs, but we get a measly two on page 31 of the 4e MM as “Behemoths”. I would like to incorporate these beasts into my game, but without the 4e rules, I’m kind of stuck, as I’m not good at 4e conversion yet.
The Kitsune article is very good, and excellent if you’re going to be running an Oriental Adventures 4e game. They are fox people who use magic to change form. Very interesting, and definitely something you should look into.
Never to be Broken: Sworn Oaths of Magic is a phenomenal article, and simple enough to be converted to 4e. It talks about people swearing oaths, the advantages they get, and the consequences of a breach of such an oath. Oaths include the Swordsman’s Creed, the Shining Oath, the Pledge of Baal and the Covenant of the Lich Hunter. The whole idea of this article reminds me of Roy Greenhilt’s Blood Oath of Vengence against Xykon in Order of the Stick, and would beg and plead with a DM to let me convert or make up my own oath.
There are a few other minor articles near the end, but I can definitely say that this magazine is worth picking up. I would like to see a little more 4e content, perhaps each article could have both 3e and 4e content, but I understand if that’s not possible because of the GSL (I’m not sure).
Now I just need to convince my wife to let me get a subscription…
[4 of 5 Stars!]