[Review] Kobold Quarterly 23

Posted in d20, dragon age, Dungeons and Dragons, pathfinder, review, rpg by Jerall on 26 November 2012

A little over a week ago, many of us woke up on Saturday (your time zone may vary) to the sad news that Wolfgang Baur and the Kobold Press team have closed Kobold Quarterly. Though I am sad to see KQ come to and end, Kobold Press seems to still be going from strength to strength, including the recent release of the Midgard Campaign Setting. Issue 23 may be the last issue of KQ for awhile (I can always hope, can’t I?), but it’s also a devilishly good read. As with my previous KQ reviews, I’m going to select and focus on the articles that really grabbed my attention.

KQ 23 features several demons and devils and, as such, deals with somewhat more mature themes. However, KQ handles these themes well, providing GMs and players with a collection of wicked new options. Of course, issue 23 covers more than that, also featuring two complete adventures, including The Devil’s Food, a 6th level Pathfinder adventure featuring the twisted Midgard gnomes, and the Pathfinder Society legal quest, The Urge to Evolve, for tier 3 – 7,

The Gauntlet Witch, by Morgan Boehringer and Jim Wettstein, introduces a new archetype for the Pathfinder witch. The gauntlet witch trades in her familiar and several hexes to instead wear progressively heavier armour and to bond with an eldritch gauntlet – an intelligent spiked gauntlet that serves as the source of the witch’s powers. The archetype blends elements of the magus class, with a touch of Witchblade flavour, and the base witch class to create an attractive, martial-focused, arcane character option. Further, the article includes several new patron options, ideal for standard witches and other archetypes.

Monk of the Glorious Endeavor, by Matt Blackie (and featuring eye-catching art of a gun-wielding martial artist by Ashley Lindsey), introduces another archetype for the Pathfinder RPG, but this time for the monk class. The monk of the glorious endeavor focuses on one weapon, surrendering all other weapon proficiencies (except for unarmed strikes) in the process. Regular readers may know that I (and my co-blogger) write a lot about monks. I, in particular, like to experiment with weapon-based d20 and Pathfinder monks. Depending on your interpretation, for your game, of flurry of blows, this archetype can serve as a base for some incredible martial artists, suitable for any number of genres and sub-genres, including kung-fu westerns. Yes, please!

If you, like I, have been following Monte Cook’s Numenera, you’ll be interested in his article, Different Kinds of World Building. The article looks at, as its name suggests, different approaches to world building – building a world as a novelist, a game designer, or as a player. The game designer piece hints at Monte’s approach to designing The Ninth World, the core setting for Numenera, and just makes me more eager to try the game out. On the other hand, the player piece, once again has me thinking about trying some collaborative world building exercises. It has been year’s since I’ve done any setting homebrew and I find myself missing it. Now to find some hex paper.

Overall, KQ 23 is another great issue – a great issue to end the magazine’s five-year run. Good luck with future endeavors, kobolds!

- Jerall

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