Review: Kobold Quarterly #12  

Posted by Spenser Isdahl in , ,

Those of you who've been with us since October may recall that I'm a bit of a fan of KQ. Well, my little wyrmlings, it's that time again. The kobolds have churned out from their labyrinthine warrens another carefully compiled tome of lore. Or... something like that. Either way, I jumped on the opportunity to review* another issue of this perennial publication.

Instead of gushing about the whole magazine like I did last time, below are my top five favorite articles (and this is just looking at the 3.5/Pathfinder material, so there's even more for you 4e fans):

  1. Vilest Evils of the Abyss (by Phillip Larwood): Seven Abyssal overlords are detailed in this fun little article. While they're not fully statted out, that's probably not necessary anyway since they're all well into epic CRs (and beside that, you know how to improvise stats now anyway, right?). What you do get is their domains, symbol, favorite sacrifices, favored weapon, and physical description, among other details; basically, everything you need to start a cult.
  2. The Ecology of the Froghemoth (by Jonathan McAnulty): The froghemoth has to be the strangest monster resurrected by the PRPG Bestiary. It's a giant frog-like aberration with a mess of tentacles (or, as the article identifies them, "muscular hydrostats") instead of forelegs; this is the best art I can find for them. Just like the other Ecology articles, this one does a great job explaining all the weird little things about froghemoths (such as why they are slowed by electricity), but what I really like is that author Jonathan McAnulty provides stats for froghemoth young as well (the buggers are dangerous even in their eggs), allowing lesser versions of the normally CR 13 juggernauts to be present at much lower levels.
  3. Sanctus et Virtus (by Brandon Hodge): This article is really interesting. It provides several nonstandard wondrous items ("relics") which come into existence spontaneously, and cannot be constructed (or, by virtue of the article's lack of prices, bought). None of them provide a quick, convenient benefit—one is a huge ark that grants arcanists massive benefits but steals all their spells once they stop touching it, another is a mechanical sarcophagus that prints divine scrolls from time to time—which makes them all the more interesting. The relics in the article are all Zobeck-specific (that being the city/setting that all KQ issues build on), but they could easily be used outside of that context.
  4. Elves: The Fallen Ones (by John Wick and Jesse Heinig): Let me start by saying that I love the Wicked Fantasy series of articles (spearheaded by John Wick). They each give a fresh, often gritty look at an old race, and this time elves get the Wicked treatment. These elves are strongly, spiritually connected to their trees. As long as the forest lives, so do they, but if their tree dies, they get only a little more than a decade of life before they wither away. The 'progress' of man has left many elves in this position, and most of them try to live as vibrant a life as they can, while they can. Really great stuff.
  5. The Holy Remix (by Scott Gable): This article gives four "specialty priests" for use in your Pathfinder games, essentially each a cleric variant. The Sohei, a mix of cleric and monk, is the only one I have major complaints about—it essentially grafts full cleric casting onto a slightly powered-down monk—but the others are great, effectively giving you three new class options in the form of the roguish Phantom, the skilled Emissary, and the knowledgeable Sage.
Honorable mentions: Telkari, the Inevitable of Death is an absolutely awesome unique marut who will torment your PCs, Monte Cook gives us his opinions on game design in The Myths and Realities of Game Balance, and get a look at the stage production of Paizo's Burnt Offerings PRPG adventure in Burnt Offerings on Stage.

Definitely some cool stuff in there. I'm rating this issue at a healthy 7 on a d10. Just like always, you can be the proud owner of a print copy for the low, low price of $7.99, or the PDF for $5.99, both available from the Kobold Quarterly Store.

*I received a free review copy of the magazine but was not compensated in any other way for this review.

This entry was posted on January 20, 2010 at Wednesday, January 20, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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