Warning! This preview has been written by someone who has never read any issue of Kobold Quarterly before.
Yes, its true. I have never read an issue of KQ before. I guess KQ entered the scene when I was probably just not interested in reading a magazine focussed on games based on the d20 System. Some days ago Ed Healy asked around in the RPG blogosphere who was interested in reviewing the upcoming Kobold Quarterly 10. I was, so he provided me with a free review copy ( Thanks again, Ed!).
In this preview I want to look at the magazine as a whole instead of focussing on single articles.
And as I told you before, I had no idea what to expect. I have to admit that I was pretty much blown away by my preview copy. The 90-page PDF includes not only great cover artwork but top-notch content for not only d20-based games like D&D 3rd Edition, D&D 4th Edition or Paizo’s upcoming Pathfinder game, but even a lot of material that could be used in any system. I wasn’t actually expecting this. But more about the content later.
When you leaf through the magazine you are instantly reminded of Dragon Magazine when it was still in print. A lot of the columns are pretty close to the original like Skip Williams’ column “Ask the Kobold” and the Ecology articles. But it also expands on the format, by featuring book reviews and system-free material. I was also happy to see that a lot of industry veterans write for Kobold Quarterly. Issue 10 includes articles written by Ed Greenwood and Monte Cook for example. But I was also delighted when I read the “Sword Against Darkness” article by fellow RPG Bloggers Michael Brewer, Quinn Murphy and Jonathan Jacobs. Another highlights of this issue include Monte Cooks comment on the Old School movement called “No School like an Old School” and the interview with Jeff Grubb. If you are interested in the upcoming Pathfinder RPG by Paizo, you should check out the 6-paged Sneak Preview.
It was while reading the Pathfinder Sneak Preview that I noticed a small icon in the header of the page. Later, when I was checking out other articles, I stumbled upon and icons. This makes it much easier to find articles for your favorite game system. But from what I’ve seen the majority of the content can be used with all editions of D&D and probably even with any other fantasy RPG. There’s only one drawback I’ve found so far: if you are into non-fantasy roleplaying, KQ is probably not the magazine for you.
But if you ask me, KQ is of great value to everyone who loves D&D but hasn’t jumped onto the 4rd Edition bandwagon yet. So, how can you get your hands on this fine magazine? Kobold Quarterly is available as PDF download (with a $16 yearly subscription) and as a print magazine. The print + pdf subscription sets you back $27.99 a year. Alas I couldn’t find out what international subscribers have to pay for shipping. But it’s probably more expensive. But if you don’t mind reading at the screen, the PDF subscription is probably you’re way to go. You can also order single copies from the Kobold Quarterly Store.
The important question now is, would I subscribe to KQ myself? I have to admit I am pretty torn right now. I enjoyed the magazine pretty much and there are still a few articles I haven’t read thoroughly. And I am pretty sure that I will enjoy the upcoming issues even more. But I don’t play any D&D games right now and I am not sure if I should get the Pathfinder RPG. But on the other hand you get a lot of system-free material for just €4 per issue when you take a PDF subscription. But if you are a fan of D&D (especially the 3.5 edition), you should check out Kobold Quarterly! You’ll love it, no doubts about that!
UPDATE: You can now get KQ10 from RPGNow, too. And if you buy your copy using this link, I get a small amount of store credit that will help me pay for new RPG books. 🙂