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Trapmaster: Enough Rope to Hang Themselves

What is the philosophy of traps in your game? Answering this question helps you design the types of traps that you and your players want to see. Those looking for fun puzzles will have a quite different experience from a game that incorporates traps into encounters to create dynamic combats. I recently ran an adventure where the characters revisited a dungeon famous for its bloodthirsty traps. While they were having fun, it was clear to me that...

Art of Skirmishing: Objectives

To make a skirmish a skirmish, you will need an objective as well as a condition for ending combat. In a standard combat, these are the same thing. Once a side runs out of combatants, the other side has completed its objective, and the fight has ended. The game is designed around this paradigm, a paradigm that often isn’t the case in a skirmish. As a result, objectives need to be crafted to the stakes at hand and to the capabilities of...

Scarlet Citadel Wednesdays on Kobold Press’s Twitch channel!

Here in the warrens, there has been much chattering and buzzing about all things Scarlet Citadel. We figured, why not bring our excitement about this project straight to our fans every week via the Kobold Press Twitch channel? That’s exactly what we’re doing for the next four weeks! Every Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT, the kobolds will chat, answer your questions, and tell generally wild stories live and on the air about the Scarlet Citadel...

The 4th Pillar: Playing by the Rules

It’s possible to play by the encounter design rules but still use the tools we’ve outlined so far in this series without totally breaking everything. This will likely apply to anyone who is still new or unfamiliar with GM’ing or who perhaps just hasn’t really found their style just yet. It’s totally okay to do it all by the book, especially when you’re still getting comfortable. This series is indeed aimed at...

Scarlet Citadel Shirts!

Can’t wait to plumb the depths of the Scarlet Citadel dungeon? Love the look of this project’s art? Fly your adventuring flag high with two brand-new Scarlet Citadel t-shirt designs, available now at the Kobold Press Teepublic store! Designs offered depict a piece of the adventure’s beautiful cover art as well as a rampant owlbear—a key thematic monster in the adventure!—both alongside the Scarlet Citadel logo. Kobold Press shirts are 35% off...

Expanding Codex: Devil Shark

Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter a devil shark without modifying its challenge rating. Amphibious. The devil shark can breathe air and water. It also has a speed of 10 feet. The devil shark loses its Water Breathing trait. Additionally, its swim speed is reduced to 40 feet. Crushing Charge. If the devil shark swims at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and hits with a slam attack on the same turn, the...

Scarlet Citadel Kickstarter Update

Periodically, the kobold crew will be sharing sneak peeks of some of the fantastic art set to appear in the pages of the Scarlet Citadel adventure. Today, we share the opening piece for Chapter 6! Flowing deceptively still through a sinister cavern, the Black River winds its way through the fifth level of the Scarlet Citadel dungeon. In this dynamic piece by artist Egil Thompson, three heroes carefully cross the river in a rowboat when suddenly...

Secrets of the Emerald Order: Disciple of the Emerald Esoterica

The Emerald Order is a mystic cabal that jealously guards the Emerald Tablets, upon which the secrets of the universe were inscribed by Thoth-Hermes himself. The most dedicated and driven members of the Emerald Order gain the opportunity to study in the order’s private libraries, sifting through books and scrolls penned by members past and present that explain the mysteries of the Emerald Tablets. The most promising of this inner circle are...

Down in the Underground: Underworld Lairs and the Underworld Player’s Guide

Empire of the Ghouls is certainly a monumental achievement from the kobolds as the first hardcover-length adventure that spans 1st to 13th level and takes the players on a tour of Midgardian highlights before it delves deep into hitherto unseen realms as rich as they are dark. But the unwholesome feast on offer doesn’t end with that one book, magnificently macabre though it is, but continues in the twin goodness that is the Underworld Player’s...

Scarlet Citadel Wallpapers

It’s September, and everyone’s gaming! So here’s a blood-soaked set of wallpapers for your computer, your smartphone, or whatever electronic device you’ve got. This month, we’ve got a piece from the forthcoming Scarlet Citadel (artist David Auden Nash). Let’s go find us a dungeon, adventurers! And check out the Scarlet Citadel Kickstarter now! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Please, click on the image you want to download to...

New Kickstarter—Presenting the Scarlet Citadel!

Do you like classic-style dungeons? How about adventures from the creators of Empire of the Ghouls and the darkly fantastical world of Midgard? Well, sound all the bells, slide-whistles, and kazoos at hand because we’ve just launched our Scarlet Citadel for 5th Edition Kickstarter project! Written by tabletop RPG luminary Steve Winter, Scarlet Citadel includes a sprawling adventure for 5th Edition in the classic style for 10 levels of play....

Midgard Ley Magic: Circle of the Living World

Welcome back to this series where we dive into the world of Midgard and the magical currents of ley lines that course through it. If you’ve not had a chance to read prior entries in the series, you can find them here. Given that only one subclass (that is, geomancer wizards) can truly interact with ley lines, it is probably no surprise that many of you have not had a chance to use them in your adventures. This month’s entry presents an...

The 4th Pillar: The Consumable Conundrum

While consumables can have an effect on matters of balance in your campaign, let’s first talk about how they can change the overall fun-level of your game. Potions, scrolls, and other consumables are those things that linger. They linger on character sheets, and they linger in the backs of the minds of the players and the GM. The real conundrum of consumables comes not from which ones to use but from the decision whether to use them or...

Trapmaster: Finding Your Purpose

Been thinking a lot about the Exploration pillar in 5th Edition lately—and traps in particular. When you are adding combat scenarios to your game, it’s easy to understand why they’re there: bandits want to steal from the characters, demons want to spread chaos, and for beasts, they just want to defend their lairs. Similarly, it’s easy to understand the motivation behind roleplaying and social encounters: the spy is hoping the character will let...

The Art of Skirmishing: Why We Fight

The first step of creating any successful skirmish is to set compelling stakes and objectives for that skirmish and to communicate them clearly to the players. The worst-case scenario for a skirmish is the players not caring about the outcome of the fight or not understanding what they need to do to effect that outcome. In a deathmatch, this is handled for you. If you lose, you’re dead. If you win, you’re not. The stakes and, generally...

Midgard Icons: The Exarch of the Wastes

In this post, we’ll get an in-depth look at another of the 13 Midgard icons: Vermes II, Exarch of the Wastes! EXARCH OF THE WASTES Exarch Vermes II is the most influential wizard in the Wasted West, a land riddled with mysteries and horrors. Leader of Bemmea’s Ninemage Council, the Exarch has made that city into the foremost center of magical study in Midgard. Quote “Mastery of magic is mastery of the world.” Usual Location In Bemmea’s Spire...

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