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Expanding Codex: Venom Elemental

The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign. Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter a venom elemental without modifying its challenge rating: Air Form. Aerosolized versions of the venom elemental are rarer than their liquid cousins on the demiplane of poisons. The...

Alkemancy Wallpapers

It’s September, and the apples are plumping on the branches! So here’s a crisp set of wallpapers for your computer, your smartphone, or whatever electronic device you’ve got. This month, we’ve got a piece from Deep Magic: Alkemancy by William O’Brien. Let’s keep those cauldrons bubbling, adventurers! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Please, click on the image you want to download to expand it into a downloadable...

Out of the Frying Pan: The Kronhorn’s Forgotten Friary

Encounters have consequences. Every slain bandit has friends who will want revenge, and every devil banished back to the Eleven Hells reports its failure to its dark lord. What happens when the PCs’ daring deeds come back to bite them? The following encounter chains are more than just random conflicts. Each event flows organically into the next, sometimes without giving PCs the chance to catch their collective breath. Each link in the chain...

Welcome to Midgard: Dominion of the Wind Lords

To the west of the Crescent Desert lie the harsh and foreboding lands of the Dominion of the Wind Lords. Here, the great Stone Desert stretches to the sea in sun-baked plains of red and black rock. This is a bleakly beautiful landscape devoid of the crescent-shaped sand dunes found elsewhere in the Southlands. The seemingly barren Stone Desert hides bubbling springs, seasonal waterholes, and a scattering of precious oases. DOMINION OF THE WIND...

Warlock’s Apprentice: For Canton and Glory

The Ironcrags rise out of central Midgard, a stony sword thrust toward the heavens and the homeland of numerous dwarven clans that migrated from the Northlands. They found the mountains rich and verdant and established many scores of canton strongholds throughout the peaks and valleys. While dwarven culture became more urbane and political, the dwarves never lost their taste for combat and martial activities. Mercenary companies created by...

From the Archives: A Deep Dive for Hidden Lore

Welcome back to From the Archives where we look at older Kobold Press offerings, most written for other systems or previous editions, that contain jewels of great lore for your 5th Edition games. For our second outing, we’re going to examine an early tome that positively drips with exciting ideas. I’m talking about Sunken Empires by Brandon Hodge, one of the earliest of Midgard documents. As Head Kobold Wolfgang Baur explains, “This was the...

Beyond the Audience: Leaving Blank Space

Greetings, travelers! And welcome to Beyond the Audience where we shall discuss a topic many in our community have on their minds: how do I build games that appeal to both my players and an overarching audience. We find ourselves in an era where everyone either has an actual-play podcast, stars in a livestreamed game, is publishing adventures, or is dreaming of doing any number of the above. We occupy a space where our content isn’t built to...

Mastering the Mechanics: Bonus Actions

Bonus actions are easily one of the most confusing parts of a combat turn in 5th Edition. In fact, designer Mike Mearls dislikes bonus actions and has declared that they are “fairly hacky” and that he prefers to run games without them. So why do bonus actions exist, and how can we understand them? To answer the first question, let’s take a look at the genealogy of bonus actions. In the 3rd Edition era, the concept of swift actions was not part...

Cult Activity: The Fading Legion

Cult Activity gives you a cult-driven set piece: location, background, hooks, everything you need to build your own adventures in Midgard. There are few in Midgard who worship Loki and fewer still who openly admit to doing so. Whether called Loki, Hermes, Kvasir, or any of his countless aliases, the trickster god gives few demands of his followers, and said followers are happy to simply wreak mayhem as suits their own designs. A small sect of...

Tome of Beasts: Kishi Demon

This strong and handsome warrior has a snarling hyena’s face at the back of its head. Dark Appetites. Kishi are two-faced male demons perpetually driven by their voracious appetites, carnal or otherwise, with a predilection for female humanoids. Kishi frequently behead, scalp, or skin their conquests and decorate their shields with their trophies. Hats and Veils. Kishi demons typically masquerade as muscular warriors or glib storytellers,...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Wotan’s Warriors

“Forth from craggy peaks they strode, Their blades bright-shined and razor-honed. Before them lay a dangerous road, With enemies both far and near. With sword and shield, with axe and spear, They fought with valor and gained song-fame. It was wisdom they sought, knowledge earned dear, A raven’s whisper in the All Father’s ear. Though no one knows from whence they came, The tale is told from fane to fane, Of Warriors who honor Wotan’s name.”...

Out of the Frying Pan: The Duneglider

Encounters have consequences. Every slain bandit has friends who will want revenge, and every devil banished back to the Eleven Hells reports its failure to its dark lord. What happens when the PCs’ daring deeds come back to bite them? The following encounter chains are more than just random conflicts. Each event flows organically into the next, sometimes without giving PCs the chance to catch their collective breath. Each link in the chain...

Expanding Codex: Albino Death Weasel

The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign. Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter an albino death weasel without modifying its challenge rating: Albino Camouflage. The albino death weasel is naturally camouflaged in areas with white backgrounds, such as...

The Far Side of the Table: Ending a Campaign

Welcome to the table! This session was the last in the campaign. I had been planning it for a while, yet ending the campaign was a real challenge. I left the table hoping that everyone felt fulfilled or at least happy with how things wrapped up. Today, let’s talk about ending campaigns and the lessons I’ve learned from finishing a number of them. I believe that everyone throughout the land could accurately recall where they were and...

Gen Con: One More for the Books

Gen Con 2019 is done, and I’m on the long road back to upstate NY. This was my fifth year of seriously coordinating convention games for Kobold Press. We’ve had wonderful volunteers in years past, and this year was no different. We hosted 50 tables, offering a dozen scenarios in three different systems. We had nearly every table full. It was one of our largest if not our largest year yet. We had two new adventures—one from veteran...

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