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Articles By Author - Lou Anders

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...

An Interview with Empire of the Ghouls Lead Designer Richard Green

Empire of the Ghouls is the latest offering from Kobold Press and their first hardcover 5th Edition adventure. It’s a tour de force, over three hundred fifty pages of setting guide, spells, creatures, NPCs, magic items, and an epic quest that takes players from 1st to 13th level. It’s been released alongside two related books, Underworld Lairs and Underworld Player’s Guide, that compliment and expand the experience, though there is plenty in...

Dark Delicacies: Biting into Empire of the Ghouls

It was with a chill of excitement that I opened up Kobold Press’s latest offering. Empire of the Ghouls is the product I’ve been dreaming of since I first discovered the Midgard setting—a hardcover adventure, and one which takes PCs all the way from 1st to 13th level. From lead designer Richard Green with contributions from Wolfgang Baur, Jeff Lee, Chris Lockey, Kelly Pawlik, and Mike Welham, this roughly 350-page hardcover volume is both an...

From the Archives: Delving Deep with the Dwarves of the Iron Crags

“The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep.” —Saruman, The Fellowship of the Ring While the Mines of Moria might fall outside the scope of our tabletop, in today’s From the Archives article, we’re nonetheless going to take a deep delve into the realm of the dwarves of Midgard, specifically those in the Iron Crags. And hopefully what we wake up therein won’t see our end come in shadow and flame. To begin our expedition, we’ll look at the very...

From the Archives: Pinning Down the Dusk Queen’s Shadow

Last year, the kobolds put out Shadows of the Dusk Queen, written by none other than Kobold art director Marc Radle. A tale of a mysterious queen in a dark tower, the adventure is set in “a forest of shadows.” The location is deliberately ambiguous, so the Shadow Forest can be dropped in anywhere that a GM needs it to be, in any sufficiently spooky woods. But the book is definitely Midgard material as the Dusk Queen herself is a shadow fey...

Unlocking the Warlock: A Look at the Warlock Grimoire

If there is something that I think sets the world of Midgard apart from other campaign settings, it’s not the depth of the world building, deep though it is. After all, there have been quite a few very complex roleplaying game worlds in the past. (Glorantha, I’m looking at you.) What makes Midgard unique to me is how immanently playable its worldbuilding is. We’ve heard it said before how there are “powder kegs baked into the setting.” What...

From the Archives: Islands at the Edge of the World

The first adventure I ever bought from Kobold Press was Wolfgang Baur’s brilliant To the Edge of the World. Published in 2012 for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, it’s an adventure for 2nd- and 3rd-level PCs, motivated by the Head Kobold’s desire to provide low-level characters with “epic-level fun.” To the Edge of the World is intended to be a break from the narratives that often see beginning adventurers relegated to fighting giant rats,...

Citing the Deep Magic: How and Where to Incorporate the Deep Magic into Your Campaign

“Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written.” —C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe With apologies to Lewis, citing the Deep Magic is exactly what we’re going to do now. And not just cite it. We’re going to look deeply at Deep Magic, making suggestions for where, when, and how GMs can add these spells, domains, and traditions to their campaign. And there’s a lot of it! In addition to being made...

Appendix M: Advanced Reading in Midgard

As every grognard knows, the original AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide had a section at the end called “Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading.” It was a list of the fantasy novels that inspired Gary Gygax to create the game. But it was also a “further reading” suggestion, the idea being to pay some love backward to the authors who carved out the fantasy genre while also serving up some sources of inspiration to beginning game masters...

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...

From the Archives: Midgard Legends

Though there’s been an explosion of 5th Edition compatible material for Midgard, including 173 adventures by last count, there’s a lot of Midgard goodness that came out before 5E debuted, including adventures written for 4E and for Pathfinder. And some of that is still “canon,” assumed to have happened one way or another when the Midgard Worldbook was updated, jumping the world of Midgard forward five years in time. A lot of that content is...

So You Want to Play in Midgard? (But You Don’t Know Where to Start)

You’ve picked up the Tome of Beasts or maybe the Creature Codex. Maybe you have the Midgard Heroes Handbook. You were thinking about just dropping these monsters into your homebrew or adding those subclasses. But you keep hearing about this Midgard place, this amazing campaign setting that everyone’s talking about. So you take the next step. You get the Midgard Worldbook. So You Want to Play in Midgard?  And wow. You had no idea. What a richly...

Inside the Kobold Mines: Playing in the Woods

Let’s get one thing straight. There is no way I can write a dispassionate overview of the overwhelming goodness that is the Margreve Player’s Guide. I just can’t. And there’s a very good reason for it. I’m in it. And not only that, but I’m in it three times. Now, while I’m no stranger to writing—I’ve written a children’s fantasy trilogy for Penguin Random House and a Star Wars novel for Disney Lucasfilm, and I’ve got another children’s fantasy...

Inside the Kobold Mines: The Forest of Old

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” ―John Muir “Tom’s words laid bare the hearts of the trees and their thoughts, which were often dark and strange, filled with a hatred of things that go free upon the earth, gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning: destroyers and usurpers. It was not called the Old Forest without reason, for it was indeed ancient, a survivor of vast forgotten woods; and in it there lived yet,...

Inside the Kobold Mines: A Conversation with Matt Corley

Midgard is my favorite campaign setting, and Tales of the Old Margreve is poised to be my favorite campaign book. Quite apart from my own contributions to the Player’s Guide—about which, more in a later article—I was able to playtest a lot of this in my own Midgard campaign, and it’s just deliciously chock-full of content, from a detailed campaign setting to a host of incredible adventures. With the release of Tales of the Old Margreve right...

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