Articles By Author - Lou Anders

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“Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch.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...

Inside the Kobold Mines: A Conversation with Richard Pett

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Southlands. And one of my favorite designers for that setting is Richard Pett. Now he’s back with a new one, An Enigma Lost in a Maze. In it, characters are sent into the insane maze in the ruins of the city of Roshgazi. Roshgazi was of course the heart of the Moon Kingdom of Tes-Qamar until it was sacked three hundred years ago by the Mharoti empire. Now the maze’s madness has grown to such an extreme...

Inside the Kobold Mines: Guide to the Shadow Realms

With Courts of the Shadow Fey just released, the timing couldn’t be better for the debut of a special edition Warlock booklet, Guide to the Shadow Realms. The guide was a threshold goal on the Warlock Patreon. If you’re not familiar, Kobold Press is producing Warlock (24–28 pages for 5th Edition in PDF and print), full of world-expanding goodness and awesome mechanics for your game, and Warlock Lairs, short adventures playable in a session or...

Inside the Kobold Mines: Courts of the Shadow Fey (Part 2)

I chatted with co-designer Dan Dillon about his work bringing Courts of the Shadow Fey to 5th Edition, and naturally, we ended up talking about Midgard-in-general quite a bit too. Lou: So this is a 4th Edition product—that was quite celebrated when it came out—now updated and significantly expanded for 5th Edition. What were some of the major changes in this version? Dan: Yep, originally 4E, though it went through a conversion to Pathfinder...

Inside the Kobold Mines: Courts of the Shadow Fey

There are a lot of things I love about Midgard. Whether it’s the beer domain clerics, Per-Bastet the City of Cats, the Kobold Ghetto in Zobeck, or the Margreve Forest, there are so so many brilliant aspects of the world that make me go “wow” and secure Midgard’s place as my hands-down favorite campaign setting. But when I try to nail it down to just one aspect of the world that really stands out for me, that makes Midgard what it is, I always...

That’s the Pits: Some Down-and-Dirty Pit Fighting Rules

My players and I love using the 5E sourcebook’s downtime rules in our campaigns, and the downtime activity they seem to like the most is pit fighting. It seems to be the most profitable for them, and they like the idea of it a lot. But it’s only downtime, so it’s what the characters get up to between games. For one special adventure though—“The Scorpion’s Shadow” from Warlock Lairs 12, to be exact—I wanted to use a fighting pit during the...

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