Designing with Style: Heading to the Races

In this installment, we’ll talk about headings (or headers, the terms are interchangeable), which are used to separate content into smaller pieces and indicate what information each of those pieces contain. The 5th Edition style guide says, “We expect headings to be used logically and consistently throughout a manuscript.” From my perspective as an editor, this means a few different things. Use Headers Regularly. This one is pretty simple: if...

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...

Tome of Beasts: Drakon

These winged snakes are coastal beasts and sometimes confused with true dragons or wyverns. They are neither, but quite deadly in their own right. Searing Acid. Drakon fangs do not deliver venom; volatile acid constantly burbles up from a drakon’s stomach and enhances its attacks. A caustic drool clings to creatures they bite, and drakons can also belch clouds of searing vapor. Their lairs reek with acidic vapors and droplets of searing...

Warlock’s Apprentice: The Butcher’s Bill

No matter how sophisticated the civilized races of Midgard become nor how peaceful the times seem, the threat of war is never far off. Just in recent history, the vampires of Morgau and Doresh annexed the former Electoral Kingdom of Krakova whose ruling family in exile now wages an internecine war against their conquerors. In the Seven Cities, where war is a way of life with a specific season for waging it, the Mharoti Empire ceased to be...

The Sorcery Stop: Lábak of Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is one of the great mysteries and a most fearsome wanderer. Though many know her name and many more recognize her legendary dancing hut, few can honestly claim to have met her, and fewer still enjoyed the experience. Almost none can claim kinship with the Grandmother, and no one known can claim her friendship or support. There are a few, however, that claim to use her power. Found mostly among expatriates from the Rothenian Plain, a...

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...


Pin It on Pinterest