Home / Delve into the Depths in the Kobold Blog / Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 3 Goes to Brazil and Back

Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 3 Goes to Brazil and Back

Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 3 Goes to Brazil and Back

What are reviewers saying about Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 3 (print/PDF), Open Design’s source for game design?

… As with the first two volumes, if you’re an aspiring pro this book is a must. If you’re a rules hacker like me, this stuff is solid gold. If you’re just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill gamemaster who just runs a game for his regular group and has no such lofty ambitions, this volume is still useful but you’ll have to cherry-pick the bits that might pertain to you. I’d argue that, for a typical GM, Greenwood’s essay “Crafting a Dastardly Plot” alone is worth the price of admission. Wolfgang’s “Location as a Fulcrum of Superior Design” tosses out some conventional wisdom that a good villain or a solid plot is the starting point of a good story and goes straight to the setting; food for thought, there, juxtaposing worldbuilding and storytelling…

I dug this volume a lot, and I think it has some of the strongest pieces in the entire series. It’s got more page flags, highlighter marks and notes scribbled in the margins than Volume II, but not as many as Volume I. It’s the volume I’m most likely to re-read as I write my own games, and quote from when arguing game design with others. Good stuff.

Read the full review at UncleBear Media.


Awash with luminaries and masters of game design, the Kobold Guide series lends advice to nascent game developers, yet the information presented is just as useful to veterans. When most think of the folks whom they’d like to ask these questions of, these are some of the names that often top those lists. There are few folks in the world today who design and develop games professionally, yet these are some of those more well-known names with articles on some of the very topics we wish to hear about.

In the end, the Kobold Guide to Game Design may help your game, may help your design and development, but that’s up to you… Whatever you do with the concepts and ideas presented within, volume three of this guide has the capability to help you behind the screen, or the keyboard.

Read the full review at Emerson’s Bookshelf.


You still need your own ideas, you need to make your own connections and you’re on your own to break into the profession. Read with an open mind and used properly, the collected wisdom and vast and varied experiences of the Kobold Guide to Game Design Vol III: Tips and Techniques can give an aspiring designer the edge to become a professional designer.

Read the full review at 3.5 Private Sanctuary.


While reading the articles in this volume, I had several flashes of insight related to game design and games I have run in the past. You can’t really ask for more than that from a text devoted to game design. It was a great feeling and I ended up plowing through the entire 87 pages in a single sitting. Many times, the book was validating ideas I’ve had about game design for awhile. I highly recommended this book to amateur game designers and hardcore gamemasters alike.

Read the full review at Meta Gamemastery.


So if you are a budding game designer, or are a writer looking to break into the GSL or OGL or Pathfinder market, the Kobold Guide to Game Design Volume III: Tools & Techniques is a worthwhile read. The essays offered in this ebook can give fresh perspective and advice from some leading game designers in the gaming community. And I would hazard to say, for the price, this certainly is a great resource for self-publishers out there, looking for some guidance before they leap into the murky waters of game design.

Read the full review at Neuroglyph Games.


The Kobold Guide is definitely one of the best advice books I’ve read so far. Wolfgang is never preachy and gives some deep insights not only in the way he designs adventures but also into the industry.

… you should definitely get the Kobold Guide. It’s entertaining to read and extremely interesting.

Read the full review at Stargazer’s World (reviewing Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 1).


Baur’s essay “What is Design?” tries to define a term that doesn’t lend itself well to a definition unless you have context on your side. He defines design as “its own discipline, but [that] it always borrows and builds on other modes of creative work.” What does that mean in terms of role-playing games (RPGs)? It means that there has to be a balance between rules and setting. When they are out of balance, you can end up with a less than fun experience for your gamemaster (GM) and his or her players, which may cost you fans or customers. Rules must exist in terms of the setting and the setting must keep the rules in mind at all times. It’s a balance I know I’ve not yet achieved in my own games.

The other essay that really got my attention was “Basic Combat Systems for Tabletop Games” by Colin McComb… [He] manages to explain, in a Q&A format, what you need to know about attack systems, who attacks and when, how things like area of effect attacks affect a group of targets, how to measure the consequences of combat through permanent or temporary damage, and so on. He then lays out a sample system using his own rules (minus stringent playtesting) to show how the questions can help you come up with a working system. The practical aspect of the article provides a ton of hints and help to avoid the common problems that plague beginning system designers (like myself).

If you’re a GM, a game designer, or a RPG player interested in getting into the design side of how to create your own games you can’t find a better introduction than The Kobold Guide to Game Design – Volume III: Tools & Techniques. These 96 pages will provide infinite food for thought and hopefully save you some pain and suffering along the way. I certainly have a lot to think about now…

Read the full review at Blog Critics.


The Kobold Guide to Game Design, Volume III: Tools & Techniques é um produto bem específico, para um público-alvo que lá fora cresce a cada dia. Os ensaios são extremamente elucidativos e, em alguns casos, simplesmente geniais. Mesmo não-profissionais vão tirar lições valorosas daqui (ou pelo menos pensar de maneira diferente a respeito). Outro fator a favor é a chance de conhecer a mentalidade de alguns dos maiores escritores de RPG do mercado.

[(Translated from the Portuguese using Google Chrome) The Kobold Guide to Game Design, Volume III: Tools & Techniques is a very specific product for a target audience out there that grows every day. The tests are extremely enlightening and in some cases, simply brilliant. Even non-professionals will take away valuable lessons (or at least think differently about it). Another factor for the chance to know the mentality of some of the greatest writers of the RPG market.]

Read the full review at RedeRPG.

We’ve got a little something for everybody. Pick up your own copy of Kobold Guide to Game Design, Vol. 3 (print/PDF).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Caverns of the Spore Lord

Join The Kobold Courier


Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top