You may have noticed a few changes since last issue. Yes, it’s only issue #3, and already we’re making improvements. Kobolds are like that, always tinkering. Keeps us off the trapmaking circuit.
This particular round of improvements includes a substantially bigger page count (up to 60 from 40 last issue), a new interior look, and a new logo. I’m hoping it is more readable throughout, and I’m guessing that no one will complain about added pages.
And then there’s the new cover design. The look was inspired by our move to broader newstand distribution, which requires bold cover text to attract new readers. Well, that and bold cover images. The stunning painting is by Cris Griffin, who you may remember as the cover artist for Castle Shadowcrag. We just said “red angel”, and this is what she came back with. I expect prints will be available shortly, and I certainly hope to see more of her work.
The cover also features the work of my wife’s hand. In this case, it’s not the hand I wed (lovely as it is), but a hand she developed only recently. That is, she’s a calligrapher, and each style of lettering that a calligrapher does is called a “hand”, a little like a font. Her hand lettering for the new logo is technically a variation on uncial, with a Roman capital. My wife’s hand has never looked lovelier. I’m ever more delighted I asked for richer for poorer. She was assisted in the vector graphics by Scott Okumura, who has also lent his talents to the sprucing up of the interior pages.
Tinkering with the look may become a bit of habit. All magazines do it, but when you are a quarterly, the temptation is strong.
The articles are on a tear as well: a fine kick-off piece by Richard Pett on one of the classic monsters of the genre, the ever-deadly lich. A big magic article for Zobeck fans about the stars and shadows from yours truly. And there’s the interview with Ed Greenwood about the Realms, Castlemourn, and his novels.
Most of the reader-favorite departments are unchanged: Skip Williams tackles the Spellmaster from the Advanced Player’s Handbook, and the Dungeon Design column seat is taken by Keith Baker, whose work on both game worlds and novels you probably know. He chews over the mean streets, and how to make a noir or hardboiled campaign work. He has some experience with this, and it shows.
And with every change, some things fade into memory. This is the third installment of the Princes of Hell series, and this one is spectacular, nay, it is Biblical in its nasty lord of the Hells: freelancer and amateur entomologist Ari Marmell has conjured up a son of Beelzebub, no less. However, I don’t think anyone wants the Arch-devils to outstay their welcome, so the bad guys will go into retirement for a little while. I have a feeling the devils will be back.
My thanks to all those good folks who lent their hands to the work on this issue. I have to say, the magazine just keeps looking better and better. But I would say that. If you agree, please tell the world.
If you have comments on the new look or suggestions for further improvements, send your letters and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to hear what kind of articles you want more of, less of, and none of. Kobolds aim to please.
We’re like that.