I realize that launching this magazine as Dragon Magazine’s print era ends is — how to put it? It’s a bit of a kick to the nuts to go from a 100% color, lavishly-illustrated, fine-tuned machine to a one-man show with a lot of black and white art and a do-it-yourself ethos.
On the other hand, it’s kind of liberating. Make no mistake, this is a homebrewed magazine, and (the current issues’s table of contents notwithstanding) it will lean on the best that readers and patrons can offer. Kobold Quarterly will be as good as people want it to be, and as good as I can make it editorially.
So far, I’ve heard from some great top-shelf freelancers that they will contibute: Ed Greenwood, Nicholas Logue, and many others will (hopefully) soon replace my byline in the table of contents. I’m happy to edit this magazine; I promise that the article mix for this first issue is an aberration. There’s literally no way for me to write and edit the whole thing. Not without giving up sleep entirely.
My guiding principle is that Kobold Quarterly should not only offer something valuable to the D&D gaming world, it should do it with attitude. That’s the meaning behind the “small but fierce” credo: kobolds may not have the big marketing dollars or the massive staff of a multi-national corporation, but we’re also free to do as we please.
That was the inspiration. It takes more than inspiration to get by. I’m an old industry warhorse, as these things are measured, and I’ve been thinking about what shape a magazine takes. Half of it is what readers demand and what freelancers are inspired to write. That half is in your control.
The other half bubbles up through the black art of editing. That means choosing wisely, shepherding resources but knowing when to splurge, getting the right artist for an article, keeping a balance of crunch and fluff, player and DM focus. That editorial voice will take time to discover; it depends on what regular authors it attracts, what readers like and dislike, and what works.
You can help mold the Kobold Quarterly style to suit yourself, just by sending your critique to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Email to the Editor”. I don’t know whether I’ll run a letters column, but the magazine will reflect what you want, and what you’d like to see disappear. The only way I’ll know is if you tell me.
Based on your feedback, every issue will publish a mix of solid features, a few surprises, a few laughs. This isn’t just a DM’s magazine or just a player magazine; it will bring a balance of in-depth game content, inspirational setting ideas, and material for both sides of the DM screen.
I realize that attracting readers and subscribers takes time, and that readership must be earned. I’m working to earn that trust from the readers, and in a year’s time I hope to prove just how powerful a community of kobolds can be. Help me by emailing me what you do like and what you hate about the issue, and what you’d like to see in the future. I’ll see if I can make it happen. For more information on writing and queries, see the Kobold FAQ (forthcoming).
Will this kobold survive? Yes! If word of mouth on the first issue is good, it could easily go to 6 issues a year. The toughest time for any new magazine is the first year, and most magazines fail. All the fierceness in the world won’t help this kobold thrive if gamers don’t rally to it. Please tell your friends about Kobold Quarterly. With your support, I hope to make it a great little voice for independent gamers everywhere. Thanks for joining me on this ride. I promise, it won’t be dull.