Death Among the Dunes: Desert Monsters

With their punishing climate and near-total lack of precious water, deserts are one of the most hostile environments in existence. Those who spend enough time among the desert sands know that some monsters can thrive even in these hellish wastes. Such creatures are feared and respected by wise adventurers, for they are invariably predatory and deadly—a consequence of evolving in a place where the most reliable source of life-giving water is a...

The Paragon Glyph Mage

We didn’t have room in Defenders of Midgard for the enigmatic mage paragon path features needed to round out the clockwork and glyph magic schools, so we’re featuring them here on the Kobold Press website. This book is available at DriveThruRPG and Paizo. Glyph mages, also known as scriveners, master the arcane power of the written word. They summon living ink and use it to rewrite reality to their own ends. In the paragon tier, the glyph mage...

The Paragon Clockwork Mage

We didn’t have room in Defenders of Midgard for the enigmatic mage paragon path features needed to round out the clockwork and glyph magic schools, so we’re featuring them here on the Kobold Press website. This book is available at DriveThruRPG and Paizo. Clockwork mages possess an eye for mechanisms, springs, gearing, and balanced forces, and their spells display a wide range of styles linked by these common themes. The spells and abilities...

4 New Adventures from Kobold Press

Summer’s almost here! With convention season coming and school letting out, there are more opportunities to play. You could probably use some new adventures to run, yes? The Kobolds have you covered with four new adventures for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Over at Paizo.com you’ll find two new adventures for Pathfinder RPG: Beyond the Ghostlight Reef is a convention favorite by Christina...

Announcing the Kobold Press Community Use Policy

The Midgard Campaign Setting fan community is growing faster than an ill-advised alchemy experiment in Maillon! It’s an active, vibrant community, full of people who want to take what we’ve created and run with it in exciting and fun directions. So we thought, why not make it easier for them? To encourage fan sites and free fan-created projects using Midgard and other Kobold Press IP, we’ve just launched the Kobold Press...

Faster Combat, Faster (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, we explored some things you could do to speed up combat without adjusting the rules. The following are three simple ways to speed combats up by making rules modifications, and each one has an increasingly larger effect on the game system than the one before it. Two-Hit Minions One of the great things 4E brought to D&D was the minion. They are designed to take a hit and go down—never to be heard from again....

Faster Combat, Faster (Part 1)

You might have heard the following words said or written many times since June 2008, which is when 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons was released: “Combat takes forever.” No doubt you have also heard many solutions to this. In deciding what to do about the speed of 4E combat, it is important to know what everyone at the table is looking for out of the game. Each person’s perspective on the time it takes for combat will be influenced by how...

Legendary Locations of Midgard: Dynamic Environments (Part 2)

We continue the look at legendary locations of Midgard in part 2 of the Dynamic Encounters series. Next up is Missala, with its tortured inhabitants. Missala, the Indolent Island (Page 140) The ruins of the diamond palace are on this small island. Long abandoned, its only inhabitants are the pained remnants of the once living. The legends of vast fortunes lying in the ruins encourage the occasional adventuring party into the palace, but only...

Legendary Locations of Midgard: Dynamic Environments (Part 1)

The world of Midgard is filled with wondrous locations, from the Ghostlight Forest in the west to the Dragoncoil Mountains in the east. Some of these extraordinary places present a challenge to those who adventure there, such as the Bleak Expanse with its vicious cold that hampers mundane tasks, or the warped magic in the Ruins of Thorn that play havoc with the flow of time. This article presents a selection of these extraordinary locations as...

Turning the Tide: Morale in D&D 4E

Is it better to stand and fight to the death, or to run away when the tide of the battle turns against you? Logic and idioms say it’s better to run away and live to fight another day. So why, in Dungeons & Dragons, have the old rules for monster morale been forgotten, when they could vastly shorten the length of combat? The BEMCI box sets included a fairly simple morale rule: During combat, the DM rolled 2d6 and compared it to the monster’s...

Transition Scenes: Hacking Story Games for Nontactical Combat and More (Part 2)

Brian continues his look at an option for adding transition scenes to your game by describing how to frame, play, and resolve a transition scene. If you missed the first part, you should read it first! Frame the Scene: Even when the GM suggests the scene, one player should be the focus of the scene. This player will frame the scene by describing where and when it takes place. Flashbacks are common, but scenes taking place in the future should...

Transition Scenes: Hacking Story Games for Nontactical Combat and More (Part 1)

When you look at the mechanics available to players in 4th Edition, there’s a heavy focus on combat options. Even themes and backgrounds are often geared toward, or at least chosen for, optimizing a character’s abilities in combat. Tactical combat is one of 4th Edition’s distinguishing strengths, but it can feel like the rest of the game is an afterthought sometimes. Players who are mechanically minded aren’t necessarily averse to...

Breaking the 4th Wall—House Rules

In my very first 4E D&D session, the first thing my DM said to us was, “Right. First house rule—you get a +2 bonus to skill checks that are relevant to the profession you had before adventuring.” This was several months before backgrounds were released in Dragon 366. It made me smile; it wouldn’t have felt like D&D without a house rule or two. Apart from that initial game, I don’t think I have come across any other house rules as a...

Transmutation: More New Spells (Part 5)

In this final installment of the transmutation series, David provides you with several new spells. Beholder’s Gaze     Wizard Attack 27 You suddenly sprout several eye stalks like a beholder and unleash an attack against your foes. Encounter * Arcane, Implement, Polymorph, Transmutation; Varies Standard Action     Ranged 20 Target: One, two, or three creatures Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex Hit: 3d8 + Intelligence modifier damage. Roll 1d6 for...

Transmutation: New Spells and More (Part 4)

The design of many D&D Essentials classes attempts to capture some of the rich history of past editions. With its emphasis on schools of magic, the mage makes a great chasis upon which to add transmutation effects. All the spells presented as part of this series are available as options for the mage. You can use the following new spells and abilities to add a transmutation specialization to the D&D Essentials mage class. Wizard Cantrip...


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