Kobold Quarterly 9

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Kobold Quarterly #9 features an interview that unfortunately is both sad and all-too-timely: the last interview with Dave Arneson.

We had no idea of Mr. Arneson's poor health when we conducted the interview several months ago, but the interviewer and staff are grateful to have one last visit with the man who gave us the roleplaying hobby.

    Also of interest:
  • Monte Cook launches a new column, Game Theories
  • We look at the classic bat-demon, Camazotz, with a Pathfinder nod
  • Our first dual-stat 3E/4E article offers up the Maedar as a PC race
  • A reader request for a Kitsune race for 4E is fulfilled
  • The Map of Fantasy series offers an isometric Bandit Lair for any editio
  • Plus dinosaurs, bard magic, magical oaths, ritual drugs, and warlocks!

It's a full heaping helping of great game material to inspire any 3E/OGL or 4E fan to play a better game and enjoy both the history and the future of the hobby.

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Product Reviews (5)

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****( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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Great Issue


This is only my second issue of KQ, but I sat down with it and read about 2/3 of the magazine in one sitting. Now that may not mean much to you, but for me to do that for a magazine really is something! Time to think about a subscription.

Great work!


Starts out with a beautiful cover. This rivals the work of Dragon! It goes on to include a handsome article about the Kitsune, which is very well-written. They even post the 3.5 stats elsewhere, so as to make sure not to alienate us grognards. The dinosaur article was awesome, beyond a doubt. The oath article was cool, as was the interview, and overall, I'd say that KQ has more than surpassed this issue.

Kobold Quarterly continues to be a consistent performer

****( )

If you like monsters in 3.5, right off the bat, this issue is golden for you. Really cool dinosaurs, creepy construct things, and skin bats. Seriously, its all useful one way or another.

If you aren't into 4E, the kitsune article is still a really interesting read if you haven't heard much about these creatures before, and can serve as a springboard for some RP ideas for GM and player alike.

While the ritual drugs and some of the bardic article didn't sell me 100%, those articles still had some really interesting and solid ideas, and the Maenad article actually put some interesting context to a race that I felt was just kind of dropped into the Expanded Psionics Handbook (not to mention, I'm looking forward to throwing a Maenad long flail as some poor unsuspecting PCs).

Heck, with all of that other stuff, I almost forgot Monte Cook's design column that started up, or the really awesome familiar article in the book as well.

All in all, this is definitely worth the money. And if all of the above doesn't sell you, the Dave Arneson interview, and especially the tribute pieces by other RPG luminaries, should push this over the edge.

14 1/2 pages of 4E stat blocks.

*( )( )( )( )

There was way too much 4e in this issue. Besides the stat blocks alone taking up page after page the articles themselves (once you remove these mechanical sections) seemed sparse, especially the dinosaur one.
$8 is just way too much to ask for if I'm only going to be able to enjoy half the magazine.
There are other 4E magazines out there now so I dont see why I would want a "half-and-half 'zine" that seems too sparse of material for one game version or the other.

KQ9 seems to hit its stride, though there are still a few stumbles.

****( )

This issue has the historic, final interview with Dave Arneson. For that alone it should not be missed. His contribution to the hobby can’t be overstated. It provides insights towards his feelings about the very nature of roleplaying games and antecdotes from Greenwood, Forbeck, and Lauder serve as fine commentary.

The solid cover art suffers a bit from the text splatter, & see one of those stumbles before even cracking a page. An article change seems to have escaped layout, leaving the Warlock-themed teaser orphaned.

The article split is 50/25/25. Half of the material is for OGL, a quarter for 4E, and a quarter is system independent. Truthfully, three of the OGL articles would require little effort for conversions to 4E or Pathfinder. This seems like a good mix, & helps solidify KQ’s position as a gaming magazine, rather than an OGL or 4E publication.

The OGL material is a solid combination of flavor&crunch. I especially like the bard article, chock full of feats, spells, and alternate class options. The bandit lair comes in a second, and fans of socially-focused games will enjoy the Courtiers article, but it’s really useful to those adding a bit of social interaction. I wonder how much tabletime a CR24 Bat-god avatar gets.

The 4E material follows a similar mechanics-and-inspiration vein, detailing two races for play; the Maedar also has conversion notes for the Pathfinder Beta system and the Kitsune received an online OGL treatment. Purely 4E, the Chasing the Grave article doesn’t skimp on the worldbuilding, giving a couple of storyseeds for inspiring dark, urban 4dventure.

A couple of editing issues are the result of trying to use of out-of-house typesetting, & kinks aren’t all worked out. The art maintains a top-notch caliber, the contributor list continues to boast veterans like Grubb, Cook, & Pett, while giving newer voices a shot. I’m happy to keep up with KQ as it enters its third year; it seems to be maturing fantastically.