Happy Anniversary, Kobold King!

Wednesday July 13, 2022

July 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Paizo as well as the 15th anniversary of the world we now know as the Lost Omens campaign setting. In 2007, with the licenses for Dungeon and Dragon magazines set to expire, Paizo had to take some big risks to stay in business—risks that ultimately paid off. With a much smaller staff taking a stab at something new, Paizo released a series of short standalone adventures telling the tale of the rise (and fall) of the kobold king, Merlokrep, in the northern wilderness of Andoran. Over three adventures, Hollow’s Last Hope, Crown of the Kobold King, and Hungry Are the Dead, authors Jason Bulmahn, Tim Hitchcock, Nicolas Logue, and F. Wesley Schneider established the foundations for what would grow into the Lost Omens setting we continue to explore and expand today.

Paizo’s Director of Game Design, Jason Bulmahn, recounts:

Losing the magazines was a scary time at Paizo. Exciting, but scary. None of us really knew how things were going to shake out long-term, but we had a plan to carry on making Adventure Paths, something we were known for from the pages of Dungeon magazine. The only problem was that we only needed three people to make the Adventure Paths happen, and we had six folks on the editorial staff.

My job back then was to create everything else, from maps and cards to standalone adventures. And that is where Crown of the Kobold King came in. While the Rise of the Runelords was fleshing out Varisia, Mike McArtor, Jeremy Walker, and I worked to create Darkmoon Vale, a small wilderness area in which to set a couple of standalone adventures to get us started. Although Hollow’s Last Hope was technically first, it was a smaller adventure for Free RPG Day, and Crown was set to be our true premier.

We were lucky to get Nicolas Logue as our author. We were still putting together our styles, but Nick’s bombastic encounters made for a fun, exciting dungeon romp. This adventure would also serve as the very first step into a much bigger story. Around this time, we were picking up the pieces of some of our older products, looking for ideas to add to Golarion. One place we searched was the “Compleat Encounter” line of products. One of these was the Vault of the Whispering Tyrant, which introduced an important character to our world. In these very early days, although we knew little else about him, we decided that he was sealed away, kept at bay by three seal stones. One such stone was already broken, and its remains were under the dungeon of this adventure (you can see a hint for it in area 28, the Forsaken Tunnel).

Honestly, looking back at this adventure brings back memories of a Paizo long past, where we were all just scrappy kids making the stories that would come to define a world. I am excited to see this story polished up for a new generation of gamers!

To celebrate Paizo’s anniversary and 15 years of the setting we all love, Paizo is releasing a hardcover compilation of the Crown of the Kobold King saga, updated from its original 3.5e rules (this predates even Pathfinder first edition, after all) to Pathfinder Second Edition, and including a whole new chapter by original Kobold King scribe Nicolas Logue. The book’s lead developer, Creative Director James Jacobs, has the following to say about the process.

It took over half a decade to do it, but we got there eventually. Originally, we planned on doing a compilation of the Kobold King adventures in a big adventure to support first-edition Pathfinder at about halfway through that edition’s life cycle—that’s when I hired Nick Logue to write the “missing level” after all. But then, for various reasons, we didn’t move forward with the project and the final level just sat in limbo on my hard drive. Fast forward to 2021, when we were facing a lot of challenges with the standalone adventure line’s schedule and availability for folks to work on it. With the renewed look and interest on kobolds, it seemed like a good time to go back!

Combining the adventures together into one single adventure presented a few unusual challenges as well, beyond the known challenge of converting from 3.5 rules to Pathfinder Second Edition. Most significantly, the individual plots for the previously published adventures, which were meant to be stand-alone themselves, kind of clashed and didn’t work well together. It was sort of like having three different openings to the story. And so those plots got minimized, turned into background elements, or got written out/replaced entirely, and I focused more on what was itself a “background element” of the original adventures—the presence of one of the seals that helped keep the Whispering Tyrant imprisoned. At the time of the original publication, that plot was very much in the category of “teasing future potential stories” but didn’t have much to do with the main adventures. Today, that plotline is the most important one, and so I focused the revision on those events. In doing so, and in bringing in the final “lost level” that Nick wrote years ago, a brand new plot came into being—one that, for the first time, reveals where the Crown of the Kobold King came from, what it was for, and what might happen if King Merlokrep’s plans come to fruition!

A lot has changed in 15 years, but at its core, the same exciting adventures that launched Pathfinder are still as dangerous and engaging as ever. With fully updated art to reflect our reimagined Second Edition kobolds and the brand’s evolving visual style, the 128-page hardcover is sure to launch a new generation into an adventure-filled exploration of Golarion, or take old veterans back where they first began. Pick your copy up at your local game store or bookseller this fall, or preorder on paizo.com today.

Mark Moreland
Director of Brand Strategy

Artist Eric Dechamps: Merlokrep, the Kobold King Artist Riley Spalding: Merlokrep, the Kobold King

Merlokrep, the Kobold King, then and now. Illustrations by Eric Dechamps and Riley Spalding.


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Tags: Kobolds Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I love seeing the comparison in King Merlkkrep's art from then and now. It's it such a cool thing to see. I am so excited to see this released and look forward to running it with my table!


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Speaking of Vault of the Whispering Tyrant, with his return will we be seeing his wife, Mrs. Tar-Baphon?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Kobold Warband mini's on the way?

Looking forward to this one. This was before my time and have heard great things :D

Grand Lodge

Huzzah!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is amazing! Those are some of my favorite adventures. Look forward to this release for PF2e. Will be fun to revisit these adventures and compare them to the originals.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very excited, I've had a lot of fun running Hollow’s Last Hope, Crown of the Kobold King and hope to run them again!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Looking forward to this release.


I am eager to play or DM it

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

That's one of the better looking new kobold arts, and it looks pretty nice! Most of the new art about kobolds looks really off, somehow.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Tomppa wrote:
That's one of the better looking new kobold arts, and it looks pretty nice! Most of the new art about kobolds looks really off, somehow.

I’m a big fan of 2e Kobolds, personally.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Tomppa wrote:
That's one of the better looking new kobold arts, and it looks pretty nice! Most of the new art about kobolds looks really off, somehow.
I’m a big fan of 2e Kobolds, personally.

PLUSHIES!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tomppa wrote:
That's one of the better looking new kobold arts, and it looks pretty nice! Most of the new art about kobolds looks really off, somehow.

These ones have necks, which I think helps.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think lack of neck is the biggest problem for most people regarding new kobolds (and what makes them in some pictures appear to have weirdly proportioned heads)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is there any plan to release a Foundry VTT module with the release of this version of the adventure?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This was always my favorite set of adventures. I always thought of it as a mini AP, before there were 3 issue APs. Personally, I liked the very early days of Golarion best, as it was much more open world.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Will this compilation include Revenge of the Kobold King?

Also, I would like to voice my desire to see a D&D 5e version of this compilation.

Thanks!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The original art was inspired by what was then the world's ugliest dog (who died a few years back, IIRC). I wish the new look for Merlokrep included some of that vibe.

While the new art is decent, I still prefer the look of the PF 1e kobolds. Just my personal opinion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragonhelm wrote:

Will this compilation include Revenge of the Kobold King?

Also, I would like to voice my desire to see a D&D 5e version of this compilation.

Thanks!

It won't include "Revenge" since that adventure has to take place AFTER this one.

No plans to do a 5E version.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:

Will this compilation include Revenge of the Kobold King?

Also, I would like to voice my desire to see a D&D 5e version of this compilation.

Thanks!

It won't include "Revenge" since that adventure has to take place AFTER this one.

No plans to do a 5E version.

Thanks for answering my question.

I will say I'm a bit disappointed as Revenge could be a good epilogue adventure. However, I understand your reasoning.

I'm definitely going to pick this one up.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm a big fan of the landshark kobolds. They are mean looking and visually distinctive from the dnd kobolds


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
I'm a big fan of the landshark kobolds. They are mean looking and visually distinctive from the dnd kobolds

Great. Now I want desert dwelling Kobolds who swim through sand. Thanks!! D:

Lol


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

When will the preorder be available?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

3 people marked this as a favorite.
AnneB wrote:
When will the preorder be available?

You can preorder them now! The regular edition is here and the special edition is here.

We expect both to be available in September.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder Adventure: Crown of the Kobold King

Pathfinder Adventure: Crown of the Kobold King Special Edition

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dragonhelm wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:

Will this compilation include Revenge of the Kobold King?

Also, I would like to voice my desire to see a D&D 5e version of this compilation.

Thanks!

It won't include "Revenge" since that adventure has to take place AFTER this one.

No plans to do a 5E version.

Thanks for answering my question.

I will say I'm a bit disappointed as Revenge could be a good epilogue adventure. However, I understand your reasoning.

I'm definitely going to pick this one up.

Agreed, leaving out revenge seems like a miss, incomplete. Shame.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Big fan of Pathfinder Goblins. And therefore I am a big fan of the new PF2 Kobolds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Lewy wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:

Will this compilation include Revenge of the Kobold King?

Also, I would like to voice my desire to see a D&D 5e version of this compilation.

Thanks!

It won't include "Revenge" since that adventure has to take place AFTER this one.

No plans to do a 5E version.

Thanks for answering my question.

I will say I'm a bit disappointed as Revenge could be a good epilogue adventure. However, I understand your reasoning.

I'm definitely going to pick this one up.

Agreed, leaving out revenge seems like a miss, incomplete. Shame.

Good opportunity for some enterprising individual to do a PF2e conversion for Infinite.

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