All hail King Merlokrep, First of His Name, All-Mighty King of the Truescale Kobolds, and Bearer of the Crown of the Kobold King!
Originally envisioned to compliment the longer-form campaign play offered in the Pathfinder Adventure Path, our standalone adventure line has visited a staggering number of locations and featured an equally staggering number of villains and plots. This month we’re returning to where it all started, with a compilation, revision, and expansion of a series of adventures tied together by one very infamous kobold, King Merlokrep!
The original adventure began with Hollow’s Last Hope (written by Jason Bulmahn and F. Wesley Schneider), which had the distinction of being the first published adventure module set in Golarion. It was soon followed up by Crown of the Kobold King (written by Nicolas Logue). A sequel further expanding this adventure’s location, Hungry are the Dead (written by Tim Hitchcock) came out several months later—all before we published the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!
I hope you enjoy this latest incarnation of Crown of the Kobold King (which features a brand-new level of the dungeon created by Nicolas Logue)! It was a blast going through these old adventures and marveling at not just how much has changed over nearly two decades, but also how those early adventures set the foundation for the world of Golarion. Let us know if you enjoyed this adventure, and in particular, enjoyed the format of reprinting, revising, and expanding classic adventures in hardcover format. There are quite a few other standalone adventures in the Paizo library I’m eager to update in a similar manner, but at the same time, rest assured we’ll continue to create new mysteries, locales, and foes in the standalone adventure line as well!
While compiling the revised Crown of the Kobold King into a single book and updating it with Pathfinder Second Edition rules, as well as a very changed world (both in game and out), we reached out to a couple of the original authors for their memories of working on these foundational Pathfinder adventures. And for a further dive into the making of this edition of Crown of the Kobold King (including some words from Jason Bulmahn on the creation of Hollow’s Last Hope), don’t forget to check out our “Happy Anniversary, Kobold King!” blog post!
Pathfinder Creative Director
The year was 2007. The print era of Dragon and Dungeon Magazine had come to an end... magazines I’d loved since learning to read, both of which I’d become a prolific freelance contributor for in the years prior. My grief turned to jubilation on a dime when I was approached to write the first ever module set in Golarion: the iconic Crown of the Kobold King.
I wrote the entire module and appendices in one night in a Guayaki Yerba Mate-fueled bender of pure joyful creation. From my perch on a second-hand futon, I banged away maniacally at my laptop, with an empty cardboard box serving as my table, as it was the only other piece of furniture I owned at that time. That night, Droskar grew in power, and the hardy frontier town of Falcon’s Hollow was hewn from the misty eaves at the edge of Darkmoon Vale.
Keeping with tradition, about a year later, I wrote the entirety of Revenge of the Kobold King on an Amtrak ride from Penn Station to Niagara Falls.
Years later in 2012, the mad genius himself, James Jacobs, reached out and offered me the chance to create a secret hidden level in the dungeon for a future special edition. I drove to the store, picked up several more cans of Guayaki Yerba Mate, and 8 hours later as dawn rose, I finished the manuscript.
To my memory, no other modules in my sprawling body of work were written in crucibles as smolderingly taut as those collected in this exciting hardcover anniversary edition.
What will I do with my copy when it arrives? Who knows? Maybe I'll finally playtest it!
May all your hits be crits, kobold-lovers!
F. Wesley Schneider
Hollow’s Last Hope was all about firsts. As the premiere adventure in a new series in a new world, every choice had weight. Who would be Golarion’s first non-player character? What sort of creature would be its first monster? What kinds of adventures would characters find? From those earliest decisions, we glimpsed a world that would develop far beyond Darkmoon Vale. While certain choices would fade, the underlying foundations of inclusivity, legendary inspiration, and reinvention would color so much of what followed.
Remembering the First
Wednesday, October 19, 2022