Guest Author - Margaret Dorraine Baines-Turberfield
Kobold Quarterly is the name of a publishing house which produces a website (featuring an article-blog, forum, and store) and magazine by the same name, as well as other RPG-related titles. They produce mainly Dungeons & Dragons related content in all their formats, mostly for Pathfinder and 4th Edition. Although I had heard of them prior to now, it wasn’t until about a month ago that they really appeared on my radar. My husband came home from a trip to our Friendly Local Gaming Store with a “special treat” for me, which turned out to be the most recent edition of their print magazine, which is what this article will focus on.
Both the magazine and the website contain a selection of wonderfully useful articles that range in topic from explaining a particular game mechanic to exploring character classes in depth to providing encounter monster stats or world setting information, just for starters. Some editions of the magazine are produced with a cohesive theme to the content, some not. The website frequently features series articles that are broken into multiple part installations. The articles are of particular use to Game Masters, but most hold value for players as well.
I was very pleased with the magazine my husband bought for me. I found it to be a quality print product: not full colour, but not solely black and white interior, either. A surprising amount of the ad space in the magazine is devoted to Kobold Quarterly’s own products, which I liked because a) it let me know what else these publishers have to offer me and b) was all one hundred percent RPG Gamer related. The same holds true for the rest of the advertising. I didn’t see a single ad that felt out-of-place, which was unusually refreshing. In the spring 2011 edition, the only article that was one page long or less was the Letter from the Editor, Wolfgang Baur. The remainder averaged three pages of print (not including art space) and some were as long as five! Unlike other magazines I’ve read, Kobold Quarterly kept whole articles intact, not requiring me to flip forward to find the ending tucked into an obscure corner at the back of the magazine (a pet peeve of mine.) The print size is standard, and the font legible, but the publisher still has fun with title fonts, art, and page colour treatments that give each piece its own personality. The reader really gets the impression that the editor actually reads his own magazine, and more than that, he likes to!
As the name implies, this resource is published four times per year. You have the option to pick it up from them directly by the issue in print or PDF, or subscribe (for just PDF or print plus PDF.) The subscription and shipping prices are very realistic (even internationally!) Back issues are available (again, both in print and PDF.) Though ordering print copies of year-one and year-two isn’t terribly cost-effective, it is pleasant that collectors (and those who prefer print) do have the option, anyway.
Now that I have been introduced to the Kobold Quarterly suite of products, I know that I will be accessing its sites and purchasing its products in the future. I am impressed by the obvious love and care that goes into the creation of their content, and I look forward to supporting their good work in the future!