Kobold Press

The Search for Relics of Power

In the past, we’ve done some fun contests featuring monsters. Monsters are great. We support monsters. We love monsters. But sometimes you need a little help fighting monsters, especially when one or more have completely wiped out your stalwart band of adventurers—several times. Kobolds, of course, recognize the necessity for adding a little firepower to the group when that sort of thing happens.

To assist all those hapless, soon-to-be-dead-meat adventurers out there, Kobold Quarterly is starting a new contest. This time around our focus is on artifacts. We want you, our fans, to design some amazingly useful and interesting artifacts that adventurers can use to vanquish all those nasty villains and powerful monsters that keep pestering them. Each artifact will be evaluated by a panel of industry professionals and by the fans. And, yes, fame and prizes play a part in this again. Learn more after the jump.

So, what do you need to do? First, read all the stuff below, then start designing!

Here’s how it works: To enter the contest, your artifact submission MUST…

  • Be sent to the Relics of Power Contest—that is, to relicsofpower(at)koboldquarterly(dot)com—no later than June 30, 2011, by noon PST. (That’s about two weeks from now!)
  • Be submitted as a doc, docx, or rtf attachment.
  • Read Relics of Power Submission [insert artifact name] in the email’s subject line. Your full name and contact information should be in the body of the email (not in your attachment).
  • Be designed for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game/3rd Edition D&D, 4th Edition D&D, or the AGE system.
  • Be 800 words or less, follow the format used for artifacts in each system, and have the appropriate flavor text and lore to flesh out your creation.

Minor and major artifacts are welcome! And they don’t necessarily have to be completely combat-oriented—have fun with them.


All submissions that meet the criteria will be entered in the contest and be judged by us, the Kobolds, and our guest judges on originality, effective writing and design, and “fun.” The 10 best artifacts will be published here on koboldquarterly.com and be voted on by the public. Of those 10 artifacts, the one with the winning votes will be granted the title of 2011 Relic of Power.

So who’s judging? We have a trio of extremely talented and wise judges: Wolfgang Baur, Christopher Bodan, and Jeff Grubb. Take a look at their bios below.

Wolfgang Baur began his career at TSR and is the publisher and founder of Open Design, the collaborative game design company, and the founder of the Midgard campaign setting. He has edited Kobold Quarterly, Dragon, and Dungeon magazines, and is the publisher of the Kobold Guide to Game Design series. Wolfgang is the author of dozens of award-winning adventures for Pathfinder RPG and four editions of D&D, as well as short stories, card games, and magazine articles. His worldbuilding includes foundational work on Dark*Matter, Planescape, the Midgard campaign setting, and the largely forgotten biopunk setting Kromosome for Amazing Engine. Wolfgang is the winner of the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, and he can be found online at koboldquarterly.com.

Christopher Bodan has spent way too much time and energy reading, writing, and wrangling words. He has written and edited for Kobold Quarterly, Privateer Press, Zombie Skies, and Soda Pop Miniatures. He has also done QA and document prep work for Hewlett-Packard and Siemens Ultrasound, so believe him when he says that their rules sets really needed work. He lives in Seattle with his wife and the promise of a dog.

A former civil engineer turned game designer and author, Jeff Grubb has more than a hundred listed credits, including over a dozen published novels and over twenty short stories. He is one of the founding fathers of both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, as well as Spelljammer and Al-Qadim. He also served as celebrity judge of the first King of the Monsters contest. Jeff keeps an online journal with current updates, reviews, and other things at Grubb Street.

Prizes for the Creator of the 2011 Relic of Power

As the 2011 Relic of Power, the winning artifact will have an illustration commissioned and be published in Kobold Quarterly #19 (Fall Edition). In addition, its designer will receive a free print and PDF copy of his or her choice of the Relic of Power.

Additional Rules

1. The contest is open to all.
2. One entry per person. The entry must be your own work, which has not been published previously, is not being considered for publication by any other publisher, and is original and does not infringe upon any copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Open Design.
4. By entering this contest, you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. This contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws where applicable.
6. Open Design reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this contest at any time without prior notice.
7. All decisions of Open Design and the contest judges are final.

So, now you have all the relevant information to enter this contest. You can get started right this second, or, if you want to procrastinate for a bit, take a look at our earlier contests: King of the Monsters and King of the Monsters 2. (Just don’t procrastinate too long!)

12 Replies to "The Search for Relics of Power"

James Thomas

June 16, 2011 at 8:13am

I’m up for it!


June 16, 2011 at 11:46am

Wow, right after being encouraged by everyone at PaizoCon to write too!

Hmmm… now I just need an artifact concept.

Kobold Quarterly

June 16, 2011 at 2:01pm

It’s a good time to dream up something majestic. Think big!


June 16, 2011 at 2:33pm

No rule against items with seven parts?


Kobold Quarterly

June 16, 2011 at 5:20pm

No rule against it! But it has to fit in the wordcount limit!


June 16, 2011 at 6:12pm

Awesome, I’ve had one artifact that I’ve been working on in my head.

…I have several, actually. Darn it, need to pick which one to use…

Adam Daigle

June 17, 2011 at 8:02pm

Nice new contest! I’m looking forward to the entries because Open Design/Kobold Quarterly has brilliant fans and contributors, so it stands to reason, brilliant material will come from this.


June 19, 2011 at 12:07pm

Any good / recent sources that showcase how Pathfinder artifacts are displayed regarding flavor and lore? PRD formating is rather minimal.


June 20, 2011 at 9:06am

Oh Wow… I tried out for the first King of the Monsters… and I think I’ll try out for the first Relics of Power contest… like others above me though… I need to think of something first. Hmmm.

Kobold Quarterly

June 20, 2011 at 3:12pm

Turn to fiction or the Book of Artifacts for inspiration? Ask your players? Lots of wellsprings of ideas.

The kobold judges are looking forward to reading these!

Jason Leonard

June 21, 2011 at 8:32am

When will the winner be announced?


June 27, 2011 at 3:55pm

Just a reminder to everyone: Vecna’s Vertebrae are off limits. Silliness aside, do be careful about intellectual property transgressions.