Kobold Press

Collection of Curiosities: The Thug’s Belt Pouch

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoSo, you just brought a thug to justice. Go you! But what is in that thug’s belt pouch (or otherwise tucked away on this particular unsavory individual)? You can roll randomly for a result below, or use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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Lost Magic: Eldritch Epiphany

Lost Magic LogoAnother element of lost magic came our way, this time from Denver Edwards. This one has more of a metamagic element to it, which you might embrace in your game as is or soften through the use of more story elements. If you’re the GM, ask the player to describe how the caster’s knowledge of this ancient lore plays out in the mind’s eye during casting, for example, which can help you build more lush world detail into your game, plus personalize that character’s casting style and define what others see when this character casts spells.

Eldritch Epiphany

School evocation; Level bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 swift action
Components V
Range personal
Target you
Duration instant

By pronouncing an ancient syllable first spoken at the dawn of creation, you instantly know the optimal way to modify your next spell in a way you desire.

You can add any one metamagic feat (you do not need to know the feat) of your choice to the next spell you cast before the beginning of your next turn without increasing the spell level or casting time, so long as the total modified spell level of the spell is not above a level you can normally cast.

The list of metamagic feats you can choose from is based on your caster level. At 5th level, you can select metamagic feats with a +1 spell level modifier. Every four caster levels, the spell level modifier of the metamagic feat you can choose from increases by 1 (+2 at 9th, +3 at 13th, to a maximum of +4 at 17th).

At 17th level, if you select Quicken Spell to modify a spell, you can cast that spell as a free action if it is cast before the beginning of your next turn.

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Author Interview: Chris Willrich, Part Two

The Scroll of Years

Do you remember when you first came up with Gaunt and Bone?

I was writing longhand in a coffee place in Menlo Park, California, in the ’90s. I was doing the second of a planned series of stories in a dreamlike fantasy world, taking cues from Dunsany, Lovecraft, and Leiber. (The first one, “The Lions of Karthagar,” eventually appeared in revised form in Black Gate 15.) I wanted a classic Dungeons & Dragons style thief, and played around with names resembling Indiana Jones and Inigo Montoya, coming up with Imago Bone. The inspirations suggested a lot about his character. Next, I needed a reason for him to do something dangerous, so along came his “Goth” girlfriend and her stolen book of poems. Her name, Persimmon Gaunt, was meant to suggest a love of life and a fascination with death. They clicked with me, and when I went on to do a third story in that sequence, they ended up answering the “want ad.” So, I just ran with that and wrote more stories about them.

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Author Interview: Chris Willrich, Part One

The Scroll of Years

Chris, you have spent time as a librarian, a job that most people think would be great for an author. Is that true or false and why?

True, especially if your job covers fiction. It helps keep you aware of what’s been written, what’s popular, what people enjoy about certain writers and genres, and what the possibilities are. Meanwhile nonfiction books can spark all kinds of ideas. I mostly handled children’s books and programs, and even though I’m not currently writing for children, there’s a lot of fantasy and science fiction being written for kids. I found all that exuberant storytelling inspiring. One word of caution if you’re interested in public libraries, though—it’s not necessarily a “quiet” job from the librarian’s perspective! There’s a big customer service component. You need to be able to talk to people, and listen, and be patient.

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Home-Brewed Hyborian Adventure

Hugh Rankin - Beyond the Black River II“Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars…” —Robert E. Howard, “The Phoenix on the Sword”

Well met, intrepid reader! If you’ve seen my other work for Kobold Press, there’s no hiding the fact that Weird Tales and the writing of Robert E. Howard have been a huge influence on my lifetime of gaming. So, I wanted to honor Howard by briefly studying the most cohesive world he ever built—the world of Conan the Barbarian.

Howard termed Conan’s time “The Hyborian Age.” And its place was the prehistoric realms of Hyboria and the outlying “savage” lands. The map of the Hyborian Age isn’t too dissimilar from what we imagine the pre-cataclysmic continent of a unified Europe/Asia/Africa to look like. It’s a time of young civilizations and forgotten kingdoms—a time of high adventure! Thus, the Hyborian Age becomes one of the best playgrounds imaginable when it comes to tabletop roleplaying. There have been many notable adaptations throughout the years of the Conan mythology for pen and paper RPGs. And the Cimmerian’s influence is no stranger to the core concepts of D&D itself—heroic adventure in the face of thrilling adversities, among them.

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