Kobold Press

Real Steel: Fantasy Metals

IridiumRecently, Wolfgang and I were exchanging emails, chasing down a few ideas for some Real Steel. One of the things we discussed was fantasy metals, and then he said this: “Or maybe elven chain is really titanium?”

This is something I’ve often thought about, so I knew right away fantasy metals were going to find their way into Real Steel.

Could Mithril be Titanium?

Let’s start by talking about titanium. A question that is often asked at bladesmithing events, and usually by those with a new interest in the craft, is “why not make knives/swords/blades out of titanium, since it’s better than steel?”

The question is always answered by an accomplished smith with a solid background in blade metallurgy and/or blade history, and always goes something like this:

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Larger than Life: Hill Giants Now Available


Nomad and Raiders!

Hill giants don’t make world-dominating plans, but that makes them no less terrifying to their victims. Concerned mainly with finding food and shelter, these giants quickly consume all the game in their territory and start wandering into human settlements looking for easy prey—or enter service as shock troops for dragons and other, cleverer giants.

Larger Than Life: Hill Giants is a new 15-page PDF from RPG Superstar Mike Welham with plenty of material for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GMs who want to bring giants into their game, including:
• 16 new racial feats including Force Submission, Knockdown Strike, and Lift and Smash.
• New hill giant gear including dung boulder, flexhide and liquid bravado
• New spells, weapon special ability and magic items
• Hill giant adventure seeds and a CR 11 NPC, the mastodon-riding Hirga Treesmasher
• An extensive overview of hill giant society, customs, religion and relations with other races

Give your players a titanic new challenge with Larger Than Life: Hill Giants today at Paizo and at DriveThruRPG!

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Howling Tower: It’s All About Teamwork

Gustave Doré’s illustration of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”, 1868.A group of RPG characters is like a U. S. Army Green Beret team or a Navy SEAL team. Every member of the squad has a specialty, and for the group to succeed, everyone needs to be on the job. That means cooperating with teammates and sticking to the plan when the world, in the guise of the GM, throws its full weight against the heroes and tries to cast them down in defeat.

The story (the adventure) has a villain, and he wants to win. His goal is not to provide the heroes with a heady challenge that fills their lives with excitement before they inevitably triumph over the villain’s ambition. That outcome is the exact opposite of the villain’s goal (unless your GM adheres to the idea that villains should have fatal personality flaws like those outlined in this i09 article on the 12 biggest blunders evil wizards make. A worthy villain will do everything in his power to prevent that outcome.

This doesn’t mean the GM is out to screw the players, but it does mean the challenges characters face won’t be easy. No one should expect to be allowed to skate through “for the sake of fun.” Before it’s all done, you should expect to be in a no-holds-barred fight to the death—meaning that if you lose, you die. In a situation like that, what could possibly be your motivation for working at cross-purposes to the team?

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Monarch of the Monsters 5: Let the Public Voting Begin!

Monarch of the MonstersIn the course of the Monarch of the Monsters 5 contest, we had a huge number of entries from many monster designers out there. Now you, the voting public, can pick which one you want to see win the Monarch of the Monsters 5 contest!

Please familiarize yourself (possibly again) with the sixfinalists, then proceed to the poll.

Living Wicks by Ben Wertz
Fext by Dave Olson
Chronalmental by David Gibson
Xanka by Jeremy Hochhalter
Skein Witch by Sersa Victory
Spire Walker by James L. Crawford

Which monster would you like to see win the Monarch of the Monsters 5 contest?

  • Xanka by Jeremy Hochhalter (33%, 218 Votes)
  • Skein Witch by Sersa Victory (22%, 145 Votes)
  • Living Wicks by Ben Wertz (17%, 112 Votes)
  • Chronalmental by David Gibson (13%, 89 Votes)
  • Fext by Dave Olson (7%, 48 Votes)
  • Spire Walker by James L. Crawford (7%, 48 Votes)

Total Voters: 660

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So many thanks go to those who submitted such interesting and creative monsters, plus our intrepid judges — Wolfgang Baur, Rich Howard, and Steve Winter — were amazingly awesome for spending time with each of these creatures and evaluating them. So, please take a moment to thank them, too. Now, it’s your turn to make this contest a fun and wonderful thing: Vote! And thanks in advance for doing so!

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