Kobold Press

Book Review: Covenant’s End by Ari Marmell

Covenant's EndWiddershins is a renowned thief who has her own personal god named Olgun. Olgun lives inside Widdershins (or Shins, as she is known by her friends). He lends Shins portions of his limited powers, and these loans allow her to perform tasks that would be far beyond a mundane person. Shins has decided to return to her home city after spending an adventure-filled year away. They say you can never go home, and, sadly for Shins, this is true. Not only must she find a way to make amends with her friends, but also it turns out that her nemesis Lisette is back in town and she brought some heavies with her—the kinds of heavies that have the ability to cause supernatural harm. To top all this off, something strange has put the city into a siege mentality. Now Shins and Olgun must mend fences, face Lisette, and figure out what plagues Shin’s hometown.

Ari Marmell and the iconic Widdershins are back, and they are both at the top of their games. Marmell had me from the first novel of his that I ever read. I had used several of the products he wrote for Dungeons & Dragons, but it was from his novels that I finally learned how talented he really is. No, he is not the second coming, but he is a damn good author. Widdershins as a character really is proof of Marmell’s depth of talent.

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Collection of Curiosities: Inside the Bird

Dire TurkeyIt might seem a tad ludicrous to have anything other than stuffing inside your chosen feast bird, but you never really know what will happen at that next gathering the adventurers attend. Happy feasting (and Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating it)!

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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Collection of Curiosities: The Boiling Pot

Rise Turkeys, Rise!As many of us consider tomorrow’s feast here in the United States, it might also be fun to consider what you might find in that pot that’s boiling in the kitchen of whatever edifice the adventurers are within. 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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Building a Better Nemesis

Holmes and Moriarty struggle at the Reichenbach Falls; drawing by Sidney Paget“Wits and swords are as straws against the wisdom of the Darkness…”

—Robert E. Howard, “The Phoenix on the Sword”

When it comes to roleplaying games (as with any engaging drama), conflict is king. An adventurer is nothing without the mountain impeding his path. And since the earliest days of D&D, the eponymous dungeons have been populated by creatures more foul than fair. From the lowliest dretch to the most legendary dragon, RPG enemies often derive their motivations from their ecologies. These ecologies are essentially the sandboxes our heroes are caught playing in from quest to quest. But things can get really interesting when intelligent adversaries enter the fray and endure throughout the ongoing narrative of your game.

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