Review – Adventures from the Potbellied Kobold: 15 Adventures for 5e

Adventures from the Potbellied Kobold is a collection of 15 one-shots by some of the best writers around. The whole project is released by the one and only Jeff Stevens, with contributions from more than 30 people for writing, cartography, and art.

Let’s take a look at the content. first of all, we have of course the adventures themselves. They range from level 2 to 9, with the recommended group size being 4 or 5 people, but always with options to adjust the difficulty, There is a wide variety in terms of theme; you have investigations, some horror, a bit of mystery, and of course you always get to talk, fight, explore, et cetera on every one of them.

You can play these adventures as regular one-shots, however, they can also be played as a cohesive campaign, centered around the “Potbellied Kobold” and her wagon. The kobold is in fact a gnome wizard, cursed into this form and restricted to her little wagon by a rival mage – and every little quest the party does for her gets her closer to reverting the curse, while still helping out people in need of some creative problem solving (or methodical application of violence, as we all know players often resort to that solution). besides her role as a quest-giver, the kobold (real name Krisalee Tingletoe) can also act as a merchant with magic items, a source of information, and even as a place where the party can rest and hang around. The background story also makes it quite easy to connect her with almost any one-shot adventure you want to run or give hooks for other campaigns.

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Each adventure is presented in mostly the same fashion. We begin with a quick synopsis of the plot. We are then given some background for the area the party will find themselves in, including recent as well as old history, and a plot hook. Then the meat of the adventure follows, with details for each area or chapter, depending on how it’s organized. Finally, we get a conclusion to help with tying things up. Simple and effective.

Besides the adventures, there is some extra stuff included. Since several creatures used are not found in the Monster manual, an appendix contains their statblocks; this includes several monsters by Kobold Press. There are of course NPC statblocks for the connecting story if you choose to run this as a full campaign – and finally, there are also some new and very interesting character backgrounds, such as Barber and Butcher. Their theme is essentially “small town professions”, and I’m sure a lot of players will find them very fun and a good fit for their character.

Moving on, I want to make a special mention of the art in this supplement. It is absolutely amazing; every character portrait perfectly showcases their personality, the monsters look dangerous and scary, the puzzles are easy to understand while still… puzzling, and the maps are all very well made.

While this review might seem short for this 170+ page behemoth, I feel that with a project of this scale with the names attached, you know it’s a quality product, and this definitely didn’t disappoint. Adventures from the Potbellied Kobold is a fantastic collection and I wholeheartedly suggest it. Plus, it also comes in physical form in both soft- and hardcover form!

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