Kobold Press, also known as Open Design, is an American game company that produces role-playing games and game supplements.
Wolfgang Baur launched Open Design in 2006. Open Design funded projects using a crowdfunding model dubbed "patronage," with the resulting products available exclusively to backers through PDF releases and limited print runs. The first product published by Open Design was Steam & Brass (2006), a steampunk-themed adventure module using the d20 System. Steam & Brass was also the first product set in Baur's setting of Zobeck, later known as Midgard.
In 2007, Baur launched Kobold Quarterly through Open Design, which filled in the gap in the role-playing industry left by the end of Paizo Publishing's run on the magazines Dragon and Dungeon. Unlike previous projects from the company, Kobold Quarterly was available to the public. Kobold Quarterly ran for 23 issues, with the final issue produced in October 2012.
Open Design began to shift away from a focus on the "patronage" model in 2008, releasing titles such as the Zobeck Gazetteer (2008) to the public, and began publishing products entirely outside the "patronage" model in 2011, including a series of game design guidebooks. In 2012, Open Design began producing books under the imprint "Kobold Press"; by the end of the year, the company had ceased publishing as Open Design and exclusively published products as Kobold Press.
In 2014, Wizards of the Coast commissioned Kobold Press to create the two adventures for the initial Tyranny of Dragons storyline for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Hoard of the Dragon Queen (2014) and The Rise of Tiamat (2014).
Games and products
As Open Design, the company's products included the magazine Kobold Quarterly; a line of game design guidebooks, such as The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design (2011) and The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design (2012); and a number of "patronage"-funded adventures and sourcebooks, many of which were set in the Midgard setting.
As Kobold Press, the company continues to produce game design guides and material for the Midgard setting, and has moved to Kickstarter to fund additional projects. These projects include Deep Magic, Southlands, and the Advanced Races Compendium, all compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As of 2019 Kobold Press has ported many of the Midgard projects over to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition as well.
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- Helton, Christopher (2 June 2014). "Talking D&D's Tyranny Of Dragons With Wolfgang Baur And Steve Winter". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Grabianowski, Ed (14 June 2013). "Deep Magic brings exotic spells and wizard schools to your RPG". io9. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Grabianowski, Ed (8 October 2014). "Crowdfund These Games: Kaiju, Castles, Glorantha, Southlands and More". io9. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Shearer, Stew (28 April 2015). "Kobold Press Aims to Expand Pathfinder With Advanced Races Compendium". The Escapist. Retrieved 6 August 2015.