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Review: Kobold Guide to Roleplaying

By Shadomain Staff

Kobold Guide to Roleplaying is the latest in Kobold Press’s Kobold Guide series covering many topics in the RPG space. This book contains 21 essays about roleplaying from well known creatives across the gaming community, such as Gail Simone, Luke Hart, Shanna Germain, Mike Shea, Luke Gygax, Keith Ammann, Bob “Worldbuilder” and B. Dave Walters. The book offers help and suggestions for game masters and players to add depth to their character portrayals.

Kobold Guide to Roleplaying


The book’s emphasis is on roleplaying obviously, but there’s no agreed on definition of what that means. Instead most of the authors tell or show you their own ideas of what it means, and why it’s important. This is an important theme to the book: there are many ways to roleplay, and all are valid. 

Gail Simone

Noted comics author Gail Simone’s essay harkens back to playing at being superheroes as a child. She keys on a single idea - as children we loved this, and it was key to nearly everything we did to have fun. That’s why it’s the key to enjoying roleplaying games.

Ginny Di

RPG YouTube personality Ginny Di’s essay is a focused look at how players can roleplay characters with low and high charisma scores. At the core here is that we don’t expect players to have to lift weights in order to play a strong character, so we shouldn’t expect more reserved people to have to play an over the top charismatic type. But there’s also discussion of what charisma can mean, and how a high charisma score could be portrayed in different ways.

Erin Roberts

Game and story writer Erin Roberts notes the similarities between playing RPGs and singing Karaoke. The essay lists and explains several techniques for stronger roleplay, and the essay ends up being very supportive and encouraging. 

Shanna Germain

Author and game designer Shanna Germain’s essay focuses on using connections between player characters to improve roleplaying. This is another encouraging message as it suggests that a single player can use help from other players to grow in roleplaying their own character.

In Conclusion

There are too many essays here to give you a synopsis on each one, but that’s all the more reason that I’d encourage you to check this book out for yourself. Besides the essays mentioned above there are works by Luke Gygax, B. Dave Walters, Keith Ammann and Michael Shea. all are strong pieces worth a good read. Throughout the encouraging messages is one central theme: there’s no one way to roleplay, so there certainly can’t be only one correct way to do it. Have fun!

What do you think? Have you read this book yet? What was your favorite in this line of books from Kobold Press? Let us know in the comments!