Kobolds are mean, tricky little runts who love to use traps to take down adventurers. 1
Small Natural Humanoid Reptile
The Mortal World - Cave Dwellers and Burrowers
Common Power Tier
Small - 3'
Common Culture or TraitsEdit
Kobolds build their lairs to help repel attackers. They love small, cramped spaces that force their enemies to split up or stumble directly into the traps they set. 1
Common Kobold tacticsEdit
- Narrow Passages & Wide Rooms: Kobolds like 5-foot-wide corridors because they force intruders to bunch up and make it hard to avoid traps. On the other hand, wide rooms allow the more numerous kobolds to surround characters.
- Aim High: Kobolds prefer to build traps that they can ignore, such as scything blades that whistle harmless over a Small creature’s head, but impale Medium or larger foes. Kobolds don’t build all their traps this way, as they are useless against gnomes and halflings, but they prefer them in cramped areas or places where the kobolds expect to stand and fight.
- Secret Doors: Kobolds love secret doors, especially ones in odd places. They don’t mind crawling through hidden passages, and they like building entrances and exits in the ceiling or at the base or top of a wall.
- Small Doors: A door sized for a Small creature slows down bigger foes, as do gates with bars far enough apart for Small creatures to move through, but too narrow for bigger ones.
- Delayed Traps: Many kobold trapsmiths build snares with a safety switch. Until the switch is pulled, the trap remains deactivated. Kobolds like to use spy holes to watch a party move through a room, then activate the traps behind them. When the characters move through the “safe” area, the traps activate.
- Arrow Slits: Kobolds like nothing more than a one-sided fight. They sow their lairs with holes through which they can fire arrows or crossbow bolts from the safety of the opposite side of a wall.
- Escape Routes: Kobolds live by the maxim that an embarrassing retreat is better than a noble death. They riddle their lairs with secret passages for quick escapes, and it is the rare kobold chief who doesn’t have a well-rehearsed escape plan handy.
- Secrecy is a Shield: In dungeon environments where kobolds must compete with bigger monsters, they prefer to keep the exact location of their lair secret. Kobolds prefer to protect important rooms in their complexes with secret doors, trapdoors, and other hidden passages. When faced with a tough foe, they hide rather than fight.
- Ambush: Kobolds surprise attack whenever possible. They like to leave distractions that lure the unwary into traps and ambushes, like small piles of coins, shiny rocks and gems, or weird statues and other features.
- Guerilla Tactics: Fight, run, and fight some more are the basic principles of kobold tactics. Kobolds hate decisive, drag-out brawls. Instead, they nip away at the foe and fight to the death only when cornered. 1
Kobold Society - RanksEdit
Occasionally, a kobold is born who grows to an astounding height for his folk. These specimens invariably become chieftains, combining a kobold’s low cunning with the strength and toughness of a dwarf. In combat, a chieftain fights dirty. He makes low blows and does whatever it takes to win. Chieftains lead from the front, but are never shy about retreating when things get tough. 1
Kobold Wild Mage
Kobold wild mages practice a dangerous, rudimentary form of arcane magic taught to them in ages past by their dragon masters. The kobolds received incomplete training, and their dangerous, arcane techniques still survive to this day. While kobolds can and do train as wizards, warlocks, and other casters, some kobolds see the use of wild magic as a badge of honor. The risks they take, and the power they wield, draw the respect of the tribe.In battle, wild mages surge with arcane power. It rumbles just beneath their skin, and sometimes manifests as belches of fire from their mouths, miniature lighting strokes from their eyes, or a patina of frost beneath their feat. They are jumpy, easily startled, and prone to stuttering, mild seizures, and random muscle spasms. 1
Pikers are the biggest and dumbest kobolds, the ones willing to man the front line against an invading force. While pikers are dull for their kind, they still possess the low cunning typical of all kobolds. 1
Kobold spikers are expert trapsmiths and tinkerers. They help construct the snares, deadfalls, and othertraps that ring a kobold lair, and in combat they use foot spikes—small, improvised traps, to force their enemies into their traps or block a foe’s advance.Spikers are so named for the foot spikes theycarry, wood and stone caltrops that shatter when a creature steps on them. Spikers scatter these onthe floor before an advancing enemy before dodging back behind a line of waiting pikers. The foot spikes force an enemy to make a difficult choice, either risk a hobbling attack from the spikes or gamble on whether the open path through the spikes is riddled with traps. 1
Kobold Vermin Handler
A kobold vermin handler tends to the tribes insect pets and herd animals. Some kobold tribes raise beetles, spiders, and scorpions as food. The vermin handlers provide these vermin with food, take care of their nests, and harvest them to feed the tribe.The vermin handlers spend almost all their time with their charges. While other creatures would face a multitude of poisonous bites from these creatures, vermin handlers can handle them with ease. When the tribe faces a threat, the vermin handlers gather the most poisonous of their charges, load them into rickety, wooden cages, and rush to the front lines of the battle. In combat, the vermin handlers hurl these cages at their enemies. The cage splinters on impact, covering the target in a small swarm of angry, biting insects.After throwing their cages, the handlers fall back to fire their slings. They have excellent aim as they practice by shooting fleeing insects out of the air, allowing them to land deadly shots. 1
Kobold Rat Master
The rat master is one of the most respected and powerful kobolds within a clan. Many tribes keep dire rats as a combination of war beasts, pack animals, and food source. The strongest rats fight alongside the clan, while the weakest and sickliest are destined for the butcher’s chopping block.Rat masters are continually surround by a swarm of small, ferocious rats. These vermin crawl over the rat master and attack the master’s enemies. They are a sea of gnawing teeth around the master, devouring his enemies at his command. 1
War priests lead the faithful into battle. They advise kobold chieftains, sometimes even rising to that position themselves. 1
- Dragon 364 (Wizards of The Coast - 2008) - Creature Incarnations: Kobolds By: Mike Mearls