Kobolds are small, reptilian humanoids rarely standing more than one yard in height. They have the same evolutionary origin as dragons, as evidenced by the small, vestigial wing bones found next to the shoulders within their skeletons. In rare individuals, these can be pronounced enough to manifest outside the bodies, connected with small flaps of skin to the shoulders. There are rumors of throwbacks with wings large enough for gliding, or even entire tribes of winged kobolds.
Kobolds are generally regarded as pests, and they have not been observed to form communities larger than small tribes. Possibly due to strong predation by dragons in prehistoric times, they tend to display agoraphobic tendencies and prefer to remain in underground dwellings during the day, only emerging at night. They are the most comfortable in warm and humid climates. In northern regions, they tend to hide near buildings with good heating, such as factories, laundries, and similar locales. At night, they leave their nests and spread out to scavenge in the surrounding areas, making sure with traps and hidden tunnels that exterminators cannot find their hideouts.
Ecology[edit | edit source]
Kobolds are omnivores with no scruples about what, or who, they eat. They can digest bark, dirt, leather, eggshells, even their younger siblings, if they're desperate enough.
Kobolds are extremely fecund egg-layers, having the highest birth rate (and death rate) of all humanoid species. A fertilized female kobold lays her clutch of hard-shelled eggs after two weeks, which must be incubated for an additional 60 days before they hatch. Kobolds reach maturity at about eight, or nine years and are considered "great wyrms" by the age of 121 years. They have been known to live up to 135 years. While they do bond with one another, they have no concept of monogamy.
Kobolds have an extreme hatred for gnomes -- with whom they compete for the same areas and mining rights -- as well as pixies, brownies and sprites. They are often at war with goblins, and the numerous kobold-goblin wars help to keep the populations of both races down to a manageable level. Xvarts often act as intermediaries between kobolds and goblins. Xvarts usually dominate kobolds and take out their aggression upon them.
Kobolds have been known to sell some of their captives as slaves, if there is a nearby market for them.
Environment[edit | edit source]
Kobolds are to be found in all climates. Being cold-blooded creatures, however, they are required to eat up to three times as much when in colder climes. They seem to prefer dark, damp, underground lairs and/or overgrown forests. They are industrious miners and, if left to their own devices, can carve out massive tunnel complexes, which they rapidly fill with their progeny, due to their rapid rate of reproduction (which would explain their use as cannon fodder).
Many kobold lairs are guarded by boars, or giant weasels. Their lair's location continually fluctuates since new tunnels are continuously being excavated, as old ones collapse. Most lairs include a temple, or shrine, a kiln, an egg hatchery, and larder (a place for storing food). Larger lairs also contain places for cultivating food and livestock.
Typical physical characteristics[edit | edit source]
Kobolds stand a little over 2' tall, with scaly, hairless hides, reptilian heads and tails, and weigh approximately 40 pounds. Males are, on average, about three inches taller and ten pounds heavier than the females. Kobold hides are typically rust-brown to reddish black in color, with ivory-colored horns. Their heads have been described as doglike, but in more recent gaming supplements they are illustrated as looking more more draconic, similar to a crocodile in appearance. The eyes glow red, and they can see accurately up to 60 feet away in a lightless environment. The odor given off by kobolds has been described as a cross between damp dogs and stagnant water.
Unlike their dragon cousins, kobolds are cold-blooded. The scales covering their bodies have a texture like that of an iguana, or other large lizard. The scales covering their tails are very fine and hairless, resembling those of rats. Kobolds lose and gain new teeth throughout their lives. They often save their lost teeth, making necklaces from them. Kobolds favor raggedy-looking red or orange clothing, often made from leather, or the silk of giant spiders. They never wear shoes, but they very are fond of jewelry and other ornamentation.
Kobolds shed their skin once a season. The skin comes off in patches, during the course of a week. They tend to keep themselves well-groomed, regularly polishing their horns, claws, and teeth.
Mining[edit | edit source]
Kobolds often create their lairs by mining them from the rock. Mining is a meticulously planned and conducted process and nothing is left to chance. Divination magic is used to locate ore and mineral deposits. A high proportion of a kobold tribe are miners. Each family group is expected to cut its own room, the walls of which they will adorn with a pictorial history of the family.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The greatest art for kobolds is trapmaking. The use of invention and cunning in traps is the mark of a good trapmaker. The other art form is the pictorial representation of the tribe's history, created on the walls of a specially created room in every lair. Kobolds enjoy making jewelery from the gems and precious metals they encounter while mining. They can be possessive about their personal jewelery collections, and much effort is put into crafting beautiful jewelery, unlike other items, which are functional more than aesthetically pleasing.
Kobolds also use dire weasels as mounts. Kobolds generally get along with Viss'Takh.
Kobold society is influenced by their lawful evil alignment. They will industriously plan and dig mines, while at the same time laying cruel traps for any interlopers. If they must confront an enemy, they will mass their troops for an ambush. Among the monstrous humanoids, kobolds are known for their cunning plans; unlike other monsters, they also share those plans among all the tribe members. General plans and goals are common knowledge, and detailed plans are shared with all tribal members who ask, this allows all to work fruitfully for the good of the entire tribe. Kobolds have a natural hatred of other non-draconic creatures, because of the historical mistreatment of their race.
Kobolds do have specialized laborers, yet the majority of kobolds are miners. The most coveted careers are trapmaker, sorcerer, caretaker, and warrior. Kobolds typically apprentice in their chosen profession at the age of three. A kobold's job may change over the years, based upon the specific needs of the tribe. Kobold tribes are gerontocracies, ruled by their eldest member. This kobold leader is known and called by the title of "the All-Watcher." Oft-times this leader is a powerful sorcerer. Kobold laws may change along with their leaders. Kobolds prefer exile to execution as punishment and, in some disputes, kobolds tribes will split in order to spread their kind over a larger region. Kobolds often lay eggs in a common nest, with specialized foster parents to watch over the eggs and wyrmlings (young under one year).
Kobold society is tribal, with war bands based on clans. As many as ten families can be part of a clan. Each clan is responsible for patrolling a ten-mile radius. The most numerous kobold tribes include the Torturers, the Impalers, the Gougers, the Cripplers, and the Mutilators.
Religion[edit | edit source]
The primary deity to be worshipped by kobolds is Kurtulmak, the god of War and Mining. Another god receiving considerable worshipped by kobolds is Gaknulak, the god of Protection, Stealth, Trickery, and Traps. A lesser-known kobold deity is the demigod Dakarnok. Individual kobolds and even entire kobold tribes may worship other deities of the draconic pantheon; Tiamat and Io often play a significant role in kobold creation myths. Kobolds and gnomes have an instinctual hate of each other because of a "prank" played upon Kurtulmak by the gnomish deity Garl Glittergold. According to some kobold myths, Garl collapsed Kurtulmak's cave because the gnome god saw that they were likely to become the dominant race in the world. The draconic god Io offered Kurtulmak the chance to become the god of his race, or to give him the strength to clear the mine. Kurtulmak chose to lead his race in the form of a god. The gnomes, naturally, have their own version of the myth which casts their god in a considerably better light.
Clerics of Kurtulmak are known as the Eyes of Kurtulmak. They rarely live long enough to become chieftains, but they have a great deal of power and influence, serving as mine supervisors and directing the tribe toward "divinely inspired" goals. Organized religious services are almost nonexistent, but most kobolds do recite small prayers throughout the day.
Many kobolds believe in reincarnation, which Kurtulmak may use as either a reward or a punishment, depending on one's service to one's tribe. One of the duties of a cleric is to watch over the tribe's eggs and hatchlings, which are thought to be reincarnations of distinguished kobolds.
Also, Naraldixa the goddess of dark waters and secrets.
Kobolds speak a version of the Draconic tongue, with a yipping accent (their voices are said to resemble the sound of small dogs barking). Some also learn to speak Common, Goblin, Orcish, and Undercommon.
The written form of Draconic was originally developed by kobolds in the service of dragons, as dragons themselves see little reason to write (and often have no fingers and thumbs to write with).
More[edit | edit source]
Kobolds are reptilian humanoids that embrace hard work as the inescapable standard of their daily lives. They exist to facilitate the mining operations that inevitably sustain their lair without devoting a thought to personal ambition or desire. Workers that challenge this time-honored fate rebel by excelling in all aspects of kobold life rather than simply specializing in one profession. These are the kobold paragons of a tribe, willfully motivated athletes of productivity.
Adventures: Kobold paragons are not unlike dragons in their pursuit of treasure. Kobold paragons are a little more discerning, however, in that they value singular items of power more than hordes of gold. They will even travel farther away from their lair than most other kobolds, seeking magical jewelry above all else. As natural sorcerers, kobold paragons are more than equipped to handle monstrous encounters, shoring up their physical weaknesses with arcane might.
Characteristics: Kobold paragons are equal part creative intuition and strategic warrior. When kobold paragons spearhead a plan, they do so with remarkable forethought, whether designing a trap, laying out a mine, or looking for the weaknesses of a hated opponent. When there is no time to prepare for a fight, kobold paragons will maneuver themselves into a narrow space and unleash their ferocity on larger opponents without backing down.
Alignment: Kobold paragons constantly wrestle with their tribal instincts of loyalty in order to more clearly make decisions as individuals (a concept largely foreign to kobold culture). As such, while kobolds are normally lawful evil, kobold paragons are not bound by this cultural disposition. Still, despite their best efforts at morality, even good-aligned kobold paragons cannot stop themselves from devising painfully sadistic traps in their spare time.
Religion: Kobold paragons generally rationalize their actions in the name of Kurtulmak, who suffered greatly at the hands of Garl Glittergold, or embrace Io, who follows a more open-minded and less racially charged path. With Kurtulmak, kobold paragons are polarized against every other race. With Io, kobolds seek objectivity as an ideal, allowing them to socialize more with other races. A kobold paragon can also express their piety through devoted service to their lair.
Background: A kobold paragon attains their position by excelling in every field of kobold expertise. Where most lair-bound kobolds are directed into one profession, kobold paragons must become equally skilled at sorcery, trapfinding, and trapmaking. This kind of behavior is usually discouraged, as tribal leaders prefer the kobolds of their lair to be obedient, specialized workers. A kobold paragon must therefore work four times as hard to attain their distinction.
Races: Kobolds despise gnomes, distrust dwarves and fey, and generally hold every other race in contempt. Kobold paragons are different in that they can suspend their racial antipathy to gather information about enemies, rather than automatically attacking their foes. Feeling isolated in the world, kobolds are outwardly defensive towards other creatures. These feelings can diminish as kobold paragons spend more time with other humanoids.
Other Classes: Kobold paragons relate to rogues and sorcerers more readily than any other classes, as they share the most in common with their trapmaking and spellcasting abilities. Kobold paragons tend to be more alert and productive around clerics, being accustomed to such figures in positions of authority. Kobold paragons regard the melee classes with due respect because they usually lack the strength to become effective fighters.
Game Rule Information
Kobold paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Charisma determines the effectiveness of a kobold paragon's spellcasting ability and is useful when attempting deceptions and collecting information. Dexterity is always an asset to kobold paragons, increasing their accuracy when making ranged attacks and aiding them in melee combat (after taking the Weapon Finesse feat). Constitution makes kobold paragons better able to withstand the physical dangers of adventuring.
Alignment: Any, although predominantly lawful and evil.
Hit Die: d6.
The kobold paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Hit Dice: 4 + Int modifier.
Table: The Kobold Paragon Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day 1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Manual expertise, tunnel defense — 2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Improved darkvision (+30 ft.), no light sensitivity +1 level of sorcerer 3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Ability boost (Cha +2) +1 level of sorcerer Class Features
The following are class features of the kobold paragon class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The kobold paragon is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the heavy pick and light pick. Kobold paragons are also proficient with light armor. Kobold paragons treat the dire pick (1) as a martial weapon that can be wielded two-handed as a simple weapon and may treat greatpicks (see Kobolds: Playing to Their Strengths) as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Spells per Day: At 2nd and 3rd-level, a kobold paragon gains new spells per day and spells known as if the character had also gained a level in sorcerer. The kobold paragon does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (familiar abilities, and so on). This essentially means that the character adds the level of kobold paragon to their level in sorcerer, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.
If a kobold paragon has no levels in sorcerer, this class feature has no effect.
Manual Expertise (Ex): A kobold paragon may add their class level as a racial bonus on Craft (trapmaking), Profession (mining), and Search checks.
Tunnel Defense (Ex): At 1st level, a kobold paragon uses confined spaces to their advantage in melee combat. A kobold paragon is treated as a Medium opponent when using or resisting any special attack (for example, bull rush, disarm, grapple) but only when fighting in a location no wider than their combat space (5-ft. wide). In addition, a kobold paragon retains their Dexterity bonus to AC even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker in these confined conditions.
If a kobold paragon has uncanny dodge from a different class, the character automatically gains the benefits of improved uncanny dodge, but only when fighting in confined conditions (as above).
Improved Darkvision (Ex): At 2nd level, a kobold paragon’s darkvision range increases by 30 feet.
No Light Sensitivity: At 2nd level, a kobold paragon loses their race's light sensitivity.
Ability Boost (Ex): At 3rd level, a kobold paragon's Charisma score increases by 2 points.
From: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060127a Variant Kobold Racial Traits
Natural Weapons: Kobolds have two primary claw attacks that deal 1d3 points of slashing damage plus Strength bonus, and a secondary bite attack that deals 1d3 points of piercing damage plus 1/2 Strength bonus. Despite possibly being the weakest reptilian humanoid, kobolds retain a connection to their feral nature.
Slight Build: The physical stature of kobolds lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category smaller. Whenever a kobold is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as Hide), the kobold is treated as one size smaller if doing so is advantageous to the character. A kobold is also considered to be one size smaller when "squeezing" through a restrictive space. A kobold can use weapons designed for a creature one size smaller without penalty. However, the space and reach of a kobold remain those of a creature of their actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject's size category.
Weapon Proficiency: Kobolds receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the heavy pick and light pick as bonus feats. Kobolds are born and bred miners, regardless of their actual profession, allowing them to easily wield these weapons.
Weapon Familiarity: Kobolds may treat greatpicks (see below) as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Leave it to kobolds to get the most from any weapon. If there's a slight advantage to be gained from a tool, whether mining or attacking from great distances, kobolds will exploit that improvement.
Exotic Weapons Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Increment Weight(1) Type Two-Handed Weapons Greatpick 15 gp 1d8 1d10 x4 — 15 lb. Piercing
In the same way that every core race has a self-named domain from which to choose (see Appendix of the Spell Compendium), so now do kobolds.
Granted Power: You can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. You can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A cleric with the Kobold domain who beats a trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with their party) without disarming it.
Add Disable Device and Search to your list of cleric class skills.
Kobold Domain Spells
1 Create Trap (1): Creates a CR 1 trap. 2 Gnome Blight (1): Cloud of itchy debilitating pollen sickens living creatures. 3 Fire Trap(M): Opened object deals 1d4 damage +1/level. 4 Stone Sphere (2): 5-ft. diameter stone sphere rolls over your enemies. 5 Transmute Rock to Mud: Transforms two 10-ft. cubes per level. 6 Contingency(F): Sets trigger condition for another spell. 7 Ironguard(F) (2): Subject becomes immune to all metal. 8 Maze: Traps subject in extradimensional maze. 9 Transmute Rock to Lava (2): Transforms one 10-ft. cube with subsequent fire damage and effects.
(1) Races of the Dragon (2) Spell Compendium