Kobolds are the ninth entry in the humanoids as monsters series. Kobolds are the last installment in the “Dark Pack.” Like Orcs, Lizardfolk, and Goblins, they are predominantly evil. Kobolds are vicious and merciless, but they are generally good to each other. Highly organized and united, Kobolds are feral primarily due to their vulnerability. They frequently find themselves prey to larger animals and evil humanoids.
Unlike Lizardfolk, Kobolds are perfectly happy to live in any climate. To keep themselves safe from large predators, Kobolds frequently live in caves or in tree houses, but in the absence of such predators, they are happy to live on the ground in the open. Though primitive, Kobolds have a fierce loyalty to their race. Protection of their community is their primary concern and they are highly unified in this goal. They are distrustful of outsiders and often react violently to intrusions they think they can fight.
Kobolds will often negotiate territory with neighboring races if they see they are outmatched. Their tendency to demand meets be held on their own land, or that they send a full war party to accompany their diplomats, can often sour diplomacy. Attempts to enslave them on the part of other races will often meet with subservience until the Kobolds can organize a resistance.
Kobolds are anatomically like like Lizardfolk, but smaller even than Halflings in stature. They have great peripheral vision. Kobolds have amazing physical control and great balance (+6 Dexterity). They are built lean and tough (+2 Constitution and -2 Strength). They are very clever and astute and often learn better than humans, when given a chance (+1 Wisdom and +1 Intelligence). Their social expectation is loyalty and they believe in action over intention. They can therefor often come off as terse and anti-social (-2 Charisma). Like Gnomes, Dwarves, Halflings, and Goblins, Kobolds have a racial speed of 18. They Kobolds will often try to compensate for this speed by riding animals, often wolves, wild boars, small deer, and ponies. Unlike their Lizardfolk counterparts, Kobolds see that other races wear clothes, and while they have no anatomy that merits covering up, they often seek to clothe themselves as other humanoids do.
Kobolds are very good climbers, they automatically get 1 level in the ability Climb.
Kobolds tend to adopt the role that they are needed for within their community. Often, for survival, this means limiting themselves to a mere hunter or soldier. But sometimes a Kobold recognizes it’s potential to do more, perhaps become a paladin and patrol their territory on wolfback.
Fighter-Kobolds are not necessarily well suited to melee combat, but in desperation to survive and to feed themselves, they often take up bows, javelins, sword, and spears in order to hunt and defend themselves. They are not to proud to do what needs to be done, even when not well suited to it.
Monk-Kobolds have very orderly minds. They are quite good at calming themselves and focusing their minds on their problems. With sharp claws, often open handed combat suits them better than combat with a weapon and they are prone to see great advantage in the fast fighting style of the monk. Kobold communities will often have monasteries of a sort in which they train defenders and warriors for tomorrow.
Thief-Not all kobolds are stealthy. In fact, stealing within their communities is often fiercely punished. However, they are well suited to picking locks, picking pockets, and attacking by surprise. Kobold communities will sometimes use those with thieving talents as scouts. Kobolds found in foreign cultures will often resort to theft and burglary.
Assassin-Kobolds are quick to become vicious when confronted with an enemy that threatens their community. They will often resort to assassination in order to disorganize their enemies. These assassins will be drawn both from their pool of scouts and from the best of their monastery initiates, sometimes from among their soldiers. Lone kobolds will sometimes find their calling in assassination.
Paladin-Kobolds are led by powerful warriors who are not dedicated to a deity, but instead to their community. Kobold wolf-riding knights are rare and purposefully trained, often from among their monks. They are highly respected by the kobolds of their community
Rogue-Kobold thief-scouts can gain positions of respect within their communities by showing their excellence in ranged weapons. Kobold snipers and highly stealth scouts can become a great asset to the community and become respected as support for the knight-protectors.
Kobolds are highly organized and can be a great danger when underestimated. They rarely mingle with other races, but are willing to talk when they are unsure about their position of power. The kobold communities will back their heroes and champions with great courage and determination.
Kobolds make great high speed combatants. Would you play a kobold monk or rogue? How would you plan to interact with a group of them? What if they were harassing a nearby halfling community? How would you react as a player? How would you use them as a Master Weaver? Let us know in the comments below!