Kobold quirks

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I'm joining a campaign soon, where there is a shifty little kobold NPC the party rescued from a jail-cell inside of a larger kobold cave.  The party has essentially killed everything in the cave, but later came across him locked up.  The warforged (this is an eberron campaign) managed to free him from the cell, but has decided to take him along as a pet of sorts-- tied on a leash to the warforged quite comically.

Essentially, since I'm joining the campaign and need to create a PC, I'd rather play this little kobold instead of introducing something randomly.  It'd be fun.


I'm looking for places where I can read up on kobold lore and general knowledge-- so far all I have is one dragon article (Dragon 368, I think, had some stuff on them), and the Monster Manual 1 entry.  Any other suggestions?  Would there be something useful to read up on from previous editions?

I'm also looking for quirks and ways to make this character interesting, to help roleplay.  Anyone else played a kobold and have a funny story?
I once had a kobold for a 1 shot weekend game. I played a 30th level kobold assassin, I specalized him for 2 things: Bluff, and anti-ambush techniques, he was an assassin of assassins! He wielded a Sunblade Talenta sharrash and radiant armor, his best companion was the dragonborn paladin. By all appearances it looked like a mini-me of the paladin, just after initative there were five fewer minions on the board and the mini-pal nowhere to be seen. 
Haha, nice.  I bet that was a blast.
Any kobold players out there have any suggestions on quirks or ways to reoleplay a kobold to keep things interesting?  I'm looking to flesh out a character, get something to hold onto roleplay wise, and make it fun for the group.

Funny stories are encouraged.

If anyone could point me in the right direction for where to read general kobold lore, that would be great too.
Yah, I have a Kobold Monk, Meepo, in a FR campaign. He was the leader of his warren and seeked to elevate his people to a new level. So he journeyed out to explore the world, eventually being taken in by a group of Dragonborn of Io. When he returned to his people, they had expanded too far and caught the attention of the nearby human settlement. Sadly, they were deemed a menace and all were slaughtered. All that was left in the warren was a crystal ball that when illuminated shows a map. Meepo is on a pilgrimage to the great Dragon Boneyard to offer his last possession to Io. The Dragon Boneyard is the largest shrine to Io, where pilgrims from all over offer treasure to her. A couple of the party members are solely in this for the money, so when we get to the boneyard it might be a messy situation.

Some of my quirks:

I revere Dragons. Dragons are the purest form and the creators of the universe. Anything Io and Bahamut draws my respect.

I tend to gravitate towards small dark places. I sleep in backpacks and under beds at inns.

I am used to being discriminated for being a Kobold, so in town I usually choose to sneak around instead of showing my face. Sometimes I hide in one of the adventurer's packs. 

While most Kobolds are xenophobic, mine has chosen to embrace new races and be tolerant, as he wants kobolds to be treated the same.

Kobolds make noises that sound like "yark".
That is a great choice as to how to join the party, my friend. Best of luck. I totally approve. What class are you thinking about playing?

Anyway, the Pathfinder adventure "Crown of the Kobold King" has these details about the tribe of kobolds that really help you to understand who they are and how they act. For example, the shaman of the tribe is "Jekkajak, He Who Has Forgotten More Than You Or He Knows," and the king's wife is "Vreggma, Consort to Merlokrep And Only One Who Is Allowed To Nag-Nag His Greatness." They have an... interesting grasp of the common language as well.

Sadly, somehow Wizards has failed to support my two favorite monster races, being kobolds and goblins. They've put out articles on how to play pretty much everything else... but, let's be honest here, everybody wants to play a kobold!

it may seem obvious but...


it might lead you to books in your collection or someone you know, if nothing else you now have a browsing/shopping list for comic/game stores/\.

@VectorStar: It took me a while to figure out what class I wanted to play him as.  I'm currently the DM, and another player is taking over the campaign because he has an adventure idea he wants to run (and I have my semester starting after this month-- so less time to devote to planning a campaign). 

I've been running the little kobold NPC they rescued essentially as a "kobold slinger" stats, but with no weapons or items since he was found in a prison cell...

Along the way the group fought an Arbalester (animated construct ballista thing), and the kobold managed to pick up one of the ballista bolts to use as a "pointed stick".  I've been using dagger stats for them, and "pointed stick" is simply for flavor.

Essentially since he was "rescued" the group didn't trust him enough to let him go out on his own.  Naturally they tied him on a leash around his waist, which the other end is tied to the party's warforged. (300 lb warforged, 60 lb kobold).  They spent the last session tag-teaming combat while tied to each other, for comical effect-- surprisingly the little kobold has done some awesome things and the group loves him (which that session made me decide he should stick around).

Last session he was able to go back into the kobold cave and grab his "things" in storage (not entirely described-- but he put on some basic armor and grabbed a backpack-- filling it with stuff from the kobold cave's armory (the whole tribe is pretty much gone now-- the adventurers cleared it out before getting to the jail-cell).  Essentially "Tick" (a name given by the party, because he is small and annoying, but you can't easily squish him) has a rather accute form of stockholm syndrome, and now wants to be an adventurer like everyone else (read: despite being tied to a warforged for a few days, and treated like dirt-- this is the best he's ever had it!  Regular meals!  He's "respected" too!).

So far as class, I had been considering fighter or barbarian (actually, charge one round.  Next round, minor action shifty to disengage, move action further away, and then charge the same guy again: repeat-- sounds like fun).  I was also thinking perhaps he might become cursed or have been cursed, leading to arcane or divine power, like a warlock.  But I eventually settled on rogue for the little buddy.  A cunning sneak rogue, that uses various "pointed sticks" as daggers-- he gets them embued by the group's artificer. (mechanically a dagger.  Just fluff)

I start playing him as a PC in two weeks.  I'm excited, but looking to expand my kobold knowledge and add some interesting quirks to him.

@Heartsbane: Was troll response meant to troll?  Haha, still funny though-- great game.  I nostalgia'd hard.

Edit: when I say "cunning sneak rogue" I mean a rogue who started with 20 Dexterity, didn't worry about a secondary stat and raised his Constitution mostly, and only has 8 Intelligence.
Hi there!

I'm part of a group of Chaos Scar players. While our main party consists of dwarves only, we pick up adventures the dwarves can't do (due to levelling up) with an all-kobold party.

Since we have been helped by the dwarves (in one Chaos Scar adventure), we all revere Moradin. Our shaman (The Old One) can summon a ghost spirit she firmly believes to be Moradin (and so do we). So we might not be the typical band of kobolds, but anyway...

I'm playing Nurh ("ugly" according to the Draconomicon book) and his lizard companion Gix ("Claw"). Nurh is rather dim-witted and doesn't talk much more than very short expressions. He is quite typically a coward, too, and likes to stay back behind Gix in combats.
As a kobold living in the wild, Nurh has no means for gold and readily trades any of the worthless shinies for food with the kobold rogue, Charrak.
Quirky things when playing a kobold: Head and eye movement like some lizards (e.g. bearded dragons) do, be shifty, cowardly and super naive. Flee as soon as you are bloodied. Get super excited for stuff other races don't care about (Ooooohhhh, a sheep! Yummy!). Set ambushes as often as you can with creative traps that may work to catch kobolds but only the dumbest humans.
Oh, what I could suggest for your kobold (as he tries to become an adventurer) is to mimic your allies.

Use your hand like a warforged (similar to a Mr. Spock greeting) as a three-fingered hand. Walk like a warforged. Hammer your chest and call out WARFORGED RESOLVE when using second wind. I don't know whom else you have in your group, so you can check your skin to see if you develop a dwarven beard or start calling to Moradin. You could always stretch yourself during rests in order to grow taller. You could try to mimic certain player accents or expressions.

As for Tick's class, I like the barbarian idea. You want to be an adventurer and not some cowardly kobold. It's good to overestimate Tick's ability. "Don't worry, warforged! I got the dragon!".
I once ad libbed a Kobold prisoner into a game in a similar manner to yours, but he showed up halfway through the dungeon.  His name was also Meepo (though I didn't realize where it was from, guess my subconscious was at work there), and he was thoroughly convinced he was a Barbarian.  After the PCs freed him, he offered his services as a "Mighty Kobold Barbarian" to the PCs.  I would describe his rages as "Meepo lets loose a bloodthirsty scream, but doesn't seem to be hitting any harder".  I expected him to die in a fight or two, but through an insane amount of luck Meepo survived.  The PCs loved him, so I offered to make him a hireling for the rest of the campaign, and that was the day Meepo gained his first level in Barbarian.

Meepo's personality was based on Deekin from NWN.  If you have time you should find some videos of himor play the game, he's the perfect kobold adventurer as far as I'm concerned.  He refers to himself in the 3rd person, and completely idolizes the PC, calling him "Boss", and writing an epic tale of the PC and his own adventures (Deekin is a Bard).


Kobolds are by far my favorite PC race =p
I actually run a Kobold Monk named Squee Tinyfist a lot. Prolly one of my favorite characters. He was trained my his dragon master to be a guardian of his horde and taught the Style of the Winged Nimbus. Eventually he ended up running away when a band of adventures attacked the dragons liar and has been traveling from monestary to monestary ever since.

Some of my Personal Squee-isms include

*Sleeping on top of inns
Never really explained why to myself bed he refuses to sleep in beds.

*Speakin in the 3rd person and try NOT to use transitional words whenever possible
he is a kobold who's main language is Draconic, he will never learn perfect common

*Petrified of Dragons
Squee sees all dragons to be like his old master, and even if they aren't might take Squee back to his old master. (In his mind, of course)

*Keeps a dead rat in his backpack
This is more of a personal story thing for me but remember things normal people would find disgusting dont really bother a kobold as much (my reason is because it was the first creature he saw die. Innonce lost type of feel)

*Sneaks things into other peoples backpacks
Squee finds amlost everything useless even if the rest of the party doesn't so he trys and usually succeeds but things into their backpacks "For there own good"

Also remember kobolds tend to Law over Chaos (3.5 they did anyway) and always try to do things for the good of the tribe. Refer to the party as your tribe instead of your friends or group. Also as long as it isn't obseen or ridiculious try to do everything in your power that the group needs Escpecially for the big metal one (aka that Warforged your with)

Also another thing is Kobolds bodies mature extremely fast to make up for their high death rate. (Reaching physical maturity at the age of 6.) This doesn't mean necissaily that the age that fast mentally.

This almost makes me want to play a kobold.

You have about as much charm as a dead slug. - Haymitch You don't make footprints in the sands of time by sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time? I'm an eladrin feylock Special from Disrict 4 who goes to Hogwarts during the school year, Camp Half-Blood in the summer, and takes lightsaber classes on the side. Are you jealous yet?
My guys also acquired a kobold over the course of their adventures and dragged him along to open trapped boxes before they found out he was actually quite good at it (Kobold Slyblade) and insisted he be made the party rogue. Biskik has since become one of my favourite characters to play and has shown up in several games.

I like to play kobolds as very literal minded. If they think something is a god, for instance, and you defeat that thing then you must be a more powerful god. If you tell them to do something they will attempt it without hesitation, but their methods are those of a ratlike lizard so instead of taking the obvious approach of opening a door to a room they'll squeeze through a tiny hole and ask from the other side "now what?" Alternatively, when you might expect them to do something smart like that to bypass a trap they'll instead just open the door because I think it's fun to toy with my players.

I also play them as monumentally stupid and uneducated but with a great deal of animal cunning. These are consumate survivors willing to do just about anything to live to tomorrow. They kill, steal, and eat anything they can get their hands on, and I do mean anything. Their Fight/Flight instincts are wound as high as possible so even if they make the wrong decision you can bet they'll make it quickly and commit utterly.

There's a reason kobolds have a cult following and that's because they are awesome. Have fun with it, dude.
I've played many a Kobold over the course of my DnDin'. Gix the Warmage was by far my favorite, he thought milk was liquor and would always order a shot at the local inn while the rest of the party had thier ale. Also had a Kobold Monk that fought like Yoda, bouncing off of things and using the Fighter's head as a springboard to get up on a wall or to slap the Demon in the face.

For some reason I've always had the most fun in DnD playing Kobolds. They just rock to me.

Also, if you have access to it, I'd suggest checking out the 3.5 book "Races of the Dragon". It has loads of fluff for Kobold PCs in it.

*Sleeping on top of inns
Never really explained why to myself bed he refuses to sleep in beds.

This is brilliant.  I might have to borrow that for my next Kobold =p

*Sleeping on top of inns
Never really explained why to myself bed he refuses to sleep in beds.

My elf ranger does the same thing.  He won't sleep under any roof if it can be helped, so he pays for a bed in the common room of the inn and then retires to the roof.

Have you ever seen the movie Bolt?  You could borrow from the Rhino character (with the warforged playing the role Bolt plays in Rhino's life).  He's seen the warforged doing the hero thing, and is convinced that it's the most beyawesome superhero ever, and is fanatically devoted to it and won't leave its side.  Frequently when I come across a pack of kobolds they're the cult following of a dragon, so there's a precedent for it.

Maybe he thinks that if he amasses a large enough hoard of treasure he'll become a dragon in his own right, and adventures to that end.  He could seek to emulate what he (mistakenly) believes to be draconic behavior, thinking that it might speed his ascention: 

- He only eats meat charred to a crisp. 

- He chews coins like really stiff chewing gum, insisting that the tarnish will fuel the fire in his belly.

- He's got a special "wing growing ointment" he prepares for himself out of animal fat that he collects off the creatures the party defeats.  At night he boils it over the campfire and slathers it all over his shoulders. 

- If it's possible to do, he climbs walls and leaps down at his target screaming "death from above!" 

- He accepts the name that the party has given him, but as he defeats enemies and amasses treasure he adds syllables to it, because dragons have long, terrible sounding names.  Today sis name's Tick.  Tomorrow, it's Tickron.  Maybe next week he'll kill two enemies, and be Tickrondriuss.  Maybe the syllables are from the names of the things he's killed, so if the party defeats a group of troglodytes and a horde of goblins he'll be Tickroglin.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
1. Pickpocketed the goody two-shoes paladin (had a goody two-shoes player, heheh) upon first meeting him to try and create opportunity (player desire, not PC desire) to meet the group.

2. Different campaign, tried to pickpocket the paladin....notice I didn't add 'goody two-shoes' this time. Guards arrived in time to apprehend me and interrogate the other PC's ('in time' as in the paladin caught me mid-pickpocket and was about to beat my character senseless). Guard lifts my character up by the scruff of his neck, my character hisses and says 'rrr! I bite you! rrr! I have rabies! rrr!', which prompts the guard to shake me, which prompts my character (by the name of sneaks) to reply 'nobody shakes sneaks!', roll a critical (had quick draw feat) with daggers and slice the guards fingers off to run away. Sneaks yells back about how he works as an assassin (he's lying) for the mage leaders of the city, another guard pulls his crossbow, gets a critical fumble and the bolt blows up in his hands, sneaks adds that it's the mages' punishment for hindering him (coincidence bonus to bluff check!).

3. Sneaks has HIGH diplomacy checks, first check made against dwarf he meets raises dwarf from hostile to friendly. Enjoys himself drinking with dwarves, though not as a hobby, he was in their fortress at the time. In another situation, rolls a successful reflex check to put his foot on another guy's sword, pushing it back into the scabbard before it's fully extracted (with the DM's permission) and quick diplomacy check to convince the guy not to resort to violence (high diplomacy for the win!).

4. Very lusty, seduced human embassador to dwarven fortress' daughter only to have her father sic his half orc on him.

5. Very quick-thinking, when the dwarves made the party deal with holy water (as in, find your own way of interacting with the holy water, sprinkle, drink, whatever) to find out if they're undead, sneaks drank it (though that was the first thought that came to mind), when fighting the lich that stormed the fortress, in the massive globe of darkness, sneaks managed to sneak up on the lich. Got the brilliant idea of peeing the holy water he drank on the lich.

6. Made innuendo cracks at the paladin's goddess only to have the paladin -literally- hit him with a mace....went through that problem three times...consecutively.

Definitely went with the comedy relief character, I went with a hedonist, friendly on some occasions, nasty on other occasions, quick-thinking (not wise or smart though) kobold. Sneaks was not deep at all, though I have RP'ed deep characters I've always found my fun to be with a comedy relief character.

My honest opinion? If you want to honestly take advice on how to build (keyword build, not heat of the moment) a quirky character its completely your choice, but if you're aiming for a comedy relief character don't aim to take advice and don't plan for the next quirkiness, go with the heat of the moment for comedy. For mechanics, put points/feats/whatever where you see a potential for comedy (it's why I got diplomacy for my kobold -rogue- (3.5e, diplomacy was a cross-class skill, so less points but tried to gear my character towards it)). Of course in my case we had more RP than fights, so while my build wasn't perfect for combat, we all got a kick out of what the kobold would do next. In my honest opinion, all you need to start off a comedy relief character is method of speaking and temperament, everything else will build itself in the heat of the moment when you're RPing your character.
Y'all need to make sure you post on the "kobolds need an official writeup" in the races/monsters.

Great art btw, find more!!

Amazed at how obtuse people can be since 1972.
Can I shamelessly plug myself?

I tend to think of Kobolds as having as many qualities in common with rats as dogs.  Thus they tend to prioritize life in this manner. 

1. Hunting (or scavenging) to eat.
2. Breeding to produce more Kobolds
3. Teaching future Kobold generations to survive.

I figure Kobolds roughly have a 20-25 year life span at best, they physically mature by 3-4, and never really emotionally mature beyond a 10 year old human child.  A female Kobold can produce a litter of 3-5 pups in 5 months by 4 years of age, and can quite conceivably produce two litters per year.  Kobolds don't tend to pick mates for life, instead choosing to mate with the strongest male currently available (aka the best provider).  They tend to be very family/tribe centric being generally supportive and co-operative with each other.  A Kobold in an adventuring party would most likely consider the party part of their extended tribe.

In general Kobolds are not interested in mating practices for fun, but are strictly trying to produce offspring as part of their biological imperitive.  As such most Kobolds are not possessive about individual mates, and are generally not interested in attempting cross-species polination as it were.  They just don't understand the point of it.

Kobold intra-tribal relations would be to form aliances for protection, to meet other tribes to exchange breeding rights with each other (to avoid excessive inbreeding), and to gang up on problematic groups in their area (either adventurers, civilized cultures, or other monster groups which are abusing the kobolds).  Thus it is very likely a Kobold tribe or alliance of tribes may seek to assist open minded adventurers with dealing with local goblins, orcs, etc. by providing logistical support or intelligence.

The primary motivation for any single Kobold to become an adventurer is so that they can be viewed as a strong candidate when presenting themselves to potential future mates.  Thus they will want to visit Kobold populated regions frequently for "conjucal visits".  They will also have an interest in training their progeny to be successful Kobolds as well.

I think that Kobold adventurers are also great fun if they can understand the inherent limitations of the race.  One positive thing a Kobold adventurer brings to the table is a willingness to take risks.  They generally have a low survival rate anyway on top of a short lifespan, so they are not adverse to pushing their luck and hoping for the best.  This gives them a touch of a devil may care attitude to dealing with problems and situations.  If one falls, then twenty more exist to take my place, and propogate the species.

I hope this helps.
As a long time lover of kobolds (and player of 3+ to date) there is a few things that are incorrect with your lore as posted. The main one being their lifespan.

While many kobolds can and do die well before the age you have given, the actual lore from several sources I have read (Races of the Dragon, Slayers Guide to Kobolds) actually says they reach adulthood at 11 years and can live as long as 110 or so. They have a very long life, just their race and lifestyle tends to get them killed off much earlier.

As for their priorities, they have a very clan based outlook. The clan always comes first, even if it means losing a life so the clan can continue to survive. This is a big part of the kobold mindset to get around, so those a kobold takes as a clanmate should feel very blessed. For this reason most kobolds tend towards lawful alignments and evil for more obvious reasons.

A lot of kobolds do not become adventurers. It is hard as such a thoroughly hateful and xenophobic race to create adventurers. That said, some may form parties with other kobolds to explore, find better mines, places to trap, or if fleeing their old home for instance. Considering the number of kobolds, most definitely do not take up this lifestyle though and nearly all would prefer to have a clan at their back when trouble comes calling. There are those that break free of this shell, but most kobolds are cunning and survivalists. They will not throw away their life unless the clan needs it.

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