How should I go about creating a compelling story for a martial kobold?

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Homebrew world. Very similar to classic fantasy 4e setting with a few differences.

Kobolds are to Dragonborn whatd Halflings are to Human

Dragornborn were all wiped out by Devas under accusations of being abominations.

The rest of the world is misinformed or uneducated in the issue, so the war between Devas and Kobolds goes unnoticed. (Kobolds are more civilized).

My dm is using the rules for a level 0 campaign and my kobold is of the martial power source (planning to go thief for level 1).

The campaign starts off in a coastal city about a weeks ride from the Kobold homeland. There is currently a summer festival/mardis gras/masquerade going on when the "adventure" starts.

However, I'm in a bind. Trying to make a compelling backstory for a kobold is difficult, and trying to do one for martial power source adds to the frustration. I'm tying to figure out how to make it interesting without descending into, "my character's parents were killed, quest for vengeance blah blah blah."

Any ideas would be welcome.
Your character is going to be a Thief, which implies sneakiness and such. Probably a good move for a creature labeled by the wider world as an "abomination."

One other thing that jumps out at me is how the Deva war is unnoticed by the larger world. What if your Kobold's goal in life is to make it known? He's trained to be sneaky so that he can stay alive until he can reveal the corruption in the Deva faction for what it is.

Since I don't know much about said character's personality, there's not much more to go on. 
The personality is also the hard part :P

Whats a good way to begin designing a characters personality?
I think that a good place to start is deciding what he wants and what boundaries he won't cross. The little quirks can come after that, but heroes are usually defined by the goals they strive for.

Frodo wouldn't be Frodo if he wasn't trying to destroy the ring, and a Batman that wasn't doing all he could to rid Gotham of crime wouldn't be Batman. 
I think that a good place to start is deciding what he wants and what boundaries he won't cross. The little quirks can come after that, but heroes are usually defined by the goals they strive for.

Frodo wouldn't be Frodo if he wasn't trying to destroy the ring, and a Batman that wasn't doing all he could to rid Gotham of crime wouldn't be Batman. 

Is something like, "being the first of his fathers children to hatch, Zhuskynistovell had to bear the responsibility of providing for the rest of his clutch."

I like the idea of humble goals that lead to epic deeds. Where would i go from here if i chose this idea? How would I give the character the freedom he needs to adventure without totally abandoning his family and without killing them off in some cliche raid?

There is nothing wrong with cliche to a point, here is a starting question: how did he survive?


Say he was hunting when the deva's struck, why was he hunting by himself, where was the rest of the hunting party? if his hunting party is now gone did they seperate to each learn a path to avenge their fallen people and agree to reunite after they have felled a deva on their own?

Sounds to me like a great setup for some kind of street urchin type character.  If he's a Thief, is he one in every sense of the word?  Did he grow up in the city's seedy underbelly?  Perhaps he has contacts with the local Thieve's Guild, or perhaps he pissed them off by operating independently?  He's probably learned to survive by his agility and his wits in a place where he's less than a person to the people around him.
One other thing that jumps out at me is how the Deva war is unnoticed by the larger world. What if your Kobold's goal in life is to make it known? He's trained to be sneaky so that he can stay alive until he can reveal the corruption in the Deva faction for what it is.


This seems like a neat idea. Perhaps the kobold has joined an underground movement looking to end the deva oppression of their kind? He or she could act as a reporter of some sort, sent to the big city to work on a story for the organization's pamphlets and expose any officials supporting the genocide. The festivities provide the perfect cover to poke your nose into the devas' affairs without rousing suspicion. Make sure your character brings writing implements to make notes and sketches.

As for the kobold's parents: There really is no reason for them to be dead if you wish to avoid that stereotype. Perhaps they're perfectly fine, living out their lives on a remote farm where your character grew up. For roleplay props, send them a letter every once in a while, describing your character's latest adventures. Or maybe they're also part of the same underground organization?
How recently were the Dragonborn whiped out? If it was relatively recently, you could have the kobold be a former special agent or spy for th Arkhosian empire. In this case, are any of his old contacts/friends still alive? Perhaps he has a mole in the Deva aristocracy ...

Developing upon this, he could be trying to topple the Deva empire, or perhaps he is looking for something a little more final...
Perhaps, he could be trying to find and win over a particularly acient and strong dragon with ties to the former Arkhosia or, if all such dragons had died along with the empire, be trying to put together a sort of Dragon Batallion to declare war on the Deva.
Simple. After leading peaceful, but productive lives managing the tribe's lands, they peacefully passed away at the ripe old age of 28 and 29, respectively. The rest of the tribe continues to live in a box canyon visible only by air, or through the twisty, winding caverns(which is how he left the tribe to venture out into the world). As for motivation, he wants to end the Deva/Kobold conflict, so his people no longer need to hide from those who would slaughter them as vermin. To bring the respect of the sanctity of their lives to full acceptance. To lobby the world at large for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of material wealth.

For an added twist, Kobolds have a rep for being miners. So have large slave mines full of kobold slaves for your character to put an end to. Viva la revolucione!