EVEN KOBOLDS MAY APPLY
Even though we talk about all those other non-human civilizations very little is done to move them out of the smart animal hold up in a cave with others of its kind version of the D&D game. At some point if your party is weak they are captured and dragged before the Kobold King and forced to beg for their miserable lives. In the end you perceive the Kobold as little more than smart monkey who sets better traps than your PCs can handle. But like many of these monster races they are civilizations. Civilizations have rules as to how they are structured, how they function, and what they look like.
Aspects of Civilization
MULTIPLE LARGE URBAN CENTRES
This is going to be VILLAGE or better.
A WRITING SYSTEM
It could be simple Pictograms, Marks identifying an individual family, or images describing a larger spoken story.
Certain people become valued for their skills in certain areas. They become Artisans, Priests, Leaders, Slaves.
How do your Slaves get along with the other specialists? Does your ruler even look on them or are they kept out of sight.
The development of Trade networks linking communities.
How is surplus produce collected and traded.
RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL ART
What have your Artisans created to prop up the religious and Political Authority of your civilization?
The Palace, The Granaries, The Temples, The Monuments, Mass Irrigation Systems, Water Supply, and Drainage.
These are your Priests, Your Kings, your Special organizations like the Kings guard, the Merchant Guild.
The rise of Mathematics, Geometry, and Record Keeping.
THE RULING ELITE
More than just authority, these are the families of the rulers. They have access to material goods and special education.
A LEGAL CODE
The development of Writing for expressing Laws and rules.
What our kobold looks like is not the primitive cave dweller in a lone and isolated cave, rather the Cave is a part of a network of interconnected, trading settlements that share a common belief systems, behaviour codes, laws and traditions (written or oral). Our kobold civilization may have gone to considerable effort to enlarge caves so they can be used as food stores, Tunnels cut better so they can access an underground river for water, The Kobold monarch might have first pick of the Female Kobolds (or males) depending on the monarch.
Likewise if Sutsu the Mottled is King of the Kobolds he doesn’t sit at the back of his cave in his own faeces surrounded by bodyguards waiting for PCs to show up and put him out of his misery. He will have enveloped himself in some structure of the society in which he lives. He like those before him carved their own throne from a Rock which is why a bunch of similar rocks line the walls of his cave. His own siege perilous is covered by the leather hide of his father, and the chest of blue stones next to him is the offering he expects of you. if you dont cough up some blue rock for his collection in the first thirty seconds as you are forced to prostrate yourself before him, his advisors standing behind him wearing the wooden masks will likely suggest you be killed. All this because you had to come and stop the raids on your little village...of course the raids are in fact a Funerary rite called Hecatomb where they must slaughter in sacrifice to the departing old Kobold King so they came and killed everyone in your village because that fool of an adventuring party came through last week and butchered the last King of the Kobolds. Of course the only way out is for you to surrender your village and become part of the Kobold Kingdom...after all they don’t sacrifice members of the Tribe.
The Structures of Authority
The King or independent Chief enjoys absolute power.
All land, Livestock, and Game are the property of the monarch providing a right to income.
The Ruler is a divine power or has access to divine Power.
The Monarch resides in physical isolation with a few attendants to do the Monarchs Bidding. Meetings involve acts of isolation by curtains, designated speakers,
INSIGNIA OF OFFICE
Royal status is displayed through symbolic regalia,
The Monarch resides in a capital and new rulers establish a new capital or residence.
The Monarch maintains a Court with assorted specialized staff. Pages, guards, chamberlains, etc.
Behaviour in the presence almost universally requires conformity to a process of behaviour. Indirect Interaction, Gifts, Abject Prostration, etc.
The ruler has a great many wives and or concubines.
At most royal courts a queen mother, a queen consort, a Queen Sister enjoy prestige sometimes outranking the Monarch. They will likely have their own estates and enjoy some political authority.
For Administrative purposes, the state is divided into administrative provinces with their own officials tasked with taxation and labour management. Such provinces will be subordinate to a central authority.
Located in the Capital they work as assistants to the Monarch in the central Bureaucracy.
DUALITY OF ROLES
Ministers function in an assortment of areas of the bureaucracy.
Hereditary or Term of Service.
Rivals for the throne are killed, imprisoned, or deported to maintain stability.
Though the Monarch designates an Heir, the final say is in the hands of ministers.
PERIOD OF MOURNING
After the death of the Monarch. A period of social disorder occurs when candidates vie for power.
Funerary Rites for a Monarch include acts of sacrifice, sometimes large scale slaughter.
It doesn’t take much to go through the above lists and simply make notes on your Civilization. I hope you will give it a try when you decide the time is right to flesh out the Smelly Kobold Cave.