Dragon's Eye View: Reimagining Kobolds

I like my kobolds lizardy and nt automatically dragon blooded. But many kobolds COULD be dragon blooded as many are deluded into thinking so, seeking out dragons, and becoming mates for younger dragons with lesser resources.

The common kobolds isn't draconic but some tribes have dragon heritage.

This could be shown as kobold dragonshields and maybe urds have draconic features while the main kobolds pics lack them and look more lizard-rat people.

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change the lore any way you want.


Which would make any discussion of what lore in the books should be pretty worthless, in your opinion, along with this entire article series.

What's the point of your contribution here, beyond implying that none of what we're discussing is worth discussing?



That was about it, really.
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change the lore any way you want.


Which would make any discussion of what lore in the books should be pretty worthless, in your opinion, along with this entire article series.

What's the point of your contribution here, beyond implying that none of what we're discussing is worth discussing?



That was about it, really.


Let campaigns create their own lore.  Books might provide some options for lore but should be more focused on mechanics.  I am less interested in the relationship between lizardfolk, kobolds, and dragonborn than in the availability of all 3 to be played as a PC race and their stats and abilities.

I never read all the pages of history, lore, and culture in the Races of the Dragon, Serpent Kingdom, and Draconomicon.  I skipped to the stats and created characters.
Why waste time trying to define the lore?  WOTC should be more concerned about mechanics and whether they improve the game or not.  Lore might add to the enjoyment of roleplaying but it is campaign specific.    No reason to argue over whether a kobold is a mammal or a reptile.  Better to discuss whether it is a playable race and if so how to balance its stats so it will be an option some people might choose while others do not.
Why waste time trying to define the lore?

Maybe so those that NEED/WANT assistance in that area can get it?

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* Dragonblood kobolds should be a optional subrace, let´s allow a open door. Do you rembember the first chapter (dragobound heroes) of "Dragon Magic" (one of last 3.5 books) with new subraces with draconic lineage? 

* Antrophomorphic reptiles aren´t so cool like antrophomorphic dinosaurs.  

*Kobolds with dog snout (like from warcraft) are horrible, I would rather badoon-like snouts, like reptilian apes with scales. 

 

 

Ssi-ruu, reptilian race from Star Wars.



Esral´sa´Nikto, other reptilian race from Star Wars.




Zilla´s (= American godzilla) offspring. I know they are stupier that D&D kobolds, but more terrorific, aren´t they?

 D&D kobolds should be like mini antropomorphic zillas, or like Joe Dante´s gremlins. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I'm not a fan of yet another dragonkin. I like the smelly rat/dog connections of 2E. If they have to belong to a 'family', design them to be laughable little cousins of the gnoll.

Danny

Why waste time trying to define the lore?

Maybe so those that NEED/WANT assistance in that area can get it?




Right, and because otherwise, all you have is a bunch of stat blocks with no context to them.  It's impossible to separate the abilities of a monster from a baseline purpose for the monster.  Purpose requires some assumptions about the nature of the monster, and that's where the connection gets made to fluff.

Besides, some of us like the fluff.  Some of us also don't have the time to create everything from scratch.  If I can flip through a book and say "that looks like a cool bad guy" and use it as-is, I can spend more time playing rather than doing monster-creation homework.

As for the actual topic - I'm not really that concerned about evolutionary connections and missing links with lizards, dragons, kobolds, trogs, etc.  What I want from a kobold is a shifty little bugger who's sneaky, makes devious traps, pokes you in the knees with a javelin, and has delusions of grandeur that they are related to dragons.  They don't actually HAVE to be related to dragons; the fact that they THINK they are is all the comedy fodder I need.

For me, D&D kobolds fill the same general humor niche as Paizo or Warhammer goblins - you just can't take them seriously by themselves, but en masse, they are a veritable mob of chaos that you better darn well be scared of.
I don´t like the canon background of gnolls, too bloodthirsthy, wild and savage. The cult of Yeenoghu can be like this but I would like a optional subrace with different background like furry na´vi from Pandora (but with very much worse temper).

Gnolls aren´t really so fearsome (very daredevil, sadist and cruel, but no so dangerous like others), I think aremy of Shaka Zulu´s (real History character from XIX century South Africa) could kick-**s complete gnolls tribes or commit a total genocide againts gnolls.... (in the real world chaotic aligment isn´t useful to survive worst crysis)

Could any gnolls be werehyenas?


* Can tree trolls (dragon magazine 299) be a gnoll (=mixture  gnome +troll?)

---
 
 
Why not kobolds face are like dragonkins from "Monster of Faerun"? Different kobold subraces could have got totally different face traits, as different as Husky Siberian and bullmastiffs. Ones would be like reptilian apes and others like antropomorhic zillas babes. Subraces could allow different versions of kobolds from different editions be canon at the same time in the next D&D.


 

Rev Rem, magog character from sci-fi teleserie Andromeda.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

For the whole "dragon or lizard family" thing, they could take the approach of:

Kobolds think kobolds are related to dragons.
Dragons think kobolds are related to lizards (edit: or other "lesser" creatures - they don't really care).
Lizardfolk think kobolds are related to rats, vermin, and other pests.

... and make their design kind of reflect that any of those attitudes might be the "correct" one. They're kind of draconic (and certainly like to act and dress as though they are), kind of lizard-like (in a way distinct from being draconic), but also something else.


EDIT: It would also be a neat little plot hook if Dragonborn - having no reason to doubt the claims of the Kobolds themselves - view them as misguided cousins, of a sort.
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For the whole "dragon or lizard family" thing, they could take the approach of:

Kobolds think kobolds are related to dragons.
Dragons think kobolds are related to lizards (edit: or other "lesser" creatures - they don't really care).
Lizardfolk think kobolds are related to rats, vermin, and other pests.

... and make their design kind of reflect that any of those attitudes might be the "correct" one. They're kind of draconic (and certainly like to act and dress as though they are), kind of lizard-like (in a way distinct from being draconic), but also something else.



Perfect, my thoughts exactly.

For the whole "dragon or lizard family" thing, they could take the approach of:

Kobolds think kobolds are related to dragons.
Dragons think kobolds are related to lizards (edit: or other "lesser" creatures - they don't really care).
Lizardfolk think kobolds are related to rats, vermin, and other pests.

... and make their design kind of reflect that any of those attitudes might be the "correct" one. They're kind of draconic (and certainly like to act and dress as though they are), kind of lizard-like (in a way distinct from being draconic), but also something else.


EDIT: It would also be a neat little plot hook if Dragonborn - having no reason to doubt the claims of the Kobolds themselves - view them as misguided cousins, of a sort.


I like this approach to the story, as it gives some nice stuff to work with, without being definitive. This allows individual games to fill in the details as they see fit. However, I am not sure how well this translates into a visual direction.

I like this approach to the story, as it gives some nice stuff to work with, without being definitive. This allows individual games to fill in the details as they see fit. However, I am not sure how well this translates into a visual direction.


I imagine it would look something like a blending of pre- and post-3e versions of kobolds.  Keep the more "draconic" facial features and head shape, and maybe feet and hands.  Maybe have more "lizard(folk)-like" tails and feet and hands.  But have an overall body shape (and size) more akin to the "rat/dog-like" kobolds.

They would come out looking like (pathetic) mongrel-lizard-humanoid-things - but that's pretty appropriate.
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Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
For the whole "dragon or lizard family" thing, they could take the approach of:

Kobolds think kobolds are related to dragons.
Dragons think kobolds are related to lizards (edit: or other "lesser" creatures - they don't really care).
Lizardfolk think kobolds are related to rats, vermin, and other pests.

... and make their design kind of reflect that any of those attitudes might be the "correct" one. They're kind of draconic (and certainly like to act and dress as though they are), kind of lizard-like (in a way distinct from being draconic), but also something else.



Perfect, my thoughts exactly.




This is what I mean by not needing everything defined.  Produce some vague ideas and rumors and allow each campaign to decide where to go from there.

I like all three races and have played all of them at various points.  They are certainly more interesting in my mind than races that are often included.

We don't need 40 pages for any race.  2 pages is enough.  I would rather have more races than more fluff about each race.

New races are enjoyable because they look different and often act different than humans.  The mechanical differences can be minor (and perhaps should be to preserve balance).

I would think that every race that shares similarities with dragons might imagine that they are descended from dragons.  If dragons can adopt humanoid forms, perhaps this is more true than most people realize.


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So they just want to make them generic and boring like the rest of 5E?

Well poo on that. 
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Well i can't do a good tree with just text.  But yea, i think there should be some sort of connection both ways.


What if kobolds where the offspring of lizardfolk and dragonborn?

Thus more like...


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But where do they get their increadible, total imunity to arrows?Wink
As entertaining as thinking of dragons as monstrous kobolds is, given as we already have dragonspawn, dragonborn, half-dragons, and draconians, why should kobolds, which were derived from goblins and brownies, also be dragon-like? I don't think we need more human-like or goblin-like races either, mind you.

Rather than thinking of a monster by thinking of its relatives, why may result in a lot of unfortunately similar monsters, what most makes a kobold ...a kobold?

Imagine goblins aren't related to bugbears at all. Would bugbears become more monstrous and be able to change shape and shadowstep, for instance? This is assuming your entire understanding of the word bugbear isn't limited to D&D's definition of a big, hairy goblinoid.
Maybe a alternative kobold origin is possible but retcon wouldn´t be necesary.

The original kobold race was a goblonoid miner comunity (like from 1st edition) who were protected (enslaved) by dragons. Some dragons used kobolds to create a new subrace by means of magic ..(do you rebember reptilian template from "Savage Species"?), something like dragonspwans created by dragon overlods from Krynn.. (or subraces with draconic lineage from first chapter of "Dragon Magic" (3.5. sourcebook).

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

D&D doesn't need two dragon-kin races.


Why?




Given the propensity for magic displayed by dragons, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they simply created more than one type of servant to suit their needs.  Kobolds and dragonborn could fill two entirely different niches, and I like the idea of having two distinct draconic servitor races.  
D&D doesn't need two dragon-kin races.


Why?




Given the propensity for magic displayed by dragons, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they simply created more than one type of servant to suit their needs.  Kobolds and dragonborn could fill two entirely different niches, and I like the idea of having two distinct draconic servitor races.  


The reason to have multiple races/monsters with some type of draconic connection (even if it is tenuous or dubious, as with the Kobold) is very simple. The name of the game is Dungeons & Dragons.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the Kobolds portrayed like the mountain goblins from the new The Hobbit movie, other than being scaly dragon-people rather than ugly midgets. After all, as Tolkien said of his orcs and goblins, "They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones", and that part of the movie really nailed that for me.
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D&D doesn't need two dragon-kin races.

Why?

Given the propensity for magic displayed by dragons, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they simply created more than one type of servant to suit their needs.  Kobolds and dragonborn could fill two entirely different niches, and I like the idea of having two distinct draconic servitor races.

The reason to have multiple races/monsters with some type of draconic connection (even if it is tenuous or dubious, as with the Kobold) is very simple. The name of the game is Dungeons & Dragons.

Because most things in this imaginative game should be either a Dungeon or a Dragon. :-p

I'd like to bridge some real-world lore to D&D lore. Kobolds are fairly the sinister version of gnomes and other household/mine spirits (some D&D editions referenced this by saying the two had an animosity toward each other). If kobolds are household and mine keepers, why not dungeon keepers?

They build and upkeep traps, prune poison molds, and are indignant with house-wrecking adventurers; however, if the party is respectful and gift-giving, they have a clan of dungeoneers to give them tips. (If kobolds are used by dragons in your campaign for such upkeep, this makes kobolds both Dungeons- AND Dragons- related, if you're into titulars.)

For the dog lover…I’d like to point out the “Golden Jackal”, which actually matches many of the original descriptions of the kobold.  This creature is not related to true jackals, but more akin to grey wolves and coyotes, wary of the lion [adventurers] yet able to compete against powerful hyena [gnolls] intruders; they even try to kill hyena young when they are able. 


They are able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and can make use of a variety of different resources; often taking over abandoned subterranean burrows [e.g. surface caves and sewers] of others or building their own in concealed areas such as below tree roots or dense thickets. 


They are an omnivorous and opportunistic forager; their diet varies according to season and habitat; they are capable of hunting alone or in small family packs, taking out prey three times their own weight (size); often taking prey by ambush by ripping their guts out.  As mentioned above they are natural rivals of the plain dwelling hyena, but their territory includes forest, mountains, and coastal deserts, the same region where one might find gnomes or other fey, dwarves, halflings, and humans.


Their fur is generally either of a dirty reddish-grey color, strongly highlighted with blackish tones due to the black guard hairs, or a brighter, rusty-reddish color [as in clothing].  Occasionally, it develops a horny growth on the skull which is associated with magical powers. This horn usually measures half an inch in length, and is concealed by their fur.


Just discard the egg-lying, scaly reptilian aspects and you are closer to the original “yipping-smelly dog” variant of the kobold.

Kobolds are fairly the sinister version of gnomes and other household/mine spirits (some D&D editions referenced this by saying the two had an animosity toward each other).




Yeah, I always liked that connection (Garl Glittergold and Kurtulmak being enemies).

I like the dog-lizard, not so keen on playing up the draconic aspect (except as boasts from kobolds). 
I would prefer to keep the history and specifics of each monster as relatively vague.  The core D&D does not need to state the origin story of every monster. Stick with the stat sheet and a vague description.

Allow individual campaigns to define the other aspects of their existence.

Have one stat line for use as an NPC and one stat line for use as a PC race.  That is all that is needed.  Keep it simple. If they want later splat books to include specific setting information keep it separate from the mechanical development.

in one campaign kobolds can be dog-like and descended from gnolls or hyenas. In another they might be lizard like and descended from lizardfolk.  In another they might be degenerate gnomes. In another they might be dragonspawned servants.

The more generic the core description, the more inclusive this next edition can be. 

The only difficulty I see with this approach is that racial abilities are often determined by specifics so that creating a PC kobold might need some of these historical cues to be defined unless they can truly find racial abilities that can link all of these concepts together. 
I have thought about create my own concept art about kobolds. I wish create a variant, with hair, closer to the (reptlinian goblin) kobold from 1st and 2nd edition, the reptomammals, no the mini-lizardmen. 

 



 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

This is my version of kobolds.

 

It is a reptomammal, with hair and scales. The snout is shorter, like a boxer or pitbull dog.  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

This is my second sketch or concept art for my own version of kobolds (or hipotetical subrace). I want show a possible retcon of kobold from 1st and 2nd Ed. 



It looks a mixture of pseudodragon and monkey, doesn´t it?, or the good and evil version of "gremlins" (movie).

The skin has got scales and hair (and spines). The snout is shorter that the 3rd-4th kobolds, more like apes, but not too much, because we don´t want it looks (half-dragon) ape-like goblin. Let´s say a mixture between 3rd kobold and goblin, no too long, not too short snout/jaw. 

I am not a good drawer and I don´t try being it, only I wish do a suggestion for a cooler design. If you would find a fantasy rpg where kobolds had got this look... would you like?

* Once I read the D&D canon said the mixture of a kobold and a goblin was a "D&D gremlin".

* Could a kobold subrace be furry, having got hair like mammals? Could a kobold subrace have got the subtype "goblinoid"?

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

kobold different from dragonborn

imagine kobold as small creatures, related to dragon, seldom alone, great move around between traps  

 
Of course, they are as different as (D&D) gnomes and elves. I am not changing the canon background.

But I am trying "recover" the furry version of kobold from 1st and 2nd Edition..(with a little touch of retcon). It could be a subrace. Do you rebember the feral and reptilian template from "Savage Species"? 

Are kobolds a goblinoid race whith reptilian traits by dragons, or my suggestion is a dragonblood race with added goblinoid traits? 

Other option is using the name for two race with different origin. (something with the word "Indian". Indians from Northamerican or from Asia?)

My own version is the 3rd-4th version of kobolds, the dragonblood, is a "transgenic" evolution from ones of 1st-2nd by dragon magic. 
 
...or maybe my subrace is like shifters, descendent of werebeasts or a secondary effect when they survived raids by goblins wereweasels, or a goblinoid tribe who don´t know they are descendent of kobolds spies (with shapeshifter powers by magic of their dragon lord). 

 
Kobolds use dire weasels like mounts.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

For me, Personally, the Kobold was always my favorite race out of any contained within the D&D mythos. The lore and the stats never mattered particulary, it was there actual physiology that i found interesting. I always pictured them as having a mixture of Oppossum/Shrew/Weasel features (as oppossed to rat features) combined with Mastiff/Crocodillian Features with an Anthropormorphosized Spider-Monkeys' frame, all wraped up inside of a Dragon-skin Hide.

My thought is that what Kobolds actually are is one of the oldest races around, being a race that is the end result of the evil of others. Originally being the product of the interbreeding of a multitude of cast-off offspring, the result of slaves being raped or the children of prostitutes, as well as failed attempts at cross-breeding creatures that shouldn't really be mixed by wizards, warlocks, and other assorted "Learn-ed People", the Kobold is the stabilized form of the hodge-podge from which it originates from. this would explain there horrible smell, like there there own personal lower east side.

The smell could be attributed to all those different races the kobold is made up of mixing together, kind of like mixing together everything in your fridge at the same time, (i'm pretty sure that the smells would be similar.)

My guess would be that they resemble dragons due to the potency of Dragons blood and it's ability to dominate a life-form even at a concentration of 1%.

I don't offer this as alternative lore, but rather a rational explanation based upon the facts that are presented.

The Kobolds and other races can all argue about Kobold lore till there blue in the face, for me, this explination strikes me as being the most plausable.