Dragon 364-Creature Incarnations: Kobolds

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Very nice article, I love the idea of a Kobold Wild Mage.
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I was surprised to find this posted so early
I was surprised to find this posted so early

Agreed. And it was an excellent article.

I have to admit, against my prior prejudice, I'm finding I like the new dragon. Not enough available in dungeon to render a verdict yet, but dragon is turning out pretty nice.
I'm about to run the waterfall/cave section of KotS for a group.. I might replace a few of the kobolds with ones from this.. but I have to be careful not to make it too hard (virtually everything in this is higher level then the ones in kots/mm)

Maybe put a piker and spiker outside the cave, and replace something inside with a vermin Handler...

I really want to use the wild mage but he's a bit strong for this point.

I'm definately going to use some of these in my 'real' campaign though.. there's just some very neat ideas.
I'm about to run the waterfall/cave section of KotS for a group.. I might replace a few of the kobolds with ones from this.. but I have to be careful not to make it too hard (virtually everything in this is higher level then the ones in kots/mm)

Maybe put a piker and spiker outside the cave, and replace something inside with a vermin Handler...

I really want to use the wild mage but he's a bit strong for this point.

I'm definately going to use some of these in my 'real' campaign though.. there's just some very neat ideas.

My group is at the same place (waterfall/cave) and I was thinking about the Vermin Handler too.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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Okay, did anyone else laugh their tail off at the 'Kobold Victory Chart'?

The nice thing about the chart is, with a little fudging of dice rolls, it can very easily be used to help balance an encounter slightly. If the PCs aren't doing too well, the kobolds steal things and run off to hide them, or just hide under the unconscious PCs. If the PCs are mostly kicking tail and one gets in a lucky hit then there's a few different minor buffs to help even the odds somewhat.

But most importantly, almost all the options are interesting, and can be quite memorable if used properly.
Okay, did anyone else laugh their tail off at the 'Kobold Victory Chart'?

The nice thing about the chart is, with a little fudging of dice rolls, it can very easily be used to help balance an encounter slightly. If the PCs aren't doing too well, the kobolds steal things and run off to hide them, or just hide under the unconscious PCs. If the PCs are mostly kicking tail and one gets in a lucky hit then there's a few different minor buffs to help even the odds somewhat.

But most importantly, almost all the options are interesting, and can be quite memorable if used properly.

IIRC, Mike Mearls posted this half-jokingly in his blog on a "how would I make kobolds better" and was promptly hailed and asked to make it official... Guess he decided it was worth a shot. :D

And I like the descriptions on what the kobold does, rather than the simple actions/bonuses. "Does a little victory dance" is pure win.
Now this is the kind of thing I want to see out of Dragon. This article was great. Maybe its because I was actually at my desk putting the finishing touches on my homebrew adventure for Saturday that heavily featured kobolds and decided to take a break and found this... but it is perfect. Beautiful. I wrote three more encounters based solely around some of these kobolds.

For instance two Kobold Pikers stand next two each other on a ten foot wide bridge, if anyone closes within melee, the one diagonal to the PC will attempt to use Warding Strike to push the PC off the bridge to fall 20 feet into a water filled chasm with skeleton minions ready to swarm them.

Depending on how easy of a time the PCs have had with previous encounters I might throw in a Kobold Spiker or Slinger behind the pikers to give some artillery support.

This I feel has the making of an awesome encounter.

This is the kind of thing I want to see out of D&DI
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
This is yet another really good article. It pains me that they wont let us pay for Dragon seperately. None of the other D&DI features have anything of value to me yet I would gladly pay for this quality of article.
This is yet another really good article. It pains me that they wont let us pay for Dragon seperately. None of the other D&DI features have anything of value to me yet I would gladly pay for this quality of article.

You will be able to purchase completed issues without being an Insider, based on announced plans.
Plans are always subject to change.
I think this is one of the best articles that I've ever read from Dragon Magazine. I had subscriptions to both Piazo's Dragon and Dungeon magazine. Although I thought they were good, there wasn't much that I used from the articles. I can see me using all of this content in the adventures to come with my home group.

If this is the quality of content to come, then I'll gladly pay the annual fee to have access.
Though I am confused by the Kobold Horde swarm, good concept but I think I'd bump the size up to large swarm as its suposed to be like 10 kobolds, I don't think 'small' is the right size. I dunno
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
Hee! Oooh, my players are going to want the head of Mike Mearls on a plate for this one. Thanks, great article, I plan to get some serious milage out of it.
Amazing-ness. Mearls shows us again why he's a top dog.

But shouldn't this be in Dungeon, instead of Dragon. IIRC, Dungeon is for DMs while Dragon is for everyone. Players don't need statblocks... but the rest is pure gold for players. Ahhhh.

I guess it comes down to how much do you trust your players to not memorize every little detail in order to gain an advantage...
While I'm still struggling with the concept of Level 1-caliber kobolds with 27 or 40+ hit points, I enjoyed this piece. The victory chart was a nice comic touch.
What a brilliant idea. I can't wait to see more.

Question: Where are rules for knocking someone out of their space? (Like when the Spiker knocks someone into a trap with a slung shot.)
Its in combat, in the players handbook page 285 Pull, Push, and Slide... if a power has one of these effects if the power hits then the target is pushed pullled or slid. Pushing being away, pulling is bringing them closer, slide is any which way you want.

If someone is pushed off a cliff they are entitled to try to catch themself (PHB page 284).
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
While I'm very sure that the article is cool, I can't seem to get the first page readable. After downloading, I can see the first page, but as soon as I move or zoom or anything, it disappears. I can read the rest just fine, but the first is not working. I've tried printing it, but still to no avail. Do I need something else? Do I need to be a paying subscriber? (Can someone send it to me?) I'd like to know so I can read it.
Do you have a recent version of abobe? Or some other way to view PDFs?
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
Umm... define recent; I have Adobe Reader 7.0. But I don't see how that should matter. The other four pages turn out just fine, including the pictures. Only the first is bugged.
I've read this article, its pretty great. Better than what I've come to expect, although the Warforged article and next month's Artificer articles will sate my need for Eberron content.

I actually wish there were rules for Wild Mages, I miss them from my 2nd edition days. This article kinda makes me want to to DM, hah!

Quick rules question.. the Wild Mage's Wild Blast.. does that deal 2d6+4 dmg of each type, or is the total thirded into each type of damage? Its pretty lethal if its the former...
Though I am confused by the Kobold Horde swarm, good concept but I think I'd bump the size up to large swarm as its suposed to be like 10 kobolds, I don't think 'small' is the right size. I dunno

I agree with you. I don't think that a swarm of small creatures should stay small. I think most swarms of Tiny creatures are considered medium, so it makes sense to me to make a swarm of small creatures large.

But still all in all I love the article and can't wait to use the Victory Chart!!!
Amusing story with the victory chart. I figured the last encounter would be a tough one so I awarded the party their treasure packet #1 a level 5 magic item (+1 Lightning Warhammer) before the big fight at the end, our Dwarven Warlord took it up.

The ultimate battle was against a bunch of minons, some kobold pikers (who were very annoyed they could not push the dwarf), some Dragonshield Kobolds, and a Kobold Wyrmpriest... During the battle the Warlord was layed low by an energy orb from the Kobold Wyrmpriest. I rolled on the chart I got the 'steal something and dance as a minor action. Since the Standard action dropped him I had the Wyrmpriest do it that round... moving up, taking up the most powerful weapon in the party's arsenal raising it above his head and giving out a righteous victory cry.

The next one up in the inititive was the cleric (yes we had two leaders), the cleric healing words the Warlord and attacks the Wyrmpriest with Lance of Faith, knocking the already bloodied Wyrmpriest to 5 hp.

The very next turn of inititive was the Warlord. "I'm going to stand up and hit him with my shield!" "What like a shield bash?" "No I'm going to take off my shield hold it in two hands and bash the little **** over the head!" I decided to use 'two handed improvised weapon... which was more than enough to kill the wyrmpriest. "I take my hammer back and let out a LOUDER victory cry!"

A great moment, one that wouldn't have happened without the chart.
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
I agree with you. I don't think that a swarm of small creatures should stay small. I think most swarms of Tiny creatures are considered medium, so it makes sense to me to make a swarm of small creatures large.

But still all in all I love the article and can't wait to use the Victory Chart!!!

I noticed the same thing too, it must be a typo or a brain fart.

I wouldn't mind seeing the swarm in Mini form, although I can use my Warhamer Snotlings in the interm.
I am moving this thread to Dragon Article Discussion.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
The first encounter of H1 features Kobolds, and with 6 players I wanted to beef up the encounter. I threw in a Vermin Keeper, and he was a real hit! The players really zeroed in on him and had fun chasing the shifty little bugger all over the map.
I'm really happy with what they've done with kobolds so far. The KotS stuff, this article, the mini-adventure in the DMG...good stuff. I'm starting to understand why people like kobolds so much.
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I'm starting to understand why people like kobolds so much.

Meepo.
Oh, and later, Deekin.
Meepo.
Oh, and later, Deekin.

Don't forget the almighty Pun-Pun!
Quick rules question.. the Wild Mage's Wild Blast.. does that deal 2d6+4 dmg of each type, or is the total thirded into each type of damage? Its pretty lethal if its the former...

I'm pretty sure (though I don't have a page number handy for you) that any time a power lists multiple types of damage, you divide the total between the types, giving preference to those at the beginning of the list.

So 11 points, for example, would be 4, 4, and 3 in the order they're listed.
This was a great article. Articles like this are a good reason for the magazine.
More articles like this and I might consider buying Dragon .pdf's if they're cheap.
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