Wednesday, October 3, 2012


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There is no need for me to try to make kobolds any cooler or more interesting or more vicious than they already are.  People have been doing that for literally decades—by the time I picked up my oldest issue of Dragon Magazine, #132 in 1988 (#140 was my first), Roger Moore’s tales of Tucker’s kobolds were already legendary.  Now they’re even on the masthead of Kobold Quarterly.

So let me just reiterate what everyone knows: At 5 hp, they’re not going to last long in a standup fight against your PCs.  But as trapmakers, animal trainers, sorcerers, diabolists, and gunslingers(!—see the Advanced Race Guide), they will do everything they can to make sure the PCs never get that close.

Kobolds, particularly the sorcerer whites, have always been plentiful in Cirth Sheezar, a cosmopolitan subterranean city of duergar, drow, and lizardfolk surrounding the Sheezar falls. But when plague rips through the drow ruling class, the Sheezar kobolds, long relegated to the roles of servant, jester, and spy, begin a plot to take over…with some diabolic help.

Kobold bushwhackers (Advanced Race Guide) are a problem on the frontier, rustling cattle and sending slurk stampedes through towns.  The settlers could drive them off, but they need the native wisdom of the plains ifrits, who are suspicious of the gold-hunting, Codex-thumping interlopers.

Kobolds yearn to be recognized for what they are: kin to dragons.  The Skyspitter tribe’s quest to emulate their larger cousins led them to discover the secrets of hang gliding.  Already consummate rangers and alchemists, they have traded their cramped burrows for high crags from which they can rain arrows and alchemical bombs down on their opponents.  However, the ace flyers are proving to be cocky and territorial, sniping at each other as well as their enemies, and the tribe may splinter.

Classic Monsters Revisited 28–33 & Pathfinder Bestiary183

D&D kobolds have never had much relation to the kobolds of folklore (to whom I gave a nod in the fey creature entry).  And they’ve changed over time, too—originally, kobolds were doglike, and in my heart those are still the kobolds I love (particularly  the sneaky worshippers of the Shining One in Ken Rolston’s GAZ 7 The Northern Reaches and Bruce Heard’s GAZ 10 The Orcs of Thar).  I totally recognize, though, that making them draconic in 3.0 really opened up their possibilities as monsters.  (They even made it into the Races of the Dragon book.)  And yes, you should definitely pick up Paizo’s Classic Monsters Revisited for more on all things kobold.

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