Kobold

Source Advanced Player’s Guide pg. 12

Kobolds are resourceful survivors whose snare-guarded warrens and opportunistic scavenging have cast them as villains to most other humanoids, with their draconic reverence lending them a reputation as mere minions and nuisances. Yet some kobolds have emerged from their secluded warrens seeking the relative safety of surface settlements, the lucrative prospects of the adventuring life, or validating awe from followers of their own.

If you want a character with oversized confidence, deadly cunning, and the ancient power of dragons flowing through their veins, you should play a kobold.

Physical Description

Kobolds are short (about 3 feet tall) reptilian humanoids with slender bodies and long tails. They often boast distant draconic ancestry, and every kobold displays one or more draconic features, such as stout horns, razor-sharp teeth, or—more rarely—vestigial wings or draconic breath. They mature quickly, reaching adulthood by about 12 years and living to about 60.

The color of a kobold’s scales can vary widely. Most often, they mimic the hues of chromatic or metallic dragons, with a mix of slightly darker or lighter scales that create a mottled appearance. The scales of newly hatched kobolds often reflect the community’s draconic exemplar (page 13), whether that’s the dragon they currently serve or the dragon type from which they’re descended.

Society

Kobolds have an ingrained cautiousness that keeps them alive. They’re secretive or subservient around powerful creatures to avoid becoming victims.

This meekness fades once kobolds secure either a formidable patron (like a dragon) or a potent source of supernatural power (like an artifact or sorcerous leader). They often achieve an unshakable fervor and loyalty to their new cause or leader. However, kobolds are infamous for sensing a proverbial sinking ship, and once their source of power fails or seems doomed, their morale breaks swiftly.

Whether led by a dragon or not, kobolds almost always identify themselves with a type of dragon that serves as their spiritual exemplar. Their societies regularly adopt laws and cultural norms inspired by the exemplar’s personality.

Alignment and Religion

All but the most iconoclastic kobolds have a natural respect for hierarchies and rules, and so kobolds are rarely chaotic. Kobold adventurers tend to be lawful neutral or neutral, relying on their ancestral social strategies for survival.

Organized religion feels natural for most kobolds, especially when a deity assumes a commanding or tyrannical disposition.

Adventurers

Kobolds often adventure in pursuit of the power, lore, and treasure that they feel befit their disproportionately large egos. When adventurers, militias, or careless tyrants shatter a kobold community, the survivors often latch onto new families, seeking emotional solace—and sometimes revenge.

Typical kobold backgrounds include artisan, artist, criminal, hunter, miner, scout, and tinker from the Core Rulebook, plus bandit, cultist, scavenger, and servant from this book. Kobolds excel as bards, rangers, rogues, and sorcerers, though they also often channel their ingenuity as alchemists or wizards.

Names

Catfolk are given short names in their youth. Adolescent catfolk are free to choose a different name when they first leave home, though some simply keep the name they’ve gotten used to. Catfolk love to add titles and honorifics to their names. Some catfolk use their titles exclusively among non-catfolk, and so become known by epithets like Six Fates, Fiend Killer, or Mistcloak.

Sample Names

Azrnak, Draahzin, Enga, Fazgyn, Fazij, Jekkajak, Kib, Kirrok, Mirkol, Tarka, Urkak, Varshez, Vroklan, Zekstikah, Zgaz

Kobold Heritages

Proud, opportunistic, and crafty, kobolds manifest draconic power and diminutive tenacity. Choose one of the following kobold heritages at 1st level.

Cavern Kobold

You hatched into a warren among narrow tunnels and countless kin. Your body is flexible. When Climbing rock walls, stalactites, and other natural stone features, you move at half your Speed on a success and at full Speed on a critical success (and you move at full Speed on a success if you have Quick Climb).

This doesn’t affect you if you’re using a climb Speed. If you roll a success on an Acrobatics check to Squeeze, you get a critical success instead.

Dragonscaled Kobold

Your scales are especially colorful, possessing some of the same resistance a dragon possesses. You gain resistance equal to half your level (minimum 1) to the damage type associated with your draconic exemplar (see Table 1–1).

Double this resistance against dragons’ Breath Weapons.

Table 1–1: Draconic Exemplars
Dragon Type Breath Weapon Shape Damage Saving Throw
Black Line Acid Reflex
Blue Line Electricity Reflex
Green Cone Poison Fortitude
Red Cone Fire Reflex
White Cone Cold Reflex
Brass Line Fire Reflex
Bronze Line Electricity Reflex
Copper Line Acid Reflex
Gold Cone Fire Reflex
Silver Cone Cold Reflex

Spellscale Kobold

A trace of draconic magic flows through your veins.

Choose one cantrip from the arcane spell list. You can Cast this Spell as an arcane innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You gain the trained proficiency rank in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs, and your key spellcasting ability is Charisma.

Strongjaw Kobold

Your bloodline is noted for their powerful jaws and sharp teeth. You gain a jaws unarmed attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage. Your jaws are in the brawling group and have the finesse and unarmed traits.

Venomtail Kobold

A vestigial spur in your tail secretes one dose of deadly venom each day. You gain the Tail Toxin action.

Tail Toxin [one-action]

Kobold Poison

Frequency once per day

Requirements You are wielding a piercing or slashing weapon.

You apply your tail’s venom to a piercing or slashing weapon. If your next Strike with that weapon before the end of your next turn hits and deals damage, you deal persistent poison damage equal to your level to the target.

Kobold Ancestry Feats
At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). As a kobold, you select from among the following ancestry feats.


Cringe [reaction] Feat 1

Emotion Kobold Mental Visual

Trigger a creature you are aware of critically succeeds on a Strike against you and would deal damage to you.

With pitiful posturing, you cause your foe to pull back a deadly attack. The attacking creature takes a circumstance penalty to the damage of the triggering Strike equal to your level + 2. This penalty applies after doubling the damage for a critical hit. The attacker is then immune to your Cringe for 24 hours.

Dragon’s Presence Feat 1

Kobold

As a member of dragonkind, you project unflappable confidence (that collapses catastrophically against the deadliest foes).

When you roll a success on a saving throw against a fear effect, you get a critical success instead. When you roll a failure against a fear effect, you get a critical failure instead.

In addition, when you attempt to Demoralize a foe of your level or lower, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to the Intimidation check.

Kobold Breath [two-actions] Feat 1

Arcane Evocation Kobold

You channel your draconic exemplar’s power into a gout of energy that manifests as a 30-foot line or a 15-foot cone, dealing 1d4 damage. Each creature in the area must attempt a basic saving throw against the higher of your class DC or spell DC. You can’t use this ability again for 1d4 rounds.

At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the damage increases by 1d4. The shape of the breath, the damage type, and the saving throw match those of your draconic exemplar (see Table 1–1). This ability has the trait associated with the type of damage it deals.

Kobold Lore Feat 1

Kobold

You attentively learned key kobold survival strategies and mythology from your elders. You gain the trained proficiency rank in Stealth and Thievery. If you would automatically become trained in one of those skills (from your background or class, for example), you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. You also become trained in Kobold Lore.

Scamper [one-action] Feat 1

Kobold

Requirements You are adjacent to at least one enemy.

You instinctively know how to flee danger. You Stride up to your Speed, with a +5-foot status bonus to your Speed, and you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against reactions triggered by this movement. You must end this movement in a space that’s not adjacent to any enemy.

Snare Setter Feat 1

Kobold

Prerequisite(s) trained in Crafting

You are adept at the time-honored kobold art of trap making.

You gain the trained proficiency in Crafting. If you were already trained in Crafting, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. You gain access to all uncommon kobold snares.

You gain the Snare Crafting feat, though when choosing your formulas for that feat, you can also choose from uncommon kobold snares, as well as common snares.


Ally’s Shelter [reaction] Feat 5

Fortune Kobold

Frequency once per day

Trigger You attempt a saving throw while adjacent to one or more allies, but you haven’t rolled yet.

In stressful circumstances, you find strength in your allies’ example. Roll the save using an adjacent ally’s modifier for that type of saving throw instead of your own.

Grovel [one-action] Feat 5

Auditory Concentrate Emotion Kobold Mental

Prerequisite(s) trained in Deception 14

With obsequious words and begging gestures, you convince your foe you’re less of a threat. You attempt to Feint against a creature. Unlike a normal Feint, the creature can be within 30 feet instead of in your melee reach, and you make your check against its Will DC instead of its Perception DC.

Snare Genius Feat 5

Kobold

Prerequisite(s) expert in Crafting, Snare Crafting

Your expertise makes your snares more powerful, and you can place them quickly and efficiently. Each day during your daily preparations, you can prepare three snares from your formula book for quick deployment; if the snare normally takes 1 minute to Craft, you can Craft it with 3 Interact actions. Snares prepared in this way don’t cost you any resources to Craft. The number of snares you can prepare this way increases to four if you are a master in Crafting, and to five if you are legendary.

When you Craft and deploy a snare that deals damage, any creature that critically fails its saving throw against the snare’s initial effect and takes damage becomes flat-footed until the end of its next turn.


Between The Scales Feat 9

Kobold

Underestimating you is a grave mistake, but it’s one others keep making. You’ve learned to take advantage of slips in your foes’ defenses. When you Strike a flat?footed creature using a melee weapon or unarmed attack that has the agile and finesse traits, it gains the backstabber trait.

Dracomancer Feat 9

Kobold

Your inborn arcane power manifests as your exemplar’s most time-honored spells. Choose one 1st-level spell and one 2nd-level spell from those listed for a dragon spellcaster of your draconic exemplar’s type (such as alarm, blur, invisibility, and true strike for a black dragon exemplar). You can cast each of these spells once per day as arcane innate spells. You gain the trained proficiency rank in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs, and your key spellcasting ability is Charisma.

Dragon’s Breath Feat 9

Kobold

Prerequisite(s) Kobold Breath

You can put more effort into your Kobold Breath to channel greater draconic power, though it takes more out of you. When you use Kobold Breath, you can increase the damage dice to d8s and increase the area to 60 feet for a line breath weapon or 30 feet for a cone. If you do, you can’t use Kobold Breath again for 1 hour.


Elite Dracomancer Feat 13

Kobold

Prerequisite(s) Dracomancer

Your magic rivals that of lesser dragons. Choose one 3rd?level spell and one 4th-level spell from those listed for a dragon spellcaster of your draconic exemplar’s type (such as paralyze and stinking cloud for a black dragon exemplar). You can cast each of these spells once per day as arcane innate spells.

Your Content Goes Here

You might…

  • Take pride in your draconic connections, whether you believe dragons are your ancestors or simply patrons.
  • Analyze your surroundings, always looking for ambushes, advantageous terrain, and escape routes.
  • Naturally observe, adopt, and respect group dynamics, whether as leader, subordinate, or equal.

Others Probably…

  • Assume that you are cowardly and won’t stick around in the face of danger.
  • Appreciate your ingenuity and resourcefulness, especially when it comes to building defenses.
  • Consider your claims of draconic power to be overblown, delusional, or endearing.

Hit Points 6

Size Small

Speed 25 feet

Ability Boosts Dexterity, Charisma

Free Ability Flaw Constitution

Languages Common, Draconic; Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it’s positive). Choose from Aklo, Dwarven, Gnomish, Infernal, Terran, Undercommon, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).

Traits Humanoid Kobold

Darkvision You have Darkvision. You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light, though your vision in darkness is in black and white.

Draconic Exemplar You draw minor powers from your draconic exemplar. Choose a type of chromatic or metallic dragon to be your exemplar. This determines your scale color and appearance, and dragons sometimes look more favorably upon those kobolds who resemble them, at the GM’s discretion. Your exemplar may also determine details of other abilities you have, using the Draconic Exemplars table.