Kobolds are a cowardly, sadistic race of short humanoids that vigorously contest the human and demi-human races for living space and food. They especially dislike gnomes and attack them on sight.
Barely clearing 3 feet in height, kobolds have scaly hides that range from dark, rusty brown to a rusty black. They smell of damp dogs and stagnant water. Their eyes glow like a bright red spark and they have two small horns ranging from tan to white. Because of the kobolds’ fondness for wearing raggedy garb of red and orange, their non-prehensile rat-like tails, and their language (which sounds like small dogs yapping), these fell creatures are often not taken seriously. This is often a fatal mistake, for what they lack in size and strength they make up in ferocity and tenacity.
Kobolds speak their own language; some (75%) speak orc and goblin.
Combat:The kobold approach to combat uses overwhelming odds or trickery. Kobolds will attack gnomes on sight, but will think twice about attacking humans, elves, or dwarves unless the kobolds outnumber them by at least two to one. They often hurl javelins and spears, preferring not to close until they see that their enemies have been weakened.
Kobolds attack in overwhelming waves. Should the kobolds be reduced to only a three to two ratio in their favor, they must make a morale check. Kobolds are wary of spellcasters and will aim for them when possible.
This diminutive race also enjoys setting up concealed pits with spikes, crossbows, and other mechanical traps. They usually have view ports and murder holes near these traps so that they can pour flaming oil, missile weapons, or drop poisonous insects on their victims.
Kobold war bands are armed with spiked clubs, axes, javelins, short swords and spears. Their shields are seldom metal, but are normally wood or wicker. Chiefs and guards tend to have the best weapons available.
Kobolds have darkvision but do not see well in bright sunlight, suffering a -1 on their attack rolls.
Habitat/Society: Kobolds live in dark, damp places underground and in overgrown forests. They can be found in almost any climate. As kobolds are good miners, any area with potential for mining is fair game for settlement.
The average kobold tribe has 40 – 400 (4d10x10) adult males. For every 40 kobolds in a band there will be one leader and two bodyguards. In a lair there will be 5-20 (5d4) bodyguards, females equal to 50% of the males, young equal to 10% of the males and 30-300 (3d10x10) eggs. There will also be a chief and 2-8 guards. Further, there is a 65% chance there will be guard animals: (70%) 2-5 wild boars or (30%) 1-4 giant weasels. There may be one or more shamans.
Their society is tribal but can be further broken up into war bands based on specific clans. As many as 10 families can be part of a clan, and each clan usually is responsible for controlling the area in a 10 mile radius from the lair. Kobolds recover treasure from the bodies of their victims and often carry them back to their lair as food. In some instances, kobolds will not kill their victims, but will sell them as slaves.
Kobolds are distrustful of strangers. They hate brownies, pixies, sprites and gnomes. Gnomes are never eaten or taken prisoner.
Ecology: Perhaps kobolds are so cruel because they are easy prey for larger humanoids and hungry monsters. They have many enemies, and even the dwarves have had to admit that the numerous kobold-goblin wars have kept the number of goblins down to a safe level.
Kobolds can live 135 years.