In this edition of Dungeons and Dragons Monsters I’d like to talk to you about Kobolds. Since I don’t know when you are reading this blog post I’m referring to Dungeons and Dragons Edition 3.5 and the Pathfinder Role-playing Game.
The truth is a lot of the information is useful no matter the edition of D&D you are playing. I’d go as far as to say with a little imagination you’ll be able to use the information here in any table top role-playing game.
Kobolds even made it to my Top 10 Scariest Dungeons and Dragons Monsters blog post I did way back in March 2014.
Now on with it. How to properly employ these beasties. First and foremost don’t think you your novice adventuring party is going to clear out a whole tribe of these critters. This is the #1 mistake I’ve seen and made as a GM over the years. If you’ve planned an adventure around that you’ve already have begun on the wrong foot.
Monsters are not going to be just sitting around in a cave complex or dungeon in specific areas just waiting for you to come slaughter them and take their stuff.
My Dungeons and Dragons Monsters video- Killer Kobolds
Kobold watches will be set with their goal being not to engage and fight the enemy, but to alert the rest of the tribe of danger. Also these first sentries are going to begin arming any inactive defenses there are such as traps. Maybe some of the traps aren’t on all the time or else the tribe would have to worry about setting off their own traps. Which every kobold knows it’s such a hassle to have to reset traps every time one of your friends gets offed by one.
Suggestions for making those kobold encounters more memorable-
– Build suspense (rustling in the bushes, shadows flee just out of site, dead animals or people left for the players to find)
– Mounted warriors on over-sized dire rats (use the stats for a riding dog with filth fever added to them)
– Traps and hazardous terrain are the bread and butter of these little pests
- murder holes
- pit traps
- fleeing down passage ways that drop caltrops after they go by
- using monsters as unwitting guardians such as- stirges, otyughs, owlbears. (these aren’t trained guards, but critters the tribe has cunningly built it’s lair around. Maybe they even leave food in certain areas to encourage these other monsters to patrol certain places.
- using cramped spaces were the average players size is going to be at a disadvantage
– Some warriors armed better than other- crossbows instead of slings, alchemy items in their gear
– If there is useful items in the their treasure trove have them use them instead of locking them away in a chest
– When using intelligent Dungeons and Dragons Monsters make sure you treat them that way- USE TACTICS that make sense for that critter
- Hit and Run tactics
- Ranged attacks
- Targeting light sources
- Employing guard creatures
- Emphasize their stealthiness
– Kobolds are not the death before dishonor type. They will always flee or surrender if possible. Keep track of the kobolds that get away, because they might just come back to bite the players you know where when they least expecting it.
You really could base a whole campaign around Dungeons and Dragons Monsters such as the kobold.
The lower levels 1-3: The adventures encounter a minor incursion force of these little monsters, because live stock and perhaps children go missing. The heroes must come up with a way to rescue the children and kill or drive off the monsters.
The low end of the Mid Levels 4-6: In this process they discover the incursion is only an advanced scouting party for a much larger force of kobolds. Maybe the players must now help organize a defense for the town and keep it from being over run.
The Mid Levels 7-10: They heroes discover the source of where the kobolds are coming from.
There they learn the tribe is being lead and organized by a powerful sorcerer who claims his deity will smite the interlopers for ruining his plans.
Upper Levels 11-20: Turns out the sorcerer wasn’t bluffing about his deity getting a little miffed at the players. Also their god figure is actually a powerful dragon who views the kobolds as his property and dragons do not like people touching their stuff.
At the end of the day running a table top role-playing game is all about entertaining your players and having fun. To me that means challenging them with a game that is always a little uncertain. Perhaps they’ll be the heroes of the day or they could end up in some beasts stew pot if their not careful. I design encounters that my players can always over come, but I also want them to have to think and play intelligently.
Let me know in the comments what you think or you have some Dungeons and Dragons Monsters you’d like me to do a post about.
My name is Dave Friant I’ve been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it’s always been a part of my life I’ve kept secret and hidden away. I’ve always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth.
Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I’m gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life.
Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG’s.