Comments from the Finger: Kobolds were a staple of 3rd edition era power builds, and was the race of choice for everyone's favorite Pun-Pun, the kobold with effectively infinite stats and every ability in the game. But the love affair with kobolds states even earlier than that. Let's not even get started on Tucker's Kobolds.
Whatever the reason, kobolds have dug murder holes right into our hearts and now we can play them in 5th edition.
**Special thanks to Ralcos of Giant in the Playground for providing us with this fantastic race! He's fantastic, and you should totally check out his other work.**
We abandoned most of our carried items and donkeys to speed our flight toward the elevators, but we were cut off by kobold snipers who split-moved and fired, ducking back behind stones and corners after launching steel-tipped bolts and arrows, javelins, hand axes, and more flaming oil bottles. We ran into an unexplored section of Level One, taking damage all the time. It was then we discovered that these kobolds had honeycombed the first level with small tunnels to speed their movements. Kobold commandos were everywhere. All of our hirelings died. Most of our henchmen followed. We were next.
- Tucker, human warrior
Kobolds are craven reptilian humanoids that worship evil dragons as demigods and serve them as minions and toadies. Kobolds inhabit dragons' lairs when they can but more commonly infest dungeons, gathering treasures and trinkets to add to their own tiny hoards.
Strength in Numbers
Kobolds are egg-laying creatures which breed prodigiously, laying eggs quickly which rapidly mature. While some grow long enough to be "great wyrms" over a century old, most perish before their first decade. Physically weak, they are easy prey for predators. This vulnerability forces them to band together. Their superior numbers can win battles against powerful adversaries, but often with massive casualties on the kobold side.
Kobolds venerate dragons, to which they believe they are kin. The origin of this connection is unclear, based heavily on folklore and myth, but the relationship is undeniable and shapes every aspect of kobold religion.
In addition to the dragons they revere, kobolds worship a lesser god named Kurtulmak. Legends speak of how Kurtulmak served as Tiamat's vassal in the Nine Hells until Garl Glittergold, the god of gnomes, stole a trinket from the Dragon Queen's hoard. Tiamat sent Kurtulmak to retrieve the trinket, but Garl Glittergold played a trick on him, collapsing the earth and trapping the kobold god in an underground maze for eternity. For this reason, kobolds hate gnomes and pranks of any kind.
Tunnelers and Trapmakers
Kobolds make up for their physical ineptitude with a cleverness for trap making and tunneling. Kobolds take great pride in constructing their elaborate warrens and defending them with nefarious traps. Designed with low tunnels, kobolds can move easily through their lairs which hinder larger humanoids. The most insidious kobold traps make use of natural hazards and other creatures, and are thoroughly ruthless against invaders. A trip wire might connect to a spring-loaded trap that hurls clay pots of flesheating green slime or flings crates of venomous giant centipedes at intruders.
Kobold names are short and guttural, formed from thickly accented syllables from draconic, often repeated in pairs.
Male Names: Draahzin, Ed-Ed, Ipmeerk, Jik-Jik, Kip-Kip, Makroo, Olp, Pun-Pun, Yaar-Yaar.
Female Names: Araak, Kail-Kail, Neeral, Oza-Oza, PorPor, Saassraa, Tarka.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Kobolds have a rather long lifespan, becoming adults at 12 years of age. No one really knows how long lived a Kobold can be, with the recorded lifespan of about two centuries.
Alignment. Most Kobolds are Lawful, though they have a slight inclination to either good or evil based on which type of dragon they worship. Chromatic Kobolds are usually evil, while Metallic Kobolds are the opposite.
Size. Kobolds stand 4 feet tall at adulthood, and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Kobolds have a base walking speed is 30 feet. They are known to be quick and agile.
Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it was bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Trap Affinity. You are proficient with Traps and the Trapmaking Kit. In addition, you have advantage on all saving throws made against traps.
Shifty. If a melee attack misses you, you can immediately move 5 feet in any direction that isn't blocked as a reaction. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.
Subraces. Kobolds have three main subraces: Deep Kobolds, Dragon-Wrought, and Winged Kobolds, known as the Urd. Choose one subrace.
Your tribe of Kobolds live within the Underdark an work together as survivors to live within the gruesome underground catacombs.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Superior Darkvision. Your Darkvision's radius increases to 120 feet.
Light Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive in direct sunlight.
Pack Tactics. Like a wolf, you work better in groups. You can choose to gain advantage on melee attacks against one enemy until the end of your next turn if you have an ally adjacent to you. After using this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a short rest.
You have a touch of strong draconic heritage in your blood, and when you focus, you can feel the might of ancient wyrm's arcane magic.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Dragon's Knowledge. You are proficient in the Arcana skill.
Draconic Magic. You know the prestidigitation cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the spell burning hands. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the spell Melf's acid arrow. Charisma is the casting ability for these spells. After casting a spell with this trait, you must finish a long rest to cast the spell again.
You were born with leathery wings and can fly. Many like you, known as the urds, like to lurk on high ledges and drop rocks on passersby.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Little Wings. You gain the ability to glide 20 feet for every 5 feet of falling, taking 1/2 damage from any distance fallen. At 5th level, those wings are more sturdy, allowing for a softer landing and taking no damage from any distance fallen. At 10th level, those wings grant the ability to fly at a base speed of 25 feet, though you need to fly at least 10 feet or make a DC 16 Strength save to not fall. At 15th level, the fly speed increases to 40 feet.