Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Race Preview: Kobold


    Kobolds are one of the races with little stature in Wheel politics. They're insular, xenophobic, and extremely clever. They, like the Dragonborn, are a client race of the old Draconic Empire. Where the Dragonborn were soldiers and favored servants, the Kobolds toiled in obscurity as miners and builders. After the fall of the Empire they were left to their own devices. And they've done very well for themselves, considering their natural ability (or lack thereof).
    The Kobolds have great industrial and mining ability, reproduce quickly, and have cutthroat business sense that makes them a mercantile force to be reckoned with. Also, they have more literal cutthroat tactics as well. With knives.

    Physical Characteristics
    Average Height: 1.0-1.2m
    Average Weight: 15-20kg
    Languages: Trade, Draconic
    Common Personality Traits: Practical, vengeful, spite-filled, impatient, demanding.
    Common Physical Traits: Shorter than short, ratlike tail, clawed fingers, glowing eyes, yapping voice.
    Example Names: Meepo, Ark'er, K'irk, A'thrin, S'sko, P'kard

    Racial Statistics
    Characteristic Bonus: +1 Charisma or +1 Dexterity
    Skill Bonus: +1 Arcana and Stealth
    Power: Power in the Blood: Kobolds are spiteful and strong-willed enough to demand power now that they can't handle. Once per round as a free action, they may spend two Hit Points to gain a resource point which must be immediately spent. However, this does not count against the number of resource points they may spend in a round.
    Size: 2

    Physical Qualities
    Kobolds are extremely small sentients, and not terribly physically adept compared to most species. For many races, being weak and relatively fragile would turn them cowardly or at least nonviolent. Kobolds are not those races. They're scrappy fighters, and downright mean when they get provoked.
    Kobolds resemble tiny Dragonborn, reptilian humanoids standing only barely more than a meter tall with scaled skin and small ivory horns. Their scales tend toward orange and muddy red, though a rare few are bright blue or green. They never have much of a build. Kobolds are always scrawny and thin. Not that many ever really see them at all. Kobolds almost always wear complete suits of armor, and often void suits as well. This is both a practical consideration and symbolic. Kobolds are miners, and while they're used to mine gasses, no one ever gets used to being crushed under ten tons of rock.
    Kobolds are adapted to conditions that would be very harsh for other races. Their lungs and biologies are adapted to toxic gasses and high pressures. While they can adjust to more normal environments if they spend some time decompressing (though they can just tough it out with some vomiting and pain if they really have to just do it).

    Playing a Kobold
    Kobolds are known for their cunning and bloody-mindedness. They are natural survivors and have managed to hang on in places and against odds that should by all rights be almost impossible. They show up in asteroids, carving out communities in the lower decks of spelljammers, deep underground, and even in middle-class suburbs.
    Most other races have mixed views on Kobolds. They tend to mentally divide Kobolds into ones that have integrated themselves into Wheel society and the ones that act like little more than vermin. Kobolds do this too. K'vend'l are the kobolds who have gone to live among the other races. They tend to be heavily involved with the local marketplaces and often command surprising wealth - they don't care about charity or other silly things like that, just profit. The K'sten'mannav, on the other hand, cling more strongly to tradition, would much rather wall themselves off from the rest of the Wheel than live with it, and they'd never be seen outside of a pressure suit and full armor if they had to interact with other races - though they'd much rather use an interpreter or go-between if at all possible.
    Because Kobolds are just so practical, they don't have many of the cultural niceties that would be considered common courtesy in other races. They will ambush their enemies if at all possible and would rather set traps than put themselves in danger at all.


  1. Example Names: Meepo, Ark'er, K'irk, A'thrin, S'sko, P'kard

    Excellent names.

  2. I love the fluff, less certain about the crunch. Size 2 is almost a death sentence, and while Halflings have something that can make them slightly more durable, Kobolds have an ability that actually costs them HP - the thing they will be most lacking.

  3. I think the size 2 and looming fatality is appropriate given their description, and the fact they're kobolds. The spending HP for their ability thing though, I'm not feeling that.

  4. Yeah, not entirely sold on the spending of HP, but the rest of the above is solid gold.

    I'm never going to be able to look a Volus in the face the same way again. Awesome.