Librium – Species Spotlight: Kobold
Kobolds are malicious, cruel, xenophobic, reptilian humanoids. They hate almost every other intelligent creature, especially earthen such as dwarves, gnomes and goblins. Cowardly and weak in nature, they will only attack with overwhelming odds or with trickery, such as traps and ambushes. They are unintelligent and live in communal underground caverns where they dig holes, attempting to uncover shiny objects. They communicate through a dog-like yapping, often expressing anger and displeasure with each other.
Weak in both spirit and body, a single kobold can be easily dispatched by even a child, though in great numbers they can prove a nuisance to novice adventurers. They have no significant culture or society, though they do carve crude meaningless drawings in their cavern walls.
Distribution: temperate and subtropical environments such as mountains, hills, and temperate forests.
Activity Cycle: Cathemeral, very active. At least 20% of a kobold group is active at any given time.
Organization: Patrols (4-10), Raiding Party (20-100), Warband (50-400), Warren (600-2000)
Behavior: Cowardly, ambush predator, scavenger, pack hunter. Kobolds flee with little provocation.
Languages: Rarely common
Kobolds are found most often in warm climates, especially like rocky and highly vegetative terrain such as mountains, hills, and forests. They cannot tolerate colder climates and often retreat to their underground burrows during the colder months.
Kobolds never travel alone. If you spot a single or small group of kobolds they, are likely bait for a larger trap. They patrol their territories in groups of four to ten. When on the offensive, their raiding parties can range from 20-100 kobolds, depending on the size of the home warren. Complete war bands can have up to 400 kobolds, though they are rarely this organized. Kobold warrens are estimated to have up to 2000 kobolds living inside.
Kobolds are lizard-like bipedal humanoids standing approximately 75 to 100 cm tall and weighing around 15kg. Their reptilian head is shaped like that of a dog and lined with small protruding spikes along the rim. Their eyes have vertical slits like that of a lizard and vary greatly in color, often shades of orange or red. A kobold’s body is covered with thin scales which are usually earthen tones, but can range to any reptilian color. Kobolds have short scaled rat-like tails to assist them with balance and their hands and feet each have four digits, including a thumb on each hand. They often wear leathery rags to protect themselves from the weather and attacks.
Kobolds are shifty and tricky, never traveling alone and never participating in a fair fight. They prefer ambush tactics and overwhelming odds to ensure their opponents are confused and weakened before they directly engage. During combat, kobolds often attempt to keep their distance and lure their prey into further traps. They attempt to separate and debilitate their targets, picking off the weakest and taking what they can before fleeing. They often steal objects they perceive as valuable. Kobolds flee if they have obtained anything of value, or if they are threatened in any way.
They are hyper aggressive even among their own kind. Kobolds often bark orders at each other, make demands, bite, scratch, and arguing over food and treasures. Though they can seemingly come together when a bigger prize presents itself, kobolds are selfish and greedy, taking what they can for themselves only.
Kobolds are overtly aggressive to other intelligent races, particularly gnomes and dwarves since they share similar territories. In their diggings, kobolds often accidentally burrow into dwarven or gnomish mines. While generally cowardly, the kobolds often attempt to sabotage machinery, lay traps for unsuspecting individuals, or steal precious resources. Occasionally small wars break out, ultimately leading one side to collapsing tunnels and abandoning areas.
Kobolds are merely a nuisance if one stays out of their territories. Even if passing through, a pair or more of escorts is usually more than enough to prevent kobolds from engaging in hostilities.
Kobolds are omnivores will eat anything, but prefer fresh meat and have no qualms with eating intelligent beings. They often carry dried meat rations, eggs, live insects, and fungi. Kobolds are considered scavengers and obtain their food through theft or scaring off more powerful predators. They are known to sometimes hunt, hover, luring unsuspecting prey into an ambush.
Kobolds are cold blooded creatures which makes them more susceptible to colder climates, but more enduring in warmer climates. As such, a kobold living in a cold environment would have to eat many times as much as in a warm environment to keep their metabolism functioning properly. Kobolds make their home in underground areas to take advantage of the natural insulation provided.
Kobolds are often prey animals for other species and thus have an estimated lifespan of five years. They are known to lay eggs and some kobolds have been seen transporting these eggs, though the destination or purpose of this transportation is unknown.