Best of the Bestiary, D&D

Kobolds: Starter Enemies 101

Time for everyone’s favorite starter enemy! Aside from goblins. Or zombies. Or… you know what, never mind.

Lore: The Dragon Sworn

Servants and worshippers of dragons, kobolds can usually be found in a dragon’s lair, gathering treasure for their own tiny hordes. They mature quickly, mate quickly, and die quickly. In order to make up for this, they’ll group together in large packs, using superior numbers to win a battle.

Furthermore, they build great tunnels and fill them with traps. Some of the smarter ones even use natural resources as weapons. Even creatures like slimes or giant centipedes are used in these traps. Anything to help them survive.

Along with dragons, kobolds worship a god named Kurtulmak. Legends say the god served as Tiamat’s vassal in the Nine Hells until Garl Glittergold, the god of gnomes, stole something from the dragon queen. Tiamat sent him to get it back, but the gnomish god played a trick, caving the earth in on top of him and trapping the dragon god for eternity. Thus, kobolds hate gnomes and pranks of any kind, and many of the most devoted dig to find and free Kurtulmak.

Among the kobolds are the urds. These are kobolds born with wings and gifted flight. Though those wings are considered gifts from Tiamat, kobolds without them live in envy and don’t get along with the urds.

There is a lot you can play with there. From building a kobold lair to making a kobold NPC, the potential is endless. Hell, you could even do something with Kurtulmak! So many plots, all of them fun!

At least, if you turn kobolds into comic relief. Like everyone does.

Design: Tiny Dragon

Look at this baby man!

Little baby! Little itty bitty baby man!

Fun fact: my first exposure to kobolds came from World of Warcraft. So, growing up, I always thought they were disgusting little rat-men. When my friends in middle school showed me D&D kobolds, they all laughed at me and called me stupid.

I guess that was less a ‘fun’ fact and more a ‘sad’ fact.

Anyways, this design is fine. It’s a tiny little dragon man. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it isn’t especially inspired. Still, it is iconic for Dungeons and Dragons. So I’ll give it a pass.

Stats: Together We Strong!!

Unsurprisingly, these guys are all pathetic. They’re tiny and weak, with HP in the single digits and ACs near enough to that. Their weapons are the lowest dice rolls you could get for a monster. If you fought one, you’d basically just be bullying it.

But together? They’re not so easy to kill. With Pact Tactics, they have advantage on attack rolls, so long as they’re within five feet of an ally.

Then again, they have Sunlight Sensitivity. Which gives them disadvantage on perception checks in daylight. So… keep them in a cave or something.

Oh yeah, and the winged kobolds can fly. That’s it.

The novelty in fighting these comes from fighting adorable little dragon dudes. In terms of an actual fight, they’re just not that interesting. They do the same thing that so many other monsters in this book do. Only that they do it better.

Placement

Kobolds are pretty decent. They have some really great lore and a classic design. Unfortunately, their stats just don’t make for a very interesting fight.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Kobolds on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Sea Hag
  14. Bronze Dragons
  15. Brass Dragons
  16. Copper Dragons
  17. Gold Dragons
  18. Chuul
  19. Gibbering Mouther
  20. Intellect Devourer
  21. Chimera
  22. Death Knight
  23. Fomorian
  24. Bone Devil
  25. Dracolich
  26. Faerie Dragon
  27. Kobold <—————–
  28. Kenku
  29. Hobgoblins
  30. Night Hag
  31. Green Hag
  32. Ankheg
  33. Hook Horror
  34. Storm Giant
  35. Hill Giant
  36. Empyrean
  37. Efreeti
  38. Grimlock
  39. Dao
  40. Cloud Giant
  41. Drow (all four of ’em)
  42. Shadow Demon
  43. Marilith
  44. Drider
  45. Aarackockra
  46. Azer
  47. Demilich
  48. Spectator
  49. Hydra
  50. Marid
  51. Harpy
  52. Werejackal
  53. Half-Dragon
  54. Cambion
  55. Fire Giant
  56. Animated Armor
  57. Banshee
  58. Basilisk
  59. Yochlol
  60. Bulette
  61. Cloaker
  62. Darkmantle
  63. Doppelganger
  64. Ghoul and Ghast
  65. Ettin
  66. Pit Fiend
  67. Erinyes
  68. Chain Devil
  69. Bearded Devil
  70. Barbed Devil
  71. Spined Devil
  72. Ice Devil
  73. Djinni
  74. Nalfeshnee
  75. Glabrezu
  76. Chasme
  77. Grell
  78. Barlgura
  79. Horned Devil
  80. Balor
  81. Shadow Dragon
  82. Vrock
  83. Dretch
  84. Gnolls (all three)
  85. Goristro
  86. Hezrou
  87. Manes
  88. Frost Giant
  89. Duergar
  90. Quasit
  91. Dryad
  92. Flumph
  93. Goblin
  94. Githyanki
  95. Planetar
  96. Imp
  97. Clay Golem
  98. Flameskull
  99. Displacer Beast
  100. Carrion Crawler
  101. Githzerai
  102. Grick
  103. Invisible Stalker
  104. Rug of Smothering
  105. Bugbear Chief
  106. Bugbear
  107. Flesh Golem
  108. Vine Blight
  109. Twig Blight
  110. Needle Blight
  111. Bullywug
  112. Hellhound
  113. Ettercap
  114. Gas Spore
  115. Cockatrice
  116. Lemure
  117. Homonculus
  118. Solar
  119. Deva
  120. Gorgon
  121. Hippogriff
  122. Griffon
  123. Cyclops
  124. Centaur
  125. Ghost
  126. Fire Elemental
  127. Water Elemental
  128. Air Elemental
  129. Stone Giant
  130. Deep Gnome
  131. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  132. Iron Golem
  133. Stone Golem
  134. Earth Elemental
  135. Galeb Duhr
  136. Helmed Horror
  137. Flying Sword
  138. Crawling Claw
  139. Violet Fungus
  140. Shrieker
  141. Gargoyle

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