kobolds Species in Scarterra | World Anvil


Kobolds were one of the first races specifically created by the Nine after the Rebellion. Most kobolds claim to be the first race so created or at least the oldest one still around today. Given the similarities between them and dragons, as well as their innate talent for sorcery, all kobolds proudly declare draconic heritage. Most kobolds fall into one of the three broad cultural groups: Tiamalans, Laershin, and Gilgren.   Most kobolds live in tight knit clans. Clans sometimes these clans operate on their own but they usual band together to form larger tribes. The clans in a larger tribe periodically meet to exchange marriage partners and trade but this is not strictly necessary.   Each tribe and clan has their own culture and norms, but nearly every kobold clan belongs to one of the three major tribes Tiamalan kobolds, Laershin Kobolds , or Gilgren Kobolds . Kobolds of all stripes tend to be migratory and their race has been on Scarterra for so long that all three kobold cultures can probably be found somewhere on every major continent or region.   The three groups are virtually biologically identical. Despite this common ground, it is rare for the three kobold tribes to ally with each other or intermarry, the Gilgren and Laershin haven’t worked closely together since the Second Unmaking when all kobolds had to close ranks to avoid their race’s extinction. There are no written or oral lore of what the three tribes did during the First Unmaking . Some assume the three tribes haven’t solidified by the time of the First Unmaking. In any event, during the First Unmaking, kobolds had to avoid the dangers of natural disasters. During the Second Unmaking they faced an actual attempt at genocide, so their need for cooperation was much greater.   Like the dragons they claim kinship with, kobolds seem to have little if any issues with inbreeding. Due to the kobolds deliberately mixing up their eggs, kobolds do not even know who their biological siblings. Some scholars who study kobold culture theorize since a large portions of newborns fail their birthing trek, unintentionally inbred kobolds seem to weed themselves out.   A single clan can go several generations without bringing in foreign marriage partners to no ill effect. Also like dragons, gender roles in kobold society are mostly androgynous. There is no division of labor or status along gender lines. Generally deference is given to elders and to some extant raw competence (those with heroic ability). kobolds are generally communal in outlook. They tend to sleep in mass huddles and they raise their children collectively.   Kobolds are generally monogamous. A small number of tribes with more status differentiation than the norm have some leaders who practice polygamy and polyandry, but this is rarely exceeds two or three mates. Widows and widowers rarely take new mates, but there is social pressure to do so if the kobolds in question are still in their reproductive years during a time when tribal members are low in numbers. Each kobold is expected to serve the best interest of the tribe to the best of his/her abilities.   Females in a clan tend to go into heat at roughly the same time, so eggs are laid at about the same time and they hatch at about the same time. Eggs are placed in communal nests and left some distance away from the tribal encampment. The mothers leave pheromone trails from the nest to their tribal camp. After hatching, newborn kobolds will instinctively follow the scent trail back to their people.  This journey is known as "the birthing treks".   Kobolds have very efficient digestive systems. They can digest almost any animal or vegetable matter. They can safely consume, but not digest, a wide variety of inorganic matter. In small doses, it is both healthy and therapeutic to clean their insides that way. Many have tribes have ritualized these often going to the same site at regular intervals, and use rituals and traditions to pick just the right stones to eat. Since dragons are famous for eating inorganic material, these cleansing ceremonies often involve telling stories about their draconic forebears.   Kobolds speak Draconic but the Kobold dialect is considered to be simplistic and primitive by most other Draconic speakers. Some say the Kobold dialect lacks nuance. This is untrue. Kobolds can add a wealth of subtext to their communication via pheromones and scent glands. dragons have the olfactory ability to pick this up, but they still have interpret these smells. If a dragon wants to learn the Kobold “dialect) he or she will probably take a few years of study. Apart from dragons, most Draconic speakers don’t have the acute sense of smell necessary to fully comprehend the subtext of what kobolds are saying even with training.   Geographically disparate tribes of kobolds may have mild accents and a few different words for things that emerged after the First Age, but their ability to understand each other is remarkable compared to other cultures with similarly geographically dispersed populations. This is because the kobolds facility with Draconic (and scent based modifiers) is as much instinctual as learned.   Unlike many D&D settings, Scarterran kobolds have no beef with gnomes . Kobolds have no racial enemies really. If a particular clan is competing with dwarves for living space than that tribe has a problem with those dwarves. A few hundreds of miles away, another tribe of kobolds could be friendly trading partners with a dwarf stronghold.

Civilization and Culture


Before, after, and during the Second Unmaking, most kobolds lived in tribes of a couple hundred individuals. With their nomadic life style already in place and their superb knowledge of the geography of the wilderness most kobolds were relatively well positioned to survive the Unmaking.   Kobolds are not exactly known for a being a warm and gregarious race but during the Second Unmaking, they often worked with elves, giants, free goblins, and other mortal survivors at least on a temporary basis and they rarely came to blows with other mortal groups.   Historical mentions seem to suggest that the kobolds were surprisingly good demon fighters and they were seemingly the only mortal race to survive into the the Third Age after being singled out for destruction by the The Annihilator.   Interestingly enough, while a great many of modern mortals claim descent from great demon slayers, the kobolds are fairly modest. They will proudly claim that their ancestors were present at the battle that slew the Annihaltor in the Desert of Tears, but they do not embellish or make up pretty lies to fill in holes in their recolection. Most kobolds will admit that they do not know whether it not it was a kobold that struck down the Demon Lord or whether it was someone else.   Akeem of Magicland, professor Emeritus of History
Kobold Character Creation   Scaly Skin: Kobolds have one soak level of armor against all forms of damage. This stacks with worn armor. A kobold counts as S target unless he or she is wearing medium or heavier armor.   Draconic Senses: Kobolds recieve -1 bonus on all Alertness rolls.   Hyper Sense of Smell: Kobolds may use the ability "Blood Hound" as a simple ability, allowing detection and analysis of scents that humans and demi-humans cannot even detect.   Naturally Stealthy: Due to their size, kobolds are light on their feet and can hide easily. They get -1 difficulty bonus on all Stealth rolls.     Puny: +1 difficulty to all Strength rolls, including damage rolls. Maximum unencumbered carrying is 15 pounds per point of Strength rather than the usual 25.   Light: Bullrush and Grappling attempts against small creatures are at -1 difficulty.   Kobolds always speak Draconic as their native tongue.
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Typical Kobold Warrior Stats Willpower 4 Lethal Soak 1   Dexterity 3, Strength 3, Stamina 3, Appearance 2, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Intelligence 2, Perception 2, Wits 3   Abilities: Alertness 1, Animal Ken 1, Archery 2, Athletics 2, Blood Hound 3, Brawl 2, Crafts (usually wood working or mining) 2, Dodge 2, Hearth Wisdom 1, History 1, Intimidation 1, Leadership 1, Medicine 1, Melee 2, Stealth 3, Survival 3   Health: OK, -1, -1, -3, -5

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Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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