Paizo Publishing has provided a fresh and innovative look at the Dungeons and Dragons world with its Pathfinder and Game Mastery products. Old classic monsters are given a new look and feel that takes them from being common cannon-fodder to interesting opponents for your game.
Kobolds have been given a facelift as well. Pathfinder kobolds resemble tiny draconic humanoids that are colored the same as the chromatic dragons. This further develops their draconic background.
So how would a DM use Pathfinder kobolds in Dragonlance? Read on!
Scholars debate the origins of kobolds. Some say they were once rat-men. Others surmise that kobolds were once related to canines, as they make a yapping sound like a dog. Other races theorize that they are the misbegotten or cursed children of dragons.
Whatever the case, it is known that kobolds have undergone a change in their history, making them into the visage of Queen Takhisis herself. Considering the connection, it is unlikely that the random changes of the Greygem are at fault here. Evidence supports the theory that ancient kobolds, perhaps from around the time of the Third Dragon War, made a pact with Takhisis, one which led to their current visage and little in return for the kobolds.
Most kobold races resemble their chromatic dragon cousins, but only to a slight extent. They retain the coloration of their cousins, including a lighter-colored chest and stomach. They are tiny humanoids, so they may look innocent enough at first. Do not be fooled, as they can be sneaky, cunning, and vicious.
Black kobolds are scam artists, second to none. Sneaky and underhanded, they will do every situation and turn it around to their advantage. While some scams run along the lines of being the “used car salesmen” of Krynn, some are far more deadly. Black kobolds are known to employ poison daggers and dangerous traps to their advantage.
While there are few beasts as fearless as blue dragons, the same cannot be said for their kobold kin. Blue kobolds have a heightened sense of self-preservation, leading them to act from vicious to cowardly, depending on the situation. Whichever route leads to surviving is the route they will take. Blue kobolds are loyal to their kobold king and will follow his orders to the letter, so long as it doesn’t go against saving their own hide.
Green kobolds are tricksters and pranksters. They love nothing more than to play jokes on others, including their own kin. Pranks may come in the form of simple jokes to deadly games of chance. None know for sure until it is too late.
Red kobolds are the most dominant of all kobold subraces. Filled with a mean streak, the little buggers are rabid and vicious in nature. These small bullies boss around the other kobold subraces, enjoying pushing others around. At the same time, they hate being bullied by other, larger races such as ogres.
White kobolds are not necessarily stupid, they just act on instinct. They are superstitious, seeing the work of the gods in the form of nature spirits. They are constantly afraid of angering the gods, especially the evil ones, so they try to appease them. For example, in order to appease the Great White Bear (Chislev), they will attack human settlements for touching upon her natural world. Of course, this could also be because they are xenophobic. Recently, a group of white kobolds have formed a settlement in the Icewall region, after destroying a small ice folk settlement.
Indeed, reports of kobolds with gold-colored skin have been verified, leading to much speculation. Are there silver, bronze, brass, and copper kobolds? One researcher, Malvick Eight-Fingers, once thought the gold kobolds were good, at least until the kobold bit off two of his fingers. The true origins of this rare subrace remain a mystery.
Kobolds pay reverence to Takhisis (Tialuz) as their mother. Black and green kobolds are especially drawn to Hiddukel (Hiduluz), who they view as a father figure. White kobolds follow the path of Zeboim (Zeboiz), who they work feverishly to appease. Some pay reverence to Chislev (Chisluz) as well. All kobolds genuinely fear Sargonnas (Sargaz) and Kiri-Jolith (Jolek), who frighten them to no end. Above all gods, kobolds hate Paladine (Bahmuz the “Anti-Father”).
Slurks used to be considered kender tales, though their existence has recently been documented. Kender refer to them as “saber-toothed froghemoths.” Slurks come from underground environs, the result of dark dwarf experiments.
You got GameMastery in my Dragonlance! (Paizo responds!)
We here at the Nexus are honored that Paizo has not only seen this article, but also has posted a response. Check it out!
You got GameMastery in my Dragonlance!
While seeing folks play in our campaign world is of course the biggest compliment we can receive, here at Paizo, we understand that many people have been playing in alternative game worlds for a long time, and simply aren’t interested in switching over. As a result, we’re always excited when we hear about someone getting jazzed enough about our products to mine out ideas or convert them over to their favorite setting.
Thus it was with great enthusiasm that we stumbled across this article over at the fan site Dragonlance Nexus, all about converting the kobolds introduced in D1: Crown of the Kobold King for use in your Dragonlance game. If you’re a Dragonlance fan—and there are certainly a few of them around here—hit it up and check out the author’s thoughts on the kobolds’ religion, subraces, and more.
And if there’s something else from the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting that you’ve been using in your Dragonlance game… why not submit it to the Nexus and spread the wealth?James Sutter
Assistant Editor, Pathfinder