Home > Ancestries > Kobold


Uncommon Humanoid Kobold

Every Kobold knows that their slight frame belies true, mighty draconic power. They are ingenious crafters and devoted allies within their warrens, but those who trespass into their territory find them to be inspired skirmishers, especially when they have the backing of a draconic sorcerer or true dragon overlord. However, these reptilian opportunists prove happy to cooperate with other humanoids when it's to their benefit, combining caution and cunning to make their fortunes in the wider world.

Kobolds are resourceful survivors whose snare-guarded warrens and opportunistic scavenging have cast them as villains to most other humanoids, with their draconic reverence lending them a reputation as mere minions and nuisances. Yet some kobolds have emerged from their secluded warrens seeking the relative safety of surface settlements, the lucrative prospects of the adventuring life, or validating awe from followers of their own.

If you want a character with oversized confidence, deadly cunning, and the ancient power of dragons flowing through their veins, you should play a kobold.

Hit Points: 6
Size: Small
Speed: 25 feet
Ability Boosts: Dexterity, Charisma, Free
Ability Flaws: Constitution
Languages: Common, Draconic, Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it's positive). Choose from Aklo, Dwarven, Gnomish, Infernal, Terran, Undercommon, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).
Traits: Uncommon,Humanoid,Kobold
Darkvision: You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light, though your vision in darkness is in black and white.

You draw minor powers from your draconic exemplar. Choose a type of chromatic or metallic dragon to be your exemplar. This determines your scale color and appearance, and dragons sometimes look more favorably upon those kobolds who resemble them, at the GM’s discretion. Your exemplar may also determine details of other abilities you have, using the Draconic Exemplars table.

Table 1-1: Draconic Exemplars
DragonBreath Weapon ShapeDamage TypeSaving Throw

You might...

  • Take pride in your draconic connections, whether you believe dragons are your ancestors or simply patrons.
  • Analyze your surroundings, always looking for ambushes, advantageous terrain, and escape routes.
  • Naturally observe, adopt, and respect group dynamics, whether as leader, subordinate, or equal.

Others probably...

  • Assume that you are cowardly and won't stick around in the face of danger.
  • Appreciate your ingenuity and resourcefulness, especially when it comes to building defenses.
  • Consider your claims of draconic power to be overblown, delusional, or endearing.

Physical Description

Kobolds are short (about 3 feet tall) reptilian humanoids with slender bodies and long tails. They often boast distant draconic ancestry, and every kobold displays one or more draconic features, such as stout horns, razor-sharp teeth, ormore rarelyvestigial wings or draconic breath. They mature quickly, reaching adulthood by about 12 years and living to about 60.

The color of a kobold's scales can vary widely. Most often, they mimic the hues of chromatic or metallic dragons, with a mix of slightly darker or lighter scales that create a mottled appearance. The scales of newly hatched kobolds often reflect the community's draconic exemplar, whether that's the dragon they currently serve or the dragon type from which they're descended.


Kobolds have an ingrained cautiousness that keeps them alive. They're secretive or subservient around powerful creatures to avoid becoming victims. This meekness fades once kobolds secure either a formidable patron (like a dragon) or a potent source of supernatural power (like an artifact or sorcerous leader). They often achieve an unshakable fervor and loyalty to their new cause or leader. However, kobolds are infamous for sensing a proverbial sinking ship, and once their source of power fails or seems doomed, their morale breaks swiftly.

Whether led by a dragon or not, kobolds almost always identify themselves with a type of dragon that serves as their spiritual exemplar. Their societies regularly adopt laws and cultural norms inspired by the exemplar's personality.

Alignment and Religion

All but the most iconoclastic kobolds have a natural respect for hierarchies and rules, and so kobolds are rarely chaotic. Kobold adventurers tend to be lawful neutral or neutral, relying on their ancestral social strategies for survival.

Organized religion feels natural for most kobolds, especially when a deity assumes a commanding or tyrannical disposition. Many gravitate toward Abadar's order or Shelyn's artistic flair. More sinister communities uphold Asmodeus and other archdevils as common patrons. The dragon deities Apsu and Dahak are also common subjects of worship. Kobolds also often find themselves drawn to cults, particularly those with dragons or devils as figureheads.


A young kobold's given name is rarely more than a syllable or two. However, as they age, achieve status, and accomplish great deeds, kobolds add more syllables to their names, imitating a common draconic practice. Kobolds rarely have surnames except in an effort to better fit into a community, in which case they typically adopt the surname of an inspiring figure in that group.

Sample Names

Azrnak, Draahzin, Enga, Fazgyn, Fazij, Jekkajak, Kib, Kirrok, Mirkol, Tarka, Urkak, Varshez, Vroklan, Zekstikah, Zgaz

You select a heritage at 1st level to reflect abilities passed down to you from your ancestors or common among those of your ancestry in the environment where you were born or grew up. You have only one heritage and can’t change it later. A heritage is not the same as a culture or ethnicity, though some cultures or ethnicities might have more or fewer members from a particular heritage.

Cavern Kobold

You hatched into a warren among narrow tunnels and countless kin. Your body is flexible. When Climbing rock walls, stalactites, and other natural stone features, you move at half your Speed on a success and at full Speed on a critical success (and you move at full Speed on a success if you have Quick Climb). This doesn't affect you if you're using a climb Speed. If you roll a success on an Acrobatics check to Squeeze, you get a critical success instead.

Source: Advanced Player's Guide pg. 13

Dragonscaled Kobold

Your scales are especially colorful, possessing some of the same resistance a dragon possesses. You gain resistance equal to half your level (minimum 1) to the damage type associated with your draconic exemplar. Double this resistance against dragons' Breath Weapons.

Source: Advanced Player's Guide pg. 13

Spellscale Kobold

A trace of draconic magic flows through your veins. Choose one cantrip from the arcane spell list. You can Cast this Spell as an arcane innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You gain the trained proficiency rank in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs, and your key spellcasting ability is Charisma.

Source: Advanced Player's Guide pg. 14

Strongjaw Kobold

Your Bloodline is noted for their powerful jaws and sharp teeth. You gain a jaws unarmed attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage. Your jaws are in the brawling group and have the finesse and unarmed traits.

Source: Advanced Player's Guide pg. 14

Venomtail Kobold

A vestigial spur in your tail secretes one dose of deadly venom each day. You gain the Tail Toxin action.

Tail Toxin

Kobold Poison

Frequency once per day
Requirements You are wielding a piercing or slashing weapon.

You apply your tail's venom to a piercing or slashing weapon. If your next Strike with that weapon before the end of your next turn hits and deals damage, you deal persistent poison damage equal to your level to the target.

Source Advanced Player's Guide pg. 14

Source: Advanced Player's Guide pg. 14

At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). You select from among the following ancestry feats.

Name Level Prerequisites Benefit
Cringe 1
Dragon's Presence 1
Kobold Breath 1
Kobold Lore 1
Scamper 1
Snare Setter 1 trained in Crafting
Ally's Shelter 5
Grovel 5 trained in Deception
Snare Genius 5 expert in Crafting, Snare Crafting
Between the Scales 9
Dracomancer 9
Dragon's Breath 9 Kobold Breath
Elite Dracomancer 13 Dracomancer