Will there be metallic kobolds?


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Because nothing screams more "All that glitters is not kobold"

Like a gold kobold. Yes? Yay, nay? My group have been obsessing over kobolds for a while now.


There was at least an option for metallic kobolds, even though it was not like they were naturally born

but I could imagine it as ancestry option


That would be great, still surprised they don't "exist".


I mean, there's no reason for there not to be Metallic kobolds. Since Chromatic Dragons are 95% Evil and Metallic Dragons are 95% Good, it would make sense for most Good-aligned Kobolds to be Metallic.

Restricting an ancestry to be intrinsically Evil like that isn't really good design...


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I mean, there's no reason for there not to be Metallic kobolds. Since Chromatic Dragons are 95% Evil and Metallic Dragons are 95% Good, it would make sense for most Good-aligned Kobolds to be Metallic.

Restricting an ancestry to be intrinsically Evil like that isn't really good design...

I'm actually pretty sure that a kobold's coloration has little or nothing to do with their moral outlook. I definitely agree that there's no reason to restrict an ancestry to being intrinsically evil, but I'm pretty sure even if kobolds were exclusively coloured after chromatic dragons (which they aren't as I recall), they are not beholden to the lower alignments.

I don't know if there's a compelling lore reason that kobolds trend toward certain colours, but I do know that normal (if rare) scale colours include dark grey, yellow, and orange. There's also a purple kobold in the Kingmaker AP, though there are particular reasons for that which you could argue may or may not reflect general kobold diversity.


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There have been a few more natural, first edition canon sources of oddly colored Kobold scales, including purple and of course golden. Some even had mechanical benefits.


Mmm, love me some cute pint-sized lizards (of all colors)


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I have mixed feelings about this.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Nah. The five current colors are it. There might be exceptions now and then, like the weirdo purple kobold from Kingmaker, but I'd rather not have kobold versions of every dragon.


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I played an Aasimar kobold with silver scales!


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I rather liked the carnation colored scales myself...


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I mean, there's no reason for there not to be Metallic kobolds. Since Chromatic Dragons are 95% Evil and Metallic Dragons are 95% Good, it would make sense for most Good-aligned Kobolds to be Metallic.

Restricting an ancestry to be intrinsically Evil like that isn't really good design...

I'm actually pretty sure that a kobold's coloration has little or nothing to do with their moral outlook. I definitely agree that there's no reason to restrict an ancestry to being intrinsically evil, but I'm pretty sure even if kobolds were exclusively coloured after chromatic dragons (which they aren't as I recall), they are not beholden to the lower alignments.

I don't know if there's a compelling lore reason that kobolds trend toward certain colours, but I do know that normal (if rare) scale colours include dark grey, yellow, and orange. There's also a purple kobold in the Kingmaker AP, though there are particular reasons for that which you could argue may or may not reflect general kobold diversity.

To be fair, Kobolds commonly believe they are the descendants of Dragons, and revere their apparent ancestors as a source of recognition and power. If those ancestors more often than not are Evil, and the descendants pick up on that sort of behavior...you get the idea.

I mean, I'm not saying that all Chromatic Kobolds (and Dragons) are Evil. But it's like the Undead/Demon rules in PF1 (which hasn't really changed that much in PF2): They are basically confirmed to be Evil unless the game or scenario specifically deem otherwise, with the most common non-Evil Undead being ghosts of Good-aligned people, though even they might go insane and start doing things they, in the mortal coil, wouldn't have normally done, and as such turn Evil by the sheer nature of it all. In the case of Demons/Devils, they are inherently Evil by nature and have powers to support that, even if they are redeemed or refuse to abide by their Evil powers.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Restricting an ancestry to be intrinsically Evil like that isn't really good design...
I'm actually pretty sure that a kobold's coloration has little or nothing to do with their moral outlook. I definitely agree that there's no reason to restrict an ancestry to being intrinsically evil, but I'm pretty sure even if kobolds were exclusively coloured after chromatic dragons (which they aren't as I recall), they are not beholden to the lower alignments.

To be fair, Kobolds commonly believe they are the descendants of Dragons, and revere their apparent ancestors as a source of recognition and power. If those ancestors more often than not are Evil, and the descendants pick up on that sort of behavior...you get the idea.

I mean, I'm not saying that all Chromatic Kobolds (and Dragons) are Evil. But it's like the Undead/Demon rules in PF1 (which hasn't really changed that much in PF2): They are basically confirmed to be Evil unless the game or scenario specifically deem otherwise, with the most common non-Evil Undead being ghosts of Good-aligned people, though even they might go insane and start doing things they, in the mortal coil, wouldn't have normally done, and as such turn Evil by the sheer nature of it all. In the case of Demons/Devils, they are inherently Evil by nature and have powers to support that, even if they are redeemed or refuse to abide by their Evil powers.

The origin stories of kobolds are actually somewhat more varied than you list here. The three most common types of origin myth apparently believed by kobolds are:

  • -That Apsu created them from the dying spirits of chromatic and metallic dragons slain by Dahak as the Third Brood
  • -That they were born from the tears of shame shed by Dahak after defeating Apsu
  • -Or, most grand, that kobolds were the firstborn, predating true dragons, and were the stock from which the true dragons were first created

However, it does remain true that many kobold tribes do venerate and follow powerful evil dragons to do their bidding. That said, I don't really feel like this is a serious problem, or at least no more serious than acknowledging that many goblins and orcs also worship evil gods or live in predominantly evil cultures. It doesn't really bother me that any of these ancestries have many evil ancestors because while they are certainly likely to be influenced toward evil, they remain capable of choosing their own destiny--which perhaps makes for an even more compelling story to tell, as the popularity of non-evil Goblin PCs shows.

Finally, I don't feel that demons/undead really have much relevance to this scenario. As you say, not all kobolds or even chromatic dragons are necessarily evil, but I think there is a distinction missing. Even if we assume that chromatic dragons are as intrinsically evil as demons/undead (i.e. something about their nature strongly compels them toward evil behaviours, to the extent that any exception is noteworthy), this doesn't imply anything about the innate morality of kobolds, even those kobolds who would serve such monsters. Once again, I agree with you that kobolds should not be an intrinsically evil ancestry, but I don't feel like there is anything in the lore to suggest that they have anything more than a slight inclination toward evil on the whole.

James our illustrious loresaurus rex has since confirmed that there are no plans for metallic kobolds at this point, but I do not feel like this move necessarily means that kobolds of good alignments are any less common than non-evil goblins or orcs. it seems to me no contradiction that kobolds tend to come only in the chromatic colours but have as much free will as any other humanoid mortal on Golarion. Rather, it would somewhat bug me if metallic kobolds were introduced specifically to account for non-evil kobold alignments and kobold morality were based primarily on the colour of their scales. I'm actually rather in favour of kobolds sticking primarily to their chromatic colours.


I could see a kobold that hangs around/serves metallic dragons using powders, makeup, or even wearing ornamentation that invokes the metallic color without actually changing the color of the kobold. I wouldn't make that worth any mechanical change though.

That being said, I imagine living conditions of kobolds that serve metallic dragons are generally better than those that serve chromatic dragons, so I could see that being one of the "you start with more hit points" ancestries. But I wouldn't make it so that kobolds with that ancestry had to paint themselves silver or anything like that (a number might chose to do so [including a PC kobold], but it wouldn't be required).

Shadow Lodge

I'd be okay with orange/yellow/brown kobolds who claim metallic heritage. Or even ones who relate in some way to primal or imperial dragons. Black & red kobolds who claim their tribe was once chummy with a magma dragon, or similar.

Personally, I like yellow kobolds. I did once have a PC who kept claiming, "the gold ones are the good ones, so so am I!" while actually being sycophantic LE. Either way, you can't judge a kobold by their colour.

Liberty's Edge

Since Kobold PCs will have all the same options as other Characters there is nothing, lore-wise, which stands in the way of a Kobold taking a Sorcerer Bloodline to emphasize a Metallic Dragon bloodline in them via the Class or MCA Feat chain as well as the Barbarian Instinct for Dragons.

This would help further reinforce that these types of Kobolds are the few-and-far-between which they're meant to be.


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I would feel bad killing a shiny Kobold.


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Just wanted to chime in about the kobald barbarian. Tiny, but fierce!


TwiceTested wrote:
Just wanted to chime in about the kobald barbarian. Tiny, but fierce!

Yap YAP!


James Jacobs wrote:
Nah. The five current colors are it. There might be exceptions now and then, like the weirdo purple kobold from Kingmaker, but I'd rather not have kobold versions of every dragon.

So, hopefully you check back in to read this because this is a real design question that has always puzzled me.

As Paizo actively moves away from the potentially racist/sexist tropes that have plagued Drow since their inception I am incredibly surprised we even still have dragons split into good and evil camps that are completely defined by their "race" as it were.

Would it make a lot more sense, from a world building perspective, and from a 'staying away from problematic concepts' perspective, to just say:

"There are only chromatic dragons. A dragons ethical outlook varies from individual to individual"?


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nah. The five current colors are it. There might be exceptions now and then, like the weirdo purple kobold from Kingmaker, but I'd rather not have kobold versions of every dragon.

So, hopefully you check back in to read this because this is a real design question that has always puzzled me.

As Paizo actively moves away from the potentially racist/sexist tropes that have plagued Drow since their inception I am incredibly surprised we even still have dragons split into good and evil camps that are completely defined by their "race" as it were.

Would it make a lot more sense, from a world building perspective, and from a 'staying away from problematic concepts' perspective, to just say:

"There are only chromatic dragons. A dragons ethical outlook varies from individual to individual"?

No need to engage in literary ethnic cleansing.

Gold dragons are very interested in social engineering the lives of lesser life forms (pretty much everything non-gold dragon). Gold dragons almost always have large groups of kobolds living near them. Alignment: any lawful

Silver dragons tend toward high levels of religious fervor. Alignment: within one step of their god

Bronze dragons enjoy spending extended periods of time disguised as a humanoids. It is dangerous to "out" them. Alignment: any neutral

Brass dragons enjoy lifestyles of luxury and stimulating conversation. Unlike other dragons, they are willing to work for lesser beings to fund that lifestyle. Alignment: any neutral

Copper dragons are born entertainers. Sometimes they don't recognize (or care) if their antics hurt others. Alignment: any chaotic

Red dragons desire to be recognized as the best at what they do. An evil red dragon is the worst monster, and a good one is the greatest hero. Either way it is good for your health to recognize (and sing the praises of) any red dragon you meet. Alignment: any non-neutral

Blue dragons prefer to live in more complicated societies than other dragons, using magic to communicate with their peers with great regularity (since they don't like living around other dragons anymore than any other dragon). Blue dragons almost always have large groups of kobolds living near them. Alignment: any lawful

Green dragons think of themselves as authors and lesser beings as their books. A green dragon might help an orc become chief of her tribe only to engineer the orcs downfall because the Green feels like telling a tragedy. Or a Green might terrorize a Halfling family to prod a member of the family into becoming a paladin. Alignment: it doesn't matter, you won't know until it is too late anyway

Black dragons are the most territorial and antisocial of dragonkind. As far as they are concerned anything with an int of 3 or higher should stay out of their swamp. Or else become dinner. Alignment: CE

White dragons are a subrace of Silver dragons that turned to nature worship/druidism. Alignment: Any neutral


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nah. The five current colors are it. There might be exceptions now and then, like the weirdo purple kobold from Kingmaker, but I'd rather not have kobold versions of every dragon.

So, hopefully you check back in to read this because this is a real design question that has always puzzled me.

As Paizo actively moves away from the potentially racist/sexist tropes that have plagued Drow since their inception I am incredibly surprised we even still have dragons split into good and evil camps that are completely defined by their "race" as it were.

Would it make a lot more sense, from a world building perspective, and from a 'staying away from problematic concepts' perspective, to just say:

"There are only chromatic dragons. A dragons ethical outlook varies from individual to individual"?

They already are on that path:

Age of Ashes Spoiler:
There is a non-evil red dragon in the campaign that can become your friend and ally!


Scale color mutations can be always interesting fluff and player characters anyway tend to exist outside the norm. Since its probably not linked to any exclusive mechanical advantage, I see no reason to restrict players or deny them an individual character design.

There are probably heritage feats linked to scale color but thats just a matter of appropiate colour coding (gold becomes red and so). The only difference I see is the social aspect a society thats aware of the difference between chromatic and metallic dragons might make the step and react more friendly to metallic kobolds but thats a big if and also somewhat farfetched. I don't assume that a cat with a gepard like fur is faster any other cat because foremost its a cat not gepard.


Kobolds make me think of Tucker's Kobolds back in the day. They learned from continuous attacks by adventurers to use oil on them and light everything on fire. Fun fun stuff.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Filthy Lucre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nah. The five current colors are it. There might be exceptions now and then, like the weirdo purple kobold from Kingmaker, but I'd rather not have kobold versions of every dragon.

So, hopefully you check back in to read this because this is a real design question that has always puzzled me.

As Paizo actively moves away from the potentially racist/sexist tropes that have plagued Drow since their inception I am incredibly surprised we even still have dragons split into good and evil camps that are completely defined by their "race" as it were.

Would it make a lot more sense, from a world building perspective, and from a 'staying away from problematic concepts' perspective, to just say:

"There are only chromatic dragons. A dragons ethical outlook varies from individual to individual"?

The further away from human you get and the more monstrous you get, the safer and more helpful it is for organization purposes to have human-familiar concepts (such as good and evil, colors and metals) to build content off of.

We could take an approach that is akin to your suggestion, and say that alignment varies from individual to individual, but that erodes the need for alignment entirely. It's still a core part of the rules, as core as hit points and saving throws, and as long as that remains the case, it'll be a core part of standardized monster stats.

And as folks have pointed out, you CAN have dragons of any alignment, and we've done that ourselves. But that's on an individual level, not the generic level a Bestiary has to take when representing a monster as an average, typical member of its kind.


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Down with alignment. It should only be for outsiders, creatures that are literal manifestations of concepts. All mortal creatures should be able to vary greatly and any average approximation of alignment should just be the current local social average of that creature or its natural inclination with an understanding of variation built in.
Intelligent monsters are people too.
I hope there's some support for at least neutral kobolds that are like Minions, just wanting to work for the strongest boss. So then you can find bunches working for good dragons.

Silver Crusade

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OrochiFuror wrote:
All mortal creatures should be able to vary greatly

They do.

Also, being Humanoids Kobolds alignments can be whatever.


Dragons can already vary in alignment, as can all non-outsider. It is not on Eberron Level yet, but it is getting there^^

And I like that.


lowfyr01 wrote:

Dragons can already vary in alignment, as can all non-outsider. It is not on Eberron Level yet, but it is getting there^^

And I like that.

Technically even outsiders can change their alignments. Its just, WAAAAAAAAY rarer and harder than it is for anyone else.

There is at least one notable Succubus who became good, which is at least a proof of concept.

I wanna say that there was an evil Angel too at one point but I can't remember really and I don't know if that was in one of our homebrews...


Vali Nepjarson wrote:
lowfyr01 wrote:

Dragons can already vary in alignment, as can all non-outsider. It is not on Eberron Level yet, but it is getting there^^

And I like that.

Technically even outsiders can change their alignments. Its just, WAAAAAAAAY rarer and harder than it is for anyone else.

There is at least one notable Succubus who became good, which is at least a proof of concept.

I wanna say that there was an evil Angel too at one point but I can't remember really and I don't know if that was in one of our homebrews...

Not sure about evil, but I know there was a neutral angel who wrote the book of the damned, and inspired a sect of int based bards that reject alignment as a cosmic concept, all of which I find 100% awesome.


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:
lowfyr01 wrote:

Dragons can already vary in alignment, as can all non-outsider. It is not on Eberron Level yet, but it is getting there^^

And I like that.

Technically even outsiders can change their alignments. Its just, WAAAAAAAAY rarer and harder than it is for anyone else.

There is at least one notable Succubus who became good, which is at least a proof of concept.

I wanna say that there was an evil Angel too at one point but I can't remember really and I don't know if that was in one of our homebrews...

I don't know about your specific angel, but we do have a redeemed devil in the form of Arathuziel the Chained, who felt so strongly that he should be good that he puts up with being a pariah in Heaven rather than being one of these things.

Oh, and there is, of course, The Island of Misfit Outsiders where you can find all sorts of alignment changery. I got the feeling that's where the majority of your nonstandard alignment-ed outsiders end up, actually.


I think Arathuziel showed up in the Redemption Engine book, which I highly recommend (as well as Death's Heretic, which has the same protagonist).

Silver Crusade

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Arathuziel was indeed in Redemption Engine (he's on the cover).

Also agreed, both it an Death's Heretic are great reads.


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:


I wanna say that there was an evil Angel too at one point but I can't remember really and I don't know if that was in one of our homebrews...

I feel like at least half the archdevils are fallen celestials. There's even an aasimar bloodline specifically for those descended from fallen angels. They're probably the most common type of off-alignment outsider.


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Rysky wrote:

Arathuziel was indeed in Redemption Engine (he's on the cover).

Also agreed, both it an Death's Heretic are great reads.

Yup and yup. It's either my favorite or second-favorite Pathfinder Tales novel I've read so far.

Dark Archive

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While a part of me likes the idea of maybe *some* metallic kobolds, it does feel like it would set a weird sort of precedent that would inevitable snowball into a call for primal-dragon-flavored kobolds and planar-dragon-flavored kobolds and imperial-dragon-flavored kobolds, and I'm pretty sure I don't want most or all of that... (or weirder stuff like an undead kobold 'ravener').

For all that I'm a huge fan of there being an even *more* dragon-tied kobold race (that hatch in clusters from unfertilized eggs laid annually by dragons that don't have mates), I'm perversely *also* a fan of a version of kobolds that are utterly deluded about their ties to dragonkind, and whose colored variants are the result of genetic and alchemical tinkering, and have nothing to do with actual dragonkind, much to the loud cries of denial from the kobolds themselves, who are desperate to 'prove' this connection (and have tied their whole racial self-identity, sense of self-worth to that 'connection').


Mechagamera wrote:

No need to engage in literary ethnic cleansing.

Gold dragons are very interested in social engineering the lives of lesser life forms (pretty much everything non-gold dragon). Gold dragons almost always have large groups of kobolds living near them. Alignment: any lawful

Silver dragons tend toward high levels of religious fervor. Alignment: within one step of their god

Bronze dragons enjoy spending extended periods of time disguised as a humanoids. It is dangerous to "out" them. Alignment: any neutral

Brass dragons enjoy lifestyles of luxury and stimulating conversation. Unlike other dragons, they are willing to work for lesser beings to fund that lifestyle. Alignment: any neutral

Copper dragons are born entertainers. Sometimes they don't recognize (or care) if their antics hurt others. Alignment: any chaotic

Red dragons desire to be recognized as the best at what they do. An evil red dragon is the worst monster, and a good one is the greatest hero. Either way it is good for your health to recognize (and sing the praises of) any red dragon you meet. Alignment: any non-neutral

Blue dragons prefer to live in more complicated societies than other dragons, using magic to communicate with their peers with great regularity (since they don't like living around other dragons anymore than any other dragon). Blue dragons almost always have large groups of kobolds living near them. Alignment: any lawful

Green dragons think of themselves as authors and lesser beings as their books. A green dragon might help an orc become chief of her tribe only to engineer the orcs downfall because the Green feels like telling a tragedy. Or a Green might terrorize a Halfling family to prod a member of the family into becoming a paladin. Alignment: it doesn't matter, you won't know until it is too late anyway

Black dragons are the most territorial and antisocial of dragonkind. As far as they are concerned anything with an int of 3 or higher should stay out of their swamp. Or else become dinner. Alignment: CE

White dragons are a subrace of Silver dragons that turned to nature worship/druidism. Alignment: Any neutral

I know it's off topic, but why do you allow for lawful/chaotic alignment restrictions but not good/evil ones. Law and chaos are just as important and character defining as good and evil are.


On topic however, I am a supporter of a complete rainbow of Kobolds. I kind of like the idea that Kobolds shed their scales and they change to match whoever their current ruler is. Kobolds ruled by a red dragon slowly become red, the same applies to a pink fairy or a kind in purple robes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
On topic however, I am a supporter of a complete rainbow of Kobolds. I kind of like the idea that Kobolds shed their scales and they change to match whoever their current ruler is. Kobolds ruled by a red dragon slowly become red, the same applies to a pink fairy or a kind in purple robes.

One of the trickiest things there is that kobolds skew low level and dragons skew high level. It makes it difficult, awkward, and sometimes impossible to do adventures where a worthy dragon is served by kobolds and not having one side of the play experience be lopsided.

You can make the dragon young or relatively weak, but then that's not playing to the classic strengths of what folks think of when they think dragons.

You can level up the kobolds, but then you have the same disconnect coming from the other side of things, with suddenly kobolds taking on roles set aside for giants or other traditionally powerful creatures.

If you're building a brand new world, that's fine since you can adjust those expectations easy, but Golarion is not only not a brand new world, but it's built off the bones of traditions and myths that go back decades for game stuff and centuries for story stuff.

So having kobolds directly serve dragons is tricky. We've done it before, as seen in "The Dragon's Demand," but even then you aren't fighting kobolds and dragons all in the same dungeon. The kobolds there aren't so much the dragon's direct servants as they are admirers.


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James Jacobs wrote:
One of the trickiest things there is that kobolds skew low level and dragons skew high level. It makes it difficult, awkward, and sometimes impossible to do adventures where a worthy dragon is served by kobolds and not having one side of the play experience be lopsided.

What if the dragon is just kobold voltron?


James Jacobs wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
On topic however, I am a supporter of a complete rainbow of Kobolds. I kind of like the idea that Kobolds shed their scales and they change to match whoever their current ruler is. Kobolds ruled by a red dragon slowly become red, the same applies to a pink fairy or a kind in purple robes.
One of the trickiest things there is that kobolds skew low level and dragons skew high level. It makes it difficult, awkward, and sometimes impossible to do adventures where a worthy dragon is served by kobolds and not having one side of the play experience be lopsided.

1) Tucker's Kobolds

2) Dragon Mountain

I ran the module once (I did a decent job of translating things to D&D 4E's mechanics at the time) and it really is a module meant for 12th to 14th level adventurers and features kobolds as the primary antagonists in the 3rd book.

Its not impossible, you just have to stop treating them as individuals (minion mechanics worked well in 4E and there were some rarely-used leader-of-minions systems, used primarily for undead summoners, that had "trigger: when a minion dies. Effect: make the PCs lives miserable." Eg. "a minion dies: trigger a 10 foot radius explosion centered on the triggering minion that does 4d6 damage (Ref half)." I did my best to create some really interesting effects) and use them more like Swarm[Kobold].


Draco18s wrote:
1) Tucker's Kobolds

In my experience this is very unpopular with players. You need a group that wants to play a military tactics wargame to use this. A regular party will get TPKed in the first room. This would be a niche product.


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Set wrote:
While a part of me likes the idea of maybe *some* metallic kobolds, it does feel like it would set a weird sort of precedent that would inevitable snowball into a call for primal-dragon-flavored kobolds and planar-dragon-flavored kobolds and imperial-dragon-flavored kobolds, and I'm pretty sure I don't want most or all of that... (or weirder stuff like an undead kobold 'ravener').

I'm sorry I know you just said you don't want them but..

Imperial-dragon kobolds with those big whiskery things and antler style horns sounds really cool.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draco18s wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
On topic however, I am a supporter of a complete rainbow of Kobolds. I kind of like the idea that Kobolds shed their scales and they change to match whoever their current ruler is. Kobolds ruled by a red dragon slowly become red, the same applies to a pink fairy or a kind in purple robes.
One of the trickiest things there is that kobolds skew low level and dragons skew high level. It makes it difficult, awkward, and sometimes impossible to do adventures where a worthy dragon is served by kobolds and not having one side of the play experience be lopsided.

1) Tucker's Kobolds

2) Dragon Mountain

I ran the module once (I did a decent job of translating things to D&D 4E's mechanics at the time) and it really is a module meant for 12th to 14th level adventurers and features kobolds as the primary antagonists in the 3rd book.

Its not impossible, you just have to stop treating them as individuals (minion mechanics worked well in 4E and there were some rarely-used leader-of-minions systems, used primarily for undead summoners, that had "trigger: when a minion dies. Effect: make the PCs lives miserable." Eg. "a minion dies: trigger a 10 foot radius explosion centered on the triggering minion that does 4d6 damage (Ref half)." I did my best to create some really interesting effects) and use them more like Swarm[Kobold].

Those two kobold things you cite are, to me, great examples of how it changes kobolds away from being what they should be and sends confusing themes to the players about what they should expect. To me, playing a high level adventure where I face kobolds makes me feel like I've wasted my time adventuring—if my "big story reward" for fighting through levels 1 through 10 is "You now get to fight the same sort of things you've always fought before" is deeply unsatisfying. It feels the same way when you play a computer game and the developers had to shave costs/cut corners by not having enough monsters to fight that things start feeling samey as you get to the later game stages.

I never said it was impossible. I just said that, to me, it stagnates the story progression.

And a fair amount of Tucker's Kobolds and Dragon Mountain relies on an unsatisfying to me element of "trick the players, not the characters" by almost cheating them. It certainly cheats players the excitement of feeling like their characters have ACTUALLY become more powerful, by showing them "no matter how tough you get, you're fighting kobolds forever."


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I'm not disagreeing with the conclusion, but it's kind of interesting how we're generally okay with Humans or Elves (and maybe orcs and hobgoblins) being both low and high level antagonists but things like Goblins and Kobolds are sort of mentally coded to be treated as trivial threats and make unsatisfying high level baddies.

That said, just got an idea for a kobold BBEG who's become obsessed with the idea that kobolds deserve to dominate the world.

offtopic:
Because if Kobolds are dragon-kin then surely they deserve a place alongside dragons as one of the great and terrible species of the world. Maybe convinced that kobolds have some untapped potential that True Dragons have been intentionally suppressing by keeping them culturally subservient and reverent to them. Later enemies would probably consist heavily of increasingly monstrous mutated kobolds that have been (to varying degrees of success) subjected to their experiments to enhance koboldkind.


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Squiggit wrote:
I'm not disagreeing with the conclusion, but it's kind of interesting how we're generally okay with Humans or Elves (and maybe orcs and hobgoblins) being both low and high level antagonists but things like Goblins and Kobolds are sort of mentally coded to be treated as trivial threats and make unsatisfying high level baddies.

1) Tolkien

2) 45 years of humans and elves as player character races ancestries so cannot be level limited. Yes, get down you grognards! I know about the elf level limits in the older games. There's a reason we don't play those anymore.

3) Lack of a sane system to to advance monsters in the early rules.

Dark Archive

Squiggit wrote:
Set wrote:
While a part of me likes the idea of maybe *some* metallic kobolds, it does feel like it would set a weird sort of precedent that would inevitable snowball into a call for primal-dragon-flavored kobolds and planar-dragon-flavored kobolds and imperial-dragon-flavored kobolds, and I'm pretty sure I don't want most or all of that... (or weirder stuff like an undead kobold 'ravener').

I'm sorry I know you just said you don't want them but..

Imperial-dragon kobolds with those big whiskery things and antler style horns sounds really cool.

Yeah, even as I typed it, I thought, but *this* one could be cool... So yeah, I'm just rocking the contrariness again. :)


James Jacobs wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

1) Tucker's Kobolds

2) Dragon Mountain
Those two kobold things you cite are, to me, great examples of how it changes kobolds away from being what they should be and sends confusing themes to the players about what they should expect.

Tucker's Kobolds are an extreme case, to be sure. The point is that if an extreme case exists, then there's a spectrum to work with.

Put kobolds in a dragon's den and the players should expect them to be level-appropriate in challenge rating. Worst case they get cocky and hit hard and have to regroup.

Dragon Mountain never tries to pull the wool over the player's eyes and actually goes out of its way to make sure that the players (and characters) know that its not going to be a push-over fight.

The inventing I had to do just dealt with the mechanics of 4E, taking some clues from other modules, and applying related powers. E.g. my example where when a minion died, it exploded, can be described. And a single instance of the damage is more shock value than dangerous (I pulled a number out of thin air for that post; was just meant to be a low-level tiny fireball: hits one or two PCs, does a little damage, and forces them to consider dealing with the minions and suffering the consequences, taking them out at range, or going after the non-minion "controller" (if the controller was dead the minion's power shut off)).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draco18s wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

1) Tucker's Kobolds

2) Dragon Mountain
Those two kobold things you cite are, to me, great examples of how it changes kobolds away from being what they should be and sends confusing themes to the players about what they should expect.

Tucker's Kobolds are an extreme case, to be sure. The point is that if an extreme case exists, then there's a spectrum to work with.

Put kobolds in a dragon's den and the players should expect them to be level-appropriate in challenge rating. Worst case they get cocky and hit hard and have to regroup.

Dragon Mountain never tries to pull the wool over the player's eyes and actually goes out of its way to make sure that the players (and characters) know that its not going to be a push-over fight.

The inventing I had to do just dealt with the mechanics of 4E, taking some clues from other modules, and applying related powers. E.g. my example where when a minion died, it exploded, can be described. And a single instance of the damage is more shock value than dangerous (I pulled a number out of thin air for that post; was just meant to be a low-level tiny fireball: hits one or two PCs, does a little damage, and forces them to consider dealing with the minions and suffering the consequences, taking them out at range, or going after the non-minion "controller" (if the controller was dead the minion's power shut off)).

Of course there's a spectrum to work with, but just because there's a range doesn't mean its aesthetically pleasing to any one artist to use the entire spectrum in a work of art. Fighting kobolds at high level as significant threats is obviously something that appeals to some folks. It just doesn't to me.


I'm not sure where and how I got that idea, but I thought the color mutation could be influenced by the proximity of whichever species of dragon is nearby(that they serve), and so, since they usually serve chromatic dragons, they have chromatic colors, but after few generations under a metallic dragon, some will start showing the same type as that dragon.

I know it's not pathfinder canon, but it's how it is for me.

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