The new Dragons and Kobolds


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


The focus of Pathfinder will as we all know by now shift a little away from the classical chromatic and metallic dragons

But their imprint is still strong with their diminutive cousins

I personally love Kobolds and I know many of you do too

So I've been wondering - what will happen to them?

Will Kobolds stay the same (in mostly the five chromatic colors and sometimes their metallic counterparts)

Or will Kobolds be reinvented, maybe even renamed, to go away from OGL and reflect their possible new relatives?

And will we get at that opportunity maybe the chance to get new Kobolds who have a link to other dragonkin like primal and imperial dragons?

I would love to see our little scaley friends go proud into the future with maybe a little makeover and a new coat of scales! :D

Liberty's Edge

I do not believe Kobolds will need a renaming. And I think all draconic PC options in Remastered Core will be based on the new Paizo ORC dragons.


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Y'know, I was gonna keep my mouth shut. "People have already heard my bellyaching, nobody needs to hear it again. That said, this is probably the best venue for putting in my two cents, so let's rumble. I will preface this by saying that what follows is my own personal opinion on kobolds, my preference, my "if I were Princess of Paizo, a largely honorrific title with sole discretion over fun-hating tweaks to the kobold ancestry, what would I do?"

I'd love it if kobolds veered a little away from the dragon stuff.

Specifically, I would be absolutely thrilled if we were no longer forced to pick a "scale type" for every kobold we play. I think dragon-ness is an important part of the ancestry for many people, and it should absolutely stick around, but Draconic Exemplar feels weird to me for a variety of reasons.

1. It pressures kobold PCs to directly acknowledge a type of dragon they're descended from. Not everyone wants to play a PC who's defined by their genes, but that's the first unique kobold thing you get--before you even get to pick a heritage!

2. I'm not one to nitpick lore, but the idea that kobolds would continue to "breed true" for so long is bizarre to me. Are red-scaled kobolds cross-fertile with silver-scaled kobolds? Do their offspring equally split between little silver kobolds and little red kobolds? Do the girls all share the scales of the mother, and the boys of the father, like in Lady and the Tramp II? It honestly feels kind of... I'm not saying it's offensive, but it's weird and unscientific. Like I said, I don't usually care about the science, except:

3. Kobolds' fixation on their draconic heritage is a little weird on a good day, but it gets weird-weird when you add in "also, each of us is descended from a specific type of dragon, and our bloodlines have remained inexplicably pure enough that any given kobold has one singular dragon type that they are connected to".

4. It's flavorfully limiting. I'd like to have the freedom to just say that most kobolds are a mishmash of all kinds of dragon bloodlines! I would assume that plenty of kobolds don't bother to keep track of which bloodlines they have, just like you don't keep track of whether you're 3% Italian. Just be whatever design or hue you like. I feel like a lot of new players might feel like they aren't "allowed" to just be pink or purple or gray or a muddy brown. Heck, there's no reason why a kobold can't be, say, blue, but breathe ice. Genetic code doesn't usually travel in starter packs.

To be clear, when I play a kobold, I feel comfortable ignoring this stuff. It's not the end of the world. That doesn't mean I don't think it's a little dumb.

In my opinion, "scale type" should be optional--a feat or heritage that directly links you to a specific type of dragon. Even just adding a "no specific color" option to Draconic Exemplar would be fine, I guess, but honestly? If we just scrapped it and folded it into a feat, I wouldn't mourn it for a second.

Also, I know we're probably getting new "kobold scale types" with the Remaster. That doesn't inherently change any of this, though.

EDIT: I hope this wasn't all too off-topic. In answer to the OP, I figure we're probably gonna keep kobolds, just with even more dragon types to be linked to.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I largely agree with kobold catgirl here. I still like the dragon connections but the way Dragon Exemplar currently does feel off to me. One way I try to relieve it it that appearance or heritage is different from Exemplar...the Exemplar is a dragon type a kobold chooses to follow.(or perhaps in world often something they get culturally) idk how to explain the abilities dragon exemplar can be connected to except its magic babbyyyy

I would love for Kobolds to have connections to a bunch of dragons including the primal and imperial, but also the option for the connection to be more downplayed than it currently is.

the core 2 book product description mentions Kobolds meanwhile, the Kholo name change is already changed. That being said the book is still a year away and we may see paizo realize they might need to change it, but based on what we know I think paizo feels confident about keeping the name.


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I'm generally opposed to "pick what color your character is, this has mechanical implications" in all of its forms.

Like "what color your skin/eyes/hair are" shouldn't have anything to do with anything besides "what you think is cool."

If Kobolds have to pick something dragon related, it should have to do with energy type not color. You can basically lop the first column off the "Draconic Examplar" table and it's intelligible.


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4e Dragonborn had no correlation between scale color, breath weapon type, and personality. If D&D was capable of getting away from that two editions ago, there's no need for Pathfinder to be bound to tradition.


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I also think that there should be no correlation between the scale color and general ability

but I think scale color and breath weapon/resistance makes a certain degree of sense

mixed/mottled colored kobolds sound very cute though and I would totalls support that :P

but I also would love to see new options for kobolds (and the possible looks of kobold tribes) based around the new dragons


The Raven Black wrote:
I do not believe Kobolds will need a renaming. And I think all draconic PC options in Remastered Core will be based on the new Paizo ORC dragons.

Maybe they need to be renamed or maybe even be removed or completely changed. For despite the name kobold having an origin of European myths, the kobolds as small intelligent bipedal reptilians related to dragons practically originates from D&D. Perhaps not just the name is enough, as kobolds as they are today in PF IMO are legally more dangerous than the concept of metallic dragons.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm generally opposed to "pick what color your character is, this has mechanical implications" in all of its forms.

Like "what color your skin/eyes/hair are" shouldn't have anything to do with anything besides "what you think is cool."

If Kobolds have to pick something dragon related, it should have to do with energy type not color. You can basically lop the first column off the "Draconic Examplar" table and it's intelligible.

I agree completely that a given kobold's scales color should be completely independent of that of their draconic exemplar, if they even have one.

And I feel that the Draconic exemplar concept should really be detached from the general description of Kobolds as an Ancestry and only mentioned in the one Heritage and the few feats that actually reference it. So that only those kobolds that actually mechanically rely on having a Draconic exemplar need to choose one.

Liberty's Edge

YuriP wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I do not believe Kobolds will need a renaming. And I think all draconic PC options in Remastered Core will be based on the new Paizo ORC dragons.
Maybe they need to be renamed or maybe even be removed or completely changed. For despite the name kobold having an origin of European myths, the kobolds as small intelligent bipedal reptilians related to dragons practically originates from D&D. Perhaps not just the name is enough, as kobolds as they are today in PF IMO are legally more dangerous than the concept of metallic dragons.

Good point. Likely a rename will be necessary then. Maybe kobold was the Absalom slang word for the Ancestry and it caught.

Now, if they are more disjointed from the concept of having a Draconic exemplar and the Draconic exemplars provided are Paizo's new dragons, I feel that, with the change in artwork they got in PF2, it should be enough.

At least I hope so. I am cautiously optimistic about them staying in Remastered since they have been announced in Core Player 2.

Liberty's Edge

A purple-scaled 'kobold' steps up onto a crate adorned in the garb of an Eagle Knight.

"Ahem. The Sewer Dragons of Absalom have a tradition of referring to themselves as 'truebloods' and dragons as 'true truebloods'.

I concur with esteemed Cleaver that we need to step away from the incredibly divisive and non-inclusive terms of our past and move forwards to a greater society for all of our tribes, clans, and other gatherings."

They hop down and take the crate with them.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think Pathfinder HAS started moving in that direction already, given there's text I think is in the Ancestry Guide but can't remember completely, hinting that the true origins of kobolds lies in the experiments of the xiomorns, making them cousins to the pechs and deros.

Though admittedly that may introduce problems of its own, given "derros" come from the OGL too, not to mention the deeply troubling description of them as universally "insane" that's largely been left unexamined from their origins in the oldest role-playing game to the present day...


Mechanically, I'm half expecting Paizo to just make a universal table of dragon character options and update everything to refer to it. Makes it easy to future-proof for new stuff and such.

Sorcerer, barbarian, kobolds (except for the dracomancer feats), etc. all basically just use the same table listing dragon type, energy type, and breath weapon shape.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:
4e Dragonborn had no correlation between scale color,

Well it's also worth noting in that that Dragonborn just appeared out of nowhere in 4E D&D and had not been a part of D&D before that.

So it's not that they got away from noting them by color with 4E - but that the ancestry never had that feature to begin with.

I'd like to see Kobolds AND dragons no longer have their abilities associated with their appearance. But I don't have any strong opinions yet on how they go about that.

Mythologically, a Kobold is a Goblin is a Hobgoblin. So the ancestry is already just something 'made up'. In my 1E AD&D Monster Manual there's nothing on their roots. But they have a particular hatred of a number of fey creatures (spites and gnomes for example), and speak Kobold, Lawful Evil, Goblin, and Orcish.

So the 'draconic link' seems to be something that came about later. I no longer own by D&D 3E books so I can't recall if it came from there. They did get a visual update back then and I remember them featuring in an early module or two (that might have been d20 published).

The 'dog like' look of them from D&D is how they look in the 1E AD&D Monster Manual as well.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

That's incorrect. Dragonborn of Bahamut were featured in 3.5 in Races of the Dragon.

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