This is an excerpt from One Page Lore: Fantasy Folk, which covers 20 folk besides kobolds. It’s in the wild now, and there’s 3 ways to get it.
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Whether you love them or loath them, someone at the table is trying to dunk on kobolds. They’re often used as low-level fodder, but they’re way more unique and fun than that. They’re tiny, distant relatives to dragons, and they have many of the same features and abilities as dragons, though to a far lesser extent. Their dragon-like form also grants them features even dragonborn lack.
So let’s look at kobolds as a folk, focusing on what makes them unique as a group occupying our fantasy worlds.
Kobolds look unmistakably draconic. Their serpentine bodies, long snouts, talons, and vestigial wings make them appear like miniature dragons. However, every feature that invokes the draconic is a lesser imitation compared to those of a dragon.
Kobolds are small, dragon-like creatures. When on their hind legs, they stand 3-4 ft. tall. Their slender tails can be as long as half their standing height. Their tail can possess several different dragon-like weapons, such as a thagomizer, bony club, poisonous stinger, spines, or quills. Kobolds often have other draconic characteristics, such as horns, spines, dorsal fins, or whiskers.
Their arms and legs all end in matching three-taloned claws, and they can use any of them as hands. Protective scales cover them from head to tail, and the color of their scales can range drastically from bright hues to deep blacks. Combinations of colors are common.
A kobold’s large eyes aid them when seeing in the dark but also make hiding their emotions difficult.
Most kobolds have 2-4 pairs of vestigial or malformed wings. Some are too small to use for flight, while others are simply nubs that never fully sprout wings. Smaller kobolds can sometimes train enough to use their wings for gliding, so long as their wings are large enough to do so.
While rare, some kobolds grow wings that are both functional and large enough to fly as effectively as birds of prey.
While inconsistent, kobolds possess qualities seen among dragons. These can include breath weapons (such as fire, ice, acid, etc.), projecting an aura that invokes powerful emotions or produces other effects, or astounding senses. Some also have limited power over specific elements or energies, such as fire, earth, and sound.
This heritage also comes at the cost of a specific vulnerability. Dragons are weak to different elements or energies, and those who know a kobold’s draconic heritage may exploit this weakness.
Kobolds’ connection to dragons goes further back than recorded history, leaving much of their origins a mystery.
Blood of Dragons
Legend states bathing in the blood of dragons will allow the anointed to see the future. Since kobolds have dragon blood within them, some can use this rare gift.
When a kobold bleeds from a wound, the blood rushing over their scales grants them the gift of future sight. This moment of clarity allows them to survive desperate situations and become triumphant when the odds are against them. In their greatest time of need, the blood of their ancestors comes to their aid.
When reproducing, Kobolds lay 100-200 eggs at once. The eggs are very small, making freshly-hatched kobolds minuscule in size and extremely vulnerable. It’s rare for a kobold to nest more than once in their life.
Hatchling kobolds are ravenous and will eat whatever fits into their mouths. The nutritional value of the food given to kobolds within their first few months will often determine how big they will become.
If well-fed, kobolds reach full size in about two years. Despite being full size, they do not mature as quickly as they grow, reaching full mental maturity at around 20 years.
Kobolds live around 50-60 years. As they reach an advanced age, their scales begin to soften, eventually falling off entirely. The skin beneath their scales is smooth and glossy, still displaying the color of their draconic heritage.
- Small of Stature – Your small form grants you advantages larger folk miss out on
- Serpentine – Your long body grants you greater stability
- Prehensile Feet – You can use your feet as effectively as your hands
- Resistance – Due to your draconic heritage, you have resistance to specific elements, such as acid, fire, or magic
- Draconic Heritage – You have powers directly related to the dragons in your ancestry
- Scales – Thick scales protect you from head to tail
- Tail Weapon – Your tail is a powerful weapon
- Claws – Your claws make for an effective tool in many situations
- Optional Bipedal – You can walk on two or four legs, each granting different advantages
- Powerful Aura – You have a single, powerful aura that induces fear, stirs compassion, or even burns those who get close
- Small – Your size can lead to bigger folk pushing you around
- Draconic Heritage – You have the same weaknesses as your draconic ancestors
- Prehensile Feet – Tools designed for folk with 10 fingers can be difficult to use
- Tail Weapon – With a weapon always available, some will see you as a threat
- Powerful Aura – Sometimes you don’t want to affect others with your aura
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Other One Page Lore: Fantasy Folk samples: