Renaming Kobolds

Since I've changed kobolds in Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book to be more inline with their mythological counterparts, and I've got a shitload of kobold minis that I still wanna use, I now need to at least rename D&D kobolds to something else, and maybe come up with another backstory.

Like, D&D kobolds could just be kobolds that managed to kill and eat a dragon, and so were physically changed. They'd retain their kobold abilities, which varies between kobold type, so mine kobolds would still be able to phase through stone.

There's also the story of Fafnir, a dwarf who along with his father and brother captured Odin and Hœnir for some reason. Loki was also with them, but they chose him to go out and get a ransom, which ended up being cursed gold and a magic ring.

Fafnir killed his father to keep it all for himself, and eventually ended up turning into a dragon.

So, D&D kobolds could also be normal kobolds that killed a bunch of dwarves and took their gold (which might have been cursed by a dwarf with his dying breath), or it could have been cursed gold that they took from a dragon they slew. In either case you could have absurdly trapped kobold vaults; in the case of mine kobolds they'd be able to simply walk around them.

(If it's a hand-me-down curse it would explain why they don't all fully transform into dragons, though exceptionally greedy and/or old kobolds might gain additional features, such as wings and breath weapons, and could eventually fully transform.)

Another idea is the Greek legend of the dragon's teeth (which I'd heard before but was reminded of while designing The Dragon): you plant the dragon's teeth in the ground, and they grow into fully armed warriors. This is actually an idea I like for A Sundered World's tarchons, though I'd use it for campaigns where I have tarchons but not a worlds-shattering cosmic war.

So kobolds could be grown from the teeth of young dragons, or creatures that are like dragons but not quite, such as wyverns or all those wingless drakes.

Personally if you want to better associate dragons I like this one the most: kobolds grown from the teeth of black dragons would have black scales, breath underwater, and have acidic blood, while kobolds grown from the teeth of green dragons would have green scales, immunity to poison, and venomous bites (or explode into toxic clouds upon death).

I suppose specific physical traits and abilities could also be gained by kobolds that eat a dragon, too.

So, which kobold do you prefer: kobolds that ate a dragon, kobolds suffering from a greed curse, or kobolds grown from dragon (or dragonish/drake) teeth? All of the above (so the GM can choose or tweak one)? In any case I want to rename them to avoid confusion: got any suggestions? Do you have another idea for a kobold origin?

Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out!

It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).


  1. I like the dragon teeth origin the best. It leaves some room for some interesting uses as a race. Like, an evil wizard might plant dragon teeth in order to create an army for an assault on a city, or they might naturally spawn near dragon lairs from lost teeth (maybe make dragon lose/regrow teeth like sharks), or someone passes down an "artifact" necklace of dragon teeth that can be used to spawn backup in a pinch.

    I also like the hereditary curse, which could even start with them being dwarfs who were too greedy and/or cursed by their greed.

    Not terribly imaginative, but the only names I can think of are things like dragonspawn and dragonling.

    1. The dragon teeth origin can also be used to make them a little more unique as a race, as they wouldn't necessarily need a gender or the ability to procreate. It could lead to some being more cautious so as to protect their own lives, as they can't have descendants. On the other hand, it might lead others to be more reckless as there's no society or family to protect or return to.

    2. @Svafa: Ugh Blogger ate my comment...

      Melissa also likes the teeth origin. My name idea was drakeling (I also thought of dracobold while re-writing this comment), which Adam also thought of, but I don't think it had enough...I dunno, oomph? I'll probably end up doing a vote to see which name people like.

      The idea of dragons regrowing their teeth constantly is interesting. I could see them trading their teeth (kinda like Warhammer 40k space orks, but probably not as much), giving them as rewards, or even someone that managed to capture a dragon and keeps knocking its teeth out for free soldiers (assuming they obey whoever plants them).

      If they just kind of attack whoever, I could see people making teeth bombs and catapulting them into a city or something.

      Also interesting how they would act. I'd imagine they'd have some basic instincts (language, probably also how to fight and perhaps some inherent draconic powers), but no overall culture or society. Though I could also see dracobold cultures rising from those that managed to live for a really long time (especially if they have a dragon's longevity).

    3. Considering its a dragon's tooth, you could say they grow pretty fast and do have some intelligence, like a 5 year old maybe? As to who gets to control them, what if when they are "born" they imprint on whoever is there.

    4. @Victor: I figured that they'd spring up at least as fully formed adults, ready to fight. I like the idea of imprinting. This way there's an incentive to planting them, instead of making a bunch of creatures that just might eat you or run away.


Powered by Blogger.