From 1d4chan
"He gave it to me because he didn't wake up when I took it."

"You broke my nose!"
"I did NOT break your nose."
"How do you know?!"
"Cuz I've been breakin noses since I was your size 'an I know what it sounds like."

– Game of Thrones

Kender are a fantasy race in Dungeons & Dragons' Dragonlance setting. They are basically Halflings with double-doses of ADHD, kleptomania, and Tourette's Syndrome thrown in, and no sense of self-preservation, as if someone was deliberately trying to take the annoying habits of every Chaotic Stupid character in the game's history and merge them all into a playable race. No one apparently saw how terrible a decision that was. We're absolutely not making this shit up; the Dragonlance Campaign Setting itself explicitly says "Their propensity to act on impulse at the expense of common sense makes them reckless in dangerous situations", "Nothing on Krynn is as dangerous as a bored Kender or as terrifying as hearing a kender say 'oops'", "Kender appropriate absolutely anything that catches their eye. Physical boundaries or notions of privacy are both alien concepts to them", "Kender cannot keep secrets to save their lives and happily blurt out intensely personal information about themselves or anyone else", and "Even the threat of imminent demise does not deter kender"; and their racial stats reflect this by giving them a -4 penalty to concentration checks, a +2 bonus on lockpicking and sleight of hand checks, and an immunity to all fear effects. They survive getting the shit kicked out of them only because every one of the little shits seems to be wearing plot armor which they undoubtedly stole from more interesting species now tragically extinct. Again, we are not making this shit up; this is something that is explicitly confirmed in their racial stats with their +1 bonus on all saving throws.

Most of their fluff involves them stealing things and getting pissed when they are accused of it ("It must have fallen into my pocket"). What fluff doesn't involve theft directly is more focused on how much everyone hates them. Other races' opinions of them range from "annoying pests" to "baffled or irritated by kender behavior" to "thieving nuisances" to "the only good kender is a roasted kender" to "can drive victims to forget years of training and experience, sending them into a rage with only one thought - murdering the taunting kender". Again, we must reiterate, we are not making this shit up, these are quotes directly from the goddamn rulebooks.

You might have noticed that we don't like Kender very much. Indeed, what was supposed to be a comedic foil to the more serious halflings turned out to be an obnoxious foil that reminded everyone of their baby sister's shitty grab-all-your-toys phase. The only person who likes playing Kender is That Guy. Some are so brazen as to try to play a Kender outside of the Dragonlance setting. In this situation, feel free to have your PC use lethal force against the offending character, the rest of the party will gladly help you. Don't even allow the little shit to suicide his character; justice must be done and he cannot be allowed to die on his own terms.

They generally cause a lot of rage in anyone who reads anything about them.

What the--? I left an image RIGHT HERE. Fucking Kender.

Ironically, 2e produced only two other groups that were quite as Chaotic Stupid as Kender, and neither of them are as hated. Planescape gave us the Xaositects faction (who do approach Kender-levels of annoying in the eyes of many DMs -- a Kender Xaositect PC is generally regarded as a concept horrifying enough to make a DM's brain explode) and the Slaad (who were explicitly done up as monsters to avoid and/or kill, so far less irritating by any measure).

Even the other two races of Dragonlance generally hated by DMs and players alike aren't as bad as Kender. The Tinker Gnomes are generally idiots, but can actually be kind of funny. Sometimes. Plus even the writers at TSR got a little jab at them by noting how normal gnomes like to hunt down and destroy Tinker Gnome spelljammers in Spelljammer. As for Gully Dwarves, frankly, most people prefer to pretend they never existed, since an entire race of ugly, smelly, hairy, retarded baby-people is the kind of concept that should have been purged with fire at birth.

So, basically they're like young children stuck in the "sticky fingers" stage of development. Except they don't feel guilty about it later. Alternatively, they can be thought of as little Terminators, except that instead of being unstoppable, unthinking, unfeeling machines bent on killing Sarah Connor, they are unstoppable, unthinking, unfeeling machines bent on stealing everyone's shit and getting themselves and everyone around them killed, and the only person that they will fail to get killed is themselves because God hates us and wants us to suffer.

Horrifically, Kender and humans can actually breed together, creating abominations called half-kender, who inherit the kender knack for sticky fingers but aren't so cutesy that they don't realize that stealing is wrong. How this is possible is a long story, but basically, kender descend from tinker gnomes (making them cousins of dwarfs, who have the same ancestry), who descend from humans cursed by Reorx. This is why Krynn is also home to half-gnomes and half-dwarves.

For those wondering more directly how kender and humans mate, well, beyond some human women giving in to their shota fetishes or falling for the "he's so cute!" air of kender males, most half-kender are actually the result of human men banging female kenders. Why? To put it simply: cute loli (or shortstack, but canonically kender women are supposed to look like little girls) whose natural instinct to you asking "wanna fuck?" is "hey, sounds fun!" and then dragging you to the bedroom. Although apparently a lot of Krynnish men somehow "don't realize" they're banging a female kender until after they've gotten her pregnant -- there's even a Pre-Cataclysm story featuring a knight who spends the story unknowingly getting close to his own half-kender son, having never realized his mom was a kender when they were together before she left him. Which has the disturbing implication that Dragonlance is a setting full of pedophiles. How the pointed ears don't give kender away is, like all things kender, best left unexplored.

Why Kender are hated so much[edit]

Kender race description annotated.png

There's no good reason why Kender should have survived this long anyways:

  • Physically diminutive in an environment rife with monsters, with nothing but agility and pickpocketing to defend themselves with.
  • Repeatedly referred to as having no concept of fear or self preservation. As if that wasn't bad enough alone, combined with their stupid "curiosity" it would have them licking mushrooms, going near dangerous beasts and leaping into canyons regularly.
  • There's no trade nor commerce with outsiders; nobody would let a kender get near a marketplace or bazaar, and even if they were trading one-on-one at village borders, some other Kender would probably steal the wares while you were still discussing the prices or pick your pocket while your back was turned.
  • Hell, being pathological liars about theft means any non-Kenders would treat them as little sociopaths.
  • There's no construction; the minute you turn your back on any materials, it's gone to be used in someone else's building project. (and while they were stealing your building materials someone else was stealing theirs.)
  • No Kender is going to have the attention span to do the boring but necessary work like stockpiling food, learning to write, or digging latrines.
    • The only way they could survive a frosty winter is by raiding villages and travelers with their cute smiles and compulsive thieving behavior... leaving any villages that didn't exterminate the tail-less rats starving themselves.
Fuck! Any villages in cold climates that DIDN'T threaten Kenders with violence to stay the fuck away would just starve during winter and die out from their unwilling charity and insufficient locks on the granary. There shouldn't be any Kender sympathizers left, they should've died out generations ago. Kenders are a plague.
  • Basically any civilization composed entirely of kender will last approximately as long as a civilization composed entirely of 4-year-olds.

See, here's the thing: while the kender themselves might not know exactly what they are and what they're doing, the smug asshole with a shit-eating grin sitting across the table from you, leafing through your book with cheeto-stained fingers absolutely does. Kender are hated because they are all-but purpose-built to enable the absolute worst sort of griefing, and let any and all such pricks throw up a thin but impenetrable forcefield of "I'm just roleplaying! Why don't you just let me roleplay my character?!"

Who the hell thought this was a good idea?[edit]

So, you may ask, just what the fuck were they smoking to come up with these shitheads? Well, the answer is, alas, fairly simple, in an absolutely tragic way. See, Dragonlance began as a series of modules for 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons. The iconic party members were supposed to be the default player-characters for the players to assume the roles of. Thing was, in 1e, halflings could only take the Thief class (this being a dead-brained holdover from The Hobbit and Bilbo Baggins, despite the fact that the very sequel to that book, still published decades ahead of 1e, ended up providing two very good examples of "halflings" becoming Warriors and even one with enough of a nature connection that you could justify Druid), which left the authors of the module/novels, Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickmann, with a pair of dilemmas that they felt they had to answer to try and make the wider setting coherent: the first, why are all halflings always thieves? Second, how can halflings be all thieves and still be part of the heroic races?

The kender were their answer; an entire race of fey children who basically never grow out of that inquisitive stage of their lives, their incessant need to know why and vulnerability to boredom conspiring with their racial propensity towards sticky fingers to make them constantly picking pockets, opening locks, and generally getting out in the world making a nuisance of themselves. And thusly, all /tg/dom has suffered ever since.


To give them the very small credit they're due, they were the inspiration for WoTC to push halflings into a more adventurous characterization in 3rd ed. If only to ensure that such atrocities as the existence of Kender would never seem a necessity again.

Fortunately, Kender are inextricably linked with Dragonlance, which WoTC has more or less ignored in terms of actual tabletop and /tg/ content ever since the new millenium. Dozens of books have rolled out, but the whole "War of Souls" thing has kind of undercut the series' popularity, and may well have killed it off entirely. The last appearance of the Kender on the tabletop game front was in 3.5, where despite all the novels, the Dragonlance D20 books basically wound up being mostly ignored.

The Kender never made an appearance in 4th edition, and though they were brought up in the initial 5e playtesting, they failed to make the cut for the corebook. Perhaps because of the sheer backlash from the outraged fandom. So, unless a Dragonlance Unearthed Arcana or 5e sourcebook comes out, Kender are likely to never appear on the tabletop game again.

Kender Weren't Always Bad?[edit]

Hard as it may be to believe, there are people who defend kender. Kender defenders. These people argue that the real problem with kender lies in the writeup they received for 3rd edition, asserting that it unrealistically softened their reputation amongst other races and didn't emphasize the fact that kender are supposed to go after "neat stuff" and not valuable stuff for their collection. Is this the case? Well, here's the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons writeup of the race from the "Player's Guide to the Dragonlance Campaign", which was later reprinted with stats for the kender and their unique weapons in "Tales of the Lance". As to whether or not the kender-defenders are right... you be the judge.

For what it's worth, rather than double and triple down on kender's idiot-child tendencies, 5e instead, to the extent that it's addressed them at all, instead tried to focus on their tradition of storytelling and their physiological differences with "other" halflings. Unfortunately, it partially did so by attempting to dilute down the kender's thieving magpie nature via spreading it across the entire halfling race, which... worked, in that it was diluted down. Even if excising it completely would've been even better.

2e Kender PC Writeup.jpg

Racial Stats[edit]

What's that? You want to know what their PC stats were? Why? Morbidly curious? Or were you thinking that maybe you could rescue the mechanics from the fluff? Well, whatever, it's your funeral.

AD&D Statblock[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons presented two versions of the Kender's statblock - one in Tales of the Lance, and one in the Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings.

Tales of the Lance Kender:

Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 6/16, Dexterity 8/19, Constitution 8/18, Intelligence 6/18, Wisdom 3/16, Charisma 6/18
Ability Score Adjustments: +1 Dexterity, roll 2d6+4 for Strength
Class & Level Restrictions: Fighter 9, Barbarian 10, Ranger 9, Cleric 8 (Heathen only), Druid 8 (Heathen only), Thief 15, Bard 6, Handler Unlimited
"Heathen" Priests do not worship the Gods of Krynn, and so lose all of their spelcasting abilities.
"Handlers" are a kender-exclusive Thief variant. They follow all of the normal rules for thieves, except that they cannot Backstab, they gain no bonus XP for money, and their followers are always more Handlers.
Infravision 30 feet
Magic/Poison Resistance: +1 to saves vs. rod/staff/wand/spell/poison for every 3.5 points of Constitution, cannot learn Wizard spells.
+1 to attck rolls with slings and thrown weapons.
Opponent surprise rolls are penalized by -4.
Fearless: Immune to both natural and magical fear.
Taunting: Creatures taunted by a kender must make a save vs. spell. If they fail, they fly into a mindless rage for 1d10 rounds, during which time they suffer a -2 penalty to THAC0 and action rolls, and a +2 penalty to Armor Class.
Thieving Skills: All kender have the following thief skills at character creation; Pick Pockets 25%, Open Locks 25%, Find/Remove Traps 25%, Move Silently 25%, Hide in Shadows 25%, Detect Noise 25%, Climb Walls 50%, Read Languages 10%

CBoG&H Kender:

Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 6/16, Dexterity 8/19, Constitution 10/18, Intelligence 6/18, Wisdom 3/16, Charisma 6/18
Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, -1 Strength
Class & Level Restrictions: Cleric 8, Fighter 9, Thief 15, Fighter/Thief (9/15) - increase level limits by +4 if the kender has a 15+ in that class's prime requisite
Infravision 30 feet
Magic/Poison Resistance: +1 to saves vs. rod/staff/wand/spell/poison for every 3.5 points of Constitution, cannot learn Wizard spells.
+1 to attck rolls with slings and thrown weapons.
Opponent surprise rolls are penalized by -4.
Fearless: Immune to both natural and magical fear.
Taunting: Creatures taunted by a kender must make a save vs. spell. If they fail, they fly into a mindless rage for 1d10 rounds, attacking the kender exclusively during that time with penalties of -2 to THAC0 and +2 to Armor Class.
Thieving Skills: All kender have the following thief skills at character creation; Pick Pockets 5%, Open Locks 5%, Find/Remove Traps 5%, Move Silently 5%, Hide in Shadows 5%, Detect Noise 5%, Climb Walls 40%, Read Languages 0%

3e Statblock[edit]

True Kender appeared in the Dragonlance 3rd edition corebook, whilst Half-Kender appeared in the Age of Mortals 3rd ed splatbook. Races of Ansalon, meanwhile, featured Afflicted Kender, and a beefed up version of both the True Kender and the Half-Kender, which are the stats repeated here.

True Kender[edit]

These are the standard thieving bastard shitheads we've spilled so much electronic vitriol describing.

Humanoid with the Kender subtype
+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength, -2 Wisdom
Base speed: 30 feet
Weapon Familiarity: Kender Weapons
+1 racial bonus to all saving throws
+2 racial bonus to Spot checks
+2 racial bonus to Open Locks and Sleight of Hand checks, and are always considered to have Training in both skills
Lack of Focus: -4 racial penalty to Concentration checks.
Taunt: +4 racial bonus to Bluff (Taunt) checks
Fearlessness: Immunity to Fear
Favored Class: Rogue

Afflicted Kender[edit]

These are magically cursed kender who appeared during the Age of the Dragon Overlords, after the Chaos War; the first Overlord, Malystryx, chose to settle in the kender homeland of the Goodlund Penninsula, where her magical aura transformed it into a blighted, arid wasteland as she unconsciously warped the land to be more to her taste. This magical corruption, combined with a devastating attack on Kendermore that massacred thousands of the little runts and drove the rest into fleeing, permanently shattered their previous immunity to fear, thus creating a more wary, paranoid, duplicitous and deceitful form of kender.

Humanoid with the Kender subtype
+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength, -2 Wisdom
Base speed: 30 feet
Weapon Familiarity: Kender Weapons
+1 racial bonus to all saving throws
+2 racial bonus to Spot checks
+2 racial bonus to Open Locks and Sleight of Hand checks, and are always considered to have Training in both skills
+2 racial bonus to Climb, Hide, Jump and Move Silently checks
Favored Class: Rogue


As mentioned above, due to various reasons, kender and humans can make babies together, and while it doesn't happen often, it happens enough. Half-Kender are the "eternal teenagers" to their kender parents' "eternal children", inheriting many of the kender affinity for thieving and lying but also enough conscience and brains to realize that doing shit like that ain't right.

Humanoid with the Kender subtype
Base land speed: 30 feet
+4 racial bonus to saving throws vs. Fear
+1 racial bonus to Spot checks
+1 racial bonus to Open Locks and Sleight of Hand checks, and are always considered to have Training in both skills
Taunt: +2 racial bonus to Bluff (Taunt) checks
Weapon Familiarity: Kender Weapons
Favored Class: Any

Lord Stevil's Final Word[edit]

"You also need to know that they are terribly annoying. And that black dragons will, at every opportunity, carry them off and bugger them until they die from internal bleeding (with prodigious use of Cure spells to keep them alive longer). Note that black dragon semen, at the DM's discretion, does acid damage.

"Assuming there are no black dragons around, or the dragons need help, the strange effect a kender's presence has on a plane allows Athasian thri-keen and yagnoloths to gate in from their home realms/planes. While normally these races have no love for one another, they will team up to capture and "treat" kender. First, the Asthasian thri-kreen will grip the little degenerate halflings, often by impaling them through the limbs with their sharp claws and mandibles. They will use the psionic power Double Pain while the yagnoloths grease up their large left arms and proceed to fist the squirming kender, often achieving penetration up to the elbow before the little bloody bastards split apart. Priests and paladins will often sense the disturbance and will come to assist in the activity, performing Cure spells and Resurrections to make sure the little fucks stick around for another round of yagnoloth-delivered "punch-the-diaphram" (even Good priests run no danger of losing favor with their dieties for participation in this necessary activity)."

So posted Friday 27 January 1998 to

External Links[edit]

Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races
Core: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Dark Sun: Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen
Dragonlance: Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur
Mystara: Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak)
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
Oriental Adventures: Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk
Planescape: Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling
Spelljammer: Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil
Ravenloft: Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope
Book of X:
Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
Dragon Magazine: Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart