|This article contains PROMOTIONS! Don't say we didn't warn you.|
Kobolds are a race of creatures originating from Germanic folklore, where they were goblin-like malevolent spirits who were believed to haunt mines, occasionally leaving nasty surprises in the form of worthless, poisonous metal - the element we now know as "cobalt". The ore is naturally found as sharp shards, bonded with arsenic oxide. The shards are sharp enough to penetrate boots and feet, hurting miners and making them sick just as if they were poisoned caltrop traps left by kobolds. A "cobalt bomb" is a proposed nuclear weapon designed to poison a large territory with super-radioactive cobalt dust, making the target area uninhabitable for 105 years. The (relatively) short half-life makes it especially deadly, but possible for your great-grandchildren to recover the empty territory. So watch out for "kobold bombs" or "magic missiles".
They shot to fame in /tg/ circles in Dungeons & Dragons where, ever since the very first edition, they have been small, weak creatures, generally serving in most campaigns as low-level cannon fodder for the adventurers to mow down, much like goblins and orcs.
Despite being physically weak, however, kobolds are also described as capable trapsmiths, and are known for creating traps to protect their lairs and dungeons (a habit that is usually ignored or underplayed by most DMs). This habit - combined with a penchant for lethal tunnel design and group tactics - were famously used in the tale of Tucker's Kobolds to illustrate that kobolds - and, indeed, any intelligent creature - can remain dangerous to high-level adventurers despite being statistically inferior in just about every way.
If played with the intention of being dangerous, kobolds are far and away the hardest throwaway monsters to fight. It could be likened to a sort of sick, hardcore version of Home Alone, with the kobolds taking the part of a severely deranged and sadistic Kevin McCallister and the PCs taking the part of hopelessly underprepared thugs walking into a situation they cannot have possibly foreseen. If treated like cannon fodder, they are the absolute hands-down easiest things in any edition to kill, including housecats and electric iguanas.
Kobolds are often used as "weakling" monsters in games, particularly video games based on the pen-and-paper variety. Their actual versatility depends on the system, but like D&D runs the gamut of harmless to devastating in numbers to downright impossible. They are sometimes portayed as reptilian creatures, sometimes as either wolf/dog-like or rat-like; D&D has actually been in both camps in different editions, and in fact 5e (presumably as part of its attempt to be the "Greatest Hits" edition) actually decided to split the difference and made them dragonkin with some reptilian and some canine features.
There is a market in 3.5 for kobold PCs, since their draconian/reptilian ancestry make them one of the only +0 Level Adjustment races capable of qualifying for much of the additional material in splatbooks like the Draconomicon and the Book of Dragons. Pun-Pun, for example, is a rather famous CharOp design that allows a kobold wizard to attain theoretically unlimited abilities and attributes, using material from splatbooks and the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
While 4e technically does allow for 0LA characters using the "racial features" rules in the Monster Manual, they effectively play like reptilian halflings, which get better bonuses. The lack of splat and reptilian-based bonuses makes them less appealing than 3e, but their inherent trap skills make them excellent rogues.
5th edition's Volo Guide to Monsters reintroduced them as an option, and while they're not a bad choice per se (Small, +2 to Dex and Darkvision make Kobolds quite effective rogues), their sensitivity to daylight proves to be a real disadvantage in campaigns that aren't extensive dungeon crawls.
The patron god of the kobolds is Kurtulmak.
Kobolds are very popular with Scalies.
- 1 The Many Faces of Kobolds
- 2 D&D Stats
- 3 Cutebolds
- 4 Kobold Commandos
- 5 Kobold Models
- 6 Monstergirls
- 7 Gallery
- 8 See also
The Many Faces of Kobolds
D&D Kobolds have undergone a long history of revision. When they first appeared in basic/AD&D 1e, they were considered kin to goblinoids, but also had distinctly beast-man type appearances - of course, these were the days in which bullywugs and gnolls were considered humanoids and thus could interbreed with humans, so not that weird. The result was a scaly-skinned rat or dog-like humanoid with small horns and a distinct barking voice. The version first depicted in the Monster Manual was clearly a scaly dog-man, but versions by other artists were more rat-like.
When AD&D 2e was launched, the first Monstrous Compendium presented an alternative version that was more visibly goblin-like; a small, ugly but fundamentally man-shaped creature with big, saucer-like eyes, a puggish face and small horns. This version was not very well received, and the artwork quickly went back to the more rodent-like visages of editions past. The iconic depiction of this was by Tony DiTerlizzi, in the AD&D Monstrous Manual.
Finally, in 3rd edition, kobolds became stunted, draconic humanoids; little reptile men with dragon-like snouts and stubby horns, and this interpretation, which made them claim kinship to true dragons, became their iconic face for all editions afterwards. Even Pathfinder reused this. The 5th edition version somewhat combined the reptilian and canine features, keeping them little reptile men with stubby horns on their heads, but giving them a more canine head with a black dog-like nose at the end of their snout, as well as a pair of longer horns that somewhat resemble dog ears at a glance.
Because the "dragonbolds" or "lizardbolds" are so associated with D&D, when kobolds reappear in other media, their appearance often changes. Because the goblinoid form is too confusing, most kobolds tend to be either ratfolk or dog-people. Warcraft has long used the ratfolk interpretation, with its kobolds being humanoid rats who are obsessed with finding candles to help them in their eternal mining. In Japanese media, kobolds as digging dog-people as popular for much the same reason why pig-men orcs are popular: Old School Roleplaying neckbeards have a huge influence on /tg/ related animes & mangas, and they retain fond memories of the original quasi-dog-like appearance of kobolds from AD&D 2e. This is why, for example, Polt of Life With Monstergirls appears as a dog-girl.
Kobolds have long been one of the playable monstrous races of Dungeons & Dragons, although their precise mechanical crunch has been... kind of hit and miss. Pathfinder and 5th edition's versions in particular have often been angrily derided for actually being weaker than Goblins, who are supposed to be on roughly the same level of inferiority on the totem pole.
From the Complete Book of Humanoids. Before these, kobold PC rules (alongside xvart, goblin and [[orc] rules) had appeared for AD&D 1e in the article "Hey, Wanna Be a Kobold?" by Joseph Clay in Dragon Magazine #141 (January 1989).
- Ability Score Modifiers: -1 Strength, -1 Constitution
- Altered Ability Scores: Minimum Dexterity and Constitution of 4, Maximum Strength of 15, Maximum Constitution of 16, Maximum Intelligence of 17, Maximum Charisma of 14
- Class & Level Restrictions: Fighter (8), Cleric (9), Shaman (7), Witch Doctor (7), Thief (12)
- Size: Small
- Special Advantages: Infravision 60 feet, Intelligent or Powerful creatures will attack a kobold last unless it is obviously a threat
- Special Disadvantages: Light Aversion (-1 penalty to attack rolls in equivalent of direct sunlight), gnomes receive a +1 to attack rolls against kobolds
- Weapon Proficiencies: Club (spiked), hand axe, javelin, short sword, spear
- Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Animal noise, animal training (giant weasel), animal training (wild boar), begging, close-quarter fighting, danger sense, fast-talking, gem cutting, hiding, looting, mining, set snares, wild fighting
From Races of the Dragon.
- Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, -4 Strength, -2 Constitution
- Size: Small
- Type: Humanoid (Dragonblood, Reptilian)
- Base Speed 30 feet
- This is faster than almost any other Small humanoid can get, making kobolds actually better for certain mobility builds than gnomes or halflings can ever be.
- Darkvision 60 ft.
- +1 natural bonus to AC
- +2 racial bonus to Craft (Trapmaking), Profession (Miner) and Search checks; Craft (trapmaking) is always considered a class skill.
- Later on in Chapter 6: Character Options, the skill listing for Profession says that kobolds also get some unusual perks to use Profession (miner). One kobold counts as a Medium creature to determine how much digging it can do, and up to 4 of the Small-sized fuckers can fit into a single square at one time. That means that they can actually dig four times as fast as dwarves and certain other underground races. In the book, it actually says that dwarves respect their mining skills.
- Light Sensitivity: Dazzled when exposed to bright sunlight or a daylight spell (which can be negated by buying some goggle-shades later on in the same book)
- Favored Class: Sorcerer
Additionally, Races of the Dragon has the Draconic Rite of Passage, where allows kobolds to endure a 9-day fasting, the permanent loss of 1 hp, and sacrifice a 100 gp gem to gain any 1st-level spell as a spell-like ability, usable once a day.
It should be noted that these basic stats were still considered a little weak compared to other races, so a web enhancement for Races of the Dragon beefed them up a tiny bit. While this didn't really make them all that "powerful", the update did actually make them a very interesting race. The additional abilities are:
- Natural Weapons: It's just a little 2 claws / 1 bite set that does 1d3 for them all, but it does mean a kobold is never unarmed, as well as explaining how they are so fucking ridiculous at digging.
- Slight Build: The opposite of the goliath advantage, you get to count as one size category smaller when it's advantageous, such as for size modifiers or when squeezing through a tight space.
- Weapon Proficiency/Familiarity: Kobolds get Martial Weapon Proficiency in light pick and heavy pick (kind of the way elves and others get bonus profs), and treat greatpicks from that web supplement as martial instead of exotic.
- Kobold cleric domain: Gives the cleric trapfinding, adds Disable Device and Search to class skills, gives some pretty fucking spiffy domain spells.
- The Greater Draconic Rite of Passage: This awesome addition allows a kobold sorcerer who already did the lesser Draconic Rite of Passage to get a free fucking level of sorcerer that doesn't alter their ECL or anything. No shit; all you have to do is another 9-day fast, give up 3 hp permanently (which is the only reason you might hesitate to do it), and a 1,000 gp gem. Enjoy being overpowered, you asshole...
- Draconic Reservoir feat: Your SLA from Draconic Rite of Passage is now 3/day instead of 1/day. Make it count.
Why D&D 3.5 Kobolds Kick Ass
It may not seem like it, but despite what a bunch of dipshts may say, 3.5 was the time when kobolds ascend to godlike fucking power.
First and foremost, this was the era of Pun-Pun, the kobold who literally broke the 3.5 game. Sure, it took some pretty strange rules interpretations, and sure they found a few ways to counter this threat. But Pun-Pun was there before a lot of other builds, and he remains a bit of a benchmark for how far you can munchkin the shit out of 3.5.
Okay, sure, Pun-Pun is excessive. Let's look at some other aspects of kobold greatness from this era.
Remember all those bonus skills and little trick abilities? How kobolds can apparently dig through a mountain faster than that chump John Henry (look it up, you illiterate fuckwits), and lay out enough traps to make the Tomb of Horrors look like a fucking carnival ride?
Now go back and look a the overpoweredness of the Leadership feat for giving you literally an extra guy to play. Make all your followers kobold experts and warriors, and make that cohort a kobold artificer. As you go on adventures, collecting huge piles of fabulous treasure, your little minions are busy as fucking bees, crafting you an immense stronghold and dungeon to protect you and your buddies' swag between adventures, filled with traps of every kind. Your kobold artificer makes it worse: you bring him spare magic loot to break down for XP to manufacture even better stuff, some of which goes into the home base to protect it. Meanwhile, your little expert guys are busy just manufacturing better weapons and armor, and manufacturing so many ways they can take shots at invaders that even if the DM wanted to, he'd probably have to concede that short of some asshole wizard just teleporting into the place, your base isn't going to be taken by anything less than a kingdom's entire armed forces converging on the place. The best part? Kobolds in warm climates actually eat less. No shit; long as the average temp is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (fuck you, Celsius), your kobold minions only have to eat every three or four days. (FYI, they also eat goddamn anything. Vermin, animals, other humanoids, some of that beholder meat you left after blowing one up, whatever can go into the pot and cooked into something edible gets eaten.)
Lastly, kobolds basically outsmarted their enemies. They know they are small and weak and can't do much about it. They're good at mining and trapmaking, though, so what other creature could use a legion of little minions who do nothing but dig out precious minerals and make traps to defend it all day? Fucking dragons, of course. Right there in Races of the Dragon, there's a blue dragon who actually tells her hatchlings that only kobolds are more reliable than family and the most diehard friends. Because kobolds don't sit on their treasure; they hand it over to a neighborhood dragon and ask for nothing but protection and a little help with enemies once in a while. For a dragon, the return on that investment is just too good: fabulous wealth, dozens of lethal traps to help protect it, and a nice little army of sneaky, smart little ranged attackers who won't hesitate to pin-cushion intruders with dozens of crossbow bolts. For the most part, everyone wins in that arrangement.
Kobolds may not be as elegant as elves, as sturdy as dwarves, or have the adaptability of humans. What they have is moxie and the smarts to play up their strengths, making them the "underdogs" you can't help but root for a little bit.
In addition to appearing in the Advanced Race Guide and Inner Sea Races, Kobolds got their own mini-booklet specifically aimed at Kobolds of Golarion, with a bunch of new traits - including special "bonus" traits based on what color their scales were.
- Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, -4 Strength, -2 Constitution
- Size: Small
- Type: Humanoid (Reptilian)
- Speed: 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Armor: +1 natural armor
- Crafty: +2 racial bonus to Craft (Traps), Perception, and Profession (Miner), Craft (Traps) and Stealth are always Class Skills
- Weakness: Light Sensitivity
Alternate Racial Traits:
- Beast Bond: Replace Crafty with +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Ride checks, with Handle Animal and Ride always being Class Skills.
- Dragon-Scaled: Replace Armor with Resistance 5 to either Acid, Cold, Electricity or Fire Damage.
- Gliding Wings: Replace Crafty with the ability to Glide; when falling, a kobold can make a DC 15 Fly check to land without injury as if using the Feather Fall spell, and if it succeeds on this check, can then make a second DC 15 Fly check to move 5 feet laterally for every 20 feet fallen.
- Jester: Replace Crafty with +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Perform checks, with Diplomacy and Perform always being Class Skills.
- Dayrider: Downgrades a kobold's Darkvision to Low-Light Vision, but removes its Light Sensitivity.
- Dragonmaw: Replaces Armor with a D4 damage bite attack that can also deal a bonus +1d6 fire/acid/cold/lightning damage (chosen and set at character creation) 1/day.
- Echo Whistler: Replaces Crafty with the ability to try and make a Bluff check with just a bit of vocal mimicry 3/day, gaining a +2 bonus to the check in any place that would generate an echo.
- Frightener: Replaces Armor with a +1 DC boost to any Fear spell that the kobold casts.
- Prehensile Tail: Replaces Armor with a +2 bonus to Acrobatics & Climb checks and the ability to draw a hidden weapon as a move action.
- Secret Strider: Replaces Crafty with the ability to, twice per day, enter a super-sneaky mode for 1 minute. During this time, the kobold leaves no trail when moving through natural surroundings, increasing the DC of Survival checks to track it by +10.
- Shoulder To Shoulder: Replaces Crafty with a +1 bonus to Aid Another checks, the ability to occupy the same space as another Small creature without penalty, and the ability to gain a +1 AC bonus when sharing a space with another kobold with this trait.
- Spellcaster Sneak: Replaces Crafty with a +2 bonus to Stealth checks. A kobold spellcaster with this trait can also freely apply Silent Spell to a spell 1/day.
- Wild Forest Kobold: Replaces Crafty with a +2 bonus to Perception and Survival checks. Additionally, Stealth and Survival are always class skills for this kobold.
- Wyrmcrowned: Replaces Crafty with a +2 bonus to either Diplomacy or Intimidate and the ability to count the chosen skill as always being a class skill.
In this edition, kobolds received their first writeup in the Monster Manual 1.
- Ability Score Modifier: +2 Dexterity +2 Constitution,
- Size: Small
- Vision: Normal
- Speed: 6 squares
- Skill Bonus: +2 Stealth, +2 Thievery
- Trap Sense: +2 to all defenses against traps
- Racial Power - Shifty: At-Will power. You can spend a minor action to Shift 1 square
They later got beefed up in the Dungeon Survival Guide. This gave them the Reptile type, traded Stealth bonus for Dungeoneering, gave them Darkvision, let them swap their Dex boost for +2 Charisma instead, and replaced Shifty with Shifty Manuever, an Encounter power that lets the kobold and all allies within Close Burst 2 shift 1 square as a free action.
It also gave them five new racial utility powers; Flee! (level 2 Daily; kobold and all allies in Close Burst 2 get +2 to all defenses for 1 turn and shift their full speed), Load Slingpot (level 2 Encounter; kobold with a sling can fling a randomly enchanted projectile that will either give the target a turn-long attack penalty, set the target on fire, or immobilize them for a turn), Tunnel Scuttle (level 6 Encounter; free move action that can go up walls and through tight spaces without issue), Frantic Shift (level 10 Encounter; shift 1 square as a minor action, recharges if you get Bloodied) and Trap-Gang Method (level 10 At-Will; if you take trap/hazard damage with a non-minion creature adjacent to you, you can shift over half the damage you take to that creature).
On top of that, it also provided them with five empowering feats; Dragon's Indomitability (roll two dice and choose the result you want when saving vs. Fear and Stun), Kobold in a Corner (+1 per tier bonus damage against creatures that have combat advantage against you), and Shiftier Maneuver (when you use Shifty Maneuver, one target can shift +2 extra squares) for every'bold, Trapbuster (roll two dice and pick your preference when making Perception checks to detect traps, you don't ever trigger a trap if you fail a Thievery check to disable it) for those with training in Thievery, and Eldritch Momentum (if you move at least 3 squares away from where you started your turn, you gain combat advantage against all creatures under your Warlock's Curse until the end of your next turn) for the kobold warlock.
Truly, 4th edition was a glorious time to play a kobold.
From Volo's Guide to Monsters.
- Ability Score Modifier: +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
- Size: Small
- Speed: 30 feet
- Grovel: Once per encounter, can use an action on your turn to beg, plead, snivel and otherwise humiliate yourself; until the end of your next turn, all of your allies gain Advantage on attack rolls made against enemies within 10 feet of you and who can see your pathetic display.
- Pack Tactics: If at least one non-incapacitated ally is within 5 feet of a creature you are attacking, you gain Advantage on attack rolls against that creature.
- Sunlight Sensitivity: You suffer Disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks made when you or your target are in direct sunlight.
The Grovel power is ridiculously useful, allowing you to grant Advantage to ALL attack rolls made by ALL your allies against a sizable number of enemies. That said, it's also the source of a great deal of skub; those who like their kobolds to be viewed as "truly pathetic" feel it's fitting, whilst players who want to play a kobold in order to fight against the perception of kobolds as weak, cowardly, stupid cannon fodder find it infuriating, because it's a racial trait that goes directly against their character plan AND it means you're inherently contributing less to the party. (That said if it bothers you that much you could always just refluff it into a sharp yell or a rallying cry if you're playing a heroic Kobold, or a comedy skit if you're going for something goofier. Only an asshole DM is gonna make your character piss their pants and cry for an advantage)
Likewise, the Pack Tactics power is seen as extremely powerful. This is offset by your Sunlight Sensitivity, meaning that you yourself are less able to contribute in a fight. Especially since, being Small and having a Strength penalty, you're not likely to be in melee range in the first place, as you're far better suited for a bow-based rogue/ranger or a spellcaster.
In a nutshell, the 5e Kobold looks like an attempt at directly converting the 5e Monster Manual version into a PC race, for good or ill.
|Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Races|
|Basic Set:||Dwarf - Elf - Hobbit - Human|
|Creature Catalog 1:|| Brownie - Centaur - Dryad - Faun - Hsiao |
Leprechaun - Pixie - Pooka - Redcap - Sidhe
Sprite - Treant - Wood Imp - Wooddrake
|Creature Catalog 2:|| Faenare - Gnome - Gremlin - Harpy |
Nagpa - Pegataur - Sphinx - Tabi
|Creature Catalog 3:||Kna - Kopru - Merrow - Nixie - Triton|
|Dragon Magazine:|| Cayma - Gatorman - Lupin - N'djatwa |
Phanaton - Rakasta - Shazak - Wallara
|Hollow World:|| Beastman - Brute-Man - Hutaakan |
Krugel Orc - Kubbit - Malpheggi Lizard Man
|Known World:|| Bugbear - Goblin - Gnoll |
Hobgoblin - Kobold - Ogre - Troll
|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|
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Races|
|Player's Handbook 1:|| Dragonborn - Dwarf - Eladrin - Elf |
Half-Elf - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
|Player's Handbook 2:||Deva - Gnome - Goliath - Half-Orc - Shifter|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Githzerai - Minotaur - Shardmind - Wilden|
|Monster Manual 1:|| Bugbear - Doppelganger - Githyanki |
Goblin - Hobgoblin - Kobold - Orc
|Monster Manual 2:||Bullywug - Duergar - Kenku|
|Dragon Magazine:||Gnoll - Shadar-kai|
|Heroes of Shadow:||Revenant - Shade - Vryloka|
|Heroes of the Feywild||Hamadryad - Pixie - Satyr|
|Eberron's Player's Guide:||Changeling - Kalashtar - Warforged|
|The Manual of the Planes:||Bladeling|
|Dark Sun Campaign Setting:||Mul - Thri-kreen|
|Forgotten Realms Player's Guide:||Drow - Genasi|
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
| Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:|| Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:|| Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|
Cutebolds are like Kobolds only incredibly cute.
They are pitiful and childish in everything they do, and are innocent enough to not know how to procreate. All they know is that rubbing their noses gives them a guilty pleasure. They are no less "harmless" when played properly, though. They tend toward the dog-like for extra D'aww.
This interpretation of the Kobold is thought to have been inspired by their depiction in Dwarf Fortress, where they steal your supplies, but seem to do it in the most endearingly stupid manner possible.
- +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Int
- Charm person once per day as a spell like ability
- Low light vision and scent
A popular way to portray kobolds in a more contemporary fashion, kobold commandos portray kobolds as being part of the military, especially special forces. Other anons point out that the fact that they don't hold up in a one-on-on fight with other low level monsters, attack in large numbers and from ambush, have a predisposition towards traps and dig big underground tunnels, they're kind of like the Viet Cong. This probably rooted in the old story about Tucker's Kobolds and there are similarity into the two depictions. Of the various 'cannon fodder' enemies, Kobolds seem like the most organized, and with that organization a DM has a lot of leeway to look into all the ways one can use fortifications to fuck with an attacker, and turn them onto unsuspecting players.
Despite being a part of D&D since the very beginning, kobold tabletop models are rather rare. For the longest time, Reaper Miniatures has been pretty much the only company that made them in squad/mob size numbers, and even then the sculpts... aren't that spectacular. However, as of May 2017 Westfalia Miniatures has Kickstarted their new tabletop wargame Strongsword, and included with it are models (damn good ones, too) for an entire kobold army! What's more, in the Strongsword lore the little bastards apparently cause enough mayhem to be responsible for a conflict called (I shit you not) the Kobold Wars.
|This article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.|
Given the popularity of kobolds, there are also a lot of people who like them In That Way. The two most popular kobold monstergirl depictions are the dogbold and the little dragonbold: Goblinoid kobolds are pretty much immune to this treatment, mostly because at that point you just end up with a monstergirl goblin and maybe a few special kinks, at which point you're usually asking yourself "why is this not just called a goblin?".
Dogbolds are mostly seen in Japanese media like Life With Monstergirls and the Monster Girl Encyclopedia, where they are humanoid dogs to some degree. In the former they have small snouts instead of noses, fur covering their bodies and massive hands. Polt is the only kobold seen so far, the owner of a gym and creator of the "kobolds are all hyperactive dogs who'll drag you along if you take them for walkies" stereotype. In the latter they are humans with dog-like disposion; submissive, eager to please, excitable and won't stop doing something until you tell them to.
In the west, meanwhile, the small dragon type kobold is massive bait for the furry subgroup known as scalies: those with an interested in scaled rather than furred animals. Dragons are by far the most popular animal in the group, which kobolds are a smaller version of. Humanization is rarely done because that would ruin their small dragon appeal. While in some cases they are drawn with humanoid penises or breasts, often they are depicted as they are in the books (except, you know, naked). This includes very minute sexual dimorphism, meaning that any kobold could be a trap. Often included is them having a cloaca, meaning that their pelvic region is reduced to a single nondescript opening that they piss, jizz, and crap out of (....hot?). These kobolds are often portrayed with wide, egg-laying hips in order to give them some shortstack appeal.
Canonical Kobold Deviance
In what has to be the weirdest of coincidences, ever since kobolds got their dragon-linked makeover in 3rd edition, there's been some really weird sexual elements snuck into their lore, although what that element is depends on the edition.
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: Races of the Dragon states that kobolds go into heat and are compelled to breed, like animals, but they're also sapient beings, so they also form permanent pair-bondings. They reconcile these different facts with the statement that extra-marital sex and breeding is considered "no biggie" in kobold society, because the urge hits when it hits, and they can't control themselves when it happens, so there's no point getting jealous about it.
Pathfinder: Kobolds of Golarion has become somewhat memetically infamous for its presentation of kobold biology. Classic Monsters Revisited also established kobolds as being super-breeders, with females producing eggs throughout their lives and producing bigger and bigger clutches as they get older.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition: The Dungeon Survival Handbook states that kobolds worship dragons to the extent of being voraphiles, willing committing suicide by feeding themselves to hungry dragons because they view it was a way to transcend their kobold natures and become one with their devourer.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Volo's Guide to Monsters states that, like certain frogs and fish, kobolds are environmentally triggered gender-benders, able to switch between male and female in response to the overabundance of one gender in order to facilitate breeding. So, theoretically, if you want kobolds, you just stick two kobolds in a cage and it doesn't matter what genders they started out as, they'll become a breeding pair and start making eggs soon enough.