Kobrings (3.5e Race)
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A distant relative of the lizardfolk and kobolds, kobrings are a smallish, rotund race of traders and merchants. They are few in number, and reproduce slowly, but have a foothold in society and are in no danger of fading out anytime soon. Often seen in desert bazaars and open markets, the kobrings have a keen eye for a bargain, and never let profit escape their grasp.
Greed is not a vice for the kobrings; it is a virtue. Greed is the hunger that keeps a family fed. Greed is the mother of invention. Greed is the driving force behind half of society. With this as their driving motivation, it's not surprising that most people see kobrings as the penultimate capitalists, caring for profit and nothing else. The fact is that while greed is a virtue to the kobrings, so is loyalty... and love, and patience, and courage. They are not without honor - they're just shrewd and not afraid to bend the truth. If anyone suggests to a kobring that he will sell his mother for half a silver, they're likely to get slapped (or, more likely, bit in the shins). Somewhat paradoxically, kobring merchants have a reputation within several churches as being amazingly charitable. It's not having wealth that they enjoy so much as the acquirement thereof. If a kobring is swindled, he'll grouse and seek whatever action he can against the offender, and then openly praise the shrewdness it took to con him!
Kobrings are also lovers of the word, whether spoken or written. They consider plays, songs, stories and poetry to be the purest form of art, and can (and often do) talk the ears off of whoever happens to be sitting nearby. Because they hate to repeat themselves, they're also adept listeners with long memories, to keep their supply of conversational topics as full as possible.
Kobrings occasionally take to the path of the adventurer, figuring that they can make far more as a dungeon delver or mercenary than they could as a mundane businessman. Those that do make top-notch rogues and bards, with kobring sorcerers also relatively commonplace. Few kobring become rangers or druids, as they care little for the wilds, and history only records two that could accurately be called kobring barbarians. Both survived their chosen path for less than a week.
Kobrings average three feet in height, with little variation. Their torsos are bulbous, like a scaled bowling ball with a slight potbelly, and are covered in thick scales that range from a dull yellow to a bright, screaming red. Their heads have short muzzles, shorter necks, and thin ridges that run from the forehead down the back of their head. In females, these ridges are larger, and are colored bright green and blue. Their eyes are large and amber in color, their limbs stumpy and broad, their tails short and rudder-like. Kobrings have webbed toes, and long, clever fingers that end in dull, short claws. They reach adulthood at fourteen years of age, and typically live to be 270.
Kobrings have little love for kobolds, considering their cousins to be stupid and overly rigid. They get along worse with lizardfolk, as the kobring is an urban creature through and through. Kobrings are far more suited to get along with humans and dwarves, who share a love of cities and gold with them, although the dwarves are occasionally annoyed by the kobrings' verbose ways. They are on decent terms with the elves, despite obvious clashes in outlook, and with the halflings. Gnomes and kobrings either love or hate each other, depending on whether they are business allies or rivals.
Kobrings tend towards neutrality. They take care of themselves and their families and friends; no one can claim otherwise. Many kobrings are good, and few are chaotic - it's hard to keep business contacts when you constantly break agreements.
Kobrings have no lands of their own, but are seen throughout temperate and hot regions of the world - usually in deserts, and always in large cities.
Kobrings worship a variety of deities, often several at once. Most give honor and veneration to Bahamut, but otherwise their practices depend on what's going on in their life, whom they feel indebted to, and where they currently are.
Kobrings speak Common; almost all kobrings learn to speak several other languages in their life. While the kobrings used to speak a broken dialect of draconic, it has since faded from use, the only memory of it remaining in their names.
Kobrings have a personal name and a surname, the surname coming first. Surnames always begin in "Am" - translating to "from" in their ancestral tongue - unless they have been cast out of their family. Such outsiders prefix their surnames with "Taam" - "cast from". Most also have several "middle names", secondary personal names taken from other individuals the parents wish to honor.
Male names: Brolot, Kray, Yapob, Bopok, Ikk
Female names: Ayoss, Sevess, Likekka, Kamoi
Surnames: Am-Andi, Am-Ok, Taam-Mikim, Am-Lohal
- -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom: Kobrings are small and not especially tough, but they're surprisingly cunning.
- Humanoid (Reptillian)
- Small size: As a Small creature, a kobring gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Kobring base land speed is 20 feet.
- Scales: Kobrings gain a +1 natural armor bonus from their thick scaled hides.
- Canny Traders: Kobrings gain a +2 on all Appraise checks as well as all Diplomacy checks made while buying or selling.
- Keen Ears: Kobrings gain a +2 on all Listen checks. Any race that talks as much as the kobring has to listen a lot to refuel.
- Natural Linguist: Kobrings begin knowing one language more than they normally would. Their culture embraces language as an art form, and few kobring children have not been exposed to multiple languages on a regular basis.
- Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any except secret languages (such as Druidic).
- Favored Class: Rogue.