Surface Kobold (3.5e Creature)

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Surface Kobold[edit]

Size/Type: Small Humanoid (Reptilian)
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft
Armor Class: 13 (+1 size, +1 dex, +1 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Spear +1 melee (1d6–1/x3) or sling +3 ranged (1d3) or shortbow +2 ranged (1d4)
Full Attack: Spear +1 melee (1d6–1/x3) or sling +3 ranged (1d3) or shortbow +2 ranged (1d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Darkvision 30 ft.
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will -1
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +3, Listen +2, Move Silently +2, Profession (miner) +2, Profession (farmer) +2 Search +2, Spot +2
Feats: Alertness
Environment: Temperate Plains
Organization: Gang (4–9), band (10–100 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level sergeant per 20 adults and 1 leader of 4th–6th level), warband (10–24), tribe (40–400 plus 1 3rd-level sergeant per 20 adults, 1 or 2 lieutenants of 4th or 5th level, 1 leader of 6th–8th level)
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually Neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +0
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While most Kobolds live in caves, a few have migrated to the surface, mostly settling on flat, fertile plains. Once there, they faced a totally different environment. New foods, new threats, new predators, and new enemies. Older traditions were challenged, and the same traits that made the Kobolds so adaptable to life underground have sometimes been less than useful above ground. Fortunately for them, the Kobolds are nothing if not adaptable. This adaptability, coupled with their high rate of multiplication has ensured rapid evolution, both cultural and biological. Although still technically the same species as their cave-dwelling cousins, these surface Kobolds are now as well adapted for life above ground as they are below it.

Among the changes to the Kobolds living on the surface are a greater tolerance for sunlight, slightly greater strength and less dexterity, and while they still have good mining skills, farming has become their most important activity. Their diet has become richer in protein and calories, so Surface Kobolds tend to grow larger than normal ones. Instead of warrens or tunnels, these Kobolds live in villages made of wood, mud, sod, or whatever material they can find on the surface, typically built in a circle surrounding the chief's hut, a water source, or a shrine. More developed settlements have a crude wooden wall surrounding them, although very few surface kobold settlements have more than a few hundred inhabitants at most. They rarely use coinage among each other, preferring to barter. Wealth is generally measured in crops and livestock, a major change from the gold and silver mines of their predecessors.

Perhaps the largest change to their nature is their psychology. In order to survive, these Kobolds have had to get along better with creatures native to the surface of the world. They cannot claim they are defending lands that were theirs since time immemorial, and they know that their survival depends on their ability to make alliances, come to peaceful arrangements, and to trade for what they cannot make themselves. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to call them friendly. Their more peaceful nature is a pragmatic adaptation, nothing more. If given the chance to attack a weakened enemy, or if they have to raid another settlement for a needed resource, they would not hesitate to do so. They have since abandoned most of their ancestor's tendencies towards needless violence, due to the greater threat of repercussions on the surface.

A surface kobold’s scaly skin ranges from dark rusty brown to a rusty black color, although other brown tones have emerged. They have glowing red eyes, although Surface Kobolds have begun to show eyes of yellow, orange, green, and even blue color as well. Their tails are nonprehensile. Surface Kobolds wear different clothing from their cave-dwelling ancestors, favoring brown, earthen colors. Typically, they dress according to their wealth; a poor Surface Kobold might only be clad in a loincloth, while a richer one might have short pants and maybe a vest, while a leader of a tribe may be dressed in fine robes or even a suit of armor. In colder seasons, they wear cloaks and may even wrap their limbs in cloth. A Surface Kobold is 2 to 2-3/4 feet tall and weighs 40 to 50 pounds, being heavier than their ancestors. Surface Kobolds speak Draconic.


Surface Kobolds fight with traps and ambushes when the terrain allows for it. Living on wide, open plains has posed severe challenges to the older Kobold way of warfare. Instead of having cave walls and boulders to hide behind, these Kobolds often fight in formation, with spear fighters arranging themselves into a line or a block, usually to keep the enemies away from the missile troops or mages positioned behind them. Casualties are often very high, but they are easily replaced, thanks to their rapid breeding rate.

Surface Kobolds as Characters[edit]

Surface Kobolds .

  • +2 Dexterity, -4 Strength, -2 Constitution
  • Small humanoid (reptilian): +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, –4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 3/4 those of Medium characters.
  • Base land speed is 30 ft.
  • +2 racial bonus on move silently, listen, and hide checks.
  • Darkvision 30 ft.
  • +1 natural armor bonus.
  • Automatic Languages: Draconic. Bonus Languages: Common
  • Racial Skills: A surface kobold character has a +2 racial bonus on Profession (farmer), Profession (miner), and Search checks.
  • Racial Feats: A surface kobold character gains feats according to his or her character class.
  • Favored class: Sorcerer.
  • Level adjustment: +0

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