Volo’s Guide to Monsters continues to be an inspiring and fun read. The section on kobolds is also really cool and makes me want to run a kobold warren campaign using the build for kobolds as player characters.
“In the kobolds’ version of a perfect world, the creatures would be left along to dig their tunnels and raise the next generation of kobolds, all the while seeking the magic that will free their imprisoned god…”
“Furthermore, kobolds can slowly change sex. If most males or females of a tribe are killed, some survivors change over several months until the tribe is balanced again.”
“Roughly one-quarter of the towns and cities in the world have kobold communities living under them, but the kobolds are so good at staying hidden that the surface-dwelling citizens in the area often don’t know what lies beneath them.”
“Kobolds willingly serve chromatic dragons and worship them as if they were demi-gods…”
Red Death, an ancient red dragon, was driven from her lair by powerful adventurers a little under a century ago. In the midst of her exodus, she left you all in this warren to hold on to a few of her treasures and one of her eggs. There are rumors that Red Warrens were seeded up and down the chain of volcanoes that range this continent’s coast but none of you have ever seen nor heard from them.
None know where Red Death now lairs but there are warren myths that she will come back and take you all to glory some day when the mountains belch smoke once again.
A party of adventurers, inspired by the original interlopers who drove Red Death from her volcano home, are making their way to your warren with dreams of treasure and glory.
Kobolds don’t see the morality of the universe divided along the law/chaos, good/evil spectrum (and I find alignment kinda dull). This is how they divvy it up. In game, following the tenants of one’s alignment would be how players would earn Inspiration, able to change alignments with a short rest and prayer.
The Five-Headed Matron (Tiamat, in Draconic): Actively scouting out coming danger, serving your betters, interacting with sorcery
The Egg (Boosh, in Draconic): Learning new things, staying very still to wait for your moment, becoming something new
The Interloper (Ku in Draconic): Sneaking into danger, acting on emotional attachment like some love-blind human or elf, trespassing
The Winged Kobold (Urd, in Draconic): Personal glory, being special, taking on power and responsibility
Kurtulmak (God of Kobolds): Escaping captivity, finding that which is lost, besting a bully
On the Map
On he wall of the warren is a map, copied from a now lost map from the Olde Lair’s legendary library.
Dwarven Outpost: The beards have no time for you; their current grey-bearded Queen was among the adventurers who drove away Red Death.
Elfstone Fields: Border markers the elves put down when humans first made their castles to warn them against wandering too far west.
Goblins in the Mountains: They are spiteful but sometimes can be allies if you can convince them it is in their best interests.
Hobgoblin Border Fort: They will enslave you all and put you to work tunneling under their enemies and making traps if they get through Duchess Pass.
Human City: City Kobolds live underneath it and through them you can buy human goods. There is a wizard with a tower there who even had a kobold apprentice once!
Olde Lair: The volcanic Red Peak in which was the lair of Red Death, the dragon your ancestors served, is currently cool and silent.
Wyvern Barrows: The spirits of the humans who called themselves the dragon-chiefs are buried here with the bones of their wyvern steeds.
Slavic and East European Collections, The New York Public Library. “Kliuchevskaia sopka.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1856. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-98de-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Volo’s Guide to Monsters, covers by Hydro74 (bad-ass retail, Illithid cover) and ???
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