Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Racial Template: Kobold (Cutebold)

For clarification,
these are the
Dwarf Fortress
variety Kobolds, and
I'm pretty sure this is
drawn by this guy.
Woah! lookee at this fount of overflowing creativity! Hey everyone, I'm subverting tropes and expectations by painting a traditionally bad race in a good light, (alternatively, hey everyone! Look who's jumping on a two year old band wagon that isn't even the current hotness!)
With all that self deprecation, meta, and lampshade hanging out of the way, I decided to make a racial template for a traditionally monstrous race that has kinda memetically evolved into something else. Instead of conniving trapster tricksters, these are ineffective but intelligent miners with an earnest artist soul and a desire to be loved. Let's cobble together a template that I feel exemplifies this iteration of a kobold.

Kobolds are fragile sneaks with a basic ethics system. This hints to a low HT, perhaps a high speed, and no especial combat efficacy.  Social bonds are pretty important though and loyalty is considered a prime virtue. Let's try putting together a template.


15 points
Attribute Modifiers:  SM-1; HT-1[-10]; DX+1[20].
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers:  Basic Speed +1[20].
Advantages:  Honest Face[1]; Dungeon Artificer 1 [5]; Silence 1 [5]; High Manual Dexterity 1[5] 
Disadvantages:  Appearance (Unattractive)[-4]; Chummy[-5]; Easy To Kill 1[-2]; Sense of Duty (Tribe) [-10]; Social Stigma ("Race of Thieves") [-10]

This race is most suited for obviously the thief class in Dungeon Fantasy 1 or the Artificer class in Dungeon Fantasy 4. It is probably marginal for any fighting class that relies on high survivability (Notably, Barbarians from Dungeon Fantasy 1.)
Some artificer abilities seem
appropriate for this concept.
Treat the Social Stigma similar to the "Savage" social stigma. Dungeon Artificer is described in Dungeon Fantasy 4, but if you want to go with an Artificer, and you max out the recommended level of Dungeon Artificer, and are hungry for more, invest in more High Manual Dexterity, or handwave taking the Gnome-only talent of Widget-Worker from p.10 of Dungeon Fantasy 3.

Kobold Power-Ups

Pretty fun issue. I like the
pointless slaying and looting
concept, but it feels like it would
be more difficult in practice than
it aims to be.
A kobold is allowed to learn Quick Gadgeteer regardless of profession as if they were an Artificer (That is, at the $40/point training cost) A kobold may buy gizmo advantage up to 3 levels, and then buy the Imitator Power-Up Secret Stash from Pyramid 3/72 Alternate Dungeons p.33, except with the magical limitation instead of the imitation limitation. Similar to the Innkeeper's Improvised Weapons (Kitchenware) perk in Dungeon Fantasy 10, p.8, a kobold might learn a similar perk for all sorts of improvised weapons, tools, armor, and equipment, representing their ability to make anything useful out of something that seems like refuse.
Kobolds are incredibly social, and since they are Chummy (Big involuntary reaction bonus to other parties) they probably don't need any extra help forging relationships, but Kobolds looking for allies, contacts, guild ranks, and patrons should have a special advantage in at least getting their foot in the door when establishing these relationships with a fellow kobold.
Some Kobold lore speaks to how they have a special respect for dragons. For people who have Dungeon Fantasy 11, it might be appropriate to allow a Kobold to take some of the Dragon-Blooded power-ups (most specifically, Becoming the Dragon 1-3.)

Other Thoughts

There is a lot of lore baggage with kobolds, and depending on who you ask, they can be completely different animals. Some people see them more lizard like, almost like small dinomen; others like dog people almost like gnolls; sometimes a combination of both in differing amounts, and sometimes something entirely different, as the original German myths weren't very specific in morphology. This made it hard for me to decide if the template should have scales, fur, etc. but this is a pretty simple start to a version that might include all of that, and it is just a few small changes away from a cute and unassuming sidekick type kobold to a vicious trap master kobold.
Also, recently, found an alternate template recently for a more traditional kobold, so there's that if you prefer a more vicious by default sort.

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