Kobolds in DnD 5e are a great enemy for low level adventures.  In this way, they are much like goblins, although on their own they don’t have the same versatility that goblinoids do. With goblins you can have hobgoblins and bugbears to fill out the ranks of a much tougher force. The the toughest kobolds are CR3, and those are vampires.  If you want to fill out the ranks you’ll need some half dragons, and maybe some wyrmlings.

Kobolds on a treasure hoarde
I asked Bing Copilot for a picture of kobolds. They came out cute than I expected.

Even so, the lore around Kobolds makes them a great addition to any adventure.  Here are the currently published kobolds and where you can find them:

Current Kobolds:

CreatureChallenge RatingSource
Icewind Kobold1/8
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
Kobold1/8Monster Manual
Kobold Commoner0Tales from the Yawning Portal
Kobold Dragonshield1Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Kobold Elite1/8Tales from the Yawning Portal
Kobold Inventor1/4Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Kobold Scale Sorcerer1Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Kobold Underling1/8Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
Morbus Kobold1/8Lairs of Etharis
Winged Kobold1/4Monster Manual

What Them Great?

The lore around koblds is a lot of fun. They worship evil dragons and serve them as gods.  They mimic their behavior by collecting their own treasure hoardes.  They are crafty and sneaky, but also incredibly cowardly and subservient

The Monster Manual details how kobold build their burrows with narrow halls and traps.  A burrow is the perfect excuse to build a dungeon that take advantage of the squeezing rules:

Squeezing into a Smaller Space

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that’s only 5 feet wide. While squeezing through a space, a creature must spend 1 extra foot for every foot it moves there, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage while it’s in the smaller space.

D&D 5e Basic Rules

Your players will move at half speed and attack at disadvantage. Meanwhile, the kobolds will be free to scurry about their tunnels and attack freely. Add some larger chambers, like the treasure horde, where PCs can retreat to escape from the little menaces. Their warrens are likely to connect to the dragon’s lair. They’ll need ready access to their god so they can fulfill its demands. Even the laziest of dragons is likely to notice a ruckus amongst their servants.

These creatures may not even be there for fighting. They may just be sentinels for the dragon. A wily bard or persuasive paladin might make them useful in other ways. They could be made to disclose information about their beloved dragon and its lair. They might even turn against their living god. Chromatic dragons aren’t known for being the best of bosses. Maybe their dragon likes to roast them on a regular basis for fun? I’m sure your adventurers would be happy to free them of their master.

Now that you’re done here, take a look some of our other favorite monsters !


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