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Kobolds Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

I played Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition for the first time this Wednesday, and since our party was level two I was expecting an encounter with goblins, kobolds, or bandits. We were playing through The Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure and luckily for my bard we were facing off against cultists and kobolds for most of the night. Kobolds are entertaining because they’re actually pretty cunning but they’re not intelligent at all. Rather than relying on brute force like orcs, ogres, and trolls kobolds rely on traps and ambushes to fend of threats. When all else fails they can also overwhelm an opponent with superior numbers. With their low hit points, armor class, and challenge rating kobolds are great enemies for a party of new adventurers because you can throw a fair number of them into the fray. It’s fun when the party is outnumbered but they can still come out on top.

Kobolds also have a few traits that can allow a DM to give new players a bit of a handicap, or to turn kobolds into a far more deadly threat to veteran players who look at kobolds as though they were something unpleasant stuck to the bottom of their boots of striding. Sunlight sensitivity means that they have disadvantage to attack rolls and wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight. Keep in mind kobolds tend to dwell in caverns and tunnels, plus they have darkvision so giving them disadvantage in sunlight makes sense. Their pack tactics mean that kobolds have advantage on attack rolls if at least one of the kobold’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

If you’re new to this edition like me you might not be familiar with the Advantage and Disadvantage mechanics yet. Simply put both allow you to roll a pair of d20s when circumstances are working for or against your character. If you have advantage your roll two d20s and keep the higher of the two rolls, but if you have disadvantage to roll two d20s and keep the lower roll. If you have advantage and disadvantage your just make the roll normally so if your kobolds are in a mob during the day they can avoid that nasty penalty to their attack rolls.

As you would expect kobolds are armed with basic daggers and slings, so they aren’t going to be dealing too much damage and players should be able to avoid being killed in a single hit. The Monster Manual also includes a fun variant for the species with winger kobolds who are far more durable than they’re flightless brethren.

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