View Full Version : Kobold bounty hunter

2008-02-15, 09:50 PM
I have a campaign in which the kobolds are the dominators of half the continent. The PCs are travelling on a quest to gather help and allies and nonsense and I think a kobold bounty hunter would be good. I'm using the Races of Dragon kobold along with slight build.

How might a kobold go about being a formidable bounty hunter? The PCs are level 3 (elf soulknife, human dragon shaman, elf rogue, human paladin of freedom variant). I am not proficient in building encounters, so I don't know what level it should be even, or which feats make it better.

2008-02-15, 10:00 PM
Well, being a ranger with favoured enemy might help. If said bounty hunter had a crew, that could help. How about a well layed ambush. The bounty hunter sends a note to the PC's about some interested NPCs or whatever at this tavern. Then have the tavern actually be a trap set by the Kobold. Fire and arrows should do well. Otherwise, levels in rogue would be nice for some sneak attacks.

2008-02-15, 10:20 PM
There will definitely be a planned ambush but I'm thinking woodland setting. Definetly at least 1 level in ranger, and he might have a small squad to help him, these are good ideas...any more?maybe more specific?

2008-02-15, 10:25 PM
In an earlier edition, when Kobolds were tiny dog-men, a Kobold bounty hunter would have been hilarious.

Since a kobold can never deal much raw physical damage, you need to use something like sneak attack (nonlethal preferred for a bounty hunter to take 'em alive), 2 weapon fighting to increase the sneak damage, and some form of archery or weapon finesse to take advantage of dex. Thrown weapons might be the way to go, as you have some annoying alchemy devices to use to harass and weaken foes, a longer range than a small character would otherwise get, and thrown weapons use dex to hit.

So, a 2H thrown net volley to start, some tanglefoot bags, some quick draw might do the trick. Or go for archery for 30' sneak attacks, or something else. Of course use traps and poison (drow poison has about the best bang/buck) to even the odds.

Citizen Jenkins
2008-02-15, 10:27 PM
I would second the ranger suggestion with an addition, you must give this kobold a Dire Weasel mount. They're simply too cool to pass up.

I would honestly give him ranks in trapmaking and a focus on mounted ranged combat. Basic battle plan is that the kobold ranger spots them, sets up an ambush (only 1 or 2 traps here, we don't want to kill the PCs and he hasnt had much time to set it up), and then uses his bow from a hidden position to wear them down. If they get close he jumps on his Dire Weasel and begins pelting them while on the move. Even if they get close, a ranger on a dire weasel is nothing to sneeze at. Beyond just being a fun fight, it would be a good way to hint to a party that looks melee-based that some form of ranged attack is needed.

I would, however, limit him to level 3. First, he already has a Dire Weasel, so essentially a CR2 beast plus a level 3 ranger is a tough fight already, any more and you might have a TPK. Second, if he survives (and by all rights if things get bad he should just run away on his Dire Weasel or hide in the woods somewhere), it gives you lots of leeway to expand him if he becomes a reoccurring bad guy.


2008-02-15, 10:30 PM
Mounts are a cool set of rules, and they hardly ever get used. You don't even need feats to ride critters, people! Just a few ranks in ride and you can kick butt.

2008-02-15, 10:45 PM
Mounted archery...hmmmm. I have never actually had a reason to try it. Definetly a dire weasel. If I really shouldn't have more than level 3, I'm thinking ranger2/rog1. Feats mounted combat and mounted archery.

I can see those rope traps that leave you hanging in the air by your ankle and then a sneak attack archery shot. Maybe blunt arrows from arms and equipment. Then, as stated, he circles them on a mount and pelts them. This looks promising and will make them think.

PS: the rogue in the party uses a bow as a primary weapon.

2008-02-15, 10:52 PM
I'd take note of Kobold tactics, and then work to use them effectively. Now, obviously what exactly's effective, doable, or way-way-overkill is going to vary between campaigns and how you like to do things. But there are a few general guidelines you can remember:

1.) Kobolds don't fight fair. Even the really lawful ones are bound to plan ahead, looking to minimize anguish on their side while maximizing it on the other's. They might set up traps, use nets and pitfalls, or come up with complicated attack plans made specifically to put them in a bad situation. The point is, if a Kobold can think of a way to put themselves at an advantage (and they're clever little bastards), they'll take that plan and run with it.

2.) Kobolds don't fight in melee. They're small and weak, and they know it. The only time they should fight in melee is if there's another guy providing flanking bonus who's also distracting and burly enough that he can soak up all the damage they don't want. Big tough animal companions might work for this. And even then, if at all possible, a Kobold prefers to minimize the chance for injury and will avoid getting into melee combat, preferring instead to attack from a distance, using either projectile weapons or spells, usually to the best advantage they can come up with at the time. They usually have some way to prevent the enemy from just running up and beating the snot out of them, too, because...

3.) Kobolds don't fight fair. Yes, we covered this. But it bares repeating. A Kobold is going to plan ahead. They're going to snipe you from treetops and buildings where you can't get to them, they're going to have meatshields standing between you and them, they're going to have alchemist's fire ready to be dropped on you from above. Sometimes if they're feeling really prickish they'll stand just behind a pit trap and wait for you to run up to hit them, then laugh as you fall and snipe you when you land in a heap. They're not going to be honorable and just and fight the good fight because to a Kobold the good fight is any fight they completely pwn you in. Even the really honorable Kobolds get perverse glee out of proving that they're smarter than you.

2008-02-16, 08:03 AM
And honourable fight is one wherein I convince you to run into the pit trap. Scorpions in you small cloths is dishonourable. ... You know what? If you've attracted my ire you should be prepared, Scorpions are still honorable.

Magic, now that's just cheating.

Still, I say scorpion tied to a ten foot pole is the way to go.

2008-02-16, 01:40 PM
Okay. So many traps, level 3. Rang2/rog1, dire weasel, fight dirty and from a distance. Is there anything else to put into him?

Charlie Kemek
2008-02-16, 01:45 PM
maybe some levels in bloodhound, give it a great-bow (d8 for small character, exotic weapon).

2008-02-16, 04:00 PM
I endorse the Dire Weasel-riding, mounted archery Kobold Ranger (or Ranger/Rogue) idea.

I think he should be higher-level than the party. Level 4 or 5 would be fine. Maybe 4, just to be on the safe side. Also, consider using a crossbow rather than a bow at this low level. That way, you can dump his Strength without losing damage output.

If he becomes a recurring villain, of course eventually you'll want to buff up the Dire Weasel by making it his animal companion. Look up the feat that adds to a ranger's effective Animal Companion level (or just houserule it; this is a popular houserule for rangers anyway).

This is one situation where you can get away with an NPC's Favored Enemy types matching the PCs' races, without it being too much of a "cheap shot," ... unless there is something besides humans and elves that the kobolds are likely to send bounty hunters after on a regular basis.

Finally, it won't work at this low level, but I have a great idea for a kobold BBEG. Perhaps the bounty hunter's master? The idea is a spellcaster (or psionicist) who mostly spends his combat actions casting Fabricate to create on-the-spot traps for the PCs to get stuck in. Of course he has maxxed Craft (Trapmaking), plus the Kobold racial bonus ...

2008-02-16, 05:23 PM
Having him as a higher level than the PCs would be deadly i think. He is using a mount and ranged weapon so they will have trouble hitting him, being mostly melee. Also he does have favored enemy against humans probably for fluff reasons. A crossbow is not so bad an idea, but the archery style gives rapid shot which is not usable with crossbows if I am not mistaken. A greatbow could be useful, which book?

2008-02-16, 06:04 PM
Kobold bounty hunter? sounds like a good idea. should obviously have trap making, and should have a crossbow. Why should a kobold have a crossbow? Because its AWESOME.