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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Progenitor Kobold

    "Calliva?"
    "Yes, Liadan?"
    "Do you have children of your own?"
    The kobold's teeth showed, glistening as her eyes flickered in contemplation. After a few seconds, she replied.
    "Do you know how old I am?"
    "I'm not sure... I'd heard kobolds were a long-lived race."
    The kobold let out a raspy breath of laughter. "I'm three hundred and eleven years old, Liadan."
    The human's eyes widened in shock. "That's... that's..."
    The kobold's teeth glistened again in mirth. "That's way too young to be having children. I'm not ready to settle down for a good few decades."


    - Excerpt from The War for Caritus, by Mardwick “Fnipper” Beren.

    Progenitor kobolds are among the oldest and wisest of races alive on the world of Darlaw. Considered to be the founders of ancient civilization in the northern hemisphere, the progenitor kobolds are a physically weak, though remarkably intelligent reptilian species rarely found in the southern continents. Occasionally, though, one or two will find their way south of Darlaw’s tropics, integrating seamlessly into civilisation, though with some interesting eccentricities. Progenitor kobolds are most often found in situations requiring a powerful mind, usually dabbling in wizardry with their taller, mammalian fellows.

    Whilst reaching physical maturity at the age of fifteen, progenitor kobolds mature mentally at a much slower rate. Indeed, progenitor kobolds do not reach full independence until around their two hundredth year. Progenitor kobolds age remarkably slowly, outliving even the elves of Darlaw, and legend has it that some kobolds can live for more than a millennium.

    Progenitor kobolds stand at around 2 to 2½ feet tall, and usually weigh between 35 and 45 pounds. Their heads are similar in shape to those of dogs, a rat-like tail, and their skin is scaly and usually a dusty brown color. During their fertile seasons (which usually occur during the summers of their fourth century), the males will develop bright blue scales all over their bodies, and females will conversely develop a dark red coloration. Virtually all kobolds speak fluent Common from a very early age, though amongst themselves they prefer the ancient language of Draconic. Most of them have mastered at least one other language from a wide range of tongues.

    Progenitor kobolds as characters

    Progenitor kobolds possess the following racial traits:
    - Small Humanoid (Reptilian). Kobolds are distantly related to the dragons and the lizardfolk, among other scaly species.
    - -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence.
    - Small size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty to grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits are ¾ those of Medium creatures.
    - A progenitor kobold’s base land speed is 20 feet. They are nimble, but small-legged creatures.
    - Racial Skills: Progenitor kobolds have an uncanny knack for arcane and academic studies. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (arcana), Profession (scribe), and Spellcraft.
    - Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Dwarven, Elven, Infernal, Undercommon. Progenitor kobolds are unusually skilful linguists, and usually speak the languages of older races, devils, demons, and angels.
    - Favored Class: Wizard.
    - Level Adjustment: +0.

    Age, height and weight

    Adulthood: 200 years
    plus: +8d6 (barbarian, rogue, sorcerer), +12d6 (bard, fighter, paladin, ranger). +20d6 (cleric, druid, monk, wizard).
    Middle age: 400 years; old age: 550 years; Venerable: 800 years; maximum age: +3d% years.

    Base height (male): 2'; Height modifier +2d3; base weight 30 lb.; weight modifier x 1 lb.
    Base height (female): 2'; Height modifier +2d3; base weight 28 lb.; weight modifier x 1 lb.

    Comments, preferably constructive ones, are always welcome. (By the way, I'm using Calliva Kertelmaka, a progenitor kobold NPC wizard in my current campaign... she wears a wig, swears a lot and drinks copious amounts of whiskey, trying as she does to fit in with the humans...!)

    EDIT: Changed -2 Charisma penalty for a more sensible -2 Constitution - otherwise they'd have required a level adjustment penalty! (and some standardised English, as a Brit I find it hard to put a "z" in "civilisation" :P)
    Current campaign: The War for Caritus (estimated start: early September)&&Some other guy\'s roleplaying blog

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    idksocrates's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    oooh... a kobold that doesn't suck... so stealing for my campaign world.

    they are still really low compared to other classes. Are you planning for this race to be on par with other PC races?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    +2 dex, +2 int? No con penalty? Long lived?

    Deserves at least a +1 ECL

    That and "progenitor" implies "the first" I.E. the only

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong
    +2 dex, +2 int? No con penalty? Long lived?

    Deserves at least a +1 ECL

    That and "progenitor" implies "the first" I.E. the only
    Yup, at things stand they make ridiculously good wizards. Give them +1 LA or a good hard smack with the nerf stick.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    You might say it's in the beta-testing phase. I disagree, but I respect your opinion (to me, as long as something has a fairly human-length life, that's fine, anything more than that in a D&D campaign is just good flavour - I mean, if this particular strain of kobold was a young adult at the beginning of a campaign, and reached venerable age by the end of it, the world would probably have reached a 20th-century tech level through sheer blind luck...!)

    And according to the Dungeon Master's Guide, Strength for Dexterity and Charisma for Intelligence is apparently a fair trade :o

    I was considering including a natural armour bonus (which would probably have made a stronger case for +1 level adjustment, normal kobolds get it), but then I thought - hang on, this race has been around for millennia, they've probably got a little soft along the way.

    "Progenitor" simply means an orignator or a founder of something - for example, George Washington was one of the "progenitors" of the USA, but he wasn't nearly the only one. In the case of these scaly-skinned fellows, the progenesis was civilisation in the northern hemisphere. It makes them happy to progenerate, you know.

    Argh, I just noticed my International English is inconsistent. Ye olde arses. I mean asses. I mean... rear-ends.
    Current campaign: The War for Caritus (estimated start: early September)&&Some other guy\'s roleplaying blog

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    I just compared them with the Gray Elf race from the Monster Manual.

    Time to change that Cha penalty for a Con penalty, methinks *sniffs with tears in his eyes*
    Current campaign: The War for Caritus (estimated start: early September)&&Some other guy\'s roleplaying blog

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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    I'd say that they're fairly well balanced myself.

    If you compare them to the Whispergnome, they are actually less powerful lthan that supposed LA 0 race, so I'd say they're fine.

    Good job on making a kobold that doesn't suck.
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Quote Originally Posted by Goumindong
    +2 dex, +2 int? No con penalty? Long lived?

    Deserves at least a +1 ECL

    That and "progenitor" implies "the first" I.E. the only
    wait a second... your saying that being a long-lived race makes you qualify for LA?

    What are you on?

    The most ability rich PC races (elves, dwarfs, gnomes) are all long lived (the elves being the longest of the three).

    Your telling me that what these kobolds have (+2 bonus on three skills) makes them significantly more powerful than an elf?

    Diz, I actually do prefer the con penalty to the cha penalty, as I like kobolds having high cha, but don't listen to Goumindong. I think he's racist towards kobolds.

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    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    I dunno, this is a fine race for a +0 LA, but I really don't think it has the flavour of an ancient kobold, the paragon of the dragonborn species.

    Frankly, all they have going for them is a long lifespan.

    I think you should give these little guys either (a) some special relation to dragon (like, the dragon-blood feats from Complete Arcane as bonus feats, changing their favoured class to Sorcerer) or (b) some significant special abilites, like darkvision, trapcunning (bonuses to detect, avoid and comprehend traps), or weird draconic magics (i.e. spell-likes). I understand many cool abilities warrant a LA of +1 or better, but frankly, there are races for wizards, races for long life, and if you're making a completely new race, I would want to mix it up a bit with them. Otherwise you just get the same bonuses and penalties swapped around, with no real change.

    Does that make any sense?
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    I like the suggestions. I think it currently works well, but needs a little tweaking.

    As for the "dragonborn" thing, my kobolds are not quite as closely related to the dragons as other game worlds would suggest. They may be related to them (in the same way orang-utans and humans are related) but it doesn't give them the huge affinity for sorcerous magic that comes with being a dragonborn (à la Deekin Scalesinger from the Neverwinter Nights expansion packs).

    That is, in the same way that being related to orang-utans doesn't give us humans a particular affinity for bananas :P

    In fact, that very same point has given me an Idea, capital I, for the progenitor kobolds' own civilisation. I'm thinking perhaps a technomagical paradise somewhere in its own demiplane. Or something like that. Kobolds with guns. If it hadn't been done already it would be a cool idea :D

    With a little tweaking, Calliva might have a home to go to when she finally reaches her fertile stage!
    Current campaign: The War for Caritus (estimated start: early September)&&Some other guy\'s roleplaying blog

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Truly, you don't need to worry about granting them anything dragon-ish. They already naturals with arcane studies and know draconic. I think that's enough of a link where they're okay.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Excellent race, I am most certainally throwing these into my campaign. Sweet job, hurray for Kobolds that do not suck!

    .:Soulefoin:. ;)


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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Quote Originally Posted by idksocrates

    wait a second... your saying that being a long-lived race makes you qualify for LA?

    What are you on?

    The most ability rich PC races (elves, dwarfs, gnomes) are all long lived (the elves being the longest of the three).

    Your telling me that what these kobolds have (+2 bonus on three skills) makes them significantly more powerful than an elf?

    Diz, I actually do prefer the con penalty to the cha penalty, as I like kobolds having high cha, but don't listen to Goumindong. I think he's racist towards kobolds.

    What can i say? A kolbold killed my dog.

    Anyway, my main objection was to the ECL +0 with no constitution penalty, int for cha seems ok, but doesnt hold out in the end, especialy with the number of classes that arent cha dependent but can use the boost to int.

    Wizard, fighter(dex based), barbarian, Rogue(+1 skill/lvl for -1 all cha skills? Score), Monk(though the str penalty hurts, at least it wasnt dex/wis).

    That seems to be fixed now.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Thanks for all your critique, these boards are bloody inspirational when it comes to new ideas for campaign twists - my group just don't "get it" when it comes to plot revelations, it takes a lot to get their attention.

    Intriguingly, when Calliva Kertelmaka's name was first mentioned to the group, the group's fighter immediately recognised "Kertelmaka" as having been derived from "Kurtulmak", the rather malevolent racial god of the kobolds (listed in the Monster Manual). Calliva's racial identity was supposed to be a surprise, but I wasn't on form when I came up with her name. (All credit to the fighter though, he'd been playing D&D for all of five sessions when that happened)

    However, even her name is a good bit of flavour for an NPC who isn't intended to surprise the players. After all, there are a few languages with surnames, place names and honorifics translating as "of God". Perhaps Calliva is from a religious family of kobolds...! (imagine how old Grandpapa Kertelmaka is!)
    Current campaign: The War for Caritus (estimated start: early September)&&Some other guy\'s roleplaying blog

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Quote Originally Posted by Diz
    I just compared them with the Gray Elf race from the Monster Manual.

    Time to change that Cha penalty for a Con penalty, methinks *sniffs with tears in his eyes*
    Except for grey elves (who should never have been made) there are no LA 0 races with a bonus to a mental stat IIRC. This is because giving a LA 0 race a bonus to a mental stat gives casters a huge boost.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    That's not true at all. It's helpful, but it is not and has never been represented as useful enough for LA. In fact, all the mental adjustments are looked at as less useful than the physical ones.
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion-the-G
    That's not true at all. It's helpful, but it is not and has never been represented as useful enough for LA. In fact, all the mental adjustments are looked at as less useful than the physical ones.
    Yes, but they're only looked at that way because the physical stats are used for everyone. Mental stats are often less important to some character classes.

    And there are very few races with mental bonuses in core books, because of the spellcasting factor.

    I don't think the mental adjustment is worth level adjustment, but it's worth penalizing a physical stat for.

    And gray elves are pretty bad- most elf wizards would just be better as grey elf wizards. Since elves already make pretty good wizards, that's a bad sign.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold


    They really aren't any worse than many of the other races. I mean look at the halflings, the only race that is anywhere near as appealing for a rogue is, interestingly, the grey elves. And Dwarves are far superior in terms of bonuses for penalties.

    Grey elves mainly have the problem in that they have 4 stats adjusted rather than 2. This tends to produce a race that is much more 'specialized' since they have two weak areas preventing them from doing well in a wide variety of classes (even worse is that these penalties tend to be 'thematically' similar) and they have two bonuses which make them even stronger in classes that use those two stats. Grey elves are, for instance, much better at being rogues than they are at being wizards. The problem isn't their Int boost, it's the spread of their stat adjustment.
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    Default Re: New Race: Progenitor Kobold

    I have to agree there:

    grey elves are a natural choice for anyone who wants to play a wizard, and it is an excellent race for a rogue. Its also an extremely good race for duelist/swashbuckler: its two stats, dex and int, are the ideal for that class. I am currently playing a grey elf duelist and have plans to play a grey elf wizard, as I am at least 30% munchkin.

    come to think of it, the only real thing that makes a halfling better than a grey elf as far as rogues go is their small size: bonus on hide, AC and hit.

    These progenitor kobolds have the same stat alignment as Grey elves and the small size: they are ultimate rogues!


    After comparing the progenitor Kobold to the MM kobold, here's how I would do it:

    Abilities: -2str, +2int

    (they are hardier and stronger than their kin, less agile, but more intelligent. This also makes them less specialized, and are good for any class that benefits from high int, but suffers from low str.
    Alternatively, you could add -2con, +2wis).

    Skills: +2 Knowledge (arcana), Profession (scribe), and Spellcraft
    +2 search representing a Kobold's affinity for noticing details upon close inspection.

    (Search is a decent bonus on the original kobold, and it could stand to use it)

    some more abilities could stand to go here. They could still benefit from other things. At this point, since they have balanced ability points, natural armor or a 30foot base speed seems too much.

    Small Size
    Base Land speed: 20ft
    Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Dwarven, Elven, Infernal, Undercommon. Progenitor kobolds are unusually skilful linguists, and usually speak the languages of older races, devils, demons, and angels.
    - Favored Class: Wizard.
    - Level Adjustment: +0.

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