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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kobold-Bard's Avatar

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    Default Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    I have seen them mentioned with much hatred. What are they, where are they from, and why are they so loathed?

    I don't want to play one (I'm trying to break the optimizing habit, but I'm too scared to go cold turkey) I'm just curious.
    Piratebold-Bard by Elder Tsofu | Backer #121 of the Giantitp Kickstarter | My homebrew
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
    I have seen them mentioned with much hatred. What are they, where are they from, and why are they so loathed?

    I don't want to play one (I'm trying to break the optimizing habit, but I'm too scared to go cold turkey) I'm just curious.
    If you twist your mind just right, you can pretend they get all the mental stat bonuses for venerable age without incurring any physical penalties. After this contortion, your mind will imagine they then count as ancient dragons, and may take epic feats at level 1.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Dragonwrought is a feat from races of the dragon that changes a kobolds type to Dragon at first level. From there you can get access to epic feats as has already been mentioned but also no end of other goodies based around Dragon add ons and subs that work just fine on a real dragon but get overpowered fast on a LA+0 critter... things like loredrake from dragons of ebberron or alter self forms or dragon prestige classes and items.... but mostly it's the epic feats at old+ and no ageing penalties to physical combined with aging benefits to mental stats which makes them some of the best casters ever.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Specifically, they take advantage of an obscure rule in Draconomicon that states any True Dragon of at least Old age category can take Epic feats without being Epic. Kobolds use age categories like True Dragons, though much shorter. With Dragonwrought, the character's type changes to Dragon and counts as a True Dragon, as well as not suffering physical penalties for age. This lets a Dragonwrought Kobold start play as Old or older and legally take Epic feats.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    If you twist your mind just right, you can pretend they get all the mental stat bonuses for venerable age without incurring any physical penalties.
    I'm not sure what 'twisting one's mind just right' has to do with it. Races of the Dragon, page 39, Kobold aging chart, has text that specifically states that "ability penalties due to age don't apply to Dragonwrought Kobolds".
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    It does unfortunately seem perfectly legal, but I've seen way too many ways to abuse it. I'm honestly not entirely sure WHAT the designers intended with it, since pretty much lots of the abuses are very obvious. Why specifically say that it doesn't take aging penalties if you didn't want people to make venerable characters all the time? It's like a feat that grants a permanent +3 bonus to three ability scores. Not to mention alter self. How could you NOT think of alter self?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    The age stuff does seem a little stupid, but I don't see any way for a dragonwrought kobold to get epic feats just through age. In my mind, that only counts for true dragons and I don't think kobolds of any sort should count as true dragons.
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    If anyone can find a better-quality version of that, let me know.

    The Hellborn Hooligans Reborn

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFighter15 View Post
    The age stuff does seem a little stupid, but I don't see any way for a dragonwrought kobold to get epic feats just through age. In my mind, that only counts for true dragons and I don't think kobolds of any sort should count as true dragons.
    Another line in another book says anything with the dragon type and X number of age categories qualifies as a true dragon.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFighter15 View Post
    The age stuff does seem a little stupid, but I don't see any way for a dragonwrought kobold to get epic feats just through age. In my mind, that only counts for true dragons and I don't think kobolds of any sort should count as true dragons.
    This, while reasonable, encouraged, supported, and all of that good stuff, is not RAW. By RAW, it doesn't say anything about true dragons in the rule, it just says dragons, meaning dragonwraught kobolds qualify for it.

    So, while any DM ever would be insane to allow it to work, by RAW it works.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by RelentlessImp View Post
    I'm not sure what 'twisting one's mind just right' has to do with it. Races of the Dragon, page 39, Kobold aging chart, has text that specifically states that "ability penalties due to age don't apply to Dragonwrought Kobolds".
    But you now have age categories like a dragon instead of like a human, and can thus never be venerable.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    ...Except that no sane DM would ever really allow it. While it works, get it to fly in a game starting at first level. Or even 10th. Or even 20th. Sort of goes like this:

    Player: Hey, here's my sheet.
    DM: Thanks, let's take a look.
    DM: ...
    Player: What?
    DM: How did you get epic feats at third level on?
    Player: Oh, that. Dragonwrought lets me qualify as a dragon, and since I'm older than Old, I can take epic feats... what are you doing?
    DM: I'm lighting this sheet on fire so that nobody can ever look upon this again. Go make something that doesn't make me have to roll a SAN check.

    In a perfect world:
    Player: Heh. Alright, sure. Thought it was worth a try.

    In the real world:
    Player: What!? Dude, this is all legal! You're a powerhungry DM! I'm never playing with you again! WAAAAAAAAAH!
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    But you now have age categories like a dragon instead of like a human, and can thus never be venerable.
    "Specific trumps general," I think, is the rule of thumb in situations like this. Since it mentions Dragonwrought Kobolds and aging penalties specifically, then they're an exception to the rule.

    ...Too bad it's so ambiguous in the way it's arranged that it goes either way, really...
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by RelentlessImp View Post
    "Specific trumps general," I think, is the rule of thumb in situations like this. Since it mentions Dragonwrought Kobolds and aging penalties specifically, then they're an exception to the rule.

    ...Too bad it's so ambiguous in the way it's arranged that it goes either way, really...
    Sure, but it never mentions that they'd get aging bonuses, so there's no specific there to trump the general rule that dragons don't get human bonuses.
    The explanation of why they don't get penalties for aging is "they don't get penalties because they don't fit into human age categories".

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Huh. Optomisers. There's one of my players where every character of his goes like this;

    Me (DM): So, what's your character?
    Him: It's a-
    Me: You can't play it. It's too overpowered.
    Him: You don't even know what I was going to play!
    Me: Pun-pun?
    Him: No!
    Me: Cheesy Batman Wizard?
    Him: No!
    Me: That warforged of yours who's immune to damage?
    Him: No!
    Me: Your guy who one-shots ogres at level one without a lucky crit?
    Him: No!
    Me: Are you going to convince me to allow a Warlocks Eldritch Blast to count a spells for reserve feats?
    Him: No!
    Me: OK then. What are you playing?
    Him: Uh, well, it's, uh...
    Me: Am I going to approve it?
    Him: ...no.
    For the last time, it stands for Shadow of Darkness!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    Sure, but it never mentions that they'd get aging bonuses, so there's no specific there to trump the general rule that dragons don't get human bonuses.
    The explanation of why they don't get penalties for aging is "they don't get penalties because they don't fit into human age categories".
    Then why bring it up at all? Why even have a Middle Age/Old/Venerable age chart, anyway? All Kobolds use the Dragon Category aging chart. Same page of Races of the Dragon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Races of the Dragon
    Once hatched, kobolds mature at a breakneck pace, using
    the same life cycle as dragons, but only living one-tenth
    as long. By the time a kobold reaches the age of eight or
    nine (on average), she is mentally and physically able to
    assist her tribe in any capacity.
    Which means the Wyrmling, Very Young, Young, etc is used by all kobolds, not just Dragonwrought - and then they have a separate chart showing more 'normal' age categories. Could it be that they intended for kobolds to use both charts at the same time? With the reading of it, one would think so.
    Last edited by RelentlessImp; 2009-06-11 at 08:00 PM.
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoD View Post
    Me: Cheesy Batman Wizard?
    Nitpick: Theres nothing cheesy about a Batman Wizard. All a batman wizard is is someone who uses their spells effectively so that them and their allies aquire the most benefit from them.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aneantir View Post
    Nitpick: Theres nothing cheesy about a Batman Wizard. All a batman wizard is is someone who uses their spells effectively so that them and their allies aquire the most benefit from them.
    It was qualified with a 'cheesy', though. Obviously if it had been just a normal batman wizard, no cheese, it'd have been just fine.

    ---

    I'm pretty sure mechanically Kobolds are supposed to follow the standard Child/Adult/Middle Age/Old/Venerable/Dead aging progression - reasonable interpretation of RAW says that there wouldn't be any point in putting in the age categories with modifiers if kobolds weren't subject to them like anything else. The Dragonwrought feat backs this up, referring to age category penalties.

    Although I agree that the Epic Feats thing is just plain silly. A fairly serious oversight, given that they seem to have drawn from the Draconomicon to begin with (their 'Draconic Lexicon' is basically an updated one from the one in the Draconomicon in the first place.)

    Taking just Dragonwrought and not abusing the aging rules probably won't make anybody blink an eyelid, though. Middle Aged Dragonwrought might raise a few eyelids, but if you've got a bunch of odd stats, it might be passable. Venerable Dragonwrought in anything but high level play is just asking to be shot down.
    Last edited by pingcode20; 2009-06-11 at 08:17 PM.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoD View Post
    Huh. Optomisers. There's one of my players where every character of his goes like this;

    Me (DM): So, what's your character?
    Him: It's a-
    Me: You can't play it. It's too overpowered.
    Him: You don't even know what I was going to play!
    Me: Pun-pun?
    Him: No!
    Me: Cheesy Batman Wizard?
    Him: No!
    Me: That warforged of yours who's immune to damage?
    Him: No!
    Me: Your guy who one-shots ogres at level one without a lucky crit?
    Him: No!
    Me: Are you going to convince me to allow a Warlocks Eldritch Blast to count a spells for reserve feats?
    Him: No!
    Me: OK then. What are you playing?
    Him: Uh, well, it's, uh...
    Me: Am I going to approve it?
    Him: ...no.
    You forgot about the 1st level fat guy who jumps on people for 20d6 damage, no save no attack roll. (Psychic Warrior 1, Expansion, Up the Walls, falling object rules DMG p303)

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    The implied balance of the Feat, though it is by no means spelled out or supported by written text, is that a Venerable 1st level Dragonwrought Kobold simply does not exist! By their very nature, a Dragonwrought Kobold is destined for greatness; it is thrust upon them by their birthright. Their life will be filled with peril, from bitter rivals as a wyrmling to the trials and tribulations of being a living embodiment of everything Kobold culture stands for. They are Heroes of their tribe by definition and will be expected to live up to that staus. By the time a Dragonwrought Kobold reaches Venerable age (if he even lives that long), he is almost guaranteed to have reached the upper echelons of pre-epic levels at the very least.

    Yes it is a powerful feat for a game that rivals the great epics, spanning the lifetime of the Player Characters, but for normal play it is not so broken really, so long as you actually use a little sense in what abilities will be available to a given character; a feral Barbarian raised by wolves who has only just come into contact with other members of his own species simply could not have access to a Feat like Skill Focus (Decipher Script). As a DM, I would be well within my rights to flat out refuse such a selection on the basis that said Barbarian doesn't even know how to read, let alone decipher complex literature. Similarly with Dragonwrought and age; a Venerable Dragonwrought is, by definition very high level, possibly even Epic levels. Any player coming to me with a 1st level Venerable Dragonwrought would simply be laughed out of my game until they learned to roleplay.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kobold-Bard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Thanks all, I was mainly curious about the whole "Epic feats a level 1" thing.

    Now all I need is a gullible DM and...STIOP IT!! <Slaps self>

    Sorry, optimizing is a hard addiction to break.
    Piratebold-Bard by Elder Tsofu | Backer #121 of the Giantitp Kickstarter | My homebrew
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    a feral Barbarian raised by wolves who has only just come into contact with other members of his own species simply could not have access to a Feat like Skill Focus (Decipher Script). As a DM, I would be well within my rights to flat out refuse such a selection on the basis that said Barbarian doesn't even know how to read, let alone decipher complex literature.
    I think you should allow the feat, since feats can represent an innate talent rather than any sort of study. Definitely disallow him from allocating ranks there at this time. However, I think it's reasonable that he might have that knack which has just been completely unrealized to date; when he finally comes into contact with letters, he'll feel a special affinity for them, and at that point be permitted to take ranks in the skill.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    The implied balance of the Feat, though it is by no means spelled out or supported by written text, is that a Venerable 1st level Dragonwrought Kobold simply does not exist! By their very nature, a Dragonwrought Kobold is destined for greatness; it is thrust upon them by their birthright. Their life will be filled with peril, from bitter rivals as a wyrmling to the trials and tribulations of being a living embodiment of everything Kobold culture stands for. They are Heroes of their tribe by definition and will be expected to live up to that staus. By the time a Dragonwrought Kobold reaches Venerable age (if he even lives that long), he is almost guaranteed to have reached the upper echelons of pre-epic levels at the very least.

    Yes it is a powerful feat for a game that rivals the great epics, spanning the lifetime of the Player Characters, but for normal play it is not so broken really, so long as you actually use a little sense in what abilities will be available to a given character; a feral Barbarian raised by wolves who has only just come into contact with other members of his own species simply could not have access to a Feat like Skill Focus (Decipher Script). As a DM, I would be well within my rights to flat out refuse such a selection on the basis that said Barbarian doesn't even know how to read, let alone decipher complex literature. Similarly with Dragonwrought and age; a Venerable Dragonwrought is, by definition very high level, possibly even Epic levels. Any player coming to me with a 1st level Venerable Dragonwrought would simply be laughed out of my game until they learned to roleplay.
    This is another example of the Stormwind Fallacy. First, I'd like to link you to a pretty decent example of where Old+ characters can start at first level.

    Goblins! Life Through Their Eyes

    First, if you don't feel like reading it, let me explain; goblins, tired of being attacked by adventurers, decide to become 1st level adventurers and level up to protect their tribe. Among those is Thaco, an elderly goblin who becomes a 1st level Monk.

    Despite the comic's 4th-wall-breaking nature (they use terms like 'character level' and 'class'), Thaco is a good representation of someone who wants to play an older character at 1st level.

    Second, if you're going to disallow old characters at first level, you're limiting your player's options. Obviously, if they're doing it just for the stat bonuses with no roleplaying to back it up, fine, laugh at it, veto it and tell them to come up with another character. But, if they've got a decent backstory to go along with it, what's the harm? Just don't let them take Epic feats by virtue of Dragonwrought+Old age.
    Now if you don't mind, I am somewhat preoccupied telling the laws of physics to shut up and sit down.
    I cast irresistable phantasmal killer as a 4th level spell. No save, just die.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    What the guy above me said. I can think of several valid reasons why an old, dragonwrought 1st level character would become an adventurer. For an example, a wyrmling real dragon might easily usurp the kobold's position as the spiritual leader - especially if the dragon is evil-aligned, and the kobold good.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    @Riffington:

    Yeah, I guess, but you get the point (example notwithstanding).

    @Relentless Imp and Adumbration:

    I've nothing against a older 1st level characters as a rule...just specifically older 1st level Dragonwrought Kobolds. Even if a real dragon is present to take a leadership role, a Dragonwrought Kobold will still be venerated, perhaps even more so than the dragon by some of the tribe as he is closer to the populace than the dragon is (who I'd imagine as being somewhat remote and disdaining, whilst the Dragonwrought is understanding and sympathetic). To some, he may represent a kind of Robin Hood figure; a champion of the people. In fact, I would even go so far as to posit that a Dragonwrought Kobold in a tribe that is led by a True Dragon would have an even harder time of living to old age than one where there isn't; the threat he poses in his position as a 'missing link' between Dragons and Kobolds (so to speak) would mean he becomes a target for the dragon. Though the dragon would be unlikely to outright kill him off (unless it's particularly evil) due to the political implications of potentially martyring him, he would still have to deal with constant threat or even exile (which, for a kobold, is practically being forced into the adventuring profession...and who gains levels faster than anyone else?).

    You might, might, get away with a low-level middle aged Dragonwrought Kobold if you came up with a good reason for it, but short of something mind-blowing or contrived (like he's spent his entire life in a cell and only recently escaped), I just cannot see a Dragonwrought Kobolds life being anything short of highly perilous for one reason or another and as such any such kobold that has somehow reached the lofty heights of Old or Venerable age is going to be something of a significant power in the world.

    Don't get me wrong, if someone comes up with a good reason, then I'll allow more or less anything! It just has to be a very good reason if it falls outside the limits of what I consider possible.

    P.S. I've read Goblins! and much like it!
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Well, the way I figured it would go...

    A venerable, good dragonwrought kobold is the current leader of the tribe. His heritage is in the metallic dragons. Someone finds an egg/a young dragon finds them - in my mind it's always a Black Dragon Wyrmling, thank you very much SoD . Of course, the kobold in question has reservations about it, but what can he do? To undermine the dragon is to undermine his own heritage. The dragon has a silver tongue, and is soon adored and worshipped by the tribe.

    Then comes the rupture. The dragon demands something evil of the tribe - treasure for his hoard from nearby human farmers, for an example. What can the dragonwrought kobold do? To oppose the dragon would split the tribe - some, who are on the good side of neutral, would probably side with him. But the young, impetuous warriors?

    The dragonwrought kobold sees 2 paths that will keep the tribe intact. Either he will stay, and ignore the evil deeds that the black dragon encourages, or he leaves in self-imposed exile. Regretfully, he chooses the latter option.

    And so the venerable dragonwrought kobold leaves, and becomes an adventurer. And to address the level issue... High level characters are very rare indeed among kobolds. They trust in groups, not individuals. It is not a custom to hoard power - except for the dragon, of course, now.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Hmm, fine, so he's a leader - but how did he become one? People expect their leaders to do something, or at least show some exceptional qualities. In most campaigns, the tribe/village leader would be also the highest level npc (or at least one of the highest level npcs), even if those levels are in a non-pc class.

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    Hmm, fine, so he's a leader - but how did he become one? People expect their leaders to do something, or at least show some exceptional qualities. In most campaigns, the tribe/village leader would be also the highest level npc (or at least one of the highest level npcs), even if those levels are in a non-pc class.
    People as in humans? Or people as in people? What about Monarchies? The only reason someone is fit to rule is because Daddy did. I feel that, for kobolds at least, it's a perfectly good reason to say; "He's our leader because he's Dragonwrought." Maybe the actual decisions are made by a power behind the throne, dispite the general kobold population beleiving that it's their Dragonwrought guy weilding the power.
    For the last time, it stands for Shadow of Darkness!

    Thankin' Nevitan fer me babytar!

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    SoD casts Pun
    SoD's Pun crits TigerHunter for 10k.
    TigerHunter dies.


    Genderbender week comin' up! SoDess by Bisected8 *applause*

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoD View Post
    People as in humans? Or people as in people? What about Monarchies? The only reason someone is fit to rule is because Daddy did. I feel that, for kobolds at least, it's a perfectly good reason to say; "He's our leader because he's Dragonwrought." Maybe the actual decisions are made by a power behind the throne, dispite the general kobold population beleiving that it's their Dragonwrought guy weilding the power.
    Aye. Throw in the Dragon Wings feat, and they'd be hard pressed to deny his superior dragon heritage. In this case, this kobold is also a PC, which entails higher ability scores, and if the class is Sorcerer, he will also be very charismatic indeed.

    And he wouldn't be born a leader, of course, but in time his superior ability scores, along with his dragon heritage would pretty much ensure a position of importance among the kobolds. Insert generic master-apprentice relationship between the older spellcaster in the tribe here.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    True, but by the time he became venerable, he'd have already accomplished something; in other words, gained at least a few levels. If not, then I'd expect this remarkable indolence to be represented by abysmal CHA score and low mental stats. Even the laziest monarch would get a few Aristocrat levels by the time he became venerable, I'd expect nothing less from a Dragonwrought Kobold. On the other hand, if said Kobold had accomplished nothing during most of his life, I don't really think he'd be a suitable material for an adventurer (again, low stats, no will to do anything).

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragonwrought Kobolds?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickJay View Post
    True, but by the time he became venerable, he'd have already accomplished something; in other words, gained at least a few levels. If not, then I'd expect this remarkable indolence to be represented by abysmal CHA score and low mental stats. Even the laziest monarch would get a few Aristocrat levels by the time he became venerable, I'd expect nothing less from a Dragonwrought Kobold. On the other hand, if said Kobold had accomplished nothing during most of his life, I don't really think he'd be a suitable material for an adventurer (again, low stats, no will to do anything).
    If the region is reasonably peaceful, and there are no major events, why should he level? There's a reason why there's no 20th level Commoners running around, no matter how many commoners make it to Venerable. The kobold tribe might live in peace with their neighbours due to the leader's influence. NPCs are people too.

    Of course, someone might point out that this is all very contrived. But is it any more contrived than the Barbarian raised by the wolves in wilderness? How does someone like that learn how to speak, anyway?

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