Kobold Guide 5e
Published on December 18, 2020, Last modified on May 5th, 2022
Kobolds of Kher Keep - Wizards of the Coast - Paolo Parente
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the kobold will be right for your 5e character build.
The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your kobold. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.
- Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
- Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
- Orange is an OK option
- Green is a good option
- Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
- Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.
What are Kobolds in 5e?
Source: Volo's Guide to Monsters
Kobolds are a common enemy fought in low-level combat encounters. These small, reptilian humanoids became a playable race in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
With the addition of kobolds as a playable race in D&D 5e, there is a whole new avenue for roleplaying and storytelling that playing a monster brings to the table. If your kobold has had different life experiences, it is completely reasonable to play one as an able member of an adventuring party.
Kobold 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: DEX is the most common ability score bonus. Not having a second bonus hurts.
Age: Kobolds mature quickly and can live quite long.
Alignment: It is expected that kobolds lean towards evil.
Size: A Small size comes with some drawbacks, such as wielding certain weapons and grappling. On the other side, Small creatures are better at hiding and can more easily move around the battlefield.
Speed: Maintaining a standard walking speed is great considering that kobolds are Small creatures.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.
Grovel, Cower, and Beg: Depending on the class you are playing this trait can be very powerful, as is discussed more in the next section. At the very least, a kobold character that is often in melee range of enemies can use it to give all allies a really good turn of attacks.
Pack Tactics: Pack Tactics is, quite frankly, overpowered. Being able to get advantage on all your attack rolls that have an ally near the target means that, more often than not, your attacks will have advantage. Any build that frequently makes attack rolls will likely trigger Pack Tactics multiple times per fight.
Sunlight Sensitivity: Sunlight Sensitivity is always a shame to see on a playable race, although it is fair for kobolds to keep Pack Tactics in check. If your party usually ventures out at night or spends a lot of time underground, Sunlight Sensitivity is practically irrelevant.
Languages: Draconic is not especially common.
Sources Used in This Guide
- Basic Rules
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Monsters of the Multiverse
- Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- Player's Handbook
- Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- The Tortle Package
- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar’s Guide to Everything