skip to main content
RPGOT Logo

Pathfinder 2e - The Kobold Handbook

Last Updated: October 27th, 2020

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

Introduction

Introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide, the Kobold is a small, reptilian humanoid somewhat related to dragons. They are known for their incredible cowardice, but also for their amazing skill with traps and snares.

Mechanically, the Kobold is the unmatched master of Snares, and a Snare-focused ranger is an obvious choice. But that's not the only option, of course. A Charisma Boost and access to a breath weapon make for a great spellcaster, and between a Dexterity increase and Grovel, the Kobold can make an effective front-line martial character despite their low hit points and a Constitution flaw.

When creating a kobold, don't forget to choose your Dragon Exemplar. Unless you take certain Ancestry Feats it won't have a mechanical effect, but if nothing else it's an interesting story detail for your character.

Kobold Ancestry Traits

  • Hit Points: Bare minimum hit points, which is hard with a Constitution Flaw. Front-line martial builds will be challenging, especially at low level.
  • Size: Small. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
  • Speed: 25 ft. is standard.
  • Ability Boosts: Dexterity and Charisma is a great combination for several classes, but a Constitution Flaw is hard.
  • Languages: Racial language plus Common is standard.
  • Senses: Darkvision is always helpful.

Kobold Heritages

  • Cavern Kobold: Climbing is a great way to get around, but skill feats are typically sufficient.
  • Dragonscaled Kobold: Scaling damage resistance is great, and since you get to pick your exemplar you can choose from a variety of damage types. If you're not sure, go for fire or poison because those are common damage types.
  • Spellscale Kobold: Cantrips are pretty great, and with a Charisma increase it's easier to make it work since innate spellcasting is Charisma-based. However, unless you're going to be an arcane spellcaster (the Sorcerer and the Witch both work), avoid offensive cantrips because your proficiency won't improve.
  • Strongjaw Kobold: Basically a short sword attached to your face. You can bite with your hands full, but I can't think of a build where this is especially useful.
  • Venomtail Kobold: It only works once per day and you get one turn and one attempt to apply the damage, so it's risky. But if it works, it's a big pile of persistent damage.

Kobold Feats

Level 1

  • Cringe: This will dramatically expand your ability to endure damage, easily offsetting the Kobold's Constitution Flaw.
  • Dragon's Presence: Hillarious, but I don't know if the risk of Critical Failure is worth the benefits.
  • Kobold Breath: As much damage as a cantrip, but it's an AOE rather than single-target damage. The DC will scale automatically as you gain levels. If you need a way to handle crowds, or if you want to complement cantrips as a go-to offensive option, this is really great.
  • Kobold Lore: Two great skills for a high-Dexterity character, and also Kobold Lore.
  • Scamper: Situational. If your AC is decent you might use this to preemptively trigger Reactions to protect allies following behind you, but otherwise I wouldn't risk using this frequently.
  • Snare Setter: Kobolds are the best at using Snares, and getting this without resorting to Adopted Ancestry like other ancestries makes it very easy to get into snares. See my Practical Guide to Snares.

Level 5

  • Ally's Shelter: This could be very beneficial, but it depends on your allies having better saves than you and on your allies being comfortable with your constantly standing beside them.
  • Grovel: If you depend on attacks, this can be an easy way to make your target Flat-Footed and therefore vulnerable to things like the Rogue's Sneak Attack. It's also excellent for Fencer Swashbucklers because you can Feint (and thereby gain Panache) at range.
  • Snare Genius: A great addition to any snare build. See my Practical Guide to Snares.

Level 9

  • Between the Scales: 1 to 2 extra damage isn't enough to make a big difference.
  • Dracomancer: There are some great 1st-level and 2nd-level spells to choose from on the list of available options. Look for utility options and defensive options.
  • Dragon's Breath: Nearly double damage from your breath weapon and double the size, but you can't use it for another hour. If you're using your breath weapon less than you did at early levels, this can make it a great option to use occasionally rather than as a go-to offensive option. You do still have the option to use it at the lower damage die and the 1d4 round recharge time, but by this level you likely have enough options that you're not desperate to have your breath weapon available.

Level 13

  • Elite Dracomancer: There are great options available, but your proficiency with arcane spells doesn't improve past Trained so avoid offensive options unless you have better profiency from another source.