From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Urist likes kobolds for their mischief.

Any location


· Trapavoid · Learns · Humanoid

Cannot be tamed 
Birth: 1,000 cm3
Mid: 5,000 cm3
Max: 20,000 cm3

Child at: 1
Adult at: 12
Max age: 150-170
Cannot be butchered

Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.
A small, squat humanoid with large pointy ears and yellow glowing eyes.

Kobolds are small creatures adept at thieving that try to infiltrate your fortress and steal valuable items. They will run away once discovered. Kobolds arrive at your fortress in sneak mode, preventing you from seeing them. Spotting a sneaking creature is based on how high a dwarf's observer skill is; the higher it is, the farther away it will be spotted. But if a kobold is passing next to a dwarf or animal it will be revealed, too. They can swim in from rivers, go through sprint straight through locked doors and they are not affected by traps.

If the kobolds are successful in multiple thieving attempts, they will grow kobolder and send squads of armed kobolds to attack your apparently defenseless fort.

Kobolds are very weak in battle however as they are much smaller than dwarves and most hits will likely cause severe injuries to them, even basic punches will often cave in their heads. They tend to wield knives as they are often too small to wield larger weapons, so they have a hard time piercing even rudimentary armour.

These squads also arrive in sneak mode and will ambush any dwarves and traders on the map. Kobolds are observed to have access to all metals, including steel (seemingly, a fallback triggered due to them not being given access to any metals at all). This doesn't seem to manifest itself in fortress mode however and they are almost always seen with only copper equipment.

Kobolds are commonly known to congregate in small to medium sized groups, primarily inside caves. Studies [1] have shown, though, that they may also camp outdoors, living exactly as they do in caves, in a large group with piles of random jewelry and gems around them. Assuming you can get past the kobolds, their wealth is all for the taking. It has been reported that it is possible to embark within these encampments, resulting in remarkably quick fun. They can and will attack kobold thieves that wander onto the map, sparking a civil war.

If you start the adventure mode on a world where Human, Dwarf, or Elf civilizations do not exist, you will have the opportunity to play as a human outcast (as usual) or a kobold civilization. If you have a goblin settlement you will also have the possibility of choosing them for an adventure too. Kobolds start off with less-than-standard equipment (backpack, loincloth, weapon)


The ethics of kobolds can be considered the most primitive besides those of goblins (which are basically non-existent). Generally, kobold morals are based on a tribal system of loyalty with some exceptions such as an opposition to the devouring, butchering or consuming of intelligent beings, slavery, possession of trophies and to most forms of torture (except torture for sport). The moral focus on loyalty makes treason unthinkable among kobolds. Kobolds do not offer much in the form of punishment for crimes: assault is considered a personal matter, while a kobold found to have killed one of their own is forced into exile. Occasionally, kobolds can get lucky enough to survive to the year 1050, keen on killing adventurers, joining camps, and laughing at goblins.

Interestingly enough, kobolds are unique in main races in that they apparently lay eggs, as evidenced by the option for kobold eggs in the food stockpile. This leads to the conclusion that they either are not mammals, or are monotremes, and related to the platypus and echidna, the only mammals known to lay eggs.

Kobolds are also widely regarded to be the best race in all of Dwarf Fortress.