DMs Guild Review – The Kobold Kompendium

Dozens of new kobold statblocks, traps, and encounters.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Azzael UlbrinterJack Weighill

Ah, kobolds. D&D’s proverbial low-level punching bags, second only to goblins, but perhaps a bit more lovable. The Kobold Kompendium expands the few statblocks provided in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters. offering dozens of new kobold variants and traps.

The 40-page supplement is organized into three chapters, with nearly 30 pages devoted to the new kobolds.

The first chapter opens with helpful pages on kobold culture, religion, and society. They’re physically weak, but clever enough to realize it. Their communal society is born out of necessity. Kobolds aren’t necessarily evil, and can include any alignment (which should be true of any sentient race, but I digress). I also enjoyed the recognizable personality tables for PCs applied to kobolds, including bonds, flaws, and ideals.

New kobold statblocks include the All-Watcher, something like a tribal elder. One of their actions includes issuing orders to up to four allies. The Wyrmpriest is a holy officiant, supporting their tribe with cleric spells. The Beastmaster can ride giant weasel, badgers, or even bats. The Chieftain can inspire allies with a warsong, adding a d4 to their weapon attacks, and the Vermin Handler can yeet a cage full of swarms of insects at enemies.

My favorite is the disgusting Rat Master. The Rat Master is literally swarming in rats, so that anyone within 10 feet take 3d6 piercing damage, and can use the horde to restrain and damage their foes.

Carving out lairs near dragons and in various caves and warrens, kobolds often run into other monsters, to their detriment. Reflecting this, The Kobold Kompendium also includes monstrous kobolds, such as a kobold ceremorph, kobold vampire, kobold wereweasal, and the dreaded kobold lich!

I love the idea of monstrous versions of sentient creatures, adding another layer to using and tweaking familiar monsters. And because they’re kobolds, they’re still relatively lower level and weak. Even the lich is only CR 10, a 12th-level spellcaster with a paralyzing bite. It’s a great excuse to unleash an epic boss fight on lower level PCs.

kobold slyblade

Although all these statblocks include the kobold traits of Pack Tactics and Sunlight Sensitivity, there are also some unique ideas, such as the Mummy Lord hurling poisonous Canopic Jars, the Spore Servant’s death-plosion, and the Flesh Golem’s randomly shifting elemental immunities.

Fun kobold artwork accompanies every page, and nearly every statblock. Oddly there’s no credit page, so I’m unsure if the art was original or sourced from somewhere else, but they’re an excellent addition nonetheless.

The other two chapters are much shorter and feature new traps and lairs. The traps aren’t terribly complex or super interesting, but that’s okay! These are kobold after all. Kobold traps are borderline Loony Tunes gags, and the dozen or so new traps follow that theme, with sticky floors, collapsing walkways, and pots full of biting insects. One particularly awful trap involves lice-infested pillows where PCs might normally take a rest. Ugh!

The lairs are a big disappointment, however. A lair is a full-fledged dungeon, with a map and room-to-room descriptions of enemies, traps, puzzles, secrets, and NPCs.

That’s not what we’re given here. Instead we have a series of encounter tables, organized into different tiers and environments. For example, “King of the Kliff” is a tier 1 lair in a coastal environment. Encounters include a kobold beastmaster mounted on a hunter shark, four winged kobolds with some falling net traps, and coastal kobolds on a fragile walkway 30 feet above the sea.

All of that sounds fun, but without an actual map layout or design, it’s not terribly helpful. At the very least there’s a disconnect between what a lair is versus a bunch of ideas for encounters. I never find encounter tables particularly helpful, whereas an actual sample dungeon design using some of these nifty kobold statblocks would’ve been a great way to round out this otherwise fantastic supplement.

Pros:

  • Over 30 new kobold statblocks, from wyrmpriests and beastmasters to monstrous mummies and liches.
  • Optional legendary actions create more powerful kobold variants.
  • Fun kobold artwork for nearly every new statblock.
  • Over a dozen kobold-appropriate traps.

Cons:

  • Kobold “lairs” are just a series of encounter tables.

The Verdict: Thought the proposed lairs in The Kobold Kompendium are little more than encounter tables, the dozens of new kobold statblocks help expand one of D&D’s most popular diminutive creatures.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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