Jan 172011
 

At home in the Underdark and in the City, the special lineage of Clawscrapper always takes enemies by surprise. Their metal hooks strike as an extension of their form, keeping their foes second-guessing. Whatever you do, don’t let them get the high ground.

The kobold clawscrapper may (at first) seem to be of an entirely different bloodline compared to its more common kin. Scars (from training) often turn gray and callous, over time giving them striped markings about their arms and faces. Their long, hooked claws are actually metal tools, slid over their own hands and fastened securely. In this way the kobold clawscrapper is able to mimic its tougher dragonoid cousins, fighting quickly and fiercely with deep cuts.

Cavedwelling kobolds (with their love of traps) soon decided that these tools were excellent at digging pits and climbing in caves. The most immediate benefit allows the clawscrappers to escape from combat to secret ledges, but this also works like a living trap, allowing the clawscrapper to surprise attackers from above.

Once these kobolds moved into urban environments, they quickly adapted. Their claws proved the ultimate in cheap mobility, being equally useful in navigating tight alley walls, and scaling large towers.

Dungeoneering/Nature 10: These kobolds have metal hooks, fashioned on leather gauntlets, which let them lash out at enemies.

Dungeoneering  14: The clawscrappers often attack from higher ground, in order to use momentum to supplement their strength. Beware a clawscrapper escaping up a wall, it will leap back out without warning.

Dungeoneering/Streetwise 21: The clawscrappers can sometimes be found in urban environments, incorporated into thieves guilds, where their climbing skills make them excellent at breaking and entering, as well as maneuvering tight alleys.

In Combat: The clawscrapper’s main goal in combat is to keep moving.  When pressed against a strong melee opponent, a clawscrapper will slide away with Shifty, then scurry up a nearby wall and strike at a new target with Leaping Slash.

Like most kobolds, clawscrappers will not hesitate to flee combat if things turn sour, but their cowardice often leads them to simply climb away and hide in the shadows to watch. If the tide turns they may re-enter the fray without warning.

Encounters: Clawscrappers work well with other kobolds, as well as thieves, bandits and other humanoids who could make a profit with their unique abilities.

They are best paired with soldiers, minions or brutes who can distract the enemy while they move in and out of combat. Many clawscrapper are also skilled trapsmiths, and they will set up hazards of pit traps, rock slides, and other devices that can limit the movement options of the enemy.

Written by Brian Liberge.

Image from EverQuest 2.

 

Brian Liberge

Brian Liberge is a father of one, living in Boston, MA. Introduced to AD&D at an early age, he’s continued to update with the editions, and new games. He loves home-brewed ideas, is honest to a fault, and thinks that ideas and mechanics should absolutely be shared between systems. With a B.S. Degree in Theatre Arts, a job in Information Technology, and a love of strategy gaming, he tries to bring the best of each into his new creations for StufferShack. Check out his latest book the Midgard Bestiary for 4e, available now. Profile Page / Article Portfolio

  4 Responses to “Kobold Clawscrapper – Steal this Monster”

  1. That seems like a nice little Kobold you have there. I like that it is a bit higher level than most. Good stuff. Consider this stolen.

  2. Glad you like it.

    I find that with intelligent humanoids, I really need a proper range of levels to work with. Kobolds cap a bit early, but they still need more than levels 1 and 2.

  3. If you think about it, there’s no real reason you can’t have a kobold at a MUCH higher level. All the races can be from level 0 to 30, why not a kobold? Does it being classified as a “monster” automatically give it a finite range of levels?

    Hmmm, something to think about. Perhaps there are ramifications of having a 20th level kobold…?

  4. I think you nailed it with your last thought. One of the reason why monsters have relatively clear level ranges are because PCs are special. Humans in epic tier are either players or important NPCs. If a whole town of Epic Humans were encountered it should be strange, and give the players a sense that this not right.

    The same holds true for kobolds. One 20th level kobold is unique and quite plausible. A parallel to the PCs. A small group of epic kobolds is an anomaly, to be suspicious of and requiring a clear explanation, such as isolation under harsh conditions.

    Multiple groups of epic kobolds aren’t kobolds any more. Now we’re dealing with a subrace or variant, which often requires even more explanation.

    That is not to say you should never do such a thing, but it should certainly be an event.

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