Kobold Trapsmith

Family: Kobold

This kobold is bedecked in satchels, pouches, sacks, and bandoliers. All of these are bursting with tools, bits of scrap, wire, cogs and twine. Impossibly large eyes blink through the lenses of its goggles.

Small humanoid, lawful neutral

Armor Class 14 (leather)
Hit Points 36 (8d6 + 8)
Speed 30 ft.

7 (-2) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 13 (+1) 8 (-1)

Skills Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Special Traits

  • Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the kobold trapsmith has disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
  • Pack Tactics. The kobold trapsmith has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the trapsmith’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
  • Thief’s Tools. The kobold trapsmith has proficiency with thief’s tools and is seldom without them. If its tools are taken away or lost, it can cobble together a new set from wire, bits of metal, and other junk in 30 minutes.
  • Traps and Snares. The kobold trapsmith excels at setting mechanical traps. Detecting, disarming, avoiding, or mitigating its traps require successful DC 13 checks or saving throws, and the traps have +5 attack bonuses. With thief’s tools and basic construction materials, a trapsmith can set up one of the simple but effective traps listed below in 5 minutes. Triggers involve pressure plates, tripwires, small catches in a lock, or other simple mechanisms.
  • Choke Bomb. This small incendiary device burns rapidly and releases choking smoke in a 20-foot sphere. The area is heavily obscured. Any breathing creature that’s in the affected area when the cloud is created or that starts its turn in the cloud is poisoned. Once a poisoned creature leaves the cloud, it makes a DC 13 Constitution saving throw at the end of its turns, ending the poisoned condition on a success. The smoke dissipates after 10 minutes, or after 1 round in a strong wind.
  • Poisoned Sliver. A poisoned sliver or needle can be hidden almost anywhere: inside a lock or a box, in a carpeted floor, on the underside of a door handle, in a cup of liquid or a bowl of gems. When someone meets the conditions for being jabbed by the sliver, the trap makes a melee weapon attack with advantage: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target; Hit: 2 (1d4) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) poison damage, or one-half poison damage with a successful DC 13 Constitution saving throw.
  • Skullpopper. This trap consists of either a heavy weight, a spike, or a blade, set to fall or swing into a victim. When triggered, a skullpopper makes a melee weapon attack against the first target in its path: +5 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target; Hit: 11 (2d10) damage. The type of damage depends on how the skullpopper is built: a stone or heavy log does bludgeoning damage, a spiked log does piercing damage, a scything blade does slashing damage, etc.
  • Slingsnare. A concealed loop of rope or wire is affixed to a counterweight. When a creature steps into the snare, it must make a successful DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or be yanked into the air and suspended, upside down, 5 feet above the ground. The snared creature is restrained (escape DC 13). The cord is AC 10 and has 5 hit points.


  • Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage, or one-half poison damage with a successful DC 13 Constitution saving throw.
  • Shredder (Recharge 6). The kobold trapsmith primes and throws a device at a point within 30 feet. The device explodes when it hits something solid, flinging razor-sharp spikes in a 15-foot-radius sphere. Every creature in the area takes 14 (4d6) piercing damage, or half damage with a successful DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. The ground inside the spherical area is littered with spikes; it becomes difficult terrain, and a creature that falls prone in the area takes 7 (2d6) piercing damage.
  • Stunner (1/Day). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is restrained (escape DC 13). While restrained, the target takes 7 (2d6) lightning damage at the start of its turn and falls prone. The trapsmith has advantage on the attack roll if the target is wearing metal armor. A stunner is a bola made of metal wire, magnets, and static electricity capacitors. A kobold trapsmith can recharge it during a long rest.


Some kobolds hatch a bit cleverer than their counterparts. These sharp-witted creatures feel driven to fiddle with the world, and those that don’t meet an early demise through accident or violence often take up tinkering. Trapsmiths make a kobold lair into a deadly gauntlet of hidden pain.

Shifting Peril. Trapsmiths aren’t warriors; they avoid direct confrontation with enemies that aren’t mired in traps or engaged with other foes. If the trapsmith senses that invaders in its lair are likely to get past its traps, it tries to hide or escape. A trapsmith delights in laying traps and snares behind invaders, along tunnels and paths they’ve already cleared and believe to be safe, then luring them back through its handiwork.

The trapsmith falls between CR ½ and 1, depending on how many traps PCs fall into before they corner him. For 1 or 2 traps, assume CR ½. For 4 or more, use CR 1. Make sure to put the trapsmith to work!

More than anything, kobolds are survivors. Their scaly skin and keen night vision as well as their dexterous claws and sensitive snouts make them quick to sense danger, and their clawed feet move them out of danger with cowardly speed. They are small but fierce when fighting on their own terms, and their weight of numbers helps them survive in places where larger but less numerous races can’t sustain a settlement. Kobolds are great miners, good gearsmiths, and modest alchemists, and they have a curiosity about the world that frequently gets them into trouble.

Underworld Merchants. Kobolds are merchants to both the surface world and the world beneath it, with their greatest cities hidden deep below the earth. Their enemies are the diabolical gnomes, the dwarves, and any other mining races that seek dominance of dark, rich territories.

Kobolds are closely allied with and related to dragonborn, drakes, and dragons. The kobold kings (and there are oh-so-many kobold kings, since no kobold ruler is satisfied with being merely a chieftain) admire dragons as the greatest sources of wisdom, power, and proper behavior.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts. Copyright 2016, Open Design; Authors Chris Harris, Dan Dillon, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, and Wolfgang Baur.

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