The Kobolds are the secondary antagonistic race of the indie management simulation game Dwarf Fortress.
The threat of the kobolds may vary depending on where the player chooses to embark their settlement. Due to the procedural generation of the world and civilizations in the game, coupled with the fact that many elements can be customized by the player, the strength and placement of kobolds vary greatly.
Unlike the main antagonists of the game, the goblins, the kobolds have different goals and function differently. Instead of the harassing the dwarves with sheer violence and brutality, the kobolds' main goal is stealthy thievery.
The history of the kobolds is never touched upon; the only thing that is made clear is that they are simply reptilian, cave-dwelling creatures that evolved to humanoid form, using their stealthy habits to steal from others.
They are inspired by kobolds from Dungeons & Dragons, but are meant to retain a look closer to brown goblins than that of humanoid lizards.
Kobolds are represented by a dark yellow "k" in gameplay. They congregate in small groups and live in caves (though less often, in outdoor camps), surrounded by traps and guarded by any poisonous animals at their disposal. Despite playing an evil role in the game, they do not need to spawn in evil biomes like goblins. They can appear in any moral alignment of a biome. Kobolds start harassing a player's fortress as early as they can, and will always attempt to stealthily sneak into a fortress over using violent brute force. Because of their stealthy nature, they appear invisible to players unless they are right next to a dwarf, or a dwarf has a high enough "observer" skill, with the higher said skill, the farther away they can spotted. Being reptiles, they can lay eggs.
Kobolds will attack in self-defense, or when simply caught when sneaking around or cornered. They are very small and weak, and because of this, cannot wield large weapons, often using daggers and rudimentary armor to protect themselves. Dwarves easily overpower kobolds in battle, but this doesn't stop kobolds from posing a threat, as their stealth and ambushing tactics can still provide trouble for dwarves, as well as traveling traders. The stealthy nature of kobolds also allow them to easily slip by traps or get through most doors (even if locked). The more successful thieving sessions kobolds have on a fortress, the larger the next group of kobolds will appear the next time around.
Being thieves, kobolds are not very ethical, but do value loyalty and cooperation within their tribes. Because death is a common occurrence for kobolds, they do not value family and friends for very long, coupled with the fact that they're very forgetful anyway.
Despite kobolds being a prominent enemy race in the game, they do not create sieges.
- It is possible for the player's dwarves to align with friendly kobolds. This is done by embarking near a kobold camp and killing most of the kobolds found there, which may appease more kobolds that were enemies of the ones that were killed.