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Version 0.29: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
This page is about the player species. For the monster, see Kobold (monster).
Kobolds are small, mysterious creatures of unknown origin. They are well suited to lurking in the darkness of the Dungeon, and have a reduced range of vision which also reduces the range at which they can be seen by enemies.

They are competent in combat, especially with short blades, maces or crossbows, and are comfortable with all forms of magic. They are also very adept at using magical devices. Their small size makes them unable to wield large weapons, but they are agile and stealthy, and advance in levels as quickly as Humans.

Innate Abilities

Kobolds have a base Strength of 5, Intelligence of 9 and Dexterity of 10 (before Background modifiers).

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • +1 to a random stat every 5th level.
  • 20% less HP than average.
  • Average MP.
  • +3 willpower per level.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Kobolds receive the skills and equipment listed for their background, with the following exceptions:

Difficulty of Play


Kobolds are a fairly straightforward race to play because of their great aptitudes in many skills and their size bonus to EV. Their small LOS makes it easier to sneak up and stab foes, while limiting the effective range of your enemies. Of course, this limits your ranged options as well. Their health is low, though this is somewhat made up by their unqiue traits (faster leveling in particular).

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour -2 Spellcasting 0
Short Blades 3 Dodging 2 Conjurations 0
Long Blades -2 Stealth 4 Hexes 0
Maces & Flails -1 Shields -2 Summonings 0
Axes -2 Necromancy 0
Polearms -2 Invocations 1 Translocations 0
Staves -1 Evocations 2 Transmutations 0
Unarmed Combat 0
Experience 1 Fire Magic 0
Throwing 1 Ice Magic 0
Ranged Weapons 3 Air Magic 0
Earth Magic 0
Poison Magic 0


Kobolds' tiny line of sight lends itself well to a few builds:

  • Wu Jian + Stabber: Wu Jian's Lunge allows you stab from 2 tiles away; for Kobolds, this is 40% of the screen. A scarf of shadows turns this into half the screen.
  • Necromancy: It is easy to fill all visible tiles with undead allies, severely limiting the number of enemies that can appear simultaneously on-screen. Kikubaaqudgha makes it even easier.

Even with a tiny line of sight, their Ranged Weapons skill is quite impressive. A range of 4 is still fairly decent, and ranged weapons are one of their best "heavy" weapon aptitudes.

Of course, you aren't limited to these builds - a Kobold can do archetypical builds in both melee and magic just fine, though they have a preference towards lighter armour.


Kobolds were originally creatures from Germanic mythology, but they are well known to gamers due to appearing as low-level monsters in Dungeons & Dragons and as creatures in Nethack.


Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianPalentongaTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMeteoranMummy