is it like a rat goblin. is it a lizardy thing. is it a dogman. what is it. what is it

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person telling me what a kobold is: well it's sort of like a gremlin, but also sort of like an anthropomorphized [spins wheel that has like six completely different fucking animals on it]

I always used to get Kobolds and gnolls mixed up. But now I know better... (2 joke answers) 

@myconidiosyncrasy a kobold is what happens when a corn kob gets old and turns into a wannabe dragon.

long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@myconidiosyncrasy real actual answer: it *totally* depends on the source. from the mythology to most of the current iterations, the only common attributes are 1. small 2. probably malign 3. earth spirits/digging vermin. from there, it diverges wildly. in World of Warcraft, they're little semi-sentient rat-goblins with candles on their heads. the one that *really* confused matters was Dungeons and Dragons, which has put out basically slightly different versions of kobolds with every edition (and it's in its fifth edition right now); the current D&D version is "smol anthropomorphic dragon people who live in caves, worship dragons, and are usually evil, but you can RP one if you want." that last definition is the most common one I've seen on the Fediverse.

re: long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@myconidiosyncrasy oh I forgot to mention, part of the confusion is that in earlier D&D versions they were little dog-lizard-people, which made some people think "oh they're lizards!" and others think "oh they're dogs!" so that didn't help.

re: long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@troodon i Love d&d's dedication to completely fucking with mythos. this is not ironic i fucking love it

re: long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@myconidiosyncrasy Faerun is one of D&D's longest-running canon settings and it is *hilariously* convoluted. there was a time when the gods all became mortal and divine magic didn't really work and a bunch of gods died, except they didn't? and there was the time regular magic went haywire and everything started blowing up... I'm in one D&D game that is set in a little town that's been built on the ruins of this same city for several thousand years, the city just keeps getting destroyed, but people keep coming back because there's so much *cool junk* buried in the rubble. a few years back some asshole stole the city. like, *the entire city*, hid it underground somewhere for a while, but Heroes Made It Better. the world is constantly teetering on the brink of various apocalyptic catastrophes, it's really kind of a miracle that anybody can live there at all.

re: long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@troodon call this Anime Plot Syndrome

re: long serious answer: What Is A Kobold (But A Miserable Pile Of Secrets?) 

@troodon @myconidiosyncrasy at one point in Faerun the goddess of magic was a bear

just like a random bear that lived in the forest

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