Don’t forget to vote for HOLE with the RANK button to the left every day! You can make this site a success too!
One of the players in my D&D game (Lloyd Brown) is actually a game designer himself, and was one of the principles behind the Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign setting. As such and as an experienced gamer he is acutely aware of all the typical gaming tropes and has no problem jabbing me when I conform to the stereotypes. So I often try to mix things up a bit just to keep him off balance. To that end I threw in an extra encounter along the way to the last dungeon in the form of a starving and battle-injured kobold laying along the side of the road.
She held absolutely no threat to the party at all, and had crawled here from the massacre of her tribe at the paws of a marauding band of gnolls. (Now safely days away.) I didn’t have any real plan for her, just wanted to see what the party would do with a hurt kobold.
After the obligatory “should we kill her?” conversation, the cleric healed her wounds and gave her something to eat and drink. Now this particular cleric, named Mother Innocent, likes to collect people to follow her about and do her bidding… like picking up the laundry and making tea and that sort of thing. Now Innocent asked the kobold her name, to which the kobold responded, “Grruff!” (I always loved the doglike quality of the old AD&D kobolds, and have kept that throughout all of my games that have them.)
“Oh no…” Innocent responded, plainly horrified. “No, your name is going to be April.” On the spot I decided that kobold mouths wouldn’t be good for saying the name “April.” I wasn’t trying to be mean, I just couldn’t picture my dog doing it.
“Avroo?” the kobold replied.
“No no no… Aye-pril.”
“April. April is Gruff.”
And so it went for the next minute and a half, while the rest of my players turned purple with apoplexy trying to breathe between laughter and tears. It was a great gaming moment, and one I’ll likely never forget.
The walk-away? Don’t let your game be stereotypical, and always role-play the kobolds.