- Goblins ambush; kobolds lay traps. (That's a pretty subtle distinction.)
- Goblins pal around with wolves; kobolds live with rats and drop you into pits with scorpions or centipedes. (Plus they might live near a dragon.)
- Goblins live in abandoned dungeons or natural caves. Kobolds carve out their own warrens, even if they're living in a dragon's lair. They might even tunnel down under human towns and raid the cellars. (The Little Guys by James Wyatt)
- Ambush powerful groups to use their numbers and the environment to their advantage
- Use swarming techniques when attacking to make it harder from more powerful foes to win.
- Raise wolves, wargs, and dire wolves for use as mounts, guards, and in a pinch, food.
- Will eat most anything when hungry.Masters at junking (crafting something from junk and getting it to work just long enough)
- At constant odds with the Dwarves as the two often vie for the same territory.
- Constantly expanding their territory as their numbers expand at a rate second only to orcs.
- Often times nomadic as they exhaust all the resources in one area before moving on (like locust).
- Sets traps to weaken their opponents before confronting them with an ambush.
- Master craftsmen, second only to Dwarves in their workmanship.
- Industrious creatures building the expansions and protections they need rather than using others remnants.
- Raise giant centipedes, giant weasels, and the like for protection and food.
- Content to survive off vermin, but hesitant to eat one and another or similar species (lizardmen, dragons, et al)
- Often living near Dragons for protection.
- Rarely nomadic unless circumstance demands.
- Intense hatred for Gnomes.
“. . . That last point got us thinking about kobolds almost like vermin. What if an innkeeper in town calls up some adventurers and asks them to go down into his cellar and kill not rats, but kobolds? I'm not sure how I feel about the phrase, “I've got a case of kobolds," but thinking about them as cockroaches that scurry into hiding when you turn on the light is sort of intriguing . . .” (The Little Guys by James Wyatt)
“. . . Both goblins and kobolds have elements of comedy pretty much inherent to them. It's hard to take too seriously a monster that is so weak, even when they're mobbing you in a dark dungeon. But we talked about how they're different in that respect.Goblins are sort of darkly amusing. They're used to being bullied around by hobgoblins and bugbears whenever the bigger goblinoids are around. So when these larger creatures are not around, the goblins take on the role of bully themselves. But that means they have to find someone weaker than they are to bully. This leads to an almost Three Stooges-like relationship in any group of goblins as each one tries to prove itself the strongest of a weak group.That attitude can take a grimmer turn, too. Although hobgoblins might lay siege to a human town or city, goblins will raid an outlying farm. Then they take the unlucky farmer, tie him to a stake out in the field, dress him up like a hobgoblin, and throw apples at him . . .” (The Little Guys by James Wyatt)
". . . Kobolds are deathly serious themselves, but still sort of comic because of their weakness. If they're like cockroaches that hate being seen, maybe some kobolds in any attacking group make it a priority to extinguish the party's light. So you might see a couple of kobolds working together to haul a bucket of water that's almost as big as they are, while the others are mobbing the party. Or, if your sense of humor runs darker, maybe a kobold sets itself on fire while trying to smother a torch.Maybe it's twisted, but I particularly like the idea that I can use kobolds in such numbers that it doesn't matter if a couple kill themselves or each other in a fight against the adventurers. They're so weak that a few more or less aren't going to tip the balance of the encounter . . ." (The Little Guys by James Wyatt)
". . . Goblins ride wolves. But if goblins are such pathetic creatures, it seems like their mounts are more fearsome than they are. But maybe they're not—maybe they're domesticated wolves (really dogs) that are just as much bullied and mistreated as the goblins themselves are. Skinny, mangy, and whining, just like the goblins . . ." (The Little Guys by James Wyatt)