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The Curmudgeon's Lair

Encounter A1: Kobold Mini(on) Fortress

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Encounter Level 2 (625 XP)

2 Kobold Skirmishers
12 Kobold Minions
5 Giant Rats

The characters have found the entrance to a kobold warren on the opposite side of a small wooded vale from where they are now located. The characters have a good view of the rockshelter entrance and may study it at length from their position of cover. In order to reach the rockshelter the characters must first move down the hill under the cover of dense undergrowth, trees and large boulders to remain undetected. Remaining hidden will be relatively easy until they cross the small stream that splits the vale. Once they cross the stream they will have to move uphill across an area that has been cleared of all trees and brush to reach the base of palisade wall. The rockshelter has been turned into a small fortress by the kobolds. They have erected a log palisade wall 7' high across the front of the rockshelter. The area behind the defensive wall has been filled with packed dirt 5' deep. The kobolds will not only have the advantage of height, but cover as well against anyone attempting a direct approach. On the left end of the palisade wall a narrow plank ramp leads up to the top of the wall and on the right end of the wall is a large midden of refuse that is piled nearly to the top of the wall. In the area behind the palisade there are numerous hearths and rock piles. Near the rear of the rockshelter, a second, slightly higher palisade wall is visible. At the back of the second palisade area is a small narrow cave.

Characters should be allowed to make any checks they wish before the encounter begins.

Perception DC 15: There are 13 kobolds in the lower palisade area of the rockshelter and none in the upper palisade area. All the kobolds are armed with javelins and short swords and two carry shields. The characters also notice that there are numerous boulders that they could use as cover if they attempt to use stealth to reach to the base of the palisade wall. It will take a total of 4 stealth checks (DC 15) to reach the base of the palisade wall undetected by the kobold guards. While 2 failures will result in the characters being detected out in the open without cover and easy prey for the kobold guards.

Perception DC 20: Character notices that there are 5 large rats digging through the kobolds trash midden. While the midden would be an easy way to get over the palisade wall, moving through the this area may provoke attacks and unwanted attention from the hungry rats.

Additional Rules: An Uphill Battle
Due to the steep nature of the terrain, characters suffer a -1 penalty to their base movement when moving up or down slope and may not shift up or down slope. There is no penalty for moving sideways or across level ground and characters may shift sideways.

Climbing over the palisade wall is a Athletics DC 15 skill check. Characters who fall or are knocked off the wall by the kobolds will take 1d8 points of damage from the fall and will slide 1d4 squares down the slope of the hill. Characters who fall are also dazed until they make a successful fortitude saving throw.

<Stats for critters>

Though not particularly attentive guards, the kobolds are well trained and work together as an effective fighting force under the leadership of the two kobold skirmishers. Once the characters are detected, the kobold minions will engage them with javelins if they are within range. The minions will attack in groups of four, all attacking the same target. The skirmishers will first pull up the ramp then direct the attacks of the minions and will hold their attacks until a character is attempting to climbing up the palisade wall, granting them combat advantage. The kobold minions will attack targets in the following order of preference; characters within the palisade area, those with ranged weapons, spell-casters and then all other characters. Once they have exhausted their supply of javelins the kobolds will use rocks to make ranged attacks if the characters still have not made it into the palisade area. Characters who attempt to move through the midden area will be attacked by the rats that live and forage in this area. If a character becomes mired in the midden fighting off the rats, the closest group of four kobolds will break off from whatever target they have been attacking and designate that character as their new target in attempt to get a quick kill. If the characters attempt to fight the battle as a pitched ranged battle with bows, the kobolds will hunker down behind the pallisade wall, taking complete cover, and simply wait out the characters. The characters will then be forced to either leave the area or enter the pallisade area.
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Updated 03-09-2009 at 08:54 PM by kirksmithicus



  1. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    Well here is my first 4E encounter post. Pretty basic kobold encounter at the core, but I tried to make it a little more interesting with some challenging terrain, fortifications and such. I would be interested to hear from people who have run 4E games, as to whether they think this encounter is too challenging for a group of five or six first level characters.

    *edit* I'll also try to post up a rudimentary map tomorrow.