Shadow Spawned Kobolds
In the deep black of the lowerdark where no light has ever touched, dark portals and strange magic lead to the twisted nether-realm of the Shadowfell. It is where the most evil of dragons take on the twisted form of a shadow dragon and where their legions of shadow kobolds are spawned...
Ahh, yes. The lowly kobold. They have been a staple of D&D since before I ever picked up the game. They're typically craftier than goblins or orcs and love to put clever little traps in their lairs, proving a fun challenge for adventurers just starting out. With a challenge rating of 1/8 however, they very quickly stop being much of a menace unless they're met in excruciatingly large numbers. I say excruciatingly large because they stop being threatening unless you throw them in such large numbers you risk bogging the game down in boring combat.
I recently picked up my copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters and really became enamored of the little buggers, but presented as is they have almost no chance of seeing play after the first few levels of a campaign. The shadow spawned kobold is my attempt at kicking the basic kobold up a notch. I wanted a kobold that was more cunning, sneakier, and with a hint of supernatural flavor that would throw more experienced adventurers off their guard.
The shadow kobolds are bred in the Shadowfell by their shadow dragon masters, the few of which exist in Faerun stay in the darkest deepest crevices of the earth where their power is strongest. Like any dragon worth his scales shadow dragons want minions to gather them gold and information. In the dangerous and wild underdark, standard kobolds simply don't make the cut for a mighty shadow dragon's needs. Given the natural respect and awe that kobolds hold dragons in, it wouldn't take any coercion at all for a shadow dragon to lead a tribe into the shadowfell and twist it's new minions to the shadows.
Sneaking in from the shadows come these fierce new kobolds: