To the Victors Go the Spoils
Area: This encounter is set in any dungeon or underground complex.
Situation: Exploring the dank tunnels of a subterranean lair, the party happens upon a group of 15 kobolds ransacking the bodies of several recently slain goblins. The kobolds are quite surprised to see the party members, having been lulled into security after defeating their nemeses.
As soon as the recover, the kobolds fling their newfound treasure at the party members, hoping to acquire a modicum of surprise. If the ruse succeeds, the kobolds turn and flee, disappearing into the gloomy, twisting passages. If it fails, however, the kobolds draw their weapons for battle. Once in the fight, the kobolds fight until they have lost more than 75% of their numbers, at which point they surrender, hoping for mercy at the hands of their conquerors.
The kobolds’ only treasure comes from what they found on the goblins: 17gp and 23 sp (adjust treasure to your party level and rpg system). However, not yet discovered on one of the goblin bodies is a valuable item that the kobolds were obviously seeking. Feel free to make this item part of your adventure, maybe a key to a chest or door, or a potion that would be extremely helpful to an upcoming encounter, or a magic weapon/item.
It should be noted that unless the kobold prisoners are secured in some way, they attempt to escape down the dungeon tunnels at the earliest opportunity. Once free, they hurry to summon help to fight the PCs. What form of help they bring is up to the DM.
(TSR Advanced DnD Encounter Deck – 1994)