Sorry, forgot to spoiler.
And those kobolds are a little better.
But what is this tomfoolery about Kobolds not being miners? Even in the Germanic Myths Kobolds were excellent miners. In DnD lore they rival even the dwarves. It's just.... eh..... -_-
Kobolds are in the same boat the Native Americans north of Mesoamerica (or south of it and not in the Andes, or to a lesser extent the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incans) were, pre-Europeans: For whatever reason, they are unable to get a proper civilization with metal and mining and stuff up before the others. Kobolds also have a big language issue, and the problem that happens when your primitive, smaller-than-a-dog tribesmen fight metal-armed people three times your size or more.
DF kobolds have a few traits, as noted in the raws and in-game. The most prominent is their glowing, yellow eyes, followed by their inability to speak. They also lack both hair and scales (as well as feathers, BTW), just normal, brown skin. They also lack tails, and have three toes per foot. Kobolds lay leathery eggs, like some reptiles and monotremes. These eggs are rather larger than those of pretty much every other creature, being size 1100 while other species' (even emus and cave crocs) tend to be no more than around 100; eggs of creatures like dragons and sea serpents are size 6100. Their agility is, of course, high, but they also possess above-average toughness, recuperation, disease resistance, patience, and...strength? Their analytical ability, creativity, intuition, and focus are all below-average. They have low trust and high anxiety.
In short...Kobolds seem like amphibians or primitive reptiles, or maybe reptiles that have "lost" their scales (there are a few examples IRL, IIRC). They are strong and tough little bastards, emphasis on little
. Sadly, they're a couple million years behind the other races, evolutionarily-speaking; while they can steal stuff from other races, most of their mental abilities (vitally speech!) are stunted for some reason or another, possibly their cranial volume, so they can't really build a civilization on their own. Meanwhile, their kleptomania or desire to be like the Big People or whatever it is that drives them to steal makes other races have little they want to do to the kobolds more than kill them. This forces the little guys to live in caves, which are pretty hostile environments as they contain cavern critters but it's really their only choice. Poor guys...