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Thread: goblins

  1. #1
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    goblins

    I'm gonna make the favored class of goblins Scout from the Complete Adventurer. It seems more on-point than rogue. I only really use favored class for monster races as a guide to what role should be common for the race. Goblins are the sneaky ones, hobgoblins are the stand-up combatants. Generally goblins are warriors and the leaders are PC classes, like scout, rogue, and occasionally ranger. I'm also gonna make goblins the most common goblinoid to have divine spellcasting. Hobgoblins will be the more likely to have arcane spellcasting.

    Here is a build for a 5th level goblin, generally the top of the goblin

    Goblin, 5th-Level Scout (Scout 4/Ranger 1) CR: 5

    Size/Type:
    Small Humanoid (Goblinoid)

    Hit Dice:
    5d8+1 (27 hp)

    Initiative:
    +2

    Speed:
    40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class:
    18 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +1 leather armor, +1 light shield, +2 class, +1 Dodge, +1 Skirmish), touch 16, flat-footed 15

    Base Attack/Grapple:
    +4/+0

    Attack:
    Morningstar +5 melee (1d6) or mwk shortbow +8 ranged (1d4+2)

    Full Attack:
    Morningstar +5 melee (1d6) or mwk shortbow +8 ranged (1d4+2)

    Special Attacks:
    Skirmish, favored enemy (human)
    Special Qualities:
    Darkvision 60 ft., trapfinding, uncanny dodge, fast movement, track, wild empathy +1
    Saves:
    Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +1

    Abilities:
    Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 6
    Skills:
    Hide +11, Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Ride +8, Spot +9

    Feats:
    Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    A morning star might be a bit chunky for a small goblin. A short sword is a trusty sneak attack favourite from the old AD&D days and a normal club is always handy as a sap, but ouch that scout is going to cause problems for the mages, etc hiding at the back of the other PC's...

    The only goblin sorceress I know of in the books is the Sorceress of Snog (blame Ed Stark) from Vosgaard but the sourcebook doesn't give any indication whether she's a goblin or hobgoblin. For arcane spell casting sorceror might work better than wizard for either type as its more instinctive and less book-oriented.

    I would have thought that hobgoblins made better divine spellcasters than the small goblins though as a priest has to 'stand up and be counted' - I can't see the militaristic hobgoblins following a quivering goblin priest, whereas snivelling goblin levies could be whipped into line by a brutal hobgoblin war-priest readily. Of course I am a tad biased against 'small' goblins.

    I also wonder if the favoured enemy for the scout could be 'other goblins' as other goblins are probably the most common foe of the scout... Of course that would make them less effective against PC's (probably). Perhaps those with FE's of goblin are the enforcers of the goblin kings, feared hunters of the kings foes - real or otherwise

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Just a point, in Birthright hobgoblins are "elite" goblins. They are not necesarily the front line combatants but more along the line of "leaders". They should, IMO, have more roles than straight up warrior. Now fighter being the favored class of hobgoblins fits in with fighter being the "prefered" class of Anuireans and I see them having the same sort of role here. Not necessarily the front line combatants but more along the lines of the military "leaders", if you will.
    Duane Eggert

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    A morning star might be a bit chunky for a small goblin. A short sword is a trusty sneak attack favourite from the old AD&D days
    All weapons can be sized down by reducing the damage die. A goblin's morningstar does 1d6, a human's does 1d8, and an ogre's does 2d6. A pixie ranger with the two-weapon combat style could wield two morningstars, one small (1d6) and one tiny (1d4) in her off-hand to minimize two-weapon fighting penalties. I'd like to see a pixie flying around with greater invisibility wacking PC's on the head with a pair of morningstars, but I digress.

    [Hobgoblins]are not necesarily the front line combatants but more along the line of "leaders". They should, IMO, have more roles than straight up warrior.
    Agreed, but I was really only writing about goblins and scouts, the mention of hobgoblins was more of an aside. To elaborate on that subject, I certainly see hobgoblins as leaders of goblin units, and I and quite happy with the system in Heros of Battle and use hobgoblins as leaders for roughly 70 HD of goblins. I mentioned briefly that I don't see much goblin past 3rd level and generally top them off around 5th. Exceptions will be NPC's with more than just a stat block. On the other hand, hobgoblins will still be common enough at 4th and 5th levels, and will generally top off at 8th level. Again, exceptions will have backstory and more careful attention. I also see hobgoblins as the hard center of a goblinoid army, though. If a goblinoid army had a dozen companies, my default order of battle would be eight goblin companies (2 cavarly, 2 archer, 2 irregular, 2 infantry); three hobgoblin companies (2 elite infantry, 1 heavy cavalry); and one bugbear (a guards infantry). The hobgoblin units would be deployed where the warchief expected the decisive part of the battle would be. The bugbears would be held back as a reserve.

    The five kinds of hobgoblins detailed in Red Hand of Doom are Regulars (warrior 2), Sergeants (fighter 3), Veterans (warrior 4), Bladebearers (fighter 4), and Monks (monk 4). This seems right on to me. I would save warrior 1 for units that I describe as newly raised. Warrior 1's would appear as the back rank in some other units, as replacements, but they don't do a lot of fighting until the units are totally enmeshed in melee. I don't use monks per se, but I would use the stat block with a different description, such as a brawler elite, or berserkers.

    By the way, the bugbear guards unit would be a mix of rogues and barbarians. Raging bugbears augmented by flanking, sneak attackers seems like a devestating unit to throw at someone.

    Goblinoid war chiefs also are known to hire ogre mercenaries to be their reserve ace-in-the-hole instead of bugbears. The battlecard for the Stonecrown Ogres could describe either one.

    ... quivering goblin priest ... snivelling goblin levies ... I am a tad biased against 'small' goblins.
    I don't see small goblins this way, but rather as masters of ambush, stealth, irregular combat, and the classic raid. Picture night attacks by irregulars that raid the human camp, burn the baggage and fall back into the forests. If the humans pursue them, the archers and scouts have set up ambushes.

    I do nothing to disabuse players of the conventional notions of goblins as snivelling, though, since I accept it as a common human description of the goblin's irregular style of war. Gotta love the small guy's +4 Hide bonus.

    I don't think hobgoblins fight this way. They don't get the size bonus to Hide, and their prefered classes don't give them the skill points that rogue or scout do to fill out the ambusher's skill set: Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot. So these raiding parties are generally 30-60 HD of goblins commanded by rogue or scout goblins.

    I also wonder if the favoured enemy for the scout could be 'other goblins'. ... Perhaps those with FE's of goblin are the enforcers of the goblin kings, feared hunters of the kings foes.
    Secret Police: the tyrants friend. I'd probabaly use a body guard combined with a bounty hunter for this build. I generally wouldn't detail this kind of character type unless the players got involved in goblinoid politics, because otherwise PC's just wouldn't see this NPC.

    While I'm discussing goblins, here is my Goblin Paragon class

    Paragon- Goblin: The Goblin paragon is the best of what the Goblin race should be. Goblins aspire to be everything the paragon is.
    At the completion of all 3 levels of the Paragon class, there will be a +4 circumstance bonus to charisma, for dealings with other goblins. This may be more important to some than others, but it makes sense for the character to be the epitome of what it is to be of that race.

    Game Rule Information Table:
    The Goblin Paragon

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
    1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Improved Darkvision (+30 ft.), Improved Hide
    2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Ambush, Sneak
    3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Ability boost (Dex +2)

    Goblin paragons have the following game statistics.

    Abilities
    Dexterity is important to goblin paragons because of its role in stealth, and several goblin paragon skills are based on Dexterity. Wisdom is also important to a goblin paragon's capability for surviving combat.

    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d8

    Class Skills:
    The goblin paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Hide (Dex), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), and Spot (Wis).

    Skill Points at Each Level 4 + Int modifier.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the goblin paragon class.

    Improved Darkvision (Ex)
    At 1st level, a goblin paragon's darkvision range increases by 30 feet.

    Improved Hide (Ex)
    At 1st level, a goblin paragon has greatly increased his survivability by being better able to hide. +2 to his Hide skill.

    Ambush (Ex)
    By 2nd-level goblins have learned the techniques of ambush. If some of the goblin‘s opponents are not aware of the goblin‘s presence he may elect to target the surprised opponents. If he does so, he receives a +4 bonus to his initiative roll.

    Sneak (Ex)
    At 2nd level, a goblin paragon has greatly increased his survivability by being better able to move silently. +2 to his Move Silently skill.

    Ability Boost (Ex)
    At 3rd level, a goblin paragon's Dexterity score increases by 2 points.
    Last edited by kgauck; 12-03-2006 at 07:48 AM.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    kgauck> All weapons can be sized down by reducing the damage die. A goblin's morningstar does 1d6, a human's does 1d8, and an ogre's does 2d6

    Andrew> my apologies - although isn't a scaled down morning star just a club/mace?

    kgauck> By the way, the bugbear guards unit would be a mix of rogues and barbarians. Raging bugbears augmented by flanking, sneak attackers seems like a devestating unit to throw at someone.

    Andrew> You are an evil, evil man, I respect you.

    KGauck> I don't see small goblins this way, but rather as masters of ambush, stealth, irregular combat, and the classic raid. Picture night attacks by irregulars that raid the human camp, burn the baggage and fall back into the forests. If the humans pursue them, the archers and scouts have set up ambushes.

    Andrew> I've obviously been listening to too much Anuirean propaganda. The goblins are definitely sneaky and smart enough to plan for this as you suggest, even if they have small numbers - string wire between trees and rocks at 7-8' from the ground and the goblins can run straight under it while any pursuing cavalry get it in the neck, pit traps are also a classic in the dark, particularly for light goblins who can run over them while lumbering humans crash through the matting on top.

    Of course if enough of the camps defenders charge after the goblin raiders the hobgoblins can charge in from the other side of the camp and do some real damage.

    I can also see the goblins as assassins - a small group of goblin rogues sneaking into the camp garroting the guards and slitting sleeping soldier's throats could do a lot of damage, and from the goblin viewpoint it's far more practical than fighting in the day when the humans are awake.

    On the paragon class I wonder about an int bonus at L3 - goblins probably appreciate cunning, and a smart goblin is far deadlier (and rarer) than a swift one.

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