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    Default Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    As the title says, I am looking for help regarding home brewing/modifying Goblins to be actually SCARY.

    Now as preface, the world where this is supposed to work has had almost any remnant of civilization destroyed by the Goblins in one way or the other (from mopping up after natural desaster to actually bringing down city states themselves). Regarding Magic there are very very few prepared casters, and the overall maximum Level plateaus around 15, Dragons are extremely reclusive and otherwise there are almost only the core races.


    Now my initial thoughts were to make them a bit like the Warhammer Orks, ergo making them pass through rising stages of strength and size when they age/kill enough enemies, systemwise going for RHD for that, with fitting Ability bonuses similar to the age categories of Dragons.

    Pros: Simple, easy to balance, can be used as player CHaracters if necessary.

    Problems with that:

    A bit bland, makes them too much like "Dragon but as Goblins", and doesnt really hel p to keep them SCARY for mid level adventurers.


    Any Ideas?

    Oh, and no, I am very much NOT looking for suggestions like just make them Warblades/Wizards/Clerics". I am looking to make GOBLINS scary, not give them scary classes. ^^
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Add goblin pyromancers, that have innate psionic powers, but only psycokinesis, and only fire damage. this adds some oomph, without making them op, as fire damage can be prepared for.
    Last edited by Mind's Eye; 2019-05-20 at 10:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    1. What's you mean by the "REAL Threat"?
    2. What's you mean by "actually SCARY"?
    3. Is it about Goblin-like creatures in general, or just strictly Goblins?
    4. Why the Goblins, the "traditional blade lubricators for novice adventurers"?

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    A shaman from the pits of Io-Rach has discovered a vile potion that when drunk allows the imbiber to merge with a creature. The potion only works for goblinoids, those that drink it without being of goblin kind must make a fort save or die. If they live give them a Warp Touch from book of vile darkness.
    In essence this allows a goblin to forcefully apply the Symbiotic Template to a creature. Or the Tauric Template. Or some other template based on what they are merging with. The creature they are to merge with gets no saving throw, the only way to prevent it is to destroy the goblin who has drunk the potion, destroy the potion before they drink it, or stay far away from them.

    The other side effect of this potion, when the goblin dies it becomes a shadow with all the goblin's mental stuff, alignment, etc. Just undead shadow under the control of the alchemist.

    This shaman has risen to be an extremely powerful shaman, died, become a shadow with his extremely powerful magic, and taught hundreds of alchemists how to create the potion.

    Also, see the pixar movie Camelot for an idea on how the potion works with weaponry.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Have them use better tactics than typical goblinoids and provide them better equipment. Have leaders of squads take your preferred class level, while rank and file goblins only have RHD. Have specific goblins take on specific roles in combat. Place trippers at the front, archers in the back, gobs with reach weapons just behind the front liners, etc
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Tucker's Kobolds can be goblins or pit fiends or whatever just as easily as kobolds.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Tucker's Kobolds can be goblins or pit fiends or whatever just as easily as kobolds.
    came to suggest exactly this

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Hive power goblins? Where goblins become more powerful the more of them there are? E.g. A hundred goblins can be easily dispatched by a medium adventurer, but a thousand becomes ten times as strong and is a match for any army.

    Specifically, mechanically, give their priests scaling levels based on how many there are, something like 1 bonus level every time the number of goblins doubles, starting at 5 goblins = level 1. You can also maybe give a hit dice buff to the generic goblins or they get flaming weapons or bonus spells (e.g. ebon eyes (see through darkness) and darkness castable x times/day.

    Alternately,
    To make the goblins individually scary, give them just ebon eyes and darkness (tweaked to actually be not-see-throughable. If you prefer use sleet storm and snowsight) at will. Then give them a racial +5 bonus on alchemy checks, and a way to make poisons cheaply. Even at mid-levels, first level rogue assassins that you cannot see with heavily poisoned blades lurking around every corner is something to be concerned with.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Any Ideas?
    You could just give them PC classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Oh, and no, I am very much NOT looking for suggestions like just make them Warblades/Wizards/Clerics". I am looking to make GOBLINS scary, not give them scary classes. ^^
    Have you considered swapping goblins out for redcaps? Otherwise, templates and the usual NPC classes to bump HD.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Question for consideration.

    Are you intent on making them mechanically dangerous ("hard scary") or actually conceptually horror-inducing ("fear-scary?") There is a big difference; a dragon is scary (as is a liche or the tarrasque) because it has high stats, basically.

    I can foresee the problem with just slapping hard-scary mechanics on the goblins just continuing for them to be, as your say, essentially dragons wearing a different hat. (In fact, I would posit that there may be a certain point that at beyond which if you reflavour them too far that they could cease to be "goblins" in the approximate D&D sense and become a monster with powers that happen to have the same name. Which is perfectly fine, but there is a difference between that (making a dangerous new monster called a goblin for your world) and "making goblins a real threat" which implies some level of starting from what already exists.



    (I mean, my solution would have been "make them higher level with more class levels" since class levels are the most dangerous thing in the game anyway. You could, even, do it sneakily, and just, I dunno, make them all mechanically psionic or warlocks or something and just reflavour it - the PCs don't need to see the black box, after all. Or, if you really want to be nasty, quasi-gestalt them like in the old days where they did stuff like have "cast spells/invokations/manifest powers/initiatve maneouvers as a [class x] of their character level/HD" etc.)



    If, however, you want to make them conceptually scary, then I would suggest maybe starting from the Golarion goblins (they have a lot of room to be made scarier culturally if you remove the comedy elements) or having a browse of something like the SCP wiki for some good horror ideas.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-05-20 at 12:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Proper use of cheap but nonstandard equipment could do a lot to make goblins a LOT more dangerous. Arm warbands of them with flying and burrowing mounts, eggshell grenades, caltrops, tanglefoot bags, flasks of oil, alchemist's fire, flasks of brown mold, liquid darkness, flashbangs, bolos, sand blasters, etc, and focus on their being very mobile, difficult to find (let alone catch, or even reach), and come up with tactics to immobilize pursuit while dealing lots of fire and cold damage by hurling flasks of oil, followed by alchemist's fire, followed by brown mold. This works especially well on foes without darkvision, at night, who rely on torches and campfires to see. Even bags of flour are dangerous when they're thrown into the air into clouds that obscure vision and cause explosions when lit on fire.

    Some of the goblins should be low-level casters focusing on spells that futz with movement and detection modes (such as entangle, entangling ectoplasm, grease, and pyrotechnics).

    Have animal trainers (druids, most likely) with pets that synergize well with the above. Warbeast dire weasels don't need to see after they've latched on to bleed their foes dry, while anyone attempting to attack the weasels attached to their party members are as likely to hit their friends as the things eating their friends, especially when blinded with billowing clouds of darkness and smoke. Plus, the weasels should be somewhat protected from fire and cold damage by their thick pelts of fur.

    They should also take advantage of their surroundings. Dig pit traps in the forest floor, covered with light debris that's sturdy enough to hold up under a goblin's weight scampering across, but definitely won't when a human knight chasing them down on his loyal steed runs headfirst across it.

    Things like that.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2019-05-20 at 12:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Mix in some dolgrims, dolgaunts, and dolgrues. That oughta scare 'em. Other variants for your consideration: blues, barghests, worghests, and nilbogs.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    I am perhaps more excited about Goblins than any other person I know, and I think this is a really fascinating conundrum. Honestly, there isn't that much statwise you need to do to Goblins, I think most of what can really make them terrifying is just by changing Goblin Culture in your world, turning them from petty thieves that are often used for comic relief into appropriately civilization-ending nightmares. Below are just a few things I've thought of that might be interesting to try, think of them like possible cornerstones of Goblin Ideology:

    Goblins Are Vicious
    What if Goblins got to how they are simply through their absolute frenzy for violence? Goblins take any chance they get to draw the blood out of anything they see without green skin, and have no issue dying in the process for the glory of the kill. Goblin weapons are almost ludicrous in their lethal design: dual-bladed swords are almost more common than not, shields are covered in more spikes than they have protective surface, boots are almost always bladed, and even Goblin common tools such as pitchforks and shovels have blades at the bottom of their hilt. The Goblin diet is made almost entirely out of meat, preferably raw and screaming. To drive this point home, it might be interesting to give every single Goblin the Diehard feat.

    Goblins are Highly Xenophobic

    In spite of this bloodlust, a Goblin will never strike another Goblin, it's perhaps the reason they've managed to conquer so much of the world. All other races are disgustingly impure, and at times the sight of a human or dwarf can make a Goblin gag, fit for nothing other than slave labor or fresh meat. Even other monstrous races, such as Orcs, are subject to the ire of the Goblin race, who think that there will only be peace in the universe once they're the only ones left alive.

    Goblins are Cruel Torturers

    One piece of advice comes to all those who step onto a battlefield with Goblins: "If you don't win, make sure they kill you." To be taken prisoner by a Goblin is the darkest fate one could have, as Goblins are riveted by all forms of strange torture. Blades, blunt weapons, fire, acid, disease, rabid beasts, and even stranger forms of magical torture all lay at the hands of even the lowest Goblin commoner, and they view it as a divine duty to torture until death all those who they deem not fit for slavery. Goblin Stitchers, the closest thing the Goblins have to artists, rearrange the corpses of the tortured into nauseating, perverted forms to be displayed, either in the private collections of the Goblin Aristocracy or proudly in their public common areas.

    Goblins Don't Laugh

    Goblins don't find anything funny. Goblins weep, smile, yawn, and scream, but you simply cannot get a Goblin to laugh. Nothing outside of carnage and conquering entertains a Goblin, and they make special cases out of jesters and bards to prove their point.


    It might honestly make sense to make the "base Goblin" in a setting like this a Goblin with 2 or 3 levels in Fighter just so the Civilization Ending Nightmare Race doesn't go down in literally one hit, but I think aside from that you wouldn't need too much.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Tucker's Kobolds can be goblins or pit fiends or whatever just as easily as kobolds.
    Tuckers kobolds might be fine for a world building exercise but it doesn’t make for a fun game it makes it frustrating and tedious one.

    One idea is to make them a kind of dark fey. In this hypothetical version the goblins live only to cause harm and have no fear of death they simply exist to harm others.
    They are born from places of darkness and despair kind of congealing fully grown into the world in forgotten or abandoned places. A group of heroes can wipe out a cave of goblins but it won’t stick it’s a short term solution because more goblins will eventually pop up somewhere else. It’s a constant struggle because they simply can’t be wiped out, adventures simply can’t kill them all thus human communities are under continuous threat of being wiped out from slow steady attrition.

    As fey they have rules they can’t break like they can’t enter a house with a horse shoe on the door and so on. By giving them some rules like this we can make them more dangerous in other ways and still have a society.

    For instance, in addition to the regular persistent goblins more spawn every night and attack any person who wanders outside. They grab people and torture them to try to lure others out, they scream all night to prevent sleeping. They destroy or despoil anything not blessed or warded or however you want to limit the goblins. Killing the night goblins doesn’t matter they will blow away like smoke with dawns light anyway. Now things can be done to stop a persistent harassing (adventures need something to do after all). But walking around at night is always a danger because a goblin could happen to spawn near there.

    Hobgoblins form armies that march out of the night laying waste to everything in their path and dragging back slaves onto the fairy paths where it is nearly impossible to save them. Shure an army might be able to beat them in the field and wipe them out but what do they care they can just send another when the obscure rules of the fey allow.

    Bugbears might look like dumb bruisers but they aren’t they are slashers using their stealth to ambush and murder. They thrive on terror not just of the people they kill but on those who witness what they have done; they silently murder a family in their beds leaving a small child alive to discovery it with the dawn as the bugbear slips back into fairy world waiting for the next night. They might kill a man’s wife as she sleeps beside him leaving him to wake next to a corpse. They may strike at random or hound a single person their entire life destroying everything they might ever love.

    You might also look at the goblin slayer manga/ anime for ideas (though personally I would drop the rape aspect)
    Last edited by awa; 2019-05-20 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    Tuckers kobolds might be fine for a world building exercise but it doesn’t make for a fun game it makes it frustrating and tedious one.
    It shows that even "weak" creatures can be dangerous to mid-level parties if they use the right tactics. Likewise, it shows that PCs need to use tactics of their own, and if they do, they can take down much higher level threats if they do so correctly.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Romanise them. Shieldwalls, long spears, tactics and planning. Flanking maneuvers, legions, schedules, structure. A goblin with paperwork can do more damage than a hundred goblin warriors, if applied to the right pressure point.

    Diplomacy. Negotiation. Taxation. Conversion. Education. Once a goblin learns these, and applies to them the same enthusiasm they do for most things, the world is theirs. For they are many, and they are cunning, and if applied correctly, can dominate a culture, not through war necessarily, but infiltration and assimilation.

    You can poison a king with a sweet cake more easily than a pile of almonds. Sweet, friendly goblins, loyal servants to the humans we are, yes, demand equal rights we does, seek political ranking we does, extermination of the human minority we does, emperor goblin now
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    It shows that even "weak" creatures can be dangerous to mid-level parties if they use the right tactics. Likewise, it shows that PCs need to use tactics of their own, and if they do, they can take down much higher level threats if they do so correctly.
    I never disagreed with that, and it doesn't change the fact that it is still not fun for the players. Its bad enough for a single session but trying to make an entire game out of it would be miserable and incredibly frustrating.

    The dm might get some satisfaction at "beating" the players with his "clever" tactics but this will get old fast for the players.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Goblins are sneaky. 3.5 base goblins have +5 to hide & move silently. PF goblins have a racial +4 to stealth and an extra +1 from somewhere else, as they have a full +10 to Stealth.

    Goblins are mischievous. They like to pull pranks. Mean, destructive pranks that only bullies find funny.

    Goblins are cowards. They don't like direct confrontation without them being in a clear position of superiority.

    A certain amount of "tucker's kobolds" is to be expected: their lairs are filled with traps and are designed for only Small creatures to easily navigate, as a general rule. Any place big enough for Medium creatures is very likely heavily trapped. They also like murder holes (as any fortification should have), and their rudimentary pit traps will provide opportunity for goblins to jab with longspears down onto the trapped victims.

    But more importantly, they won't face the party head-on if they can help it. They'll sneak up and get a surprise attack in, then try to break away to hide. They'll go find their base camp and steal or foul their food, wreck their transport, and murder their livestock. They may not try to murder sleeping party members, but only because of their aforementioned cowardice.

    They will deliberately provoke predators they know they can outrun and go charging through the party's camp, then hide again.

    If they have vermin (or goblin dogs, a kind of Medium-sized rat in PF), they may set those on supplies.

    Fighting goblins should be as much an exercise in hunting them down and FINDING them as it is in actually hitting and killing them.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    I have actually been playing around with a RE:Monster type game played in 3.5 you can actually pretty easily use goblin as the base race for bugbear, ogre mage and ogre. I have actually gone through and turned these races into a goofy mix of LA and bloodline. Where bugbear is +1 LA that a goblin turns into once it takes one la in the first 3 levels. Bugbear is treated as the intermediary between goblin and ogre where ogre is a +2 LA adjustment where the second must be taken by level 6. Ogre Mage is a 3 LA adjustment adding features every 3~ levels. It is a bit convoluted but it works out pretty well and having bugbears, ogres, and ogre mages with class levels instead of rhd really does make them rather scary but not super overpowered.

    Also use Bakemono from OA as goblin hunting dogs, and I do the following:
    Wolf, Worg (base) and Dire Wolf, Winter Wolf (4th or higher) as animal companions all other choices take -3 to level. Worgs & Winter Wolves count as animals for purposes of druid/ranger spells.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Indeed, changing their tactics a bit (I intend to keep the mostly "Uncivilized Terror" Vibe rather than make them too Tuckerish") is one of the methods I will implement.

    However, for changing Goblins Stats and Basics, how does the following sound (Very much Alpha so far^^):

    Spoiler: New Gobbos
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    Goblin Rework for the "Shattered Cities“ Setting




    Basic Abilities of all Goblins: All Goblins have 2 random of the following 4 Abilities, Champions have them all.

    Vicious: Count all Weapons they wield as at +1 Crit Multiplier, up to *4 in total. Does not stack with other Multiplier Enhancements.

    Xenophobic Anger: Gain +2 to attack and Damage Rolls vs. Any being without anything „Goblin“ in them.

    Sneaky bastards: Gain +5 or their HD; whichever is less, Stealth Bonus.

    The more the scarier: Gain a Morale Bonus to all their Rolls depending on how many other Goblins are within LoS and at most 150ft.

    11-25: +1
    26-45: +2
    46-79: +3
    80-150: +4
    151+: +5



    Small Goblins/Runts: Stats see Standard Pathfinder Goblins, but increase Darkvision to 120ft and make eyes solid black. FC: Rogue.



    Goblins: Ability Mods to PF Version: +2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Dex, +1 natural AC, +10ft Movement rate. Bite Attack 2d4. FC: Rogue or Ranger




    Big Goblins/Gobbos: Medium Size. Ability Mods to Goblins: +2 Strength and Con, +2 natural Armor, Bite becomes 2d6, CMB for Grappling +2. 1 RHD. FC: Rogue or Barbarian




    Hobgoblins/Hobs: Ability Mods to Big Gobbos: +2 Str, +2 Con, +4 Int, +2 Cha. Powerful Build. Commanding Aura (Golbins Only). 3 RHD. FC: Warlord.




    Greater Hobs: Large, total Ability Mods to normal Hobs: +6 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, +2 natural Armor. 4 RHD. FC: Warlord or Zaelot.



    Goblin Champion: Can range from large to Huge, requires to have eaten one Hero of each other Race and to have killed at least 100 in total, as well as lived for 15+ years. Becomes Huge if killing and eating 3 of each Race, in that case doubles its bonuses and adds +1 more RHD as well as +2 CR.

    Modification compared to Greater Hob: +4 to all Attributes. Darkvision 300ft, Commanding Aura, Call Goblins, Fast healing 2. 5 RHD. FC: Any one Initiator class befitting the way it became a Champion or Barbarian.


    Terror Matron: Goblin Females that manage to survive the Ritual of Goblin Knowledge.
    At surviving they become a member of the Goblins Ruling Class, so to speak, and while they keep aging phyisically, they do not die of old Age.

    Stat Mods compared to Goblins:

    +4 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength.
    Gain a psychic Deformation of the DM`s choice.

    Gain the following Abilities:
    Sacred to Goblins: Other Goblins will NEVER attack them, and very rarely disobey them in any way.

    Racial Memory: THe Ritual implants them with the collective racial memory of the Goblin Tribe who executed said Ritual. usually this grants them a massive Bonus to Knowledge SKills when applicable, and lets them auto succeed in all Sense Motive and Intimidate Checks regarding that tribe.

    FC: Wizard.

    CR: These are not actually meant to be used as Player Characters. Their CR is CLass Levels +2.



    As NPC`s:

    All but Small Goblins (Keep PF CR) are considered CR equal to 1+ their HD/2,except for Champions, whicha re at CR= HD+1.


    As Player Characters: Simply add the Racial Hit Dice without any means to buy them off, that should normally keep them balanced enough.

    Optional Rule:

    Goblins and devouring other Races:

    Goblins are as a Race simply unwilling to let "good Meat" go to waste, and hence usually eat their defeatet Enemies.
    However, some Goblins follow their Urges to a greater Degree.
    If a Goblin beats a member of another race all by himself, and then eats it within at the most 7 days, he gains the following Bonuses:

    +1 permanent HP per HD the Creature had.
    +1 to all Attack Rolls
    33% Chance to "ascend" to the next Bigger Type of Goblin.




    Goblin Racial Hitdice:

    All Goblin Racial Hit Dice are as follows:

    D8

    Full BAB

    High Reflex and Fortitude, Low Will

    4+ Int Mod Skillpts

    Class Skills: Bluff, Craft (one), Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local, Dungeoneering), Perception, use Magic Device.

    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    Sneaky bastards: Gain +5 or their HD; whichever is less, Stealth Bonus.
    This should be "whichever is more", I think? A bonus equal to HD is tiny at the levels where goblins are commonly found.

    I'm personally not a huge fan of making ten versions of goblins that are conveniently size-coded for power, especially in a caster-heavy edition like 3.5/PF. I'd keep the goblins small, sneaky, and nasty, and use class levels to differentiate them. That also makes it harder for PCs to know what they're up against, which can be a big advantage.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Honest opinion?

    You've just given them Some Numbers.

    You haven't given them anything other "higher stats to put classes on." They don't DO anything different - despite saying you didn't want to go the classes route, you've more or less shoehorned yourself into that - as otherwise, what really differentiates these goblins from, say giants? Essentially just Big High-Strength Things That Hit You. That isn't, really, particularly interesting. (Trust me, I've been running a module which was basically "and now fight more giants" and it's kind of repetative to almost being boredom as the DM where you are reduced to "and then it makes another full attack...")

    If you have made them "scarier" it is only in that "the numbers are high." (And frankly, I think things like Illithids or Beholders are "scarier" since they tend to mandate a change of tactics.)

    Nothing that really makes them particularly scary - you basically have a stat block and crude "they Freiza up occasionlly" which is, unless you have a goblin PC (and that "anything they kill themselves is permenant bonus" isn't horribly abusable at ALL in that PC side of the screen) is... Unlikely to ever even come up as something as far as your players are concerned. (Unless you are going to try to have an NPC nemesis that scales with the PCs, but the amount of bending over backward not to make the players annoyed that they can kill said nemesis usually isn't worth the effort.) It's some background lore, but that's all.


    Now, let me confess - I have myself done a "Frieza-up" monster, though in my case is was a sort of outsider. But with those, as they got bigger and larger, they also got smarter, gaining spell-like and special abilities as well as better stats (and also some game-changers like getting wings); they went from something that was a dumb brawler to something that could shank a pit-fiend AFTER outsmarting it. So I know the appeal. Been there, done that. But having done that myself... Well. I did actually use those outsiders at the bottom and end level of a 1st to Epic game I ran, so I did get some milage out it (though they were not at all the main villains). But I did them rather early on in 3.0 originally (actually, may have first done them in AD&D) and, looking back, even then, I could have done a better job with them mechanically (i.e. more interestingly) than I did, emphasising a bit too much on the blasting side of things. The evolving bit never came up, save as a bit of lore, but that's it. (And mine only had four stages.) So Pokémon-evolving monsters is one of those things that sounds great to you as DM, but the players and PCs will basically just nod, smile, and likely forget about, as outside of maybe an encounter where you script it to happen, it's never going be anything they will interact with.



    I think if you want to make them scary and memorable, rather than just "powerful monster" you need to go and have a serious think about the fluff. Forget the mechanics entirely for a moment, you can fit that back later.

    What exact purpose do you want these to serve in the story? That's the more important element to consider, since that'll be the bit the players will most engage in and remember (even if they are hack-and-slash players who will be engaged in the moment, they'll likely just see these new goblins as just another monster.)



    Probably not what you wanted to here as feedback, but, as they say, you did ask.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-05-21 at 11:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Making them scary to the populace at large is relatively easy - just amp them up enough that a 3rd level soldier is overwhelmed, and mobile enough that the few high-level champions can't often be brought to bear on them, and you have a major threat to the world.

    Making a them a threat to the PCs is harder. Goblin Sorcerers don't make Goblins scary, they make high-level casters scary. And while you could give something War Troll stats and call it a goblin, it's not going to feel much like one.

    One idea - give them mastery of shadow. Goblins can enter any shadow and come out from any shadow. The plane of shadow is full of Goblins, uncounted hordes of them. They ignore your castle walls and appear inside, carrying away the royal family and poisoning the food supply while the soldiers outside wonder where they went. When you have enough forces to strike, they fall back, disappearing from dead ends and then suddenly attacking from behind, killing any scouts and hunters that wander out, hounding the camp at night until the army breaks. Nowhere is safe, unless you light every inch up brightly, and one of the first things they do is to destroy fuel supplies.

    This also makes them dangerous to mid-level characters. Not in a straight-up fight, but a foe that can't be caught or easily escaped, who keeps shooting poison arrows at you, takes every chance to diminish your supplies, and never lets up the pressure would be pretty threatening. And they probably burst into poison when killed; why not?

    I would also make them a little tougher in base stats, maybe CR 2-3 with some Sneak Attack.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    What if you used marruspawn stats for them? From Sandstorm. Goblins are sneaky marrulurks, hobgoblins are clever marrutacts, bugbears are beefy marrusaults.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    No, any feedback that detailed is good feedback, Aotrs.

    I fully intend to first concentrate on the fluff, and societal/Tactical details. Just throwing my alpha ideas regarding the mods out there so that any obvious problems can be seen early enough.

    Thanks for the feedback. ;)

    @ Icefractal: Sadly, as cool as the option is, there are already Shadow manipulators in the setting, which use exactly that to be one of only 3 more or less remaining civilizations, ergo using shadow jumping and manipulation against the Goblins.

    Still, thank you for your fededback and Ideas. Yes, the ability mods were actually aimed at making the base Goblins (and subtypes) "strong" enough to overwhelm Guards/Soldiers pretty easily.

    Edit: @ Troacctid: Dont have Sandstorm. Gonna see if one of my friends has it to check that option. THanks.
    Last edited by GrayDeath; 2019-05-21 at 12:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    From what you laid out your goals as in the OP, I don't really recommend using your alpha or any version of "Beefing Up" rules for goblins. If you want goblins to be a "real threat," use what they have. Giving them bigger numbers changes them to something else. And is probably easier done with class levels, as others have noted.

    I've outlined some tactics to consider: use their stealth to hide from the party and sabotage things behind their back; hit-and-run tactics without staying to let themselves be retaliated against; traps and battlefield control in their own lairs to use the terrain to their advantage. Additionally, fighting in the dark is good for goblins, and typically half the party will be blinded by it. So take out light sources as a tactic.

    Additionally, numbers. Give the impression that, though they individually are cowards and run from a fight, en masse they're embolded and even frenzied into careless self-sacrifice just to hurt their foes. Have them switch from cowardly to mindlessly brutal depending on whether "the group" can get kills in or not.

    The retreating cowards are still important even with an endless supply of goblin cannon fodder, though: they create a psychological frustration in the PCs that the PCs can't do anything. Both the knowledge that there are always more, and the feeling that they haven't killed any/enough, will make fighting goblins more frustrating and thus make "goblin lands" a place to which they're inclined to say "nope!"

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Goblin blood is infectious, anyone who is within 20 feet when a goblin is killed by anything except cold or disintigration has to make a fort save or they contract a lethal disease that causes several new goblins to spawn from their corpse. The DC starts out low but increases every time they're exposed to goblin blood. Remove disease will work at preventing a paticular death but does not reset the ramping save DC.

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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Maybe borrow from 5e, and give them Pack Tactics. Goblins get bonuses based on how many other goblins are adjacent to their target. 5e gave them advantage on attacks, but you may want to also/instead increase damage or impose penalties on the players as they get mobbed. As a player, I would be intimidated if I got surrounded by goblins and said "I full attack" and then the DM said "You can't, too many goblins on you".
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    I would give them extremely toxic spit. Goblins are otherwise the same, but their spit now acts as a 1d6/1d6 con damage poison. The Goblins are immune to it, so they make drool pots that are alchemist fire style splash weapons full of toxin so they can make ranged touch attacks, they cover all of their weapons in it so every bolt and blade is lethally toxic, and they especially use toxin soaked nets and lassos as they make touch attacks and are reusable.

    Goblin warfare involves siege weapons and weird devices, but all rely on their poison as the primary weapon. It is essentially free, and they have droolers who simply fill pots of the stuff all day long so the tribes to use. Siege weapons could include barrels of the stuff being thrown, cart based sprayers, and even just soaked haybales.

    Immunity to poison becomes extremely important to defeating Goblins, which means higher levels and often magic.
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    Default Re: Making Goblins a REAL Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Maybe borrow from 5e, and give them Pack Tactics. Goblins get bonuses based on how many other goblins are adjacent to their target. 5e gave them advantage on attacks, but you may want to also/instead increase damage or impose penalties on the players as they get mobbed. As a player, I would be intimidated if I got surrounded by goblins and said "I full attack" and then the DM said "You can't, too many goblins on you".
    Anyone flanked by goblins provokes when attacking a goblin.

    Yes, of course you can full attack.
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