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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    I wrote a longer version that got lost, so this is the briefer version.

    Basically I wanna replace goblins in a home brewed scenario I will DM, but I am not sure what to use instead. I am humbly looking for suggestions. Ill make a list of boxes that race need to tick:

    - Not want to share caves with undeads as the main plot is that they are driven out of their caves and start to wreak havoc on the countryside because there is lot of undeads.
    - Be an appropriate challenge for players through lvl 1-4.
    - Intelligent enough to talk and negotiate with and possibly broker peace with.
    - Be menacing AF. At least for their threat level.
    - Not be orcs or kobolds as they have other parts to play in the plot.

    I am tempted to use gnolls as I find them bad ass and really fun to voice act. My main concern with gnolls is that it might be confusing for the players that the gnolls are being chased out of their caves by undeads as gnolls usually use undead stuff. Anyone has any other suggestion?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Darklings might be fun, as would Blights.

    A group of bandits might work, too, since you could make them out of a wide assortment of creatures.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Maybe Xvarts or Grungs? Orrr Kua-Toa, Sahaugin, Bullywugs, Lizardfolk.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Xvart might work

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    I’d second the vote for bandits with the strong caveat that if there’s a coastline nearby make those bandits pirates.

    Seriously, a handful of lookouts and minor operatives in towns then 8-10 pirates in the only sea cave that hasn’t been overrun by undead in part one... maybe with a lieutenant escaping towards a ship at the end if he/she can... if you want and the players are creative enough the could even be reluctant allies in part 7-8, because pirates vs zombies is a classic.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    This is all good suggestions. Thank you all. I was a bit unclear though. I need a lot of them. Like hundreds to come swarming the countryside as they are no longer able to stay in their home. Obv the PCs cant fight these at once or head on. They then break up inte to smaller groups and kill cattle and abduct ppl to eat and are searching for or looking for a new home. Possibly trying to invade one of the mining towns or the Dukes castle.

    Darklings are cool, but I dont think they show up in such numbers as to be the main threat. But I will work in a little darkling sidequest.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    A xenophobic clan of LN or LE dwarves would work fine.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Kuo-toa would fit the bill, especially since they’d have to go to ground during the day once evicted from their cave complex. Gives the PC’s the chance to cut them up piecemeal.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Kobolds? Mephits? Kenku?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Antropomorphic _________ (woodchucks, rats, camels, guinea pigs, flightless birds, etc.), using goblin stats.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Just because gnolls use undead doesn't mean that other undead can't push them out. If the players talk to them, just say "These are someone else's undead and a strength we can't control or eliminate"

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Tasloi and/or Gibberlings for that classic Baldur’s Gate feeling.
    Have fun, stay sane, enjoy the madness.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Lobsterfolk (from Tomb of Annihilation)
    Awakened apes
    Fey. Gives you a variety to work with (blink dogs, sprites, etc), very thematic for not wishing to exist with the undead, and you can use a lot of them.
    A colony of weak dragons, led by a "fearsome" red wyrmling. Pepper the lair with drakes, pseudodragons, faerie dragons
    Grungs
    Wererat colony (if you can make silver weapons/alternate damage types a possibility)
    Chitines, choldriths, and other spider-themed sapients, perhaps with more feral spider creatures like cave fishers living as part of their "family"
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan
    All it takes is once:

    "Grandpa, tells us that story about the Ricalison the Great again!"

    Hours later...

    "... and that, kids, is how he conquered the world with dancing lights."

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Jul 2005
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Cannibalistic Halflings. Dark Sun needs more love.

    Light the lamp not the rat LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT!!!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    So a large horde that's getting displaced from caves by undead and possible to reason with? Challenge 1-4? My answer would be partly dependent upon which undead are displacing them

    Here's a really off the wall idea: Drow. Poison, charisma checks, or other drow tricks won't work as well on undead. Drow are known for raiding the surface, so people wouldn't guess they are being displaced. If they are pincered between the surface and undead, they might stoop to negotiation.

    Myconids are another interesting idea. Though they aren't evil, they're alien enough that their presence on the surface would cause a lot of panic. They may be especially aggressive about invading homes because sunlight kills them. It takes some bravery to get within range of their telepathy spores to negotiate.

    Only use xvarts if your players are mature enough to not call them 'farts'/ 'x-farts'.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
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    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    I like Willie the duck's idea. Use goblins stats and then re-skin them into whatever unique creation you want. Players love seeing new and interesting home brew mobs, and they hardly ever recognize the easy sub a DM can use to near infinitely increase the variety.

    I recommend miniature giants. These tiny giants suffer from years of enthusiastic inbreeding in their mountain lair, and as a result, have shrink to the size of halflings but have the fecundity of goblins. They retain their cultural beliefs but have been easily displaced by the *insert the undead horde you've chosen".

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Deep gnomes?

    Re-skin with goblin stats and maybe let them keep some of their tricky bits and 120 darkvision.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Stone age tribal cannibal halflings.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangleweed View Post
    - Not want to share caves with undeads as the main plot is that they are driven out of their caves and start to wreak havoc on the countryside because there is lot of undeads.
    - Be an appropriate challenge for players through lvl 1-4.
    - Intelligent enough to talk and negotiate with and possibly broker peace with.
    - Be menacing AF. At least for their threat level.
    - Not be orcs or kobolds as they have other parts to play in the plot.
    Dwarves seem like they fill all those criteria really well. Unsavory dwarven bandits.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

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    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangleweed View Post
    - Intelligent enough to talk and negotiate with and possibly broker peace with.
    Side note on Gnolls and the default 5e lore, but they're not likely to do this. Of course, with a home setting you can set any lore you like. But if the players are familiar with the default 5e lore you might need to let them know your Gnolls are different. Or possibly previous edition lore.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Troglodytes

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Vukodlak's Avatar

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    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Cannibalistic Halflings. Dark Sun needs more love.
    Damn that was going to be my suggestion.
    Nale is no more, he has ceased to be, his hit points have dropped to negative ten, all he was is now dust in the wind, he is not Daniel Jackson dead, he is not Kenny dead, he is final dead, he will not pass through death's revolving door, his fate will not be undone because the executives renewed his show for another season. His time had run out, his string of fate has been cut, the blood on the knife has been wiped. He is an Ex-Nale! Now can we please resume watching the Order save the world.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    Cannibalistic Halflings. Dark Sun needs more love.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    Damn that was going to be my suggestion.
    Cannibalistic Halfling-oid Underground Dwellers?
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by that_one_kobold View Post
    And this is why I love D&D

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Kruthik's would work. Who doesn't like Zerg :)

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Cannibalistic Halfling-oid Underground Dwellers?
    Canibal halfling cave-men.

    Edit: Come to think of it, in a world where undead were common, cannibalisms may just be viewed as the responsible disposal of the dead before they come back as a problem.
    Last edited by Sigreid; 2019-09-22 at 10:10 PM.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Jul 2005
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    If this were a poll, halfling cannibals would be eating the competition for breakfast.
    Last edited by Particle_Man; 2019-09-22 at 10:17 PM.

    Light the lamp not the rat LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT!!!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    cannibal gnomes could be good too.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritchaser View Post
    I’d second the vote for bandits with the strong caveat that if there’s a coastline nearby make those bandits pirates.
    Easy Mode: Put a river nearby and make them river-pirates or vikings. Maybe have their ship crashed or something.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Feb 2019
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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Myconids! Check out some videos about them, don't remember if it was Runemaster or MrRhexx, but they are a complete blast to run! The atmosphere these fungal creatures make are absolutely a blast, especially when compared with the rotting flesh of the undead.

    Spoiler: How to Make Custom Monsters
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    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Nov 2011
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    Waterdeep
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    Default Re: Goblin stand ins - what to use instead of goblins?

    Grimlocks
    Mephits
    Lizardfolk
    Hobgoblins
    Feral Satyrs
    Modrons
    Worgs
    Gremlins (just like goblins, but get stronger with magic powers at night time)

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