Goblin NPC help.


Advice

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hey. I am running a game and the current story I am working with has the party pitted against mainly goblins and am finding it hard to keep the challenge up so almost everything they are up against has to be hand made.

Some background for you. The setting is a homebrew that I used in 3.0 and 3.5 years ago in school but have recently found a group again and after a failed campaign with a different DM because of huge power issues everyone in the group from seeing me play and talk about past DM'img basically told other dm "it was fun but we want him to dm now and you play"

Party is 2nd level. Slow XP and treasure table and 20 point stat point-buy(high fantasy). Party is five players. Wizard(evocation[scroll master archetype]), fighter(Two handers and heavy armor), Samurai, Multiclass Ranger 1/Druid 1, and a cleric.

Goblins in my homebrew aren't evil. Their Small size and low charisma just makes them easy to be dominated or quick to follow someone bigger or stronger. The goblins being faced right now have basically earned complete freedom from other races and in the past 5-7ish years moved into lands that belong to nature and druids. My goblins also have a Mix of World of Warcraft style engineering and a Dwarven like love of riches and crafting.

My problem as I said is that with the party set up as it is even goblins with class levels 2(so cr 1) in groups of as big as 6-9 aren't a big threat. And leaders of level 3 or 4(CR 2-3) with a few minions are potentially 1 or two shotted by the samurai or fighter. And the never ending stream of force missiles makes minions a two shot for the wizard.

So what I need help with is building a few goblin npcs that in a reasonable size group is a challenge for the party.

One that I have made that is being a minor challenge is a Goblin fighter 2 with Spirited charge, mounted combat and ride-by-attack mounted on a goblin dog. Using a lance and med armor.

The only other thing that has made a decent dent and barely is having CR 1/2 Goblin Fighter 1 with long spears and abusing attacks of opportunity since the samurai and fighter like to charge to close distance sine they are both in medium armor.

So any suggestions for Goblin npc's that either alone or in squads. Also lieutenants or chiefs what have you. I am fine with right now the encounters being at +2 or +3 so a CR 4 or 5 is fine.

Also as a side question I can't seem to find rules on mounts specifically. Does a mount have to be a size category larger than its rider? Because I like the idea of a Goblin cavalier on a goblin dog but to have a medium goblin dog a cavalier would have to be 4th. Which is fine for a captain or leader but i was thinking for a more rank and file cavalry for the goblins.

Dark Archive

Are any of the fighters cleavers? If not, your answer is a LOT of goblins. First level goblin warriors aiding another to grapple the casters down. At THAT point the elite goblin strikeforce arrives.

You've got 5 level 2 PCs with 20 point buy, so set the APL at 3. A 'hard' encounter can be CR 5 then.

Start with six CR 1/3 goblin warriors, or five warriors and an adept casting something from a scroll. Either grapple the casters or abuse reach to keep them at bay. Then send in a team of level 1 PC class goblins: a sorcerer who tries to sleep one or two of them, and three fighters or barbarians. It should be fun because the enemies should go down fast, but it should be scary because they're surrounded and there's so many enemies. The goblins will be able to hit because they only need to hit an AC of 10 to give another goblin +2 to hit.

This comes out to 1610 exp, or CR 5. If you feel that's too hard for your group, reduce it to 5 NPC class goblins and 3 PC class ones for a CR 4. If you're interested I'll include a few sample builds.

EDIT: Goblin dog animal companions start small, but that doesn't mean your goblins can't ride medium ones as regular goblin dogs. Keep in mind that will substantially increase the CR however.

Dark Archive

Well here's some samples anyway. Five of the warriors and one of the adepts makes a CR 3 encounter that shouldn't challenge them so much as use up their resources (which is what minor encounters are for, after all). If you combine this ambush with an aggressive assault by another troop of goblins, you could easily turn it into a CR 5 or CR 6 encounter that would have them biting their nails against lowly goblins!

Goblin Warrior 1 (Playin' Hard):

Goblin warrior 1 CR 1/3
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENCE

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (armour +4, Dex +3, size +1)
Hp 6 (1d10+1)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +0

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee longspear +3 (1d6/x3) or spiked gauntlet +2 (1d4)
Ranged shortbow +5 (1d4/x3) or alchemist's fire +5

STATISTICS

Str 11, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Weapon Focus: Longspear
Skills Ride +9, Stealth +9; AC penalty -2
Languages Goblin
Combat Gear alchemist's fire (2);
Other Gear longspear, spiked gauntlet, shortbow and 20 arrows, chain shirt

Tactics are as follows: they've got darkvision and a +9 to stealth. They wait in ambush and then in a surprise round chuck their alchemist fire, then close with longspears drawn. Don't worry about someone moving inside their range, because they're gonna get a right hook; alternatively, have them aid another in another goblin's attack. They're confident and are a little too stupid to know they're just the cannon fodder, as such they won't retreat or surrender.

Goblin Adept 1 (Playin' Hard):

Goblin adept 1
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1

DEFENCE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (armour +5, Dex +3, size +1, shield +1)
Hp 6 (1d6 +3)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3

OFFENCE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee dogslicer -1 (1d4-2/19-20)
Ranged alchemist's fire +4
Spells Prepared: (CL 1st, touch -1, ranged touch +4, concentration +2):
1st - command (DC 12), sleep (DC 12)
0 - detect magic, ghost sound, guidance

STATISTICS

Str 7, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 6
Base Atk +0; CMB -3; CMD 10
Feats Toughness
Skills Heal +5, Stealth +8; AC penalty -4
Languages Goblin
Combat Gear alchemist's fire, scroll of bless;
Other Gear dogslicer, scale mail, light wooden shield

Tactics are to bless her fellow goblins and then join in the throwing in the next round. If two PCs are near each other, she'll throw a sleep, and if anything approaches her she'll command them to drop, hoping that her allies can keep him down.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

Well here's some samples anyway. Five of the warriors and one of the adepts makes a CR 3 encounter that shouldn't challenge them so much as use up their resources (which is what minor encounters are for, after all). If you combine this ambush with an aggressive assault by another troop of goblins, you could easily turn it into a CR 5 or CR 6 encounter that would have them biting their nails against lowly goblins!

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

No cleavers however the fighter is using a Greataxe with an 18 Str(16 base +2 human) at a 40ft charge she has a +8 to hit so most cases she will down a goblin and with an AC of 18 Attacks of from charging a foe with a reach weapon are a small threat.

I very much like the adept and alchemists fire.

I also hadn't considered having a 2nd squad coming in. Most of the recent encounters the party were supposed to have the upper hand because they are kind of guerrilla warfare against goblin camps.

Although I think the set up you gave will do a little better. Using level one goblin fighters with long spears at cr 1/2 and having 6(CR 4) of them the party more or less trounced them with the only hick-up being that the goblins were able to flank and get a few hits on the fighter and the druids animal companion before the samurai closed distance with naginata reach charge.

On the mount thing than basically it would have to be a CR 1/2 Goblin cavalier with a small animal companion and a normal CR 1 Goblin dog? So something like 2 of them plus mounts and companions at a CR 4?

ALSO ALSO: Does anyone know where the mutated quality from http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/unique-monsters/cr-2/koruvus comes from and what the details are? Because genetic alterations like this see right up the alley of the style I want my goblins to have. I see the credit to burnt offerings but there are no details to the mutated abilities. The big Str buff and the breath weapon add to the challenge. and a group of these guys in the future could be fun.


Don't forget about archers!

Goblin fighter 2 with point blank shot rapid shot and deadly aim could be quite a nuisance. Mount the archer on a goblin dog and they can move 50' and still full attack with no penalties, 100' with -4 and 200' at -8.

This heroic goblin NPC has dex 19, bab +2, and is small. Using a longbow, he's attacking at +4/+4 dealing d6+2 damage (+1 hit/damage within 30') and moving 50' at the same time.

Also, armies of goblin warriors with exotic weapon proficiency net could be pretty nasty.

Dark Archive

The timing should be everything, because as soon as the melee have advanced against the above goblins, the party should be ambushed by the heavy hitters. Of course, by "heavy hitters", I still mean goblins.

Goblin barbarian 1:

Goblin barbarian 1
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1

DEFENCE

AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (armour +6, Dex +3, size +1, shield +2, rage -2)
Hp 13 (1d12 +4 +3)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee battleaxe +5 (1d6+3/x3)
Ranged javelin +5 (1d4+3)
Special Attacks rage (6 rounds/day)

Base Statistics When not raging, the goblin's stats are AC 22, hp 8; Fort +4, Will +1; Melee battleaxe +3 (1d6+1/x3); Ranged javeling +5 (1d4+1); Str 13, Con 14; CMB +1; CMD 14

STATISTICS

Str 17, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Toughness
Skills Perception +5, Ride +7, Stealth +11, Swim +4; AC penalty -4
Languages Goblin
Combat Gear none;
Other Gear battleaxe, javelin (3), breastplate, heavy wooden shield

These guys, if you send in four of them, will wreak havoc. They'll take probably two hits to go down, but they've got a deceptively high AC, so it might take more than a round to down one. Flank with them, and you just might take down a PC! Doubly effective if all the melee have charged the first group of goblins.

Of course, if you want to be more cruel, send this monstrosity at them. It's a goblin, and it's only a CR 3, so with the above group it's still only a CR 5.

Bugbear barbarian 1 (ouch):

Bugbear barbarian 1 CR 3
CE Medium humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; scent; Perception +11

DEFENCE

AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (armour +6, Dex +2, natural +3, -2 rage)
hp 40 (3d8 + 1d12 + 20)
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +4

OFFENCE

Speed 40 ft.
Melee mwk greataxe +12 (1d12+10/x3)
Ranged javelin +5 (1d6+7)
Special Attacks rage (7 rounds/day)

Base Statistics: When not raging, the bugbear's stats are AC 21; hp 32; Fort +6, Will +2; Melee mwk greataxe +10 (1d12+7/x3); ranged javeling +5 (1d6+5); Str 20, Con 17; CMB +8; CMD 20; Skills Intimidate +7

STATISTICS

Str 24, Dex 15, Con 21, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +3; CMB +10; CMD 22
Feats Intimidating Prowess, Skill Focus: Perception, Weapon Focus: Greataxe
Skills Intimidate +9, Perception +11, Stealth +10, Survival +5; AC penalty -3
SQ stalker
Languages Common, Goblin
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds, potion of invisibility
Other Gear masterwork greataxe, javelin (3), masterwork agile breastplate

Your party might hate you if you use this guy, but he's a legal CR 3. If you throw him in invisible with his potion after the first round of combat, be prepared for a lot of fearful PCs.


Korvus is from "Rise of the Runelords 1: Burnt offerings" and I believe he was mutated by a "waters of Lamashtu" spell. Unfortunately I have no idea if those are the actual results of that spell, or just flavor. As far as making things a challenge I have two pieces of advice.

1. Pitfall traps. The goblins have dug pitfalls 15ftx15ft and hidden 2-3 goblins down inside then covered the top, so that when a pc charges in they will fall into the trap to be beaten senseless by the goblins inside.

2. Mounts. This is a great benefit because you can keep the goblin flavor but have the mounts as the real threat. A goblin cavalier on a worg is a thing to behold especially if you throw in spirited charge.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

The timing should be everything, because as soon as the melee have advanced against the above goblins, the party should be ambushed by the heavy hitters. Of course, by "heavy hitters", I still mean goblins.

** spoiler omitted **

Of course, if you want to be more cruel, send this monstrosity at them. It's a goblin, and it's only a CR 3, so with the above group it's still only a CR 5.

** spoiler omitted **...

Love the barbarian very nice. The bugbear however I can't use although very nice. The story as I have it is that these are purly goblins not Hobs or bugbears. What I mentioned in my OP about the goblins becoming free. Is just the goblins from masters such as Hobgoblins and Bugbears or other monstrous races. Short story version all the "evil" races banded up and started a war against the "good" races and won a bunch of land and territory. Good guys kept them back and away from the majority of the world and decided on a peace treaty to let them keep what they took stop the war. So long as the bad guys agreed to be more civilized thus generally stop raiding pillaging raping and slavery. As a result the Goblins were let free from the bigger bad guys and most everyone agreed that the goblins aren't accountable for anything they did during the war or prior because it was always at the threat of their own lives from their masters.

I would be happy to tell the story better but this isn't the post for it :)

Loren Peterson wrote:

Korvus is from "Rise of the Runelords 1: Burnt offerings" and I believe he was mutated by a "waters of Lamashtu" spell. Unfortunately I have no idea if those are the actual results of that spell, or just flavor. As far as making things a challenge I have two pieces of advice.

1. Pitfall traps. The goblins have dug pitfalls 15ftx15ft and hidden 2-3 goblins down inside then covered the top, so that when a pc charges in they will fall into the trap to be beaten senseless by the goblins inside.

2. Mounts. This is a great benefit because you can keep the goblin flavor but have the mounts as the real threat. A goblin cavalier on a worg is a thing to behold especially if you throw in spirited charge.

1.Like the pit trap idea too thanks.

2.The beneficial effects of that spell are not present its basically a slim chance after prolonged exposure that mutations not specified but usually unfavorable can occur. So basically if I want mutants I need to make up a template myself.

Dark Archive

No non-goblins, got it. How about this?

Goblin Warleader:

Advanced Goblin bard 3 CR 3
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +6; Senses darvision 60 ft., Perception

DEFENCE

AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 17 (armour +4, Dex +6, natural armour +2, size +1)
Hp 22 (3d8+9)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +4; +4 vs. bardic performance, language–dependent, and sonic

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk rapier +10 (1d4+2/18-20) or whip +9 (1d2+2, nonlethal)
Special Attacks arcane strike, bardic performance 11 rounds/day (countersong, distraction, fascinate, inspire competence +2, inspire courage +1)
Spells Known (CL 3rd, touch +9, ranged touch +9, concentration +6):
1st - 4/day cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, grease (DC 14), hideous laughter (DC 14)
0 - dancing lights, detect magic, daze (DC 13), message, spark, unwitting ally (DC 13)

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 23, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 19
Feats Arcane Strike, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +12, Bluff +9, Knowledge (Goblin Arcana) +9, Knowledge (Goblin History) +9, Knowledge (Goblin Nobility) +9, Perception +7, Perform (Sing) +9, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +8, Stealth +20
Languages Common, Goblin, Undercommon
SQ bardic knowledge +1, versatile performance (sing)
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds;
Other Gear masterwork rapier, whip, mithral chain shirt

Throw in the goblin barbarians with this guy leading them... from the back. Another +1 to all of their attacks, and he'll also try to grease any of the fighters weapons that he thinks are particularly dangerous. If engaged he's not a pushover at all, but he's a crafty fellow and probably isn't willing to lay down his life for goblinkind just yet; this is a guy who should probably run to fight another day. If you want him to use the whip more, make it masterwork instead of the rapier and give him agile manoeuvres instead of arcane strike. Bam, he's now tripping at +8, +9 with performance.

Traps are cool, but don't overdo it with them. A simple pit trap is CR 1, and for that price you could have three goblin warriors. Use them to supplement the encounter, not as the encounter itself.


Bargiest?

Your goblins sound like you could have some that are clever. Add some spell casters. Perhas the new leaders of the goblins used to be the slaves of BBEGs who used them to craft potions, and minor junk. Add some witches, or divine casters to their ranks. Perhaps some minor diety has decided this group of goblins has their favor and the inspiration for their new freedom also comes with the blessing of said diety so maybe members of the clan are now devoted.

Turn about is fair play. Perhaps after centuries of being dominated and enslaved these goblins what someone to kick around. This group may have learned enough about brownies or other such tiny creatures that they can negate the magical edge that these creatures have and these tiny folk now serve their goblin masters.

Lastly there are a number of tactical things that can be done that fit the flavor for these guys. Remember Tucker's Kobolds. Perhaps these goblins can build earthworks, defenses, and all sorts of tactical equalizers that give them bonuses agains the PC's.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

No non-goblins, got it. How about this?

** spoiler omitted **

Traps are cool, but don't...

Your ideas are all amazing. I will likely use all of them at some point. The party is about 2000 XP from 3 and than I will probably hold the goblin story a little ways into three before its safe for them to leave.

Dark Archive

Well I appreciate it. If you have any requests, let me know.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
Well I appreciate it. If you have any requests, let me know.

I think where I fail in enemy design is were I excel in character design. I barely put time into considering the options of something that ultimately will die. Things like gear I usually make a passing glance at.

Also you put CR 3 on the bard its a CR 2. Although he is fairly nasty XD.

I would like to see what your idea on an ambush party with level 1's of different player classes would be that would go well with the warrior idea you put out earlier.

Other than that no "requests" although I will be sure to look you up if I do need help designing a good baddie.

Dark Archive

He's CR 3 because he's the advanced template. I did that for the extra armour (+4 AC) and to give him slightly more punch than the average goblin bard.

I'll post a few ambush parties tomorrow! For now, bed calls.

Dark Archive

Goblin Outrider CR 3:

Goblin Cavalier (Emissary) 4
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

DEFENCE

AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (armour +4, Dex +6, size +1)
Hp 30 (4d10 +8)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +4

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk lance +7 (1d6+1/x3) or short sword +6 (1d4+1/19-20)
Ranged mwk composite longbow +12 or +10/+10 (1d6+1/x3)
Special Attacks cavalier's charge, challenge 2/day (+2 attack when on mount, +4 melee damage, -2 AC to other targets)

Base Statistics Without the potion of cat's grace, the goblin's stats are AC 19; Ref +5; Ranged mwk composite longbow +10 or +8/+8 (1d6+1/x3); Dex 19; CMD 18; Skills Ride +14, Stealth +18

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 23, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 20
Feats Mounted Combat, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Shot
Skills Handle Animal +5, Perception +5, Ride +17, Stealth +21
Languages Goblin
SQ by my honour, cavalier's order (order of the sword), expert trainer, in and out of the saddle
Combat Gear potion of cat's grace* (already included in statistics);
Other Gear masterwork composite longbow (Str +1), masterwork lance, short sword, mithral chain shirt, 100 gold pieces

Goblin Dog (Animal Companion)
N Medium animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +1

DEFENCE

AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (armour +3, Dex +2, Dodge +1, natural armour +3)
Hp 30 (4d8 +12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +4

OFFENCE

Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d6+4 plus allergic reaction)

STATISTICS

Str 16, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 18
Feats Dodge, Iron Will, Light Armour Proficiency
Skills Stealth +8; AC penalty -1
SQ allergic reaction
Combat Gear none;
Other Gear dried dog meat (10 lbs), military saddle, studded leather armour

Use these guys (preferably 2 of them for a CR 5 encounter) on a big open map. Their challenge ability functions partially for ranged attacks (it will increase their attack while mounted but won't increase their ranged damage), so they should challenge the weakest looking members of the party and try to bring them down before fleeing on their 50 ft. speed mounts. The emissary archetype gives them mounted combat as a bonus feat, which allows them to use their considerable ride skill to protect their mounts from damage. If they can be caught they'll fight to the death, but only if they think they can't live to fight for goblinkind another day. They drink their potions of cat's grace for a +2 to their ranged attacks before combat, so it's already factored into their stats. Don't forget they also get a +4 to charge attacks astride their mount (which stacks with the bonus from challenging), so don't be afraid to let them go down in a lancing blaze of glory.

Dark Archive

Goblin Firethrower CR 1/2:

Goblin alchemist 1
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

DEFENCE

AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (armour +2, Dex +6, natural armour +2, size +1)
Hp 5 (1d8 +1)
Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +0

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +0 (1d3-1/19-20)
Ranged bomb +8 (1d6+2 fire, splash 2) or light crossbow +7 (1d6/19-20)
Special Attacks bomb 3/day (1d6+2 fire, splash 3, DC 12)
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 1st)
1st - expeditious retreat, true strike

Base Statistics without the mutagen in effect, the firethrower has the following statistics: AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13; Ref +6, Will +1; Dex 19, Wis 12; CMD 12; Perception +5, Stealth +16

STATISTICS

Str 8, Dex 23, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +0; CMB -2; CMD 14
Feats Brew Potion, Ricochet Splash Weapon, Throw Anything
Skills Craft (Alchemy) +5, Knowledge (Nature) +5, Perception +4, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +18
Languages Common, Goblin
SQ alchemy (alchemy crafting +1, identify potions), mutagen (+4/-2, +2 natural armour, 10 minutes)
Combat Gear acid (2), alchemist's fire (2), potion of cure light wounds, tanglefoot bag;
Other Gear dagger, light crossbow and 10 bolts, leather armour, formula book (extracts prepared plus crafter's fortune, jump, and shield), pickled halfling toes (1 days worth)

These guys, like all goblins, benefit from a high stealth score. Think of them as the slightly improved version of the goblin warriors who threw alchemist's fire. They've got a higher ranged attack, more stuff to throw, and if they run out of throwing weapons (maybe because your PCs are having an off day), they can drink their extracts of expeditious retreat and take off. Combine with the goblin warleader or some of the goblin barbarians for a memorable and hectic combat.

Dark Archive

Too late to edit the alchemist, but the skills are not quite right because I fiddled with his stats and forgot to change it.

Skills Craft (Alchemy) +6, Knowledge (Arcana) +6, Knowledge (Nature) +6, Perception +4, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +18

Dark Archive

One more, and then I'll stop for awhile. I like alchemists, so here's a melee version of the firethrower.

Goblin Beastbecomer CR 1:

Goblin alchemist 2
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +4

DEFENCE

AC 21, touch 19, flat-footed 15 (Dex +8, natural armour +2, size +1)
Hp 11 (2d8 +2)
Fort +4, Ref +11, Will -1; +2 vs poison

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk shortspear +11 (1d4+1 plus poison) and bite +5 (1d6) and claw +5 (1d6)
or bite +10 (1d6+1) and 2 claws +10 (1d4+1)
Ranged mwk shortspear +11 (1d4+1 plus poison) or bomb +11 (1d6+1)
Special Attacks bomb (1d6+1) 3/day
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 2nd)
1st - cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, true strike

Base statistics When the goblin's mutagen and potion of cat's grace are not in effect, his statistics are as follows: AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 11 (Dex +4, size +1); Ref +7, Will +0; Melee mwk short sword +7 (1d4+1/19-20); Ranged bomb +7 (1d6+1); Dex 18, Wis 10; CMD 15

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 26, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 19
Feats Brew Potion, Throw Anything, Weapon Finesse
Skills Craft (Alchemy) +5, Knowledge (Nature) +5, Perception +4, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +21
Languages Common, Goblin
SQ alchemy (alchemy crafting +2, identify potions), discovery (feral mutagen), mutagen (+4/-2, +2 natural armour, 20 minutes), poison use
Combat Gear black adder venom, potion of cat's grace;
Other Gear masterwork shortspear, silver tribal fetish worth 60gp

Poison black adder venom, injury; Fortitude DC 11; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; Effect 1d2 Con damage; Cure 1 save

When these guys are aware the PCs are coming, they swig their mutagens and potions of cat's grace, and prime their shortspears with poison. If they can, they'll drink their extract of true strike right before throwing their poisoned spears; if they use the spear in melee instead, they'll drop it as soon as it's delivered the poison, switching to favoured claws and bite. With a strong leader behind them they'll fight to the death, or at his request, drink an extract of expeditious retreat and flee to fight another day. I was thinking an image of berserk, nearly naked clawed goblinoid creatures who let themselves loose on the PCs, not unlike Norse berserkers of legend. The low will save is quite the weakness, and one the PCs will hopefully capitalize on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

One more, and then I'll stop for awhile. I like alchemists, so here's a melee version of the firethrower.

** spoiler omitted **...

You rock! Alchemist totally fits the flare of the style of goblins I was after. With what you have given me. The wizard who thinks he can plan around anything is gonna drop his jaw.

Thanks a bunch.

Have gotten alot of ideas and should be good.

I don't know how good you are at homebrew but if you are as good of a designer with that stuff in the future I want to design a shaman class similar to the World of warcraft shaman.

I also want to make the metallic dragons divine instead of arcane so when I start doing that if you are interested I will let you know.

Dark Archive

Thanks. I was actually just playing around with my new bestiary and the core rule book. All the rules for the stuff I was doing are step by step in there.

One more, because you can't JUST throw alchemists at them.

Goblin Commando CR 1:

Goblin ranger 2
NE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6

DEFENCE

AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (armour +4, Dex +4, shield +1, size +1)
Hp 13 (2d10 +2)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +1

OFFENCE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk rapier +7 (1d4+1/18-20)
Ranged shortbow +6 or +4/+4 (1d4/x3)
Special Attacks favoured enemy (human) +2

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 19, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 16
Feats Rapid Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Knowledge (Geography) +4, Perception +6, Ride +11, Stealth +15, Survival +6; AC penalty -2
Languages Goblin
SQ track +1, wild empathy +2
Combat gear potion of cure light wounds (2);
Other gear masterwork rapier, shortbow and 20 arrows, chain shirt, masterwork buckler, 5 pp

This is a pretty standard enemy, but it's got options both at range and in melee. The only problem I see with only having small sized enemies is lack of loot to give to your players. To that end I would consider having some hobgoblins there that you can label as big goblins, or just say that these hobgoblins are sympathetic to the goblin cause, or are sellswords or something. An opportunity to give out some medium sized loot would be a good thing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

Thanks. I was actually just playing around with my new bestiary and the core rule book. All the rules for the stuff I was doing are step by step in there.

One more, because you can't JUST throw alchemists at them.

** spoiler omitted **

This is a pretty standard enemy, but it's got options both at range and in melee. The only problem I see with only having small sized enemies is lack of loot to give to your players. To that end I would consider having some hobgoblins there that you can label as big goblins, or just say that these hobgoblins are sympathetic to the goblin cause, or are sellswords or something. An opportunity to give out some medium sized loot would be a good thing.

What gets me is how fast you make these. You have put me in a mood that I haven't really had since I started playing 14-15 years ago. I love creating crazy things and making fun concepts. I think the fact that half of my group doesn't role play and for the most part need suggestions on what to do half the time kills my creative mood.

Dark Archive

Here's my method for creating an NPC (or a character for that matter).

1. I decide what CR I want. Knowing that gives me an approximate level to shoot for, so let's say CR 1 and an antipaladin.

2. PC-classed NPCs use the elite array, and I want him to be melee-centric, so I set up his stats as follows: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14; after goblin racials I'm left with Str 13, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 12.

3. A melee character with a high dexterity and a low strength? Much as I hate Weapon Finesse, this guy could use it. So that's the feat I pick.

4. Skills I throw around usually, but this guy gets a total of 2 points because of his awful intellect. I'll put them in Intimidate.

5. Looking at wealth charts for NPCs, I have 780gp to spend. I need a rapier or short sword for my dude, so I'll spend 320gp on a masterwork rapier. A high crit modifier is good for smite good anyway. I'll also give him a breastplate and a couple potions of cure light wounds. I'm a little under budget, so for flavour I'll give him an everburning torch. It's not useful for a goblin because of darkvision, but goblins like fire and it'll make a cool item for the PCs to have. I've got 50gp left, which I'll give to him in cold hard cash as 5 pp. It's important to split loot up so that some of it is stuff and some is money, at least in my opinion.

6. Now that I've got all the information, I can set it up in the typical statblock format:

Goblin Warrior Priest CR 1:

Goblin antipaladin 2
CE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENCE

AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (armour +6, Dex +3, size +1)
Hp 13 (2d10 +2)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +4

OFFENCE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee mwk rapier +7 (1d4+1/18-20)
Special Attacks smite good 1/day (attack +1, damage +2, AC +1) touch of corruption +6 (1d6)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 2nd)
At will - detect good

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 12
Base Atk +2; CMD +2; CMD 15
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Intimidate +6 (+2 vs medium creatures); AC penalty -4
Languages Goblin
SQ aura of evil, unholy resilience
Combat gear potion of cure light wounds (2);
Other gear masterwork rapier, breastplate, everburning torch, 5 pp

Not as complicated as you may think, although it definitely gets faster the more you do it. One of the side effects is that I'll always have way more characters made than I'm able to play.


Beebs wrote:
Don't forget about archers!

This. Goblins have great dexterity, and can hit often. They are also great riders, so keep 'em moving and firing, and charging with lances, and your PCs will find new respect for them. The dogs can attack, too, and spread an annoying disease.


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Hey. I am running a game and the current story I am working with has the party pitted against mainly goblins and am finding it hard to keep the challenge up so almost everything they are up against has to be hand made.

You'd be surprised how much actually doesn't need to be hand made. The bestiary entries assume that in addition to their listed items, which are always meager, they have NPC gear appropriate for their level/CR. That means those little goblins are supposed to have about 260 gp worth of gear, or their CR drops by 1 (or down one fractional CR).

Some background for you. The setting is a homebrew that I used in 3.0 and 3.5 years ago in school but have recently found a group again and after a failed campaign with a different DM because of huge power issues everyone in the group from seeing me play and talk about past DM'img basically told other dm "it was fun but we want him to dm now and you play"

Congratulations.

Quote:
Party is 2nd level. Slow XP and treasure table and 20 point stat point-buy(high fantasy). Party is five players. Wizard(evocation[scroll master archetype]), fighter(Two handers and heavy armor), Samurai, Multiclass Ranger 1/Druid 1, and a cleric.

Seems decent.

Quote:
Goblins in my homebrew aren't evil. Their Small size and low charisma just makes them easy to be dominated or quick to follow someone bigger or stronger. The goblins being faced right now have basically earned complete freedom from other races and in the past 5-7ish years moved into lands that belong to nature and druids. My goblins also have a Mix of World of Warcraft style engineering and a Dwarven like love of riches and crafting.

Well and good.

Quote:
My problem as I said is that with the party set up as it is even goblins with class levels 2(so cr 1) in groups of as big as 6-9 aren't a big threat. And leaders of level 3 or 4(CR 2-3) with a few minions are potentially 1 or two shotted by the samurai or fighter. And the never ending stream of force missiles makes minions a two shot for the wizard.

Firstly, it sounds like you just aren't playing them to their potential. Stuff like acid flasks and alchemist fires should be high on their list of priorities. Tanglefoot bags also. 6-9 CR 1/3 goblins armed with some basic equipment, a couple alchemist fires, and some tanglefoot bags are no joke. Nets work too (a goblin can net somebody up to medium size, and doing so gives them the entangled condition until they waste a whole round to attempt to free themselves, and multiple nets basically means it's hopeless).

Goblins 1-4 toss tanglefoot bags at PC 1, 2, 3, and 4, while goblins 5-8 toss alchemist fire on PC 1 and 2, hitting them for 2d6 fire damage immediately and an additional 2d6 fire damage on round the next round. In fact, if all of those goblins bombed a single PC, that's 8d6 immediately and 8d6 on the following round.

Quote:

So what I need help with is building a few goblin npcs that in a reasonable size group is a challenge for the party.

One that I have made that is being a minor challenge is a Goblin fighter 2 with Spirited charge, mounted combat and ride-by-attack mounted on a goblin dog. Using a lance and med armor.

Seems alright.

Quote:
The only other thing that has made a decent dent and barely is having CR 1/2 Goblin Fighter 1 with long spears and abusing attacks of opportunity since the samurai and fighter like to charge to close distance sine they are both in medium armor.

That's not abusing AoOs. That's using them as intended. Groups of enemies with reach weapons aren't exactly what you want to be charging headlong into. It didn't work for those guys in Braveheart either.

Quote:
So any suggestions for Goblin npc's that either alone or in squads. Also lieutenants or chiefs what have you. I am fine with right now the encounters being at +2 or +3 so a CR 4 or 5 is fine.

Probably won't be necessary to build their CRs so high, but I will have a list of suggestions further down this post.

Quote:
Also as a side question I can't seem to find rules on mounts specifically. Does a mount have to be a size category larger than its rider? Because I like the idea of a Goblin cavalier on a goblin dog but to have a medium goblin dog a cavalier would have to be 4th. Which is fine for a captain or leader but i was thinking for a more rank and file cavalry for the goblins.

To my knowledge there is no specific rule that says a mount has to be larger than you (though it's generally assumed). There is a -5 penalty for riding on something ill-suited as a mount (such as goblins totem poles, where you have 2 goblins stacked on each other), but goblins have a +4 racial to Ride so that's not too much of an issue.

In fact, the mental image of a group of goblins riding on each others' shoulders while hurling firebombs and slashing with weapons is almost too priceless to ignore. Imagine the look of astonishment on the players' faces when they are attacked by two-headed four-armed dudes. Imagine the number of spears you could pack into such a small area! :P

Goblin Suggestions
First, I'd like to point out how useful the standard bestiary goblins can be, and how frightening, before I begin into customized goblins. This is purely for educational purposes, and you might find you they really can pose a threat.

The Humble Goblin: The basic goblin is a pretty tough little sucker. For their size, their speed and agility is impressive, and their Stealth is unmatched in raw modifiers (+4 racial to Dex, +4 to Stealth due to Size, +4 Racial to Stealth). Their small size is a benefit, not a hindrance. It means they can more easily fit into areas that medium creatures cannot do so comfortably.

Their main strengths are their size, speed, stealth, and ranged combat capabilities. By default, a group of goblins with their shortbows can be pretty dangerous. It's about a DC 20 Perception check to notice them lurking within 10 ft. of you, and DC 26 to notice them 60 ft. from you, which means they are almost assured to get the first move when ambushing a party. Secondly, their high Dexterity combos with their +1 size bonus to hit, and their +1 BAB, to give a nice +4 with all ranged weapons (their bows or alchemical weapons). They also have "other treasure" appropriate for their NPC gear allotments, which can include potions, alchemical goods, and other mundane items.

If you want, feel free to have your goblins use filth to their advantage. Historically, many arrow wounds didn't kill due to the wound, but due to the infection from bacteria that collected on the arrowheads while they were stuck in the ground before firing. Having your goblins stick their arrowheads in goblin dog excrement should be enough to infect them with filth fever, which makes them a bit more frightening, since you risk getting extremely sick after taking several arrows.

Ideally, a group of CR 1/3 goblins should get the drop on the PCs (due to high Stealth + distance penalties), open the surprise round with their bows from a distance, and focus fire on one PC at a time, forcing them to take as many instances of 1d4 damage + disease as possible, and putting the fear of gob in them. As the PCs close, the goblins should drop their bows and draw alchemical weapons, and then again focus fire on one PC at a time, in an attempt to bring them down.

Remember, to goblins, everyone else is a giant, and so goblins should fight most humanoids like they were fighting giants. There is no fair 1 on 1 fights with a goblin (or kobolds). It's a brutal dog piling of pain as all the goblins try to cripple the party before fleeing.

Speaking of fleeing, remember how goblins have a medium sized creature's speed? Well those basic goblins can preform terrible guerrilla tactics. Surprise round = fire, round 1 = run like hell. Have 3 (CR 1) goblins lie in ambush, shoot on the surprise round, then full sprint away, spreading out as they go. The party will be ill set to retaliate in most cases, and the goblins can re-stealth as soon as they have cover or concealment. Having them run in different directions means that the party either has to split up (possibly subjecting themselves to worse ambushes) or chase only one of them, allowing the others to repeat their ambush.

Goblins can also torment PCs without directly engaging them in combat. Say the PCs are out and about, and break for camp. The goblins want to give them hell, so they sit outside their camp under the cover of darkness and distance, and take pot-shots at the party's horses with their bows. Or, they could take some of that goblin dog feces, sneak into camp (again using their great Stealth checks) to smear it all in the food supplies of the party, spoiling all of it. In fact, while goblin 1 is scaring off the animals, goblin 2 can do the smearing while the party is trying to investigate the animals, and goblin 3 can set fire to something just because he can.

With any luck, the goblins will likely prevent the party from adequately resting. That results in the party suffering from fatigue (penalties to strength and dexterity, cannot run or charge, etc), followed by exhaustion later on (worse penalties), and it can make recovering spells something of a pain.

Building a Better Goblin: One of the first things I'd suggest when buildng goblins is to seriously value their numbers over their raw strength. Favor NPC classes when possible to keep them both simple and their CR low. If you're custom building goblins, NPCs use 3 point buy, and most warriors likely have Charisma as a dump-stat.

You want to play to a goblin's strengths. Never look at goblins and say "Hm, now to make them good at melee" unless that melee involves lances and mounts. Remember that feats like Point Blank Shot and Skill Focus (Stealth) serve them very well. Point Blank Shot is double-duty as it applies to alchemical weapons as well (3 goblins hitting you for a combined 3d6+3 on round 1, and an auto-3d6 on round 2 sucks).

Mix in some simple goblin NPCs like goblin adepts. 3 CR 1/3 goblin warriors and 1 CR 1/3 goblin adept can be pretty nice. The adept opens the battle casting bless during the surprise round, giving the warriors a +5 to hit for the next 10 rounds. The adept can then go to tossing alchemical goods with its also-good ranged modifiers.

When dealing with higher level foes, carpet bomb them. A group of CR 1/2 goblin sorcerers using magic missile can be quite frightening in numbers, as magic missile has a range of 110 ft. at 1st level, which means they will assuredly get the surprise round against anything near their level, then open up with a volley of magic missiles, and then rinse and repeat on subsequent rounds. A CR 2 encounter can support 3 of these goblins, and they can easily drop 6d4+6 unstoppable damage on a PC (surprise round + round 1) before they know what hit them.

Again, alchemical weapons are ideal. Even if your goblins miss, they are guaranteed 1 point of splash damage. When you have a metric ton of goblins tossing acid at foes, the splash damage can quickly add up, even if they aren't making solid hit. This makes tactics like mirror image, and concealment less useful, as literally chucking a dozen acid flasks assures a dozen points of damage to everything within the area.

Goblins are small enough to comfortably ride on giant bats. Mounted flying goblin archers can be difficult. Goblin druids and rangers can choose giant bats as medium-sized animal companions, and they are pretty decent at peppering enemies without engaging them in melee (the mount just flies around while the goblins full-attack from above).

A Note on CR and NPCs: The rules conflict between the Gamemastering section in the core rulebook and the Bestiary guidelines for determining CR. I recommend using the Bestiary method for calculating CR, as it is both more comprehensive, more accurate, and is also what was used in 3.x. The main difference is that the core rulebook inflates the CR for NPC-classed NPCs, while the Bestiary raises their CR by only +0.5 for every NPC class level and then giving them NPC gear based on CR (resulting in NPCs more on par with similarly powered monsters).

For the rest of this guide I will assume that you are using the Bestiary method.

Goblin Builds:

Elite Archer: A 6th level goblin warrior would be about CR 2 (600 XP), and have 2 attacks at +6/+1 respectively, and 3 feats. These make for good goblin champions who aren't much more than bruisers, but they don't die super fast since they have 6d10 hit dice (giving them 33 Hp with a +0 Con). Putting their 4th HD ability increase into Dex (using the standard goblin as a base), you get a +3 modifier. All together their to hit and damage should be +6/+1 (BAB) plus +1 (size) plus +3 (Dex) = +10/+5. Give them Point Blank, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot, and you have +8/+8/+3 at 1d4/1d4/1d4. You could also replace Precise Shot with Deadly Aim to give them +6/+6/+2 at 1d4+2/1d4+2/1d4+2 if you want them to hit a bit harder but less often.

Elite Soldier: As with the above archer, a 6th level goblin warrior, except tinker with their stats a bit. Give them a Strength priority, and let their natural Dex make up for those loss. Give them pole arms, Power Attack, and two feats of choice (Toughness and Iron Will are good options), and have them be elite front-liners for your goblins. They won't be super strong, but they're pretty good at soaking damage and giving enemies trouble with their reach weapons.

Fighting Dirty: A goblin warrior 5 / assassin 1 is also CR 2, and have both solid Hp, attacks, and Stealth. They also get Stealth and some other goodies as class skills. Dump charisma and raise Intelligence. You know have murderous goblins that have DC 11+ save or die attacks, as well as the ability to use some magic via wands due to their class spell list. Their Stealth should be a good +17 before factoring in Dexterity (just 6 ranks, +3 class skill, +4 size, +4 racial).

Padding your Baddies: The NPC classes are good options to use to toughen up NPCs without making them overly powerful. NPC classes can be used to boost saving throws, HP, BAB, or give access to certain spells (for example, 2 levels of adept gives +2d6 HD, +1 BAB, simple weapon and armor proficiency, a familiar, some spells, and the ability to use anything on the adept spell list via wand). Likewise, adding 2 levels of warrior is an instant +11 Hp, +2 BAB, +3 Fort, +4 skill points.

==========

That should get your started. For more information, see my post here: Help me with Tucker's Kobolds Scenario: Goblins.

Grand Lodge

Ashiel wrote:
You'd be surprised how much actually doesn't need to be hand made. The bestiary entries assume that in addition to their listed items, which are always meager, they have NPC gear appropriate for their level/CR. That means those little goblins are supposed to have about 260 gp worth of gear, or their CR drops by 1 (or down one fractional CR).

The Beastery or CRB don't stae anything about CR changing with less gear. The standard Goblin has 54 of its 260 spent on that basic gear. So with the 206 GP left they can each have a few alchemical fires or a cure light pot. With or without this gear is not enough to rais or lower the CR. Also you have to keep treasure balance in mind. Lets take my part as an example. Each encounter should yield about 350 GP

There is no way to get a CR 2 encounter with 1/3 monsters so you have to scale up or down. Lets scale up for sake of challenge. That's 6 CR 1/3 Gobs with 260 GP of gear for a CR of 3(Although this would be a CR 2 in 3.5). An APL 2 party on a slow curve is 350 GP as said above. That's 1560 GP. Assume that is all sold at half cost for raw gold. Its still 780 GP That puts them 480 GP over the curve. Witch means That the extra 206 GP either is to be spent on things that are one time use or is basic gear as the CRB suggest for NPC's that will only be encountered once. So Basic Gear is 54 GP or 27GP once sold assuming its picked up at all. 350-27=323. Lets assume each of those goblins spent 100gp on alchemist fire. However will only use about 3 on average. So that leaves 2 per goblin at 20 GP per potion. These items are useful to the part and likely will not be sold so they are worth their full 20 GP. 323-240=83. So each Goblin still has 106 GP worth of gear. By now you can see were I am going. NPC gear aids an encounter most definitely but unless it exceeds or goes greatly below its not going to alter the CR.

Ashiel wrote:
Congratulations.

Thanks

Ashiel wrote:
Seems decent.

Not happy with the cleric he always delays his action and waits to see if people need healing. Otherwise he does nothing.

Ashiel wrote:
Well and good.

Thanks again

Ashiel wrote:
A Note on CR and NPCs: The rules conflict between the Gamemastering section in the core rulebook and the Bestiary guidelines for determining CR. I recommend using the Bestiary method for calculating CR, as it is both more comprehensive, more accurate, and is also what was used in 3.x. The main difference is that the core rulebook inflates the CR for NPC-classed NPCs, while the Bestiary raises their CR by only +0.5 for every NPC class level and then giving them NPC gear based on CR (resulting in NPCs more on par with similarly powered monsters).

I can't find where in the Beastry you are reading this. What I read from the beastry only has rules for if a monster has PC classes witch raises its CR by 1 for each level that benefits its role. Or 1 for every 2 levels if it does not help its role. There are no stated rules for NPC classes.

Also the CRB Gamemastering section rules are the same. A monsters with class levels is equal to its level -1 for PC classes or Level -2 for NPC classes(Witch is the same as .5 CR per level accept it rounds up on odd numbers)

Which bring me to a few things to point out.

Ashiel wrote:
Elite Archer: A 6th level goblin warrior would be about CR 2 (600 XP), and have 2 attacks at +6/+1 respectively, and 3 feats. These make for good goblin champions who aren't much more than bruisers, but they don't die super fast since they have 6d10 hit dice (giving them 33 Hp with a +0 Con). Putting their 4th HD ability increase into Dex (using the standard goblin as a base), you get a +3 modifier. All together their to hit and damage should be +6/+1 (BAB) plus +1 (size) plus +3 (Dex) = +10/+5. Give them Point Blank, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot, and you have +8/+8/+3 at 1d4/1d4/1d4. You could also replace Precise Shot with Deadly Aim to give them +6/+6/+2 at 1d4+2/1d4+2/1d4+2 if you want them to hit a bit harder but less often.

Even by the rules you are stating this guy would be a CR 3 and by the gamemastering section a CR 4.

Even applying his statistics to Table 1-1 in the beastery puts his CR between 3 and 4 pretty solidly.

Ashiel wrote:
Fighting Dirty: A goblin warrior 5 / assassin 1 is also CR 2, and have both solid Hp, attacks, and Stealth. They also get Stealth and some other goodies as class skills. Dump charisma and raise Intelligence. You know have murderous goblins that have DC 11+ save or die attacks, as well as the ability to use some magic via wands due to their class spell list. Their Stealth should be a good +17 before factoring in Dexterity (just 6 ranks, +3 class skill, +4 size, +4 racial).

Still by the rules yo presented this is not a CR 2. 5*0.5=2.5 plus the assassin is a +1 flat because it is not an npc class and brings a lot to the label for him. So 2.5+1=3.5 so by your rules he is at least a 3. By gamemastering he is a CR 5 because the fact that he is an assassin means he is no longer only NPC classed thus his CR is equal to level -1 or 6-1=5.

Seeing those for their actual CR they make bad encounters because with an APL 2 party I could only throw one of them against the party. at a time Because even with your rules making them CR 3 each. 2 equal cr monsters add +2 CR to an encounter thus 2 of them would be a CR 5 at 1600 XP. Seeing with small numbers like 2 these guys would hit and run making them worth no XP since the party would never face them on equal footing and thus never kill them or maybe never even see them to attack them.

As far as the tactics you presented. Yes, yes, yes! With the up coming story events I have planned the Goblins will most certifiably have the upper hand and get plenty of ambushes and guerrilla tactics of their own.

The Bat idea is cool but limits class choices to Druid and Cavalier because otherwise a dire bat is a CR 2 on its own and a npc classed goblin will barely have enough money to saddle and armor such a mount and have decent gear. 60GP for exotic military saddle, 50GP for studded leather for it and at least 50 for basic gear leaves 100GP but by npc gear rules only about 40GP should be on one time use items so that leaves him with 60GP he can't really spend (if he buys 2 alchemical fires) of which he likly only carries a few on him. So if the PC's manage to shoot him out of the sky he is only worth XP and half the GP worth of his goods so 80GP split 5 ways is 16gp a player and 147 XP a player. For about the same xp 135 each you could have 5 Goblins and get 27 GP per player.


TheSilverKnight wrote:


The Beastery or CRB don't stae anything about CR changing with less gear. The standard Goblin has 54 of its 260 spent on that basic gear. So with the 206 GP left they can each have a few alchemical fires or a cure light pot. With or without this gear is not enough to rais or lower the CR. Also you have to keep treasure balance in mind. Lets take my part as an example. Each encounter should yield about 350 GP

The Gamemastering section says classed NPCs without gear should have their CR reduced by 1. Now it could mean totally naked, but in practical terms that would require far more than a CR 1 decrease, as a 20th level Fighter that is completely naked is probably not even a CR 10 encounter. Your milage may vary, but if your NPCs aren't making use of their wealth guidelines, then their CR should probably be reduced appropriately.

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There is no way to get a CR 2 encounter with 1/3 monsters so you have to scale up or down. Lets scale up for sake of challenge. That's 6 CR 1/3 Gobs with 260 GP of gear for a CR of 3(Although this would be a CR 2 in 3.5). An APL 2 party on a slow curve is 350 GP as said above. That's 1560 GP. Assume that is all sold at half cost for raw gold. Its still 780 GP That puts them 480 GP over the curve.

NPCs do that. Of course, NPCs will also be burning through consumables. 260 gp worth of gear likely includes some leather armor (10 gp), a melee weapon (5-10 gp), their shortbows (35 gp), their arrows (1 gp / 20 arrows), plus about 200 gp worth of additional gear, which is quickly eat up with a few alchemical items or cheap potions (alchemist fire is 20 gp, tanglefoot bags are 50 gp, 1st level potions are 50 gp, etc). So depending on how they use that wealth, you will or will not have issues.

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Witch means That the extra 206 GP either is to be spent on things that are one time use or is basic gear as the CRB suggest for NPC's that will only be encountered once. So Basic Gear is 54 GP or 27GP once sold assuming its picked up at all. 350-27=323. Lets assume each of those goblins spent 100gp on alchemist fire. However will only use about 3 on average. So that leaves 2 per goblin at 20 GP per potion. These items are useful to the part and likely will not be sold so they are worth their full 20 GP. 323-240=83. So each Goblin still has 106 GP worth of gear. By now you can see were I am going. NPC gear aids an encounter most definitely but unless it exceeds or goes greatly below its not going to alter the CR.

Which was my point. If you don't factor in the other treasures and only use the named gear in the NPC block for the goblins, they are significantly lower in their NPC gear value and combat effectiveness, and should likely be adjusted accordingly.

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Not happy with the cleric he always delays his action and waits to see if people need healing. Otherwise he does nothing.

Ouch. How terrible. Healing is so bad in D&D that he is probably less useful than a similarly leveled NPC-classed character that is actually played effectively. :(

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I can't find where in the Beastry you are reading this. What I read from the beastry only has rules for if a monster has PC classes witch raises its CR by 1 for each level that benefits its role. Or 1 for every 2 levels if it does not help its role. There are no stated rules for NPC classes.

Quite the contrary. In Step 3: Determining CR it explains how class levels affect CR. It also notes that NPC levels are never considered key levels. No matter the creature's original CR, NPC levels never increase it on a 1 for 1 scale, always 1 for 2.

Likewise, there is no difference between monsters with levels and normal NPCs. They all follow the same mechanics, they all adjust their ability scores based on their class levels, etc. If you only follow the bestiary rules for creatures with racial hit dice, then you will end up with bizarre results as levels advance. For example, if you take a gnoll (CR 1) and apply 20 levels of warrior, he ends up being about CR 11 by the Bestiary. If you take a Human, apply 20 levels of warrior, he ends up being CR 18 by the Core Rulebook.

If you check, that would leave you with a creature that is closer to CR 10 statistics, CR 18 experience value, and CR 17 treasure values. In short, a huge mess. If you follow the Bestiary rules for applying additional HD, he comes out being more reasonable in terms of statistics, treasure, and CR, when compared to creatures with similar power in the Bestiary.

Quote:
Also the CRB Gamemastering section rules are the same. A monsters with class levels is equal to its level -1 for PC classes or Level -2 for NPC classes(Witch is the same as .5 CR per level accept it rounds up on odd numbers)

Not hardly. The gamemastering section in the core book says that a purely NPC classed character is equal to level-2 for CR, but anyone can look at an 18th level warrior and then an CR 16 monster and see that the warrior is weak-sauce, while also having way more gear than he should, which results in an encounter that is Monty Haul-ish, as your party will steamroll the encounter and suck up a lot of XP and loot that is beyond what the guy was actually worth.

Quote:

Even by the rules you are stating this guy would be a CR 3 and by the gamemastering section a CR 4.

Even applying his statistics to Table 1-1 in the beastery puts his CR between 3 and 4 pretty solidly.

Unless noted otherwise, you always round down. This the standard rule throughout the system, and you always round down unless whatever you are doing is called out as an exception. Thus a 3rd-4th level NPC-classed creature is CR 1 (1/3 + 1 = 1 and 1 + .5 = 1), and a 5th-6th level is CR 2 (1 + 1 = 2).

The gamemastering section would have you set the NPC as CR 3. Comparing the strength of a purely single-classed NPC such as a 3rd level warrior to a similarly CRed creature, such as an Ogre, and you will quickly see that the NPC is underpowered for its CR. A 6th level NPC warrior with 3rd level NPC gear (based on CR) should be about as dangerous as a CR 3 ogre. They have similar to-hit, similar Hp, similar damage, etc.

Quote:
Still by the rules yo presented this is not a CR 2. 5*0.5=2.5 plus the assassin is a +1 flat because it is not an npc class and brings a lot to the label for him. So 2.5+1=3.5 so by your rules he is at least a 3. By gamemastering he is a CR 5 because the fact that he is an assassin means he is no longer only NPC classed thus his CR is equal to level -1 or 6-1=5.

It's true that he's no longer purely NPC classed. The core rulebook does nothing to address multiclassed NPCs who have both NPC and PC classes, but the Bestiary does (another reason I recommend using the Bestiary rules instead). You are right that it should be CR 3 (as .5 + 2.5 = 3), but still the idea is more or less the same here.

Quote:
Seeing those for their actual CR they make bad encounters because with an APL 2 party I could only throw one of them against the party. at a time Because even with your rules making them CR 3 each. 2 equal cr monsters add +2 CR to an encounter thus 2 of them would be a CR 5 at 1600 XP. Seeing with small numbers like 2 these guys would hit and run making them worth no XP since the party would never face them on equal footing and thus never kill them or maybe never even see them to attack them.

Perhaps if you made an encounter with nothing except said 6th level goblin assassins that would be so. However, that would probably be pretty boring, and definitely overkill whether you ranked them at CR 2 or 3, as since you have pointed out, it would be an encounter well over the party's APL. Which is why I pointed out that lower CR enemies in groups at generally better as encounters.

On a side note, you do not have to kill enemies to earn XP for them. Overcoming the obstacle earns you experience points. If you wait until an ogre goes to sleep, then sneak past him, you earn XP for overcoming the Ogre. Additionally, a 2nd level party is not entirely defenseless against such a creature, as a simple tanglefoot bag, net, grease, or colorspray can buy enough time for the party to make with the stabby-doom. The problem is that it's a "gotcha" monster, like pouncing wild-cats. They ambush and then likely kill a PC before the party can retaliate. There are Bestiary monsters of this sort as well, and such creatures are exceptionally dangerous against lower level PCs, and thus should probably be subject to consideration before dropping them into the game.

Quote:
As far as the tactics you presented. Yes, yes, yes! With the up coming story events I have planned the Goblins will most certifiably have the upper hand and get plenty of ambushes and guerrilla tactics of their own.

Glad to be of service. Not sure if you checked the other post I linked, but it covers some of the benefits goblins have when fighting on their home turf as well, that you may want to check it out if you haven't already.

Quote:
The Bat idea is cool but limits class choices to Druid and Cavalier because otherwise a dire bat is a CR 2 on its own and a npc classed goblin will barely have enough money to saddle and armor such a mount and have decent gear. 60GP for exotic military saddle, 50GP for studded leather for it and at least 50 for basic gear leaves 100GP but by npc gear rules only about 40GP should be on one time use items so that leaves him with 60GP he can't really spend (if he buys 2 alchemical fires) of which he likly only carries a few on him. So if the PC's manage to shoot him out of the sky he is only worth XP and half the GP worth of his goods so 80GP split 5 ways is 16gp a player and 147 XP a player. For about the same xp 135 each you could have 5 Goblins and get 27 GP per player.

If you're not against using 3.x material with some conversion, I would highly suggest the Animal Cohort feat from the Wild Things web enhancement on the WotC site, which converted to Pathfinder would basically give you an animal companion as if you were a druid, using your CL-3 (minimum 1) as your effective druid level for determining the statistics of your companions.

In which case you would likely have goblin warriors with the Animal Cohort feat, and they would just be normal warriors, with the exception of their medium-sized giant bats (see giant bat Bestiary sub-entry for animal companion statistics).

If you have no desire to go this route (it's a good feat thematically and isn't really OP for PCs or NPCs) then don't worry about it. Goblin bat riders are cool and thematic, but they're not essential.

Dark Archive

So anyway, if I'm an amateur NPC builder, Ashiel's an expert. The thread a few months back on optimizing player characters was A+.


Mergy wrote:
So anyway, if I'm an amateur NPC builder, Ashiel's an expert. The thread a few months back on optimizing player characters was A+.

Aw, thank you Mergy. ^-^

As it so happens, a friend of mine asked me to write him a guide for creating NPCs and encounters and such, since he's beginning his foray into GMing a campaign for the first time soon. I'll probably begin writing the guidebook this evening. Since you liked my PC optimization thread, I'll see if I can't get you a copy of it via my mediafire account when it's finished.

I've been thinking of starting up a new thread. I kind of let the other one go because I got so tired of arguing, when the purpose of the thread was entirely to be helpful and to give back something to everyone. That helpful spirit is stirring in me once more, and I'm trying to decide how it should manifest.

I had an idea of making a thread where I post themed groups or premade mini-scenarios or adventures periodically. Such as statting out a vampire coven, goblin warren, evil cult, and so forth, with some plot hooks, suggested bios, etc. Haven't got around to deciding if I want to do that or something else. What do you think?

Dark Archive

I think I want to help you! Let me know if you're interested.


Ashiel wrote:


I had an idea of making a thread where I post themed groups or premade mini-scenarios or adventures periodically. Such as statting out a vampire coven, goblin warren, evil cult, and so forth, with some plot hooks, suggested bios, etc. Haven't got around to deciding if I want to do that or something else. What do you think?

I thoroughly enjoyed your take on soldiers vs Iron golem some time ago.

If your already considering, maybe you could turn your attention to stating what Pathfinder army units might look like. The ones from the Gamemastery Guide are.... lacking.

I might stat up a red-shirt army of my own regardless.

Grand Lodge

I originally had a much more in-depth response typed but I decided against it as its not worth arguing over a game and its off topic like crazy.

I would like to state however that using your way if getting a CR for an NPC by using "Appendix 2:Monster Advancement" is flawed because it depends on rules that contradict it from the CRB chapter "Creating NPC's"

Using the goblins you presented earlier a 6th level Goblin warrior. For one his stat allocation has to be taken from The crating NPC's chapter as Goblins are a race who's HD are determined ONLY by class levels. Also an NPC's gear is determined by its level NOT its CR. So your 6th level warrior has 3450gp. So a CR 2 monster has 3500gp of gear. So an APL 1 or 2 party who should be able to take a CR monster just got 3500gp worth of loot from a single monster. That is incredibly flawed.

My point being. Anything that's HD are only a factor of its class levels are made and follow the rules of the "Creating NPCs" chapter of the CRB.

Monsters who's HD are a result of racial HD are created using beastry chapter "Appendix 2:Monster Advancement"

Every monster in the Beastry that has a level in a class follows the CR method of the game mastering chapter of CL-1 for PC classes and CL-2 for NPC classes. This is because they are NPC's and not monsters.

I would love a Paizo designer to comment on this but that's not likely.


TheSilverKnight wrote:

I originally had a much more in-depth response typed but I decided against it as its not worth arguing over a game and its off topic like crazy.

I would like to state however that using your way if getting a CR for an NPC by using "Appendix 2:Monster Advancement" is flawed because it depends on rules that contradict it from the CRB chapter "Creating NPC's"

Using the goblins you presented earlier a 6th level Goblin warrior. For one his stat allocation has to be taken from The crating NPC's chapter as Goblins are a race who's HD are determined ONLY by class levels. Also an NPC's gear is determined by its level NOT its CR. So your 6th level warrior has 3450gp. So a CR 2 monster has 3500gp of gear. So an APL 1 or 2 party who should be able to take a CR monster just got 3500gp worth of loot from a single monster. That is incredibly flawed.

My point being. Anything that's HD are only a factor of its class levels are made and follow the rules of the "Creating NPCs" chapter of the CRB.

Monsters who's HD are a result of racial HD are created using beastry chapter "Appendix 2:Monster Advancement"

Every monster in the Beastry that has a level in a class follows the CR method of the game mastering chapter of CL-1 for PC classes and CL-2 for NPC classes. This is because they are NPC's and not monsters.

I would love a Paizo designer to comment on this but that's not likely.

The rules for determining CR in the Bestiary are older and more reliable than the method in the Gamemastering section of the CRB. Whomever wrote the method in the CRB obviously didn't test the method beyond low levels. It likewise does nothing to determine the CR of mixed classed characters, such as those of both NPC classes and PC classes (such as aristocrat 3 / sorcerer 1), so it is at best incomplete. By comparing the two, one can see that the Bestiary version produces usable results. So, I still recommend that one.

I ran the numbers on the board a while back, but I can't find that post, so I'll give you a simple example...

If we go by the CRB:Gamemastering section, a CR 10 NPC warrior would be level 12, possess a gear equivalent to a CR 11 creature, and have stats closer to a CR 5-6 creature. Observe...

10,050
3500

Warrior CR 10 (9,600 XP)
Medium Humanoid (Human) warrior 12
Init +0; Senses Perception +12
=============================================================
AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 21 (+10 armor, +1 dex, +1 deflection)
Hp 78 (12d10+12)
Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +7
=============================================================
Speed 20 ft. (30 ft.)
Melee +1 greatsword +15/+10/+5 (2d6+4/19-20)
Ranged +1 comp. longbow +14/+9/+4 (1d8+2/x3)
=============================================================
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +12, CMB +14, CMD 25
Feats - Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Deadly Aim, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Great Fortitude
Skills - Climb +12 (+17), Perception +12, Intimidate +14
Equipment - +1 greatsword, +1 composite (+1) longbow, +1 cloak of resistance, +1 full-plate, ring of protection +1, 500 gp

Contrasted to: Babau (CR 6), Wyvern (CR 6), Ettin (CR 6), Kyton (CR 6), and Bralani Azata (CR 6). All of which are 4 CRs below the NPC listed above. Most of those creatures are actually scarier than the CR 10 warrior (especially the Brilani) and would be harder to fight from about six different perspectives. If we actually compare him to a CR 10 creature, such as say, a Fire Giant (CR 10) or Bebilith (CR 10), he looks like an absolute pansy.

But here's the kicker. Compare him to CR 5 creatures from the Bestiary, such as Large Air Elementals (CR 5), Bearded Devils (CR 5), or Djinni (CR 5) and you find about where his challenge rating falls in comparison, given his shortcomings. About CR 5, no more than CR 6 at best. And that's exactly where the Bestiary rules would have set his CR (a bit between CR 5 and 6, rounded down to 5). In fact, if we used the Bestiary method and set his equipment value to a heroic 5th level NPC, his stats would be more in the medium size of CR 5, instead of the high end.

A troglodyte (CR 1) with 10 levels of warrior would be CR 6 by the Bestiary rules. Looks like they are working to me, whereas the CRB is clearly returning poor results. And it only gets worse as you increase in level. If you consistently try to challenge your party with NPCs whose CRs are generated using the CRB method, you will become more and more disappointed as your campaign turns into a Monty Haul, where the party is consistently fighting CR 8-10 creatures, earning experience for CR 18-22 creatures, and gaining treasure for CR 17-20 creatures.

For the record, the method in the Bestiary was more or less ripped from the 3.5 Monster Manual. The only difference is that the 3.x Monster Rules didn't make a distinction between creatures with racial hit dice and those without, it treated all creatures as creatures, and adding class levels was the same for both. Given that there is factually no difference between racial HD and class levels (both provide HD, BAB, Saves, Skill Points, Class Skills, Proficiencies, etc), it just seems bizarre to treat it any other way.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

NPC class levels were never really a good CR benchmark. You want to compare a level 8 Commoner with a Wyvern?


Mergy wrote:
I think I want to help you! Let me know if you're interested.

That sounds cool. The more the merrier, they say. I really like the idea of writing up a series of themed NPCs, and I've been itching to play around with vampires for a while now.

Brambleman wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


I had an idea of making a thread where I post themed groups or premade mini-scenarios or adventures periodically. Such as statting out a vampire coven, goblin warren, evil cult, and so forth, with some plot hooks, suggested bios, etc. Haven't got around to deciding if I want to do that or something else. What do you think?

I thoroughly enjoyed your take on soldiers vs Iron golem some time ago.

If your already considering, maybe you could turn your attention to stating what Pathfinder army units might look like. The ones from the Gamemastery Guide are.... lacking.

I might stat up a red-shirt army of my own regardless.

Thanks Brambleman! I didn't think anyone would have remembered that. ^-^

Also, I hear you loud & clear on the GMG bit. If I do the themed NPC bit, I would be totally down for writing up some armies and red shirt types. :)

Also, if you can find it, the 3.5 sourcebook Fields of Blood is a really cool book for people who want to run d20 realms with armies and such. It has some nice campaign tools to track resources gained, can be used as both a d20 tabletop boardgame or as a background for your campaign. It's a very cool 3PP book. I highly recommend it. It's difficult to find in paperback or pdf (I know it used to be on RPGNow and RPGDriveThru I think). But I'm sure if you search for it on the internet, you might be able to find somewhere that still has a copy.

EDIT: Aha, found it! This is the book: Fields of Blood: The Book of War by Eden Studios. It's a good one. A friend of mine got it in paperback and mailed it to me.


Gorbacz wrote:
NPC class levels were never really a good CR benchmark. You want to compare a level 8 Commoner with a Wyvern?

Admittedly, commoner is going to throw off most any system you use to determine CR, since virtually all systems are referring to aristocrat, expert, adept, and warrior when they say NPC classes; which I might add are close in power to racial hit dice.

The Commoner NPC class is intentionally meant to be the weakest of the weak, and thus should probably only increase CR by +1 every 4 levels or so. A level 20 commoner is humorously about CR 5 in terms of what they are capable of doing (+10/+5 BAB, 70 Hp, +6 Fort, Ref, Will).

EDIT: I'm tempted to drop an optimized 20th level commoner in my game one day in the future, after this post. I'll just make him the toughest mo'-fo' that you can find. Offensively, and defensively, he would suck, but I bet his HP could be pushed into the stratosphere with a bit of tinkering. Say dwarf, +2 Con, Toughness, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, and their Improved versions, all stat increases into Con, and a base con of 11. That would result in about a CR 5 HP-Sponge (70 base, +20 Toughness, + 80 Con = 170 Hp). Muahahaha!

EDIT 2: Oh yeah, and spend his CR 5 wealth on an amulet of health +2, bringing him to 20 Con and 190 HP. Maybe the rest of his wealth could go into a potion of bear's endurance for when he really needs that extra +20 Hp. :3

EDIT 3: Behold, Steelgrin "Ironbones" Thunderhammer!

Steelgrin "Ironbones" Thunderhammer CR 5 (1,600 XP)
Medium Humanoid (dwarf) Commoner 20
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft, Perception +20
=======================================================================
AC 13, touch 10, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor)
Hp 190 (20d4+120)
Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +8; Reroll each 1/day
Defensive - Dwarf resistances
=======================================================================
Speed 20 ft.
Melee mwk longspear +11/+6 (1d8)
Ranged sling +6/+2 (1d3-1)
=======================================================================
Str 11, Dex 11, Con 20 (18), Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +10, CMB +10, CMD 30
Feats - Toughness, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Iron Will, Improved Great Fortitude, Defensive Combat Training, Endurance, Diehard
Skills - Profession (Badass) +23, Perception +20
Gear - +2 Amulet of Health, mwk studded leather, longspear, other treasure

Steelgrin "Ironbones" Thunderhammer is the toughest dwarf you will find. He lives inside a hill, because living on top of hills is for wussies, and combs his beard with porcupines, brushes his teeth with acid, and wears live honey badgers as bow-ties. He reached the point he is today by using his own body to beat trolls and other giants to death. When they wouldn't stop regenerating, he just ate them. He keeps one in his ice box in his house, and fries up pieces of it every evening for his dinner, and his troll sausage is to die for. He is a professional badass. He's the guy you call on when you need your kitten rescued from a river of lava, or pay to be a living combat dummy for training your war bulls to gore people to death. Of course, Steelgrin doesn't die, because that's not appropriately badass, and he is of course, a professional. He is the third heir to the professional badass line, after his father Ulgrin "Unbreakable" Thunderhammer, and his grandmother Vera "Childbirth Ain't S&$~" Thunderhammer.

Dark Archive

Ashiel:
In the interest of privacy it's gone again.

The commoner is cool, although if you were to reduce the CR penalty, you are giving him access to double the amount of feats as a warrior. I'm not sure if there's a way to abuse that to make a commoner take out a fighter if he had twice as many hit dice, but it's possible.


Mergy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Thanks. Do you have MSN or any sort of IM program?

Quote:
The commoner is cool, although if you were to reduce the CR penalty, you are giving him access to double the amount of feats as a warrior. I'm not sure if there's a way to abuse that to make a commoner take out a fighter if he had twice as many hit dice, but it's possible.

I actually tinkered around with what I could do with him. I could probably actually make him a legitimate threat, rather than just an HP sponge, but it would require tinkering with his point buy instead of just using commoner stats for base stats, because he kind of sucks at qualifying for feats, despite getting a good bit of them. But all those feats are on a pretty terrible chassis.

I suppose it depends on how hard you try to optimize him. I think the best way to take advantage of him is to try and capitalize on the goofy number of hit dice he has (kind of like how I pimped his HP by pumping his Con mod, since it scales with HD). Intelligence could give him very high skill modifiers (you could have +20 to more or less any skill, which might make him more or less automatically causing the Shaken condition anytime he tried to Intimidate). Pimping his martial skills isn't going to get you far though, since you only get proficiency with 1 simple weapon, and no armor, which means without mutliclassing something else you'd need to spend his excess feats on proficiencies. I could see making him legitimately scary if you were to give him a level of Barbarian. :P

I suppose if you wanted to be conservative, +1 CR / 3 commoner levels could be fine. I personally don't think that's quite bad enough though, due to the fact that's only like +7.5 HP, +1 BAB, +1 Fort, +1 Will. Kind of poopy. I think given some time, I could probably cook up a commoner or multiclass commoner that was seriously bad news using the +1/4 CR method, but really I could do that with most things. I've made some pretty challenging or downright scary NPCs who were Fighter/Warriors before (especially archers). Hm, it's worth thinking about, probably. ^-^

Dark Archive

While it's worth arguing, I would rather just leave the poor commoner alone, even if he is pathetic. Buffing him in the interest of keeping the CR system perfectly in sync is like trying to make a firehose out of a straw.

I don't use MSN anymore; gmail chat or facebook chat or else just e-mails for now would be good. I took down my address, but I can put it back up temporarily if you didn't get it down.


Mergy wrote:
I don't use MSN anymore; gmail chat or facebook chat or else just e-mails for now would be good. I took down my address, but I can put it back up temporarily if you didn't get it down.

Heh, actually I didn't write it down, 'cause it was on the thread and I figured I could reference it. So yeah, I didn't get it. In the meantime, you can write me at scott_dragonmaster@hotmail.com if you want (I'm really slow about getting around to e-mails), so feel free to toss me a line or something. I'll look into gmail chat. I'm not really a fan of facebook (I think I have an account but I never really did anything with it except play a game with a friend of mine), but mayhaps that would work too. My sister keeps telling me that I should actually use it to socialize with people. :P

Quote:
Buffing him in the interest of keeping the CR system perfectly in sync is like trying to make a firehose out of a straw.

But a wizard could do it! :3

Dark Archive

Ashiel wrote:
(I'm really slow about getting around to e-mails)

I guess I'll... talk to you... soon? :P

When it comes to designing an encounter, I think I mostly keep it simple. I'll go for a big mess of low level warriors, and then one or two PC classed higher level enemies. Maybe one is a buffer and one is a bruiser, or a wizard and a cleric who try to wreck the battlefield while their minions go crazy. I don't think a commoner usually has much of a place in a situation like that, and I know it's always neat to say "ha, look how powerful this guy who shouldn't be powerful is", but if it's extra hard to make something less effective, I get lazy.

I believe we're discussing something similar in the fighter thread, actually. ;)


Mergy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
(I'm really slow about getting around to e-mails)
I guess I'll... talk to you... soon? :P

Time is relative. :P

I'm checking my e-mail now...

Quote:
When it comes to designing an encounter, I think I mostly keep it simple. I'll go for a big mess of low level warriors, and then one or two PC classed higher level enemies. Maybe one is a buffer and one is a bruiser, or a wizard and a cleric who try to wreck the battlefield while their minions go crazy. I don't think a commoner usually has much of a place in a situation like that, and I know it's always neat to say "ha, look how powerful this guy who shouldn't be powerful is", but if it's extra hard to make something less effective, I get lazy.

Very smart. That's a really good encounter, from the sounds of it. Also, I think when it comes to NPCs, Bards are really good leaders. Has anyone ever really looked at how crazy good they are as NPCs? I mean, Inspire Courage is just gnarly when surrounded by a bunch of mooks, plus they have haste, and can be surprisingly difficult to take down themselves (as Bards are really good at playing keep-away).

Quote:
I believe we're discussing something similar in the fighter thread, actually. ;)

Indeed. It's pretty hairy over there at the moment. :o


Ashiel wrote:
Mergy wrote:
I think I want to help you! Let me know if you're interested.

That sounds cool. The more the merrier, they say. I really like the idea of writing up a series of themed NPCs, and I've been itching to play around with vampires for a while now.

Id be interested in contributing as well.

On Topic!
I also may have found an awesome new cheese for goblins and kobolds.
For this to work you need 2 rows of soldiers.
The first row needs the feats "low profile" and "shield wall" from the apg. they each get a tower shield.
The second row all takes the feat "shield wall" as well. They get a buckler and a crossbow.

In combat the first row spends every turn using their tower shield to provide total cover.
The teamwork feat "shield wall" means that all adjacent allies also wielding a shield, any shield. benefit from total cover vs all attacks that pass through the plane of your shield. a row of tower shields means that the attack has to pass through somebody's shield. The back row is also adjacent to the tower shields and therefore gains the benefit of total cover vs enemy attacks.

Because of the wording of tower shields, they, by raw only provide cover to you, not your enemy. Shield wall extends that to adjacent allies with the same feat, but still not enemies.

The first row also has "low profile" meaning, they do not provide soft cover vs ranged attacks.

The net result is that all members of the formation have effectively, total cover, but the enemy has no cover at all.

There is one weakness. An attack from an extreme angle, almost parallel to the line, could draw a line of fire that passed through none of the 3 adjacent shields. But good luck on trying that in a tunnel.

Dark Archive

So kobold warrior 3s in front and kobold fighter 3s in back.

The warriors are CR 1/2 each, and the fighters are CR 2. Three of them each for a CR 6 encounter. Alternatively the crossbowmen can not pick up point-blank and precise shot, in which case they'll be kobold warrior 1s for a CR 3 encounter.


Mergy wrote:

So kobold warrior 3s in front and kobold fighter 3s in back.

The warriors are CR 1/2 each, and the fighters are CR 2. Three of them each for a CR 6 encounter. Alternatively the crossbowmen can not pick up point-blank and precise shot, in which case they'll be kobold warrior 1s for a CR 3 encounter.

Thats about the size of it. Give the back row polearms to switch to and they'll not really miss precise shot.

Scales to the size of the tunnel. 2 kobolds per 5 ft of width.

Dark Archive

Well the size of the tunnel controls CR then. A 5ft. tunnel is a CR 3 encounter. Would it be vulnerable to spells?


Spells still work. But the bonuses from cover still apply, as does the other bonuses to saves from low profile.

I label it cheese, not because its unbeatable, but because i am twisting the rules to their limit to achieve this.

In real life, this would be nothing more than a basic formation.

It does shut down all non spell attacks.

The principle could alsow allow the back row to use stealth, possibly gaining sneak attack if you use rogues instead of warriors or fighters.

Dark Archive

Good call, although making them rogues instead of warriors will significantly increase the CR. The CR of a kobold warrior is 1/4, while a rogue is still 1/2.


Here are some 3-HD elite skirmisher commandos. These are veterans who operate in coordinated squads to take down larger opponents. A squad of these would be higher CR than the group may be able to currently handle, but if you're running the story arc through multiple levels these guys could come in handy.

goblin elite skirmishers:

Goblin fighter 3
CE Small humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1

DEFENSE

AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 17 (armor +4, shield +2, Dex +3, dodge +1, size +1)
Hp 24 (3d10 +6)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2(3 vs fear)
SD roll with it (Acrobatics DC 5+dmg), +4 dodge AC vs. AoO from movement

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (armor training 1)
Melee mwk dogslicer +6 (1d4+1/18-20)
Ranged alchemical +7 (10', fire or tangle), or arrow tube +7 (40', 1d3+poison/20)
Special Attacks precise strike +1d6 dmg when flanking (teamwork), poison (DC 14, 1 Con/Uncon 1d3 hrs, 1 save)

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 17 (including dodge)
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Precise Strike, Roll With It
Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +7; AC penalty -1
Languages Goblin
Gear mwk armored coat, darkwood hvy shield, mwk dogslicer, 2x alchemist's fire, tanglefoot bag, 2x arrow tube shooters with blue whinnis-coated arrows, potion of cure lt wounds (1133gp)
Treasure as needed (total gear value for slow exp progression+high fantasy is 1560gp, adjust as appropriate)

Tactics are to ambush with poisoned arrows, tanglefoot bags or fire depending on the enemy (when in doubt, burn things), followed by ganging up on a larger target at a time. Mobility and Roll With It are used to avoid damage and optimize the chances of Precise Strike.


Another Idea would take advantage of the natural dex bonus of goblins.
A good pike build is to have 3 levels of warrior with the feats Combat Reflexes and Bodyguard. then give them horsechoppers or other reach weapons.
The CR 1 goblins will now be a lot more durable in melee, as every time one gets attacked, 2 or 3 of them can use an AOO to Aid their AC. The goblins all get plenty of AOOs from combat reflexes, so the bonuses can add up.

Admittedly, this is more the style for hobgoblins. "Military efficiency" and all that.

Dark Archive

The urge to create a hobgoblin pike line is rising.

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