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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Making a Goblin Tribe

    I'm in need of a goblin tribe for my upcoming adventure, but I'm really lacking information. I'm having a standard goblin tribe, which contains the following:

    • 400 combatants (12 trained for Worg combat)
    • 400 non-combatants (300 adult, 100 young)
    • 15 3rd-Level Sergeants
    • 2 Lieutenants (one 4th-Level, one 5th-level)
    • 1 8th-Level Leader
    • 12 Worgs
    • 2 Dire Wolves


    Now, I've planned to have the Leader as a cleric, but I'm not sure about the lieutenants and sergeants. Also, I'm not really sure how to imagine how this tribe would live. Being cowardly, I suppose they live somewhat peacefully, and the leader would be the strongest and biggest bully?

    I'm also not sure on what they'd live in. Would goblins build their own huts? Do they live in caves near the plains? Would they migrate from area to area?


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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    It would be helpful if you could state available rules and supplements (is this Core-only?). That would help very much with the classes involved in this (IŽd suggest lots of NPC-Classes, but only in a Core game).
    Also, thanks to Wayril for the nice Avatar!

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    hmmm... I would probably have at least one of the LTs be a shaman type character. Either druid or some other nature spell caster. I've always had my gobs live in caves but I've never created such a large tribe before. Another thing you could do is have them live in run down village that they stole from some other sentient race in the area.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by Kioran View Post
    It would be helpful if you could state available rules and supplements (is this Core-only?). That would help very much with the classes involved in this (IŽd suggest lots of NPC-Classes, but only in a Core game).
    Well, it's mainly Core. But our group has access to Complete Warrior and Complete Arcane, so those are allowed too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exil3dbyrd View Post
    hmmm... I would probably have at least one of the LTs be a shaman type character. Either druid or some other nature spell caster. I've always had my gobs live in caves but I've never created such a large tribe before. Another thing you could do is have them live in run down village that they stole from some other sentient race in the area.
    Well, part of the adventure is to do with the tribe's size - they're planning to try and capture a town for their own, as the area they currently live in isn't large enough to support their population. Also, a druid would make a good lieutenant - thanks
    Last edited by Eldred; 2007-08-01 at 07:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldred View Post
    Well, part of the adventure is to do with the tribe's size - they're planning to try and capture a town for their own, as the area they currently live in isn't large enough to support their population.
    Capturing a town isn't going to solve the population problem, unless the plan is to lose most of the tribe in the attack.

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    i guess it would if only part of the tribe lived there and the rest of them stayed at the caves/hobbles they are living at now.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    You could also make it less about the capturing the town itself as about the land the town is on. Let's say that the goblins live in caves. Know what you can't do in caves? Farm. Herd. Essential parts of the population support system of and mideval society. You could easily have the goblins not give a darn about the town hall but really want the farmland.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Well you wouldn't be herding inside the caves but in the valley's next to the cave. Though lets say that the valley is being flooded by the dam build by a major town. (to irrigate land and have ships sail across the mountains, like the panama canal)

    Now the goblins have to migrate, but the town that build the dam is to strong so they move to the other side of the mountains. Right into the town that controls the other end of the canal.

    The big town send adventurers to get rid of these pest.

    Now do the adventurers side with the big town (that pays good money) and commit gobo genocide or with the gobo's (who are just standing for themselves) and fence of a small army?

    edit:

    Okay, stupid qeustion. Gobo's will also need to come up with a reward.

    edit:

    Double rewards for getting both into an agreement without any conflict.

    edit:

    To accommodate Tweekinator, substitute herding and other stuff to foraging, plundering and hunting. Makes them taxing the trade rout all the more plausible, it's a sit on your bum and get rich sceme.
    Last edited by Murderous Hobo; 2007-08-01 at 09:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait View Post
    You could also make it less about the capturing the town itself as about the land the town is on. Let's say that the goblins live in caves. Know what you can't do in caves? Farm. Herd. Essential parts of the population support system of and mideval society. You could easily have the goblins not give a darn about the town hall but really want the farmland.
    The fatal flaw in that line lies in the nature of goblins themselves. They are green monsters. Goblins and others like them do not farm, mine, or work in any sort of industry. They lair. They find a place and befoul it until such a time when adventurers following the siren songs of riches and experience come and cleanse the area of their presence.


    And capturing the town would serve a purpose to the goblins: less or no competition for resources and a larger area to support the growing tribe.


    If the tribe lives peacefully under the biggest goblin bully, why are half of them trained and ready for combat? This is a society in which over 50% of the population is ready for war. This is a level 8 goblin cleric of *evil diety*'s wet dream. This is the reason he has ...experienced 8 levels worth of ...things. To subjugate 802 other goblins, grab a few worgs, 2 dire wolves and go to town(to conquer and pillage said town).
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    IŽm not going to tell you how to run your story, but since youŽll still be statting them out for a fight, i suggest the following:

    - for Mooks/ordinary Infantry, you can use lvl 1 Warriors in 3 different configurations(I can build them for you if you want): Sentries (close to the MM Goblin example), Infantry (taking toughness instead of alertness, possibly longspears instead of morning stars as well) and ranged combatants.

    - Worg riders: One configuration. Since these are elites, but yout sergeants are lvl 3, theyŽd need to be Fighter 2 in my opinion. Gives you more feats to equip them with to make them effective cavalry.

    - Sergeants should be beefed up versions of the units they command(so mostly Fighters or Barbarians), with one or two special ones thrown in for diversity. Maybe a Rogue sergeant for a "ninja"/recon squad? A Bard, for war chants?

    - optional: a smattering of Rogues or experts for recon or stealth work. gives some diversity and could make a nice encounter.

    - Lieutenants: You already said one should be a druid - the lvl 5 one seems better suited, since he could conceivably cast cure serious wounds, amongst others, raising the survivability of your "officers" against a low-lvl party. The other one? Either big bad Fighter/Barb or the aforementioned Bard/Rogue.

    - The Chief: Well, IŽd have to think on him too. That oneŽs more of a difficulty.


    heck, if you want I can drop you some stat blocks for the mooks/minions.....
    Also, thanks to Wayril for the nice Avatar!

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    I'd say you'd want a druid or two in the Sergeants, a couple fighters and rogues, and at least 3 barbarians.
    Make one of the Lieutenants a Warlock considering you have Complete Arcana. This goblin could easily be the tribe mystic, and as such would be the one the PC's want to attack if they're after magic items.
    Make the other Lieutenant a cleric then, and have them be the tribe priest, worshipping an evil deity or even a neutral one.
    The actual chief, considering he's 8th level, could be anything, but if he's the chief chances are he's a warrior type. Fighter or barbarian here, yet he could also be a ranger with a suitable animal companion or a monk if you want something more exotic.
    If they're cowardly, they would probably have a village hidden away somewhere, surronded by tricks and traps. They might even live in a swamp so that the bogs might claim any foolhardy adventurers. The swamp could also provide their source of meals through hunting.
    Make a couple of those combatants rangers, and set an appropriate Sergeant with this group. They'll be your hunting party and would be the first group the PCs would encounter.
    The rest of your combatants would be good as simple warriors, so just take the ordinary Goblin and change the weapons. Make sure there is a group of archers as well though, and give them simple watch towers where they can be most effective.
    You'll need somewhere nearby where non-combatants can hide while the fighting is going on. This could be a series of caves, and could also be where the goblins hide most their treasure. The dire wolves could also call this place home, and be the natural guardians.

    Man, this could be a really good adventure. What level are your PCs meant to be?
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldred View Post
    I'm in need of a goblin tribe for my upcoming adventure, but I'm really lacking information. I'm having a standard goblin tribe, which contains the following:

    • 400 combatants (12 trained for Worg combat)
    • 400 non-combatants (300 adult, 100 young)
    • 15 3rd-Level Sergeants
    • 2 Lieutenants (one 4th-Level, one 5th-level)
    • 1 8th-Level Leader
    • 12 Worgs
    • 2 Dire Wolves


    Now, I've planned to have the Leader as a cleric, but I'm not sure about the lieutenants and sergeants. Also, I'm not really sure how to imagine how this tribe would live. Being cowardly, I suppose they live somewhat peacefully, and the leader would be the strongest and biggest bully?

    I'm also not sure on what they'd live in. Would goblins build their own huts? Do they live in caves near the plains? Would they migrate from area to area?


    My gods, my imagination's died on me All help appreciated!
    Given what you're looking for, how about saying these goblins are currently nomadic; their clerical leader led them away from their old home because it was unable to support them, and so they are traveling to find a new place. His visions (Divination is a 4th level spell) tell him that the town is a place where his tribe will thrive.

    So, they're going to invade the town. They should probably start by taking a few outlying farms; those will provide food, and reduce the population in small chunks. Maybe they take a small farm, in a valley; not easily visible from its neighbors, but way too little room. They can then raid outward, especially with the wolf-riders to give them mobility. Consider making one of the lieutenants a ranger; it provides tracking knowledge, and a reason to have these wolves around. And, my personal favorite, Favored Enemy: Human. The other lieutenant should be either a spellcaster, or someone skilled in the tribe's favored tactics.

    About a market interval into the attacks, people should really notice; some folks don't show up for the market like they usually do. By then, the goblins have taken several farms, and have a clear line of march into town.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Don't forget that the non-combatants can fight too, stick em all with some slings/javalins and have them pelt ranged attacks in when they can

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    these creatures are evil don't forget. some of the lesser harder characters (L5 or L6) might welcome a chance to replace the big shot.
    this is always worth putting into a plot. there is the possibility that the leader is too hard or the pcs but with an npc to help them they might manage it.
    can be hard to pull off.
    they might instead work to discredit the leader so that his great plans fail, without losing too many lives.
    possibly the elite few fanatical followers of the chief could be lured into a 'safe area' which is anything but.

    i would use a nasty combat build for the chief personally. even if cleric, take war domain and use divine power to kick ass.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    With goblins (not hobos and goblins), I would make the leader the most clever, instead of the biggest bully. I find the goblin rogues add a lot to throw PCs off when they get used to fighting the warriors.

    For the leader I would either have a rogue (with a cleric subordinate) or a cleric. The other should probably be a fighter (or perhaps a scout?) to be the military general.

    To make combat more interesting, throw in some bards (yes bards) as war drummers who stir the village to battle. I always favor giving goblins PC levels over NPC levels, but a decent amount of warriors will always help.

    I always saw goblins as being very adaptable, so they could very well live anywhere. My thoughts would be to make them live in caves which are heavily trapped (if you happen to have stormwrack, look at how they did the goblin pirate ship. Even though they would be in a cave or huts, they would apply this same ingenuity to potect their homes from their larger bullies).

    Out of curiosity, is this as a locale in your campaign world, or as somthing which you intend to make the PCs fight. If it is the latter, remember that a bunch of low level warriors will be rather pitiful against the PCs who are there to take on their higher level leader.
    Last edited by BardicDuelist; 2007-08-01 at 11:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by its_all_ogre View Post
    these creatures are evil don't forget. some of the lesser harder characters (L5 or L6) might welcome a chance to replace the big shot.
    They're LE, though, which changes the dynamic a lot.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Goblins are raiders, for the most part. They'll send out parties (especially on wolf-back) to steal supplies from nearby towns and villages, then carry those supplies back to their base.

    The last goblin base I designed was a hill with a cave system underneath. Above ground, they had a wooden palisade with watch towers from which the goblins would look for enemies and attack with missiles. They also had a kennel for their wolves, a forge, and some other things they didn't want underground. Atop the hill was a special tower for the tribe's sorcerer, who was considered a hazard and not allowed to sleep underground.

    The tribal leader was a rogue, the sorcerer was arguably a lieutenant. He also had a ranger follower, and there were some lesser sergeants (warrior class) and an adept.

    The tribe was also home to four barghests who made trouble for the nearby barbarian "kings". They would raid nearby farms and villages, hoping to draw out soldiers a few at a time to ambush them, eating the strongest to improve themselves. The goblin leader feared them, since he was high enough level to be on their target list. Consequently, he was open to secret negotiation to get rid of the barghests.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeril View Post
    Don't forget that the non-combatants can fight too, stick em all with some slings/javalins and have them pelt ranged attacks in when they can
    That depends mainly on how willing their leader is to feed bodies into the meatgrinder. Killing of your women will have a drastical impact on your population, losing even 25% of Žem will hurt, while you can lose 50% of your men and balance it out in 1 or 2 generations. Using the noncombatants, which would be specialists and women mostly, will be costly, and should be a last resort.
    Plus, these goblins wonŽt be all that rich probably, so they wonŽt have much more than clubs, staves, daggers and sickles and the like. "Improvised weapons", not in the rules sense of the word but as in tool and farming implements pressed into service.
    So if they fight the PCs, and these are over lvl 5, sacrificing lvl 1-3 commoners and lvl 1-2 experts wonŽt make much of a dent. Against human/elf NPCs, even warriors or Barbarians, at lower lvl, they might have some impact, but otherwise.......
    Also, thanks to Wayril for the nice Avatar!

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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. OK, here's the tribe I've made from the suggestions given:

    Chief Leader: Lvl 8 Cleric of Maglubiyet (Evil and Trickery domains)
    1st Lieutenant: Lvl 5 Druid (Wolf companion)
    2nd Lieutenant: Lvl 4 Ranger (Wolf companion, TWF feats, FE: Human)
    Sergeants:
    • Lvl 3 Bard (plays Goblin Drums)
    • Lvl 3 Barbarians x3 (trained for mounted Worg combat)
    • Lvl 3 Clerics of Maglubiyet x2 (Secondhands to Chief, same domains)
    • Lvl 3 Druids x2 (Wolf companion and Eagle companion for aerial scouting)
    • Lvl 3 Fighters x3 (trained for mounted Worg combat)
    • Lvl 3 Rogues x3 (ambush and skirmshers)
    • Lvl 3 Sorcerer (mainly Evocation spells, generally for torturing prisoners)

    Combatants:
    • Six Goblin Warriors trained for Worg combat (Mounted Combat over Alertness)
    • 250 Goblin Warriors trained for melee combat (standard MM goblin)
    • 144 Goblin Warriors trained for ranged combat (Point Blank Shot over Alertness, carry more javelins)

    Worgs: Trained by druids for mounted combat
    Non-Combatants:
    • In times of war, females and young retreat to caves (100 females and 100young).
    • Male goblins can choose to fight (approximately 200 males). Due to their cowardly nature, d100 determines the percentage that decide to fight. All are Lvl 1 Commoners, each provided with either a morning star or javelin.

    Dire Wolves: The Dire Wolves have been tamed by the tribe's druids, and they help protect the caves from attackers. In times of war, they are there to protect the female and young.

    ----

    Tribe Layout: The tribe is built on a large set of plains, which are along a cliff side. Natural forming caves provide many goblins with a home and a storage of weapons and treasure. The entrance to the caves have also been set with basic arrow traps by the tribe's rogues (DMG pg70). The trap can be bypassed by any short creature. Medium creatures need to lie on their fronts to avoid the trap. Creatures which are Large or higher must make a regular Reflex save.
    On the surface of the land, goblins have created huts and tents from bison hide (one of the main animals hunted on the plains that they live on) and wood from trees, usually Silver Maple due to its relatively fast growth rate.
    Beneath the surface are a long set of tunnels which have been dug up to be used as homes and as places to ambush attackers. The entrances of the tunnels are disguised by ferns (DC12 Spot Check) and are only known by goblins of this tribe.

    The Tribe's Situation: The tribe has been growing at a phenominal rate. This is mainly due to the Goblin Chief, who has been able to organise the tribe's combatants better than any previous leader. As such, far fewer goblins have been killed by travellers or adventurers. However, the size of the tribe has grown to such a level that the land that they currently live on is struggling to survive.
    The Chief has considered capturing Taverley, a hamlet 24 miles north-east from the tribe's current location. The hamlet has many crops to pillage, as well as a farm of livestock to feed on. The hamlet is also a popular stop point for travellers on the Carmen Road. As such, travellers could be ambushed along the road, allowing for a slightly more renewable way of providing the tribe with wealth.
    The Chief has been sending small groups, led by the 2nd Lieutenant, to investigate and observe the town. He has also ordered to attempt to kidnap (avoiding notice, if possible) humans of the tribe, so that they can learn more about the town's strengths and weaknesses. Once the Chief feels that he has enough information, he will sound the charge against Taverley.

    Conflicts within the Tribe: While the Goblin Chief has often made the right decisions for his tribe, some goblins disagree with the Chief's ways. The 2nd Lieutenant, for example, believes that the humans would not be clever enough to devise a way to fool goblinkind (a biased point-of-view, naturally). Combined with his long-running hatred of humans, he feels an immediate attack on the hamlet would be successful. While there is little he can do about this, if he could find a way for the Chief and 1st Lieutenant to be removed, he would be made Chief.

    ---

    All comments appreciated
    Last edited by Eldred; 2007-08-03 at 05:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Making a Goblin Tribe

    Just to echo some of the points made above:

    ranged weapons are good for raiders for covering the retreat - bows, slings, javelins, even thrown rocks at a pinch. Reach weapons are also good if they fit with your ideas - could they organise a spear wall against charging cavalry if caught out on the plain for example?

    raiders need more mobility - more worg riders? Pehaps even some on captured ponies? You said the chief was organising the fighting force better....

    Low level rogues are good - considering the average goblin's lifestyle of theivery and plundering I'd have more rogues. Send them over the walls at night to open gates etc or just to mix it up with the warriors when the fighting gets close and they can backstab.

    The sorcerer might do better with some illusion school spells - help to confuse defenders and again cover the retreat of the raiders.

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