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The Top 5 Ways Goblin Minions Will Destroy You (If You’re Level 1)

Written by Nicholas - Published on December 24, 2008

Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.

Goblin Minion PictureOdds are good that you have never heard of Grumar the Scraps Eater. There’s a good reason for that, it is very hard to build a reputation when all you have on your resume is serving as the Goblin King’s footrest. Even if you have somehow heard of Grumar you are highly unlikely to fear him, his defenses are poor, his attacks are weak and stiff wind is likely to knock him out.

So you may be asking yourself why do I waste words on a little goblin who is clearly no threat to even the most inexperienced adventurer? Is it so we can have a nice laugh at Grumar’s expense while we devastate him using only at-will powers? No, the reason is bring up Grumar is that while he might be only a joke to your party, when you put him next to eleven of his friends he is suddenly not so funny. In fact, Grumar and his peers just might have the tools to bring your party down.

Means of Destruction #1: Probability

A level 1 goblin cutter is worth only a quarter of any other level 1 monster, meaning that for every slot in a battle that gets filled with minions you get four of the little buggers. These cutters may do less damage than their non-minion counterparts but they have a similar attack bonus and among them they get four times as many attacks rolls than a regular enemy would. More rolls means more high rolls and more chance of hitting.

Means of Destruction #2: Flanking

Goblin cutters might not be tough but they are awake and holding a weapon, which is good enough to flank. Flanking provides the cutters with an extra damage when they hit and the standard +2 to their attack, making their probability advantage that much more deadly. Additionally having a battlefield littered with minions makes it very convenient for their stronger allies to flank, giving some of them, such as the blackblade, extra abilities.

Means of Destruction #3: Opportunity Attacks

Lots of goblins standing around means lots of threatened squares and lots of occupied areas. A big pack of goblins can really shut down movement or at least make it impractical with their opportunity attacks. This goblin wall very effectively blocks melee access to sharpshooters and other ranged attackers. In addition those minions directly in the way also provide cover bonuses against the party’s own ranged fighters.

Means of Destruction #4: Attrition

Maybe the mass of minions who guard the front entrance of the cave aren’t going to kill your party but they might sap your strength a little bit. A fight with cutters can cost you some healing surges, actions points and maybe even the daily power of a panicked wizard. You might think nothing of it at the time but you’re going to miss those resources when you are staring down the ugly mug of the Goblin King.

Means of Destruction #5: Orcus

Uh-oh, Grumar and Orcus go bowling together every Sunday and he is not too happy with you stabbing his little buddy. As you might have heard, Orcus has some tricks of his own.

Have you faced a Goblin Cutter and lived to tell the tale? Are you bothered by the logical problem that Grumar would have to bowl over 100 feet away from Orcus or drop dead? Do you just wonder what size shoes the demon prince would need to wear? Whatever your comment we want to hear from you!

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Written by Nicholas

Nick DiPetrillo is the original author behind the games Arete and Zombie Murder Mystery available at http://games.dungeonmastering.com

Nick is no longer active with DungeonMastering.com, however he is an accomplished writer and published his first game in 2009.

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The Top 5 Ways Goblin Minions Will Destroy You (If You're Level 1) , 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.



19 Responses to “The Top 5 Ways Goblin Minions Will Destroy You (If You’re Level 1)”
  1. Maarten says:

    Well, starting a combat with an enlarged dragon breath usualy goes a long way to diminishing the minion threat :)

  2. greywulf says:

    Don’t forget the Goblin Cutter Hang-gliding Club. Nothing spoils an adventurer’s party day more than Minions from Above equipped with Gluepots they stole from the local Kobold nest.

  3. Yax says:

    I like my goblin minions fried, with ketchup.

  4. Janna says:

    Poor Orcus; all of his minion bowling buddies keep dying. But at least he can raise them and start an undead league of his own.

    Nice article. ;)

  5. Nicholas says:

    That’s an awesome picture, Yax.

    It makes me smile every time I see it.

  6. Yax says:

    Isn’t great? I have to check out who the artist is. David Booth – he probably has a website. Hopefully he won’t mind that I “borrowed” his art from Google Images.

  7. Drunkenhellhound says:

    Goblin Kamikazes are the bomb! literally… just strap an alchemist fire flask and a thunderstone to their backs and send them on their way..

    oh. im gunna use that now!

  8. Dorian says:

    Yax.. David Booth has an account on DeviantArt

  9. Rick says:

    That is a funny pic, and a good article.

  10. Wolf-Shifter Druid says:

    as a DM, I have a bad habit of using minions for massive, army-like battles that have wiped the floor with many-a PC. It’s kinda funny to watch my lvl9 7man party get their asses handed to them by goblin cutters(no, I’m not joking)

  11. dylan says:

    ty ty ty yax im so going to through in a quest with grumar and if my adventures are feeling nice they wont attack him which they might save him or something then they be allies!
    yax could you please tell us the story of grumar the scrap eater?

  12. Yax says:

    You’re welcome. Gotta give the credit to Nicholas on this one – he’s the genius behind this article. As for Grumar’s story? I’d have to research it.

  13. ChaeDeTrey says:

    Another thing to watch out for is if there is a magician in their midst who successfully casts Charm Persson spell on the party’s awesome fighting halfling. Once he’s turned on you, wow, just tell aunt Maisie you’ll be late for dinner.

  14. jesuslegofreak says:

    love the kamikazie comment,gonna use that.but why talk about goblins?kobolds are way better!

  15. Metal_Tree says:

    Love the pic of the cute little goblin. :)

  16. Ernest says:

    Better yet, goblin shock troops for the kobold army. LMAO, While in Germany back in the stone age days of TSR AD&D (hmmm guess I dated myself there) I learned to respect weak little creatures that fighters were used to harvesting like wheat. We had a DM that loved the lil’ buggers and we all felt that he used to be one in a former life. The tittle of my blog was my 8th level fighters last words uttered in one of the wee hours of a marathon session. In all honesty it was our (the players) own fault. Never tell a DM that your tired of all the wimpy monsters he uses, especially when he loves the lil’ lizard looking mongrels.
    I can see it now, hundreds of little green and rust colored bodies massing together as the party stares in horror. A girlish scream is heard as thelone mage in the party sprints for the exit……

  17. Dirk says:

    Earnest, what was the name of the blog?


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