Odds 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!