Month: December 2015

Goblins!

While orcs are furnished with elaborate stats for building a lair or caravan expedition, goblins get short treatment in both  #DelvingDeeper  and the original game.  Time to amend I say! Here are some (totally unofficial) ramblings on goblins to tinker with:

The GOBLIN-KIND include goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. These are found together in underground cave complexes; they see in normal darkness as if it were light but must subtract 1 from morale checks and all other dice when fighting in full daylight or bright light.

Regular goblins are the smallest and most numerous variety, able to ride upon the backs of giant wolves–albeit reducing their speed to 12″. Hobgoblins are large and fearless goblins, having +1 morale. Bugbears are the greatest hairy goblin giants but, despite their size and loping gait, they move very quietly and will surprise enemies with a throw of 3-6 on a six-sided die.

Unofficial Stats

  • Goblin [AC 8  MV 6″  HD 1-1  AL C],
  • Hobgoblin [AC 6  MV 9″  HD 1+1  AL C],
  • Bugbear [AC 7  MV 9″  HD 3  AL C].

(Note slightly weaker ACs).

The Lair

The goblin lair will be a sprawling cave complex of several levels where 40-400 goblins dwell. 10-60% of these will be hobgoblins and for every 20 hobgoblins there will be an additional 1-6 bugbears. For every 50 regular goblins present there will be an additional 3-30 giant wolves serving as mounts.

If there are fewer than 100 goblins all told the lair is two-thirds likely to be subjugated by a group of ogres, or giants, or by a powerful Necromancer, anti-Superhero, or Evil High Priest; each with his attendant entourage. Otherwise there will be a 4 HD goblin King with all the advantages of a bugbear and a Hero (including the possibility of possessing magic items). He will have a bodyguard of 8-28 mail and shield armored hobgoblins. If there are at least 300 goblins present the goblin King’s bodyguard will have an additional 1-6 ogres, or 1-6 werewolves, or 1-6 trolls. The goblin treasure hoard will comprise types D+B.

Outside the Lair

10-60% of liar numbers–excluding the goblin King and his bodyguard (or the lair subjugators)–are wandering outside the lair at any time (presumably by night). If 60% are found outside the lair then they will be a single army and will include the goblin King and the entirety of his bodyguard (or all the subjugators and their entourages). Otherwise, it is 50% likely that any group outside the lair will be split into two equal subgroups, with a like possibility that each subgroup will be repeatedly split until further subdivision does not occur.

The Number of Monsters

An opportunity for improvement for the next iteration of #DelvingDeeper is in the number of monsters appearing. #DelvingDeeper V4 assumes around 8 players, whereas recent polls show that 4-6 players is now the norm.

According to the original game, a group of 4-6 players can expect to run into 2-12 bandits, goblins, orcs (or similar) on the 1st dungeon level. Or 3-18 on the 2nd dungeon level. And so on. Those are some tough numbers for a group of six players–let alone a group of four.

A magic-user may be able to nuke a few groups, but eventually it will come down to fight club with the players outnumbered. This is where player strategy is paramount. Retreating to choke points, use of missiles, spears, and plate armor really counts.

This is also is where morale is the players’ supreme advantage.

#DelvingDeeper V4 recommends non-player morale should be checked at one-third numerical losses across the board.

This means a dozen bandits might be defeated by the loss of just four men. Well now… this is beginning to look more plausible for our group of 4-6 players.

Assuming a morale check is called, the bandits (or orcs or whatever) would require a throw of 9+ on 2d6 (28% likely) to carry the fighting to the players. On a roll of 6-8 they would hold their ground; presumably only attacking if attacked. On a roll under 6 they would retreat, flee, or surrender. Now it’s starting to seem almost too easy!

But it won’t be. The dice will be fickle, and opponents such as berserkers–who need never check morale–are all the more dangerous. Beware of these!