Favorite Grunt Monsters?

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KaiserKris
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Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by KaiserKris »

So which monsters do you favor for "grunts" in your games?

In the campaign I'm starting into, aside from the omni-present human enemies of the players, the most common basic opponents will be goblins and hobgoblins. In my game, orcs are relatively uncommon in the region where it takes place, while the Chelaxian province that the players are located in is a major centre of hobgoblin activity, while goblins are adaptable little vermin and can be found pretty much anywhere.

Goblins are individually very weak (standard goblin has a mere 4 hp), but they are extremely stealthy and good at building basic traps. Not Tucker's kobolds by any means, but they're fond of basic spike and pit traps which immobilize and hedge potential enemies, while they ambush with their bows. Elite goblin scouts have abilities commeasurate with a 1st-level rogue, including the ability to back attack. While they're deeply stupid in many ways, and easily distractable, they can be cunning about levelling the playing field and additionally are sadistic little creeps who have no sense of "fair play" whatsoever.

I like using goblins because of the way they've been painted in the Pathfinder RPG- as funny yet endlessly disturbing little creeps who sing songs while they slaughter your horses and dogs, and are essentially cowardly, yet without any scruple whatsoever. Goblins are funny until you find the corpse of a child they have killed and butchered for their dinner.

Hobgoblins are much tougher and a basic hobgoblin attacks as a 2 HD creature, giving them an effective +1 attack bonus, as well as darkvision. In short, a hobgoblin warrior is not far off in might from a PC fighter. They are more likely to present themselves for a straight fight than goblins are, but are similarly keen to use traps and ambushes whenever possible. Hobgoblin warriors in Cheliax are fairly standardized in their armaments- long spears, shortbow and shortsword for close quarters combat. Hobgoblins with spears will keep enemies at bay, and allow archers the room they need to do their work. Hobgoblins will frequently possess a 2 or 3 HD subcommander and a 2 HD shaman, whom have entangle, bless and cause fear spells. Hobgoblin groups may have a slaver, a specialized warrior (usually 2 HD) who is skillful in wielding a net to entangle opponents.

I like using hobgoblins because they're formidable martial opponents that get players to consider strategy- the hobgoblins are tough and disciplined and even fairly advanced players will find that they have means of mitigating some of their advantages. It's also interesting to consider that hobgoblins are essentially, goblins whom have been magically enhanced by some mad wizard long ago. They fit the bleak, lawful evil atmosphere of Cheliax because they are quite capable of helping the ruling forces as slavers and enforcers- or becoming a powerful menace whom Chelaxian authorities may commission the PCs to deal with.

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Sir Osis of Liver
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Sir Osis of Liver »

Great idea for a thread.

I'm partial to the goblins as well, but orcs are also fairly common in my world. Hobgoblins are present as well, but I'm trying to favor other things that require strategy to defeat.

The other nice thing about goblins is that you can throw in nilbogs from time to time and really screw up the works. :D

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Go0gleplex
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Go0gleplex »

Kobolds. Nothing adds insult to injury like being TPK'd by a group of lowly kobolds. *evil grin/diabolical laughter*
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Andred of Albans
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Andred of Albans »

I like goblins - I'm a traditionalist.

I emphasize the sneakiness factor - ambushes from cover, traps, magic conjured up by goblin shamans or witch doctors. Attacking goblins on their own ground isn't so simple. :shock:

Goblins are the ultimate irregular warriors, they strike and run. The take hostages, they kidnap children, they sneak into city and castle alike through sewers or water cisterns. :twisted:

Individually they may be nothing but in groups they can be very effective.

If you can put the fear of G-d into a party with goblins, they are going to treat monsters like dragons or vampires with real respect and it keeps the game fresh. If a goblin tribe can give a party of 5-9th adventurers trouble you don't have to invent uber-monsters to challenge them when they are 10-15th level. :twisted:
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kreider204
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by kreider204 »

I love goblins, thanks to James Mishler's take on them:

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/6 ... rgh%C3%BBl

"Note: Monstrous Menaces 2 provides a much-expanded entry for the common goblin race, including full details on goblin vision, language, organization, ecology, culture, religion, gender and family relations coming of age, cleanliness, weapons, armor, treasure, range, combat, and special abilities."

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KaiserKris
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by KaiserKris »

I should also emphasize that, while the goblins and hobgoblins in my campaign are certainly nasty creatures, the most fearsome opponents in Cheliax aren't "monsters" at all- but humans. Even the devils which are, in one sense, the Big Bads of the campaign cannot truly help what they are- though they revel in it. Diabolists and Hellknights choose to be what they are. And needless to say, any society where the elite sees the legions of Hell as a role model and resource is an extremely dangerous one for heroes ...

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Sir Ironside
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Sir Ironside »

Don't know if this counts, but I've always felt that the Cyclops was just one big grunt monster. I've have always had a soft spot in my heart since the old movies of Sinbad. Stupid, slow but can be deadly. So instead of like 100 kobolds you still need the same kind of group effort to take down a Cyclops.
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Go0gleplex
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Go0gleplex »

I don't know about size or what. I took down a party of 7 level 5-6 characters with just 11 kobolds (and didn't lose a single one of them) and a relatively standard pit trap going through six cave areas. *WEG* kobolds don't fight fair, especially in their own home. heheheheee

Goblins can be mean too, but people expect them to be a worthwhile foe. Gotta agree though, humans are a potentially much worse threat than critters. Harder to identify whom the bad guys really are in a crowd.
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Arakor »

Go0gleplex wrote:Kobolds. Nothing adds insult to injury like being TPK'd by a group of lowly kobolds. *evil grin/diabolical laughter*
With that comment, I thought you were Hugh my former AD&D1 DM.

He's got a slew of kobold adventures which he and I are looking to self-publish with stats for AD&D and C&C. From memory, there's "Kobolds in the Cabinet", "The Great Yuletide Kobold Hunt" and "Pyrates of the Korabyan".

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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Lord Dynel »

I'd have to go with orcs as my favorite grunt monster. I thought goblins might take that position, but sitting here thinking about it, I realize that I use orcs in a lot of situations. I've gotten use to giving them a could fighter levels to make them interesting to even the mid-level characters. For my next game, I might give them exclusive use of the old (pre-4th printing) barbarian levels when making higher level threats. They will factor hugely in my next campaign, as there will be orc armies amassing in preparation for war against the civilized lands. I find that they are pretty versatile creatures, and a good foe for the race of men.
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by DMMike »

Undead. Love 'em.... From grunts like Skeletons and Zombies all the way up to Wraiths, Spectres and Liches. They're useful, can be generated in masses (either self-procreatinglike Wights+ or simple MU/Cleric spells) and there are always graveyards for materials. Plus, there's no moral ambiguity with them (take THAT White Wolf!)... They're evil and want to kill you. 'Nuff said!

But what about cleric turning, you ask? Not as foolproof as you might think, since I rule that any turned undead who are attacked can attack its attacker...and the other turned undead can help; at least on that one target.

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Sir Osis of Liver
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Sir Osis of Liver »

DMMike wrote:Undead. Love 'em.... From grunts like Skeletons and Zombies all the way up to Wraiths, Spectres and Liches. They're useful, can be generated in masses (either self-procreatinglike Wights+ or simple MU/Cleric spells) and there are always graveyards for materials. Plus, there's no moral ambiguity with them (take THAT White Wolf!)... They're evil and want to kill you. 'Nuff said!

But what about cleric turning, you ask? Not as foolproof as you might think, since I rule that any turned undead who are attacked can attack its attacker...and the other turned undead can help; at least on that one target.

Mike
I used to put a ton of undead into my stuff, especially back when I was running my 2/e Greyhawk campaign a long time ago. Lots of fun. For undead, I'm partial to death knights. I'm even more partial these days, though, to cursed living things that had whichever spell it was from Black Libram that causes cursed individuals to immediately rise as ghouls/ghasts when they're killed. I've played around with that one so that they also rise up as weaker undead as well. Very fun. It makes for some great times when the party is all high-fives after they've dropped the first bad guy, only to see that one rise up as something much worse. :twisted:

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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by DangerDwarf »

Orcs. Love to throw orcs at the poor SOBs.

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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Just Jeff »

Kobolds, spiced up with courage, cunning, and a dash of heroes. I like giving them a giant lizards as steeds. One of the first adventures I created had the PCs rooting out a kobold warren. The kobold leader was a 4th level fighter with gauntlets of ogre power and a +1 sword. He didn't run away when they entered his room.

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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by CKDad »

Gentlemen (and dwarves), may I direct your attention to Tucker's Kobolds.

http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2012 ... lds-redux/
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Go0gleplex »

CKDad wrote:Gentlemen (and dwarves), may I direct your attention to Tucker's Kobolds.

http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2012 ... lds-redux/
THAT's what I'm talkin 'bout. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by Lurker »

Go0gleplex wrote:
CKDad wrote:Gentlemen (and dwarves), may I direct your attention to Tucker's Kobolds.

http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2012 ... lds-redux/
THAT's what I'm talkin 'bout. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Rgr that!

I won't say that I've used Kobolds to that effect, but my Goblins and Orcs ... Never go into one of their holds unprepared! To protect their home they fight DIRTY! Snake traps, poison darts, murder holes, blind allies etc etc etc

That said

the most fearsome opponents in Cheliax aren't "monsters" at all- but humans.
Rgr there.
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Re: Favorite Grunt Monsters?

Post by DMMike »

:lol: I need to direct Liz over here....considering the amount of kobold love in this thread... ;)

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