December 9, 2010

Comic Relief: Goblin Pickpocket

As much as I love running Player Characters through meat grinder dungeons of inevitable death, sometimes a little whimsy and humor is appropriate at the table. These breaks in the tension help highlight that tension and stressed environment. If your adventurers are constantly beset by punishing encounter after punishing encounter, they'll grow desensitized to it. That path leads to the worst thing you can do in the D&D game: be boring. I heartily advocate a little mood lightening every once in awhile. It keeps things fresh and fun. The following Goblin Pickpocket does just that, and also helps kick the players' mindsets out of the tactical and into the roleplaying. These Goblins aren't really out to hurt you, they're just poor and pathetic and want a few of your coins.

With that in mind, I created this little bugger to harass the PCs. I typically place a handful of these guys with one or two standard monsters in an enounter, although having an all-pickpocket encounter, complete with banana peels to slip on (and fall prone), cream pies to throw, and other slapstick antics would be really cool. I usually describe the goblins in my campaign as funny in some way. They talk funny, they have silly outfits, they beg for mercy when defeated. Just think about Splug, from Keep on the Shadowfell. Hilarious!

Goblin Pickpocket                                                Level 2 Minion
Small natural humanoid                                                         XP 31
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.  Initiative +4
AC 17; Fortitude 12, Reflex 16, Will 12              Perception +2
Speed 6                                                                 Low-light vision
STANDARD ACTIONS                                                                
Knife + At-will                                                                            
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +6 vs. AC
Hit: 3 damage.
Tackle At The Knees + At-will                                                
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +4 vs. Fortitude
Hit: The target is knocked prone.
Pick Pocket (Reliable) + Encounter                                        
Requirement: The Goblin Pickpocket must have combat advantage against the target.
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +4 vs. Reflex
Hit: The goblin steals the target’s primary implement, weapon (if it has the off-hand property) or loose change up to 10gp in coins.
Effect: The Goblin shifts 3 squares, attempting to flee with its ill-gotten gains.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS                                                              
Goblin Tactics + At-will                                                               
Trigger (reaction): The Goblin is missed by a melee or ranged attack.
Effect: The goblin shifts 1 square.
Skills Thievery +6, Acrobatics +6                                            
Str 14 (+3)      Dex 17 (+4)    Wis 12 (+2)                                   
Con 13 (+2)     Int 8 (+0)        Cha 8 (+0)                                     
Alignment Evil                            Languages Common, Goblin

The Goblin Pickpocket moves up to their foe as quickly and quietly as they can. They go into every combat reluctantly, not wanting any trouble, and just looking for a few coins. The Goblin uses Tackle At The Knees until it knocks its enemy prone and can route through the hapless hero's pants looking for loose change. Often, two Goblins will team up on a target; with one Goblin distracting the enemy, while the other attempts to pilfer something valuable off of their foe. In any event, as soon as a Goblin feels the weight of gold in its little hands, it attempts to run and hide as fast as possible.

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