By Thilo Graf
This pdf by Raging Swan Press is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 page title, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page ads + SRD, 1 page Raging Swan product checklist, 1 page back cover, leaving 18 pages of content for the Half-Goblins.
In the fine tradition of the excellent Raging Swan TRIBES-line, the book features a song/poem on the tribe in question on the ToC-page. While some might consider it a nice gimmick, I love the rhymes as they provide a nice way for a bard/oracle/whatever to get the players involved in the action.
In the beginning, we get the obligatory one page of introduction to reading stat-blocks for novice DMs.
After the chapter header, we get the introduction to the Half-Goblins, including their traits (first introduced in The Lonely Coast mini-campaign setting), lore-section, nomenclature etc. We also get a short overview of the tangled forest, including a one-page map of the region.
On to the crunchy parts of the supplement, on the next page we get the new Goblin Bloodline for sorcerors, including a worg familiar. We also get one 5 with 5 new feats for the tribe’s special tactics:
- Forest Stride: Treat 10 ft. difficult terrain as normal one, can 5-foot step in difficult terrain.
- Forest Warrior: Cover bonus when standing adjacent to trees increase by 1, +5% miss chance by undergrowth.
- Greater Forest Stride: Treat 30 ft. of difficult terrain as normal terrain.
- Greater Skirmisher: If you move more than 20 ft. before attacking, you get +1 dodge to AC and +1 to atk. Stacks with Skirmisher.
- Skirmisher: If you move more than 20 ft. before attacking, you get +1 dodge to AC and +1 to atk.
We are in for guerrilla-style warfare, it seems. On the magical side, we get two new spells, 4 new magic items and a new write-up for the god of the half-goblins.
The spells are:
- Miasma of Enervation (Adp 3, Clr 3): Mass fatigue
- Miasma of Hatred (Adp 2, Clr 2): Counters fear and confusion as well as calm emotions, but imposes a minus 2 penalty to AC.
The new god, Braal, gets Evil, Trickery and Destruction domains as well as his own unique adept spell-list. Nice.
The magic items are:
- Cloak of the Woodlands: Pass without a Trace and 1/day Hide from Animals
- Oil of Entanglement: Entangle
- Oil of Plant Growth: Plant Growth
- Archer’s Buckler: +1 buckler that can store up to 60 arrows
The items get three nice b/w-artworks.
After that, we get 2 pages of minor encounter with the tribe.
- Half-Goblin-Archer (Fighter 1, CR 1/2)
- Half-Goblin Sneak Thief (Rogue 1, CR 1/2)
- Half-Goblin Ranger (Ranger 1, CR 1/2)
- Half-Goblin Warrior (Fighter 1, CR 1/2)
- Half-Goblin Sorceror (Sorceror 2, CR 1)
- Half-Goblin Adept (Adept 3, CR 1)
Both spellcasters come with an alternate spell-list – nice idea! We also get an EL 2 and EL 3 sample encounter.
Major encounters are next on the table, once again, 2 pages:
- Half-Goblin Elite Archer (Fighter 3, CR 2)
- Half-Goblin Elite Sneak Thief (Rogue 3, CR 2)
- Half-Goblin Elite Ranger (Ranger2/Rogue1, CR 2)
- Half-Goblin Elite Warrior (Fighter 3, CR 2)
- Half-Goblin Sorceror (Sorceror 4, CR 3)
- Half-Goblin Adept (Adept 5, CR 3)
Once again, we get 2 alternate spell-lists as well as 2 sample encounters.
Finally, we get 4 pages containing the persona of the tribe, i.e. the named NPC-characters. Much to my pleasure, I can tell you that they all get the Raging Swan NPC-treatment, i.e. they come with mannerisms, hooks, tactics distinguishing features etc. and thus are easier for the GM to portray. I still think this should be the standard for NPCs in products.
- Anarl (Druid 5/Ranger 3, CR 7): Opposed to humans, goblins, wolves and the reverence of Braal, he might make for an unusual ally.
- Carlix (Fighter 5/Ranger 3, CR 7): A sadistic, drinking bully with sufficient strength to back up his cruelty.
- Severa (Sorceror 10, CR 9): Xenophobic mastermind with a vision of united clans.
- Xerl (Rogue 5, Sorceror 4, CR 8): Master-agent and infiltrator, but also a coward and afraid of his own blood.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I only noticed one editing glitch and that was in the ads on the SRD-page, so no harm done. 🙂 The b/w-artworks are high-quality, as I’ve come to expect of Raging Swan products. The pdf is also extensively bookmarked. With regards to the content: It’s great to see alternate spell-lists, as well as full NPC-treatment for the named characters, as it makes the NPCs more unique and cooler. Their woodland-based, stealthy combat would lead itself to a sample encounter with terrain modifiers, but due to this being woodland, it’s probably easy to run. At least I do know all the modifiers and I’m not too good with remembering the modifiers. That’s more or less my only point of criticism, though. What’s my final verdict then? Due to me not having anything to complain about and the fact that Half-Goblins are a “new” creature, I’ll settle for 5 stars.
Half-Goblins of the Tangled Wood is available from: