I wanted to post my goblin pyro today, but when I went to do so I realized I needed to put a little more effort in, cause of his goblin tactics line.
See, I'm an incorrigible rpg tinkerer. I love to see all the parts, figure out what I like, what I don't, tweak, mutilate, and really see what I end up with. Then I drop a bunch of it because, frankly, it's not worth confusing a home group excessively. So, at one point or another I decided to redesign most of the monsters in the monster manual. Good exercise, fun to do, and the D&D audience has learned a lot about monsters since it came out.
One monster that was very unpopular, let's just call it hated, by a lot of local players was the goblin hexer. I never had quite the same hatred, but I could see where it was coming from.
Basically, people hated that it was handing out this massive field of -4 to attacks, while also occasionally blinding or immobilizing via intimidation. In general, I am all for encouraging faster combats, so trading -4 to enemy attacks for effectively +4 to the goblin's sides was an easy trade. After that, I noticed how long the hexer's stat block was and decided to trim a little in terms of abilities, namely in Inspire Bravery and Lead From the Rear. They were competing immediates, along with goblin tactics to begin with, and while I think Lead is fun I'm also okay with not encouraging bunching up around the hexer or him living too long.
Inspire Bravery, though, is just my kind of ability, so why'd I drop it? Well, ends up before I got to the Hexer - back when I was doing those level 1 goblins, I'd changed Goblin Tactics. I did this because I'm not sure I'd ever seen it trigger, and I was almost positive that a lot of players just didn't associate it with goblins. So I gave them a racial ability that would trigger, and had teeth. It's only once per encounter, but it now triggers on any attack, not just a melee miss, and it gets a basic attack with combat advantage after the shift. This helped me beef up the damage of the minions and lower level goblins to respectable levels. It does less for the hexer, but now inspire bravery is superfluous. So, instead I added it on as an aura that increases damage with combat advantage. Cause goblin bravery should still involve being a sneaky little git.
Which brings us back, after far too many words, to the Goblin Pyro:
Inspired by the torch-wielding and slightly comical goblins from Rise of the Runelords, and their accompanying miniatures, his powers are slightly dangerous all around. Lament I'd really like to playtest some more, but I just love the idea of he gets hit hard enough and all the flaming oil he's carrying bursts all over him, and he just runs around like a flaming party favor giving out ongoing damage until he's... out of fuel.
If anyone wants a version of either stat block with the standard goblin tactics replaced, I can do that very quickly. Just let me know.