Bestiary Review: Felonious Factions (Magic Goblin): 4 Stars
…while they generally fight with honor, this does not mean the Legion fights fairly. They will use their battle experience and tactical knowledge to outmaneuver and outsmart their enemies, putting themselves in an advantageous position as often as possible.
In Felonious Faction, author Magic Goblin delivers an expanded list of “goblinoids et al” that can bring your players through to about level 12 fighting goblins. The goblins are framed as part of a faction, an “honorable” group led by an Oni, available for hire if you have the coin, but more appropriate to give your players a legitimate challenge even at higher levels. These goblins range in CR from 2-13, and present a range of challenges including ranged, magical, and tactical. While Felonious Factions has some obvious weaknesses, it offers some rich options for higher-level goblin play–an experience severely lacking for one of the most popular creatures in D&D.
Creativity and Range. The creativity of the goblins is excellent, and the author gives his reasoning behind including each of the creatures. Included in the bestiary are two goblins firing an arbalest, a spell casting troll, and a goblin riding an armored bear. With nine new goblins of various CRs, the combinations and possibilities to challenge your players are abundant.
Some Production. The bestiary has a good layout and the artwork is well chosen. Each creature has a section on the motivation behind it, its tactics, and how its moral would affect it in battle. All these are well done and add much value to the work as a whole.
Potential Balance. I was assured that these creatures were all playtested. Based on my calculations, they are on the higher end of the balance spectrum. For each particular CR, they tend to have higher than normal hit points, attack, and armor, and generally higher damage. CR is an amorphous concept however, and I have not playtested these creatures myself, so my guess that they are slightly over powered is mostly theoretical.
Some Production. There are a few grammar issues present in the text, and the writing is sometimes wordy or excessive. The stat-blocks don’t always follow the normal statistical progression–proficiency modifiers are sometimes incorrect, or some skills seem to be given expertise. This is technically fine, but may frustrate some purists who prefer their stat-blocks to be mathematically sound. Some of the concepts are slightly “untraditional”. The 2 goblins with an arbalest are treated as a single unit, and as such, they appear “video gamey”.
Felonious Factions is a generally well-done,creative bestiary that presents a lot of options for higher level goblin play. We’re giving it 4 Stars and recommending it to anyone who wants to continue their low level goblin play, or who want to introduce a goblin faction into a larger campaign. Pick it up by clicking the picture below: