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The Lazy GM: Goblinoids $20.00 $10.00
Publisher: Creative Conclave
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/10/2007 07:55:06

The Lazy GM: Goblinoids is a 119 page d20 pdf product and the first product from a new pdf publisher, Creative Conclave. This product is the first in the Lazy GM series in which each product presents hundreds of pre-generated NPC statistics from different monsters. This first product features goblinoids, and includes such creatures as goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears and related creatures such as worgs and dire wolves. The product contains over 360 different statistics blocks, all fully compatible with the revised d20 core rules.

This product comes as a single pdf file. There are no bookmarks, but the extensive table of contents, which lists full creature details by CR, is 'clickable' and therefore allows you to quickly find any particular creature, although it only takes you to the creature page, not the position of the actual stat block on the page (and it increases the zoom on the page which can be quite annoying). The product includes a simple cover with some goblin silhouettes, but there is not other art to speak of in the product. General editing is good, although there are a number of statistics blocks that end in commas rather than full-stops.

This product is exclusively about providing stat blocks for various goblinoids, so you have to ask what the mechanics is like. I have to admit that I didn't check all 360 odd statistics blocks, but those dozens I quickly checked were pretty much impeccable. This has got to be one of the most impressive displays of actually getting the mechanics right. I did find one or two omissions (a +3 not listed in the hit points section for the Toughness feat, for example), but otherwise these are as correct as they come. Well done, Creative Conclave. In fact, they've even set up a forum for readers to inform them of any errors. They obviously take pride in their mechanics, and so they should, judging by the high standard of correctness. Presentation-wise what you would expect from a pdf detailing hundreds of statistics for creatures. Decent layout, excellent mechanical editing, and solid product.

The product starts by providing a brief introduction to the book and an explanation of the way they've formatted it and done the various statistics blocks. The stat blocks generally follow the standard format found in the d20 system, although here and there some additional information is provided. For example, the skills section includes information on the armor check penalty as applicable to certain skills. Following this introduction, the product jumps in and gives over 360 stat blocks for goblinoids. The CRs range from 1/4 for the zombie goblin, to CR 18 for a hobgoblin lich cleric. The majority of the creatures (~90%) are CR 8 or below making this product extremely useful for low level games and presenting cannon-fodder for higher level PCs.

There is quite frankly an enormous variety of different goblinoids in this product. The standard goblinoids are all presented in numerous different flavors, such as archer, heavy, standard, fiendish, defender, scout etc. These flavors are varieties in weaponry, armor, feats, skills, classes and the like. Not only that, but the product also uses extensive material from the OGL Unearthed Arcana from Wizards of the Coast to include information on other goblinoid species such as aquatic goblins, fire hobgoblins, and artic goblins. The level variety is excellent as well, with most creatures having class levels in a variety of different classes at different levels. It's probably impossible to cover every eventuality, but this product takes a very good stab at doing just that. Included are not only goblinoids, but a variety of support creatures such as worgs and advanced worgs, dire wolves, and numerous undead goblinoids and wolves such as ghost worgs, skeleton goblins, and zombie dire wolves.

This is a very impressive product, not only in its sheer volume and number of creatures, but also in the variety and correctness of the stat blocks. As such it's an extremely useful resource, and easy to just take what you want from the product and use it with confidence. The stat blocks are written in such a way as to make it as easily as possible to modify, and hence many additional modifiers are included. If you want to modify a creature's armor, for example, it has the armor check penalty listed to update skills and the armor bonus next to AC to the modify that. Other factors are generally just as easy to modify, and hence this product is easily expanded to cover many other creature possibilities. The Lazy GM: Goblinoids is an excellent and extremely useful product and I'm looking forward to seeing future releases in the series. If want a bucket load of different goblinoids for your game, this product will not disappoint.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Lazy GM: Goblinoids
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