Using Tyranny of Goblins in Your 4e Game

by Mike Shea on 15 October 2012

This past week I received a review copy of the Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins skirmish pack. Instead of discussing or reviewing it as a skirmish product, I plan to discuss how you can use this pack in your own 4e games. To do so, we're going to combine it with another outstanding product, the Monster Vault 2: Threats to the Nentir Vale. Mashing together these two products can give you enough material for a night or two of adventure.

The Daggerburg Goblins

Most of the monster statistics you can use to match the goblins in the Tyranny of Goblins pack can come from the Monster Vault 2, page 38 to 41. These pages contain the description and statistics for the Daggerburg goblins a goblinoid raiding party from a hidden goblin fortress. This might contain the bulk of the background and statistics you need but the troll and horned devil minis will have to come from elsewhere in the book. Most of these monsters would be a good match for level 6 to 8 PCs, though the goblins are a bit lower and could be increased to level 7. Below is a list of comparable monster stat blocks matched with the miniature from the Tyranny of Goblins set.

ToG Miniature MV2 Monster
Hobgoblin Sorcerer Daggerburg War Mage (page 40)
Hobgoblin Soldier Daggerburg Captain (page 40)
Goblin Champion Kabo Bomble (page 41)
Bugbear Berserker Daggerburg Zealot (page 40)
Goblin Cutter / Archer Daggerburg Ruffian (page 38)
Wolf Battle Warg (page 38)
Goblin Wolf Rider Daggerburg Goblin on Battle Warg (page 38)
Horned Devil Lizardfolk Dreadnought (page 119)
Feral Troll Hurley / Burley (page 71)

If these monsters don't quite fit the level range you need, use Chris Perkins's Instant Monster to increase or decrease levels as you need. Simply add 1 or subtract 1 from defenses, attacks, and damage and 10 hit points for each level you want to add or subtract.

Adventure seed: The Dark Tome

With a simple seed you could create a night or two of adventures for your level 8 PCs based on the Daggerburg goblins. Here's an example seed:

Selarund Halfmoon of the Halfmoon Trading House in Fallcrest recently had a shipment of valuable artifacts raided by goblins from the Daggerburg, a goblin ruin near Harken Forest and the Witchlight Fens. Among the possessions is a very dangerous and powerful magic tome that must be returned to Selarund.

Location areas

You can even use the tiles in the Tyranny of Goblins set as encounter maps for your Daggerburg goblin areas. The overland tiles work well for a Daggerburg goblin camp or troll lair. The dungeon tiles work well for the inner chambers of the Daggerburg goblin ruins, headquarters of the raiding party's leaders.

The Daggerburg war mage might have created the summoning circles either to empower his troops or summon the horned devil. You can use some of the terrain effects outlined in my Dungeon Command Tiles for Improvised Encounters article as well.

Creativity through limitation

Sometimes limiting yourself to using just the miniatures in an skirmish pack like this along with a single book like the Threats to the Nentir Vale force you to break through into new and interesting creative areas. Having ten thousand monsters at your disposal can end up being more paralyzing than only having a few. With a copy of the Monster Vault 2 and a set of the Tyranny of Goblins, you should be able to put together enough for a night or two of high adventure.

If you enjoyed this article, please take a look at Sly Flourish's Dungeon Master Tips and Running Epic Tier D&D Games.

Send feedback to @slyflourish on Twitter or email mike@mikeshea.net.