Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Monkey Goblin

Monkey Goblin
"How can we make the already ridiculous goblin more absurd?"  "Hmm - add some monkey to it?" "Perfect."
As far as I can tell, that's the rationale behind the monkey goblin.  However, with a big bonus to dexterity and a small collection of other multi-use traits, the preposterous monkey goblin can actual fit a range of niches.

Racial Traits:

Ability Score: +4 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Dexterity is the most useful ability score in the game, and the plus four bonus makes the monkey goblin an idea candidate for a range of classes.  Ranged characters are the obvious choice, but melee characters and even some casters will benefit from the improved AC, Reflexes, and Initiative.

Size: Monkey Goblins are Small, which is definitely a double-edged sword. They get a +1 size bonus to AC, which can be a huge help, and a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, which is wonderful. They also get a huge +4 size bonus to Stealth checks. The -1 to CMB and CMD hurts, but it’s not a huge deal.

Speed: Monkey Goblins have 20 speed like most small creatures. However...

Natural Climber: ... they also get a climb speed of 30!  Climb speeds are incredibly useful, in dungeons, urban environments, forests, and virtually everywhere else, and will even allow the monkey goblin to mimic a 30 move speed as long as he remains adjacent to a wall.

Fearless: Fear effects aren't the most common in Pathfinder, but a +2 bonus ain't bad.  It helps counteract the -2 Wisdom in any case.

Acrobatic: +2 to Acrobatics and Stealth will likely fit into any dextrous, wall climbing character you come up with.  Perfect for scouting and maneuvering. 

Prehensile Tail: Much of the usefulness of this depends on GM fiat.  Can you reload a gun?   Drink a potion?  Pickpocket an enemy?  However, even in its weakest interpretation it's a fun, useful ability.

In general monkey goblins can excel or at least pass as a wide variety of classes.  Dexterity is useful for everybody, and natural climber will help melee, ranged, and support characters alike.  However, the best way to make use of the monkey goblin is through ranged or two weapon fighting attacks, as well as a class that doesn't rely on Dexterity-limiting heavy armor to get by.

Alchemist: Monkey goblins make excellent alchemists, both of the vivisectionist and bomb chucking variety.  The dexterity boost and small size helps with bomb accuracy and survivability,  Besides, you can run up a wall and chuck bombs from where those pesky melee foes can't reach.

Barbarian: Though you aren't getting any bonuses to Strength or Constitution, small, lithe monkey goblins can make capable barbarians.  Fast movement will help with the slow speed, but urban barbarian into a ranged barbarian is another strong choice.  Given your high dexterity and size bonus, you might be able to tank as well as the big ugly orc (but not quite reach his damage output.

Bard: The charisma penalty isn't helping your singing or casting, but the buffed Dexterity can assist a number of the bard's side pursuit, such as melee or ranged attacks.  A climb speed also helps a singing bard get out of danger.

Cavalier [Samurai]: A monkey goblin can be nearly as good a cavalier as he can any other fighter character.  However, the cavalier's charge heavy style plays more into the strength based characters rather than the dexterity based characters.  Samurai is a better choice, as they can more easily go the ranged route.

Cleric: -2 to both Charisma and Wisdom is a problem.  You can power through it to make an okay melee or ranged character, but you are better off picking another class.

Druid: A monkey goblin druid suffers -2 to his primary spell casting ability, but if you really focus on wild shape you can negate that.  Still, you aren't making the most of the class.

Fighter: No frills, a monkey goblin can grab a bow, go the two weapon route, or otherwise use his small stature and high Dexterity to its most.  The -2 Wisdom and Charisma barely hurt you here.

Gunslinger: Gunslinger certainly feels like a very good choice, though the Wisdom penalty will hurt a few grit-based abilities.  Still, it's easy enough to ignore those and take extra grit.  Besides, wall-climbing will help and your GM might even allow you to reload your gun with your tail.

Inquisitor: Like other partial spell casters, you can latch onto the melee or ranged aspects of this class and do your best to ignore the penalty to your spell casting ability.  With domains and judgements, this is easier for the inquisitor than most.  

Magus: The big Dexterity boost is excellent for a Dexterity based Magus, and the monkey goblin's penalties nicely skirt around intelligence.  If you really want a spell caster, the magus makes the best use of the monkey goblin's bonuses.

Monk: This is probably the monkey goblin's worst non-spellcaster choice.  Monks typically need strength and wisdom to function, and the monkey goblin gets neither.

Oracle: You can build a fighting oracle if you really feel inclined, but you don't have anything to help with spell casting, and your suffer a penalty to your main spell casting ability.

Paladin [Antipaladin]: There is very little synergy between monkey goblins and paladins.  A high Dexterity means heavy armor will likely be wasted and a charisma penalty hurts casting, lay on hands, etc...  However, a boosted Dexterity saves the ranged Paladins.

Ranger: A ranger is a decent choice, thanks to the bonus to Dexterity, but the penalty to Wisdom hurts.  Still, trade out spells in something like the Skirmisher archetype and you'll be able to excel.

Rogue [Ninja]: A rogue is a great option for a monkey goblin, thanks to the bonus to Dexterity, climbing, sneaking around, and generally being a rogue.  The ninja is theoretically a slightly worse choice, given the vague reliance on Charisma, but take Extra Ki and avoid the Charisma based abilities and you'll do just as well.

Sorcerer: For Dexterity is nice for pure spell casters, but make sure you take the Sage Wildblooded bloodline to make your primary ability Intelligence instead of Charisma.  You could try and go for a melee type sorcerer, but you're going to have to sink a lot of points into Intelligence to make it stick.

Summoner: Like the Summor, a Summoner is just too reliant on Charisma to make any sense for an android. Go Witch or Wizard instead.

Witch: Dexterity helps everybody, and the goblin monkey suffers no penalty to Intelligence.  Goblin monkeys can make competent witches and wizards if they so choose.

Wizard: Again, Dexterity helps everybody, and the goblin monkey suffers no penalty to Intelligence.  Goblin monkeys can make competent witches and wizards if they so choose.

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