Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nilbog S&W

sword & wizardry

This creature resembles a small humanoid with a flat face, broad nose, pointed ears, wide mouth, and small, sharp fangs. It walks upright, but its arms hang down almost to its knees.

Source: Tome of Horrors Complete S&W

Tome of Horror Complete Pathfinder

Fiend Folio 1E

So I just hit this goblin five times with my longsword and not a scratch? What the hell?

Cool Factor: A Nilbog is a Goblin spelled backwards. A Nilbog is a goblin who is suffering from a disease that causes Nilbogism. This disease appears only to affect goblins who reside around areas that have strained the space-time continuum. So they look like goblin, they smell like a goblin, so what makes them so special? Normal damage actually heals them. Making them quite a foe for a non-cleric party.

Combat: Nilbog is a low level challenge with moderate hit points, saving throws, and Armor Class. It does have two distinct features. First up is the aura of Spatio-temporal reversal. This aura constantly emanates an aura of confusion in a 20ft radius. Within this radius the PCs must save or be confused. Which can play havoc on the party. A very potent ability.

The other signature ability of the Nilbog is it's damage reversal. Normal damage is actually reversed. The damage heals the Nilbog and it gains extra hit points as temporary hit points but no more then double it's normal amount. The only way a Nilbog can be damaged is through curative magic. A cure light wounds spell or a potion of healing is the bane of this creature.

Nilbog: HD 1d6; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 mace (1d6) or javelin (1d4); Move 9; Save 18; AL C;
CL/XP 1/15; Special: Spatio-temporal reversal, damage reversal

Verdict: The Nilbog is an interesting creature that turns your typically Goblin into a very difficult encounter. Having no ability to cause curative damage can be a major problem for a group of adventurers. Since the Nilbog looks exactly like a Goblin you can sprinkle one or two in a horde of Goblins. Some of them go down quick but for some reason that one Goblin is taking a beating but keeps on going.

The Nilbog has a lot of potential. A tribe of Goblins might have tampered with ancient magic that transforms them into Nilbogs. Another possibility is the leader of the Goblin tribe is 5HD Nilbog. A mini-boss that puzzles the group.

Fighting a Nilbog can really make the Cleric in your party shine. It also waste resources from other party members. Throwing your potions of healing to damage Nilbog can be very costly. It makes this relatively minor challenge a resource drain even for mid level parties. In the end I like Nilbog for it's ability to throw a monkey wrench into encounter design.

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