One of the charges that’s often leveled against Pathfinder when going over the game’s negatives is that, in certain areas, it’s cumbersome. And as any GM who’s ever tried to construct customized monsters knows, that’s not an unfair charge. Creating custom NPCs is often a time-consuming task, requiring meticulous work to stack class levels and templates on creatures. Your third-level bugbear rogue, for example, isn’t something easily generated on the fly.
It was exactly this sort of problem that Creative Conclave set out to solve, at least as far as bugbears and their ilk are concerned, with The Lazy GM: Goblinoids (Pathfinder Edition).
An update of the d20 v.3.5 version of the same name, this book details various possible builds with class levels, templates, and more for goblins, bugbears, and hobgoblins, as well as wolves, dire wolves, worgs, and goblin dogs, among others. A truly impressive array of stat blocks are presented for these – more than I could hope to count – leading to this 166-page PDF.
What makes this book truly impressive is that it doesn’t just dump a big bunch of stat blocks on you and walk away. In fact, the book opens with an impressive series of tables that describe and organize the book’s contents. Not only is the book divvied up by creature (with a handy table of contents), but it opens with a handy introduction going over each aspect of the stat blocks and explaining the decisions they made and why. Following this are listings of all the monsters in the book by Challenge Rating, and class/template/variant, with each entry being hyperlinked.
Of course, the book isn’t without its flaws. Some of these are technical in nature, such as the lack of PDF bookmarks (though the aforementioned hyperlinked listings help to mitigate this), and the fact that the stat blocks aren’t in the typical Pathfinder format but are instead in the older 3.5 format. I also suspected that there were one or two details got overlooked – I could have sworn, for example, that some monsters had no favored class bonus.
Still, it should be blatantly obvious that this book is a major help to GMs who want to have goblinoid NPCs in their game. Having put together a truly impressive listing of goblinoids of various class, multi-class, and template combinations, you’ll find something of use in here, or at least something approximating what you’re looking for. If you’re a lazy GM, then this series is quite literally named after you, so pick the book up today and save yourself a lot of trouble.
[5 of 5 Stars!]