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I am running a The Lost Mines of Phandelver. The party has just completed the Cragmaw Hideout encounter in an interesting way:

After returning the head of Klar to Yeemic, he demanded an insanely high ransom (Every bit of gold they had on them + 30GP). The party paid him everything they had and said they would return with the rest soon. The party's actual plan is to come back and kill the Goblins to get what was taken from them.

As a roleplay scenario, when they return, I would like to have a group of creatures planning a raid of Cragmaw hideout that the party can interact with.

I realize that I am the DM and I can put whatever I want there and make it work.

What I am looking for is a type of creature that would have a canonical feud with Goblins on a regular basis. I was hoping there was some lore somewhere that would explain something to the extent of "Kobolds and Goblins hate each other and are constantly at war".

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    \$\begingroup\$ If the question is unclear, please ask for clarification. I will provide any information required. \$\endgroup\$ – SaggingRufus Apr 4 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ By "take over" do you mean take their hideout or subjugate the goblins themselves? \$\endgroup\$ – Benjamin Olson Apr 4 at 22:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BenjaminOlson clear it out and move in \$\endgroup\$ – SaggingRufus Apr 4 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to add some details about the goblin hideout in question. Goblin's can live pretty much anywhere and the answer may be different for a cave in the wilderness compared to a sewers hideout beneath a big city for example. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Apr 5 at 0:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question is too broad, because you could come up with a scenario where pretty much any creature might want to take over a goblin hideout - to live there, to eat goblins, to whatever. Answers will be a long list of "this seems cool to me", which doesn't fit our site format (list questions). \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Apr 5 at 1:09
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Honestly, just about anything sapient should work

A goblin encampment can be disruptive to anything living nearby, and it is easy to see why a group might want them gone. Say they happen to settle near a settlement of lizardmen - they're not likely to take well to these trespassers. But then neither is a small village of humans, or dwarves, tortles, or anything else that typically live as members of some sort of society. Any nearby settlement could be reasonably expected to select a group of "adventurers" from their ranks to clear them out.

Orcs might decide that the goblins would make useful servants (or slaves). A slaad might decide they look tasty, a dragon might decide that they'd make good attendants, a group of bandits might decide that there's good loot wherever goblins are, a devil might make plans to subjugate them, a necromancer might need something to experiment on... even another tribe of goblins might attempt a raid.

You don't really need to stretch far to find a good reason for the scenario you want to set up. Just take a look through the Monster Manual for something that would either want what they have or would want them gone, and build a small encounter of it.

If you want something on a similar level to goblins, I think there is a "Bandit" stat block that's roughly on the same level as a goblin. If you want the group to be weaker, you can give them a "Commoner" stat line, but they'll die if they get sneezed on.

But yeah, D&D is rich enough that practically anything should canonically work, provided you can come up with any beleivable reason at all. Which shouldn't be hard to do - after all, would you want to have a group of goblins living in the woods nearby?

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Depends on the Hideout

I fully agree with everything MrSpudtastic's answer says, but I will suggest, based on your exact question, that you might also want to think about it from a somewhat different angle.

  • Rather than finding a creature that would want to attack some sort of goblin hideout, decide on what is notable or important about this particular hideout and then find the creature that that element matches.

    Think about what the hideout is like. If the distinctive feature is lots of Goblin sized spaces and other "facilities" that seem very gobliny then something like a kobold would probably make the most sense, as they have a very similar proportions and lifestyle to goblins. But they are tunnel dwellers who would probably be more interested in a cave based hideout but less so in, say, an old fort based hideout.

Likewise perhaps the prominent feature of the hideout is that it is a particularly good base from which to raid the neighborhood. This would probably make it appeal to bandits, orcs, or any other sort of raid-happy group.

Or it might have some more unique feature such as a rich vein of valuable ore to entice dwarves or a passage to the Underdark that makes Drow or Duergar want to secure it.

Also note that you could have a very similar dynamic from the campaign perspective with a group wanting to capture the Goblins themselves. In this case the most obvious thing that comes to mind is hobgoblins since current lore (such as the Volo's Guide to Monsters chapter on goblinoids) has them compelling the service of goblins to serve their horde as more or less a matter of course. They are unlikely, however, to show much interest in the hideout itself unless it is of some sort of strategic military value.

So, unless you would rather match the hideout to the the enemy you choose, you should first figure out the hideout's features and then look through low CR creatures to find who will be keen to get it.

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Personally, I'd just go with more goblins

For many players LMOP is one of their first experiences of DnD – if that’s not you, and this answer feels too simplistic, feel free to ignore it.

I really like your idea of having some other creatures moving in the goblin’s territory – it’s touches like that from a GM that help a world feel real and active rather than static, to players.

There are plenty of creatures from the MM that you could use for this purpose, all of which could be fun for your players, however, I’m not sure there’s much benefit in overcomplicating things. I think one of your best options is probably just introducing more goblins to the mix.

So, you’re players have struck an uncomfortable bargain with Yeemik and killed Klarg. Klarg was the Cragmaw tribe’s appointed leader at the Hideout, so what happens when the Cragmaw goblins, from elsewhere, find out he’s been killed?

Maybe the next loyal Cragmaw patrol that stops in gets wind of Yeemik’s betrayal and decides he needs to be removed from office? Or, perhaps that patrol thinks Klarg’s death has created a power vacuum that they’re well-placed to take advantage of – using Yeemik’s actions merely as an excuse for their own ambitions. If you preferred, you could even create an entirely separate tribe of goblins looking to move in on Cragmaw territory.

Advantages of this approach:

  • All the stat blocks you need are already in the LMOP campaign book, including hobgoblins and bugbears.
  • We already know it's alocation well-suited to goblin occupation.
  • It doesn’t dramatically change the campaign setting in an on-going way.
  • If you do have access to MM or VGTM you can introduce a more diverse range of greenskins (as an example, the Gobin Boss’s ability to redirect attacks can be hilarious in goblin-on-goblin violence)
  • Green on green violence is commonplace: 'They crave power and regularly abuse whatever authority they obtain.' 'Their larger cousins, hobgoblins and bugbears, like to bully goblins into submission.' 'Goblins are ruled by the strongest or smartest among them [...] Goblin bosses are easily ousted, and many goblin tribes are taken over by hobgoblin warlords or bugbear chiefs.'

Ultimately, you should go with what feels right to you, both narratively and effort-wise.

If that’s not more goblins, but you have access to limited resources, there are other factions already present in LMOP. You could probably come up with a narrative reason for moving any of them into Cragmaw territory, if you wanted to, including Orcs, a Necromancer, Redbrands and dragon worshipping cultists.

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