Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goblins in Generica

“Goblins. What are they? Ask any ten average Remlians and they’ll give you ten different answers. They’ll tell you about ruined crops and stolen treasure. They’ll say they’ve got pig faces or pointy ears. They’ll mention mischief and murder, but only second hand. Nobody’s seen or caught a goblin in almost fifty years. They’re nothing but fairy stories now; things Minimin mothers tell their little halfling children to scare them into eating their vegetables. I’d wager the only person who’s got any hard facts is ol’ Saul Spidermin; that old duff who figured out that dragons eat tree bark. Ask him” -Sildar Hallwinter

“Goblins aren’t a race. They’re don’t have civilizations. Goblins are infestation masquerading as culture. They’re like if Purple Fever killed a man, but then took the man’s top hat, doffed it, then did an impression of that dead man in order to fool the dead man’s friends. These creatures just spring up in the dark places of the world, then they crudely imitate the cultures of the people they kill. Goblins are a bad joke told by the divines before they left the world; a mean-spirited prank that’s only gotten more sour as time’s gone on”. -Saul Spidermin

Goblins in Remlia

Like so many other old monsters, goblins were pushed back into The Pits beneath Remlia, imprisoned with all the others over 500 years ago. Unlike the vampires, the minotaurs, and the deep elves, goblins didn’t take well to this change.

Above all other monsters, they seek to escape the pits and return to the surface, and are now the most commonly seen escaping from the deep places in the earth. Maybe they’ve missed having an audience.

I Learned it From Watching You, Dad

On the surface, goblins seek to inhabit old ruins, cellars, and broken down watchtowers. They build no shelters or cities of their own, preferring instead to prop themselves up as the leaders of grander buildings abandoned by the taller races. Someone else must have lived in it before to make it suitable for a goblin infestation.

Goblins don’t so much adapt to climate as they do to cultures within a climate. In colder regions they’ll freeze to death unless exposed to a group of taller creatures wearing warmer clothing, which they’ll then steal and wear. Goblins who murder a party of elves tend to adopt more elegant and regal bearings, while tribes of goblins who exist near a magic college will be all batty and experimental, doing their best to make spells happen.

With no ‘higher’ culture to imitate or copy, goblins take to imitating bigger monsters or animals. In unsettled areas, goblins are much more bestial and feral. Some believe this is how gnolls came to be, but others debate that gnolls are their own species.
A typical(?) goblin king.
Goblin Kings

This is seen as the pinnacle of goblin imitation. When smaller goblin tribes or bands come together to form a collective (Which is rare. They do so only in times of great need or great hatred), their chosen leader becomes a Goblin King.

A Goblin King is a fair and beautiful individual, though oddly inhuman. They bear more of a resemblance to half-elves than to humans (which half-elves sometimes find insulting). They speak well, are charming, and are completely un-goblin like in appearance.

When a Goblin King is chosen, the goblin receives the following bonuses:

  • 4d6 + Con mod additional hit points.
  • 1d6 + 4 bonus to its Charisma Score (all other Abilities remain unchanged).
  • Ability to speak common perfectly (in its most recently imitated dialect).
  • Advantage on all rolls when dealing with people attracted to the Goblin King’s sex/gender (Goblin King is a unisex title).
  • Sudden influx of knowledge regarding its most recent imitation’s culture and history. All of this knowledge is without context.

When a Goblin King is killed, it reverts back to its original goblin body. Within 1 hour of the Goblin King’s death, any goblin that witnessed the death and volunteers to it is transformed into the new Goblin King. How the other goblins of the tribe/band react to this is largely based on their feelings towards that goblin before the transformation. That said, they are still inclined to obey their King, because that’s what other cultures typically do.

Relation to Hobgoblins and Bugbears

Hobgoblins are bigger, arguably more advanced goblins. They are to goblins what humans are to chimpanzees. It is possible for a goblin to “evolve” into a hobgoblin if it gains enough experience points. They are expert imitators, believed to be descended from those who killed and imitated whole tribes of human and dwarven warlords. Many goblins believe that if two goblins stand on each other’s shoulders long enough, they’ll become a hobgoblin.

Bugbears are intelligent bears with enormous bugs for faces. They have no relation to goblins.

Table of Random Remlian Goblin Facts (d12):

  1. A group of goblins is called a ‘farce’.
  2. The only time goblins have been witnessed trading with civilized races has been to purchase narcotics. Few of these trades end peacefully.
  3. A goblin’s favourite food is nachos from 7-11 or ‘snake surprise’ from Temple of Doom.
  4. A goblin’s favourite Disney song is “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book.
  5. Goblins are very confused and frightened by mirrors, hence why no goblin settlement has any of them present. If left alone with a mirror for over a minute, there’s a 10% chance a goblin will eventually start doing Buffalo Bill impressions from Silence of the Lambs.
  6. Goblins are poisonously allergic to dairy products, specifically milk. As such, they are often found to revere or despise cows.
  7. Goblins have few almost no native religions. They are fearful and superstitious in ways that are difficult for civilized races to comprehend. Often times they will take to worshipping powerful mortal creatures. To any brash adventurers looking to become gods to them, beware: their worship is often strange and perverse.
  8. Cousin to the goblin is the grumpkin, a similar looking beast with magical properties. Grumpkins seek to climb on top of any creature taller than them, magically growing heavier and heavier until they crush their victims to death.
  9. Goblins carry a variety of communicable diseases, many of which can be passed on to humans, elves, and dwarves. Halflings are strangely immune. These diseases include rot foot, boiling knee, hysterical diarrhea, mush mouth, and screaming meemees.
  10. A goblin’s favourite weapon is the scimitar. Its favourite ranged weapon is a catapult.
  11. Goblins are typically bad a magic and spells, but are surprisingly adept at alchemy and potion brewing. Goblin potions all carry strange random properties, and a 10% chance of instant death to non-goblins.
  12. A goblin’s favourite pass time is theatre production, and their favourite game is grub fights.
A visual example of goblins in Generica.

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