Saturday, March 20, 2021

OSR: Spider Wizard

 So apparently, Skerples already made a Spider Wizard.  You can find it here.  

artist unknown

Spider Wizards, also called the Arachanomagus*, are ill-omened folk, strange folk with shaved heads and creeping tattoos.  They are said to be the agents of evil cults or rebels, scheming against the legitimate authorities and plotting all sorts of wickedness.  This is only rarely true.  The school of magic such Wizards follow is ancient and while often associated with dark individuals with sinister motives, this is largely the work of poets and artists, rather than historians.  In truth, most Spider Wizards are hopeless social rejects who have peculiar interests, namely bugs and their eight-legged enemies.  It is a school that is known to attract weirdoes, which doesn't help its dark reputation.

Thanks, Red for the name!

To determine what your Order is like, roll on the tables below:


1- You come from a collective of Artists, Sages and Wizards dedicated to academic research and art relating to things creepy and crawly.  People likely think you're weird, but the Order is largely harmless.
2- You come from a Durama-led matriarchal community where all the men are dominated by the women, everyone wears too much leather and there is lots of bondage and slavery.  The Durama insist it is all an ironic satire of conventional societal norms, but it might just be a playground for perverts.  Alternatively, it might just be a joke that went too far, and no one has the courage to tell everyone to knock it off.
3- You come from a semi-legitimized Order that is funded by a local dynasty and act as spies, informants and cooperate with the secret police.  The current King fears for his crown and has begun worshiping the Queen of Spiders in secret, in the hopes she will save him.
4- Your Wizarding Order is secret and is dedicated to espionage, black-mail and assassination.  The Order may only be interested in profit, or it may seek to advance ideological or religious goals.

To appease the Queen of Spiders, you...  


1- Must light 8 candles a day and recite a long prayer.
2- Eat 8 live insects, thanking her for each one.
3- Pray 4 times a day, saying two prayers each time.  You say the first set of prayers at dawn or when you wake up, one at noon, one more at mealtime and one before you go to sleep.
4- Walk eight circles around the place you are going to sleep in- if you are outside, this is your campsite.  If you are staying in an inn or someone's house, this is the building.
5- Must carve her symbol into a piece of wood or mark it on some piece of flammable material, then burn it.
6- Perform a dance or a musical piece.       

artist unknown

The Spider Wizard is a sub-class for my basic OSR Wizard class.  For any other details, see the base class here.

Power: You have the ability to speak with spiders as if you shared a language.  In exchange for something a Spider needs, they will be able to perform small tasks for you, such as eating a bunch of dangerous insects, spying on your enemies, scouting ahead or warning you about dangers near the Spider.  Spiders will usually demand payment for these favors though.  Spiders usually want food; predators or rivals driven away or killed; or for someone who keeps messing with their weaving to be punished.  You can also use this ability on Giant Spiders, though they are much tougher customers as unlike normal-sized Spiders, they know you're more scared of them than they are you.   

Drawback: You must perform a specific ritual every morning or night to pay homage to the Queen of Spiders.  Failing to do so will mean you lose your magical powers until the Queen is appeased, likely with a sacrifice and much groveling.  Additionally, every time you perform this ritual, there is a X-in-10 chance, where X is your level, that the Queen sends you a message and demands you do something special for her.  Ignoring these messages or failure to perform this task will result in an immediate revocation of your magical powers until the task is resolved and the Queen is appeased.

1- Arachnophobia
2- Arachne's Waltz
3- Bubble Coat
4- Conjure Spider
5- Pass Without Trace
6- Poison Fang
7- Pounce
9- Spider Climb
9- Spider Silk
10- Uriticating Hair
11- Venom Bullet
12- Vision Eightfold

13- Cocoon
14- Spider Sense
15- Strength of Ten Men

R: 30'        T: creature        D: special

One creature within range must save, with a penalty to his save equal to [dice].  On a failure, that creature becomes frightened of spiders and spider-like things.  This creature will not be able to move closer towards the thing it is frightened of and takes 1d6 COG damage every round it can see such a creature.  If this reduces a creature's COG to 0, the creature flees or hides from the object of fear.

If cast with 1 [dice], this spell lasts for [dice] minutes.  If cast with 2 [dice], the spell lasts for [dice] days.  If 3 [dice], [dice] weeks.  If 4 or more [dice], as long as the caster wishes or the effect becomes permanent.

Arachne's Waltz
R: you        T: creature        D: 2[dice] minutes

You grow [dice] additional limbs that resemble those of an enormous spider.  If you have 2 or more of these limbs you can move faster on them, increasing their speed by +10' per pair of legs.  If not playing on a grid, add +2[dice] to any roll made to run away.  They also receive a bonus equal to +[dice] on defense rolls and any roll made to be agile, evade danger or climb.

Bubble Coat
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

One creature you touch gains a bubble of air around their head.  This bubble contains [dice] minutes of clean air and can be used to breathe underwater.  It can also be used above water to protect from noxious fumes or inhaled poisons. 

Conjure Spider
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] rounds

You conjure a spider.  This spider will obey you and follow your orders for the duration, after which it disintegrates back into ectoplasm.  The spider can be thrown at enemies.  To do this, make a ranged attack against them.  You may do this as a bonus action.  If it hits, the spider will crawl around on the creature's body, biting them each round for the duration, doing [dice] poison damage, ignore armor, for the duration.  Creatures who are hit by such a spider must save or panic.  Panicking creatures lose their action each round as they thrash around, trying to shake the spider off.  The spider has [dice] HP and no armor, but is small, fast and agile, adding +[sum] to its defense rolls.          

Pass Without Trace
R: touch    T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] hours

[dice] creatures you touch receive a bonus to their stealth.  If cast with 1 [dice], the affected creatures do not leave footprints or any sign they were in an area.  At 2 [dice], they receive a bonus of +[dice] to their stealth rolls and to checks made to avoid being spotted or detected.  At 3 [dice], they are invisible to any creatures more than 30' from them.  At 4 [dice], they cannot be detected by divination magic for the duration.

Poison Fang
R: self        T: self        D: [dice] minutes

You grow fangs that can secrete poison and gain a bite attack.  This bite attack does 1d6 sharp damage plus 1d6+[dice] poison damage on a hit.  The poison damage is not included in the attack roll, but only added after a hit is confirmed.

For each [dice] used beyond the first, select one of the options below:
- Your poison does +[dice] damage.  You can select this option multiple times.
- Your poison does DEX instead of HP damage.  If this reduces a creature's DEX to 0, that creature is paralyzed.
- Your poison does forces a creature to save if exposed.  On a failed save, the creature is blinded for the duration.  You can select this option again to extend the duration to hours, days or permanently.
- Your poison wracks the creature exposed to it with pain.  That creature gets a -[sum] penalty to any complex movements, such as attacks for the duration.  You can select this option again to extend the duration to hours, days or weeks. 

R: touch    T: creature        D: one action

One creature you touch has its jumping ability enhanced and may immediately make a melee attack against a creature within jumping range (see below).  Creatures under the influence of this spell add +[dice] to their attack rolls and 1d6+[dice] to their damage on a hit. 

If this spell is cast with 1 [dice], the creature can jump up to 30'.  If 2 [dice], up to 50'.  If 3 [dice], up to 100'.  If 4 or more [dice], 100+(10*[dice])'.

Spider Climb
R: touch        T: creature            D: [dice] minutes

One creature you touch gains the ability to stick to walls and ceilings like a spider.  It can also walk on the ceiling with its hands free.  After the duration, the creature drops back down to the ground as normal.

Spider Silk
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] rounds

You gain the ability to produce sticky threads from your body that you can spin into ropes, nets or any shape you desire.  These threads have a collective HP of 1d6+[dice] and vulnerability to fire and sharp damage.  You can produce up to 30*[dice]' of these threads.  Any creature who touches one of these threads is grappled and cannot move from where they are, unless they succeed on a STR check (DC equal to the HP of the strands holding them) or cut the strands.  Additionally, if a strand has caught the sleeve of their coat, they can get free by taking off the coat and leaving it behind.

For each [dice] used beyond the first, select one of the options below:
- You can make threads that are only sturdy and not sticky.  These strands have 2d6+[dice] HP lose their vulnerability to sharp damage.
- You can make threads that are extremely thin and hard to see.  Creatures must succeed on a COG save to see the threads.
- You can make threads that are sharp can be used as melee weapons (as a whip) and 1d6 damage on a hit.

Uriticating Hair
R: self        T: self            D: one actions

You grow long, irritating hairs all over your exposed skin.  As an action, you can blow these into the faces of any creature within 15'.  Creatures hit by these hairs must save- on a failed save they take -[sum] to any complex actions, attack or defense rolls as the hairs get in their eyes and irritate all exposed skin.  This penalty lasts until they get a chance to wash the hairs off.  On a successful save, the creature merely gets a -[dice] penalty to the same. 

When this spell is cast, you may blow these hairs at creatures up to [dice] times, before you must cast the spell again.  

Venom Bullet
R: 50'        T: creature        D: one action

You conjure a sphere of liquid poison and hurl it at a creature.  That creature must make a save.  On a failed save, it takes [sum] poison damage.  On a successful save, it takes [dice] damage. 

Note that this poison is only dangerous if absorbed into the blood stream or is ingested, so it only affects creatures if it hits an open wound, goes into their mouth, nose or eyes.  Creatures wearing full face shields with no open wounds or armor that could protect them from toxic substances automatically pass their saves and take no damage.  Creatures with less than full HP get a penalty equal to [dice] to their saves.  Creatures below half HP have disadvantage on their saves.

Vision Eightfold
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] minutes

You grow [dice] eyes and gain a +[dice] bonus to detect or perceive things.  These eyes disappear once the duration is up.

For each [dice] used beyond the first, select one of the options below:
- You gain thermal vision, and are able to see heat signatures in pitch darkness
- You gain night vision, and can see in low light as if it was bright light and darkness as if it was low light
- You gain binocular vision and are able to see things that are far away in great detail
- You gain 360 degree vision as some eyes open on the back of your neck
- You can move up to 1/2[dice] of the new eyes onto other parts of your body, allowing you to see around corners
- You gain X-ray vision and are able to see through most objects or creatures, but not through a foot of dirt, six inches of wood or an inch of lead
- You gain the ability to see 5 seconds into the future (at the start of your turn, every creature should declare their action and roll any appropriate dice, including you)
- You gain Sight Beyond Sight.  When you use this ability, if you look at someone or something particularly good or evil, you must save or be entranced/repulsed by the sight.  Looking at things sufficiently evil with Sight Beyond Sight can inflict trauma on creatures.  

R: touch    T: creature        D: one action

One creature you touch must save.  On a failed save, that creature is engulfed in a flood of spider silk and covered head to toe in thick wrappings.  Such a creature is restrained and blinded.  The webbing surrounding the creature can be cut or burned off, but unless done slowly with care, half the damage is transferred to the creature.  The webbing has [sum] HP and is vulnerable to sharp and fire damage.         

Spider Sense
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature has its sense of touch elevated to the point where it can sense the movements of the air and vibrations.  This gives it 2[dice] bonus to all defense rolls and saving throws based on dodging or evading danger.

Strength of Ten Men
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature you touch has its strength boosted to superhuman levels.  This gives the creature a +[dice] bonus to attack and defense rolls, as well as to damage and STR checks or saving throws.

At 1 [dice], the creature is just a stronger version of itself and can lift more than that creature ordinarily could.  At 2 [dice], the creature is much stronger, able to lift a whole pig over their head or 500 lbs.  At 3 [dice], the creature can pick a horse and bend or rip through thin metal.  At 4 or more [dice], the creature can lift a carriage or smash through a brick wall with bare hands.     

by Je Song

Chaos and Corruption of the Spider Wizard:
When you roll doubles, roll on the Chaos table.  The spell still goes through.  You receive 1d3 Doom Counters.
When you roll triples, roll on the Corruption table.  The spell automatically fails.  You also receive 1d4 Doom Counters.
At 10 Doom Counters, you invoke the Doom of Fools.
At 20 Doom Counters, you invoke the Doom of Kings.
At 30 Doom Counters, you invoke the Ultimate Doom.

Chaos of the Spider Wizard

1- 1d100 normal spiders show up at your current location and demand you do something for them.  If you refuse, they will swarm you, doing 2d6 poison damage to you.
2- You begin secreting spider silk from your wrists.  Anything you touch for the next 1d10 minutes sticks to your hands and will need to be cut off.
3- You lose the ability to speak until you find a live insect and eat it.
4- You gain a mutation.  After 1d10 minutes, save.  On a failed save, the mutation is permanent.  Otherwise it goes away.
5- You become charmed to a spider and want to please it and make it happy.  The spider is perfectly ordinary and wants spider things.  This won't stop you from constantly praising the spider and telling everyone how adorable she is, the sublime symmetry of her abdomen, etc.  This charm lasts for 1d10 hours.  Should the spider die while you are charmed, you will be heartbroken and spend the rest of the time you are charmed mourning her and giving her a proper funeral.  You will refuse to do anything else.
6- You develop a phobia of birds for 1d10 minutes.  If one gets close to you, you must save or have a panic attack.  Even one swooping overhead makes you nervous.  The larger the bird, the greater your fear.

Corruption of the Spider Wizard

1- 1d1000 normal spiders show up at your current location and demand you do something for them.  If you refuse, they swarm you, doing 3d6 poison damage.
2- You feel a stabbing pain in your abdomen.  This gives you -4 to do anything for 1d4 hours.  After the time has elapsed, you lay a clutch of eggs.  You then develop a compulsion to protect these eggs until they hatch in 1d10 weeks.  Should your egg-sack be destroyed, you will fall into a deep depression and develop a hatred of the person who destroyed it.
3- You develop a hatred for birds.  Should a bird come close to you, you must save or destroy it.  This Conviction lasts for 1d10 days.
4- You develop a Conviction that sleeping outside is dangerous.  Now, you will only sleep 1d4 [1= In the corner of a room; 2= In the branches of a tree or the rafters of a building; 3= In a crawl space or confined area; 4= In a hole in the ground.]  If you sleep anywhere else, you only gain half the benefits of a normal long rest.  This Conviction lasts 1d10 days.
5- You attract the attention of one of the enemies of the Spider Queen.  This enemy sends a 1d8 [1= Giant Scorpion; 2= Giant Bird; 3= Giant Centipede; 4= Giant Fish (only if near water, reroll otherwise); 6= Pack of Apes, Monkeys or Gorillas; 7= Giant Lizard; 8= Giant Wasp.]  There is a 50% chance this is just a normal animal, albeit much larger than normal, or an equal chance it is a Spirit of the Land who hates the Spider Queen.
6- A Giant Spider falls in love with you.  It wants to mate with you, and has a 50% of trying to court you with gifts (mostly raw meat or valuables from dead creatures that got stuck in or near its web).  Alternatively, it may just kidnap you.  Note that while the Giant Spider is likely sincere, if you mate with it, it might eat you.  Also, if you're rude to the Giant Spider or kill it, you might provoke the anger of the Spider Queen (Referee's Discretion).  If you do so, she will likely demand recompense.


Doom of Fools- You are transformed into a Giant Spider for 1d10 minutes.  While in this form you are the size of a horse and have a venomous bite, but cannot speak nor cast spells.  This transformation also shreds any clothing or armor you're wearing. 

Doom of Kings- You are transformed into a Large Spider for 1d10 hours.  While in the form you are size of a large dog and have a venomous bite, but cannot speak nor cast spells.  This transformation also shreds any clothing or armor you're wearing. 

Ultimate Doom- You are transformed into a small, perfectly ordinary spider permanently.  You cannot speak nor cast spells in this form. 

This Doom can be avoided by marrying an Arachne or by securing the favor of the Spider Queen's lover, the Harvestman.

by Belibr

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

OSR: Ghouls

Ideas borrowed from here, here and here.  Inspired by everything Joseph Manola and Arnold K have ever written about Ghouls. 

by inSOLense

Cannibal Undead who eats their own kind.  They've been a part of D&D for a long time, but I've only recently learned to really love them.  As such, I will finally be doing a definitive post on them.

Becoming a Ghoul:

Every time you eat the flesh of your own species or another intelligent humanoid race, you get a point of The Hunger.  Every time you gain a point of The Hunger, you must succeed a COG save, with a penalty equal to the points of The Hunger you have gained.  For example, if this is your first cannibal meal, -1.  If it's your fifth, -5.

If you succeed, nothing happens.  But if you fail the save, you become a Half-Ghoul. 

You should also make another save like this after you die, presuming you don't die because you are decapitated or burned to a crisp.  Additionally, if you are quickly given a proper funeral and buried in consecrated soil, then you do not have to make a second save.  If you fail this save, you rise once the sun sets as a Ghoul.

Half-Ghouls gain the following Traits:

Cannibal Conviction: You gain the Conviction, "I have the desire to consume the flesh of intelligent humanoids."  Whenever you get the chance, you must save or do so. 

Ghoulish Descent: Every time you consume the flesh of an intelligent humanoid, make a CON save.  On a failed save, roll on the 'Ghoul Traits' table below.  You may also choose to fail this save.

Undead Rebirth: If you are killed and not decapitated or burned down to your bones or given a proper funeral and buried in consecrated soil then you should make a Save vs. The Hunger after death (COG save with -X penalty equal to points of The Hunger).  Should you fail this save, your body rises once the sun sets as a Ghoul.

Ghoul Traits:


1- Agelessness.  As long as you regularly consume the flesh of intelligent humanoids, you do not age.  You will never get any younger, but your body can be maintained at this current age.  Additionally, even if you are old, the consumption of flesh will prevent you from suffering the maladies of old age.
2- Ghoul Venom.  Your saliva begins to contain a paralytic poison.  Should a creature be exposed to it, it must save or take 1d6 DEX damage.  Creatures who are dropped to 0 DEX cannot move, but regain 1 point of DEX per hour.  Antivenom or anything that removes poison immediately heals all DEX damage.
3- Resistance to Pain.  You receive natural armor equal to AR 1.  If you roll this result again, increase it to AR 2, up to AR 4.  This Armor does not stack with anything but shields or helms. 
4- Sunlight Sensitivity.  You get -1 to all rolls in sunlight, as it prickles your skin and irritates it. 
5- Claws and Fangs.  Your canines extend, giving you a d6 bite attack.  If you have Ghoul Venom, you can secrete venom through your fangs.  If you roll this result again, you gain claws that give you a d6 attack.  If you have claws, you can make a bite and claw attack on your turn.  You can also secrete venom through your claws.
6- Enhanced sense of smell.  You gain a +4 bonus to any roll made to track by smell.
7- Low-light vision.  You can see in low-light conditions as if they were brightly illuminated.  While your eyes are adjusted to the darkness, you have disadvantage on all saves vs blindness.
8- Obligate Carnivore.  You cannot eat anything but meat now.  Should you attempt so, you gain no nutrition from the meal and must save or vomit it back up.
9- Cold of the Grave.  You are no longer affected by cold temperatures and cannot suffer from hypothermia.  If you roll this result again, you get resistance to cold damage.
10- Animal Fear.  Animals become scared of you and will no longer willingly associate with you.  Dogs will refuse to obey your commands and horses won't let you ride them.  You can attempt to frighten animals as an action. 
11- Iron Belly.  You can no longer be poisoned or get sick from eating something, such as carrion.  If you roll this result again, you can resistance to poison damage.
12- Undead Kinship.  Undead will recognize your status as a fledgling, and not attack you unless you aggress against them first.  If you roll this result again, you must succeed a CON save. On a failed save, you die and rise once the sun sets a Ghoul.  You may also choose to fail this save.

by George REDreev

Ghouls gain the following Traits:

Undead: Ghouls are Undead.  Undead do not feel pain or get tired.  They are immune to poison and disease.  They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.  Any spell that says "Undead" in its title or description is talking about something like this.

Sunlight Vulnerability: Undead take 1d6 radiant damage for every round they spend in sunlight.

Already Dead: Unless decapitated, cut to pieces, burnt to ashes by sunlight or reduced to zero HP by a magical attack or weapon, the Undead has an X-in-6 chance of their body knitting itself back together and recovering from the damage they took, where X is equal to the number of HD they have.

Great Hunger: Ghouls must continually consume meat to maintain their personalities.  If a Ghoul has eaten within the last 3 days, it maintains its full intelligence.  If it hasn't eaten in a week, it is still intelligent, but is noticeably less smart, less patient and less cautious.  If a Ghoul hasn't eaten in a month, it is feral, and acts like a rabid animal.  If it hasn't eaten in longer than a month, it slumps into a coma and does not move.  Should any creature come within arm's reach, the Ghoul will spring up and try to devour the creature.  Otherwise, the Ghoul will do nothing. 

Cursed Touch: Most Ghouls have Ghoul Venom, which they secrete through saliva, fangs and claws.  But some Ghouls have a burning touch or other abilities that activate on contact.

Finally, here is a statblock for a Ghoul:

(Lesser) Ghoul
HD 1d3+1
AR 2 [Light or Natural Armor]
Atk Claw (1d6 + 1d6 DEX) or Weapon (1d8)
Mor 12
Saves (7+HD) or less
Immune to Cold, Poison and Necrotic Damage

Undead, Sunlight Vulnerability, Already Dead

Ghoul Venom: Creatures struck by a Ghoul's claws or fangs are injected by venom and must save, on a failure they take an additional 1d6 DEX damage.  If this damage reduces a creature's DEX to 0, the creature is paralyzed.  Creatures regain 1 point of DEX per hour, as long as they aren't injected with more venom.  

- Isolate a creature
- Use venom to paralyze it
- Drag it away to eat
- Only hunt weak prey, if something seems too strong, try to weaken it first

You can find ideas for different kinds of Ghouls here and here.

The Nature of Ghouls:

Ghouls are mortals who have feasted on the flesh of their own kind for reasons that vary from creature to creature.  Perhaps they did so out of desperation, or sadism, or any number of other reasons.  Regardless, they did so, and now their sins have caught up to them, forcing them to hide from the sun and feed on the living and dead.  Ghouls are pathetic, desperate creatures, driven by an insatiable hunger that can only be temporarily sated by forbidden flesh.

How the Ghoul chooses to react to this varies. 

Most Ghouls have some degree of self-loathing, as they likely ate friends, family or kin, or perhaps simply refused to choose an honorable death and were driven to this point, thus having brought shame upon themselves and their families.  As such, most Ghouls present a very humorous mask, joking and laughing at themselves and others to hide their self-loathing.  This false joviality is also an attempt by the Ghouls to not scare away other creatures.

Other Ghouls attempt to justify their actions.  Perhaps they try to only eat racial, ethnic or cultural enemies, or criminals, or slaves they own.  These Ghouls are highly skilled at rationalizations and are able to reframe almost any horrible action, transforming it into an act of benevolence.  They tend towards consquentialist schools of moral reasoning.  These Ghouls are the most frustrating to deal with.

When Ghouls gather together, they tend to be sulk and wallow in misery together, or begin developing a theory of morality that allows them to eat people without feeling guilty.  These latter type of Ghouls will try to evangelize for their favorite moral theory even as they are preparing to eat you. 

When they have recently eaten, Ghouls can be quite chatty and civil.  They like talking to non-Ghouls, most of which are at least somewhat optimistic, unlike some of their own kind, who love dark soliquies and declarations of the emptiness of Hope.  It sounds cool for the first couple years, but most older Ghouls outgrow such trite aesthetics.  Sure, it might be intimidating to remind your victims how there is no hope left for them, that it was all a lie to begin with, but by trying to feed on them, aren't you demonstrating that you are incorrect.  Isn't the Ghoul's constant quest for food a refutation of the idea that living creatures would be better off dead?

Young Ghouls, of course, don't let this bother them, especially if they're married to the idea of being a dark, tragic monster.  Some of them imagine themselves to be the main character of a tragedian's finest work, aping sophistication and pathos while ripping flesh from bones. 

However, despite how they act, know that all Ghouls are always hungry.  They can and do eat any form of meat, from carrion to other Undead to the living.  The latter are the most delectable to them, hot and fresh and full of life.  The urge to feed on you is always present, no matter how the Ghoul appears.  And eventually, no matter how in control the Ghoul feels, he will give in to these urges and try to devour you. 

Ghoul Plot Hooks:


1- A pair of Ghouls have fallen in love with a Graveyard Nymph.  One wants to redeem himself to be worthy of her love, and collapses back into self-pity and depression whenever he eats a person.  Another wants desperately to eat her, but cannot resist her charm aura.  He wants some way to defeat it, so he can eat her.
2- A Necromancer is being stalked by a Ghoul.  The Ghoul just wants someone to talk to, but the Necromancer is scared of the Ghoul, as he rightly fears the Ghoul might eat him.  As such, he will try to create a situation where the Ghoul will be driven off or killed while he can escape.
3- A Ghoul has started an organization among the disenfranchised of a city with the aim of revolution or reform so bloody and violent to be indistinguishable from it.  The Ghoul may or may not actually care about this goal, and may just be doing this so it has an excuse to make a bunch of corpses and feast on them.  The followers of the Ghoul know he or she is something abnormal, but not that he is a Ghoul.  Should they know, they would probably react badly.
4- A group of strangers arrived outside a city's wall and began causing trouble, raiding tombs, kidnapping animals and people and generally being suspicious and scary.  If you investigate, you will find out they are Ghouls.  As for what they are doing here, the leader of the Ghouls will tell you that they are "Waiting."  Shortly after the Ghouls arrive, the city will be attacked by an enemy warband.  Should the Ghouls still be alive, they will join the ravens in feasting on the dead.
5- You are asked to investigate a series of disappearances along a trade route.  Secretly, a family of Ghouls have been kidnapping people who travel along the road, taking them back to their cave home to feed on.   
6- You are invited to a noble's home for dinner.  He asks you for your help in curing a mysterious illness that is afflicting his grandfather, who has grown so violent and insane he has to be locked up in the attic.  Unknown to this noble, the grandfather is a Ghoul, and his feral nature is because he hasn't been fed enough.  The noble wants you to cure his grandfather.  But is that even possible?  Then, during dinner, the grandfather escapes and begins stalking the family, looking to feed. 
7- A serial killer, who is addicted to the idea of racking up the greatest kill count in history, has started eating his victims in the hopes that once he becomes a Ghoul, he will be able to keep going forever.  He is someone the players know, and as he starts to become more Ghoulish, he becomes more erratic and unconventional.  While this is happening, the players should be investigating a series of seemingly unrelated murders in the city.
8- A group of adventurers have gone missing in a deep dungeon.  Someone from the outside hires you to go rescue them.  When you find the adventurers, you find that the entire party was wiped out, except for two.  One, who had been a cannibal before, became a Ghoul and killed the others, with the exception of one other, who they dragged off to eat.  When you find the survivors, you find the Ghoul has "kidnapped" the Prophetess, who he is in love with.  He claims he is just trying to protect her, and he might even believe that, but it's only a matter of time before he loses control of himself and tries to eat her.
9- A group of fisherman haven't returned in several days and you are hired to find them.  The locals suspect Mermaids or perhaps a Whale.  When you arrive, you find that the fishermen's boat sank and they divided themselves up into life-boats, but then got separated, with the lifeboats floating in different directions.  All the fishermen are either dead, starving or have secretly resorted to cannibalism and started turning into Half-Ghouls.  They will conceal this fact until they can no longer control myself, and then they will feast.
10- A local official has been acting strangely, stirring up trouble and warmongering after the polity's enemies when he was formerly a peaceful man.  Secretly, a group of Ghouls have captured his family and if he doesn't provide them with another source of meat soon, they will cease eating his servants and start eating his children instead.  

by Dave-Kendall

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

SOS: Terror and Humanity

by JMD3

This is a new magic system for my Science Fiction game.  Previously, I wrote a very good post detailing a potential system one could use, but that system was discarded in favor of me using the Insight System from Throne of Salt's Lighthouse.  Or rather, I used my own theory of that system, as it hadn't been fully explained at the time.  However, this dissatisfied me, as I wanted something more like the magic system in The Magnus Archives.  This is my attempt to recreate that, with a little bit of Black Crusade thrown in there for good measure.

Note that it is possible to use magic in the form of rituals apart from the Powers, but this requires knowledge and preparation.  In Sea of Stars, the Powers are the fastest and most efficient way to use magic.  And all it will cost is your immortal soul.  

Slave of the Divine Fears:

The Powers are super-consciousnesses, collective manifestations and/or sources of all Fears of a specific kind.  They dwell outside of our universe, feeding on our collective terror and working to multiply it as much as possible.  There are 8 known ones, though there might be more.

For example, The Blaze (see above) is fear of failing to live up to your own potential, of being trapped by circumstances of your own weakness, the fear that you are wasting your life, that you are just a doing whatever everyone else tells you to do.

The Blaze is also the fear of chaos, of uncertainty, of random violence, of the breaking of taboos and restrictions.

The Blaze acts, if it can be called that, to instill and grow this fear in all people, but also in its Agents.  Its Agents are those creatures it has deliberately chosen to be its fingers and hands, those who serve it.  The first fear is the one that is primarily used against the Agents, while the latter against their victims.   

Depending on the Power, these Agents might be granted the right to transcend their humanity and gain greater power, in exchange for subservience.  Alternatively, the Power might offer lesser boons instead, or nothing at all.

All Agents of the Powers- whether they consciously know it or not, long to be united to their Master, forever.

Here's how it works:

Agents of the Powers gain two new Statistics to keep track of, Humanity and Terror.

Humanity and Terror:

Humanity is the mark of one's status as Humanity.  Humanity is lost by aligning oneself with those creatures who oppose and seek to dominate or devour mankind.  Regaining lost humanity is extremely hard, but not impossible.  The only way to recover Humanity is to defy the Powers or to perform selfless acts of heroism.

As lose your Humanity, you will find yourself becoming more and more distant from Humanity.  Those who hit 0 Humanity have their character become totally enslaved to their Power.  That character then becomes unplayable.

Whenever a character acts in a selfless or heroic manner, going above and beyond the common moral expectations, especially in regards to opposing the Powers, then the Referee may choose to award 1 to 2 Humanity.  3 Humanity may be granted for incredible selflessness or heroism, but generally restrict yourself to 1 or 2.

Humanity Table:

17-20: No changes.
13-16: Dark Conviction.  The Character gains a Dark Conviction.
9-12: Dark Conviction worsens/You receive another.
5-8: Daily Demands.  The Character now has an X-in-10% chance of receiving a demand from their Power.  They must carry out this demand or suffer punishments.  Character will only have to roll 1d10 once per day.
1-4: Serfdom.  Character is now totally dependent on the Power for survival.  Every day the character receives a new demand. If these demands are refused, the character must save or die. 
0: Slavery.  Character is now unplayable and becomes an NPC under the Referee's control.

Terror is a measure of the Power's favor towards a character.

The more Terror you gain, the more powerful a character can become, gaining superhuman and magical abilities.  Terror is gained by serving the Power you are aligned with and doing what it asks.  Successes stoke fear in your enemies, which leads to your Power growing stronger, which leads to you gaining Terror. 

To start gaining Terror, you must be bonded to a Power through one of their Agents, by performing a ritual of some kind.  Should this ritual be completed, you can start gaining Terror.  Quests assigned to you by Agents of your Power, if successfully completed, can grant 1 or 2 Terror, depending on the amount of fear stoked and overall success.  Note that not all Powers are as generous as the others, with some requiring great sacrifices, while others handing out rewards more generously.

Terror Table:

0: No changes
1-4: Aura of Fear.
5-10: Lesser Boon.
11-16: Greater Boon.
17-20: Daemonhood.
21+: Ascension.      

1-4, Aura of Terror: As an action, you can project an aura of terror.  Creatures must save or be frightened.  Frightened creatures cannot move closer to you and you have advantage on saving throws against their attacks or abilities.  Frightened creatures take 1d6 COG (or Morale) damage a round.  Should this reduce a creature's COG to 0, that creature flees, hides or begs for mercy if neither are possible.

5-10, Lesser Boon: A lesser Reward granted from on high.  When you reach this Threshold, you automatically gain a Minor Boon.  For each point of Terror you gain past that point you must succeed on a roll to gain another Boon.  At 6 Terror, the chance is 50%.  At 7, 25%.  At 8, 15%.  At 9, 10%.  And at 10, 5%.  Additionally, should you be granted another Boon, you can choose to enhance the strength of one of your pre-existing Boons by selecting the one you initially received.

11-16, Greater Boon: As 'Lesser Boon'.

17-20, Daemonhood: When you achieve this level of Terror, you are invited or instructed on how to perform a ritual that will allow you to fully transcend your human limitations.  Should you survive the ritual, which not all do, you will become an Empty-Man.  Once you become an Empty-Man you will begin gaining abilities per point of terror, till you reach 20 Terror.

21+, Ascension: You now stand above the greatest of humans, but you are but one small light in a vast sea of darkness.  There are much bigger fish out there and they long to make you suffer, then after gobbling up your fear, to devour you.  From here, the only way to get stronger is to hunt down other Empty-Men and consume them.  Your only two options for surviving this world is to keep your head down and try not to be noticed by the Gods, or grow large enough to become one yourself. 

from here

The Blaze:

Lesser Boon(s):


1- Trigger Failure.  You can detect when an object, such as a building, bridge or vehicle is near failure point by getting near them.  Additionally, if you focus on smaller objects, you can trigger that failure by focusing on it for at least 1 minute.  For larger objects, will alone will be insufficient, but this ability will tell you how to do the most damage to the item to try and destroy it. 
2- Eye of Terror.  You can fix an enemy with a stare as an action, forcing that creature to make a save.  On a failed save, the creature is paralyzed with fear and unable to move, as it freezes like a rabbit.  This creature cannot move until he passes his save, which he can do on his turn, or until someone else takes an action to snap him out of it.
3- Luck of the Draw.  X times per day, where X is your CHA modifier, you replace any d20 roll with a coin flip.  Heads equal a critical success, Tails a critical failure.
4- Searing Hatred.  If you are injured by a creature, you get +1 to damage rolls against that creature for the rest of the fight.  If you roll or select this boon again, the bonus increases to +2 and lasts for 1 week.  If you roll or select this boon again, the bonus increases to +1d4 and lasts for 1 month.
5- Smoking in an Armory.  Whenever you are in a situation that is high tension enough to become violent, you know exactly what to do to escalate the situation so that violence and chaos explodes.  If you roll or select this boon again, you can, as an action, exude an aura of pheromones that naturally make people more aggressive around you. 
6- Hard Reset.  If you are suffering under the effects of a Charm or Fear effect, or some other effect such as intoxication or hallucinations brought on by chemicals, you can take 1d4 damage and gain a new save against that effect.  On a successful save, the effect ends and you become immune to being affected by a similar effect for 1 hour.

Greater Boon(s):


1- Fast Healing.  You recover from wounds at half the rate a normal creature of your type would.  For example, if an injury would put someone in the hospital for two days, you only need stay for 1 day.  You also recover double hitpoints when you roll for it.
2- Indomitable Will.  You have advantage on all effects that would influence your emotions or thoughts.  If you roll or select this boon again, if you succeed on your save to not be affected by the effect you can redirect it at another creature besides the one that it originated from, forcing that creature to save.
3- Force Overload.  As an action, you can force an electrical system to misfire, causing a catastrophic error in any advanced machinery hooked up to it.  This may or may not permanently disable a system, but it will temporarily disable it at least.
4- Consuming Blaze.  As an action, you can cause a creature's open wounds to worsen, dealing 1d4 damage to that creature.  Creatures at full health are immune to this ability.
5- Halo of the Deceased.  As an action, you can cause the nearby light to gather around one creature.  That creature must save or be blinded and all attacks against that creature have advantage.  If you stop using your action to concentrate on this fact, the light returns to normal and attacks against the creature no longer have advantage (assuming the creature is not blinded).  If the creature is blinded, he can make a save on his turn as a free action to try and recover his vision.
6- Rip and Tear!  You can temporarily boost your strength, giving yourself the strength of a great ape.  This causes you to add double your STR modifier to STR checks, saves and damage rolls.  This boost lasts for as long as you can maintain concentration or 5 minutes, but each time you take damage you must save.  On a failed save, your concentration breaks.  After you fail a save or 5 minutes has passed, you get -4 to all checks based on STR or DEX until you rest for at least 1 hour.

An Agent of the Blaze's Dark Convictions:


1- "I want to break something."  When faced with something that looks like it would be really fun to smash, you must save to resist to doing so.
2- "I hate following rules."  When put in a situation where following rules is essential and necessary, you must save to resist flagrantly violating them.
3- "I want that thing."  You suddenly desire one particular object or item that you can see.  You will find yourself captivated by that item for 1d6+1 days, obsessing over it for that time, until you get over it and move on to something different.  If given the chance to take or buy it, you must save to resist.   
4- "I have no filter."  When in a situation where tact and politeness is necessary, you must save to resist the urge to speak frankly and say what you are really thinking. 
5- "I hate being cautious."  When given the option between acting recklessly or being cautious, you must save to resist the urge to act recklessly.
6- "I hate that guy."  You develop a sudden dislike of one creature within visual range.  Whenever you have the opportunity to mock, chide or slight that creature, you must save to resist doing so.


17- Fueled by Fear.  If a creature is frightened of you, if it is within 100' of you, you can sense it's location even with all your other senses inoperable.  You have advantage on saves against a frightened creature's firearm attacks and you do +1d4 psychic damage to frightened creatures.  You can also take an action to harvest a creature's fear by getting within 30' of a frightened creature and doing something scary.  That creature must save.  On a failed save, the creature takes 1d4 nonlethal psychic damage and must save or forget this incident, only retaining hazy memories of it that manifest as nightmares that swiftly vanish upon waking.  

If you successfully harvest a creature's fear, this heals you for X HP, where X is the creature's HD+COG modifier.  Creatures that have their fear harvested lose the Frightened effect and cannot be frightened for 1 hour, but have advantage on melee attacks against the creature that frightens them.  Creatures can choose to fail their save and allow an Empty-Man to harvest their fear, should they wish. 

Harvesting fear from creatures temporarily stops the aging process and delays the effects of any degeneration brought on by aging.  Do it enough and it will gradually de-age you.  Additionally, as long as you harvest fear often enough, you do not need to eat, drink or sleep, though you can still do all those things.   

18- Manual Biologics.  You gain the ability to shapeshift, altering the shape and size of your body.  You can grow or shrink up to X times the size of your body, where X is your COG modifier.  You can also alter your appearance, voice, smell and change your limbs and other appendages into any shape you desire.  Your ability scores do not change depending on your form.

19- The Stuff of Nightmares.  When faced with a creature that is attacking you, X times per day, where X is your CHA modifier, you can force a creature to save.  On a failed save, that creature does half damage to you.  Creatures or weapons associated with your opposite Power ignore this fact.  Additionally, any intelligent creature with an especially strong will, faith in God or some other relevant quality have advantage on this save.  

20- Space is Square, Time is a Ring.  You gain the ability to, as an action, to teleport through space.  You can travel to anywhere you have been, but the further you try to go, the more likely you run into something horrible or have something go wrong.  Additionally, whenever you teleport, every other creature who can teleport in the area can sense your arrival, though they won't know it's you, just that someone teleported in.  The further you jumped in from, the further out qualifying creatures will be able to sense the ripple in space-time.

by Chalmer Relatorre

Friday, March 5, 2021

OSR: Goblins

Giggling, capering, foolish creatures; deprived of fear and drunk on black mirth and base cruelty, the Goblin is foremost among the terrors afflicting the small people of this world.  For unlike the lumbering Trolls, tyrannical Giants, ravenous Ogres or any number of other savage beasts, Goblins are as common as poison ivy.  

They are a dark plague that afflicts the body politic of many civilized lands, growing numerous and potent when the institutions crumble and the nobility become more interested in wealth and internal politicking than defending the borders, and similarly, grow few and scarce when confronted by a vigorous population and a courageous elite.

by MarjorieDavis
HD 0 - 3 HP
AR none
Atk Varies, see below
Mor 15
Saves 7 or less

Cold Iron Weakness: Goblins take +1 damage per die from all Iron Weapons.

Truth-Teller: Goblins cannot lie.  They can muddy the issue, dodge the question and not answer, but they cannot lie directly. 

Chuckle-Voodoos: Goblins have innate magical abilities.  Individually, Goblins can create illusions made of stardust and cobwebs, held together by magic.  These illusions aren't very convincing, being a bit too loud, colorful or simply out of place.  A creature can see through a Goblin's illusion by succeeding on a Cognition check with a DC appropriate to the situation (Referee's Discretion).  The more Goblins gathered in one place, the more convincing the illusion.  Other Goblins can also lend their strength to each other's illusions, producing sound, smell or simply adding more detail.  However, regardless of how many Goblins there are, these illusions will never stand up to physical scrutiny.

- Confuse the enemy with illusions
- Throw stones from slings
- Use hit and run tactics
- Perform a false retreat, then ambush

To customize a Group of Goblins, roll on the tables below:

These Goblins are...


1- Savage.  These are Goblins dedicated to redeeming themselves to the rest of the Folk.  As such, they abhor technology and the fruits of civilization.  They use weapons made of natural materials and diabolical traps to wage war on civilization.  They infiltrate areas where Law is weak and pick off the weaklings, attempting to increase their numbers and strength until they can overwhelm the local outposts of civilization.  These Goblins do not speak the lingua franca of this civilization, restricting themselves to bestial snarls when outside the comfort of their stronghold.  They use weapons made of ice, wood, bone or sharp stone and specialize in guerilla warfare, using traps, ambushes and horribly booby traps.  They kidnap women to be their concubines, steal food and burn everything that reminds them of civilization, including all the books, paintings and clothing.  They themselves wear minimal clothing and armor, especially among the common Goblins.  This type of Goblin also occasionally partners with Druids and other Folk.
2- Mirthful.  These are Goblins who have accepted their position at the bottom of the heap, and regard it with wry wit.  They are convinced that, as they view their situation as hopeless, the only thing that can be done is to laugh about it.  They clothe themselves in colorful motley and make nonsensical jokes, laughing hysterically.  These Goblins kidnap humans to watch their amateur performances or to engage in absurd rituals.  These Goblins do speak your language, but still don't make much sense.  These Goblins also have the most practical experience with magic, able to conjure fantastic illusions and other elaborate displays.  These Goblins sometimes partner with Chaos cults and sometimes, the Minions of the Dark Powers. 
3- Vassal.  Vassal Goblins are Goblins who have taken to serving a more powerful master and altering themselves to be more like their master.  If they are serving a human leader, they may skin humans and make them into magical disguises, which they will then use to pretend to be humans.  Or if they are serving a Dragon, they will build false Dragons out of wood and plaster and move them around at night.  They essentially act as an unintentional parody of whatever their Master is.  This may agrevate their master, as Goblins are not subtle, nor does the concept of restraint mean anything to them. 
4- Royalist.  These are Goblins who are in service of a Goblin King.  They reject the Chaotic nature of their own species and attempt to live normal lives.  They build towns, pay taxes and organize themselves into institutions.  Rarely trusted by Lawful creatures, and with good reason.  For while Goblins can do many things, they are still Folk and still servants of Chaos.  Their instincts can be suppressed for some time, but ultimately they always come out.

Goblin Weaponry:
- Savage Goblins carry daggers made of flint or obsidian, and use slings that they can use well enough to fling a stone from and knock a bird out of the air from 100 feet away.  These weapons do d6 damage. 
- Mirthful Goblins wield clubs and small warhammers made of wood, stone or bone.  They also use Fool Swords, wooden shortswords dyed bright colors that they enchant to be sharp as steel, but useless in the hands of the cynical, jaded or mature.  Children, madmen and those innocent enough to still believe in fairy tales wield these as magical, supersharp swords, while those are not regard them as cheap wooden toys.  They also have custard pies that have filling that burns like acid, colorful lassos made of an endless string of knotted hankerchiefs, and inflated sonic bombs full of flammable sawdust that sticks to everything. 
- Vassal Goblins use whatever weapons their Master would have them use, or make facsimilies of their master's weapons out of wood, stone or ice.
- Royalist Goblins usually use weapons made of bronze or copper, which is lighter than steel but not as strong.  They design themselves to resemble the local Agents of Law, but rarely end up as anything more than an odd parody.

This group of Goblins also carries...


1- Blowpipes.  Blowpipes do 1 damage on a hit, plus the dart is coated in 1d4 [1= Hallucinogens.  Any creature hit by one of these darts has hallucinations for 1d6 hours; 2= A Paralyzing Agent.  Causes 1d6 DEX damage and a -1d4 penalty to attack.  This damage heals itself after 1d8+2 hours; 3= Dangerous poison.  When hit, save or die.  On a failed save, the creature immediately drops of 0 HP and starts dying.  On a successful save, the creature loses half of its HP; 4= Diseased tip.  The Goblins smear their darts in their feces.  Any creature hit with one must save vs disease once the battle is over.] 
2- A bow and arrow.  Goblin Bows do 1d6+1 damage on a hit.  Useful for lighting people on fire once they've blundered into an oil trap, covered in sawdust or simply are standing too close to an explosive booby trap.  Also good for taking potshots at people from very far away.  Goblin archers are a privileged caste, as most Goblins aren't strong enough to draw even a shortbow.
3- Special ammunition for slings.  All Goblin bands over 4 will have at least one Goblin who knows how to use a sling.  For while the Savage Goblins are best with them, most Goblins practice with the sling.  These Goblins, besides throwing stones, also have 1d6 [1= Ceramic balls full of flammable oil; 2= Glass balls full of acid; 3= Fabric balls coated in the pheremones of the most dangerous type of monster around; 4= Smoke bombs; 5= Stink Bombs, save or puke your guts out; 6= Breakable clay balls full of millions of spiders, ants or other creepy crawlies.]

Goblin Strategies:


1- Be more numerous.  Sometimes you don't need a plan.  When other Goblins are nearby, Goblins will carry horns that when blown, can reach the ears of their nearby allies.
2- False retreat.  Attack, then once you take some damage, retreat.  When the enemy comes to follow you, the rest of your force attacks them from the back. 
3- Illusory Reinforcements.  Half of the Goblins attack, the other half stay back and create illusory Goblins.  The enemy has a 50% of not hitting you, or anyone at all.
4- Illusory Enemies.  Create illusions of Goblins heading one way, then wait for the enemies to follow them.  When they do, ambush them or attack from a direction they aren't expecting.

artist unknown

Goblin Army
HP 20 + (10*1d10)
Damage Threshold 3
Atk Spear (1d6/1d6/1d6 + see below)
Mor 18
Saves 8 or less

Army: A Goblin Army is a group of 20 or more Goblins working and fighting together as a unit.  Armies move in groups- 3 can walk abreast in a 10' wide hallway.  Three soldiers in the Army are able to surround one enemy and more will be needed should there be more enemies, or should they be standing shoulder-to-shoulder or back-to-back.  Armies make all saves against area-of-effect spells with disadvantage and should a spell or ability of that kind do damage, they take full damage if evading it is based on DEX or agility.    

Variable Attacks: An Army can make a variable amount of attacks, especially if it is able to surround an enemy.  At base, Armies can make three attacks, but depending on positioning, may be able to make more.  If the Referee rules it, an Army may make a number of additional attacks up to 10 potential attacks, but this is only in a situation where a group of enemies has been completely surrounded.  

Damage Threshold: Attacks against the Army automatically hit, instead have the attacker just roll damage and compare it to the Damage Threshold.  Any attack that equals or exceeds the threshold does normal damge to the Army's HP, but any attack that fails to reach or exceed the Damage Threshold is ignored, as if it did no damage.  

Chuckle-Voodoos: Goblins, when massed, can perform more powerful magicks.  To determine what this Goblin Army can do, roll on the table below.

- Terrify your enemies with elaborate deceptions and enormous illusions
- Mob your enemies
- Have no fear, unless presented with overwhelming force

This Goblin Army possesses the power to...


1- Make itself invisible, as long as it is not attacking.  The sounds the Army make will largely be masked by the illusion as well, but there will still be signs that the Army is there, such as the grass being pressed down where they are standing, the feeling of many eyes on you and the smell.
2- Make itself appear to be somewhere else.  The Goblins can "throw" their voices, taking all the noises they make and moving it to another area within visual range.  For example, if the Goblins are sneaking up on your camp along the riverbed, they can make it appear like they are on top of the hill on the other side of camp.
3- Make itself seem larger.  By weaving an illusion, the Goblin Army can make itself appear double or triples its current size, a veritable sea of Goblin. 
4- Create mass illusions.  Goblin Armies can make incredible illusions that affect entire cities, making it appear like the sun has turned black and the moon the color of blood, or conjured an entire army of illusory monsters to rampage through a town.

Goblins are the lowest of the Folk, scheming, pathetic creatures who have earned the scorn of their brethren.  For unlike most other Folk, not all Goblins actively scorn civilization.  Some of them ape it, living in houses, buying and selling, even practicing math and marriage.  For this, they are despised and rejected by most Folk, who regard them as traitors.  As such, Goblins live apart from them, building communities in isolated areas and on the edges of true wilderness.  These communities are hollow reflections of mortal cities, resembling garbage dumps or strange, mad mirrors depicting our civilizations through a warped lense.  Some Sages have even argued that Goblins are essentially a Folkish critique of civilization, a dark mirror that depicts how they truly feel about us. 

And considering that Goblins are crude, cruel, stupid, savage, ruthless, blood-thirsty and consumed by their base desires, it's not wonder that the Folk hate us.

by artist unknown

Goblin Axegrinder
HD 2
AR none
Atk Dagger (1d6) or (Oversized Axe (1d10) when on Combat Drugs)
Mor 16 (20 on Combat Drugs)
Saves 9 or less

Truth-teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See above.

Combat Drugs: Axegrinders have spines taken from a certain type of slug that when stabbed into a living creature, drive that creature into a blood-thirsty frenzy.  While in this frenzy, the creature can only, and must, make an attack each round.  Additionally, while under the effects of these drugs, the Axegrinder cannot be dissuaded from attacking in any way and is immune to charm or fear effects.  Additionally, whenever a Goblin Axegrinder takes damage while under the influence of these drugs, the Axegrinder gets +1 to attack and damage and any damage to them does not take effect until next round, unless that damage would kill the Axegrinder outright. 

Still Standing: Should a Goblin Axegrinder be reduced to 0 HP, that Axegrinder should make a save.  On a successful save, the Axegrinder doesn't die.  Note that a save should only be permitted if there is a chance the Axegrinder is still alive.  If the Axegrinder is blown to bits or disintegrated, then it automatically dies.

- Inject your Combat Drugs
- Charge into battle with no sense of fear or self-preservation
- Attack the first creature you encounter unerringly, until that creature is dead

Goblin Axegrinders are Goblin warriors who use special drugs to enter a hyper-lethal rage.  While raging Axegrinders are giggling, capering terrors, sprinting at their enemies with no sense of self-preservation, evading attacks and slamming into foes twice their size with enormous axes that split torsos like fruit and smash limbs like logs.  Axegrinders are very dangerous, but without their drugs, they are just normal Goblins, burdened with weapons much heavier than normal.  Should they be deprived of these drugs or prevented from stabbing themselves with the spines, they can be dispatched much more easily.  Additionally, any spell that removes poison will automatically flush the drugs from their system and weaken them.

Axegrinders are usually Goblin criminals, those who have been given one last chance to redeem themselves on the battlefield.  When not in combat or on drugs, they tend to be pitiful, self-loathing types, or opportunists looking for the first chance to desert.  

by Edikt Art

Goblin Sage
HD 3
AR 2 [Light Armor] + (See below)
Atk Varies
Mor 13
Saves 9 or less

Truth-teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See above.

- Use ranged weapons whenever possible
- Hide your true strength
- Deceive the enemy with illusions, lure them into a trap
- When you do attack, strike with overwhelming force

To customize a Goblin Sage, roll on the tables below:

This Goblin Sage is protected by...


1- Medium Armor.  The Sage has AR 3 instead.
2- A shield and helm.  The Sage has +2 AR.
3- His bodyguard.  The Sage is protected by a 1d6 [1= 1d3+1 Goblins; 2= 1 Goblin Axegrinder; 3= A trained beast, such as a massive Dog, a Jaguar, Wolf or Baboon; 4= A Boggart Male; 5= A Druid; 6= A Redcap.]
4- A Spirit Pact.  The Sage has made a pact with a Spirit so that 1d4 [1= He regenerates as long as he is in, on or touching an open flame, recovering 1 HD per round; 2= He is immune to damage from non-magical weapons; 3= He can teleport up to 50' away once per round; 4= He is loved by Nature and as long as he is in an natural setting, the plants and nature around him will subtly intervene on his behalf.  Roots spring up to trip those attacking him, tree branches fall on those running away from him, wolves just so happen to attack when he is in danger, etc.  Treat him as if all attacks against him had disadvantage, unless you are in an area where Law is in firm control, such as a City or Castle.

This Sage fights with...


1- The Sage fights with a sword and is skilled with it.  He makes one 1d6 attack and can reduce the damage of one attack per round by 1d6.
2- The Sage fights with a bow and arrow.  He makes one 1d6+1 attack on his turn.  He also carries 1d4 [1= Arrows coated in pitch that do +1d6 fire damage if set alight; 2= Arrows dipped in poison, on a hit you take 1d6 damage per round until you succeed a CON check, with a max damage of 3d6; 3= Barbed arrows that cause intense pain and give a -1d4 penalty to attacks or delicate movements; 4= Arrows with shafts stained with filth, if hit, save vs disease.  On a failed save, you catch Bottler's Froth*.]
3- The Sage knows how to make bombs.  He has 1d6 of them and can use a sling to hurl them at you.  These bombs are 1d3 [1= Incendiary, full of alchemist's fire.  Does 2d6 damage within a 30' radius and anything ignited takes 1d6 damage a round.  The bomb also leaves a pool of flaming goo that keeps burning.  This fire cannot be extinguished by water; 2= Gas.  This bomb creates a cloud that occupies 30' cubic feet.  Any creature within takes 1d6 damage and must save or be blinded.  The gas clears naturally after 10 minutes or in 1 minute if there is a strong breeze; 3= Explosion!  3d6 damage in a 30' radius, save for half.]
4- This Sage has a Wand.  It does 1d4 [1= Fire; 2= Ice; 3= Poison; 4= Lightning] damage.
5- This Sage has a Staff.  The Staff does 1d6 damage on a hit and can 1d4 [1= Do +1d6 thunder damage on a hit or create shockwaves that blast creatures near the Sage away, STR save to resist; 2= Do +1d6 acid damage on a hit or create a pool of acid on the floor up to 10' long and 5' wide; 3= Do +1d6 radiant damage on a hit or be used to create a blinding flash of light, succeed a CON save or be blinded; 4= Do +1d6 fire damage on a hit or create a wall of fire that is 10' long, 10' high and 1' thick that lasts for 1 minute.]
6- This Sage has a magical weapon** from a Spirit.  The weapon is called 1d4 [1= Indomitable, a sword of bronze gears with a brass blade.  As an action, the user can command the sword to 'Freeze' and it will, remaining locked in place wherever it was, even if that is mid-air; 2= Azure, a sky blue sword made of crystal.  1/Day, the sword can transform into a cloud and replicate any type of water en-miniature- ex: it could create a tiny lightning storm that follows one opponent around and shocks them with d6 lightning bolts; 3= Hieronymus, a scimitar of titanium, a weapon of Heaven.  1/Day, the scimitar can alter the boiling or melting point of a material to be room temperature; 4= Winterbite, a sword made of ice and inlaid with silver wire.  1/Day, the user may create an animated snowman to serve him.  The snowman has 1 HD, 0 AR, a d6 attack and a vulnerability to fire damage.  It naturally melts, lasting 10 minutes in a tropical environment, 1 hour in a temperate climate and 12 hours in winter or wherever it is sufficiently cold.  After 12 hours, assuming it hasn't melted, it becomes a normal snowman.]

Does this Sage have any other abilities or talents?


1- No.
2- He is an Alchemist.  He carries 1d4 useful potions with him.  Select these from your favorite list or from here (Udan-Adan).
3- He is an Artificer.  Expect at least one Goblin in the group he's in to have a 1d4 [1= Pair of wings made of canvas and bones - grant the ability to fly and vulnerability to fire; 2= Sticky Slippers - grant the ability to walk up walls and on ceilings, save or get stuck if you stand still for more than a minute; 3= A clockwork limb that's stronger than a normal limb; 4= Robes made of wool and layered with copper, silver and copper wire - gives the wearer immunity to lightning damage and advantage on all saves against magic.]
4- He is a Magi, having unlocked sorcerous power through years of study and striving (plus the help of his familiar).  He has 3 Mana Dice and knows 1d6 of the following spells: Ash Cloud, Burning Armor, Create or Destroy Water, Earthquake, Partition Metal and Verdigris.
5- He is a Shaman, and has made a Spirit Pact.  To see what power his Spirit Pact grants him, roll on the sub-Table below.
6- He is a Medium, and allows a particular Spirit to possess him to gain greater power.  To see what powers this Spirit grants him, see "Medium and Demon-Soldier".

What Spirit Pact did the Sage make?


1- He can cause a non-magical metal object to fall apart or break 1/Day.  In exchange for this, he traded two fingers on each hand.
2- He can, as an action, do 1d6 damage to a creature and cause it to start bleeding from every orifice.  This damage ignores armor and cannot be prevented or reduced.  In exchange for this, he gave up one eye and his sense of touch.
3- He can drain life from creatures or plants, doing 1d6 necrotic damage to them on a touch and healing himself the same.  In exchange for this, he gave up his ability to sire children.
4- He can breathe fire 3/Day.  The flames fire out in a 15' cone or a 30' line, doing 2d6 damage and igniting everything flammable in the way.  In exchange for this, he hideously scarred his face with a hot iron.
5- He can summon a flock of crows that attack in a swarm.  These crows also spy for him and can retrieve objects for him.  In exchange for this, he provides the master of these crows with 4 eyeballs a month.
6- He can control unvarnished wood, snapping handles, bringing up roots to trip and ensnare opponents, dropping trees on his enemies, bringing down houses or wood-framed buildings on his enemies.  In exchange for his, he buries a Lawful creature alive in the wilderness 4 times per year.
7- He can transform into any animal he has killed and eaten the heart of (as per Wild Shape).  Currently that includes a rabbit, deer, wolf, hawk, quail and a Deerling by the name of Karla Simi of Harvest's Gate.  
8- He can instantly rot any organic material, 1/Day.  In exchange, he performs a dance under the full moon every month.
9- He can fire bolts of lightning 3/Day.  These bolts do 2d6 lightning damage, with a +1 damage bonus for every piece of metal a creature is carrying.  In exchange for this, he is entertaining a Storm Spirit.  However, the Spirit is in love with the Sage and wants to touch him, which would likely be fatal for him.
10- He can transform any liquid, up to a swimming pool's worth, into acid 1/Day.  This acid dissolves everything but stone, glass, plastic and items designed to resist acid, superhardened or magical.  He can transform the acid back as a free action.

by Ryan Barger

Goblin Mediums and Demon-Soldiers:

Goblin Mediums are Sages who allow themselves to be possessed by a Spirit and gain magical power that way.  Mediums gain enhanced physical characteristics and special powers that they can only use when sharing a body with their Spirit.  As such, these combinations are sometimes called Spirit or Demon-Soldiers.  Goblins are not the only race to use such methods, but it is more common among Goblins, as they are a weak race that doesn't have a lot of potential for growth.  For while all Goblins possess innate magical abilities, they usually have a low ceiling for growth, but even a weak human Sage still easily exceeds most Goblin casters.

To see what Spirit possesses the Medium, roll on the table below.  Use the Goblin Sage statblock as the base and modify it from there.

What Spirit is this?

1- A Bar Ra Ghazel.  Also known as Bugbears, the Ban Ra Ghazel are a clan of Nature Spirits who have always stood by the Goblin race, even in ancient times.  They are prized allies, to win and keep their loyalty is the first priority of the Goblin Sages and the Troupe's Boss.  When a Ban Ra Ghazel possesses a Goblin, that Goblin becomes covered in color-changing fur that is usually orange or orange-brown, with yellow eyes and elongated arms.  They move like apes, walking on their knuckles and can easily move through the canopy and climb trees.

Statblock Changes:

HD 3+1d4
AR 4
Atk Martial Arts (1d6/1d6)
Immune to Bludgeoning, Falling damage

Stretchy Limbs: Ban Ra Ghazel can stretch their limbs up to double their normal length.  The can attack creatures as if their fists and legs were reach weapons.

Rubbery Bodies: Ban Ra Ghazel can change the density of their flesh and bones, making them as hard as normal bones or as soft as pudding.  They can fit through any space a house cat could fit through. 

Escape Artists: Ban Ra Ghazel have a +4 bonus to escape restraints, grapples or circumvent physical defenses.

Grappler: Ban Ra Ghazel have +2 to grapple a creature and to keep them restrained.  They are highly skilled wrestlers.

2- A Jub-Jub.  Jub-Jubs are winged spirits of mischief and feral hunger, swooping in to gobble up the enemies of Goblin kind.  They are mercenary spirits, content to serve anyone that will allow them to indulge their appetites.  They are not usually trusted by their Mediums, always kept at arm's length.  When a Jub-Jub possesses a Goblin, that Goblin gains a pair of wings, a crest of dark feathers and an engorged mouth, overflowing with many hundreds of needle teeth.

Statblock Changes:

HD 4
Atk Claw Scratch (1d6) or Acid Spit or Swallow

Flyer: Jub-Jubs can fly.  While in the air, they gain +4 to AR and initiative.  They cannot hover, and must keep moving to remain airborne.

Acid Spit: Jub-Jubs can spit a glob of acid that does 1d8 damage on a hit and 1d6 damage per additional round, until a creature takes an action to wash the acid off or neutralizes it.  Salt or a strong base can do this.  This Acid also damages Armor and weapons, doing 1 damage to them.  Weapons do -1 damage per round until the acid is washed off them and Armor has its AR reduced by 1 per round.  Should a piece of Armor's AR be reduced to 0 or a weapon do 0 damage on a hit (ex: 1d6-6) then it breaks.  Some weapons and armor may be immune to this damage, Referee's Discretion.

Swallow: Jub-Jubs can force a creature to make a DEX contest against them.  All Jub-Jubs have DEX 13(+1) or DEX 16(+2) if airborne.  If the creature loses the contest, the Jub-Jub swallows the top half of the creature and stuffs them into its oversized mouth.  Such a creature is blinded, restrained and takes 1d6 acid damage a round as its top half starts to be dissolved.  Note that Jub-Jubs are too small to swallow an Medium or Small creature, so the creature's lower body and legs will be hanging out of its mouth.  If you succeed a STR contest with the Jub-Jub, you can pull someone in its mouth out.  Also note that Jub-Jubs cannot fly when they have swallowed someone. 

3- A Narflee.  Narflees are Demonic Warriors who usually serve Lady Luthic, Goddess of Decay, Harvest, Disease, Gravediggers and Cattle.  They are proud and stoic, alien in their mentality. Generally, they have a warrior's honor and always accept surrender, but destroy those they regard as despicable.  They tend to be amoral, as they believe that death is natural, and those who die return to the soil to feed the next generation of living things.  They tell you not to be sad, as the worms will eat your corpse and trees will drink your blood.  This isn't a threat, though it may sound like some.  When a Narflee possesses a Goblin, that Goblin gains robes of thin material resembling that of the wings of insects, compound eyes and sharp mandibles, as well as a spirit sword that the Narflee wings with it.

Statblock Changes:

HD 1d3+3
Atk Sword (1d8/1d8)

290 Degree Vision: Narflees can see everything in front of and to the sides of them.  They also have a +4 bonus to detect movement and even have a chance to see invisible creatures, by noticing the subtle changes when an invisible creatures passes by an area they are looking at.

Parry: Narflees can reduce the damage of one attack per round by 1d8.

Magic Sword: Narflees carry spirit weapons.  This Narflee's sword 1d4 [1= Can ignore Armor 1/Day; 2= Can heal the user for 1 HD, usable every 1d4 rounds but requires an action; 3= Can teleport the user up to 30' as a free action, usable 3/Day; 4= Always the user to parry projectiles, even ones that would ordinarily be too fast to see, such as arrows or bullets.]

4- An Omanishi.  Enormous, bulky, brutish Spirits of Chaos and Destruction, Omanishi live only to indulge their base desires, most notably breaking things.  They are easily manipulated, but once unleashed are difficult to control.  Generally, Goblin Bosses just unleash these Demon-Soldiers and tell their brethren to stay out of the way.  While an Omanishi is possessing a Goblin, that Goblin grows to Large size, grows a crown of many horns and gains leathery skin, usually grey, but occasionally dark purple or red.

Statblock Changes:

HD 1d6+3
Atk Fists (1d6/1d6) or Tentacle Horn
Mor 18

Tentacle Horn: Omanishi can extend their horns up to 50', and move them as precisely as an octopus' tentacle.  They can use these horns to grapple creatures or impale them.  These horns do 1d6 damage on a hit.  Omanishi have 10 horns and can attack up to that many targets.  If a creature is attacked by more than one horn, add +1 to the roll per additional horn.  Ex: 3 horns equals 1d6+2.

by jubjubjedi

Hobgoblin Knight
HD 1d4+1
AR 6 [Heavy Armor + Shield + Helm]
Atk Lance (1d10) or Weapon (1d8/1d8)
Mor 12
Saves (7+HD) or less

Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See Above.

Faithful Mount: Hobgoblin Knights have a magical mount which they have bonded to.  This mount obeys them without question and fights alongside them.  They can ride their mount without need for saddle or bridle and will never fall off.  Any creature who attempts to ride this mount will likely fail unless the Knight wishes them to succeed. 

Charge: A Hobgoblin Knight can charge and attempt to impale you on his lance while on his mount.  You may attempt a DEX save to avoid this instead of countering with an Attack roll.  Should you fail your save or attack roll, you take 2d10 damage.  Each time the Hobgoblin Knights hits with his lance during a charge attack, he must save.  On a failed save, his lance breaks.  Additionally, if he charges with no lance, his melee attacks still get +2 to attack and damage.

- Charge in on horseback
- Dismount and fight only if the enemy was weakened
- Flee if outnumbered or the situation is dire

Top customize a Hobgoblin Knight, roll on the tables below:

This Knight wears armor made of...


1- Autumn leaves, held together with thorns.
2- Willow bark, cut in long, overlapping strips.
3- Flower petals spun together with silk threads.
4- Fired clay earthware, engraved with swirling designs and painted with scenes of Folkish victory.
5- Layered Spiderwebs, pinned together by the severed limbs of spiders.
6- Snake skin, with the heads of the snakes still attached. 

And carries a shield made of...


1- Glass, possibly stained or colored.
2- Ice, smoking in the heat.
3- Wood, carved and whittled with fantastic designs.
4- Bone, made from a single scapula of a giant beast, scrimshawed and carved.

And is armed with a...


1- Sword
2- Mace
3- Warhammer
4- Battle axe

Made of...


1- Porcelain, thin to the point of translucence.
2- Glass, stained or clear, shining mirror-bright.
3- Paper, folded and covered in a beautiful sketch.
4- Stone, usually obsidian, a large flake carefully chipped off and attached to a wooden handle.

This Knight is mounted on a...


1- A Free Horse.  Horses are condemned to be slaves to other races by the Gods, but this Horse defies them, choosing freedom.  It hasn't known a bit or bridle since it trampled its master and joined the Folk.  Other horses despise it and seek to attack it on sight.  HD 3, AR 0, Atk 1d8, Mor 10 (17 when facing other horses).
2- An Elk.  A great ruler of the Wood and Field, stoic and beautiful.  It has earned the respect of the Knight, who honors it.  Druids drape its antlers with daisy chains and the entrails of slain city-folk.  HD 4, AR 0, Atk 1d8, Mor 14.  The Elk can also parry one attack a round when charging.
3- A White Tiger.  A Tiger who has rejected the life of privilege to wage war against those who have stolen his lands.  A Maneater who loves the taste of those higher than him.  Unwilling to accept his new, lower position.  HD 6, AR 2, Atk 1d6 + 1d8, Mor 15.  The Tiger, if slain, curses its killer to be hunted by the Tiger's Shadow, which will pursue it until the target is vulnerable, then kill the Tiger's murderer.  This is common knowledge and true for all Tigers.  This curse is broken by taking care of the Tiger's cubs until they are old enough to live on their own or cutting off your hand and feeding it to a high-ranking Cat such as a Lion, Bakeneko or Rakshasha. 
4- A Worg.  A wolf who has eaten enough men that is has gained the ability to speak and grown huge and monstrous.  Cruel and capricious, will mock you as you die.  HD 5, AR 2, Atk 1d8, Mor 13.  Worgs have excellent senses of smell and can track creatures over long distances. 
5- A Giant Boar.  Boars are feral, barely controllable and twitchy.  They attack suddenly and without warning.  The fact that this one permits itself to be ridden is proof of the Knight's skills.  HD 4, AR 3, Atk 1d6 (exploding), Mor 17.
6- A Serpicant, King of Beasts.

Goblins are usually regarded as low-class, untrustworthy and actively treacherous by other Folk, but especially by the Faeries, the Folkish Nobility, and the Sovereigns of the Folk.  That said, some Goblins prove to be loyal, true and valiant in the face of all the suffering they have to endure.  So in exchange for this suffering, these Goblins are transformed into Hobgoblins, creatures mightier and more majestic than normal Goblins. 

Unlike their lesser brethren, Hobgoblins are Medium instead of Small creatures, and tend to have skin that is red to reddish brown, instead of various shades of green or green-brown.  They are also much more majestic and graceful than normal Goblins, and generally much more sensible.  That being said, despite their bizarre beauty, intelligence and power, few ordinary Goblins respect them.  They are regarded as upjumped sycophants who are separated from ordinary Goblins.  As such, most of the time, they rarely lead other Goblins. 

Most of the time they end up serving greater Folk as vassals, or occasionally leading small groups of Folk, as long as those Folk beneath them are weaker than they.  They are known to keep the company of Redcaps and Boggarts, while serving Faeries, Trolls and Spriggans.  The greatest of the Hobgoblins are the Knights who serve the Sovereigns directly.  There are four of them who do so and each one is widely known and acknowledged, even by non-Folk.  This list includes such creatures as Torzan the Winter Knight, who slew one of the Avatars of the Dark Powers, and Gibri the Autumnal Knight, who put twenty cities to the torch as an offering to her Master.     

by rainerpetterart

Bosses and Kings:

Goblin Troupes are usually led by a Goblin Boss.  This is the most senior, most intelligent or most ruthless of all the Goblins. 

Goblin Bosses use the statblock of a normal Goblin, plus the results on the following tables.

To see what makes this Goblin Boss special, roll on the tables below: 


1- His intelligence.  The Boss is very clever, but physically is no different than a normal Goblin.
2- He has class levels.  The Boss has 1d4 levels in 1d4 [1= Fighting Man; 2= Boxer; 3= Alice; 4= Vampire.]  He has also has that many HD.
3- He has made a Spirit Pact, as per a Goblin Sage.
4- He is a true Servant of Chaos, a Red Knight.  He has 1d4 levels in Paladin and his Archetype is that of the Red Sword.
5- He is a Druid, possessing 1d4 HD, 1d6 Mana Dice and knows 1d6 Druid spells, plus Wild Shape.
6- He was chosen by a Green God and is a Level 1d6 Prophet and possesses one of the Secret Names of God.

His subordinates...


1- Despise him.  The Boss maintains his position through fear and threats.  Anyone who disobeys him is crushed ruthlessly.  His subordinates fear him and obey his every command, but they also hate him.  If he was in a situation likely to kill him, they'd pray for his death, but they wouldn't kill him themselves.
2- Don't like him, but follow regardless.  The Boss is the best suited to lead, so he's in charge.  They don't like him though, and won't die for him.
3- They tolerate him.  The Boss is a decent leader, but they're a bit discontent with him.  Some trouble could easily be stirred up, should you know what buttons to push.
4- They like him.  The Boss is well-liked, and his subordinate obey him without need for harsh punishments.  He is a Goblin worthy of respect.
5- They love him.  The Boss is regarded almost as a second Father to most of the Goblins.  They eagerly obey him and fight hard for him.
6- They revere him.  The Boss is regarded as a deific figure, and they are his fanatics.  They will fight and die in his name.   

This Bosses' weakness is...


1- Pride.  The Boss believes he is the smartest, strongest or simply the best Goblin.  He will be irrationally driven to destroy anyone who damages or shatters the image of himself he has constructed.
2- Greed.  The Boss is very interested in money and treasure, and will pursue it, even when it isn't the best course of action.
3- Women.  The Boss has a weakness for women, especially non-Goblin ones.  He will try to capture them alive and is easily distracted by them.
4- Ideological inflexibility.  The Boss is a fanatic, whether to Chaos, Druidic or Dark Powers ideology and will not deviate from its tenets.  If you know what he believes, you will likely be able to predict his next move.
5- Temper.  The Boss is easily angered and flies into a rage if mocked or denied.
6- His lust for revenge.  The Boss is motivated by the desire to avenge himself upon an individual, organization or group.  If given a chance to make his target pay, unless it is obviously a trap, he will take it.

by shurita

Goblin King
HD 1d6+2
AR 2 [Light Armor]
Atk Varies
Mor 15
Saves (7+HD) or less

Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See Above.

Aura of Glory: A Goblin King possesses an aura of terrible power around it.  Upon first encountering the Goblin King, creatures must save.  On a failed save, these creatures may not take any action to harm the Goblin King directly, unless the Goblin King attacks first or there is no other way for the creature to preserve itself.  If the creature is then in combat the with Goblin King, that creature must save again or be frightened by the Goblin King.  Those who fail this save take 1d6 COG damage a round they are in combat with the Goblin King.  If this damage reduces a creature's COG to 0 that creature flees in a blind panic and gains the Conviction, "I am terrified of this Goblin King and will avoid them as much as possible."

Spellcasting: Goblin Kings are Magi.  They have Mana Dice equal to their HD.  Their MD burn out on a roll of 5 or 6 and trigger Chaos on a roll of doubles or triples.  If a Goblin King causes Chaos, roll on the table below.  Goblin Kings know 1d8+2 of the following spells: Call to Heroic Death (under Heroism)*, Chromatic Orb, Healing Touch, Heat Metal, Mage Armor*, Magic Missile, Mirror Image, Partition Metal, Polymorph and Shield*.  

- Begin with Mage Armor and Mirror Image
- Use Call to Heroic Death, Shield and Healing Touch to support your allies
- Use Polymorph to try to end battles peacefully

The Folk do not have a proper society, nor a hierarchy.  The only real structure most of them will tolerate is that of family, and some will not even stand that.  As such, when a Faerie identifies itself as a "Noble" or refers to itself by a noble title such as Duke, Baron, General, note that these titles are entirely self-applied.  There is no Folkish structure to apply such titles, nor one that could compel lesser Folk to obey greater ones.  Any Folk can give itself any title it desires.  Thus, when a Folk is leading others of its kind, those others are serving it consentually, or are being kept in place through threats of violence.  The leaders of the Folk are either incredibly charming or capable of ripping their subordinates to shreds, should they have the need to.

The greatest of these leaders are the Sovereigns, the Kings and Queens of the Four Seasons.  The Queen of Summer, The King of Autumn, the The Prince of Spring and the Queen of Air and Darkness are the most powerful Folk in the world, to the point where its debatable if they even are Folk, and aren't something else merely masquerading as Folk.  Regardless, the Sovereigns are undisputed in their supremacy, and virtually none of the Folk would ever dare to challenge them, or even to entertain the idea.  For this reason, no Folk will ever refer to itself as a King or Queen, for those titles are reserved for the Sovereigns.  Whether "Prince" and "Princess" are acceptable is debated among Folkish circles, with the general consensus being that one shouldn't risk it.  As such, if a Folk were to name itself a King, then that would be seen by all other Folk as an implicit declaration of rebellion against the Sovereigns.  And this, brings us to the Goblin Kings. 

Goblin Kings are Goblins who reject the low place they have among the Folk.  These are Goblins who openly embrace the Goblin vice of civilization.  Instead of burning towns and waging war on Law as an act of contrition for the ancient crimes of their Goblin Ancestors, the Kings instead seek to switch sides.  They seek to civilize the Goblins, to make them Lawful creatures.  King work by recruiting Goblins through sermons on the merits of civilization, propaganda or simply conquering Goblin Troupes and forcing them to convert at the point of a sword.  Goblin Kings then introduce their people to the concepts of agriculture, taxes and civil administration.  They build cities and establish towns, trying to uplift their people.

Generally, these projects are doomed to failure.  Goblins will generally follow whatever their leader commands, but the second you take your foot off their neck, they go back to their old ways.  Generally, Goblin Kingdoms only last a few years, or a generation at most, living and dying with the Goblin King.  These would-be rulers are doomed dreamers, grasping for the stars, but almost always falling short.  How these Kingdoms fail varies- sometimes it ends at the blades of assassins sent by Lawful mortals, Chaos cultists or the Folk themselves, while other times it ends in bloody wars as the Lawful nations swallow up the Goblin Kingdom or the Folk besiege and overrun it.  Some are peaceful for long periods of time before descending into wars that rip them to shreds, often right after the death of the King, while in other cases the Kingdom is short-lived and constantly wracked by war, invasion and internal turmoil.

*Since I rewrote my armor rules, here are modified versions of these spells.

Mage Armor
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch is covered in a glowing aura that gives a creature an Armor Rating equal to [dice].  The armor lasts for the duration, until the creature puts on another piece of armor or until destroyed.

R: touch    T: creature            D: [dice] rounds

One creature you touch, or yourself, is covered in a magical aura that grants them +[sum] FS for the duration or until it is expended.  This spell can be cast as a reaction to being attacked or another effect.  

Goblin Plot Hooks:

1- You come across a caravan that has been attacked by Goblins.  A little investigation reveals that this caravan was actually escorting a Princess and her handmaids to another city for her marriage.  Please, retrieve her before something horrible happens to her.
2- A Cult is secretly allied with a Troupe of Goblins, using them as a threat to cause chaos and provide cover for a series of assassinations and "unfortunate accidents".  The Cult and the Goblins don't trust each other and are both planning to back-stab the other.
3- The city has been wracked by a series of particularly brutal murders.  Are these the work of a serial killer or the Troupe of Goblins living in the long-abandoned catacombs beneath the city?  Or perhaps both?
4- A local official hires the party to investigate why this year there have been no Goblin attacks.  When the party arrives in Goblin territory, they find that a Goblin King has taken over and is trying hard to civilize the Goblins.  The local official will not like this, should he hear about it, and will immediately begin marshalling for war.  The nearby Folk don't like it either, and have already begun trying to destroy the Goblin King.
5- As above, except the party is hired to kill the Goblin King.  The official already knows what is going on and doesn't like it.
6- A city has been taken over by a doomsday cult, whose leader is convinced the end of the world is nigh.  Secretly, there is no doomsday cult, and all of the strange things that have been happening are because the large number of nearby Goblins are using their powers to create elaborate illusions and trick the populace into believing the cult's leader has magical powers.  The leader may be a fanatic and not realize this, or he may be an opportunist just pretending to have these abilities.  The Goblins are planning on using this cult to weaken the town enough to the point where they can take it over, or at least sack it.
7- The party are hired to find the Mad Prince, a former Royal exiled by his nation's current puppet rulers.  He vanished into the wilderness, but rumors of him persist.  The puppet-King wants him dead and will pay handsomely for this.  Secretly, the Prince has been recruiting among the Servants of Chaos, seeking an army to regain his former throne.  He is violent, calculating and absolutely ruthless, but the throne is his by right, for whoever that much is worth, and the current puppet-King is no paragon of virtue.
8- A Dragon has appeared over a city and flown over it for several days now, and a messenger has come, bearing the Dragon's demands, namely a large amount of virgin women, a heaping helping of treasure and lots of tasty food and wine.  The offering is to be sent to the Dragon's cave.  The party is hired to either guard the offering or kill the Dragon, depending on their level and fame.  Secretly, there is no Dragon, just a bunch of Goblins using illusions to trick the city.  The Goblins will keep the deception going for as long as they can, but ultimately the party is going to figure it out.   

by Raymond Swanland