PDA

View Full Version : Goblins & Co.



Osprey
01-15-2004, 11:21 PM
Among some places in Anuire, goblins are viewed as civilized, if somewhat distasteful, creatures. Trade, diplomacy, and alliances exist between human and goblin realms in at least a few places in Cerilia (I am less familiar with the regions beyond Anuire).

So it begs the question: how likely are you to see goblin travellers, merchants, or mercenaries in human realms? Say, in Tuornen, or Endier, or Ghoere? Could goblins migrate or march as mercenary bands from the Five Peaks to the Spiderfell? Would they be attacked simply for being goblins? In some lands, certainly, but not in all.

So I'm putting this out there for discussion: How much can goblins and other intelligent "monster" races mix with humans? With elves and dwarves it's safe to assume a zero-tolerance policy, but humans would be a mixed bag. What do you think?

camelotcrusade
01-16-2004, 02:07 AM
I don't have any particular thoughts on the matter, but rather than prescribe one, I can tell you what my PCs are doing with it:

In my campaign one of the possible lieutenant choices for hire was dear Bimpnotten, a low-level female goblin wizard. I have a colorful backstory for her to explain how she came to be (too tired for that right now, sorry...) but at present she's never found a home or acceptance among anyone, and so she wanders from province to province until she is expelled or decides to leave pre-emptively, relying on her wizardly and blood abilities to survive. I sweetened the pot by making her the only true wizard around for hire, and then had fun watching the PCs bicker about how it would be impossible to hire her, and then finally coming around to the one PC who REALLY wanted a "cool goblin wizard," so they rationalized away. (And, even if they hadn't hired her, the Chamberlain hinted numerous times that she would have to be "dealt with" in one way or another...). Now she lives in the palace and they have all sorts of diplomatic issues to work on, and they are sneaking her around.

In short, I have let the PCs decide how they will react to her, and I take their cues to shape how the public reacts and is swayed by their choices. For example, since they assume country X will boil over at this, I could play right into their hands or perhaps surprise them. All sorts of interesting scenarios develop, and I daresay they are more fun when there isn't an explicit line about how it should go, but rather an implied one that the DM can fiddle with just enough to keep them guessing.

camelotcrusade

irdeggman
01-16-2004, 10:49 AM
In my old (2nd ed) campaign the PC was a regent of Roesone (very colorful history on how he became the regent instead of Danal (spelling) after Marlae's death) - during an altercation with the Spider's forces the PCs 'captured' a goblin magician. After a long time of being in the castle under guard the NPC was taken by the PC as semi-Lt (eventually he would have become a Lt do this was the henchmen stage of development). The NPC didn't have free reign of the town and had to stay in the castle but did get to accompany the PCs when they went out. The NPC had an alignment change during his incarceration by the way to make things a little more palatable.

The PC regent wanted to eventually use the NPC goblin to aid in his future invasion of the Spiderfell, which was why he (player) really wanted access to that NPC.

Bottom line it is all situational and dependent on location. I have only seen a couple of places where goblins are free to roam through the human-dominated lands (Mhoried is a prime example as I recall). Pretty much any place near the spiderfell will have trouble with that issue.

Mr.Froggatt
01-16-2004, 03:59 PM
I know there're a few goblin nations that are vaugely civilzed, but they're still evil. There might be some minimal trade, but I don't think they'd ever be accepted or integrate into a human society. I know there's a goblin merchant in "The king of the giantdawns".
My adventures are all set on the south coast - the only goblins around are from the spider-fell, and they aint friendly. There is the occasional half-orc NPC though.

irdeggman
01-16-2004, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Mr.Froggatt@Jan 16 2004, 10:59 AM
I know there're a few goblin nations that are vaugely civilzed, but they're still evil. There might be some minimal trade, but I don't think they'd ever be accepted or integrate into a human society. I know there's a goblin merchant in "The king of the giantdawns".
My adventures are all set on the south coast - the only goblins around are from the spider-fell, and they aint friendly. There is the occasional half-orc NPC though.
Actually BR goblins are considered 'civilized' at least in comparison to the generic D&D goblin.

Also I assume you mean 1/2 Orogs and not 1/2 orcs since there are no orcs in Birthright and the orog is much stronger, smarter and meaner than is the orc.

Birthright-L
01-24-2004, 05:03 PM
> Also I assume you mean 1/2 Orogs and not 1/2 orcs since there are no

> orcs in Birthright and the orog is much stronger, smarter and meaner

> than is the orc.



There are no orcs oin Birthright? Really? Was it always like that or

did I just miss a memo or something?



--Lord Rahvin

Lee
01-24-2004, 05:03 PM
I think even in dwarf lands, goblins might be safe, given that the

dwarves` arch-enemy is supposed to be orogs. If the goblins want to live in the

forests above the dwarf lands, I don`t see how that especially bothers the

dwarves.

I think in a lot of human-dominated countries, goblins might have the

possibility of achieving some social status. Rjurik and Vos societies are not

among those, IMO, given their xenophobia. A goblin with education and manners

should do well for himself (or herself) in most of the urban or semi-urban

areas, once he or she proves their non-aggressiveness, and worked one`s way up the

ladder in commerce or even government.

Goblins might tend to appear in many militaries, as mercenaries in

individuals or units. I cannot see them taking to the sea. They would make cheap

(and therefore popular) caravan guards, bodyguards or house guards. Those that

have a mind for business could rise through guilds, though that seems less

likely.

A DM might use Real-World examples of employment, with goblins appearing

in low-status jobs, like trash-collecting, kitchen help, house servants, field

labor on large plantations, and so on. (Of course, I play to escape reality,

so I don`t think I will play that too much.)



In a message dated 1/15/04 6:32:12 PM Eastern Standard Time,

brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:



<< So it begs the question: how likely are you to see goblin travellers,

merchants, or mercenaries in human realms? Say, in Tuornen, or Endier, or Ghoere?

Could goblins migrate or march as mercenary bands from the Five Peaks to the

Spiderfell? Would they be attacked simply for being goblins? In some lands,

certainly, but not in all. So I&#39;m putting this out there for

discussion: How much can goblins and other intelligent "monster" races

mix with humans? With elves and dwarves it&#39;s safe to assume a

zero-tolerance policy, but humans would be a mixed bag. What do you think? >>

kgauck
01-24-2004, 05:03 PM
----- Original Message -----

From: "Anthony Juarez" <lordrahvin@TMAIL.COM>

Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 11:00 AM





> There are no orcs oin Birthright? Really? Was it always like that or

> did I just miss a memo or something?



Many have chosen to argue from negative evidence. There is no orcish realm,

orcs are not listed on the "commonly encountered" list on p. 89. But, to my

knowledge there is no positive evidence that there are no orcs.



My own notion is that orcs are a slave race of the orogs, and so don`t play

an important role in our understandong of the orogs.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

Birthright-L
01-24-2004, 05:03 PM
>

>> There are no orcs oin Birthright? Really? Was it always like that or

>> did I just miss a memo or something?

>

> Many have chosen to argue from negative evidence. There is no orcish

> realm,

> orcs are not listed on the "commonly encountered" list on p. 89. But,

> to my

> knowledge there is no positive evidence that there are no orcs.

>

> My own notion is that orcs are a slave race of the orogs, and so don`t

> play

> an important role in our understandong of the orogs.

>



Huh. Okay. I guess I always read entries relating to goblins as also

applying to orcs, and I never realised that they aren`t on that table.



It disturbs me a little only because I like the 3e stats for an orc as

low-level adversary. In my own campaigns orcs are well -integrated into

ghoblin societies, but operate within their own tight families more

often than not.



--Lord Rahvin

irdeggman
01-24-2004, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by Birthright&#045;L@Jan 24 2004, 12:03 PM
>

>> There are no orcs oin Birthright? Really? Was it always like that or

>> did I just miss a memo or something?

>

> Many have chosen to argue from negative evidence. There is no orcish

> realm,

> orcs are not listed on the "commonly encountered" list on p. 89. But,

> to my

> knowledge there is no positive evidence that there are no orcs.

>

> My own notion is that orcs are a slave race of the orogs, and so don`t

> play

> an important role in our understandong of the orogs.

>



Huh. Okay. I guess I always read entries relating to goblins as also

applying to orcs, and I never realised that they aren`t on that table.



It disturbs me a little only because I like the 3e stats for an orc as

low-level adversary. In my own campaigns orcs are well -integrated into

ghoblin societies, but operate within their own tight families more

often than not.



--Lord Rahvin


Also there is no mention of orcs in any of the published BR material. They have no listing with demi-human deities either.

This lack of mention anywhere is the deciding factor IMO, it is also the one I use to state that there are also no gnomes in BR. The only listing for gnomes in an entry in the Monster Table, which I put down to an editorial error (there were plenty of them in the BR published amterial to justify this observation). I believe that someone posted a discussion by Rich Baker on gnomes and haow they didn&#39;t make the cut in time for publication.

Note that all of these references really only apply to Cerillia and not to other continents (like Aduria) since there is nothing to really document the lands there it would be possible to have gnomes or orcs there.

And this is one of the reasons I like to quote the rules, it helps to keep focused on what was actually written and what was assumed there as well as developed into house-rules so thouroughly that the belief is that it was canon.

Patrucio
01-24-2004, 08:36 PM
I tend to prefer my Cerelia nice and bigotted in most parts of the continent, so goblins in my view are not highly thought of in most parts. At the same time, I think that most people would see them as no better or no worse than elves, so I strive to have NPCs treat both species about equally.

geeman
01-24-2004, 09:20 PM
At 08:23 PM 1/24/2004 +0100, irdeggman wrote:



>Also there is no mention of orcs in any of the published BR

>material. They have no listing with demi-human deities either.



In 2e orogs were a sub-race of orcs who had (possibly) bred with ogres. In

3e+ information on orogs is no longer in the MM description for orcs, but

we do have a half-ogre template. I think it`s sensible to take from that

that BR orogs are roughly equivalent to orcs with the half-ogre template

now in 3e/3.5.



That`s not to say there should be orcs in Cerilia other, perhaps, than the

use of their stats as pubescent or youthful orogs. Personally, I hate the

idea of an independent race of orcs separate from orogs only slightly less

than the idea of Cerilian gnomes. However, for creatures of CR 2+ it`s

easy to see how the thinking of Savage Species could be applied to break

the monster`s CR up into character levels. I am liking more and more the

idea of racial levels since they can surpass the standard CR of Savage

Species and be applied to all standard races. In such a system it would be

sensible to interpret orogs as simply 3rd or 5th level orcs.



Gary

irdeggman
01-24-2004, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by geeman@Jan 24 2004, 04:20 PM
In 2e orogs were a sub-race of orcs who had (possibly) bred with ogres.
Gary


As I recall in one of the compendiums, probably around 3 or 4 the BR Orog, Goblin and humans were all presented. These were &#39;different&#39; than the standard version and the BR Orog was not related to orcs. I&#39;ll have to check my books for the exact section and to make sure I&#39;m remembering correctly.

kgauck
01-24-2004, 10:40 PM
----- Original Message -----

From: "Gary" <geeman@SOFTHOME.NET>

Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2004 2:58 PM





> Personally, I hate the idea of an independent race of orcs separate from

> orogs only slightly less than the idea of Cerilian gnomes.



We have the example of goblins including lessor goblins, hobgoblins, and

bugbears. What do you make of orogs inlcuding a "lessor orog", ie an orc as

part of the orog society. You`ve mentioned as a pre-adult, I`ve mentioned

them as a labor class.



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

geeman
01-24-2004, 11:34 PM
At 11:24 PM 1/24/2004 +0100, irdeggman wrote:



> > In 2e orogs were a sub-race of orcs who had (possibly) bred with ogres.

>

>As I recall in one of the compendiums, probably around 3 or 4 the BR Orog,

>Goblin and humans were all presented. These were `different` than the

>standard version and the BR Orog was not related to orcs. I`ll have to

>check my books for the exact section and to make sure I`m remembering

>correctly.



I`d be interested to hear about that. I`ve not seen those compendiums or,

at least, I`ve not seen entries for BR races in any that I have seen.



Gary

geeman
01-24-2004, 11:34 PM
At 04:16 PM 1/24/2004 -0600, Kenneth Gauck wrote:



>We have the example of goblins including lessor goblins, hobgoblins, and

>bugbears. What do you make of orogs inlcuding a "lessor orog", ie an orc

>as part of the orog society. You`ve mentioned as a pre-adult, I`ve

>mentioned them as a labor class.



Generally I want to avoid things that make them a "separate race" either

game mechanically or thematically. When it comes to the progression of

goblinoid races I think a single racial class would probably do it. I

haven`t written up the goblin or orog racial classes, however, so we`ll see

what happens....



When it comes to a laboring class I prefer to handle things like that by

making such characters NPCs--or "commoner" characters. Basically, that

amounts amounts to them having the average array of ability scores (8, 9,

10, 11, 12, 13 or using the DMG`s point buy method, 15 points to spend on

ability scores) and much lower access to vitality points (1 per character

level level with no constitution bonus) in the vitality/wound system I

prefer to hit points. "Heroic" characters get the standard array (or 25

points) and access to regular hit dice. In a system of racial levels a

laboring class can still take standard racial levels--they`re just more

killable in that they don`t have vitality points and probably fewer wound

points.



Actually, I use a different set of numbers for buying ability scores. It

amounts to the same basic ability score range, but it`s more costly to take

the higher ability scores (15+) so ability scores tend to level off a

bit--even though there are one or two min/max fanatics in my group. (It`s

in the bloodline proposals document on birthright.net someplace....) Using

that table I usually give players around 31 points with which to design

their PCs. The V/W system works out the same way whether one uses that

table or not, though.



Gary

teloft
01-25-2004, 01:12 AM
I do like goblins, thay dont always need to be evil.
even thow there culture is.

I started playing the hidden temple of C. in my fyrst PBEM. and there it was ruled thet about half of its followers are goblins. for thay have started converting goblins in the five peaks.

several goals can be for this.

one. to have the tribes within the five peaks figthing within them selfes.

two. unite some goblin horde to attack and take the iron trown. under human leadership. whit a promis of citisenship or something.

kgauck
01-25-2004, 02:40 AM
I have made a goblin class and run all of my goblins off that base class.

By using the orc as a the basis of the orog, I can start at 1/2 CR, add a

few commoner, as Gary describes to get orc laborers, or add two or three

warrior levels to get your basic orog.



Part of the issue here, is think is mere nomenclature. Is there a word

"orc" which describes the laboring class of this race, and a word "orog"

which describes its warrior class?



Consider the Vikings. We know them by the folk who went out and attacked

for pillage, not by the name of their thrall or karlykn classes. Some may

prefer not to use the term orc so as not to create association in players

minds. I have no such reservations. We ask players to learn what a

cerilian elf is, to adjust their notions of a dwarf (somewhat less), and

have done things with goblins that are not customary in many settings. Why

draw the line and say that orcs, or gnomes for that matter, can`t be

re-interpreted for that matter?



Kenneth Gauck

kgauck@mchsi.com

geeman
01-25-2004, 06:28 AM
At 08:08 PM 1/24/2004 -0600, Kenneth Gauck wrote:



>Part of the issue here, is think is mere nomenclature. Is there a word

>"orc" which describes the laboring class of this race, and a word "orog"

>which describes its warrior class?



I`ll buy that. In D&D terms "orc" does have a specific connotation, and

they are generally a different race (or, at least, a different template)

for the most part from orogs, which makes it a little difficult to use the

word as a general classification without causing some confusion, but I

wouldn`t object to a Cerilian character describing a small (or "laborer")

orog as an "orc"--or referring to a large orog as an orc as in insult. It

might be comparable to the use of the word "boy" or "girl" to describe

adults in the United States. Under certain circumstances it`s derogatory

and racist.



So I guess the better way of saying "no orcs" would be "no D&D orc template

with a separate racial description" in BR.



Gary

irdeggman
01-25-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by geeman@Jan 25 2004, 01:28 AM
At 08:08 PM 1/24/2004 -0600, Kenneth Gauck wrote:



>Part of the issue here, is think is mere nomenclature. Is there a word

>"orc" which describes the laboring class of this race, and a word "orog"

>which describes its warrior class?



I`ll buy that. In D&D terms "orc" does have a specific connotation, and

they are generally a different race (or, at least, a different template)

for the most part from orogs, which makes it a little difficult to use the

word as a general classification without causing some confusion, but I

wouldn`t object to a Cerilian character describing a small (or "laborer")

orog as an "orc"--or referring to a large orog as an orc as in insult. It

might be comparable to the use of the word "boy" or "girl" to describe

adults in the United States. Under certain circumstances it`s derogatory

and racist.



So I guess the better way of saying "no orcs" would be "no D&D orc template

with a separate racial description" in BR.



Gary


I agree, terminology is very important - especially in 3/3.5. Perhaps calling them "orks" vice &#39;orc&#39; might help. Cerilian &#39;goblins&#39; are basically the same as the MM goblins, except that they don&#39;t call bugbears bugbears they are &#39;Huge&#39; and hobgoblins are called &#39;Elite&#39;.

Instead of using any form of &#39;orc&#39; perhaps &#39;lesser&#39; orogs and then saying that they are equivalent, stat-wise, to the MM orc might work better.

ryancaveney
01-25-2004, 08:10 PM
On Sat, 24 Jan 2004, Gary wrote:



> > As I recall in one of the compendiums, probably around 3 or 4 the BR

> > Orog, Goblin and humans were all presented. These were `different`

> > than the standard version and the BR Orog was not related to orcs.

> > I`ll have to check my books for the exact section and to make sure

> > I`m remembering correctly.

>

> I`d be interested to hear about that. I`ve not seen those compendiums or,

> at least, I`ve not seen entries for BR races in any that I have seen.



Yes, this is correct. They had the Cerilian dragons, too. IIRC, the

entries had text identical to the cards included in the boxed set, with a

couple of pieces of new art (including goblins with bright red skin). I`d

check, but the relevant books are packed away in long-term storiage, sadly.





Ryan Caveney

Raesene Andu
01-25-2004, 10:35 PM
It was annual 3, and it also had Cerilian Giants and a couple of pages on the various human tribes as well. Never mentioned the Orog though... most likely because the Orogs in BR are same as the standard 2E orog.