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Thread: Goblins & Co.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    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?

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    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
    Carpe DM

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    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.
    Duane Eggert

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    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.
    Sgt. Froggatt

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    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.
    Duane Eggert

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    > 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
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

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    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? >>

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- 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

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    >

    >> 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
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    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.
    Duane Eggert

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