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Re: (TFT) A new idea for Goblins

First:  Anything from the pen of Rick Smith will probably go into my TFT folder.

Further:  Steve's 'cannot tell a lie' goblins were the first goblins I'd encountered as a racial write-up, shortly after the 'Bree-yark' goblins (you grognards know what I mean) of blue-box, paper chits, dice-and-crayons D&D.  It all got rolled together in the local vision of humanoids in general, and looking back, I don't think ANY goblinoid EVER lied.  Schemed, ambushed, slaughtered, stole... but never lied.

Just recently (past couple years, it's that kind of project, that kind of life) I've been spinning a treatment of a classic 'fantasy heartbreaker' setting (with of course, the requisite big changes) wherein the goblins are not only capable of genius, but also more advanced than the majority of human nations.  They also have an aspect of the 'cannot tell a lie' trait from ITL's gobs.  I think it was that trait that first 'civilized' the concept of goblinoids, giving them enough honor to let me hang a culture on them.

Funny, plant a seed, watch it grow.

----- Original Message ----
From: Rick Smith <rsmith@lightspeed.ca>
To: tft@brainiac.com
Cc: Isaac Carter <silently_fighting@hotmail.com>; Matt Fraser <mfraser@canada.com>; Dan Nicholson <dannicholson@netidea.com>; Steven  Parrott <stevenparrott@hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, November 6, 2006 2:50:06 AM
Subject: (TFT) A new idea for Goblins

Hi Everyone,
  This is not a full racial description, just some musings that I invite
comment on.

  Steve Jackson's goblins are pretty untraditional.  Instead of being a
group of spear carriers (in the dramatic sense) to be slaughtered off in
great numbers they have this "can not tell a lie" restriction on them. 
Far from making them an idea evil race to be slaughtered in great
numbers, this makes them... honorable.

  I remember once my players found a magic sword with a limitation that
its magic only worked against 'evil races', namely "Orks, Ogres and
Goblins".  My players were astounded that goblins where in that list. 
In my campaign they were merchants and bankers.  (You can trust them,
which helps in those professions.)

  Now others have commented that it was nice that Steve Jackson did not
make races with set alignments.  Orks can be honorable.  Elves can be
sleazy, etc.  And I agree with this.  Truthful goblins are harder to see
as cannon fodder to mow down on the way to the real fight.

  But banker goblins don't feel like traditional fantasy goblins to

  But how about this: goblins are pretty much like the current goblins
(start at 28 attributes, etc.) and they don't have the "must tell the
truth restriction.

  When they reach 42 attributes (about 1 in 100 make it) they transform
into the goblin-kine.  They gain from their god (or from racial magic or
something), thicker skin that stops 3 hits, a bunch of cool abilities
(some help fighting some not) perhaps they are able to learn spells.

  AND they go back to 28 attributes.  

  Goblin-kine don't associate with Goblins and so they grab a bunch of
wealth and magic, leave their society and go to remote villages high in
the mountains where other goblin-kine live.

  The goblin-kine will go up fairly fast in attributes.  Yes they are 28
attributes, but they have lots of cool powers.  So about 1 in 10 of them
reach 42 attributes again.  Then they morph into 28 attribute
Golbin-uber.  (These names need some work obviously.)  They get even
more special powers, a few which help in battle but mostly they aid them
in other areas.

  The Goblin-uber grab the best magic and wealth in their village and
travel far to where the Goblin-uber live.  Killing one while traveling
is well worth it, but hope his or her new racial buddies don't find

  There are no higher levels.  Goblin-uber pay double experience above
42 attributes.

  Anyway, I think this idea is pretty original (I have not seen it
anywhere else anyways), It could work with any race or a new race, but I
think it fits well with goblins.  It explains why they don't have much
money (the last goblin-kine took it), why they are such fanatic fighters
(they each have a religious conviction that THEY will earn enough
experience to move up and on) and explains why no high experience
goblins can be found.  (Call me silly but a 51 attribute goblin just
does not feel very goblin like to me.)  

  This could make a fun race to play.  Just when the character is
getting really competent, it zaps back to 28 attributes.  Yes, you get
cool abilities but... NOW I'M 28 ATT.S!!!

  Any comments?  If people are enthusiastic I could likely be persuaded
to write up some TFT rules on these guys...

  Warm regards, Rick.
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