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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
    thethird's Avatar

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    Jan 2013

    Default Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    My players feel free to keep reading and comment if you feel like it.

    So in my homebrew world there is a goblin army raiding an enemy city (which happens to be in an island) the goblin nation wasn't really explored before and I thought that they would make great enemies.

    Some recent history/motives and points to move the thread forward

    1.- Originally the goblins were enslaved by an Old empire, and they had been slaved for millenia.

    2.- During their time as slaves they were breed selectively and thus all different subraces of goblinoids exist.

    3.- When the empire crumbled they rebelled and eventually settled in a small country, what they call their promised land.

    4.- Since then the goblinoids are in a crusade to eradicate all evil from the world.

    5.-Feel free to add anything you want

    Edit: I am more interested in fluff than in crunch, but feel free to make suggestions on that direction too if you want, the system is D&D 3.5 (with some homebrew available)
    Last edited by thethird; 2013-04-09 at 10:45 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Oct 2011
    the Netherlands

    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    You could take Red Hand of Doom and change what you don't like.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
    thethird's Avatar

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    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    Note that I don't appreciate the suggestion (thanks :) ) but... I'm not searching for a goblin army crunch wise nor for a module, I'm more looking into ideas/suggestions on how the goblin thinks or believes.

    As a sidenote I already read the Red Hand of Doom

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Yora's Avatar

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    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    Are the goblins still acting goblin-ish, or are you thinking of something where they just have the look of goblins, but their culture would work just as well if they were gnomes or halflings?
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Aug 2012
    Darkest Dorset (UK)

    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    I like the idea that goblins think that they are better. That they are morally superior and that gives them the right to trick, deceive, enslave or destroy the foolish or cruel; its for their own good.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    thethird's Avatar

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    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    mmmh I would prefer them to have some goblinish feel, I was thinking on having tribes. After going over sources I am starting to believe that goblins are conveniently color coded.

    normal goblins: range from yellow to reddish

    hobgoblins: dark red to dark gray

    snow goblins (frostburn): white (and those buggers have a climb speed)

    vrill (drow of the underdark): purple (adapted to fight in dark places)

    blue (expanded psionic handbook): blue (psionics and stuff)

    bhuka (sandstorm): grayish

    forestkith (monster manual III): black (they make great forest infiltrators)

    There are also bugbears which are pretty frontloaded and the hobgoblins variations from monster manual V (which are competent casters), and dragon magic. I can see a core of hobgoblin casters using enchantments and mind magic to surrogate the other subraces, but those still work as independent clans.

    At the moment I see:

    - Hobgoblins Warsouls: as the leaders.

    - Sunscorch Hobgoblins: as tacticians.

    - Bugbears: as some sort of military police (making sure that all goblins are working according to plan)

    - Vanilla Hobgoblins: as the main infantry body

    - Vanilla Goblins: as light cavalry, scouts, non-military followers

    - Snow Goblins: as wall climbers, long range messengers, spotters

    - Vrill: as crazened commandos

    - Blue: assisting with psionics other tribes, working as a diplomatic corp

    - Bhuka: would use guerrilla and skirmish tactics not engaging the enemy directly

    - Forestkith: make great assassin teams

    Each subrace/tribe could be specialized and working in tandem assist each other, I would like to exploit that instead of be something like a "normal" army, such as one formed by gnomes or halflings.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground

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    Feb 2005
    Santa Barbara, CA

    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    Gah system fail deletes my post here trying again.

    There are lots of ways to play this goblin army. As I see it the biggest thing is figuring out the OE that had them enslaved for so long. Free slave culture will always will be heavily linked to the former state. In many ways they are likely to ape their former master or to swing to the opposite extreme. Often swinging between the two states depending on topic (dress, food, social structure, military place in society, religion, family etc etc)
    But here's some ideas and food for thought.
    Was the previous OE racially enslaving the goblins? where they racist and say human or dwarf racially Superior or could any race theoretically end up i any position in society? If say human centric the goblins may now define any human as evil. If the nation saw gnomes or halflings as equally able to be made slaves of but just far less common then they may see them as brother races to be saved or hated all the more if they were treated better during their servitude.
    Were there social divisions in the Goblinoids as well as the breeding genetic ones (say house slaves vs field/mine/quarry etc slaves) and does this track to a perceived right to rule or class divisions in the goblin society?
    Religion could be interesting. Was having their own ancestral religion the core of goblinoid culture during their servitude? If so how did change over that time. Or did the Empire start with a glorious good religion that the goblins held to even as their masters fell to decadence and naval gazing. Then did the holy driven slave armies (perhaps similar to the Mamluks of Egyptian dynasty fame) rise up to push forth the ancient values that the Empires claims but did nothing to advance. (Actually try searching (Military Slaves Daniel Pipes - a good introduction to a very different view of slavery that may be useful to you here)
    Did the OE claim a religious right to slaves? Did this influence the Goblins view of the divine or organized religion?
    Could slaves own property themselves. In some RW cultures they could own slaves themselves in others the shirt they wore belonged to the owner not the slave. Do the goblins swing the other way and enforce claim on everything-with brands and ownership marks on even the lowest possession? Or do they swing the other way and refuse to claim possessions at all living in some form of communism? Many such responses would be driven by how the OE views property and status. For example under the French colonial system the power rested in owning land and controlling the largely imported food supply. After the revolution the plantations were broken up into farmstead where every man could feed his own family and call some piece of land his own.-also to make it harder to reinstitute large scale plantation -like systems.
    Is slavery been pushed so deeply into the goblin mind set that they don't see slavery as an evil institution? So they think it appropriate or even justice they they now take slaves?
    How about family? The OE was obviously involved in selecting breeding partners and such-how did this effect the goblin family unit? Does choice not even enter their heads? Are breeding rights something to be doled out by leaders? Do they hold to some idea of breeding for a goal-eugenics like? Could that goal have been twisted by their uprising? Do they care for their own individual children or knowing that they could be separated at any time did they give their children over to a group system? Or have they swung to the opposite with female who had never thought of even having the right to choose their own mates forcing them to display courtly graces like the mistresses of old did as it was the only other system they had ever known?
    Also who led the uprising? Religious leaders? Military slaves? Goblins working in the civil service as note takers and janitors? Field workers starting with mines and noble estates working their way into cities over time? Was there a rabble rouser whose works were only passed in the shadows and whispered in the night long after the masters were asleep? To they all but worship such leaders of the revolution like the Soviets did Lenin or the Chinese did Mao? In DnD such adoration could lead to what-some kind of deification or something depending on your cosmology.
    Also how long ago did this release from slavery happen? A couple generations? Just a couple years ago? Do only the oldest remember it and the young yearn to gain glory like grandpa?
    Actually if the leaders are dead-what about speak with dead spells and heck necromancy generally. Humans may think of it as evil but do the goblins? Was it used on them in the OE? Do they think the zombie has a soul? Do they think a zombie is a fine solution to do work that nobody, not even a slave, should have to do? Or do they use it to ask questions of their great leaders and martyrs? Perhaps slowly driving them mad as they get no rest in the afterlife?
    And quite how did those leaders earn the goblins their freedom? The OE crumbled but how? Was it a wave of natural disasters? droughts and earthquakes that eroded the power-bases of the cities? Do the goblins see this as divine justice or the weakness of the masters for sitting on their tooshes for so long or that such an empire is at odds with the natural systems of the world (possibly leading to respect for druids or some such)? Was it an invading army? Are they remembered as heroes or did the invaders slay the goblins as they advanced so that the goblins see the invaders as monster just as bad if not worse than the masters? Was it internal divisions? That would be boon to those goblins or hobgoblin who argue for strong centralized leadership of the goblin horde. And how would they react to government. Would any kind of attempted organization smack too much of the old masters to cow the now freedom fighting masses or would such things feel familiar and thus comfortable in a new and possibly frightening world?

    Totally up to you but I hope this gets your mental juices flowing.

    edit: clean clean CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.....damn speed rewrites of stream of consciousness
    Last edited by sktarq; 2013-04-10 at 09:37 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
    thethird's Avatar

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    Default Re: Community help: fleshing a goblinoid army

    Wow those are a lot of questions and they will certainly prove useful, I'll sleep on them and tomorrow as a mental challenge I will try to answer all of them I'm sure that help me define them much better

    Thank you a lot.

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