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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    I personally think it would be fun to play a goblin or kobold in D&D games, but DMs tend to say "You'll probably have to wait outside when the party goes to town." or something discouraging to that effect.

    In this thread, I'd like to discuss not only an odd-man-out who is playing a monstrous race (that isn't particularly imposing or threatening, but more of a nuisance), but also having entire parties of goblins, kobolds, or other pests.

    Does anyone have experience accommodating these sorts of characters or parties?
    What are interesting social issues and responses to goblins or kobolds other than "KILL IT!" that town members or guards could have?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Jerthanis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Well... it really depends on what role within the society these races have. In a cosmopolitan gameworld like Eberron or Forgotten Realms, you could probably have people react with fear and suspicion, but wouldn't slay them on sight, and it'd be a matter of establishing trust in each new place you go. In these cases, they might be told 'we don't serve your kind here' at some inns and shops, and they might get 'accidentally' knocked down in the street from time to time, but another inn or shop might know their gold spends the same as anyone else's. If they are continually harassed, but don't resort to violence or threats to get their harassers to go away, locals might step to their defense, and opinion might turn against the harassers.

    On the other hand, in a world like the assumed setting of a Keep on the Borderlands, or when playing something like an Orc in Middle Earth, where they are killed on sight for being one of their kind at best and actively corrupt the world with their presence, in which case it really is going to be a matter of simply avoiding civilization entirely.

    Playing a whole group of creatures in scenario one practically mandates they be an extremely trustworthy group, more selfless, temperate and incorruptible than a similar group of non-maligned individuals. They must also know when to swallow their pride and turn away when they are refused service. Social skills and charisma would be useful for every member, since the deck starts stacked against them to start.

    In scenario two, the party is interdependent on one another for everything they would otherwise get from society... crafting ammunition, specialized gear, education in new skills, food and water sharing. In this case, intragroup trust would be essential, since when food and resource limitation runs short, you have to not turn on one another if you want the group to survive. The out-group, who will kill them on sight, would also turn into a resource, where raiding their camps for specialized gear or resources would become a reasonable course of action.

    I feel like the most interesting part of playing groups of monstrous humanoids might be in moving between geographical areas where a different scenario applies, and how their behavior must change to adapt to the different rules. The obvious moral that grows out of it is that the societies who tolerate the monstrous humanoids get the benefit of sharing resources, and the monstrous party leaves those places healthier, happier and with more resources, and in the other scenario, they leave behind victims and both groups less well off than in scenario 1. It wouldn't even have to be heavy handed, the lesson intrinsically follows from the setup.

    That's the pitch I'd make when it would come to running a Monstrous Humanoids game.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    -snip-
    ...shame on you. It's the week before finals and you have to give me a idea for a game?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyvurg View Post
    That's what they all say, then when you go to sleep, bam! Face full of alien wang.


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Expect to be cheated a lot because after all, the police wont lift a finger to help you..
    "We were once so close to heaven, Peter came out and gave us medals declaring us 'The nicest of the damned'.."
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    How about a team of kobolds that operate a human-suit together?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    How about a team of kobolds that operate a human-suit together?
    This sounds like a hilariously epic adventure. The Human Suit quickly becomes recognized as a hero (known for his distinctive gait, suit, and fighting style which is really five Kobolds making unarmed strikes and casting spells from inside his clothes), and the Kobolds must resort to all sorts of wacky hijinks to maintain their cover as long as they can while reaping the benefits of civilized heroism.

    He seems to be the strongest, fastest man alive, casting multiple spells, attacking a dozen times per round. He never appears to divinations, casts both arcane and divine spells seemingly without somatic components, and seems to have the strength and smarts of five men. All the while, various maids, questgives, politicians, marital artists, and priests all demand to see the Suit's true colors and learn his fighting style, promising "him" increasingly tempting rewards...
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2013-05-02 at 09:25 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Zovc View Post
    What are interesting social issues and responses to goblins or kobolds other than "KILL IT!" that town members or guards could have?
    I know you said, don't have the "KILL IT!" reaction, but you could have "good" adventure parties irregularly but constantly attacking the "evil humanoids". If you play it right, it's a rolling satire of the entire premise of many D&D campaigns.

    NPC1: "Charge the evil ones in the name of Righteousness!" bellows the heroic paladin as he bears down upon you.

    Player 1: "Wait, no, we're....aeiiiieee!"

    Player 2: "No! We too are good!"

    NPC2: "Lies! The strong right arm of St. Cuthbert won't listen to your evil deceptions!", shouts the heroic cleric, as he swings his mace.

    NPC3: "I stab the evil leader in his kidneys!", murmers the heroic thief.

    And so on.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2013-05-03 at 01:27 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Scow2's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Zovc View Post
    I personally think it would be fun to play a goblin or kobold in D&D games, but DMs tend to say "You'll probably have to wait outside when the party goes to town." or something discouraging to that effect.

    In this thread, I'd like to discuss not only an odd-man-out who is playing a monstrous race (that isn't particularly imposing or threatening, but more of a nuisance), but also having entire parties of goblins, kobolds, or other pests.

    Does anyone have experience accommodating these sorts of characters or parties?
    What are interesting social issues and responses to goblins or kobolds other than "KILL IT!" that town members or guards could have?
    For a single monstrous character in a party of normal races, the others can vouch for the monstrous member's presence. I think bright colors, snazzy outfits, and good hygiene also help - You look less monstrous.

    Money is also a good motivator: "You can refuse service to me/my fuzzy friend here, but then you won't see a single copper of the (Several hundred GP I intended to spend)"

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    My favorite goblin was a sorcerer who never fit in with his own kind as his clan was at war with kobolds and he had dragon blood that manifested in physical traits thus why they chased him off. ~chuckle~

    Me and the Gm had fun working up special stuff for my character, my favorite flaw was that he was constantly poor because he was incredibly prudent on spending because he liked to hoard his wealth like a dragon. So of course I enter the campaign wearing a burlap sack for clothing and the characters are all prominent figures in this small town one inherited lordship of. I spent the first couple of days begging around town and letting people get used to my presence, once I had exhausted all the common folk as sources of possible charity my brain gets to thinking 'hey lets try that big house way up there'.

    So of course my friend playing the low tier noble whose just moved into this inheritance discovers that the place is fairly barren and neglected and he doesn't have any servants to help him and such activities are beneath him as he'd rather attend to the important issues of his land instead of the house. So he's looking over some maps and here comes a knock at the door, he eventually walks out to see who is knocking every ten seconds or so and finds a goblin and without missing a beat as he looks down and notices me he ***** his eyebrow and said "Yes, how can I help you?" and im all akward and nervous and after some flattery and lead in I get to the point and beg for food. I amused him and he'd been eating out of his bag since he arrived so he had no idea and invites me in, we find the kitchen and start looking around and he lets me eat all the old food that he had no intention of eating. so im eating all this horribly bad food but im a goblin so im used to it somewhat, but that's when I think 'oh wait, im a dragon' and pull out the prestidigation to spice some bread and and I just see this grin on his face and I pause with this loaf of bread in my mouth as if I feel myself being appraised. It was a rollercoaster after that, he starts interviewing me about my skills and abilities and then asks if I want a job and offers me '10%' of our findings - my character who was eating at the time and was so happy about it instantly said 'I get to keep ten percent of all the food!?' he blinks twice. "Sure." I can tell in his brain he's thinking 'SCORE!' and im just laughing in my head at the sillyness. So since im his servant at that point he decides its time to get me settled in so I can start working, he tells me to pick any room in the house other then his, the gm starts describing the rooms as I travel and so im looking around and naturally my wandering leads me into the basement and in the basement I find a closet that's meant for things like brooms and cleaning impliments and my character is just so excited about it and he quirks his eyebrow again asking "are you sure you dont want another room?" and of course I explain how it's fine and we're both just enjoying the setup. After a few sessions we return to the house with adventure loot and as im getting ready to get back to work I discover a secret passage and an all but empty 'vault' in the basement with a secret passage that leads to an escape tunnel. At that point I become the masters 'accountant' as who better to keep account of the lands wealth then a dragon, they wont spend any of it after all. ~chuckle~ I actually found it fun to play the subservient 'lesser humanoid' roll, it was funnier because as he gained power he became more deluded that he was 'greater than humanoid' and eventually started polymorphing into a dragon whenever it was appropriate so everyone eventually believed this lord kept a pet dragon. ~chuckle~

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Jerthanis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayaz View Post
    ...shame on you. It's the week before finals and you have to give me a idea for a game?
    Bwahahaha, it warms the cockles of my black heart to know I'm distracting from schoolwork.

    But yeah, I'm glad you like my idea. I actually was kind of surprised at how much I liked it myself when I was drawing it together.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    This thread made me want to play a CG kobold beggar (bard)

    Upon seeing a human (or other good race) he gets a big dopey smile on his face. Then he takes off his helmet and holds it out to them expectantly while unrolling tarp with badly written common on it:

    For:
    Free: I No stealing baby. Yuk, why you hummies so gross
    5 Copper: I No Stealing Chickens, cluck cluck, all for you.
    5 silver: I No going near you house. Warm, quiet
    5 Gold: I go away... cold, wet, all alone.

    ...

    And then have his actual character being a bard journeyman (like in Journey Quest) in human lands to research an epic. As a fun twist, he's been doing his degree at Bard college by correspondence under a gnomen name (he was adopted), and he's a vegetarian because he got tired of people accusing him of stealing chickens.
    Last edited by SuperPanda; 2013-05-04 at 04:57 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Darius Kane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Did someone say Goblins?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    [snip!]
    Thanks a lot! Your post really helped me crystallize a lot of ideas I was having--it was exactly what I needed from the forums. :)

    The kind of setting I was thinking of for an all goblin/kobold party being somewhat tribal and likely nomadic. The players are a hunting/scouting/misc party for their tribe, and there is a new human threat (from overseas or otherwise). The humans don't share a common language with any of the natives, so relations would obviously be tense.

    I visualize players being put into weird situations of "should I show compassion?" or not, like for example if they subdued a human straggler who is pleading in Hume (or whatever the human language is) at them as he scrambles away from them on his back.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    An amusing part of a PbP Spelljammer campaign I'm in is that my kobold PC has had to deal with all the normal ramifications of being a member of a race most people hate in a fantasy universe. He's developed an extremely negative view of his own race because of it (and because he has really high Int and can't understand why most of them can't grasp grammar. Or pants.) Then once he gets thrown into space suddenly a lot less people care since there's far, far worse, and he realizes he's been a bit of a jerk.
    ...I can't even play kobolds normally, it seems.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    I think players usually want to be persecuted by civilians. At least those who love drama. Others don't really mind waiting outside the town; just ask the group to bring you that +1 sword.

    Though in my case the group wizard satyr just changes his appearance while in public areas.
    Last edited by Tridax; 2013-05-05 at 12:15 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lost Demiurge's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    In most of the campaigns I run, goblin/kobold/what have you/ types of characters tend to draw attention in all but the most cosmopolitan cities. It usually doesn't cause a fuss so long as they stick around the rest of the PC's, or have some mark of affiliation with them. Mainly because adventurers-
    A. Are weirdos who tend to pick up exotic pets, like trained goblins.
    B. Spend a lot of gold.
    C. Are kinda useful when hordes of orcs descend to raze your peasant villages.
    D. Sometimes are capable of beating up every city guard in town. At once.

    So if a goblin/kobold/whatnot kicks up a fuss while its adventuring group is in town, usually the guard will collar them then go bug the adventurers. "Pardon us, this little guy is acting up. Will you cover the damages?"

    Otherwise it's a point of curiousity, and treated like an exotic pet. Adults and shopkeepers may be condescending or try to take advantage if they start waving around gold, and children will shriek and laugh and point, but generally if they can put up with that things are okay.

    Of course, once the group proves itself to the community or gets a little more well known, then they'll generally find some acceptance. They're treated as "Okay, for a goblin". Or "pretty decent guy, not a baby-eater like those other kobolds we once had to exterminate!"
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Dealing with the PCs as Goblins/Kobolds/'Scum'

    What I find amusing is the discussion of prejudicing against the nasty, nasty goblinoids as a source of drama, when this could very easily be done with the standard player races. Elves vs. Dwarves is a classic - if you find yourself in an elven or dwarven town/ holding, this could come up. What about the supposed issues of being Half-elven? Or Half-orcish? Or a Halfling. Seriously, why would anyone let those thieving little munchkins in town.

    Goblinoids and Humanoids make it stand out more, because you are playing the race that everyone else agrees is nasty. You can take any of the above and crank it up (The other folk find you uncouth, or vile, or dangerous, or untrustworthy). You would probably have a harder time justifying the city guard barring entrance of a gnome (Actually...), but a lone bugbear? Not to say that they don't have their own charms (beyond the unusual stat/ability spreads). They are one of my favorite things to run, or toss in as unusual NPCs/cohorts.

    The trick is to balance the drama with the "drama" - the roleplaying challenge shouldn't get in the way of having fun.

    On all monster games: They always sound like fun. A Jailbreak or Minion scenario would also let you run a mixed group.

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