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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    I've been playing a game system called Symbaroum. I don't expect you to have heard of it. I hadn't heard of it before the DM started telling me about the game. I'll try to tell you what you need to know to help me.

    My old character died. He was undead. Undead are really not welcome in this campaign setting. I thought my illusion magic would keep my secret safe. But then someone saw me feeding on a fresh corpse. That's a difficult thing to explain away. (I did try.)

    So my new character is a goblin shapeshifter.



    Let me start by telling you what's going on with goblins in this setting. Traditionally, we've been very in-tune with nature. But, in the last 70 or so years, some of us have taken to living in human cities. There, we serve as the lower class. We work as servants and laborers. We don't get paid much. And we're not allowed into upscale establishments.

    Oh, and we only live about 20 years. That's not a result of poor living conditions or anything. That's just our lifespans. A 20-year-old goblin is and old, old man.



    I guess I should tell you about shapeshifting too. The only form of magic that's fully approved of is theurgy. But wizards have carved out a pretty respectable niche for themselves, in spite of society's suspicion that they must be up to something. And the only kind of magic that's actually illegal is sorcery. Which, in this game, is very different from wizardry.

    Anyway, I practice witchcraft, which, strictly speaking, puts me on the same footing as the wizards, as far as the religion of this area is concerned. Practically speaking though, the difference is that there are very few witches in these lands, and we're not in any way organized. In a sense, this makes the wizards better off, because their guild has clout. In another sense, though, they're worse off, because everyone thinks they're working in the shadows to usurp the queen's power. Meanwhile I/m harmless, and easily dealt with if I do pull something.



    Anyway, I was born in a human city. I learned some of the magical traditions of my people ... somehow. And then I decided to try to use my magic to be a little less dirt poor. Specifically by thievery. I'd turn into a mouse, or whatever, sneak into a locked area, and grab whatever was valuable. Or maybe open a window, so my buddies could get in and help me loot the place.

    More recently, I was in my gang's hideout, when the authorities burst in and killed everyone. Killing is what the authorities always do to criminals in this setting, by the way. Even non-goblin criminals. There aren't prisons.

    They had the exits blocked, but I slithered out through a crack in the wall. There were plenty of cracks, goblin houses aren't of great build to start with. And then once you get into goblin hives of scum and villainy, things just get worse.

    I knew a fellow thief (the other player) who had left his house empty when he had to flee from certain disreputable sorts whom he'd fallen out of favor with. So I started laying low there. But he's back in town now, hunting down the guys who tried to kill him. And I was one of the first people to find out, since I was hiding in his rafters when he showed up in the company of two other men, then promptly tried to murder both of those men.

    So we've decided to team up and get a new crew together.

    And that's about all I've got for backstory.



    The other guy's a changeling, by the way. He can choose to look like any person (or goblin, or whatever). And I can look like any animal. And we both use our talents for crime.

    We get along way better than he and my last character got along.

    My last character and him wound up trying to kill each other by the end of the second session.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    So where are your questions? I haven't seen any.

    And apart from the obvious comment I am going to make I don't know how to help or what to expect:
    So your old character that was socially unacceptable died, and now you make a servant, who dabbles into witchcraft, in an setting where the only punishment is death? Yeah buddy, even if you make it a bit, you are bound to screw up SOMEWHERE. If you find an execution by law enforcement is a fitting end to your character concept then go for it. If not, then maybe play it a bit more subtly?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    So, you're a goblin thief, working with another thief.

    How do y'all complement each other? Why is it better to work with Stretch Manface instead of working on your own? For his part, why's he working with Pumpkinhead McSquat?

    What are your goals? Make Money? Stick it to the man? Be gay, do crimes? Goblin rights?

    Basically, the questions you need to be asking are:

    Who are you?
    What do you want?
    What the hell is wrong with you people?
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    How do y'all complement each other? Why is it better to work with Stretch Manface instead of working on your own? For his part, why's he working with Pumpkinhead McSquat?
    Mechanically? He gets the social side of things. In addition to being able to look like anyone, he has high social skills. Meanwhile, as a goblin, I have to roll twice and take the worst result on all social checks. I didn't even bother putting good scores into social skills.

    My strength, on the other hand, is stealth. Because no one suspects the butterfly. ... Okay, I can't turn into a butterfly. Only mammals and reptiles. But snakes and mice can fit into tiny areas. Squirrels and geckos can climb like mofos. And none of those things typically register as "intruder."



    From an RP perspective, his character wants to run his own crew. And he could use some help killing off the last few surviving members of the crew he was a part of before. My character just lost the only connections he had that let him safely fence to goods he stole. And he views being part of a gang as safer than running alone. He doesn't really have and ambitions beyond living the easy life, so joining up with a guy he knows who's getting a new outfit together just makes sense to him.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    What are your goals? Make Money? Stick it to the man? Be gay, do crimes? Goblin rights?
    My goblin dreams of living out his (short) life in luxury. He wants to lie on a couch being fed grapes, and never have to do anything. This will obviously never happen. But he nevertheless entertains unrealistic dreams of pulling off one big score that will leave him set for life.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Who are you?
    The son of a respected wise-woman from the goblin community... who learned the sacred teaching of his ancestors... on the premise that he would one day take her position in the community... but then said "screw that," and decided to try to use the holy traditions of nature to make a quick buck.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    What do you want?
    Money!



    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    What the hell is wrong with you people?
    I blame society. Clearly, nothing I do is my fault.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    So where are your questions?
    Umm... "Oh God! How do I RP? My character feels flat and one-dimensional! Where do I go from here?"



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    So your old character that was socially unacceptable died, and now you make a servant, who dabbles into witchcraft, in an setting where the only punishment is death?
    To be fair, being swiftly killed by law enforcement the second I get cough was basically assured when I decided the character would be some manner of thief. And the thief thing was actually a favor to the other player. I was all set to play a Templar. Then he asked "How will that mesh with my character's constant, compulsive stealing?" I told him that, obviously, my Templar would kill him if I ever saw him doing anything like that. He didn't really like that answer.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Yeah buddy, even if you make it a bit, you are bound to screw up SOMEWHERE. If you find an execution by law enforcement is a fitting end to your character concept then go for it.
    Let them come! ... Once I have some more XP. I'll be pretty hard to kill then.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Umm... "Oh God! How do I RP? My character feels flat and one-dimensional! Where do I go from here?"
    1a) you are shortlived, have a profession that is extremely risky with high reward, and are off a race that doesn't see much social acceptance? Live in the moment, embrace your inner nihilist.

    Nothing you do for _others_ matters, instant enjoyment is your goal. You blow all of your money on entertainment, things you want immediately. You don't safe for a house, or even plan a family. Honestly you don't even care if you have children what becomes of them.

    1b) You are an idealist, and want to break that cycle of shortsightedness, and reliance on others. Maybe create a goblin safe haven in the slums, where your kind can roam freely without persecution. It would simultaneously be a hub for your criminal actions. Try to push from unorganized crime (random robberies and heists) to organized crime (delegating dangerous jobs, collecting protection money from non-goblins you protect). Have your friend be the boss of it, with you being the chief enforcer, and the spy who keeps things running DESPITE the overwhelming odds against you.

    2) Does your character have any attachments to other goblins or humans (humanoids)? No character exists in a vacuum. This is also the reason why lone wolf orphan heroes are laughed at. Their backstory is as deep as a puddle on a hot summer day. You need NPCs to fill your backstory. Do you have siblings? Love interests? Old partners in crime you double crossed or safed several times? Have you got a rival or did a guard captain swear to get you one day? Is a wizard interested in your magic and wants to study you (preferrably by dissecting you)? Where you cursed by a priest whose temple you once robbed?

    3) You need a personality. This usually develops on its own during the game, but you need to make a few decisions early on. How do you react to new situations? How do you treat friends, family or enemies? Are you emotional or calculating? Are you introverted? Do you assume your character could have a formative personality DISORDERS like kleptomania, or bipolar disorder?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Do you assume your character could have a formative personality DISORDERS like kleptomania, or bipolar disorder?
    The other player is already doing a bipolar klepto. But I could be a paranoiac. I've already established that my character sleeps in the form of a tiny animal, tucked away in a hidden part of the house. [i]And[i]. I've already established that I survived the raid on my old hideout buy sneaking away as a tiny animal. It would be no stretch to say that I was sleeping in animal form back then too. My paranoia kept me alive!



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Do you have siblings? Love interests? Old partners in crime you double crossed or safed several times? Have you got a rival or did a guard captain swear to get you one day?
    I've established that there was a rival gang of goblins in my same neighborhood. I could create a backstory wherein they set up my gang to get raided. But the other player is already doing a revenge arc against fellow criminals who wronged him.

    It could be that not all of my thieving cohorts died. Maybe even one survivor is upset about how I ditched them all at the first sign of trouble.

    I was thinking my character learned basic witchcraft from his mother. I see no reason she wouldn't still be alive and disappointed in him. I hadn't considered a farther. But given the deadliness of the setting, it wouldn't be surprising if he was dead. I'll have to come up with the backstory for when and how that happened. I'll probably not write in a stepfather.

    With the death rates in this setting in general, and goblins' short life spans in particular, I have to assume goblin families tend to have lots of kids... initially. Most of his brothers and sisters would now be menial laborers. But, surely, one of them would have been selected to train as his mother's protege in his place.

    One thing I have to decide, is if my family lives in the slums of this city, or in the ramshackle "city" nearby where people who can't afford the slums live. ... I'll probably go with the latter. So squatting in a dilapidated hideout with a bunch of criminals was, relatively speaking, an improvement in lifestyle. (Being inside the city walls after the sun sets makes a big difference in safety in this setting. Actually, outside the walls isnít exactly safe in the daytime either.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    How do you treat friends, family or enemies?
    Mooch off of anyone who will let me. Abandon allies if the going gets too rough. And stay as far away as possible from anyone who means me harm.

    When my character gets some more xp under his belt, he'll become a semi-indestructible murder machine. Then maybe he'll start acting a little braver. I mean, he's not bad in a fight now. But combat in this game is inherently risky. And he won't have the raw power to back up reckless actions for a little while.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    You need a personality.
    I'm leaning toward "obsequious backstabber."



    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    1a) you are shortlived, have a profession that is extremely risky with high reward, and are off a race that doesn't see much social acceptance? Live in the moment, embrace your inner nihilist.

    Nothing you do for _others_ matters, instant enjoyment is your goal. You blow all of your money on entertainment, things you want immediately. You don't safe for a house, or even plan a family. Honestly you don't even care if you have children what becomes of them.
    I'll probably do something along these lines. Though it sounds more like a hedonist than a nihilist. I kind of like the idea of a hedonist with very low standards. He wants to "live the good life," but his idea of what constitutes the good life would still seem pretty squalid to most other people.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    So, your roleplaying guide is pretty much "Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a confusing corpse"?
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, your roleplaying guide is pretty much "Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a confusing corpse"?
    ...

    Can I sig this?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    The other player is already doing a bipolar klepto. But I could be a paranoiac. I've already established that my character sleeps in the form of a tiny animal, tucked away in a hidden part of the house. [i]And[i]. I've already established that I survived the raid on my old hideout buy sneaking away as a tiny animal. It would be no stretch to say that I was sleeping in animal form back then too. My paranoia kept me alive!
    Thing is, as far as RPG tropes go, EVERY good adventurer is paranoid.

    I've established that there was a rival gang of goblins in my same neighborhood. I could create a backstory wherein they set up my gang to get raided. But the other player is already doing a revenge arc against fellow criminals who wronged him.

    It could be that not all of my thieving cohorts died. Maybe even one survivor is upset about how I ditched them all at the first sign of trouble.
    Yeah, they did not wrong you, you did wrong them. And now they're out for blood, and incredibly envious.

    I was thinking my character learned basic witchcraft from his mother. I see no reason she wouldn't still be alive and disappointed in him. I hadn't considered a farther. But given the deadliness of the setting, it wouldn't be surprising if he was dead. I'll have to come up with the backstory for when and how that happened. I'll probably not write in a stepfather.
    Why disappointed? Her son is a great mage.

    With the death rates in this setting in general, and goblins' short life spans in particular, I have to assume goblin families tend to have lots of kids... initially. Most of his brothers and sisters would now be menial laborers. But, surely, one of them would have been selected to train as his mother's protege in his place.
    So you have LOADS of envious half siblings? Goodie! Maybe your next family reunion has the theme "We want to kill Maat Mons"

    Mooch off of anyone who will let me. Abandon allies if the going gets too rough. And stay as far away as possible from anyone who means me harm
    Here is potential for character growth. Because usually PCs live long enough to learn that maybe sticking by friends is a good idea, because said friends then stick with you!

    I'm leaning toward "obsequious backstabber."
    That's a terrible goal for a group RPG. See reason above.


    I'll probably do something along these lines. Though it sounds more like a hedonist than a nihilist. I kind of like the idea of a hedonist with very low standards. He wants to "live the good life," but his idea of what constitutes the good life would still seem pretty squalid to most other people.
    "And then I chugged a whole three bottles of moonshine! That night was awesome."

    So, your roleplaying guide is pretty much "Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a confusing corpse"?
    I am kind of debatting between this and morally grey flaming catapults myself :<

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Why disappointed? Her son is a great mage.
    Because I use my magic for personal benefit, instead of helping the goblin community. Also all the crimes I commit. Some mothers just have really high standards.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: RP Help: Goblin Shapeshifter!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    ...

    Can I sig this?
    Put my name on it and no problem. ;-)
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

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