Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Goblin King has a Name

... and his name is Danohir the Mirk.

But really, I just wanted to say that I love it when ideas suddenly (finally!) cohere. I've been running my Greyhame Game for four and a half months now (since 1 October last year), and my starting pitch included the Goblin King and his alliance with the Lord of Werewolves ... but I never was certain just who the Goblin King was.

Several times I've had players ask captured goblins the name of their King, and where is he? And lo! though I hate it as a player when I ask for but do not receive a Name, I did that very thing to my players, evading their queries or hemming and hawing until they got bored and just killed the poor goblins (they did always learn that the King was "further below", at least).

I was sorely tempted to just let his name be Jarred and look just like David Bowie in Labyrinth, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. Especially not when I already have a character named Jaer, stolen from another medium ...

But, today I figured it out. The Goblin King has a name and a backstory, and I'll be regaling the players of my Greyhame Game with it soon enough, and posting it in full here on this blog.

And it's funny how much of what I figured out was inspired by a random roll that occurred during the game this week (on 19 February ... I have yet to write up that 21st expedition), a wilderness roll that indicated an encounter with a party of Elves. We didn't even roleplay it beyond a snooty Elf making fun of the party and then continuing on ... but even just that little piece of information, lodged in the back of my mind as I was worrying the Name of the Goblin King like a piece of fatty gristle, ultimately produced the entire rest of the backstory.


So this isn't really much of a post, other than to remark on how one can run a game for a long while without knowing all the little details (four months without knowing a main antagonist's name for me), and also about how great it is when little details suddenly cohere in a moment of inspiration.

As a Joesky tax, here's a Free Goblin spell:

Steal Shadow
Free Goblin, Elf, magic-user level 4
duration: permanent (until/unless the shadow is released)
target: one creature's shadow
range: touch (insofar as one can "touch" a shadow)
materials: two silver nails, each worth 50 gold or more

This spell must be cast while standing in another creature's shadow, and is completed by driving the enchanted nails into one's boots, thus nailing the shadow to them.

When you walk away, the victim is left without a shadow, causing them slowly to fade away into nothingness themselves, losing one level of life energy for every week without a shadow. If they can find another shadow somehow, the fading will cease wherever it left off. (the Unnameable Monastery might be a place to start looking for a new shadow)

As for the shadow nailed to your boots--it acts as a monstrous shadow, acting on your initiative and at your direction and draining strength just like the monster does. It can be released by pulling the nails from your shoes, but beware! It will probably attack you first, and then seek to reunited itself with its body--or, if that's impossible, it will wander the world's dungeons as a free shadow, creating more of its kind through its strength drain ...

No comments:

Post a Comment