If there are elves there are goblin elves. If there are apes there may be goblin apes. If there is a house which should not be able to stand, whose shadow kills the grass and whose silhouette on the hillside makes people avert their gaze, this is a goblin house. Put enough of those together and you’ve goblinly goblinned yourself quite a goblin city, one filled with goblins. Goblin your eyes.
Goblins are neither genus nor species. They are a kind, a type, and anything can become goblin, or come to be a goblin. Their language is incredibly goblin, and goblin goblins use the word “goblin” for many other parts of speech (numbers, definite articles, pronouns) we might recognize, with the rest of their language sounding like burbles, chittering, angry growls, and sorrowful moans.
Daniel Dean on goblins
Some folk don’t start out the way you see them now. Trolls are blessed/cursed with a kind of semi-stable cancer. True vampires have sold their souls to one of the stars above, and lesser vampires have been made franchisees to that relationship. The soldiers of the Pigment Mafia are called “made men” because they have been made into wererats.
Goblinism is contagious. Humans can catch it. Orcs can catch it. Foxlings, foxes, and fields of foxglove can catch it. Mostly you catch goblinism by eating goblin food, which is to say, food that’s caught goblinism.
this shark has caught goblinism
From the OSR Discord a few days ago. Preserved for posterity.
You may also like this post from Throne of Salt.
- AETLENGASH – a severe abrasion caused by the skin of a basilisk
- AIGRE, a sudden tide of blood or other bodily fluids
- ALGETETIC, someone who insists on asking painful questions
- ANTEDENTATE, possessing trapping-teeth in the throat but no biting-teeth in the jaws
I’m trying to revise the GLOG classes into so that each (1) is defined more broadly/loosely, in a way that allows them to be interpreted in many ways (e.g. Inigo Montoya the Barbarian) and (2) has something to do both in and out of combat.
Many rations are commonly wrapped in corn or squash leaves, and clams can be pickled in the shell for easy transportation. Both corn and rice may be included so that you can “pop” on a hot surface and have something to eat while you’re waiting for your rations to cook up. Where a nutritive supplement is needed, rations will usually include algae or seaweed cakes, which can be eaten as-is or dissolved in water for broth.
Additional food info, plus hunger rules, below the cut.
- Fatcakes. Patties of dried and beaten meat, berries, and rendered fat. Especially in the West, some fatcakes use corn flour in addition to, or instead of, meat. They may be eaten raw, boiled, or fried. Lasts for several months, or up to a year if kept cool.
- Grot grub. This is a popular (or at least widespread…) ration found underground. It is composed of strips of meat (bats, mice, or crab and fish from underground lakes) that have been salted, smoked, and pickled in cave slime. Where available, it may instead be preserved in honey, which, in the Veins, is less often the sort of bee with which surface-dwellers are familiar with, but rather a “vulture bee” which makes its honey from the stuff of corpses.
- Gutpowder. Meat and fruit can be dried and ground into a long-lasting powder that can be eaten as-is or mixed with water to make soup. Squash blossoms may be included to thicken the soup.
- Hot pot: Butter beans and climbing beans, meat, and pomatoes, usually dried and meant to be rehydrated as a soup. Its name comes from the customary inclusion of pickled chilis or pepper berries, whose initial sweetness leads to a short but intense heat.
- Journeycake. Corn meal, fruit (usually berries), nut butter, and mashed squash, mashed and mixed together and pressed into a bar or “cake.”
- Soup glew. A little something from the Empires Beyond the Sea: “scrap meat” is boiled, strained, and boiled some more until you get a pasty jelly residue, which is air dried, cut, and powdered with flour. Stonebread crumbles and dried, diced vegetables are commonly added at some point in the process, because they’ll be reconstituted when the soup glew is boiled in water and, well, made into soup.
- Stewdle. Take one eel or snake, salt thoroughly, and then stuff it with cornmeal, squash, and a bit of seaweed before hot-smoking it. Most travelers prefer to eat them in the pot, but they lend themselves to being roasted over the fire just as easily.
- Trotters mix: Nuts, dried fruit, and small pieces of cheese that have been pressed, dried, cut, and dried again over a fire. The cheese has a very tough consistency, similar to stonebread, and, like stonebread, must be moistened before it can be chewed (because of their size, a piece of stonecheese can be moistened in the mouth while one walks).
- Waybread. Basically a handheld pie: bread filled with fat, fruit, and meat, all chopped and dried and sometimes pickled in cider brine.
- Whitepaste. Cured roe, rendered fat, berries, and the bulbs and stems of plants, ground and packed together to form, well, a white paste that is usually eaten raw. Also called white fatcakes.
“Grit and Flesh” is something that other systems have already experimented with, and I like how it looks. The Mountain at the End of the World has gotten rid of a couple of stats, and I sort of like how that looks, too.
Here’s what I’m thinking: Get rid of Constitution and replace it with Flesh. Grit can come along, too, but Flesh is the important part. Whenever you would roll Constitution, instead you roll Flesh—but when you take damage to Flesh, then you’re going to have a lower bonus.
The Hunter is about being observant and avoiding observation. You may be a hunter of beasts or a hunter of men, or, for that matter, an explorer who simply knows that the best way to stay alive is to remain unnoticed and, when that fails, hit things from a very far distance.
Every character in Thaumerica knows two languages by default: (1) the native language of their home region and (2) Westerling Sign.
In Upper Thaumerica, the main regional languages are Eastronian (Eastron), Lakese (Lake Countries), Southlandish (Southlands), and Westerling Speech (The West). You can probably guess where most of these regions lie in relation to each other. Each language has its dialects, but those dialects are mutually intelligible.
Westerling Sign (not to be confused with Westerling Speech) is a trade sign language from the West. Everyone in Upper Thaumerica knows it at least well enough to ask about the quality of goods and haggle over prices with strange merchants in the market square, and if you don’t have any other language in common then you can at least converse in Westerling Sign. Because it requires the use of your hands, Westerling Sign is not just a common language but an inherently de-escalatory one. You must sheathe your sword and put down your shield in order to free up your hands, which is why it is actually the preferred language in some places.
Most Thaumerican languages use geographic directions (north, east, south, west) much more than, and sometimes entirely in place of, egocentric directions (forward, right, backward, left).
You take what nobody wants or needs anymore (bits of dead bodies), weld them to what has never lived, and create something functional, something greater than the sum of its parts. You may call yourself as a necromancer inventor, or a deadhead, or an osso-mechanic, but people in your occupation are mostly referred to as re-animators.
Technically speaking, you are a kind of wizard, though you and the wizards would both prefer to ignore this. Wizards blow themselves up or get turned into a frog too often for your liking, and wizards are
horrified by your monstrosities jealous that you have never even come close to blowing up or getting turned into a frog.
There is another kind of necromancer, the sort that raises spirits and commands the dead and explodes corpses (what is it with wizards and explosions?!?). This is not what you do, though some historian of magic has surely traced the relationship between your schools and who it was that first dispensed with spirit-calling in favor of necro-engineering.
Nowadays, re-animators are more common than necromancers, at least in the Lake Countries. In Quillsylvania, their art is distrusted but not outright banned (the necromancers cannot claim as much), and they occupy a place of prestige in Buckeye, which has long been sympathetic to those whose clever minds are called by others “mad.” As yet, there has been no ‘mortechnological revolution,’ but the re-animators are continuing to refine their art and some of them see, however distant it may be, the glimmer of a day when their work has revolutionized the world.
Overusing potions can lead to dependency, and dependency will lead to withdrawal. You overuse potions anyway.
(Not every alchemist is an Alchemist Junkie, just like not every fighter is a Sharptalent)
Up till now I’ve been content to use Arnold K.’s Alchemy and Oozes PDF as is, because it’s got an even hundred potions and that’s enough for most purposes, but I’m working on a “junkie alchemist” class and need a set of potions whose effects can not just be made shorter or longer but stronger or weaker, and which have withdrawal effects to boot.
Potency: Some potions are stronger than others. If a potion grants a flat numerical effect, then lesser potency will halve the effect and greater potency will double the effect. If the potion involves a die roll, then lesser potency will downgrade the die (e.g. 1d6 to 1d4) and greater potency will upgrade the die (e.g. 1d6 to 1d8).
Downgrading and upgrading: If a die is downgraded from 1d2 then it becomes 1, and if it is downgraded from 1 then it becomes 0. If a die is upgraded from 1d12 then it becomes 1d12+1d2, then 1d12+1d4, and so on.
Variants: For the sake of being condensed, a lot of potions have just been listed as a variant rather than given their own entry. Assume that they work the same as the base potion except where specified otherwise.