One night, after a couple of bourbons each, we got to chatting about our plans for Goblins. We had been inspired by the release of Heros Against Darkness by Justin Halliday. His excellent role playing game had been released using a Creative Commons licence and it had got us thinking. Here was a fully thought out role playing game thoroughly put together and out there for people to play for free.
The role playing industry is too small to support all the wonderful indie games out there financially in any meaningful way. It is barely big enough to support the full time developers for big companies. We decided we’d follow Justin’s lead and release Goblins! on this site for free. When we’re done, we’ll still do a self-published hard copy of the rules (mostly for ourselves) so that people can buy a copy if they’re interested.
So, without waffling on anymore, here’s the current version of Goblins! Feel free to download and play it. Please remember, this is still a far from finished version of the game. We still have a few things to fix up. The combat chapter, for instance, is a little thin on details. We appreciate any and all feedback. You can use the comments below to let us know what you think of the game, what you think works and what you think doesn’t. Those groups who provide us significant and useful feedback will be given credits in the rule book.
The other night we sitting around discussing what we needed to complete in order to get the game into the hands of play testers. As we discussed finalising the combat chapter and the “Doin’ Stuff” chapter we realised that there may be something that is more important than those. We asked ourselves “how would you convey to other groups how to play the game?”. Goblins! is not your average run of the mill roleplaying game. It is more heavily focused on roleplaying rather than action. There is no real incentive to roll a strong character. The life span of the Goblin is likely to be very short. The story is not likely to follow any recognisable preconceived plot of any kind.
To be fair, we hope we have designed a system which can support many different styles of play, and the method that we prefer is only one of them. Having said that, there are certain characteristics that we hope will become central to the game and consistent across all gaming groups. In attempting to answer this question I have addressed a few issues that tend to annoy and irritate some gamers (mostly GMs).
As we have been playtesting our little hearts out on Goblins!, we have began to realise that the rough scribbles of numbers, words and doodles was probably not sufficient for a proper grown up roleplaying game character sheet. To this end I set about creating a character sheet that would fit the game (low focus on the numbers, high focus on the character side) and yet would have everything that you needed at hand. I also wanted the sheet to be printable on an A5 piece of paper (or about 2 per ‘letter’ sized piece of paper).
Anyway, here is a sneak preview of the character sheet we lovingly call Draft 03c.
Any and all comments will be gratefully received by our quality assurance Goblins, who may choose to eat them, run away from them, or use them for sanitary purposes. Continue reading →
In Goblins! A Roleplaying Game you and your friends play a group of Goblins. Mucky little bastards. Weak, mean-spirited, ugly little cannibals. They have brutal, short little lives, living at the bottom of the goblinoid pecking order. When food is short, they often serve as backup snacks for their larger orc cousins. A Goblin’s survival relies on wits, sycophancy, brutality and a healthy dose of luck. Sounds like fun? We think so.
The game structure for Goblins! is fairly loose. You will find the best games are centred around the mediocre little lives that the goblins live. For example, simply helping the Ol’ Hag make a stew for dinner is likely to be fraught with danger and excitement. You will have to compete with your fellow goblins for the favour of the Ol’ Hag so you might get something to eat all the while not falling for any of their traps so you can avoid going into the stew yourself. Continue reading →