Oldschoolish D&Dish Homebrew Resources- Goblinoids and Other Monstrous/Savage Humanoids (Giant-kin, Gnolls, Orcs, etc)
Gathered together for future game reference. Feel free to suggest others.
Goblin Enchantress at Le Chaudron Chromatique
Manrider Alchemist at Goblin Punch
Gadgets and Generators (See also: "Random Tables" below)
Goblin Doors at Abulafiah
Random Humanoid Horde- Abulafiah
Behold the Blingdingel at Wampus Country
Ecology of the Bugbear at Hack and Slash
Ecology of My Goblins, or How I make Goblins Fun at Searching for Magic
Ecology of the Kobold at Hack and Slash
Ecology of the Orc at Hack and Slash
Ecology of the Troll at Hack and Slash
The Goblin Article at Basic Red
God Hates Orcs at Goblin Punch
Halfling and Goblins at Goblin Punch
Kappas at Basic Red
Kobolds More Like NOBOLDS at Basic Red
Legends of Pahvelorn: Doorcreepers at Necropraxis
Names of the Orc at Basic Red
Of Manuals and Goblins at Dungeon of Signs
Meditations on the Bugbear at Dungeon of Signs
Monster Archaeology- Large Humanoids
Monster Archaelogy- Small Humanoids
Orcs Are a Disease at Dungeon of Signs
An Orcish Prayer at Goblin Punch
Ogres and Their Kin at Goblin Punch
Ogres of Wampus Country
A Plague of Goblins at From the Sorcerer's Skull
Thouls and Owlbears at Dungeon of Signs
Monster Entries and Subtypes
Blobblins at Goblin Punch
Goblin Collectors at Le Chaudron Chromatique
Gretchlings and Grues at Goblin Punch
Hollow Goblin (+ Hollow Hermit) at Le Chaudron Chromatique
Spider-Goblins (Hexenbracken) at Gaming, It Happens
Tooth Fairies at Goblin Punch
Yoblins, Funglybears, and Filth Libraries at Goblin Punch
Bullywug at Hack and Slash
Gnolls at Hack and Slash
Halfling and Goblins at Goblin Punch
Savage Races at False Machine
The Greatest and Deadliest of Goblins at Basic Red
Griffin Street Irregulars at Wampus Country
Goblin Arena at Goblin Punch
Yoblintown at Goblin Punch
1d6 Goblin Traps at Goblin Punch
1d8 Goblin Weapons at Goblin Punc
Gads of Goblin Goodies at Land of Nod
Goblin Tribe Generator
Humanoid Traits Table at A Hamsterish Hoard
Mixing Liquids from Orc Spawning Pools with Healing Potions at Le Chaudron Chromatique
Random Starting Equipment for Goblins at Gaming, It Happens
Thouls and Owlbears at Dungeon of Signs
What Does That Broken Goblin Machine Do? at Rolang's Creeping Doom
What's in that Dead Orc's Pockets? at Jeffs Gameblog
WTF Are Those Goblins Doing? at Goblin Punch
Yoblintown at Goblin Punch
The Seven Deadly Stinks at Goblin Punch
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
The Terrible Truth About Trolls
Any adventurers worth their salt have heard tales of the troll. Physical descriptions vary, but the type of brute I’m speaking of is almost universally big, dumb, and eternally hungry. The troll ability rapidly and disturbingly stitch together any wounds it sustains (the trollish “regeneration”) is well known. The method of its defeat, fire or acid to cauterize the wounds, is also well known.
Trolls loom over normal men in a disgusting fashion that shouldn’t even be physically possible. Their bloated cores (which might be called abdomen) sag disgustingly over the top of legs much too gaunt to hold them. Its arms are equally emaciated, with skin seemingly pulled painfully tight over the bone. A troll has no hair save for its head. Instead the creature’s (at times) rubbery skin is “decorated” with varicose veins, stretchmarks, or pus-filled growths of unknown nature. The latter features tend to change places when nobody’s looking.
The troll is often described as technically a member of the giant family. However, their vaguely humanoid structure is perhaps the closest thing trolls have with giants. Physiologically (and historically, see Troll Origins), trolls more closely resemble the doppelganger. Ecologically they vary between behavior that mimics plagues of locusts and, more often, (somewhat more subtle) cockroaches. (See Troll Ecology and Reproduction).
The physiological body of a troll is actually incredibly weak. A troll’s physical toughness comes from its state of constant “regeneration”. Yes, even when unharmed, a troll’s body warps and devours its old flesh to make up for new. The troll possesses no regeneration ability as we know it. “Remutation” serves as a better term, for the troll is technically a shapeshifter, like a doppelganger. However, the troll bears no control its shapechanging, dooming it to an existence of eternal suffering as it suffers constant writhing “mini-mutations”.
The troll’s mini-mutations pass by so quickly that the human fails to notice it. Two exceptions to the rule exist: when the troll deliberately turns its remutation to its favor or when it is wounded. Of the former, the troll has two little known abilities. First, it can stretch its limbs slightly but significantly. This stretching is always accompanied by a noticeable physical change, such as the creaking and cracking of bones or the tightening or even tearing of the flesh. Second, a troll can fold and compress itself to fit into a much smaller space than its normal volume would allow. Of course, a troll will only perform such compression if it accepts the bone-breaking pain and mutilation that accompanies such a transformation. It helps that the troll’s bone structure is not consistent; it can turn solid, spongy, or even almost liquid given the right circumstances.
The troll’s constant transformations require a humungous heap of energy to burn. Hence, in addition to the constant trauma of their bodies breaking down and building back up, the average troll faces constant hunger surpassing even the most gluttonous of ghouls.
Troll Ecology and Reproduction
Trolls have been rightly called the cockroaches of the giant world for several reasons beyond their ability to be too damn hard to kill. For the most part, they are disgusting, lurking horrors that stay out of the way until food is most readily available. Like the normal cockroach, they feed on garbage (or what they consider garbage- as in, sentient humans and humanoids smaller than them.) Of course, because of the constant trauma they suffer from pain and starvation, trolls show much more aggression than cockroaches show.
Trolls are similar to cockroaches in another way: reproduction. Or at least, in a way cockroaches are rumored to reproduce. A troll’s reproduction resembles the old wife’s tale of female cockroaches. Namely, that they shoot their eggs all over the place if squished. (This is of course, a myth, but in a magical world with all sorts of whacko wizards, you never know if somebody turns it into a reality). However, when a troll is hacked apart, it does not eject eggs, but rather the trollish flesh acts more like a planarian flatworm or even an ooze. Any “significantly large” enough piece of troll flesh, bone, or even blood that is left undisturbed can regenerate back into an entirely new troll, even when the original is destroyed.
The process of the above “budding” reproduction is fiendishly slow, leaving most troll hunters completely unaware that trolls can even multiply this way. Woe be it to the unwary troll hunter who brings fire only to burn the main body but leaves scraps of the creature laying all over the place. Fortunately, their slow reproduction rate also puts a cap on their population. If their inert parts are eaten by predators or scavengers, the trolls will not regrow. Trolls are prone to cannibalism, which sounds nice but actually has a nasty implication. Troll hunters who wipe out an entire clan can make things worse than simply thinning out the population. Few other creatures can stand the taste of troll flesh…
Trolls generally prefer the splitting method of reproduction over sexually mating, though the latter is technically possible. Due to their origins (see Troll Origins, below), trolls find each other physically disgusting. Instead, they find the beings with conventionally finer features much more appealing despite the physical weakness they loath. A lustful troll can experience an erotic high from combat, further complicating the troll’s already convoluted (and now self-contradictory) feelings towards combat. Even the language of trolls reflects how they relate to bloodshed. In the trollish dialect of Giant, the words for “kill”, “die”, “eat”, and “mate” are largely the same. In its own twisted way, a troll signals its love by wanting to tear your guts out and wanting you to do likewise...
How did a creature so warped in body in mind come to exist? And why does it mock our human form? Perhaps the right question might be why does our form mock it?
Classified erroneously as giant-kin, the origins of the troll more likely hearken back to a much more ancient time, where the rules of life were not like we know them. In that primordial existence several worlds ago, form and physiology were less distinct. Sexual reproduction, perhaps even reproduction itself, was new or perhaps even unknown. Yet, something raised the humanoid shape from the creatures that skitter on the ground.
Even in this bygone times (if time was a thing back then), the drive to improve, to evolve, still existed in some form. The first creatures resembling our form, the First Walkers, were otherwise shapeless, indistinct, even malleable, for fixed form had not been decided yet. The creatures we would call “doppelgangers”, the Formspawners, were among the first to solidify their forms from inconsistent muck. This feat was accomplished by ardent pushing and pulling, tensing and letting go, twisting, and untwisting. These first forms were simplistic, nearly featureless faces, dull colors, and of course the inability to reproduce. Yet this basic frame was mutable yet stable enough for the Formspawners to begin crafting more refined shapes.
At the same time as the above physical transformation, the basic reflexes and instincts of pushing and pulling, etc. began to become more complex as the drive towards differentiation unbound creation from itself. These reflexes and instincts intermingled and combined, first becoming basic perception of the outside reality, then awareness of the distinction of organisms, something akin to animal desire, and finally “human-level consciousness”.
The Formspawners were true to their names, having achieve separate existences, yet linked by an understanding of each other that could only come from evolving from the same “mass”. This common understanding may have evolved into what is the telepathy modern doppelgangers show today. That’s not our concern for this discussion. Suffice it to say, the Formspawners thoughts allowed them not only to communicate with each other, but also communicate with their own flesh, allowing increasingly finer and more distinct shapes.
However, in increasing their forms capacity for finer manipulations, the Formspawners reduced their capacity for grosser manipulations. No longer could they assume as radical size or weight changes, nor could they heal themselves as quickly.
|An early Refiner (Art by Niii of Deviantart.com)|
A sizable number of the First Walkers saw folly in substituting subtlety for greatness. These Reverters (as opposed to the Refiners on the other side of the argument) believed they had to go back a step and start again. Stretch for ever greater and greater things, continuously warp and mutate, “reach for the stars”. The Reverters stretched and warped themselves to greater and greater heights.
|De/Evolution to the Modern Troll|
Like the saying that if you make a face enough it will stay that way, so did their forms. Stretched to the limit and yet still warping, mutating, substituting quantity for quality of change, the Reverters damned themselves to an everlasting hell of torment. Through their petty spite and desire for vengeance against the Refiners, the Reverters became the abominable trolls we know today. (This is not to say the Refiners were without blame, far from it, but that is a story for another time.)
|The greater sized troll ancestors look upon a Refiner. (Art John Bauer, 1915)|
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Welcome to Halcyon Springs!
|Art by Tyler Edlin|
Welcome, honored seafarers and adventurers, to the great town of Halcyon Springs (Hex 0304), the gateway to the Isle of Mulk! We are the Hexenbracken’s PREMIERE vacation destination! So whether you seek thrilling excitement or merely to take a load off (especially if that load is excess coin), Halcyon Springs is THE place to stay! Be sure to visit our miraculous hot springs! You’ll find that all those impurities from the rough dungeon days will just melt away!
|Fun for the whole party! (Source)|
Halcyon Springs has something for the entire party! For the nature lovers, we have plenty of parks and sacred groves to explore and meditate at! Be sure to talk with ‘Bracken famous botanist and flower seller, Avana Rouncefield, whom even organizes expeditions from time to time! If you’re the more scholarly sort, be sure to visit the Oakheart Academy! Our avant-garde curriculum leaves nothing off the table! And if all you want is true adventure, our Dungeon Crawlerz Venture Tourism® will test the mettle of the best! Can you stand the heat?
|The Official Maxcot for the Dungeon Crawlerz Venture Tourism®|
And should you need to bill this as a business trip, our Venture Capital Market® is the best place to sign up for quests, charter McGuffin seekers, or even procure expedition funding from investors! And if you need hired help, please visit the Henchman’s Guild to contract some of the best redshirts the Hexenbracken has to offer!
|Art by Wayne Reynolds|
Halcyon Springs is 100% safe from unpaid for dangers! Any rumors your heard about rodentmen marauders are 100% FALSE! You won’t see them here- THOSE things are only for OTHER campaign settings! Our diligent constables are on hand to make sure you have only halcyon days at Halcyon Springs!
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Strange Spelljamming Races: Hat People
Hat People, from the Planet of Hats, are a spacefaring civilization of a rather unusual nature. The "People" in question aren't the mounts they ride on, but rather, the Hats themselves. Any Hat can ride its mindless, artificially created “flesh chariots”, but they prefer intelligent mounts (as in, people.)
A Hat can perform a symbiotic bond with any creature capable of wearing a normal hat (which is usually humanoids or the like). The Hat has a lamprey like mouth (though with much smaller and finer teeth) that it can use to attach itself to the head. Once attached, the Hat will meld its mind with its mount, creating a gestalt mind of both. Some special Hat breeds may grant minor boons in exchange for certain behavioral changes (see below) or increased nutrient take-in they require.
|A Party Hat moves to grab a host. (art Tony DeTerlizzi)|
The Hat will often let the mount’s personality determine the primary characteristics and behaviors of the gestalt mind, though with some additional quirks and sometimes dramatic changes (as dictated by the type of Hat in question- woe be upon whomever dons a Mad Hat.) A displeased or just plain nasty Hat can dominate its mount as per an intelligent magic item. Hats always have disproportionally large Egos. (As evidenced by calling the beings they ride “mounts” instead of “hosts.” (This would imply that the Hats in question would be parasitic in nature, which offends them).
|The rejection of a mount by his Hat can be traumatizing. (Source)|
Hat spacefaring ships will usually emulate the race or species of their mounts (or the race or species that has the largest representation. However, from time to time, an unusually gargantuan Hat will be spawned, such that it can only ride a usually large host, such as a space whale. In that case, the Hat can negotiate with or dominate its host to take the Hat’s kindred into space. Even more rarely, the
Hats may make ships from their own biomanced thread weaves. These ships invariably resemble giant floating hats. The Hats realize that humanoids might find a thing like, for example, a giant beanie hat flying through space disturbing. Therefore Hats usually prefer to use humanoid spacecraft.
Hats have individual names but not usually surnames beyond “the Hat” or an indicator of what kind of Hat it is. For example, the notorious Hat crime lord Jabba, a Bowler type Hat, may go by Jabba, Jabba the Hat, or Jabba the Bowler Hat.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
How to Distinguish a Snob
There has been much recent discussion of on the differences between, even the basic definitions of, the jelly, the ooze, and the slime. Despite the confusion, past descriptions of such entities give us a fairly easy way of classifying them. However, we first need a term that will refer to the collective name. For terms of this discussion, I will be using the word Snob, named after the vile, perverse, and equally spineless Dr. Bery Snob Chilly. Dr. Bery Snob Chilly served as a spokesperson the Snob alchemy, biomancy, sanitation, and even food supply industries. However, this may have served as a smokescreen for the many crimes against humanity Dr. Chilly used Snobs for in private. Fortunately, his activities have recently come to public attention, and he has been captured. However, this is a topic for another discussion.
Basic Criteria for Snobs
The first step in identifying a Snob is to determine if the entity is really a snob. Here are some rough criteria,
1. Liquid or semi-liquid in nature (thus ruling out mosses and most fungi)
2. Largely without complex, discernable, functioning anatomies (ruling out things like ooze mephits and other gooey beings that nonetheless are solid and/or have more developed anatomies )
3. Not necessarily associated with an elemental plane (ruling out water elements and the like)
4. Some capability of response to external stimuli (even if it’s dropping on somebody’s head)
If the potential Snob is a real Snob, then we can begin the classification process proper. We have a checklist for each classification that must be gone through in the following order.
Do not proceed to a later check list until you have determined the Snob fails to meet the criteria of the current classification you are examining. (Don’t continue to Jelly until you’ve determined the Snob is not a slime, and don’t continue onto ooze until you have determined the Snob is not a slime nor a jelly.)
The following entries provide names, examples, general characteristics (not taxonomy criteria), and finally the criteria proper.
(Example: green slime, olive slime, flareater)
With the green slime being the prototypical example, slimes are usually parasitic and immobile. Save for dropping from ceilings, they are largely passive entities that must wait for on the wary or the foolish to get near. Certain artificially altered slimes (example: the flareater) may be able to act and move f their own volition.
Criteria for slimes:
At least three of the below:
1. Related to green slime
2. Has some strange interaction with green slime
3. Strange interaction with light
4. Explicitly described as dropping down from ceiling as an attack
5. Is a hazard more than a monster (immovable, can only drop from the ceiling, attach to the unobservant who step in it, or are delivered as a weapon by another creature)
6. Multiplies by infection
7. Resistant or immune to most attacks
8. Can be killed via remove disease
(Examples: gelatinous cube, mustard jelly, stun jelly, slithering tracker, ochre jelly)
Jellies are generally known for having (relatively) more stable shapes but still moving of their own volition. If it jiggles when you poke it, it’s probably a jelly.
Criteria for Jellies:
Mandatory: not slime
And at least three of the following characteristics
1. More of a stable shape (e.g. Cube, or any of those wobbly fancy colored jello, or assuming the shape of the pray as it digests it like a snake)
2. Less fluidity (e.g. Unable to seep through closed doors)
5. Some sort of movement impairment (stunning, slowing, enveloping)
6. Related to ochre jelly
(Examples: Crystal ooze, gray ooze)
Oozes are a general catch all term for what doesn’t fit above. They tend to be the most mobile, being able to seep through cracks and so on while also having the ability for self-propulsion.
Criteria for oozes:
All below are mandatory for oozes, which may be considered a catch all for everything else
1. Not belonging to either of the above types
2. Still a Snob