Gobblin’ is an original RPG setting and system where players control goblins settling and exploring a post-apocalyptic Earth. The creatures who crave violence, stupidity and chaos have just found the perfect means to obtain it.
Everyone knows about goblins. They’re violent and stupid little green guys who with just enough brain cells to know what they’re doing and black enough hearts not to care. They live in fantastic worlds where wizards battle dragons, kingdoms rise and fall, and armies of swordsmen clash to save the world from evil. All the while, there’s always goblins looting corpses and stealing cabbages.
When the higher races grew tired of the chaotic creatures so obnoxious that even the forces of evil didn’t want them around, they banded together to form a spell so powerful that it would reach across the entire realm. With what was essentially a magical, interdimensional eviction notice, every single goblin was hurled through time and space until they landed in what they would come to know as their new home. There were no humans or elves there, but those that had lived there before had left behind a strange world ravaged by war. The least cowardly of the goblins started to prod at the mysterious devices until they roared to life and the goblins cheered to realize their fate!
This world had guns and cars, bazookas and robots! Things that exploded if you poked them enough! Exciting mutants and bombed out apartments that were MUCH cozier than any goblin hut. The goblins had a whole world of abandoned toys to discover, many of which could kill their fellow goblin from twenty paces away. The goblins ran wholeheartedly into their new world, wanting to be the first to discover the strangest mysteries, deadliest weapons and tastiest expired snack cakes of the world they would call Goblin House. The humans were gone from this place. The goblins would thrive in their ruins.
The story of Gobblin’ is about entering a generic post-apocalypse after living in a generic fantasy world for countless generations (it’s only countless because goblins are terrible at history and counting). Goblins adapt surprisingly well to their new home. Their twisted anatomy helps them deal with radiation, spoiled food, and their natural disregard for common safety practices. Their sheer numbers allow them to last long enough to figure out what explodes and what shoots what out of where. It doesn’t take long for them to scatter around the globe, hunkering down in salvaged homes, restaurants and shopping malls and starting to call dibs on all they can find.
Goblins don’t understand what happened to Earth in the slightest. Some have a passing curiosity, but they quickly forget about it when they find a power drill or something that glows in the dark. Goblins have their priorities straight, and that priority is greed. They want shiny valuables, sharp tools, tasty food, weapons of great and confusing power, and the means to lord over their fellow goblins. If they’re lucky, they can find something that gives them all of the above. After all, this high tech world generated a lot of strange things in a desperate arms race before their end. Dibis found a tool that fires beams of light to burn your foes! Kep tells stories of a magical armored vehicle that speaks to you when you approach. The shamans warn young goblins against going into the caves of Deepdown, since giant serpentine creatures slither in the dark protecting shiny and tasty treasures.Any goblin that looks long and hard enough will find something of interest, even if finding loot also means finding trouble.
Thanks to their monstrous adaptability and already filthy lifestyle, being a goblin in Goblin House is like being a kid in a planet-sized candy store. In this case, the candy is bullets and some of the candy will eat you because it’s been mutated by severe radiation poisoning. So like any kid, goblins are going to go looking where they’re not welcome and then quickly enter a blind panic and do something stupid. The fact of the matter is that goblins are eternally held back by their many flaws. Stupidity, cowardice, greed, and treachery will play a part in even the noblest goblins’ life.
Goblins came from a medieval fantasy world where they thought the catapult was the peak of technology and something a goblin would never get their hands on. Now goblins are learning something new every day, and they still barely comprehend what's going on. A pile of skeletons don't even get a second glance from goblins because where there's human remains there's loot and delicious bones! Most goblins would rather fight over a piece of chocolate than take the time to figure out the codes to a bank vault, and that's just the ones that are literate. The setting is full of childlike wonder and shallow violence with a dash of comical indifference to the grim and ruined world around them.
Of course, they're not totally disorganized. Goblins likely would have just starved to death centuries ago if not for the occasional bossy type to make decisions. There is always one goblin in charge, being loud and selfish enough to yell at them to go get food, build houses, construct weapons, and generally get off their little green butts once in a while. The crux of any goblin’s life is going to be who's their chief. If they’re lucky, they’ll do their job and avoid his attention. If they’re very lucky, they’ll suck up to him and prove themselves strong enough to become on of his favorite toadies. If they’re absurdly lucky, they’re loud, strong or brave enough to overthrow the chief and take over.
For most of the players, they’re going to be that sad circle of scrubs that's unusual but talented enough that the chief gives them the strangest and riskiest jobs. Time and again, they’ll be expected to pile into a salvaged car or trudge off into the wasteland to scrounge through an abandoned truck stop to find any more of those moldy sandwiches the chief likes so much. Of course, there are many things lost and forgotten in this vast, dead world. Some of it is dangerous, and some of it is essentially (or sometimes literally) magical. The greatest risks come with the greatest rewards, and goblins will start out as extremely willing to fight and explore for the promise of reward. It's all about being the one to survive those mutated animals, outdated security systems, collapsing ruins, and (perhaps worst of all) your fellow goblins. Little green bandits and rival tribes are a blatant threat while your incompetent villagers may cause as much trouble as they stop. Then it's another just one more job for our scavenging cleanup crew.
- Gobblin’ features a unique gameplay system centered around our old neglected friend: the d12. If a human rolls a d20, then a goblin would be a d12. Invariable weaker and a little funny-looking, but with more chance for pathetic failure and shocking success.
- All major rolls come down to a d12, adding on situational bonuses and one of your goblin’s six stats: Bash, Brave, Run, Know, Laugh, and Jerk. These will determine how good your goblin is at stealing, hiding, punching, shooting, reading and pretending to know karate.
- Goblins aren’t especially weak, but they are enormous cowards. While they can take immeasurable damage, every time a player runs out of HP, they take a physical injury to hinder their abilities and must roll to avoid Panic. If a goblin ever falls into a Panic, they are reduced to flailing, screaming idiots that can do nothing productive until they are brought to their senses by a teammate. Failing that, they’ll just run into the wasteland, never to be seen again as some wild animal, land mine, or speeding car finishes them off. One too many Wounds can lead to you holding down your bleeding and screaming teammate, yelling at him to stay and fight while your buddies are fending off the actual monsters.
- Character creation is achieved using one of three distinct methods. Players may choose a standard-issue Specialty (such as the junk-hoarding Tinker, the Headroc master of the headbutt, or the loudmouthed bully that is the Boss), build their character piece by piece from the ground up, or throw a handful of dice and determine their stats and Perks within minutes.
- Goblin Greatness serves as a combination of experience points, life-saving tokens, and roleplaying rewards. When the GM finds that a player acts in an impressive, hilarious, or especially stupid way, they can reward them for getting into the spirit of Gobblin’ with a point of Goblin Greatness. This represents the rare moments in a goblin’s life when he feels pride, and they that can empower their character in a number of ways. Players are encouraged to leap headfirst into danger and make conscious mistakes for the sake of such rewards and the fact that in the most extreme cases, a goblin gets the beating they deserve.
- Goblins can make due with just about anything for a weapon. A loose ruleset for weapons makes it so that a goblin with a golf club would fight as well as one with a morning star. A potato gun can work as well as a shotgun. Similarly, loose armor categories let goblins run around in anything from a loincloth (None), t-shirts (Quick), garbage can plate mail (Clunky) or imaginary armor. Yes, imaginary armor is different from no armor. At least to a goblin.
- Gobblin' is loaded with ideas and triggers for adventures and stories, both short and long. The book includes plenty of ridiculous NPCs, colorful villages, obsessive factions, and a list of 50 brief adventure prompts to use in building the world.
Myself, some friends in The Drunk and The Ugly, and a number of volunteers from the online community have gone through some thorough testing of Gobblin'. What started as a joke of a game received such positive feedback that it has developed into its own functioning system and colorful setting through numerous playtests and player feedback. While some rules and numbers seemed to take a while to pin down, the spirit of Gobblin' was always clear and enjoyable. There were the natural stumbles over weapon damage and just how much control a player has when they Panic, but no game went without its share of belly laughs. The blank slate given with such a bold image of goblins lets players run wild with dressing up their goblins in makeshift armor, pet squirrels, silly hats, strange obsessions, bizarre appetites, and troll logic applied to friend and foe alike.
Distribution of the final PDF and hard copy of the book will be carried out by DriveThruRPG. Printing and Shipping will be fulfilled by their Print-On-Demand service, which will print at-cost and ship worldwide (shipping charges will vary).
At the most basic, the project will launch with a Print-On-Demand and PDF copy of the core rulebook, the tentatively titled Day One DLC expansion book with extra character classes, and an audio version of the setting and lore.
If the appropriate stretch goals are met, everyone who backs at the Audiobook level will receive all expansion books (the campaign sourcebook and additional gear and monsters sourcebook) added as part of their reward level.
Games for the Great Grand Goblin Tier will also be run by Travis, Max, or Matt of the Drunk and Ugly.
- $2000. The writer will create a 50+ page short story of Gobblin' to the public.
- $2500. We will release the early access draft of the Gobblin' Core rulebook to everyone backing at the $15 level or above before the project ends.
- $3500. We'll create Gobblin': Going Green. This will be an adventure expansion book for the setting, involving various campaigns and quests for a long-term goblin game full of original content and challenges for the party.
- $5500. We will hire more artists and make everything look a whole lot better.
- $9000. We will put out a secondary expansion book. Gobblin': A Lotta Lore is a secondary add-on supplement of material we couldn't fit into the main game. The book contains extra content to flesh out your games, including 100 fully described and statted pieces of “goblin tech,” additional Perks to choose from, over 50 mutants, creatures, robots and monsters to fight, and NPCs to join, talk, or feud with.
- $16,000. Audio book of Gobblin' with a “Good Edition." This will be audiobook of the flavor material mentioned in the $25 tier, but with higher quality as money goes towards paying a reader in an actual studio for recording rather than the creator a quiet bedroom with a USB mic.
- $35,000. Free Guff's Goblin Radio Show. Various voice talents will be hired to create an audio "drama," releasing an MP3 of a multi-episode performance of a goblin village's stumbling through survival in their strange new world.
Author: Greg Predmore
Greg is a graduate Writing major who has been creating RPGs for about as long as he's been playing them. His main goal in life is to see as many people laugh as possible. This is his first venture into proper printed word and he is simultaneously thrilled and terrified to be here. Greg would like to assure you of his professionalism through the fact that he can literally kick himself in the face.
Manager: Matt Campen
Matt is a host and chief editor for The Drunk and Ugly podcast. He has led the successful Sordid Dystopia campaign and has proven adept at herding cats time and again.
Editor: Laura Briskin
Laura works as a cataloging librarian, writer, editor, and actual play podcaster. You can listen to her show at www.technicaldifficultiespod.com, follow her blog on writing and gaming, follow here on tumblr, or bother her on twitter at @LauraB_Writes
Layout and Graphic Design: Kyle Carty
Kyle is a writer and graphic designer who daylights as an accountant. He’s freelanced for SlangDesign and ENWorld in various capacities. In 2013, Kyle created an entire card game from the ground up. Dreams of Typhon’s Kickstarter was a success. He has also worked on the Deadlands Double Shot and Red Markets Kickstarters. Kyle’s other work can be seen on Tumblr and on Facebook.
Artist: Ray Uildriks
Ray is a veteran illustrator whose body of work includes comics such as Tinker and DNA, the latter of which can be viewed at http://dnathewebcomic.com/
Artist: Chris Cirillo
Chris Cirillo is a cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer by trade and recently delved into the world of podcasting. He’s created pieces for several RPGs and supplements such as No Security, Base Raiders, Red Markets, and its supplement "Boiling Point" to name a few. On top of game art, he wrote and illustrated the webcomic “Digital Celluloid” for over 4 years, contributed several entries to anthologies by Gurukitty Studios, and illustrates the title cards for each episode of his podcast “Al Dente Rigamortis” where, along with his co-host, he discuss a different creepypasta every week. His work can be found on DeviantArt and Tumblr.
Artist: Seth Soroor
Portfolio and merch available at http://www.verminatorstudios.net/
Artist: Rin Deadsong
Art Blog at http://ectodrool.tumblr.com/
Artist: Nikolaas Pineda
Art blog at https://shearring.tumblr.com/
"Intuit" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Risks and challenges
The game has been playtested (presently on its third iteration) and seems to hold its own as fun, strange, and playably balanced. The Drunk and The Ugly have run their own Kickstarter in the last few years and have their own publishing company established, so they will be helping keep the project running smoothly based off their own experience.
At this point, the game is 90% completed. The only thing remaining is the other 90%: Art, final layouts, and the like. Some minor tweaking as the result of the final round of playtesting will come up but we are not expecting to make any grand sweeping changes to the game.
Final fulfillment will take place via DriveThruRPG. At present we are only anticipating a hard copy release for the core book, with the suppliments as PDFs only. If we come into enough funding, this may change, but presently our budget is only accounting for one book in print.
Drunk and Ugly Games LLC is a small Chicago-based partnership with a handful of workers. Obvious things like illness and major life events could delay the project. This is not our first time using Kickstarter and we have learned over the years how not to publish a role-playing game.
If the project becomes a massive success beyond our wildest dreams, then there may be some delays as we coordinate to make this book better than we could have dreamed as well.
The core book is our priority and will remain our main priority. We have spent years drafting and playtesting this game already, and we are conservatively estimating a year for completion of the final product, plus another 3-6 months beyond delivery of the book to fulfill all stretch goals if we meet that level of funding.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)