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Interview with a GM - Andrew W

When did you first start playing RPGs and what were they? When I was teen, or possibly before then. It would probably have been D&D or Advanced D&D or Warhammer Fantasy back then. What was the most memorable part of those sessions? Building and exploring a strange world. Why did you start GMing? I really enjoy having a story that the players not only play in but can move in directions you did not foresee, creating a new story out of it. How long have you been GMing? Years and years on and off What systems have you GMed? D&D multiple editions, Warhammer Fantasy and soon Walking Dead What are the pleasures and pitfalls of GMing? Thinking on your feet, when the party inevitably does something or goes somewhere you did not think of. What was the most memorable part of the sessions you GMed? Any session where the players tackle it in new and unexpected ways.  For example an expected battle is prevented/circumvented via other means or an extremely lucky roll, that means that the

A Goblin’s Guide to Surviving

So you want to be a Goblin, but you don't want to be hunted and despised all your life, have stones or worse thrown at you or be killed on the whim of some other adventure?

Here is some guiding steps for survival....

Step 1. The best defence is running away.

Step 2. Avoid dark, damp, smelly, enclosed spaces. It maybe tempting to give into your natural instinct to skulk in some cozy cave or sewer somewhere. But in this world, these places are filled with monsters and… blech… eww… adventurers. People and things who won't think twice about skewering and/or possibly eating a lone goblin.

Step 3. Move to the big city. The countryside is simply riddled with anti-goblin prejudice. But nobody notices nothing in the bustling byways of Waterdeep or Baldur’s Gate. Keep your nose clean(ish), find honest (or at least inconspicuously dishonest) work, and keep yourself to yourself. With so many other things to care about, nobody will even notice another goblin hanging around.

Step 4. Make’m laugh. If you can't make’m laugh, then make’m cry. Sing a song. Dance a jig. Learn to play a silly instrument. Channel your inner entertainer. They won't kill you, if they’re laughing. If that doesn't work, then grovel and cower like your life depends on it. Because it does. Begging pitifully is a proud goblin tradition. It’s your heritage. Your birthright. Be true to your goblin self. Bow, scrape, and wimper like the goblin that you are.

Step 5. Change your Identity. You need to work on your image! Henceforth, change your new name to Boblin, Dobby, or some other unassuming name for a goblin. If you are musically gifted, you will also benefit from learning to play a musical instrument. Unfortunately, not many bardic colleges offer courses to dirt-poor goblinoids. Your options are limited here, so you have three options to not be turned into green roadkill.
  • Option One (The Artificer) - To make black powder, it’s best if you live near a volcano or a cave with bats. You will need potassium nitrate (commonly known as saltpeter), nitric acid (or sulfur), and charcoal (don’t tell me you don’t know what charcoal is). Black powder firearms can nullify your physical disadvantage and even sell for a good price. That doesn’t work for you? That’s just fine. Let’s assume your tiny goblin brain lacks the ability to utilize basic chemistry. 
  • Option Two (The Bard) - If musical instruments you cannot play, then learn to sing and dance! Trekking through miles of wilderness is bound to make anyone bored or cranky, so adventurers love to see unusual characters in their travels. Entertain the adventurers and they might kidnap you instead of killing you! Learn to cook local delicacies! Train rats to dance for coin! Wear clown makeup and juggle! Just pray that you don’t encounter murderhobos! 
  • Option Three (The Craftsman) - Make wine out of grapes! Dry tobacco or marijuana to sell! Steal a wagon and start a taxi business! Offer your services as a handyman! If you can’t do anything, then forage roots in the woods or iron in the bogs!
Step 6. Why not learn magic? Your fireballs are just as explody and burny as anyone else’s. Nobody will laugh at you while while being hacked to pieces by your undead minions or melted by magical acid.

Step 7. Really change your identity. Try and negotiate a pact with a Patron and then try to reach level 2, where I can get the Mask of Many Faces invocation. Using this invocation or using the Disguise Self Spell or just use a Disguise, it’s quite easy to pose as a Gnome or Halfling and move up in society. 

Step 8. Become a hunter for your goblin tribe (join a tribe if you haven’t one - there’s safety in numbers), and work on gaining XPs by hunting rats or other dungeon vermin for the pot. As long as you can arrange to be ‘away on a hunting trip’ when the tribe is attacked, you should survive long enough to become reasonably powerful.

Step 9. Play the part that the slave character did in Graeco-Roman comedies. In those plays, the slave was often the “smart one” and they used their wits to manipulate their “masters” into giving them the orders that they wanted. Use that to gain your “master” power, then set them up and usurp them at the right opportunity.

Step 10. Be rich.

Step 11. Crime always pays… if you do it right.

Step 12. Don't trust goblins.


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