Thursday, June 30, 2022

Bwgs (re-skin, campaignification of goblinoids part I)


An outline on the characteristics and behavior of bwgs (boogs) more commonly known as goblinoids. Bwgs are classified in three broad categories and a related sub-class of goblin folk. The smaller among them are generally classified as goblins, with hobgolins and bugbears as larger types.


Among the folk classified as goblins by men and their allies are a variety of humanoid folk ranging from 18"to 54" in height, generally thin of build with oversized hands, feet, and heads when compared to mankind. Goblins tend to have pointy ears but this is not a universal feature and while they can grow beards they are not widely known for this outside of select populations.

Gremkin - the least of the common bwgs a slight and simple folk more reactionary and more recklessly impulsive than purposefully malignant. They range from 18"to 30" in height and seldom if ever topping 1 stone in weight. They are surprisingly strong for their size but still not as capable as larger folk when it comes to muscle power. Their stealth is uncanny but despite claims to the contrary that is due to their size and habits above anything else.

Gremkin are able to identify and use goblindoors but lack the capacity to cipher any locks or wards that may be placed on them unless carefully instructed by other bwgs. Gremkin will use a combination of skirmishing and swarm tactics in combat but can generally only be compelled to swarm attacks if their lairs are directly threatened or they are forced by a strong overlord.

Gremkin are not talented craftsmen and probably wouldn't be able to work metals without others directing them in simple tasks. They do however have a natural knack when it comes to fungus farming and slime-herding (the later practice is still horribly dangerous for them).

Gremkin occasionally have individuals that identify as warriors or knights, but they have no true formal martial traditions among themselves and typically rely on a spontaneous levies drawn together as needed to defend themselves. While able to use bows or crossbows of appropriate size they are generally incapable of manufacturing them and tend to use pointy thrown weapons in ranged combat, due to their size they favor puncturing and slashing weapons in melee. Armored gremkins are fairly rare outside of the occasional wicker or pot-lid shield unless they are part of a larger (and wealthy) bwg community.

Gremkin are seldom magical practioners and those displaying magical talent are typically pretenders (possibly) making use of a magical item or were in some way altered by an external force or entity. As mentioned above their knack with fungus has enabled the most clever of them to come up with a variety of fungal unguents and concoctions that can almost be as capable as some of the weaker known magical potions.

Boglins- Lowly goblins that seldom form their own communities and only live briefly in loose bands when not among other bwgs. Typically between 24" to 36" in height and seldom over 2 stone in weight. Possibly the most colorful of bwg folk with a wide range of skin-tones all over the color spectrum with little obvious connection to heredity; their occasionally vibrant skin and hair colors can cause them to be victimized by other bwgs, hags, or trollkind as a source of pigments and colored fibers.

Boglins can be capable miners and crafters if carefully directed by the more capable among them or outsiders. Specialization of labor among boglins is relatively minor with only the occasional rare member of group having the talent and focus to work as a specialist.

Boglins are not particularly aggressive as part of their own nature but are easily manipulated by their more cunning kin that will often use drink and a wide variety of fungal and herbal concoctions to bribe and direct them. 

Boglins due tend to be fairly greedy and acquisition in favor quantity or gaudiness directs a lot of their activity and social interaction. They do understand the general concept of money but keeping track of the genuine value of metals and types of coins is beyond the typical boglin. This natural greed does lead to the popular concept that all goblins are greedy bandits and while unorganized bands of boglins will take up banditry now and again they are far more likely to spends weeks pilfering a villages food stores by drips and drabs than they are to launch an organized raid and attempt to do more than hijack a stray cartload of goods.

Most boglins lack the dedication and determination to become magcial practioners but it isn't completely unheard of for the occasional boglin to become a spellcaster of some meager talent. They seldom manufacture goblindoors but ciphers and wards on such seldom restrain them.

Boglins will sometimes be drawn up into a body of troops and some will even purposefully serve as mercaneries but they are not particualry potent combatants. Boglins favor ranged weapons over melee weapons and seldom have much in the way of armor due to their general low status in bwgholds.

Boggins are fairly common and militantly organized bwgs. They stand between 24" and 40" in height and vary from 3 to 5 stone in weight. Most wars betwen goblins and dwarves typically involve boggins. Boggins will often organize themeselves in militant bands, cadres, and entire legions in service of a heridtary king or usurper warlord.

Boggins are masterful miners and able to achieve engineering feats just shy of the more capable gnomes and dwarves; men that foolishly disregard their talents will not live long in assaulting their domains. Boggins are capable of engineerign goblindoors and will of course use them to create sprawling and confounding labyrinthian complexes. A bwghold can be spread out over a shockingly large distance and levels underground often seemingly discrete but connected through the goblin doors. Despite their talents boggins still have to rely on the work of boggarts or other more capable magical practioners to craft the more powerful ciphers and wards for their goblindoors.

Boggins can be capable crafters but are truly seldom as capable as men outside the field of structural engineering. Boggins have just discovered explosives and pyrotechnics however and this may either prove to provide them with uncanny advantage or to detonate their bwgholds in a blaze of glory.

Boggins can be individual spellcasters but they are known to be more capable as part of a troupe of magcial-henking boggins. Magical-henking allows even as few as 3 Boggins to work a magical spell. Large boggin forces will form huge multi-layered rings of wild dancers to work their magics and have been known to open gates and even bring down walls in this manner. This is not without risk to the troupe as the magical energies can exhaust them, turn them to stone, or burst in a magical explosion.

Boggarts- Sometimes known as High Goblins by dwarves and men these folks stand 36" to 54" in height and range in weight about 5 stone.

Boggarts are driven by ego but still tend to form more cohesive groups than most bwgs. They will typically organize into bafflingly complex feudal courts with overlapping hierarchies, duties, colleges, and guilds with dense zeal and organization beyond the wildest dreams of human bureaucrats. Many boggart kingdoms are in the midst of generations long feuds among royal-houses, guilds, or cults; when these feuds abate their neighbors often suffer from waves of marauding and conquest.=

Boggarts are as capable as dwarves when it comes to metalwork and readily make use of magic as well. Boggarts can fashion magical arms and armor only surpassed by the most competent of gnomes, elves, and trows. Men jealously raid them to steal their handiwork despite often being booby-trapped or hexed.

It's not impossible to encounter a boggart knight as they can be capable warriors if they focus on that but tend to press their weaker kin to the task or employ their larger cousins as mercenaries. 

Boggarts are the most likely of bwgs to grow long beards and tend to be misidentified by the ignorant as brownies, gnomes, dwarves, or even kobolds.

(hobgoblins and bug-a-bears to follow)

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