Written by: James S.
A Goblin is a mischievous and often troublesome creature commonly found in fantasy tabletop role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Prepare for an entertaining encounter with these pint-sized adversaries using the "Great Library - Ground Floor" Czepeku battlemap, and consider the following key elements:
- Goblins have taken up residence in the great library.
- By a stroke of misfortune, they are multiplying beyond control.
- They cause chaos, destroying books and driving the librarians to despair.
- They weaponise crumpled spellbook pages with random and dangerous results.
- The Goblins always return.
Though unfortunate, an urban goblin infestation is not an unusual occurrence. They creep into old buildings through crumbling masonry, through tunnels beneath unsealed foundations, to seek a dry, dark place to nest. The first signs of incursion might be a rat-scratch scurrying sound behind the walls, a rasping, childlike laugh in the night, or an untidy pile of dung shoved conspicuously into a corner.
Once they have taken root, these infestations are notoriously difficult to shift. Goblin nests defy the natural laws of size and shape, comfort, sanitation, and Feng Shui, snaking through wall cavities and attics, beneath flagstone floors, and behind the wainscotting. And the Goblins themselves are often sneaky enough to stay unnoticed right up until they burst through the walls, tie you to a chair, and prick the soles of your feet with roofing nails in pure, malicious delight.
The Goblins nest high in the lofty shelves, rafters, and walls of this library and make the nests from saliva and the pages of chewed-up spellbooks.
Whenever players enter a new room, there are always at least 1d6 Goblins. They engage in strange, mischievous, or disgusting activities:
- Delicately tearing pages from books. They sit on a pile of ragged tomes, making paper birds and flying them across the room. Some of them actually fly, a result of residual magic in the pages.
- Wiping their ass with torn pages. A huge pile of dung and paper steam in the centre of the room, a communal Goblin toilet.
- Eating binding leather with lip-smacking satisfaction. They take neat bites from the sumptuous book covers with their sharp, little teeth.
- Chewing paper. They tear, chew, and spit, collecting a large pile of glutinous pulp to build nests with.
- Tormenting the staff. A librarian is perched on top of a lectern, clinging on for dear life and holding a valuable book, while goblins circle with sharpened chair legs, throwing crumpled book pages and cackling.
- A librarian is locked in a large chest. The Goblins poke long wooden skewers through the keyhole. The librarian inside howls with humiliation.
- Defacing portraits. Eminent and venerable scholars sport eye patches, swirly moustaches, tattoos, bulbous noses, and speech bubbles that say, “I AM STUPID” or “I HAVE FLEAS.” The graffiti is drawn with a foul-smelling, suspiciously brown substance. It sticks.
- A Goblin found a magic cloning mirror and is having the absolute best time making copies of itself and conversing with them in weird Goblin babble.
- A room full of desks, each with a slate tablet. On these tablets are scrawled obscenities and insults of the most lurid kind.
Unless someone expends significant effort to clear any and all Goblin nests in the library, the infestation will remain. They’re like ants. But bigger. And less fastidious.
Goblins will fight if they outnumber the players, but their aim is not to kill. Their aim is to capture and torment. They carry makeshift weapons, like pieces of coloured glass from the windows, fallen bricks, or sharpened bits of furniture. Outnumbered Goblins always flee as quickly as they can through doorways, windows, or into the walls.
They also chuck crumpled spellbook pages. When the Goblins throw these torn spells, fragments of the magics written on them spark into life, and strange things happen.
These effects occur at the point of contact between the screwed-up paper and the Goblin’s target. If a spell requires some creativity (e.g., disguise self or fabricate), have the Goblin think of the details. And because these spells are only fragmentary, their effects are temporary (lasting one or two turns).
Don't use only damage spells. Choose weird ones that are funny or that make no sense. Some spell effects could include:
Polymorph, levitate, enlarge/reduce, reverse gravity, sleep, barkskin, create water, disguise self, fabricate, etherealness, faerie fire, feeblemind, gaseous form, grease, heat metal, light, cure wounds, Otto’s irresistible dance, Rary’s telepathic bond, stinking cloud, web.
The effects should be random because the Goblins have no idea what they’re doing; they just think it’s funny.
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