Sunday, December 27, 2015

Goblins of Eska

I apologize for the lack of updates. I work for UPS, and with the Christmas season, had little time and even less energy to devote to gaming.

I wanted to do the goblins last time, but wasn't feeling the inspiration, so I worked up the obsidian giants. Decided to go back to the goblins and it turned out I had them about 80% written already! A Christmas miracle!

There are a few goblin as playable races for 5e already written that I liked, but that weren't really fitting my vision for Eska's goblins. I did borrow pieces and combined them into my version. Thanks to Wrath of Zombie and his blog, TheHobgoblin on EnWorld, and Samuel Van Der Wall at RPG Alchemy.

The grey goblin subrace is my own. I do like the Bug Collector and Fire Breath subraces from Wrath of Zombie, and the Forest and Hill goblins from TheHobgoblin. I plan on offering these as options on Eska, with most of the wild tribes being a mix of these (and possibly other) subraces.

Goblins of Eska
The goblins don’t remember much of their arrival on Eska. So many goblin generations have passed that they are only stories of legends. The goblins first came to Eska along with the orcs, landing their ships and finding the somewhat primitive humans no match for their warlike ways. Humanity was enslaved by the orc and goblin invaders. The orcs brought their dwarven slaves, and the goblins their gnome slaves with them from their home to use to harvest the rich natural resources of Eska for their use.

Then the elves came to Eska and systematically destroyed the orcs and enslaved the goblins. At first all the elves kept goblin slaves, but soon the dark and the wood elves tired of them, and only the gray elves continue to use them.

Some goblins did escape the initial enslavement and found homes in the wild corners of Eska. Over the years their numbers have grown, but fearing the elves kept a low profile. Occasionally an escaped gray goblin will find their way to join their wild brethren.

Dwarves – Dwarves are always so angry and serious. And they are always looking to kill you over absolutely nothing! Kill them first or keep clear and unless you outnumber them two to one, be ready to run if you ever see them reach for their axe.

Humans – The nicest thing about these big, bumbling oafs is that they make nice places for us to live. Every one of their cities has a dozen different places for us to carve out a den right under their feet. And they throw so much away that we can make use of! Their garbage heaps are full of treasure. Some humans are as quick to kill us as dwarves, others are as patient as saurians—and the problem is you can never tell which is which. It is better to keep your distance if they are old enough to be bigger than you.

Gnomes - Once our slaves, but now they wander Eska taunting us with all their creations. Their crawlers and warforged make them tough to attack, but we do whenever we can!

Gray Elves - For the grey goblins, they are worshipped or feared. The wild goblins hate them, and think them weird and creepy.

Wood Elves - The grey goblins grudgingly accept them, but don’t like the looks they give us. The wild goblins hate them but find them delicious.

Huan’apan - So silly. Who taught dogs to talk?

Dark Elves - Gray goblins hate the dark elves, while the some of the wild tribes have worked for them as mercenaries.

Saurians - They are so boring! And dumb. At least they usually aren’t out to kill us like everyone else and they can more or less take a joke, but they’ll fall for every trick in the book and still keep that dumb smile plastered on their faces.

Warforged - If it weren’t for these weird creations, the gnomes would be so easily enslaved again!

Goblin Names

Goblin names are given at birth and, since Goblins are often born in litters of 3-5, all Goblins born together are usually given similar names. While Goblins try to put a creative flare on the names they give their children, there are so many Goblins born that it is inevitable that there are many with the same names.

Instead of having family names, Goblins are often named after their tribes. The tribe names are often long consisting of multiple Goblin words strung together, because of this goblins tend to only use their given name and then try to earn a title or nickname and start using it instead of their tribe name.

Example First Names: Bex, Bkexus, Bmant, Dosg, Drosm, Gmosuz, Gmotk, Gok, Groxum, Kbozt, Ksuber, Ktusg, Kzenug, Mezorg, Mobd, Mobenk, Muzats, Mxesag, Ndat, Nurs, Rduten, Rtukb, Sbukx, Sok, Sorn, Stak, Stakoz, Suk, Sutb, Szubox, Tdarus, Tgerud, Tsod, Tugarn, Xban, Xderob, Xkenum, Xneruk, Zgen, Zturg

Example Surnames / Clan Names / Family Names: Chainbone, Crazebone, Darkchaos, Darkcraze, Darkgut, Deathbasher, Deathgouger, Dirtbreaker, Dreadbreaker, Dreadhand, Dreadsnapper, Evilrender, Evilstench, Fangdweller, Fanghacker, Foulbeast, Fouldread, Giantbasher, Giantthief, Heartkill, Hellyell, Howlfilth, Madswiller, Metalarm, Metalhand, Metalshred, Mosstooth, Oozechaos, Ragecraze, Razorfang, Scumeater, Serpentgloom, Slimegibber, Spineshadow, Stonebasher, Stonemaw, Stonepuke, Tonguecut, Wildstalker, Wormdweller


Your goblin character has some traits in common with all other goblins.

Ability Score Adjustments: Your Dexterity Score is increased by 2.

Age: Goblins mature at nearly twice the rate humans do. A goblin of even 10 years old could be considered an adult. Goblins tend to live fairly short and fast lives, even the lucky survivors rarely make it into a fifth decade.

Alignment: Most Goblins tend towards Neutral. Their general behavior includes some very chaotic elements, but is balanced by their loyalty to their group and putting the needs of the tribe above their own.

Size: The average goblin is about 3 and a half feet tall and they weigh in at about 45 pounds. Your size is Small.

Movement: Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You are a bit faster than other small humanoids.

Dark Vision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were in bright light and in darkness as if it were in dim light. You can't discern colors in darkness, only shades of black and white.

Nimble Escape. Goblins favor hit and run tactics. You can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of your turns.

Sneaky: You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) rolls.

Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and Goblin. Goblins have their own language that they more or less share with Bugbears and Hobgoblins. There are dialect differences, but they can be overcome with some extra effort. However, the races do not share a script. While Hobgoblins use a complicated pictographic script, Goblins use a simple phonetic script using heavily modified Dwarven characters.

Subrace. The sheer number of the various goblin clans is staggering. Much like the number of beetle species on the planet, it is impossible to know and catalogue them all.

goblin-in-law (grey)by sanat49

Gray Goblins
The gray goblins are the servants of the mith’edhel. Generation upon generation have lived in servitude. Most serve willingly, even happily, with clans of goblins associated with mith’edhel families. Those that are associated with an elven family are sometimes permitted to use the elven surname, but with the mool’ (or servant) as a prefix to the elven name.

Ability Score Increase.

Your Intelligence score increases by 1.


Gray goblins are adept at aiding others. You can use the help action as a bonus action.


The mith’edhel do not allow you to sully their hearing with your foul goblin language. You know how to speak elf.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Obsidian Giant

Throughout the Kinslayer Wars, the gray elf wizards performed all manner of experiments to increase the grey elves armies without any elves having to give up either their lives or their immortality. The early centuries of the Wars saw many aberrations summoned and monstrosities created and released upon the land.  While the hobgoblins, their greatest success, came in the late stages of the Kinslayer Wars, the early centuries of the Wars saw many failures.

The obsidian giants were an ingenious idea towards the beginning of the Kinslayer Wars. A sort of power armor that an elf could don and fight in, and not give up their immortality. Initially a success, the obsidian giants soon proved to be a failure. They helped win a key early battle, but the horrible truth of their fate caused much sorrow.

I converted the obsidian giants from the wonderful Teratic Tome. I started with the stone giant stats as a framework and tweaked from there.
Obsidian Giant
Huge humanoid (elf), chaotic evil
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 126 (11d12 + 55)
Speed 40 feet

23 (+6)
15 (+2)
20 (+5)
15 (+2)
7 (-2)
7 (-2)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +8, Wis +4
Skills Athletics +12, Perception +4
Damage Resistances fire
Senses darkvision 60 feet, passive Perception 8
Languages can’t speak, but understands elvish
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Fey Ancestry. The obsidian giant has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put the obsidian giant to sleep.

Detect Magic. The obsidian giant can detect magical auras within 60 feet of it. In addition to magic items and spell effects, it can also detect celestials, elementals, fey and fiends, as well as creatures with innate spellcasting or a spellcasting ability.

Consume Magic. As an action, the obsidian giant can destroy a magic item, regaining hit points. The obsidian giant regains hit points for each level of rarity of the item. 7 (1d12) for common, 13 (2d12) for uncommon, 20 (3d12) for rare, 26 (4d12) for very rare, and 33 (5d12) for legendary.

If a magical creature is slain, such as a celestial, elemental, fey or fiend, as well as creatures with innate spellcasting or a spellcasting ability, the obsidian giant can spend an action to consume its soul, or magical essence to regain hit points. The obsidian giant regains 7 (1d12) hit points for every Challenge Rating level of the creature consumed. The creature consumed is forever dead and cannot be raised or resurrected in any way.

Innate Spellcasting. The obsidian giant is a 15th level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At Will: firebolt
1/day: fireball, wall of fire, fire shield

Multiattack. The obsidian giant makes two claw attacks.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target.
Hit: 24 (4d8 + 6) slashing damage.

Obsidian giants are not true giants; they are elves. Centuries ago, at the beginning of the Kinslayer Wars, a group of gray elves transformed themselves in order to attack the dark elves. Using forbidden magic, they created massive exoskeletons of obsidian that completely encased them; the giant arms are tipped with long, powerful claws of black metal, and the entire structure is covered in barbed spikes and razors of black stone. Within the armor, these gray elves were able to turn the tide of a horrific battle, and saved their realm.

However, in the aftermath, it was discovered that they could not escape the armor - they were bound within, and their magics could not set them free. In the days that followed, as their wizards tried every means they could think of, the elves learned that those trapped within the exoskeletons were starving, and the only sustenance that would satiate them was magic itself, in the form of magic items or magic creatures. By crushing magic items, or slaying enchanted creatures like unicorns, the imprisoned elves could assuage the hunger raging within.

Their people had no choice: they banished these brave warriors, and sent them far away, lest the destroy the very land they sought to defend. Now, years later, these hunger-maddened creatures wander foreign lands, where they are known as obsidian giants. No one knows that under the hard exterior lies a demented gray elf with no memory of its previous life.

Obsidian giants are driven by a lust for magic; it is all that sustains them. If they detect a magical item (or even suspect its presence), they will attack and try to destroy it, so they can feed upon its essence. If they encounter a magical creature (such as a griffon or pegasus), they will attempt to kill it, so they can devour its soul.

Powerful, undiscovered rituals can extract the gray elf from its magical armor; if the armor is destroyed, killing the elf in the process, then the body will be visible.

Should someone extract the elf from its exoskeleton, it will be necessary to cure the insanity which has taken hold. In time, the elf's personality (and true alignment) may be restored.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Huan'apan of Eska (Dog men)

I had originally had thoughts of using gnolls as a playable race on Eska, and using them much in the same way as I use the hobgoblins, and the goblins that are still to come. Somewhere along the line the thought of three "evil" races working for the elves seemed a bit off, so the gnolls kept getting pushed down the to do list until I came up with something.  Then, back in September, William Paterson posted his 5e version of the cooshie, and it dawned on me that an anthropomorphic cooshie was a better fit than a gnoll. It took me awhile to get all the details right.

The wand of teeth is a conversion of an item that originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #102, written by Ed Greenwood.
Alas Supersonicas
Another one of the “young” races of Eska, the huan’apan were created by a combination of taur’edhel (wood elf) druids and sorcerers awakening and mutating their pet cooshee during the Kinslayer Wars. Seeing the success of the hobgoblins, the taur’edhel wanted to copy that success, but in their own way.

They appear much like the gnolls of others worlds look, with canine heads and covered in fur, though huan’apan fur is generally green in color, with stripes and spots of various other shades of green with browns and black mixed in. Huan’apan have limited color vision, sharp ears, and an even sharper nose.

With the number of huan’apan created, and the many litters that have been born since the Kinslayer Wars, large packs roam across the surface of Eska. Some have settled down, but most packs are nomadic, following herds of beasts that they prey upon.

Loyal Companions

Huan’apan are the soul of loyalty and devotion. Nothing pleases them more than help their companions in any way they can. They are very laid back and fun loving when not on duty or assigned a particular task. The moment that they are given a task then their carefree nature disappears and they become deathly serious, stopping at nothing to complete their task.

Guards and Scouts

The taur’edhel eschew front line combat, and the huan’apan do as well. Their combination of keen senses, camouflage, and mobility lends them well to roles as sentries, scouts, ambushers, and skirmishers.

Gnoll Scoutby BenWootten

Dwarves - What few dwarves huan’apan have encountered are likeable enough. Fine warriors, and fun loving, but something is not quite right about them.

Humans - Humans are a mixed lot when it comes to the huan’apan. Some have become great friends, while others are great enemies.

Gnomes - The huan’apan quite enjoy the trade festivals that have sprung up whenever the gnome crawlers come to the Forenya’taur.

Gray Elves - Arrogant and one of the main causes of the Kinslayer Wars.

Wood Elves - If it weren’t for the taur’edhel, the huan’apan would still be cooshie. They are very loyal and trusting of their elven companions.

Dark Elves - A hated foe. Many battles fought against them, but the war is over. Still not to be trusted. Very condescending.

Saurians - Can’t seem to relax enough, and are pretty touchy. Most encounters start off with brawls, and some epic feuds have developed between the two races. When it happens that a huan’apan and a saurian become friends, however, they become friends for life.

Warforged - Something is not quite right about the warforged. They smell a bit unnatural. Still, they are closely associated with the gnomish trade festivals, so they generally like them.

Hobgoblins - They have the proper focus, but lack the balance of joy and relaxation. Being of goblin stock they are disliked.

Goblins - Much like their wood elf companions, the huan’apan feel that the goblins are to be distrusted.

Cooshie - The huan’apan still feel very close to their cooshie roots, often still traveling in packs with them.  The wood elves rarely raise cooshie to huan’apan any more, though many feel nostalgic towards cooshie. Others feel pity for them at times, wishing to be able to raise them up.

Huan’apan Names

Huan’apan are usually named by their wood elf companions, but as they have been breeding among themselves, they are often named by their pack mates. They rarely have more than one name.

Male Huan’apan Names: Amaguk, Ark’hal, Arnou, Bardalf, Canagan, Cuan, Farkas, Felan, Gunnolf, Ivaylo, Maccon, Olcan, Raff, Toralu.

Female Huan’apan Names:  Accalia, Arau, Bardou, Biryuk, Chinua, Eyolf, Faoiltiama, Faolan, Honi, Larentia, Luperca, Mahigan, Tala.

Huan’apan Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Strength score increases by 1.

Age. Huan’apan mature a little faster than humans, reaching adulthood around age 14. They age noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 75 years.

Alignment. Huan’apan love freedom, variety, and self-expression, so they lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of chaos. They value and protect others’ freedom as well as their own, and they are more often good than not.

Size. Huan’apan are somewhat larger and bulkier than humans, and they range from 5 to well over 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

Speed. You are swift of foot. Your base walking speed is 40 feet.

Camouflage. Due to your coloration, you have Advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when in forested terrain.

Keen Hearing and Smell. You gain proficiency in the Perception skill.

Pounce. If you move at least 20 ft. straight towards a creature and then hit it with a melee attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, you can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.
Strength save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier

Natural Weapons. You can bite for 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Sprint. Once per minute, you can move double your current speed for 1 round.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elf.

Huan'apan druids are commonly armed with a wand of teeth, described below.

Wand of Teeth
Wand, uncommon
While you hold this wand, you can use an action to expend 1 to 3 of its 7 charges to fire off one tooth for each charge expended.  These teeth are dagger-like wedges that pass through everything in their path, except for spheres of annihilation, prismatic spheres, shield spells and walls or cubes of force, all which swallow or absorb them. Teeth have a range of 70 feet.

You must make a ranged attack to strike your target, but you can use either your Dexterity or your Spell Attack bonus. A strike by a tooth does 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges each day at dawn. However, if you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

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