Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Goblinoids of Prace

This post supersedes portions of "Humans of Monvesia, Part 2: Uncommon Humans" and "Other Non-Humans of Monvesia."
"Goblinoid" has come to mean three, particular, interrelated races in modern Dungeons & Dragons.  In the past, similar terms had been used to collectively describe these alongside ogres, orcs, gnolls, and kobolds as well.  It is in this wider context that I use the term when discussing the races of Monvesia.

Image result for orcs of thar

Goblinoids in Monvesia are the result of a temperamental disorder known as Taint.  Each tainted race has an untainted counterpart.  These races can be grouped into clades according to their regions of supposed origin. In some cases, this is because of their untainted counterparts' shared origin (humans and goliaths, dwarves and gnomes, rakasta and halflings).
  • Desolation Races
    • Ogres (including Onis) are tainted goliaths
      • Ogrillons are goliaths who have either proven to be partially resistant to this strain of taint, or else who have been partially cured of it.
      • Fomorians are the descendants of ogres left behind in Desolation.
    • Orcs are tainted humans
      • Half-Orcs (see below) are humans who have either proven to be partially resistant to this strain of taint, or else who have been partially cured of it.
      • Grimlocks are thedescendants of orcs left behind in Desolation.
  • Pridelands Races
    • Gnolls are tainted rakasta
    • Boggarts are tainted halflings
      • From an historic standpoint, it might be more accurate to say that halflings are untainted boggarts.
  • Dvergheim Races
    • Goblins are tainted gnomes
    • Hobgoblins are tainted dwarves
    • Bugbears are a tainted unknown race, though are thought to be human
      • As with boggarts from gnolls, bugbears may have evolved from hobgoblins after that race became tainted.  Bugbears show kinship with hobgobins and goblins, so may prove to be a race related to dwarves and gnomes.  Bugbears were first seen during the Orc Wars
  • Henjali Races
  • Galtain-Honderreich Races
    • Trolls are a tainted unknown race, though are thought to be goliaths
      • Galtish legend tells of mysterious, secretive giant-folk that live in the deep forests and hills of Galtain, called firbolgs.  Should these giants be proven to exist, a connection could be found between them and trolls.  Trolls had first been seen in the Honderreich; while this is far from any goliath settlement in the south, it is a neighbor of Galtain.

Playable stats for many these races can be found in Volo's Guide to Monsters: bugbear, goblin, hobgoblin, and orc.
NOTE:  Elves and other fey creatures are immune to Taint, so there is no tainted counterpart to the elf.

Conerning Boggarts

Originally called kobolds, these beings are not the dragonkin that they are in other worlds.  Instead, they are based on an interpretation of the Rules Cylopedia, which describes kobolds as "evil doglike humanoids."  The same description further describes them as scaly and hairless; however, my preteen self became fixated on that opening brief.  Therefore, in Monvesia, I embrace a short, hairy, beast-like humanoid that I have come to call the boggart (in order to keep its identity unique from dracnian kobolds).


For boggart statistics, the basic entry in the Monster Manual for the kobold may continue to be used.  For boggart "toppers" (leaders), used the basic stats of the gnoll; however, the booggart topper is small in size (Strength 12, Dexterity 14), more intelligent (Intelligence 8) and used a short bow.


Language Analog:  By human region (see "Humans of Monvesia, Part One")
Inspiration:  Accident.
I never intended half-orcs to be an option.  However, in my earlier campaign, one character (whose player was frequently absent) started to fall victim to the Taint (as a way of keeping the character around and part of the story without a player).  A new player to the group decided that his character was going to research a cure for the Taint. He couldn't pass up examining a half-transformed specimen ... and affecting a cure at this stage seemed plausible.  So, I gave the frequently missing player the option of changing his character's race to half-orc.

Tainted Counterparts:  Orc
Non-Tainted Counterparts:  Humans
Temperamental Association:  By human region (see "Humans of Monvesia, Part One"); half-orcs are not particular to any one human culture.

Names:  By human region (see "Humans of Monvesia, Part One")

Like goliaths, humans originate in the land of Desolation, on the other side of the known world.  There, humans and goliaths were subject to the original Taint--a psychosomatic disorder which stripped the mind of will and humanity, and transformed the body to match.  Over time, humans (and goliaths) proved to be resilient to this taint.  While the transformation couldn't be reversed, it could at least be halted.  Thus did the first half-orcs and ogrillons emerge.

Humans and goliaths fled Desolation in part to escape the Taint--but the half-tainted were not abandoned.  It was from these that the Taint spread to the Forest of Vines and later to Monvesia.

Normally, a race and its tainted counterpart are incapable of cross-procreation.  However, half-orcs bridge this gap.  A half-orc may mate with either a human or an orc, and produce a child with either.  The child of a half-orc and a human is always a human.  The child of a half-or and an or is always a half-orc.

Edited September 13, 2018 (kobold -> boggart).

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