6 July, 2008 at 9:49 am (game design) (, , , )

(It stands for Worldwide adventure writing month.) I’ll be trying to write something of an adventure. It might not work really well. The writing will be happening in this blog, starting now.


This adventure assumes a fantasy setting where humans live among other humans and where what is nonhuman is actually different from humans. The two central monsters of the adventure, goblins and ogres, are demons from spirit realms. If your game has them in another role, rename the creatures inhabiting this adventure. It is further assumed that player characters, if any, are not powerful enough to slay (large groups of) goblins and ogres with impunity.

There is some advice towards particular ways of approaching the adventure, but at its heart it is a dynamic situation, not a rigidly railroaded series of encounters. This all assuming I can actually write the damn thing.

The core idea

There’s a human town, not a particularly large one, somewhat separated from civilisation.

There’s a series of caves inhabited by goblins and ogres, divided by internal strife.

These two communities are not very compatible.

Goblins and ogres

Goblins are small, clawed and twisted creatures. They are the personification of children fearing the unknown and other people. They sneak around during nights and steal human children, taking them to their underground lairs and with vile magic transforming them into more goblins.

Ogres are how goblins see adults: Big, clumsy, inattentive, protective to the point of being misguided. To humans they are malformed, with various and evidently random parts of their body being out of proportion with the rest of it. They are strong, clumsy and dense. Ogres are created when goblins get their hands on an adult and apply the goblin-making sorcery on them. They see all goblins and all children as their little ones, whom they will protect to the best of their ability from any and all possible or imagined sources of risk. They do not have particularly good imagination.


A town populated with people who have nowhere else to go, with the likes of beggars, killers, thieves, thugs and few idealistic ones here and there. Some merchants looking for sources of easy income. A noble or three ruling the place mostly as a punishment.


The obvious one is that goblins want to steal human children. Humans do not want their children to be stolen, generally speaking. From human perspective only poor children have thus far disappeared, which means that the nobles and rich merchants are not terribly worried. A slaver or two would even object to anyone investigating the disappearance of poor people.

The goblins are essentially cruel and clever children. They want to have all the toys and friends and pets for themselves. The goblin shamans who transform children into goblins have many friends and hold power, but there’s more than one of them. Only one is necessary for the community to function. There may be other goblins with power, too.

Why do goblins live in caves?

The rituals require specific circumstances which can’t happen in sunlight. A slimy pool and cave fungi, say.

The origin of the caverns is as of yet undetermined. The human town is likely to be a mining town, which would provide a nice explanation for abandoned mines nearby.


1 Comment

  1. Edward said,

    I like that an explanation of why the goblins are doing it. So rarely get anything like that.

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