Photo by aldi sigun / Unsplash

"YOU'VE FAILED US, DAN", I hear you cry.

"IT'S BEEN DAYS SINCE A POST AND YOU PROMISED DAILY POSTS I HATE YOU FOREVER, DAN!", you say, following up on your earlier comment.

And you're not wrong to be upset. I see your torches, and I validate your pitchforks. You are correct in your assessment that I am a terrible person, who has broken a sacred vow made, specifically, completely, and without reservation, to you and you alone.

I am a monster, and there's no way around that.

... right?

Look, folks. While I accept my monstrousness on the daily (there is no ethical goblinity under Capitalism, as we all know), I, in my infinite (and, frankly, very attractive, ladies) wisdom, built an escape hatch into my plan. 750 words (or something along those lines) is the starting point, but I also gave myself permission, because I am a grown-ass adult who goes to therapy, to occasionally miss days, or replace those days with other creative work.

And I've done those very things! I took a day off. I worked on other tasks and creative endeavors, like implementing new layouts on OBS for my gaming and ttrpg streams both alone and with the rest of the Fandible crew. I livestreamed with Dave and Jesus- video games with Dave on Friday, and chatting with the both of them and our lovely and active audience on Saturday, before spending some time creating characters for our upcoming game of Red Giant (which has a pretty great mechanic that I've loved since the days I first saw something similar with WoD/CoD games, Merits/abilities that bring some kind of mechanical or storyline downside along with their otherwise ridiculous abilities/powers/whatever).

I absolutely love going through lists of those kinds of merits or abilities, and figuring out how the abilities and their downsides would shape my character and their stories, and I particularly love finding ways in which different aspects from abilities might interact and bring about new aspects of a character in a more synergistic fashion.

To take an example from Red Giant, which, by the way, I highly recommend you go check out and purchase from here, there's two Exchanges (which is what these abilities are called in the game rules) that I feel would interact in really intersting ways.

I promise, we'll get back to the goblins soon, but I'm going somewhere with this.

Anyway, here's the two examples:


The first, seen above, is Sword Collector. And it's pretty simple: for each sword you're carrying, you do a bit more damage. Stack up the swords, like Zoro in One Piece, and you're doing +3, +4, +whatever damage! But it comes with a heavy yet interesting downside: each sword after your first? Cursed. So you're going around, becoming more of a badass, and paying the price for each increase in power, becoming increasingly burdened by the both physical and spiritual toll of carrying so many implements of death on your person.

Pretty badass just to start with, right? But now, we look at the second Exchange that got my attention, and things start to get kinda spicy:


Weaponmaster, what?? Check that shit out. Again, on its own, kinda badass. You roll your best stats for both trying to hit someone, and for how much damage you do. You're a goddamn beast with any weapon at all, striking with them with such inhuman force and rage that, as the downside shows, you mow through weapons at a crazy rate- each time you use a weapon, there's a 50/50 chance you'll just wreck it and make it unusable.

And then you realize that you can take from 1-3 Exchanges (4 if you go with a particular character type), so, you can take both of these.

So now imagine your character in the brutal, doomed world of Red Giant: a brute of a man, a barbarian seething with endless rage and power- traveling over this earth, ripping blades from the corpses of their vanquished enemies, each blade heavy with the death-curse of its former owner. Each slash of his blades tears through another's flesh and blood leaving red carnage in their wake, blows so brutal and twisted with their unstoppable fury that even the curses themselves snap and crumble along with their broken blades.

In terms of gameplay, imagine constantly trying to balance just how many Curses you're able to bear vs how much damage you can do in a fight. You'd be a walking disaster, a force of unnatural vengeance.

The stories write themselves.

Now, how do we integrate this insight into some goblins? Come back tomorrow and we'll see if we can figure that out.

Are you enjoying this bullshit? You are, aren't you? Hot diggity! Well, did you know you can encourage Dan to do more of whatever the hell this is by joining the Uncivil Union over on ko-fi? It's true! Not only is this a signal to Dan that people want more of this, but you'll also get immediate access to The Vault, where you can pick up free copies of every single game he's written, and exclusive access to the in-progress docs for upcoming games.

Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez

The Bad Boy of Fandible. I like RPG's. Filthy leftist Social Justice Glitter Boy. Writes silly TTRPG games. Owned by a cat. He/Him. Demi.
New York, NY