The First Principle

Photo by Scott Webb / Unsplash

Let they who are without sin write the first TTRPG.

Today, we gird our proverbial loins (yet again, I know we did that like a week ago, look, loins require periodic and regular re-girding, lest the original girds come loose and leave you un-girded at an inappropriate time) with the two design principles mentioned yesterday, and we'll use them to springboard into new and exciting realms of goblin design philosophy.

Let's start with that first principle, as it's one that people get hung up on a bit, and I feel it deserves a little bit more explanation:

You are all bad people, and you deserve this.

"But Dan!", I can hear you saying, "I'm not a bad person!"

I may have mentioned this in a previous entry, but I'm afraid you are, my friend. We are all bad people, inside. Not a single one of us is pure goodness and light, unblemished and without any kind of sin- we are born into this world as screaming little shitgoblins, and though we may grow and change and learn to put on clothes and use our words and type out blog entries on the Internet, at our core, we are all still those wrinkled little creatures, selfish and loud and ever-hungry.

One may wonder if perhaps the reason goblins eat babies is becase of a subconscious connection to the ur-goblin: a newborn human child.

And so I say to you again, you are a bad person, and you deserve this. And you do! That squealing little goblin at your core deserves to be let out on occasion, to put its grubby paws on everything and grab and lie and cheat and steal and generally just make a right unholy mess of things.

We all deserve to go goblin mode on occassion, and that is the first and most important principle guiding 3GiaT: giving your inner gobbo the chance to come out and just kind of be a ridiculous little piece of shit in the world at large. Sure, we cover it up with a trenchcoat, as much for the world's protection as for your own, and we team you up with other, equally filthy, little shitlords to go out and do something mildly heinous, and most likely hilarious.

Do you understand now? Do you see that, in that simple statement, in the acceptance of your inner goblinity, lies nothing more and nothing less than the freedom to be who you truly know yourself to be? The freedom to cast aside the shackles of modernity and humanity, and embrace the pure, unvarnished truth of your gobboself?

You're welcome, dear reader. I have set you free.

And it is in freedom that we walk, together, tying each other's shoelaces together for the sheer chaos of it, to gaze upon the second design principle:

Fun before functionality.

Tell me, dear reader, what is the airspeed of a glob of goblin crap launched from the middle of a trenchcoat, assuming the gobbo launching it has Big Ears and they are in a crowded medieval market? Would you like, perhaps, to calculate the specific rate at which rivulets of filth flow down the back of the unforuntate guard such a glob was launched at? Do you, in fact, desire to understand the discrete pieces of time, the individual steps, required for that guard to turn around, pull their sword out, and give chase?

... some of you out there just said "hell yeah", and to you, I say: seek help.

To the rest of you: we've gathered 'round this table to witness the coming together of 3 goblins and one trenchcoat. This is stupid, so let's have fun with it.

The best reflection of this particular design tenet lies in the Two Stats, which we've already discussed in previous posts. Is it functional to reduce all player interactions with the world to just those two methods, Lying and Cheating? Would it not be more realistic, more immersive, to give each gobbo a set of physical stats, strength, agility, endurance? Should we not have a table that gives you different damage types depending on the weapon a goblin uses, or perhaps some kind of movement bonus when a gobbo with Big Feet is in the Feet position of a trenchcoat? What if I'm wearing armor?!

Look, there's games for that. One of them involves dragons, and the dungeons they often reside within.

That's not the game we're making here, though. We're focused on gobbo action, we're focused on the hilarity and the nonsensical chaos of it all. Our Two Stats aren't meant to represent specific physical constraints, they are not a simulation of the mechanical aspects of being a goblin.

In fact, this deserves its own deep dive. Come back tomorrow.

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