D&D General I really LOVE Stomping Goblins

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Reynard

Legend
This might be an unpopular or controversial opinion in current fandom, but I really love killing goblins -- or orcs, or kobolds, or any other stock enemy meant to die in droves. it hit me last night when I was playing Torchlight 3 (which is a video game and not a D&D one, but bear with me). The goblins in that game are very much the murderous, pyromaniac lit psychos of Pathfinder pre-2E and the feeling of obliterating them on screen filled me with a nostalgia for doing so at the table with dice in one hand and a cold brew in the other. There's just something truly satisfying about the over the top, silly mass murder of enemies designed specifically to die in droves.

I am not saying that is all I want out of D&D, or that I have an issue with a table or a game treating some traditional stock enemy types as not-stock enemy types (except Nazis -- Nazis should always be stock enemy types). I am just saying that killing goblins by the score is FUN.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Years ago , I'd agree. I prefer more nuance now. I need to know why my character's enemies are their enemies. I've lost my bloodlust for stock score killing at the table.
You know what they say: "We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop exploding legions of goblins with fireballs and decapitating them with greatswords while in a righteous rage."
 



Oofta

Legend
Sometimes it's fun just to put the brain on hold and play a game that may just be a little silly. I think some non-serious monster stomping can be a great way to relieve stress. I certainly don't worry about all the bad guys I've killed in video games over the years.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Sometimes it's fun just to put the brain on hold and play a game that may just be a little silly. I think some non-serious monster stomping can be a great way to relieve stress. I certainly don't worry about all the bad guys I've killed in video games over the years.

And all those checkers pawns slaughtered over the millenias! Worse of it, in French, it's customary to say that the pawns are eaten. Imagine it!
 

Reynard

Legend
Sometimes it's fun just to put the brain on hold and play a game that may just be a little silly. I think some non-serious monster stomping can be a great way to relieve stress. I certainly don't worry about all the bad guys I've killed in video games over the years.
I also want the chance to die under a tsunami of green skin and rusty blades.
 

payn

Legend
Sometimes it's fun just to put the brain on hold and play a game that may just be a little silly. I think some non-serious monster stomping can be a great way to relieve stress. I certainly don't worry about all the bad guys I've killed in video games over the years.
The Last of Us 2 was a really strange experience. The game does this great job of humanizing both sides of the conflict. However, while trying to make violence, revenge, and death a shocking and sad experience, the gameplay had you killing scores of faceless stock enemies. Quite a cognitive dissonance going on there. I definitely prefer it to be a thing or not a thing. Dont cross those streams!
 

Reynard

Legend
The Last of Us 2 was a really strange experience. The game does this great job of humanizing both sides of the conflict. However, while trying to make violence, revenge, and death a shocking and sad experience, the gameplay had you killing scores of faceless stock enemies. Quite a cognitive dissonance going on there. I definitely prefer it to be a thing or not a thing. Dont cross those streams!
That must be a Naughty Dog thing. I love the Uncharted games. Nathan Drake is a great character and seems like a really good guy who happens to be a thief.

And then he murders literally hundreds of people.
 

The video game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has these goblin-like guys:

800px-BotW_Bokoblin.png

Because this is an open world game, you can often come upon them unawares in their various camps and fortifications. For example, here's a little group of them sitting around the campfire, smoking fish and hanging out on the beach.
bokoblin camp.jpeg

The game could give you a means to peacefully interact with them, but it doesn't, so usually sneaking up on a camp of these guys leads to brainstorming the most creative way to kill them (not to worry, they're always eventually resurrected by the main villain). Shield surfing down a hill to attack out of nowhere, paragliding from a cliff to rain exploding bomb arrows from above, finding something really big and metal to magnetically manipulate and bash them with, etc.

Then you get to take the fish.
 

I think the topic of "why is killing in games fun?" is worthwhile. Not just rpgs, but any games. Like in videogames, even games like mario, to defeat something is to harm or kill it, even when abstracted. Chess is a game that involves killing of opponent pieces. etc. One thing I've noticed in dnd is that killing inside and outside of initiative feels very different, with the former feeling more fun and less meaningful and the latter having increased emotional/psychological stakes to a certain degree.

Anyway, here's an interesting if not fully developed thread of ideas on this topic by Jay Dragon

 

cbwjm

Legend
That must be a Naughty Dog thing. I love the Uncharted games. Nathan Drake is a great character and seems like a really good guy who happens to be a thief.

And then he murders literally hundreds of people.
Lara Croft in the new tomb raider games has a kill score in the hundreds if not thousands.

I also like just having those old school "them thar orcs are causing problems, time to kill them all" type games. I ran some online for my friends during NZ's last lockdown. My players appreciated not having to worry much about story or plot, just head into the dungeon and kill the baddies.
 

Reynard

Legend
The video game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has these goblin-like guys:

View attachment 150611
Because this is an open world game, you can often come upon them unawares in their various camps and fortifications. For example, here's a little group of them sitting around the campfire, smoking fish and hanging out on the beach.
View attachment 150612
The game could give you a means to peacefully interact with them, but it doesn't, so usually sneaking up on a camp of these guys leads to brainstorming the most creative way to kill them (not to worry, they're always eventually resurrected by the main villain). Shield surfing down a hill to attack out of nowhere, paragliding from a cliff to rain exploding bomb arrows from above, finding something really big and metal to magnetically manipulate and bash them with, etc.

Then you get to take the fish.
That's why in D&D goblins should leap to the attack in EVERY instance, gabbling incomprehensibly while aiming for your soft parts with stabby things. That's how you know it is okay to go fine-red-mist on them.
 

Oofta

Legend
The Last of Us 2 was a really strange experience. The game does this great job of humanizing both sides of the conflict. However, while trying to make violence, revenge, and death a shocking and sad experience, the gameplay had you killing scores of faceless stock enemies. Quite a cognitive dissonance going on there. I definitely prefer it to be a thing or not a thing. Dont cross those streams!
Not just video games. How often on TV shows do they mow down nameless dudes? Then when they have the big bad in their sights they don't pull the trigger because they don't want to be "just like them". Seriously? Are the protagonists of the show responsible for killing dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of innocent people? Are the protagonists planning on nuking half the city as part of some nefarious plan? No! You know that when you let them go they are going to continue their murder spree! Oh well. The plot demands what the plot demands.:confused:
 

Reynard

Legend
Lara Croft in the new tomb raider games has a kill score in the hundreds if not thousands.
That's one of the few games I actually stopped because the violence felt weirdly icky -- along with The Last of Us. (That said, both of those occurred relatively soon after a real life violent experience, so it's likely rlated and not the 'games' faault'.)
I also like just having those old school "them thar orcs are causing problems, time to kill them all" type games. I ran some online for my friends during NZ's last lockdown. My players appreciated not having to worry much about story or plot, just head into the dungeon and kill the baddies.
I don't necessarily think you have to sacrifice story for things like this, you just have to shift your focus. Lord of the Rings kills A LOT of orcs but you wouldn't say it had "no story."
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
The game could give you a means to peacefully interact with them, but it doesn't, so usually sneaking up on a camp of these guys leads to brainstorming the most creative way to kill them (not to worry, they're always eventually resurrected by the main villain). Shield surfing down a hill to attack out of nowhere, paragliding from a cliff to rain exploding bomb arrows from above, finding something really big and metal to magnetically manipulate and bash them with, etc.

Then you get to take the fish.
Notice that in BotW they explicitly make these monsters (and all of the others) constructs of the Calamity Ganon rather than a culture that is at war with Hyrule. Every Blood Moon they're brought back to life to ensure that chaos rules the land.

I've historically done the same thing with my orcs. Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears - they all have a culture and are individuals. Orcs? Demons that have possessed the corpses of the dead and have no culture other than destruction. Or plant/fungal creatures that operate in a manner similar to the bodysnatchers from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Or pure chaos that has stitched itself together into nightmare monsters.

The popularity of Warcraft and the revamping of people's expectations regarding orcs means that I now give these creatures different names - they're Chaos Demons in my current 13th age campaign (and are created when the Demonologists of the Western Empire summon minor demons to inhabit the bodies of the animals the sacrifice - meaning that I can get the goblin/hobgoblin/orc/bugbear mix based on which animals they happen to have on hand) - but they're filling that niche that orcs used to fill.
 

cbwjm

Legend
That's one of the few games I actually stopped because the violence felt weirdly icky -- along with The Last of Us. (That said, both of those occurred relatively soon after a real life violent experience, so it's likely rlated and not the 'games' faault'.)

I don't necessarily think you have to sacrifice story for things like this, you just have to shift your focus. Lord of the Rings kills A LOT of orcs but you wouldn't say it had "no story."
You don't have to sacrifice story, but sometimes it's nice not having to be thoroughly invested in one. Sometimes you just want to go into a dungeon, kill things, and take their loot. The modules I ran during lockdown had a story/reason for entering the dungeon but they were nice and light and not something you needed to invest heavily in.
 



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