D&D General I really LOVE Stomping Goblins

Status
Not open for further replies.

log in or register to remove this ad

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
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.

That stuff is fun. But it's also the case that the last few decades of modern fantasy have humanized orcs, goblins, kobolds, ogres, and other traditional D&D humanoids to an extraordinary degree. And frankly, I'm okay with that. Elder Scrolls orcs and Warcraft goblins are cool. Shrek is a decent bloke. Even the good Professor Tolkien ultimately decided that orcs had moral agency, and that somewhere there must have been at least some orcs somewhere siding with the Free Peoples and fighting against the Enemy in the War of the Ring. I'm too much of a Tolkien stan to ever argue with the Professor.

So at some point (years back), my campaigns naturally drifted away from treating orcs and goblins as soulless demons cloaked in mortal flesh that only deserve a quick death because they're a stain on the natural order… and I imported or invented whole new monsters which are definitionally soulless demons cloaked in mortal flesh that only deserve a quick death because they're a stain on the natural order. I use beastmen (inspired by a variety of sources — skaven from Warhammer, broo from Glorantha, trollocs from Wheel of Time) as my "Chaos-created cannon-fodder" du jour.

After all, orcs are cool. They're mean, they're green, they're betuskèd, they're bros. (And orcesses look like Shulkie!) But a horrible monstrous swine-man with glowing red eyes and no soul or language or culture bearing down on you with some jagged-edged iron blade that it got from the night mare mounted spectre in charge of the local divison of the Dark Lord's Chaos-Army? Quick, kill it with axes, kill it with bullets, kill it with magical fire!
 
Last edited:

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
You missed the memo. Charm spells and magic that robs people of their autonomy are eviler than necromancy. It's better to fry them with a ball of fire than make them your friend against thier will.
Of course, if they are truly evil, they won't have any qualms about betraying their friends. Which means you could always hire them. "You work for the Big Bad, eh? He sounds like a lousy, cruel boss. How much is he paying you, anyway? Well, we'll triple it. And when the time comes, you get to be the first to punch him in his smug face."
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I'm not sure I understand what you mean...
Let's say the player's concept is something like Kenshin or Batman where they have a code against killing.

Without the Keep or Kill rule where the player chooses whether or not the target dies at 0HP, you get these situations in 3e where you end up acting like you're trying to capture a Pokemon, hitting them until you think they're low and then using subdual because subdual makes you suck on toast at fighting. And THEN you crit on the first hit anyway and they explode in a fine red mist along with the Thou Shalt Not Kill character concept.
But doesn't the player (and their character) know that killing is typically a part of the game? Unless the campaign was established as a non-lethal one before hand, death is probably going to be on the table.

Typically you want to make a character appropriate to the adventure.
Combat is typically part of the game, not necessarily killing, going on more than a decade of D&D now since 4e.

And whether causing death is on the table from the player's side is in their hand's.
 

Let's say the player's concept is something like Kenshin or Batman where they have a code against killing.

Without the Keep or Kill rule where the player chooses whether or not the target dies at 0HP, you get these situations in 3e where you end up acting like you're trying to capture a Pokemon, hitting them until you think they're low and then using subdual because subdual makes you suck on toast at fighting. And THEN you crit on the first hit anyway and they explode in a fine red mist along with the Thou Shalt Not Kill character concept.

I think that makes more sense as a campaign style decision. For some campaigns such character might make sense, but it would feel cartoony for others.

And the problem with universal and always-on easy nonlethal option is that it then effectively makes anyone who chooses not to utilise it a murderer.
 
Last edited:

Scribe

Hero
You missed the memo. Charm spells and magic that robs people of their autonomy are eviler than necromancy. It's better to fry them with a ball of fire than make them your friend against thier will.
I didn't want to reopen that discussion yet LOL.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I think that makes more sense as a campaign style decision. For some campaigns such character might make sense, but it would feel cartoony for others.
What's wrong with one person choosing not to be a killer especially if they don't interfere with the others who want to?
And the problem with universal and always-on easy nonlethal option is that it then it effectively makes anyone who chooses not to utilise it a murderer.
...Which they are and would have been without non-combat being easy. They're just lazy and unconcerned if non-lethal isn't easy.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
You missed the memo. Charm spells and magic that robs people of their autonomy are eviler than necromancy. It's better to fry them with a ball of fire than make them your friend against thier will.
My son's party showed one of the opponents (a kobold) what it meant to be on the side of a halfling who was really in to cooking. Very loyal new party member.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I didn't want to reopen that discussion yet LOL.
I'm just pointing out that there really isn't a way to play a true pacifist. D&D ends up with PCs committing some manner of violence against thier foes, be it physical or mental. The best you can do is try to not to engage in active murder and hope you can avoid as much unintentional manslaughter as possible.
 

payn

Legend
I'm just pointing out that there really isn't a way to play a true pacifist. D&D ends up with PCs committing some manner of violence against thier foes, be it physical or mental. The best you can do is try to not to engage in active murder and hope you can avoid as much unintentional manslaughter as possible.
life infomercial GIF
 

Remathilis

Legend
My son's party showed one of the opponents (a kobold) what it meant to be on the side of a halfling who was really in to cooking. Very loyal new party member.
I mean, great. Did the PC use charm magic to coerce that friendship or did the kobold decide on that with it's own free will?

More importantly, are you willing to allow him to convert every opponent they find to become a loyal party member?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I mean, great. Did the PC use charm magic to coerce that friendship or did the kobold decide on that with it's own free will?

More importantly, are you willing to allow him to convert every opponent they find to become a loyal party member?
They were tied up and offered food since it was meal time. One of the two stayed and one ran away and caused trouble. The one who stayed is advancing as a cleric now. No charm spell needed, just that sweet sweet halfling food.

It wasn't a conversion, but the Halfling was a valued member of a pirate crew for a while (until the party freed the gold dragon the pirates captured..
and well, the dragon wasn't happy with the actual crew the party had infiltrated).
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
I mean, great. Did the PC use charm magic to coerce that friendship or did the kobold decide on that with it's own free will?

More importantly, are you willing to allow him to convert every opponent they find to become a loyal party member?

DM: "Dealing a mighty blow, you finally cut the head of Sharaak the Terrible, a dragon near whom Ancalagon paled. Have 3 xp for this epic victory"
Players: "WHAAAAT?
DM: "Indeed. Your 863 followers you gathered along the way due the Power of Friendship all get their share."
Players" mmmm
Players: "they must have gained a level then... how many XP are they worth?"
 
  • Haha
Reactions: JEB

I usually tell my players that the bugbear is "defeated" and they can tell it's going to run off and not cause trouble any more.

As long as the players know the DM won't try to screw them over, situations like this can be resolved without killing.
I'm very happy that works for you, but I can't think of a single player I've met over the age of 10 who would buy that. It would seem extremely unrealistic.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm very happy that works for you, but I can't think of a single player I've met over the age of 10 who would buy that. It would seem extremely unrealistic.
Hold on to your hat about realism. Have you ever read about hit points, and being fully functional down to 1, and death saves! (Or hitting someone being based.on strength and not dex, or how armor class mixes dodging and deflection, or how strong halflings are, or how everyone takes turns moving, or...). Luckily I'm apparently still younger than or the same age I was when I started playing at age 10 or 11 decades ago.
 

Hold on to your hat about realism. Have you ever read about hit points, and being fully functional down to 0, and death saves! (Or hitting someone being based.on strength and not dex, or how armor class mixes dodging and deflection, or how strong halflings are, or how everyone takes turns moving, or...). Luckily I'm apparently still younger than or the same age I was when I started playing at age 10 or 11 decades ago.
Its not nonlethality that I find unrealistic. Its every enemy left alive being absolutely no problem whatsoever ever again.
 

What's wrong with one person choosing not to be a killer especially if they don't interfere with the others who want to?
The existence of the rule might interfere with the playstyle others might want. Now if everyone is on the same page, then it obviously is not an issue.

...Which they are and would have been without non-combat being easy. They're just lazy and unconcerned if non-lethal isn't easy.
Even at modern times, use of lethal force is sometimes justified under the law in defence of self or others. In most sane places this tends to require that there was no other reasonably feasible alternative. The non-lethal rule guarantees that such alternative is always available, and with ease that is highly unrealistic. If all you have is a Romulan disruptor, and you end up killing someone with it in self defence, it probably is not a murder. But if you have a Starfleet phaser, and choose to use a lethal setting instead of a stun setting in a similar situation, then that suddenly seems way more murdery.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top