Version 5 pdf link above. Revision notes below.
Goblin race-as-class Suppliment version 5 Notes
I finally figured out something with the goblin supplement that was bothering me about the gas filled mushrooms.
First of all was the name bladder-fart. It’s a cute name, something some goblins might call a mushroom, but for me not quite right. What would humans call it? Maybe they have no name for it, but find it among the wreckage of destroyed goblin settlements or crashed balloons.
Second, there was the cost of the bladder-fart versus the utility. One used to give three hours of fly time. It’s not much math, but it’s a lot to ask of the player. If the PCs rent or buy a balloon, they should have very simple choices to make. They shouldn’t have to calculate exactly how many hours of gas they need. A rough estimate should be enough, with the possibility of buying extra gas in case they want additional flight time or a nice bomb to drop on their enemies. Or a nice bomb dropped by NPC goblins on human settlements.
Third, I was unsure about the explosive power of the goblin bombs. How much was enough damage, did it cost enough? Did it cost too little?
I solved all the above when I realized the gas filled mushroom could serve as both bomb and fuel source. When I thought of an analogy to a modern gas bottle, my problem was solved. Why not have a some what tallish mushroom that holds a lot of gas? Why not fit it to a nozzle for balloon use, or fit a fuse for bomb use? And being a big, tall bottle of gas, it could fly a balloon for an easily calculable period of time—say 12 hours (I might make it 24), and give a nice wide area explosion when dropped from above? With this I can increase the cost of the gas bottle, increase it’s area of effective explosion, and decrease the math required in purchasing it.
Doing so, I let the focus of goblin balloons be the fiction of ballooning, rather than the complicated logistics. This will allow for interesting decisions to be made: do I save the extra bottles of gas for flight time, or do I drop them on my enemies?
Not to mention the tempting target of a boom-shroom for a sharp-eyed archer with a flaming arrow!
I think I may have now revised the gas mushroom to be what I want them to be: a useful plot device to facilitate interesting adventures. Be careful carrying your torches in a cave full of these shrooms, so that you don’t accidentally set them on fire! Be careful setting a fuse and dropping them, or you’ll blow yourself up!
I can imagine the diminutive goblins, two or three working together, loading these things into their balloons or onto their crude catapults. It makes for good fiction, which is the point of gaming in my opinion.
It occurred to me that a typical adventuring party will be at least four PCs. Perhaps the basket should be enlarged to carry four human sized or six goblin sized characters. Or maybe part of the fun is figuring you need two balloons, and have to raise the funds get them.
Let me know what you think.
Lastly, I revised the level increments for goblin combat abilities and HEAL spell potency to “every third level” in case you wish to run characters higher than the standard ten levels.