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Author Topic: Goblins - Suggestions  (Read 34937 times)


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2019, 01:28:56 pm »

Been a while since i butted heads here a little bit i guess, thought it would be a good time to revive it now demons are being opened up for the expected next release of vanilla DF with specialist subtypes and a lot of demonic content being added.

But I can't figure out how to make goblins interesting. All I can come up with is a mix of kobolds, succubi and orcs:

- Mass-production of low-quality gear.
- Large amount of goblin units.
- Lots of infighting, combat training due to fights, etc.
- Kidnapping other civ-units for slavery.
- Torture room for positive toughts.
- Demon-summoning.
- Slave auction to sell kidnapped civ-units.
- Troll pet system with upgrades.
- Poisons
- Lots of obsidian/magma for that dark-tower feel.
- Sacrificial pit
- food production through farming vermin/hives
- Barghest/Beak dog/warg pets.
- mercenary workshop that hires ettins, ogres, minotaurs, giants, etc.

Here's a few thoughts on the matter by myself.

Power & Tech - Goblins could rely on rotary-electric power moreso than the other two slaver races from conventional means and by use of slaves, by making them run on treadmills for as many slaves are required for a low constant ebb of power building up en-masse, to cruel application of slaves in their workshops, like donating them to be dissected in a surgery workshop for a skill boost then eating the remains of meat generated.
  • Mass production - I dont think there would be any speciality here besides what orcs could do, maybe a mass productive scale of demonic metals by literally pushing slaves into the crucible, live slaves substituting extracting the soul. Some refitting shops needed to down-grade equipment, and create smaller variants of captured weapons, battle axes and great axes turned into hand-axes + metal bar scrap
Sacrificial pit - A rip on the Orc drums or Dwarven altar, throw in slaves whole for buffs or a low rng chance of spawning a item, strong slaves have a returns of possibly being offered back up as a corrupted succubi subtype, but mostly used just to dispose of trash slaves.

Leadership / Turning into demons - Depends how exactly how Toady's changes will pan out with depth of demon tags and interactions, but Eric Blank has a neat little workaround by using slabs that lets people in worldgeneration create bloodlines of radically different slab activated only castes (can be altered to qualify for leadership and roles). None slab modified goblins could use the library mod targeted scholarly materials with the succubi conversion to modify their own units in a similar way by a medium of items created of goblin tech and a few foriegn materials.

Pets/Demon "Summoning" - This can be planned in advance with [ANIMAL], if a subtype of goblin creatures is accounted for for every kind of sphere (blight bats/blight trolls now pertained to blight spheres) that the demon controlling the dark tower can corrupt land to besides just generic primordial ones limited to biomes, goblins could use by default and gain access to them after some worldgen years.

Slave quality degredation - Slaves are re-usable for most workshops (labour etc) but degrade in quality by rng on returns, "recycling" tired and worn out slaves that aren't expended immediately being a must in industries that don't require healthy slaves either working them to death or using them up on a reaction.
  • Ability to upgrade the slave's health to extend shelf life at your own cost of medicine and eventually use this slave to spawn a unit like the orc ghetto overseer at high health, or foster them for high level reactions for their soul power and additional labor capacity.
  • Dedicate slaves towards being arena gladiators for your forces to fight in order to earn arena currency by cashing in the bodies that dissipate into items to proof.
Torture & Dark Satire - In order to carry off the goblins shtick, a lot of extensions of the sacrificial pit's effects that aren't as beneficial but do give lesser effects and some clever reaction category writing should help carry a humerous tone. Anything and everything can be used for wanton violence, involving pressing live slaves for a mood boost at the screw press to throwing live slaves into furnaces and crematoriums (not just the dead ones or logs)


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2019, 11:01:16 pm »

If we're necro-ing this, lets do it all the way.

My idea of goblins is that knitty gritty feel of absolute chaos that somehow works out. Basically, there is no labor specialization (except for maybe an elite noble caste that has some other important role) and every goblin does both industry and war.

My take on the big controversies:

Food is the most major controversy I see, so we'll do that first. I don't think goblins shouldn't eat food, and should instead have quite a few things that make them harder to manage than a race that does eat. Food is rather easy to come by in the case of dwarves and humans, so I don't see it being a huge problem removing the need to eat.

As for tech, I think they should keep their no-alloy philosophy, though perhaps a crude form of adamantine working (very limited to what they can make, and quality will always be low) could be introduced as their endgame material, what with it being connected with demons? To continue the no-alloys thing, they could use the metals that are mainly used in alloys as their own metal, like using tin, lead, and zinc as weapons-grade metals. They should also focus on making crap gear: there simply shouldn't be any other alternative to at best standard efficiency workshops that produce low quality gear.

They should also have something that lets them easily procreate: either a more kobold-esque rapid breeding workshop, a fast grow speed and large litters of traditional babies (maybe not since relationships are broke), or just some way to summon peasant hordes from the dark fortress that is the center of any goblin civ.

Another thing I think would be thematically cool is if you were somehow rewarded for embarking in evil biomes: goblins are the only race that can live in evil biomes in vanilla, and there's gotta be some reason for that, since they're not exactly a hardy race. Evil biomes also encourage more death and chaos, so the reward should make it quite worth it. I've a few ideas for what the reward could be like, but I'm just tossing ideas out:
1. Reanimation is good, somehow. Use reanimated corpses for effective defense, and, if possible, maybe allow some control over what reanimates and what doesn't to eventually negate the bad part of evil while still letting you laugh as the dwarves fight the corpses of their last invasion.
2. Some evil-only materials are quite useful for industry. Perhaps some evil plant is really good for making charcoal, or syndromes can be captured and spread everywhere for defense reasons.
3. Acid. Remove wear on worn metal gear, incinerate your tantruming peasants, process more advanced ores, and accelerate production, all at the small cost of embarking somewhere evil with whatever exotic crap you need to produce acid. For those not in evil biomes, perhaps a very limited way to produce small amounts of it could be made so that advanced ore processing isn't entirely off-limits.

To counter the easy-to-get peasants and lack of required food, another punishment and chaos supplement should be that they're very prone to anger. This is pretty agreed upon, goblins are always the crazies.

To deal with these angry peasants, the suggested solution is assisted suicide: mass raiding! While orcs do have the big raiding culture for profit, goblins seem to use it as a way to get rid of their useless goblins, least in vanilla, since dwarf forts are just death traps. If they win, they come back with actually useful slaves. If they lose, they're dead and no longer a problem. Win-win!

Slaves could basically just function as additional workers, cranking out crap for your own use. They'd also give a reason to have at least a little food industry. As a supplement to slaves, trolls and a few other of the big, dumb, lumbering sentients (maybe ogres could be part of the reward for being in an evil biome?) could be used for basically the same purpose, albeit also being able to serve as warriors.

Very slow military skill growth should take effect, perhaps with a workshop to give basic training, to give you an army of competent and proficient rabble armed in whatever metal they can find.

I feel like goblins should be a different take on the other races and instead not really have a big progression tree. They rely on rapid overwhelming of their foes with brute force and numbers to do things, not planned expansion and growth.

The one thing I don't really have a place for is baby snatching. Since goblins are so expendable, it's not exactly a place for children to grow up in: the dark fortress is goblin daycare, not the pits that import goblins and export death.


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2019, 07:49:18 am »

I was impressed with the easyness to handle of warlock humanoid slaves (in the test experimental version for warlocks on the other thread), and the most effective way to manage slaves and other miscallenous creatures would a troll slave with a release system not dissimilar to the existing masterwork one of 'tool slaves'. Given that 'tool slaves' have a proposed seperate industrial purpose it could tie in quite nicely.

Additionally, we could modify the tool slave trolls further ahead into that specialisation and disambiguate cave trolls, such as bringing a tool troll bought from a slaver's exchange shop to a shrine to summon a intelligent but non-speaking blight troll and go from there.

Same applying to ogres (even orcs can get ogres with a lot of financial work), and the purposes of generic slaves, being released into citizenship, kept in tool form or pastured into farm herds.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 08:16:18 am by FantasticDorf »


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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2019, 10:19:00 am »

We could do friendly goblins that just want to save human, dwarven and elven children from the cruelty and death of normal player forts.

Make Goblins secretly good. ;)
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  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #64 on: September 17, 2019, 02:50:01 am »

There are spoilers below - but I don't think many people in this thread will be surprised.

So, I've played a bit of Masterwork, but not much of the Orc and Succubi civilizations, so if some of this overlaps, perhaps there's not much space for goblins in this mod. From what I know of those two civilizations, I expect similar themes with my proposals below. I should also state I've played a bit of the goblin civ in the All Races Playable mod - which is basically the vanilla goblins.

I understand that Masterwork doesn't stick to the world of DF as it is in vanilla very much - but I think vanilla DF is a good resource to tap for ideas - I really like FantasticDorf's idea of using the evil biomes to your benefit, for example.

Let us examine the goblin -
Goblins do not need to eat nor drink - mostly because they are meant to be carnivores. Also, because of their personalities and their civilization values, they tend not to be very family oriented (although it happens, I've noticed it's rarer for goblins to be married in the ARP mod.) They have solid social awareness, incredible memories, and nearly no empathy. They are also baby snatchers and raiders. They don't age.

Their civilization starts when a demon - a [UNIQUE_DEMON] one - punches its way up through the earth onto the surface with a tower. Goblins serve this creature. Fortresses often have 1000s of goblins, while dark pits themselves tend to be sparsely populated. Demons enter the world with the aid of a deity. In Legends mode, these demons seem to the be only ones who tame animals for the civilization.

Some of that is likely untrue, but has been my experience. So I see basically two forms of play for a goblin civilization:
Dark Pit:
Here, you wouldn't be interacting with the demon lord, rather - you'd be living the life of a band of goblins. In adventure mode, it's not uncommon to find goblins occupying sites or forming bandit groups. So here, I could imagine game-play being more similar to vanilla. Perhaps they have to gather food, raise animals to eat, make cheap equipment and fend off attackers. They will probably do some raiding, but most of the game would be like any other game. The arena idea and slavery make sense here - but ultimately, I think this is the wrong way to go.

Dark Fortress:
Goblins are slaves. The only unit that matters is a single demon lord. I would remove any needs you could from goblins - sleep, food, drink. They live only to serve the demon. I would strip back their production abilities, forcing them to raid often. I have no idea how much influence you can put on the raiding mechanics, but I think goblins should just bring back more stuff, and - if equipped with bags - bring back children. I feel the demon should need to eat and drink a lot, to motivate continued raiding and constant war.
Potentially, you could turn off any form of migrants - you start with a demon lord and 6 goblins. The demon requires some sort of sacrifice in order to produce more goblins - very Keeper style. I think material goods make sense - as these demons seek out artifacts in vanilla. Perhaps an item's value can equate to a number of goblins. Alternatively, kidnapped kids could be sacrificed if that's what you want.
There should be several things which only the demon-lord can do - and several tasks they cannot do. Hauling should - for example - be only goblins. Taming should only be the demon lord - and exclusively be for war animals.
If the demon lord should die (perhaps dressed up as unsatisfied, as it's a bit odd to have a demon die of starvation, but would be necessary for this style of play) this should be the end of your fort. Either through a script that just ends it, or by some other means where the fort cannot live on without the demon lord. If the demon lord is the only way to produce more civilians, this would eventually be the death knell for a fort. Personally, I'd like it if a demon lord died and punched a hole straight down to hell, unleashing its minions up into the fort.
Summoning, to me, feels very ungoblin. If anything, you should summon servants of the god who collaborated with the demon. I feel there is a lot to explore in this area.

Additional notes:
I find making the goblins more unruly and harder to manage exceptionally unfun. It robs them of feeling like brutes and makes them seem like pouting children - like dwarves are.
Is it possible to kidnap historical figures? That way, you may be able to bring babies into the fort, wait for them to reach maturity, then add some sort of way to convert an adult human into a human civilian. Not sure how possible that stuff is with DF Hack and scripts - know it's impossible with vanilla modding.


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #65 on: September 19, 2019, 07:41:41 pm »

What if goblins are SJW?


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2019, 02:52:12 pm »

Meph, if you read this, I have some suggestions for your mod, but give me scripts, I want make this in my mod too.

Servant tweaking is good, but goblins use not only trolls (in vanilla they also have ogres, blizzard men and maneras). As they shear trolls, they could milk ogresses or use ogres as mounts/pullers. Milking sapients needs dfhack script for work.

With scripts, you can add workshops for creating blizzard men and grimelings. For blizzard men creating player need cold temperature and snow/ice, for grimelings player need plants and grimeling will be made of this plant material.

Goblins as analogue of cats can have hungry head. As analogue both cat and dog goblins can have stranglers.

Harpies, blendecs and nightwings isn't slow learners, but can be heroes and you can make "domestication"/enslaving/teaching of wild harpies, blendecs and nightwings in dark fortress mode. What about milking harpies?

Demon leader probably can make underground elemantmen in workshops or as necromancer with transforming (for blood men or mud men).

Also goblins could corrupt stolen childred into night troll like species of servants.


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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #67 on: October 22, 2019, 08:22:00 pm »

Well, a couple things I could think about, not sure if the dfhack situation allows for some of it.

Are we pulling traits from other media for goblins? For example warcraft goblins tend to be very osha non-compliant. With kamikaze units like sappers, and tech that is equally dangerous to them as it is to the enemy, mostly explosives based.

If keeping it mostly vanilla themed, they are pretty much into the cruelty side of things, while Succubi are more of the hedonistic variety of evil, so maybe their weapons/traps and personalities could be based around causing pain rather than killing outright.  Scourges, whips, hooked arrows, roman gladiator nets, broken/powdered glass weapon enhancements, acid/caustic/boiling oil traps etc. If possible, they were pretty noted for being able to butcher sentient beings as well, leading into elf bone things or dwarf leather hats.

Perhaps they could rely on converting/corrupting things into evil or cavern biome counterparts? Like wood into glumprong or blood thorn, which have pretty useful material stats, and iirc bloodthorn had a reaction to make arrow tips from the thorns in previous MDF? Succubi already have the corrupting enemies into evil variants, so might leave that to them, as goblins seem to simply kidnap. Not sure if it is possible to alter biomes after creation, but perhaps they could have reactions that would slowly turn the biome into an evil one? Settle in a good biome and slowly turn it type stuff. Summon Evil biome weather as a means to deal with sieges?

Apollo Densin

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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #68 on: December 26, 2019, 10:38:32 pm »

I think the biggest distinction between Goblins and Orcs would be the fact that Goblins bring up children to be a part of the civilization, raising them to acquire their strength and abilities. While Orcs take and make it their own with their raids. I think both races could exist in the setting if you have different goals in mind and I believe a lot of people like the orcs being around as well. A longer term plan than the Orcs, but it would be the way to distinguish them/set goals. Slaves work their way up to freedom/being in the civ or they die during their enslavement, but a dwarf for instance could help get some limited access to alloys. A demon lord however may demand that you send him specific slaves for some reason, so you have to balance your raids for growing your own forces and appeasing your demon master. If you anger the demon/do not provide it with the spoils it desires then it will cause the goblins to stop trading with you along with them declaring war on you for sieges. Now this may be a lot easier to handle due to being able to fight off sieges pretty easily if you are smart about it, but at the same time could be tough especially if the demon lord is able to spawn in some additional minor demons to help him in the sieges.

Eventually at the top of your tech tree with some butchered things from demons, you could summon your own minor demons/summon a new demon master/appease your demon lord so he moves to your land.

Just some thoughts I had on it.
"Man I just survived an attack by 90 goblins with no loses. I feel so unsafe, time to build more defenses." My typical response to this game


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Goblins - Suggestions
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2021, 02:59:54 pm »

Felt somewhat interested again in booting up my df masterwork and hoped to home-brew some stuff to help enrich the setting, though goblins dont have anything by default i can hope that changes when Meph returns to restore the mod post steam-release and add some balancing.

I have a fresh suggestion for the goblin ideosyncratic faith system without changing the formulae too much.

Goblins appeal to their gods with fetishism made out of the materials of other races and relevant to their views on trophymaking, things like dwarf beards being wearable clothing for instance, and other toy-or-tool knick-knacks. The power of some of these objects, or least "Greater Fetishes" equate to the power of powerful masks that give the wearer interaction spells against members of that race. (a idea least partially nugget-mined from other mods, like the warhammer mod)

A great-beard fetish for instance can be laid as a greater offering, having been combined from many lesser dwarf-beards collected from slaves.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 03:02:42 pm by FantasticDorf »
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