By Any Other Name (Goblin Name Generator)

When role-playing in an Orcish environment, it often behooves the game master to have names for their goblin allies.  Below is a table designed to generate names for any goblin or hobgoblin PC or NPC.  Designed in the fashion of Owen KC Stevens’ By Any Other Name articles (dragon magazine #251, 260, 261, 262, 267), it should allow you to generate a name for any goblins, or hobgoblins, in your game.  To use the tables, roll a D20 and consult table one, then roll the appropriate number of percentile dice.

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Orcish Religion Amongst the Stars

Regardless of subrace, orcish (and in fact most goblinkin races) society tends to take one of two distinct forms in wildspace: Independent tribes and organized nations. The independent tribes operate much as their groundling cousins, and in fact most truly are groundling tribes who somehow gained control of spelljamming vessels and migrated into space. These tribes still favor a single orcish deity as their patron, and the priests of that deity will dominate any other priests who reside with the tribe. Such tribes have few long term goals beyond increasing their territory, and subsist primarily on piracy and raiding.

The organized nations are a very different story; they are composed of multiple tribes and have more complex governance. While some are formed due to the might of a single orc warlord, those rarely outlast the life of that individual, breaking up into their disparate tribes upon his death. Those nations with history backing them up are typically governed by a hereditary monarchy or a council of military leaders (the scro being a perfect example of the latter). Only rarely in these nations do the priesthood rise to leadership, although they almost never lack for political power. The tribes that make up these nations rarely have patron deities anymore (although their names may still reflect their former state), and priests of all deities can be found in relatively stable numbers throughout.

Unlike humans, elves, and many other races, orcs do not see their deities as having control over specific aspects of wildspace itself. Instead, they see anything beneficial or to their liking as a gift from Gruumsh and their other gods, whereas those things they don’t like are obstacles sent by their foes. To prove their fitness to Gruumsh, they must overcome them, survive, and expand. Continue reading

Orcs of Wildspace

~ From “Goblin Gear” by Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Wildspace orcs are a clannish lot.  Most orcs are part of small buccaneer clans that have much in common with traditional pirates.  Rarely these clans will unite behind a powerful leader known as a “Wolf Chief”, a title that honors their cunning, battle prowess, and ferocity.

Orc legends speak of a mystical homeworld, where all orc tribes began.  Fortunately, perhaps, the name and location of this homeworld are long lost.  According to the legends, this world has twisted badlands and deserts that the orcs scoured in search of elusive scorpion husks.  Hundreds of scorpionships set sail from this homeworld.

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Nightcrawlers of Wildspace: Orc Scorpionships

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Scorpionship by Deryn Naythas. Copyright (c) 2014. Used by permission.

~ From “Goblin Gear” by Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Though hardly the first of the so-called goblin-kin races to enter wildspace, orcs quickly became one of the most influential.  Larger and stronger than goblins and nearly as numerous, the orcs aggressively expanded their sphere of influence.  Before the Unhuman Wars, the orc scorpionship was an all-too common menace.  The elves destroyed nearly half of the orc fleets, and drove the remaining ships from the Known Spheres.

Orcs traveled in small fleets known as wolf packs, although a lone ship was not unheard of.  A wolf pack ranged from two to twelve ships and quite often was lead by the largest and craftiest orc in the fleet.  Loyalty came through fear and intimidation.  Orcs were notorious for going rogue due to infighting.

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Goblin Hordes

~ From “Goblin Gear” by Adam “Night Druid” Miller

A common pest on many groundling worlds, for ages it was thought that goblins were too primitive and weak to make a serious impact on wildspace.  Unfortunately, the goblins did discover the secrets of spelljamming many centuries ago, and spread across wildspace like a ravenous plague.  No other known race has ever spread as far and as quickly as the goblins did, spreading to every corner of the Known Spheres and beyond.

Goblin ships, individually no mach for most spelljammers, were deadly when encountered in small fleets.  The goblins adapted their mob tactics when they took into wildspace.  Rare is the lone goblin ship, usually the survivor of a battle or disaster.  Porcupines, the main goblin ship, are almost always encountered in clusters of a dozen or more.  Through the use of teamwork and playing on their strength in numbers, the goblins preyed upon any and all ships they encountered.  Goblin pirates were among the most feared in all of wildspace, striking with such numbers to defeat elvish Men-O-War, heavy human hammerships, and even the dreaded illithid nautiloids.  Such were the number of these fleets that they decimated the trade lanes.

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A Common Orc

Gor’tar (Officer) Thorgir of the Clan Bloodfist took his zabbak’tarr (Rite of Passage: literal translation “rite of the warrior”) as a common orc of the Doomspear Clan, but soon after became a thrall to the Bloodfists in a failed raid for commoner women.  Dorin Bloodfist saw great potential in the young orcish Doomspear and spared him if he agreed to become a thrall for 10 years.  The Clan Chieftain felt that 10 years would give them enough time to ensure the young man’s integrity, and he was right.
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