Monday, December 25, 2023

Narblesnard Reveler, & Other TROIKA! Backgrounds I Completely Forgot About for Like Two Years

In classic Furtive fashion, I fretted over a post for several days in a row and got it around 80% finished before completely forgetting about it for years. Earlier today when I found out that it's not only December but late December, I started to scramble for something seasonal to write. Failing in that, next by chance I searched through my unfinished drafts for anything containing the word "Narblesnard", and lo did I find this neglected installment in that series of shamelessly self-referential Troika! backgrounds that I was working on for a while in the hopes of eventually publishing a d66 table (which will still happen Eventually).

The other backgrounds don't really have a common thread between them, certainly nothing holiday-themed, so think of this post as more of an ugly, re-gifted sweater than a proper present. But hey, that's more than I usually manage to do on short notice.

Blessed Narblesnard and stay safe, dear Burrowers. May your Scrap Goblin find you ragged yet whole this coming year. I promise I have less mechanical stuff coming down the pipe after this.

Beaten Chieftain

Your tribe of techno-barbarians follows a simple code of governance: leaders and representatives are elected on an ad hoc basis, and all eligible voters do so with their fists. The candidate who receives (and endures) the most punches from their fellow tribesfolk is appointed to temporary office. Unfortunately your platform proved to be a little too popular with your fellows, and you passed out under the hail of approval. Now you nurse your bruises and hope to toughen up before the next caucus.


  • A Mild Concussion.
  • Muscles, Scar Tissue, Callouses & Microfractures (Lightly Armoured).
  • No Shirt, ever.
  • A Data-Sphere filled with your ancestors' wisdom and also workout tips.

Advanced Skills

4 Pain Tolerance
3 Athletics
3 Tribal Law
2 Unarmed Fighting


Whenever you strike a Mighty Blow with an Unarmed attack, you deal triple damage instead of double.
Additionally, people who have punched you in the face find it easier to like you.

Delta Dead-Keeper

You are called "necromancer" by some, and on the surface that may appear true. You speak to the dead, and under great duress might beseech their help. But you love the spirits in your care, and strive to see the wheel spin on, uninterrupted. The humid river deltas still echo with your jovial songs to the dead, even in your absence.


  • Weathered Old Staff
  • Talisman-Bedecked Robes
  • Coffin containing a Deceased Loved One

Advanced Skills

3 Etiquette
3 Religion (Ancestors Cult)
2 Second Sight
2 Spell - Banish Spirit
1 Singing


You can see all ghosts and undead by the aura around them. It's impossible not to see them, they're so glaring and bright. You can also speak to all undead and corpses, even if they are normally mindless. Getting fruitful conversation out of them is another matter, though.

Graft-Elf Beautician

Once feared, reviled, and propagandized against for tinkering with flesh, outsiders now seek your kind out for the potential that you can draw out of the physical form. With enough time, patience, sinew, and bone, you can induct anyone into the Fair Folk. But the creativity of a yearning heart knows no bounds, and you must search far and wide for just the right donors.


  • Far Too Many Knives
  • 3 doses of Anesthesia
  • Dreadful Beauty
  • 1 Random Roll on a Mutation/Augment/Prosthetic table of your choice.

Advanced Skills

3 Surgery
2 Healing
2 Inspire Awe
1 Knife Fighting


You may Test Your Luck to perform a special surgery upon a creature to add or replace an appendage or other body part. This process requires a day of uninterrupted preparation and work, the spare parts in question, and enough anesthesia to knock out your patient (unless you are operating upon yourself). Failing the roll or interrupting the process reduces the target to 1 Stamina.

Narblesnard Reveler

You are one of the little hole-dwellers living next to the perilous woodland realm of the squirrels. You celebrate the winter solstice as a time of quiet and safety, when the narbling horde has finally laid itself down for hibernation. Yet you know in your heart that their malice always lurks close by, no matter where in the spheres you've burrowed yourself to.


  • An Anxiety Disorder of your choosing.
  • Letter Opener (Damage as Knife).
  • Running Moccasins with Decade-Old Socks.
  • Sack of d66 Acorns.
  • Jar of Emergency Peanut Butter.

Advanced Skills

3 Run Away
2 Foraging
2 Sneak
2 Woodland Lore
1 Evoke Pity


You instinctively know the exact location, health, and aggression level of all squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, or other sciurids within a 1 kilomile radius.

Sea Nomad Mariner

Your people are born of the sea, and the sea of stars and spheres is just another ocean for you to explore and conquer. Or so you thought. Your flotilla is scattered, and you are marooned on curious shores. But you hold true to the teachings of the Eternal Blue Above & Below and keep floating on.


  • An Old War-Dinghy painted in totemic images and tamghas.
  • Brocaded Sailcloth Sarong.
  • Fishing Net, sporting a few holes.
  • Waterproof Composite Bow (Damage as Bow) and 20 Arrows.

Advanced Skills

4 Sailing
3 Archery
3 Climb
2 Use Rope
1 Manatee Herding


While piloting an outrigger canoe, catamaran, war-dinghy, or other small water vessel, you may Test Your Luck to perform extraordinary tricks with it. This includes but is not limited to jumps, banks, rolls, sailing against the wind, and the time-honored tradition of oar jousting.

Uncrowned Monarch

That petulant, shrouded upstart. He did this to you. After he stole your crown, it all went downhill. He broke the natural order of things- surely the people would not have otherwise risen up and deposed their liege and lord? No. ๐’ฐ๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“€๐’ถ๐’ท๐“๐‘’. The blame lies squarely with him, and with your vengeance you will reclaim your kingdom. You will claim many. You will slay the Double King.


  • Compulsively Well-Maintained Royal Seal.
  • Tattered Royal Robes.
  • Mostly Ceremonial Weapon of your choice.
  • A Sad little Replacement Crown.

Advanced Skills

4 Self-Aggrandizement
2 Fencing
2 Oration
2 Ride
1 Etiquette


Your obsession with "good breeding" allows you to identify the genealogy of anyone you come in contact with, and determine whether or not they are a royal. "Royalty" is a culturally subjective term you have no control over.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

GLOG Class: Goblin Auntie

A typical auntie, silently judging you.
The loud judging comes later.

Not every goblin is lucky enough to have a mom. But whether they like it or not, they've all got an Auntie. Part parent, supervisor, and tribal elder, Aunties know it's pointless to try and enforce a semblance of orderliness upon their niblings. Instead, they help guide and redirect them, like one might the flow of a mighty river. A green, gibbering river full of teeth and shiny rocks and- hey, was that a goat?

Note that you don't need to be an actual goblin or auntie in order to be a Goblin Auntie. It's all about having the right state of mind.

Goblin Auntie

Starting Equipment: stained apron, sewing kit, dagger, bag of acorns
Starting Skills: Childrearing. Also, roll on adjacent table.

A: Adopt Niblings, Auntie Knows Best
B: Just The Thing, Slap Some Sense Into
C: Family That Stays Together
D: An Auntie's Love

You gain +1 to Save vs mind-altering effects for each Goblin Auntie template you possess.

A: Adopt Niblings

Being a Goblin Auntie means you know true family is found. Found, nicknamed, badgered, and possibly wiped 'clean' with a spitty handkerchief when you want to make sure they're extra handsome. You may designate a number of nearby friendly creatures equal to 1/2 your Wisdom score (rounded down) as your adoptive niblings. Several of your class abilities affect your current niblings.

A: Auntie Knows Best

When one of your niblings rolls under a stat or tries to use a skill you may offer unsolicited advice and admonishments to help them out, even (and especially) if you have no experience with what they're doing. Roll to Save; if you succeed the nibling gains +1 to their roll, but if you fail they suffer -1. You can do this once per round.

B: Just The Thing

Extra snacks, bits of thread, herbs for that one asthmatic kid; your career has prepared you to always have just the thing you need for a random situation. You've gotten so good at it in fact, that the depths of your backpack have become a zone of Schrรถdingerian potentiality.

You can designate 1 Inventory Slot (other than a Quick-Draw Slot) as a Just The Thing slot that is always filled. You can spend 2 rounds rummaging around in that slot to produce any item that is worth 1 gp or less, even if you never put one in your inventory to begin with. You may do this once per day, after which your compulsive saving and pocketing naturally refill the slot.

B: Slap Some Sense Into

When 1 or more of your niblings are affected by fear or another mind-altering effect, you can attempt to slap some sense into one of them to set them all straight. You deal 1 damage to the target nibling, and they and every other nibling within 30' are allowed to reroll their Save against that chosen effect. You may do this once per day per point of Strength bonus (minimum 1) before your slapping hand gets tired.

C: Family That Slays Together

Even if they never asked for an Auntie, your protective clannishness has begun to rub off on your adoptees. When 2 or more of your niblings are next to each other in combat, they unwittingly start to fight together as a swarming, gobliny unit. Each gains their choice of +1 to Initiative, Defense, or Attack. This effect ends if they split up.

D: An Auntie's Love

You always knew what you were signing up for. What this job is really about. If ever one of your niblings is in imminent mortal danger—about to take lethal damage in combat, suffer a fall, trip a trap, etc.—you may intercede on their behalf through some dramatic contrivance and suffer all harm in their stead. You may do this once per day, assuming you survive.


Goblin Auntie Skills

They have a habit of getting sick, don't they? Gain the "Medicine" skill and 3 doses of your homemade decongestant (extra chunky).

You are a 1st generation gentle Auntie. In your case, "gentle" means you reserve the rod for your enemies. Gain a proper nasty switch (light weapon).

Insomnia is part of the job, but you've elevated it to an artform. Gain the "Stay Awake" skill and a trashy, dogeared novel.

A well-fed nibling is a less troublesome nibling. Gain the "Baking" skill and 2d6 muffins (about to go stale).

Why, it looks like you've already attracted a few hangers-on without even trying! Gain 2 random camp followers, each with an embarrassing nickname.

These fricking kids. Gain a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of spirits.