Friday, March 20, 2020

Goblin Filthomancer

How Human Sages Explain Filthomancy

How much information is there on a sheet of printed paper?

There's the printed words, and all of their coded and uncoded meanings.  Perhaps the choice of font and ink can tell you about the era and region of origin.  The paper can tell stories, too, of trees and glue and grinding metal.

Now, tear the paper up.  Has the information increased or decreased?

A clever mind can match the edges, and a steady hand can reassemble them.  All of the original information is still there--and a great deal more.  What was the shape of the hand that tore the paper?  Fingers, claws, or blades?  Was the force strong or subtle?  Was the paper gnawed upon as if by vermin, or was it carefully folded before its trauma?

There are obvious limitations--the system gains information even as it loses accessibility, and of course completeness is always a problem.  But these are not insurmountable.  The elegant mathematics of chaos can unmix two dyes as well as it can blend them.  Decay informs as much as construction.

Now that you know this, you must realize that a rotten tome contains a secret chapter, accessible only to some.  The filthomancers know this--they know that a handful of grave dust can speak louder than the living man ever did.  It is truly a wonderous lens through which they gaze out at us, learning carpentry from ashes, and hearing long-dead voices sing out in the crunch of a dead leaf.

How Goblin Filthomancers Explain Filthomancy

Okay, okay.  Shut up.

The first thing you want to do is--

I said shut up!  Clasp ya hole or yammer afar, cotter's bean!

The first thing ya start doing, is you gotta start stretching.  Stretch yer hoops!  Yer neck!  Not your pungies, though.

Practice bending over, then touching your toes.  Thenways, ya fine a big rock with a crack in it and you start sleeping innit, folded over.  If you can't sleep whats bendwise folded, drink some scumbo to grease yer dreams.

Wait, shit.  No, shit.  Wait.  The first thing ya do is stop bathing.  That's the most important thing.  I should have started with that.

Second thing you do is make flexible.

Once you're flexible enough to bend right around, you gotta stick ya face into your own crotch.  Really--and I can't stress this enough--you really gotta stick ya nose in there.  Ya smell that?  That's yer fundus, yer fundament, that's ya animal soul, what ya been ignoring.  That's the real you.

Anyway, then you hyperventilate until you pass out.  Try to get your nostrils to cover your whole taint.

This is the start of self-awareness, and that's the start of business.

from WHFRP, 1st Edition
The Goblin Filthomancer

Restrictions

You lose all of your spellcasting abilities if you are ever cleaned.  Gently easing yourself into the water is fine, but if you fall into water or spend more than a minute in the stuff, you lose your spellcasting.  You can regain your spellcasting by spending 10 minutes rolling around in a dirty place.

Boons

Immunity from stench.

Theories of Dust -- decrepit or crumbling books are always legible.

(More broadly, no method of destruction can obscure the information content of an object, as long as all of the pieces are there.  You can smash a chair into tiny splinters and a filthomancer can still tell you what the original carvings were.  Burning makes a book inaccessible (since a lot of information leaves with the smoke).  Likewise, using a statue to make cement also obscures the statue, since not all pieces of the statue are visible.  A stone tablet that has been ground into dust is still 100% readable, and just as easily as the original object.)

Starting Equipment

Giant Back Scratcher (as staff),

Bag of "Magic Dust" (mostly skin flakes) that they sometimes cast on objects but also causes sneezing.

Spellbook (varies, but is usually encoded into their tangled, dirty hair)

While filthomancers can grind their spellbook into dust as use it just as easily, sacks of dust tend to get blown away by wind or dispersed by water, and so dust-books are shunned by adventuring filthomancers (but not sedentary ones--sedentary filthomancers use all sorts of things as "books", and eventually learn to use broken housewares as easily as intact ones).

Spells

1. barf
2. burp
3. booger
4. decrepitate
5. dust bunny
6. entropium
7. fart
8. mend
9. piss
10. psychometry

Barf
T: self  R: 10' cone  D: 0
You take [dice] damage unless you've eaten in the last 30 minutes.  All objects in range take [sum] acid damage.

Burp
As message, except that it carries [dice] words and [dice] smells, delivered in any order you wish.  Also gives you a new saving throw against any ingested or inhaled poison.

Boogers
T: self  R: 1 mile  D: until divested
You pick a booger out of your nose.  You have [dice] senses that extend through the booger.  Sight counts as two senses.  If you put your booger in someone else's nose, you can also control what they smell.  Flicking a booger with any accuracy requires an attack roll.

Sidebar: Goblin Greetings
A quick tug on the nose is a casual hello, but friends usually greet each other by picking their nose and putting the booger into their friend's nose.  Because of this, blowing your nose is considered very rude.

Decrepitate
T: object  R: 50'  D: 0
Object ages.  You can age a single part of a living creature by [sum] years.  Objects damaged by the passage of time take [sum] damage and become tarnished.  This is the opposite of mend.  This spell is also useful for aging wine instantly.  If decrepitate is cast on an object multiple times, only the highest [sum] applies.

Dust Bunny
T: dust  R: 10'  D: until you cast another spell
You spit into the dust and create [dice] dust bunnies.  They're basically just soot sprites from Spirited Away.

Entropium
T: object  R: touch  D: 6 rounds
A touched object becomes more disordered.  The letters in a book become more scrambled every round.  A soup becomes extremely well-mixed.  A trombone warps to become out of tune.  And a living creature takes [dice] damage each turn, as their face and organs become slightly asymmetrical.  (The damage mostly comes from mild, systemic hemorraging, as certain capillaries no longer line up quite right.)

Fart
T: creature  R: 100'  D: 1 minute
You rip a tremendously loud fart.  Although others may get faint whiffs of it, only your target will smell its full strength.  As message, except the only message a single, chosen foetor and does [sum] stench damage.  If this damage does not kill the target, the damage vanishes 2 rounds later.

Mend
T: object  R: 50'  D: 0
An object repairs itself.  Broken swords rejoin, and ancient metal regains its luster.  Objects regain [sum] hit points.  Because the scars and mental clutter are essential to wisdom, if you cast this spell on someone's head within 10 minutes of them making a decision, they have a [sum]-in-20 chance of behaving foolishly.

Piss
T: self  R: 0  D: 0
If you are poisoned, you piss out the poison.  This works on drunkenness.  Additionally, if you invest 2 MD, the piss poison retains its potency, and can be reused.  Additionally, if invest 3 MD, you can piss up to 50' away.  Additionally, if you invest 4 MD, it also works on curses.

Psychometry
T: object: R: self  D: 10 minutes
You learn the physical history of an object, essentially learning about everything that has affected that object.  Every scuff, every sun-fade, every ingrained odor.  1 MD yields you minor revelations, while 4 MD gives you a staggering, encyclopedic knowledge of the object's entire history (down to learning about the wildlife that lived on the mountains where the ore was mined that was used to make the sword).

Legendary Spells of the Filthomancer

These spells are not learned by leveling up.  Instead, they are discovered in dungeons and other perilous places.

Arcanodynamics
T: spell or magic effect  R: 50'  D: permanent
Only works on spells that have a duration.  (Permanent and instantaneous spells are unchanged).  You can choose to either double the intensity while halving the duration, or vice versa.  You must invest a number of MD equal to (or greater than) the strength of the spell effect.

Power Word: Shit
T: self  R: 0  D: 8 hours
You take a big, smelly shit.  Your shit stinks to everyone except [dice] categories of creatures that you have chosen to exclude.  Those creatures take [dice] damage per round that they smell your shit.  A creature is immune to this damage if they pinch their nose (requires a hand) and close their eyes tightly.  Regardless of damage and spell immunity, all affected creatures are repulsed by your shit as if by antipathy.  You can only cast this spell once per day, and only if you ate a big dinner the night before.  You can throw your shit up to 50', but it requires a second action.

Where is Filth?

A lot of the filthomancer's abilities depend on being able to spit in dusty place, or to roll around in a dirty place.  These qualities depend on your DM (and you should ask how common they are before you roll a filthomancer) but it is fair to say that your average dungeon is probably quite filthy.

I found this guy when I googled "garbage goblin" and he is also quite lovely.
From here.

17 comments:

  1. Arnold you are the filth goblin of my dreams/nightmares. This class fits perfectly into my world view of goblins which is that they arnt difficult to defeat, it is just such a dirty disgusting job that anyone who can sends someone else.

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    1. Dammit, I accidentally deleted your comment and I don't know how to get it back. Sorry. It was something like:

      "Do I like this? Do I decry it as juvenile? Both?" - Spwack, to the best of my recollection.

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  3. My dreams of crossclassing to become wario are finally in reach

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    1. What's the other class? I want to say barbarian but that's now quite right. Wario doesn't rage.

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    2. Honestly probably wotc style monk - runs fast, unarmed/armored, obeys esoteric instructions (in the form of 5 second minigames)

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    3. This is some big brain right here. Filthomancer/Kool Aid Man!

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    4. Okay, I fucking love filthomancer / monk multiclass.

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  4. Have you been hanging around the filthy Kickstarter page for that garbage barge zine, or is this just a case of convergent RPG design evolution spurred by a time of heightened hygiene concerns?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/garbagebarge/you-got-a-job-on-the-garbage-barge

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    1. Opps, I had a grammatical error there. What I meant to say was "I'm amused how well this class fits with my own take on goblin culture and mysticism."

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  6. The Filthomancer can be easily defeated with the use of toilet paper, but unfortunately everywhere is out of it right now.

    I think the crown jewel of this post is Power Word: Shit. We need more silly power words. I also love the idea of runic spells hid away in ancient dungeons actually just being swears grafitti'd onto walls that have gained magical power as they've stewed in legend over the centuries.

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    1. I was a fool and found my answer moments after asking.

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