Wednesday, October 23, 2019

d7 Goblintown Arena Fights

Once, there was a dream called Goblintown.  My players were imprisoned gladiators there, the only humans in an entire city of goblins.

Greasy, giggling, cruel, playful, clever, stupid goblins.

Anyway, here are the fights that your party might go up against in Goblintown. 

The fights are semi-lethal.  The audience wants there to be a clear winner and loser, but they don't particularly care if anyone dies or not.

Whenever you drop unconscious (or pretend to), your opponents have a 0-in-6 chance of stopping to coup-de-grace you.  This increases by +1-in-6 if you have previously killed a teammate of theirs, or if you are unpopular.  Choosing to deal non-lethal damage gives you a -2 Attack penalty.

If you "kill" an opponent by bringing them down to -3 HP or less, they will die in 1d3 rounds.  If you "kill" an opponent by dropping them to 0, -1, or -2 HP, they will probably survive the battle.

Things that make you unpopular with goblins:

  • using the same tactic twice
  • always being cruel
  • always being kind

If you are unpopular, goblins will pay the Arenamasters to give you disadvantages.  Examples:

  • Replacing your weapon with a turnip on a string.
  • Making you fight naked, with a funny puppet on your genitals.  (Enemies will target this.)
  • Getting you really drunk (expanded crit fail range) and making you fight while wearing a pig head.
Things that make you popular with the goblins:
  • Showing off, e.g. saying "I don't need this sword to FUCK YOU UP!" and then throwing your sword into the audience.
  • Good insults.  (Criterion: did most of the players laugh?)

You can escape from your shoddy jail cell (the walls are literally made of garbage) but you have no where to go.  Everyone is goblins, every third person recognizes your face (and will happily recount your exploits/defeats), and the surrounding wilderness is much more lethal than the arena.

Above the circular arena are the audience stands, the announcer's box, and Gorp son of Gorp's skybox.  Above that is a bunch of catwalk and rigging.

Below the arena is a bunch of empty space, mechanisms, and the beast elevators.

Anyway, here are some random fights that you might get matched up against.

looks like Gorp, Son of Gorp to me
by Redeve
1. Flying Cows

The party is put atop of a huge platform, 20' in diameter and 10' off the ground.  Suspended from the rigging are two cows, each at the end of a 50' rope pendulum.  Each is ridden by a goblin (dressed like a human and armed with a bucket), and each can make a charge attack every other round.  (One cow attacks each round.)

You can climb on a cow with a combat maneuver.  If you hit a cow hard enough, you can get the cow spinning, which reduces the damage that it does.  Bigger impacts can tangle the cowlines, trivializing the encounter.

2. The Pope

Three goblins, dressed in a very crude approximation of the human pope.  Face painted pink (like a human's) and with a bunch of garbage wrapped around his fingers like rings.

You'll have to fight another team during this fight.  During the fight, the Pope will shout commandments.  Whoever doesn't follow them gets shot by the two goblins under his robe (each wearing a crossbow).

No looking at me!  (Everyone fights with eyes closed.  First person to open them gets shot.)

Everyone pray!  (Everyone makes Initiative checks to drop into a prayer position.  Slowest two people get shot.)

Everyone be nice!  Everyone has to stop fighting and hug each other.  Anyone who is mean gets shot.

Okay now fight some more!  Resume fighting.

Gimme some money!  Whoever gives the least gets shot.  (NPCs each donate 1d20-10 (min 0)).

Eat this bread!  Drops a loaf of bread on the ground.  Everyone has to take a bite.  Lasts person to take a bite gets shot.

The floor is lava!  Last person standing on the floor is shot.  (Climbing on the pope is okay.  There's also a couple of chairs around here, but not enough.)

3. The Dragon

Basically just a big pile of garbage on wheels.  Piloted by a trio of goblins who ride around on top of the "head".

HD HP 30  AC leather  No obvious forms of attack
Move slow  (and can't turn around very fast either)

Secret Attack #1 -- Frontal Flame Thrower
1d6 in a 20' cone, usable every 1d4 rounds

Secret Attack #2 -- Rear Flame Thrower (Hilarious)
1d6 in a 20' cone, usable every 1d4 rounds

Secret Attack #3 -- Bag of snakes
Usable twice.  30' range.  Garbage wings glued to each one.

Secret Attack #4 -- "Claws"
1d10 damage, save vs Tetanus.

Halfway through, the wheels will break and the goblins will call for a timeout to fix it.  Respecting the time out will increase their reputation.  Ignoring the call for a timeout will reduce their reputation (unless they can do it in a funny way).

4. Death Match

The PCs are forced to fight another team.  Only one person can win, everyone else, including their teammates, must lose.

It'll essentially be a team-vs-team fight that must transition into a free-for-all. 

Once at least 50% of the combatants are downed, the goblins will release a couple of methed-out warthogs covered in chili powder.

5. Death Cake

The PCs are delivered an enormous cake in the dead of night.  It's big enough to hold a person.

The cake contains 2 huge centipedes.  As soon as this is discovered, a crane pulls down one of the garbage walls, revealing the audience, which now erupts into applause.

6. Chicken Fight

The PCs are forced to fight another team.  The only caveat is that you are not allowed to harm anyone unless you are riding on someone's shoulders.  (Bottoms can still do non-damaging things, like shoving or spitting.  Triple-stacked PCs are theoretically possible but come with enough penalties to be inadvisable.) 

If the PCs have an odd number of people, they will be loaned a teammate from a third team.  (Letting them die with make permanent enemies out of the third team.)

After the first round, the arena begins to fill with a choking fog.  It comes up to a person's thighs.

After the second round, the choking fog comes up to a person's neck.

After the third round, it covers the bottom people.  They are blind and must hold their breath.

After the fourth round, a bunch of trapezes are dropped from the ceiling.  Goblins will hoist you 20' up in the air if you grab hold of a rope.  From now on, the rules are reversed: the tops must hold onto the rope while the bottoms kick each other.

7. The Other Dragon

Two teams will work together to kill a sludge dragon.  However, the winning team will be the one that delivers the death blow.  They will get the money and prestige-the losers will be stripped and spanked by Gorp, Son of Gorp.

This fight is a Big Deal, and will be accompanied by fight promoters, coffin makers, and interviewers.  ("Do you think you'll enjoy being eaten by the dragon?")

A sludge dragon would normally be a pretty fierce opponent, but luckily, this one is heavily intoxicated.

Drunk Sludge Dragon
HD 10  Def Plate  Atk 1d6/1d6/2d6
Move as dwarf  Int drunk  Mor drunk

Drunk -- Triple the range of fumbles.

Breath attack -- Usable every 2 rounds, and used preferentially to the claw/claw/bite.  Effects are a bit random, however, so roll a d6:

1 - Watery vomit.  No mechanical effect.  The first time this happens, a goblin in a dead clown costume is also ejected(and disappointing Gorp, Son of Gorp, who was promised a surprise clown--he loves surprise clowns.)

2 - Hurbek the Mighty, a level 2 dwarf.  He deals 1d6 damaged to whoever he collides with.  He will join the fight against the sludge dragon.  He swears so much he is nearly incomprehensible.  If this result is rolled a second time, the dragon belches painfully.

3 - Sludge.  20' radius, 50' range.  Dex negates.  Anchored to the ground until successful Str check.

4 - Bile.  30' cone of acid, 1d6 damage on the first turn, 1d5 damage on the second, etc.  Dex for half.  Can be washed off with water (or vomit).

5 - Broken cutlery.  3d6 damaged to one poor bastard who gets hit by the whole pile, and 1d6 damage to the dragon.  Dex for half.  Anyone digging in it will find a decent spear.

6 - Fire, somehow.  It must be sick.  30' cone of fire, 2d6.  Dex for half.


  1. I actually ran Goblintown for my PC’s a few months ago, borrowing heavily from your notes. A few arena matches I thought went over well:

    Troll-Ball - the teams face off in an arena with two large goalposts. Two trolls are released into the arena, painted some garish color and hopped up on goblin drugs that make them regenerate health even faster. The goal is to get a troll to go through your opponents goal. Each team is given a starting torch, but everyone is encouraged to light things on fire in order to herd the trolls. The crowd will boo if you kill a troll, as they’re famous troll-ball athletes, and their mother will be released from her holding cell into the arena.

    Save the Princess - A famous goblin reenactment of the Theft of the Short Princess. The PC’s are playing the roles of the Short Princesses’ halfling guards, namely fighting naked and covered in paint. The ‘Short Princess’ is a dress-wearing hog at the top of a classic stone tower. The PC’s have 3 rounds to prepare before waves of goblins are dispatched to steal the Princess. I had various tools spread around the tower, flasks of oil, swamp gas balloons, marbles, a cat in a cage, moldy apples; lots of junk. The first wave of goblins just rushed the tower, the second wave used grappling hooks and catapults, and finally the third wave used a plethora of flying devices to try and snatch the pig off the tower. Any goblins playing dead cheated and got up on the third round.

    I ran something similar to the first example, it was a free for all jousting match akin to polo played on the backs of billy-goats. I believe a baby goblin in a lobster-pot helm was the ball. There were several posts set in the ground, and a goblin wizard would periodically cast ‘Light’ around the arena and the shadows cast by the poles would become 15’ pits.

    1. These are fun! I especially like the falsely-dead goblins getting back up in the third round.

  2. Hey, I've been lurking on your blog for a few years now. Just wanted to let you know that your ideas are truly gems among all the others things I read. I really hope you make a book of all this stuff one day. Thanks for the great blog!