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DonThelonious
2009-05-30, 05:34 AM
This is a little personal project I plan on working on and figured I would post all my progress here so others can follow along and (hopefully) give me some input and advice as I go along. Mind you this is all just a rough draft and mostly me just putting ideas down as they come to me. Over time though I plan on refining and editing this into a more user friendly format. I will be slowly adding to this and going into greater detail on many things.

As I said in the title this is going to be a goblin mafia. I like to think of it as an ultimate thieves guild. I plan for this group to control a vast nation and immense political and economic power over much of known civilization, particularly fields common to the criminal world such as protection rackets, smuggling, illegal goods and services and just about anything illegitimate they can get their fingers into. They finance trade, exploration, research, and anything else that helps them to advance their goals.

The Emerald Syndicate

The Emerald Syndicate is a criminal society which came to power in their own right after a great holocaust in which most goblins were massacred in a genocidal war. From the ashes of that war the surviving leaders of the tribes held a great council. It was decided then that the surviving goblins would band together into one nation. This early nation brought the goblins from the brink of destruction and established the first true goblin society. This kingdom was not destined to last however, and over time a group of powerful goblin merchants used their wealth and influence to strong arm their way into power.
Through extortion, murder, and fear they were able to overthrow the ruling council. In the power vacuum left behind the families turned on each other in their thirst for power. For over 80 years the various families waged vicious and terrifying merchant wars, until House Emerald finally rose to the top. After violently ensuring their place at the top of the hierarchy, House Emerald brought the lesser families into line and established a lasting chain of command. Thus was born the Emerald Syndicate.
Over the next several hundred years the following generations began to give up most of their violent tactics, replacing fear with respect and making sweeping social changes. Money had become the source of all power and so it became a race between the various families to establish large economic districts and many clever lesser families were able to seize great powerby arranging mergers with House Emerald. Thus House Emerald was able to maintain control of the growing financial empire that was now extending its sphere into colonies and trade centers in far off lands.
The modern Syndicate is characterized by the far flung influence they have over almost all civilized nations, through economic and financial strength. They are shrewd traders and frightening negotiators. The goblins are highly secretive and distrusting of outsiders. They maintain a very strict code of conduct and personal ethics. Respect plays a key part in every goblins life and must be earned.
Families are controlled by the most intelligent and ruthless elder goblin, who chooses and grooms his successor towards the end of his life. These "Goblin Dons" have absolute control over their entire extended family. These Dons answer directly to the Don Emerald, since every modern family can trace its lineage back to some distant connection to the Emerald Family, made during the Merchant Wars.
Hobgoblins make up the bulk of the nation, and they act as the military and police forces for the various families. Over the last several centuries several Hobgoblin families have risen in power, in particular is the Hobgoblin Stone Family, who act as the primary military and martial forces for the whole of the Emerald Syndicate.

All families share a common organizational structure and very strict code of conduct. Each family group claims sovereignty over a specific territory in which its word is law. These territories are referred to as a precinct, and the entire nation is divided into several precincts under the control of one of the major families. Turf wars between families over control of resources like warehouses and shipping rights, as well as agriculture and mineral rights, are not uncommon. These private wars are fought in back alleys and ghettos, as the inhabitants of a particular district expect a certain degree of respect and dignity, and overt violence is seen as a sign of poor business practices. The hobgoblin law enforcement is also quick to intercede and punish those involved.

With the advent of the steam engine and boats capable of traveling far out into open seas, Families have been able to gain foot holds in many of the major port cities throughout the known civilized world. There they take to their underworld roots and control vast networks of illegal and contraband activities. These illegal operations are often done behind the facade of a legitimate business, and in many cases the legitimate business brings in just as much, if not more, money than the illicit activities. Those who operate the legitimate side of these businesses are the reason the Emerald Syndicate has been able to forge alliances with most known races, and through political savvy and strategic use of their more dangerous brethren, the goblins of the Emerald Syndicate are able to travel amongst and trade with many nations where others are not welcome, even if those nations are at war with some of the other goblin business partners. More than one nation in the world owes its position to its connections with the Emerald Syndicate.

Lands: The Emerald Syndicate controls a vast coastal region, backed by treacherous mountains to the east, sun blasted deserts to the south, barbarians and their primordial forests to the north, and the endless ocean to the west. Huge tracts of uncharted old growth forests dominate the northwest, where conglomerates of lesser families oversee the booming lumber industry under the watchful eyes of House Sequoia.
On the south western coast lies the great port city of Fishertown, where ships and peoples from all over the world can be found, and is considered its own Precinct under the control of House Fisher.
The central portion of their territory is known as the Flatlands, and is considered some of the best arable land in the known world. House Enigma keeps careful watch of the many farms and ranches within the valley. It is here also that the goblin capitol of Jade Warrens can be found as well, its towering edifices housing the elite of society.
The eastern mountain range holds the countless gold, iron, copper, silver, and tin mines. Huge warrens of tunnels and villages honeycomb through out the range where the members of the up and coming House Sunless rule with an iron fist, guided and overseen by their patron House Stone.
Years ago in the southern deserts one of the lesser families, House Tinker, established the research city of Tinkerton and set up test grounds nearby for the emerging technologies of steam and alchemy, as well as the study of magic. Over the years this house has risen in power and prestige as many of their inventions and discoveries have become commonplace through out the empire. From the steam powered theurmeges of the goblin fleet to the lumbering constructs used to harvest wood, their power is felt everywhere.

Major Houses
House Emerald: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478231&postcount=16)trade treaties diplomacy, First Goblin House, second oldest house
House Stone: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478235&postcount=17)Hobgoblin all military, First Recognized House, oldest house
House Fisher: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478241&postcount=18)controls Fishertown
House Enigma: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478242&postcount=19)controls farmland
House Tinker: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478246&postcount=20)Research and Development
House Sequoia: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478251&postcount=21)Lumber
House Gale: (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478253&postcount=22) seafarers, navies, exploration and empire expansion

Lesser Houses
House Shadow: assassins
House Sunless: miners hobgoblin
House Mad Sun: Mystics and diviners
House Flame: alchemists, Colonial Power
House Faeyr: Divine caters, Colonial power
House Spider: Arcane Casters, Colonial power


Religion: Religion plays a strong role in the upbringing and outlook of every goblin within the Emerald Syndicate. From an early age they are taught to pay homage to their god, Armos. Armos teaches that every goblin has a place in society, and there station can only be changed through rigorous devotion and earning the respect of ones peers. Armos is a capricious deity, and there are innumerable ways in which to offend him and lose his respect. The only way to get back into his good graces is to confess every possible sin against him to one of his many priests, and through generous contributions to his church.
Though not recognized as a formal power within the Emerald Syndicates hierarchy, it has great political power in the form of the church followers. Advice and recommendations from the church are given the highest priority and even the great Don Emerald does nothing without the blessings of the church. It is not uncommon for church leaders to suddenly die in their sleep when they overstep their bounds, but this is done very rarely and only when the views of those leaders strongly oppose those of the ruling family. Oft times when this happens there are ripples of social and political power changing hands.

History: The Foundation Years (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6280808&postcount=6)

History: The Birth of House Emerald (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6280958&postcount=7)

History: The Merchant Wars (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6316433&postcount=8)

Society: Goblin Conduct (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6399488&postcount=14)

Society: For the Family, For the House (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6478220&postcount=15)

DonThelonious
2009-06-03, 09:57 PM
http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/t/images/topography_western.us.lg.jpg

This is the map I have been using. As you can guess I am using the western United States, in particular northern and central California. I figure that since the topography, resources, seasonal data, and over all region are well established and documented it would be easier for me in the long run. I am going to include all seismic activity, as well as some of the native culture.

DonThelonious
2009-06-08, 02:40 AM
Okay, so I have been mulling over not just using the map of the earth as my base, I am thinking of just writing a parallel history, but tweaking it around a D&D world.

I will be writing things up as they come to mind. I guess I should also be formatting it as I go along, so I am going to copy the format from Wikipedia.
--

History

The Foundation Years

In the year 988AY, that is 988 years after the birth of Armos and the founding of the Armosian Church, the church led its goblin followers on a crusade against the barbarous hobgoblins of the east. The church wanted to gain access to the mineral-rich mountains of the hobgoblins, so they pressured the various chieftains into a loose alliance and made war on the eastern race. The church never foresaw the doom they would call down upon themselves.

Not knowing what they were in for, the goblin armies marched into the mountain valleys, where they found the hobgoblins were not just barbarous, they were highly educated and well prepared. The initial goblin assault was deflected and when the hobgoblins counterattacked they were able to smash the goblin army, and then drove deep into goblin lands killing everyone in their path. The hobgoblins marched all the way to the coast, finally stopping at the gates of the Great Abbey of Armos.

It was at this point that Armos himself decided to make his presence known, and in an epic battle with the nameless god of the hobgoblins was able to overcome the Solar. Taking this opportunity the church was able convert almost the entire hobgoblin race, beseeching Armos to take the lost tribes into his fold. Armos agreed and charged the hobgoblins, who had proven far superior on the battlefields, with the task of guarding and protecting the smaller goblins. In order to assure the hobgoblins a place in goblin socioty, Armos chose a hobgoblin by the name of Alsk Stone to rule the newly acquired territory.

sigurd
2009-06-08, 09:50 PM
I like it.

If they are going to have wide ranging power in finance they need to be equipped as money lenders.

You might have an event where they bought\evicted a dwarven hold to establish a goblin bank, one of many.

They also may have deeds that established their credibility as delivering large amounts of wealth and keeping their word in transactions.

You might have events that prove the value of their word and or their vengeance on those that break faith. Likely, they have a signature Hit to let people know it was a syndicate killing.

A god of trade and contract might also be a good touch.


Sigurd

DonThelonious
2009-06-13, 07:33 AM
I like it.

If they are going to have wide ranging power in finance they need to be equipped as money lenders.

The Emerald Syndicate is well equipped as money lenders. In the eastern portion of their nation is a huge reserve of gold being mined and stockpiled. I am taking some creative liberties with the resources and minerals available. In addition to their gold mines, they are also mining silver, small quantities of platinum, copper, tin, mithril, coal, and gems here and there. So they have a strong national reserve to draw upon.


You might have an event where they bought\evicted a dwarven hold to establish a goblin bank, one of many.

I was thinking of switching the hobgoblins out for dwarves. Not sure how this would change my story though. Maybe having the early Emerald Syndicate nation push the dwarves all the way back into the Rocky Mountains. In fact that sounds awesome, so I am going to be editing that in whenever I get around to it.


They also may have deeds that established their credibility as delivering large amounts of wealth and keeping their word in transactions.

Well the world I am striving for is gonna be a cross between Steam Punk and Full Metal Alchemist. I want the Emerald Syndicate to be already set up and well established, at their peak of power. I plan on having them act as the Switzerland of the world, but with strong hints of the Sicilian Mafia. They play both sides of the field and if push comes to shove they can back up their own neutrality. If you give a Syndicate goblin something on Monday, he will keep it and care for it until you come and get it, for a fee and depending on race (elves, dragons, outsiders, and warforged recieve special considerations due to life expectancy).


You might have events that prove the value of their word and or their vengeance on those that break faith. Likely, they have a signature Hit to let people know it was a syndicate killing.

:smallsmile: Oh yes, their signature hit. Columbia Neck-Tie? Tijuana Decapitation? Waterboarding? :belkar:

Seriously though, I am leaning towards some past financial trade wars erupting into something like World War One, between the Syndicate and several similar business groups in other sea-faring nations. This trade war led to the Syndicate defining the terms "Hostile Takeover and "Violent Acquisition". When the nations of the world threatened war on the Syndicate, the goblins explained it was just business. The goblins could appreciate the financial and economic burden the other nations faced, and so they then proceeded to negotiate settlements, payed in secret to each nation they had been forced to establish more direct asset control.

As for a signature hit. I am not so sure. I am thinking standard mafia style: show up, kill the target, leave. Out of respect for the targets family, offer some form of compensation, usually money though special arrangements can be made. Due to the often illicit nature of those involved in those situations, most of this activity is not even reported, out of fear of retribution. The thing is, whenever any nation investigates to deeply or cracks down to hard on the Syndicate, they suffer a sudden increase in banditry and piracy.


A god of trade and contract might also be a good touch.
The Syndicates god Armos is a real physical being. And he hates competition. I am thinking I can fit this somewhere with dwarves in the rewrite. I am basing the Almosian Church off of the Catholic Church in regards to devotion, worship, and general ideas, circa 1000AD. As long as the church gets paid its due, it is happy. Almos though, hates the idea of his chosen people worshiping other gods. The heathens can worship whatever they want, but if your a goblin or hobgoblin and claim to be a member of the Syndicate, then you better be worshiping him.


Sigurd

Thank you Sigurd. You have helped me get a good grasp on where I want to go with this.

DonThelonious
2009-06-13, 07:59 AM
History

The Foundation Years

In the year 988AY, that is 988 years after the birth of Armos and the founding of the Armosian Church, the church led its goblin followers on a crusade against the barbarous dwarves of the east. With the blessing of Armos, the church wanted to gain access to the mineral-rich mountains the dwarves inhabited, so they pressured the various chieftains into a loose alliance and made war on the eastern race. The church never foresaw the doom they would call down upon themselves.

Not knowing what they were in for, the goblin and hobgoblin armies marched into the mountain valleys, where they found the dwarves were not just barbarous, they were highly educated and well prepared. The initial goblin assault was deflected and when the dwarves counterattacked they were able to smash the goblin army, and then drove deep into goblin lands killing everyone in their path. The elite goblin military met them on the coast near the future sight of Fishertown, finally stopping the dwarf forces at the gates of the Great Abbey of Armos.

It was at this point that Armos himself decided to make his presence felt, and in an epic battle with the nameless gods of the dwarves he was able to overcome them. Taking this opportunity the church was able convert almost the entire hobgoblin race, whose own god had abandoned them, beseeching Armos to take the lost tribes into his fold. Armos agreed and charged the hobgoblins, who had proven far superior on the battlefields, with the task of guarding and protecting the smaller goblins. In order to assure the hobgoblins a place in goblin society, Armos chose a hobgoblin by the name of Alsk Stone to rule the newly acquired territory. This direct intervention resulted in the establishment of House Stone, the oldest of the True Houses.

DonThelonious
2009-06-13, 08:41 AM
History

The Birth of House Emerald

For almost 200 years the church lorded over their fellow goblins and the Stone Tribe, taxing them and working them like slaves. As is his custom, Armos cared little for what the tribes did outside of worship him, and so this was a very dark time in the goblins history. In the name of Armos, the clergy did terrible things to those who questioned their authority. Entire families were forced into slavery and destitution as those the church favored lived off their labor.

It wasn't until House Stone, charged by Almos to protect the goblins, signed a contract with the growing underworld power of a clever goblin named Jinx. Jinx had made a name for himself by being able to dodge both church law and local law. The little green skinned goblin convinced the Don of House Stone that the Church had become corrupt and was now a danger to itself and the goblin lives the first Stone had sworn to protect.

In a pious and righteous fury the Don Stone led his hobgoblin forces into the heart of church lands, where the debt slaves of the Church were quick to join their cause. At the gates of the Great Abbey once again, Don Stone himself took the Vicar Blibdus into custody. He then proceeded to drag the gibbering Vicar before Almos to be judged for his crimes against the followers of the Armosian Church.

Upon hearing what had been done in his name, Armos grew angry. In a rage he destroyed the corrupt Vicar and all those like him in a burst of light. He then asked the little goblin Jinx to come before him. As Jinx knelt before his god, Armos touched his forehead. Before the eyes of Armos and everyone Jinx's skin took on a deep emerald green hue, and charged him with reorganizing the disparate tribes. Armos then turned to the kneeling Don of House Stone, and decreed that the ever vigilant House Stone would become his arbiters and act as a police force to protect the goblins from themselves, as well as maintain their role as the guardians of his domains.

The leadership of the goblins, who had grown fat off the church's control, tried at this point to reestablish their hereditary control. Jinx Emerald, as he became known, was okay with this arrangement. His only stipulation was that the rulers could not interfere with any goblins life beyond what was needed to guide the reborn nation. In this new era of freedom, and without having to pay the once customary tariffs to the church, the goblins were able to develop the fields of alchemy and science, trade and business. Over the next century several new houses emerged from the ashes of the church, mostly master merchants who grew rich off the fruits of their own hard work.

115 years after the church's fall several merchant families banded together and planned a coup upon the royal house, who had profited the most off their combined efforts. The family of Jinx, who had taken the name House Emerald, saw their chance to seize power for themselves and so supported the coup. Using financial power to their advantage the Houses were able to commit a non-hostile takeover in the space of a week. While the royal family fell in just a week with no lives lost, the ensuing battle for control between the merchant families was anything but non-hostile.

DonThelonious
2009-06-18, 09:46 AM
History

The Merchant Wars

In the year 1303AY, in the power vacuum left by the fall of the royal line, the loose alliance of houses fell into ruin as each tried to seize control. House Stone abstained from the conflict, choosing to remain neutral and work only to protect their weaker cousins from outside interference and to stop the conflict from becoming outright civil war. Almos also chose to remain neutral through the conflict, announcing that this was up to the goblins to decide.

So began the 80 year Merchant Wars. Unlike most internal conflicts, this war was kept almost silent as the battles were raged in the dark alleys and warehouse districts under the cover of night. The hobgoblins were quick to intercede and punish any house that broke the unofficial rules of engagement by attacking civilians or disrupting the lives of goblins who did not want to get involved. So the war was fought quietly.

Using extortion and assassination, the goblin merchant families vied for power, with no House gaining true control. It wasn't until the third Don of House Emerald, the great nephew of Don Jinx Emerald, came into power that the field of battle changed from outright fighting into a financial battle. Maneuvering his house into control of all outside trade, he was able to cut off most of the families from their sources of income. Slowly his greatest competitors began to dwindle as the monies they needed to support their ongoing struggle dried up, filling instead the coffers of House Emerald. Through judicious application of force and personal wealth, Don Emerald was able to seize complete control over the other families, with each family swearing loyalty to Emerald one by one.

The Don Emerald was just as cunning and savvy as his predecessors, and so the most powerful families that swore loyalty to him were given control over different areas and resources of the country in exchange for their unending loyalty and support. Thus was born the Houses of Enigma, Fisher, Sequoia, and Gale. In order to bind the lesser families to his own Don Emerald married his youngest sons and nephews into the Houses of Shadow, Mad Sun, Flame, Faeyr, and Spider.

So ended the Merchant Wars in the year 1383AY, with House Emerald taking complete control over the newly forged goblin nation of the Emerald Syndicate.

sigurd
2009-06-18, 11:03 PM
You mention Merchant Houses but no merchandise.

What is the character of these houses? Sell goods to Goblin Serfs and collect a cut? Make desirable goods that only goblins can make? Work elaborate investment schemes with shared profits and penalties?

Were there any great shortages or new inventions in the rise of the merchant houses? Boats, wagons? what sort of travel?


Its coming along!

Sigurd

BRC
2009-06-18, 11:06 PM
Heh, I'll want to take part in this, in my recent campaign the PC's worked closely with a mafia made up of a variety of monstrous humanoids, led by an ogre named Boss Bobby Bugane and his goblin warlock second-in-command Jimmy B. Goode . They were pretty cool.

imp_fireball
2009-06-19, 01:24 AM
Also, this is an association is it not? Is there appropriate association mechanics (includes ranks), etc.?

Bhu
2009-06-21, 04:06 AM
Where do the odder goblinoids like Norkers and Blues fit in?

DonThelonious
2009-06-30, 12:45 PM
Oh man... I go on hiatus for awhile and come back to interest. WOOT!
Okay I will answer all your questions as best I can in one post.



You mention Merchant Houses but no merchandise.

What is the character of these houses? Sell goods to Goblin Serfs and collect a cut? Make desirable goods that only goblins can make? Work elaborate investment schemes with shared profits and penalties?

Were there any great shortages or new inventions in the rise of the merchant houses? Boats, wagons? what sort of travel?


Its coming along!

Sigurd

Great question Sigurd. I plan on filling in the details of what house does what and where they got the idea when I fill in the details of each individual house. I have hinted at some things like House Tinker and the theurgeme fleet (Theurgeme pg.102, Stormwrack), and the mecha of House Sequoia (manually controlled golems w/ small sized cockpits). So please be patient as these details will slowely be filled in.

-----


Heh, I'll want to take part in this, in my recent campaign the PC's worked closely with a mafia made up of a variety of monstrous humanoids, led by an ogre named Boss Bobby Bugane and his goblin warlock second-in-command Jimmy B. Goode . They were pretty cool.

That would be awesome. Mind you, most of the monstrous humanoid races are being used in some form or another elsewhere in the world. As it stands, the most common races in this area of the world are Goblins, Hobgoblins, Wild Elves, Shifters, a small Darfellan community in the far north, Dwarves from the Rocky Mountains, and one or more aquatic races around Baja California. Otherwise you have almost free reign, just keep in mind the goblin principal of business first.

-------


Also, this is an association is it not? Is there appropriate association mechanics (includes ranks), etc.?

I don't really play with those mechanics, but I will probably put them in just to be thorough. Likely I will also be building a PrC or two specifically for this nation.

-----


Where do the odder goblinoids like Norkers and Blues fit in?

I have been thinking on that one myself. Not sure about some (Norkers?), but the Blues, Bhuka, and Jungle Goblins (UA, pg.14) will all have their place in the Emerald Syndicate.

DonThelonious
2009-06-30, 01:26 PM
Society

Goblin Conduct

The modern Syndicate has a very strict code of personal conduct and honor. Through the first years of the newly created Emerald Syndicate, old rivalries and personal vendettas abounded, with houses that were previously sworn enemies being forced to work together for the benefit of all. It was during this chaotic time that certain laws were instituted but these laws had special loopholes clever goblins could use to their advantage. Such things as murder, robbery, and trickery are open legitimate options in society. For example, in the Emerald Syndicate murder is illegal only if the murderer leaves behind strong evidence and/or witnesses;robbery and extortion are illegal only if the robbed or extorted party are willing to come forward and testify (but at the risk of having their families killed).

During the Merchant Wars, outright battle in the streets was prohibited by the hobgoblins of House Stone, and this tradition found is way into the general laws of the Syndicate. Public assaults are dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly, but stealthy executions and assassinations are a perfectly acceptable way to deal with rivals. As long as the assassin has cunning and talent to murder his victim without leaving behind obvious evidence or witnesses he is free of all charges. In contrast an inept or clumsy killing is met with disdain and the killer is quickly rounded up, tried, and executed for his blunder. This principal holds true for almost all Syndicate law.

The main force of the law is applied almost entirely on the youngest goblins, since their lack of experience and rash behaviors often lead them to break the law the most often. Those young goblins who fail to often are quickly killed by their rivals or as punishment for their crimes, so that only the most cunning and devious goblins make it to old age, where they can enjoy the power and prestige that comes with a lifetime of being one step ahead of ones enemies.

This doesn't mean that all of the Syndicate is full of murder, treachery, and deceit. The majority of the goblins of the Syndicate are just simple hardworking folk, trying to make a life and home for themselves and their families. The rules of conduct and intrigue are reserved mostly for the goblin elite, those upper class members of the various Houses.

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:20 AM
Society

For the Family, For the House

All of the major Houses of the Emerald Syndicate are broken up into specific families. There are many families comprising each House, with distant relatives even bearing the same family name in other Houses. For example, in House Tinker the Donadoni family holds great sway over various House Tinker holdings in other cities in other lands, but they still answer to the Tinker family.

Names in the Syndicate follow very specific guidelines. Using the example above, a specific member of the Donadoni family and House Tinker could be named Nero Donadoni Tinker. The goblins House name acts as a title added on the end of their formal name. This allows goblins and those they deal with to identify who they are what house they answer to. In most general conversation ones House affiliation will supersede their personal family affiliation, so each of the Houses are considered extended families.

Leadership in individual families is usually reserved for the oldest male member of that family, which is then passed on to a selected and groomed nephew. This helps to keep direct hereditary blood lines a non-issue when there are questions of inheritance. These leaders are given the title of 'Don' and their power is absolute. For a few rare families the position of leader is held by a woman instead of a man, and these 'Donya' follow the same general rules when it comes time to step down, they select and groom a niece rather than a nephew.

Loyalty for a goblin is to ones family first, House second, and nation third. Lesser members of the various families make up the bulk of goblin population, usually those distant cousins whose previous forbears were found to be unsuited to lives of crime. These lesser families within the greater families still follow the same general principals as their more criminally inclined cousins, and more then a few have built up enough legitimate wealth that they have the respect of their fellows.

Marriage between families is a common and highly sought after. The grooms parents usually arrange the match with the brides parents. In the upper echelons of society these arrangements often do not consider the opinions of the bride and groom to be, but this standard is usually ignored by loser class citizens. The prospective bride is brought to live with the grooms family for a period of several months before they are officially wed. During this time the bride is introduced to her fiances mother and aunts, and she is taught the customs and values of that particular family, while the grooms mother decides if the girl will be a suitable wife for her son. Once the grooms parents have both given their blessing then the two families come together for the wedding, which is usually an extravagant affair with both sides trying to impress the other with shows of wealth in the form of gifts to the happy couple. This usually ensures that the new couple will have a solid financial platform from which to start their family. The intended bride then comfirms that she accepts her husband by taking his name, thereby severing all ties to her family.

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:25 AM
Major Houses

House Emerald
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2444/3712551582_2cb0cd3783_m.jpg
"Ut sulum suus quod ut mihi a incidere."
"To each his own and to me a cut."
House Emerald Motto

Racial Traits:
House Emerald goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* +4 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks. This replaces the standard racial bonuses.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Orc, Gnomish.

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:26 AM
Major Houses

House Stone
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3471/3711739261_95e5fa7276_o.jpg
"Vires tutela , tutela per vires!"
"Strength in protection, protection through strength!"
House Stone Motto

Racial Traits:
House Stone hobgoblins have the normal hobgoblin racial traits except as noted below:
* +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. House Stone hobgoblins are just as tough as regular hobgoblins, but do not react as quickly and tend to be much more standoffish.
* +4 racial bonus on Intimidate checks. This replaces the standard racial bonuses.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Gnomish, Shifter, Giant.
* Favored Class: Paladin of Tyranny (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#paladinofTyrannyClassF eatures)
* Level adjustment +0. House Stone hobgoblins do not have a level adjustment.

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:27 AM
Major Houses

House Fisher
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3642/3711738953_93971bac31_m.jpg
"Opulentia per professio, imperium per opulentia."
"Wealth through trade, control through wealth."
House Fisher Motto

Racial Traits:
House Fisher goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* -2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Like other goblins House Fisher goblins tend to be physically weak and irritating, but they are generally smarter.
* +2 racial bonus on Balance, Diplomacy and Knowledge (any one selected at character creation) checks. This replaces the standard racial bonuses.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin, Plus one additional language chosen at time of character creation. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Draconic, Dwarven, Abyssal, Celestial.
* Favored Class: Swashbuckler (CW).

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:29 AM
Major Houses

House Enigma
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2441/3711738909_845f76f56d_m.jpg
"Agricola officina terra, ego opus agricola."
"The farmer works the soil, I work the farmer."
House Enigma Motto

Racial Traits:
House Enigma goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. The farmers and craftsmen of House Enigma are not as quick as their standard cousin, but tend to be tougher. Though they are just as belligerent as others they see the world with the wisdom born of many hours toiling at their craft.
* +4 racial bonus on Ride and Spot checks.
* +2 competence bonus on Craft and Profession checks.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Orc, Terran.
* Favored Class: Monk.

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:31 AM
Major Houses

House Tinker
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3501/3711739369_254a0c32ec.jpg
"Vox per veneficus quod apparatus."
"Power with magic and machine."
House Tinker Motto

Racial Traits:
House Tinker goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom. House Tinker goblins are weaker physically than other goblins. They possess great intellects though, but their lack of common sense often gets them into trouble.
* +2 racial bonus on all Knowledge checks.
* Use Magic Device is always a class skill, regardless of class.
* Tinker Talk: House Tinker goblins have developed their own language composed mainly of technical jargon and slang. Though every Tinker goblin is fluent in this language, others find it difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend. To learn to speak tinker talk a non-Tinker must have an intelligence score of at least 14. Anyone with an intelligence of 17 or higher automatically understands tinker talk, even if they cannot speak it.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin, Tinker Talk. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Orc.
* Favored Class: Artificer or Specialist Wizard (Any).

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:34 AM
Major Houses

House Sequoia
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2447/3711739051_3a1047a594_o.jpg
"Opulentia in silva."
"Wealth in forests."
House Sequoia Motto

Racial Traits:
House Sequoia goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. House Sequoia goblins physically match their standard cousins and are blessed with some social graces, but their time in the forests has left little room for normal studies.
* A House Sequoia goblin has a climb speed of 15 feet. Sequoia goblins are natural climbers, able to scramble up trees with ease. A Sequoia goblin has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. It must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC of more than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If it chooses an accelerated climb, it moves at double its climb speed and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. It cannot run while climbing. It retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against a climbing Sequoia goblin. Also, Sequoia goblins add their Dexterity modifier to Climb checks instead of their Strength modifier.
* +2 racial bonus on Jump and Balance checks. This is in addition to their standard racial bonuses.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Giant, Gnoll, Orc, Sylvan.
* Favored Class: Ranger

DonThelonious
2009-07-11, 04:35 AM
Major Houses

House Gale
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2580/3711739077_92a4ab6c23_o.jpg
"Vinco sal salis quod mare."
"Master of Salt and Sea."
House Gale Motto

Racial Traits:
House Gale goblins have the normal goblin racial traits except as noted below:
* -2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. House Gale goblins are much hardier than their cousins, but still suffer the same physical and social limitations.
* Low-Light Vision: House Gale goblins can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
* No darkvision.
* +4 racial bonus on Balance and Climb checks. This replaces the standard racial bonuses.
* +2 competence bonus on Knowledge (Geography), Profession (Sailor), Swim, and Use Rope checks. The goblins of House Gale are trained from birth on how to handle a ship.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Darfellan, Draconic, Elven (Aquatic), Gnomish, Hadozee, Orc.
* Favored Class: Rogue.

DonThelonious
2009-07-12, 03:52 AM
Added some House motto's and general ideas of what their emblems will be.

DonThelonious
2009-07-27, 07:10 AM
Fishertown, Emerald Syndicate

Precinct: Fisher Bay / Fisherbay Inland
House Affiliation: House Fisher
Top Family: The Rizzo Family
Leader: Don Dominic Rizzo Fisher


Special Interest: Great Abbey of Armos, Sozzeti Prison, Chinatown

The Neoclassic
2009-07-27, 08:25 AM
I will certainly keep up with reading this! I love LE societies and I love goblins, so this sounds fairly win-win. :smallbiggrin:

I admit I didn't read all the history (my attention span is short) but I'll try to go back and finish it later. I really like the overall feel and culture though. I'd be particularly interested in more details about their economy, magic, and gender roles (though you have briefly touched upon those).

Keep up the good work!

DonThelonious
2009-08-02, 07:01 AM
Okay, added in some optional racial adjustments for the major houses, and posted some basic info on Fishertown. Slowly but surely I will be filling in more and more info. I would relly like some input and/or suggestions for each of the houses, I am having a bit of writers block trying to come up with the details. I have the basic gist of the houses in the first post, and with the information I already have I have at least some idea of what I want done with them.

--

I popped on paint and kind of made a rough map of the Emerald Syndicate territories and a general idea on where each of the major houses have their respective base of operations. Sorry if it looks like crap, all I have is paint:smallsmile:. I will get more specific maps down the line, but for now here is what I have.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3559/3780985132_796a70c266.jpg

Well, that's it for now. Will continue filling it in, though at this pace I am going to be working on this for the next several months:smallcool:.

Bhu
2009-08-07, 07:08 AM
House Tinker doesnt have the usual Str penalty?

DonThelonious
2010-09-02, 02:14 PM
House Tinker doesnt have the usual Str penalty?

No, I wanted to have a subset of goblin that would work well for the more esoteric classes.
`
Gonna get back to this thread here in the next few days as I come out of my coma.