... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Location: The Goblin Market

'We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?'

"Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti
A large cavern located on the 1st level of a mega-dungeon.

Entrances: 30' wide, 20' tall heavy wooden double doors; magical inscription in the Goblin tongue, usually invisible, reads:
"Leave Your Hate at the Door".
Cavern: usually empty aside from regularly-space holes in floor (post-holes) and wooden archways at regular intervals.

Archway: made of arches for each of the four cardinal directions, arranged in a box, as if for an intersection. Sign above each arch reads, in faded Goblin:
No Sun
No Moon
No Returns
No Refunds
Debris: scouring the floor may find small usable bits of wood, candle stubs, seeds, or short bits of twine.

Pool: in northwest corner. Shallow, fed by water dripping from rock above.

Market: each night during the week surrounding the new moon, the inscriptions on the doors and arches will glow visibly. 3d6 x 10 goblins enter the cavern at sundown and set up stalls to sell their wares. Three different groups of wandering monsters will show up within 1d6 turns; each hour thereafter, 1 group will leave and 1d6/3 new groups will arrive. One hour before sunrise, the wandering monsters will leave and the goblins will begin taking down the stalls.

None of the creatures will attack any other creature or any adventurers in the cavern unless attacked, since it's against the rules. Harassment might provoke a "do you want to take this outside the market?" response. Those who deliberately cause trouble will get a talking-to and possible ejection by the goblin king, a two-headed ogre-sized goblin with full ogre strength/hp and the ability to attack two targets simultaneously. Armed resistance will lead to unified opposition from the goblins, along with support from any monsters present.

Goods: the goblin merchants sell shields, helms, small weapons, food, and supplies, and one large stall is set aside as an ale-house. However, every item for sale in the market is twisted in some way. They are visibly recognizable among decent, civilized people as being "unwholesome" or "strange", and earn a reaction penalty when given or sold outside the market. There is also a 1 in 6 chance of a specific effect depending on the item:
  • ale - sleep for 1d6 hours, restores 1 hp of damage per hour.
  • fruit - (if eaten at market) slow wasting disease when victim leaves underworld; (if eaten outside market) cures wasting disease or save vs. polymorph to goblin.
  • helm - cursed: helm can't be removed, glows in darkness like candle.
  • meat - turns into random vermin or parasite.
  • seed - (if planted) grows into hedge that blocks passage; bursts into flame in sunlight.
  • shield - shatters when defender takes 3+ hp damage from single hit.
  • supplies - sprout legs and leave when not held or otherwise on body.
  • weapon - cursed: thrown/ranged weapons strike random friendly target, melee weapons drop when doing 3+ hp damage.
Twisted effects are only acquired outside market area; there's no way to determine beforehand which goods are "good".


  1. More on the theme here with random tables:


  2. @ChicagoWiz: Thanks! Formatting got messed up, though...

    @austrodavicus: Interesting... the cursed doll from those two anthology movies sort of jumped out at me.

  3. I have to say, I love the Goblin Market. There's several sessions of adventure there!