A goblin mamluk riding a tamed thoul, from Eric Nieudan's Goblinburg, art by Didier Balicevic

The goings on with Goblinburg (part 1)

When the situation started, I thought it was a great creative opportunity.

And it is: extra time to write and think about games, who wouldn’t love that? Answer: my brain. I’ve found it very difficult to use my brain to make stuff. I mean I read, I write, I’m interested in new things, it’s all fine really. But making is like pulling teeth from my skull.

My itch.io feed has been full of new releases. Games made during, and sometimes inspired by, this pandemic. I’m very happy to see that my fellow game designers are able to produce. (The bastards.) We need games of the imagination now more than ever.

A mutated nilbog of Stargaze borough, from Eric Nieudan's Goblinburg, art by Didier Balicevic
This nilnog looks like my brain feels most of the time

But anyway: Goblinburg

I have made Goblinburg my single creative project for this crazy period. But since I cannot make things easy for myself, Goblinburg is a multi-faceted project. We talked about Goblinburg with my co-conspirator Didier in this video if you want more details right now (and to see a lot more cool gobliny art), and I’ve also dropped some hints on Twitter.

You can also dig into the archives of this blog, as it has imported posts from an aborted Goblinburg project, like this one about the map. But you don’t have to, cause I’ll just try and sum it all up now:

Goblinburg is a D&D Zine

Goblinburg is a system agnostic setting for Dungeons & Dragons (and other fantasy games, really). It is designed and written to play as an adventure game, meaning as a sandbox, where players do whatever they like and the games master/DM/referee has all the tools to follow them — without scripting anything ahead.

Goblinburg will exist in zine form – or PDF – that you will be able to buy at some stage in 2020.

Goblinburg is an Online, Lunchtime Game

I never work as well as when under pressure. And Satan knows I need pressure to get anything done right now. I’ve been meaning to blog about this for weeks.

Goblinburg is also the setting of a public, open-table game I want to run at lunch time. I am doing this to promote Desks & Dragons, but also to show that short (one-hour) game sessions are beneficial to the mental health of everyone involved.

I’ve ran a few games with my usual pool of players out of the Fumbally Exchange here in Dublin, and I’m beginning to open it to new people, gamers and newbies alike. If you’d like to come explore Goblinburg with us, I’ll let you know how to get in touch soon.

This thoul rider is a huge improvement on the one I drew for James V. West’s Glorpy project

Goblinburg has… GOBLINS!

Did I say there would be goblins?

Goblinburg is full of goblins – goblins of all sorts, from this Earth and other fantasy worlds. If you’re not a goblin, chances are the burghers will categorise you as another type of goblin.

My old friend Didier Balicevic (I’m linking to Goodreads cause he’s kind of internet-shy) has sent me tons, and I mean tons of goblins. Some based off my writing, some inspired by it, some straight from his weirdo Dungeon Master brain.

More about Goblinburg Soon!

I managed to sort of organise my workload, so productivity should resume soon. I want to optimise the writing for short, engaging sessions where old dungeoncrawlers and neophytes can easily mix.

My priority right now is to design the tools the referee’s will need for these sessions. We’ll test these tools together, and then I’ll go back to writing a zine that you can use yourself.