This is post #10 in a series on hidden goblins in tabletop RPGs.
The last two posts have offered small rules that leverage the hidden goblin concept. It is also possible to build something that emphasises it in a more substantial way. By way of example, here is a rough and incomplete draft of a complete game about hidden goblins: Hidden Goblin Hunt (PDF, 90K)
In this game, players enter dreamlike mansions where sinister goblin spirits try to stop them from finding hidden treasures. The GM has a secret map of the mansion and tracks the goblin’s movement across it at all times.
I think this draft is sort of playable, if you’re prepared to improvise a lot and fill in lots of gaps as you go. Just reading the draft demonstrates some of the ways it tries new things, principally in how it is very clear on what how the GM is to manage the off-screen goblin, while still leaving huge space for improvisation around that core.
This hidden goblin series has taken a lot longer to complete than I initially intended. This game is part of the reason for it: game design takes time, even if you’re just trying to demonstrate a point and not make something that can withstand the rigours of actual play! But I’ve decided to stop messing about with it and share it in its current form because this series has been overtaken by events. The hidden goblin game was meant to be a dramatic reveal of something that no-one else was doing, but I’ve waited too long, as a brand-new game has just launched with the clearest ever hidden goblin rules! That game is ALIEN, from Fria Lagan. And more about that in the very final hidden goblin post, coming soon…
Find the rest of these posts under the hidden goblin tag.