Almost Bedtime Theater

Stacks of Goblins: Review, Actual Play (Ep 15)

February 25, 2022 Dan, Rachael, & Leah Season 2 Episode 15
Almost Bedtime Theater
Stacks of Goblins: Review, Actual Play (Ep 15)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

*** A transcript of this episode is available via the episode page on Buzzsprout. ***

In this episode, we review and play Stacks of Goblins.

  • 00:10 – Intro and announcements
  • 01:10 – Game review
  • 06:44 – Actual play session (character building)
  • 12:23 – Actual play session (the adventure)

 Stacks of Goblins was created by Jack Milton and edited by Steph Williamson, of CobblePath Games.  You can find more information and purchase the game through itch.io.  You can also find the creators on Twitter as @CobblePath.

We are running a contest for a free electronic copy of Stacks of Goblins.  To be entered in the drawing, email or tweet us with a question, comment, or suggestion before March 31, 2022. 

How to reach us:

 Our intro and outro theme music are by McRoMusic, who can be found on Patreon at patreon.com/mcromusic.

This episode also incorporates the following pieces by McRoMusic: 

  • Tavern Loop
  • Town Loop
  • Fey Wyrm’s Hollow
  • March Through Wildwood
  • On Til Morning
  • Shooting Stars

The following ambient soundtracks were also used.  They were created by Michael Ghelfi, who can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDed9jQ1Y1gKeyjvkyFGkCA

  •  Cove
  • Crowded Tavern
Music:

[Almost Bedtime by McRoMusic]

Rachael:

Hi, I'm Rachael!

Dan:

and I'm Dan, Rachael's dad.

Rachael:

And this is Almost Bedtime Theater, a podcast about playing role playing games with kids.

Dan:

In this episode, we are reviewing and playing Stacks of Goblins, a fun little RPG about a trenchcoat full of goblins, trying to infiltrate the people places and steal items for themselves and for their Goblin King.

Rachael:

But before we dive into our review, we have a couple of announcements. First, we're once again joined by my cousin, Leah. Hi, Leah!

Leah:

Hello.

Rachael:

Second, we're running another contest. Everyone who emails or tweets us with a question, comment, or suggestion between now and March 31st, 2022, will be entered into a drawing. The winner will be gifted an electronic copy of Stacks of Goblins via itch.io. And third, we are now providing transcripts for our podcast starting with our adorable uns episode from a few weeks ago. These transcripts will be accessible through our show notes for each episode on Buzzsprout. As time permits, we'll try to add transcripts for the season one episodes as well.

Dan:

And now back to the review. Stacks of Goblins was created by Jack Milton and edited by Steph Williamson of Cobble Path Games. It comes as an easy-to-read 20 page zine with wonderful little sketches and a handy assortment of tables that you can use to randomly find out about your goblin, your goals, and your mission. In addition to the rules, you'll need a 12-sided die, a 10-sided die, an 8-sided die, and 20 items to use as tokens. There aren't any character sheets, but you may also want pen and paper to keep track of your goblins specific information like what it is you think the Goblin King wants, but you aren't sure because you weren't listening. Each player plays as one of the goblins in the trench coat and their abilities and which dye they roll to try to accomplish things. changes depending on whether they are the goblin at the top, the goblin at the bottom, or one of the goblins in the middle. And just to be clear, the goblins can end up changing what position they're in quite a bit. The top Goblin is in charge of being the hands in the mouth, the bottom goblin gets to decide where they're going and is effectively the story guide. Middle goblins are mostly along for the ride, but they can decide whether they are helping or interfering with the goblin at the top. Tack onto that the fact that each goblin has different goals, and yeah, it is a wonderful recipe for some chaos. Stacks of Goblins is available through itch.io; it's about eight bucks for a digital copy. They also have printed copies. As always, we will include a link to the site in our show notes so you can go check it out. In terms of complexity, running and playing the game is really the same thing because there is no separate story guide. As I mentioned, that's the role of the bottom goblin, and that can be different people at different times. There aren't that many rules to keep track of. Mostly once you get started they are about what kind of die you roll, and when to use a token. And as far as preparation is concerned, the game really does lend itself towards more of the improv style where you can use the prompts that are in the tables that are provided as a jumping off point and then run with it. I would say complexity-wise this is this is about a two-and-a-half on our scale of one being the simplest and five being the most complex. There's 20 pages in the zine, but they are a fun read. And it's real quick to get through. When it comes to key game mechanics, the character building is really just a matter of finding out what kind of goblin you are and you're going to roll the die for that. Determining success has to do with rolling your position-based die, be that a d8, 10, or 12. If you get a nine or higher, that's a goblin success. That's a full success. A five to eight means it's good enough. That's a success with a complication. And a one to four means ya screw up. So it's failure plus a complication plus, optionally, you get a goblin swap in there if you want to trade some places. There isn't a mechanic for hit points or arrival, because it's really not applicable. What's important here is whether or not you get away with all the loot that you want. The other big game mechanic I would say is the tokens. So you have this pile of tokens... you can use them to turn rolls into successes, you can use them to reposition your goblins, and they get used up over the course of the game such that they're what trigger the escape phase of the game. That's what tells you it's time to run away with whatever loot you've managed to grab. So what did the two of you think about this game system? What did you like?

Leah:

The concept is really funny.

Rachael:

I like bouncing around and being different roles like a bunny.

Leah:

I like that we can all kind of have a chance to do the "running it" part of things and not have to have like... trying to plan a whole campaign or something to do. But just getting to switch out if you want to do the running part.

Dan:

Yeah, I thought that was pretty cool, too.

Rachael:

What suggestions would you have for someone about to play this game for the first time?

Dan:

I would certainly recommend writing down a little bit of information about your goblin like your special ability. Because I know we were very excited about ours, and then we ended up never using them. The other thing would be to not forget that the middle goblin can roll to help or hinder the top goblin when they do things I know. We forgot about that a few times. And I guess as a third item, we didn't end up needing all 20 tokens, which were the default number for a game. If your group is used to playing for like only an hour or so you might want to cut that down to say just 15 tokens. Course it could also depend on just how frequently you're deciding to spend tokens to move around in the trench coat for example. Did you have any suggestions?

Rachael:

Have markers to keep track of everybody's positions in the trench coat.

Dan:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's a great point. Doing that really made it a lot easier to remember who was where. And there you have it. If you'd like to get in touch with us with a question, comment or suggestion, you can email us at AlmostBedtimeTheater@gmail.com or find us on Twitter as @almostbedtime.

Rachael:

And now let the adventure begin. Dun-dun-dun!

Music:

[Transition music]

Dan:

We begin by figuring out our characters and what our storyline is. And we're going to do that by using the tables that are in the rule booklet. And let's start by figuring out what kind of goblins we are. Do you... do you want the randomness of rolling up your goblin or do you want to pick out a descriptor that sounds like fun?

Leah:

I want to roll.

Dan:

All right, roll away.

Leah:

Two. Chatty. Chatty might be difficult for me.

Dan:

You're more than welcome to roll again if you want.

Leah:

I'm good. I'll do it.

Dan:

Alright, so we've got a chatty goblin that can throw their voice. Rachael, would you like to roll?

Rachael:

Oh, no, it did two. It did two. Why does it do two? I'm also a chatty goblin.

Leah:

We are very chatty people.

Rachael:

We should not both be a chatty goblin.

Leah:

Do you want to be the chatty one or shall I?

Rachael:

No, I don't want to be a chatty one. Okay, okay. What's 10? I'm a doom? I am doom! Yes, I shall be doom. I'm a doom goblin.

Dan:

And that means you can predict the weather.

Leah:

I think I want to change mine to fuzzy, soaks up water.

Dan:

You got it.

Rachael:

You'll be a sponge!

Leah:

A sponge goblin.

Rachael:

Hey, Daddy, are you going to roll?

Dan:

I kind of want to be a dice goblin. I like the idea of smelling shapes.

Rachael:

What was it the goblin ruler wanted... you weren't listening. So we each think that it's a different thing?

Dan:

That we do.

Rachael:

Oh my gosh. All right, Leah. You roll for what is it the goblin ruler wanted that you think it wants.

Leah:

Ah, yes. A new court jester.

Rachael:

That's gonna be difficult to steal, I have to say.

Leah:

Where am I gonna find a court jester?

Rachael:

I don't know.

Leah:

Maybe I need a jester costume. And then I can be the court jester.

Dan:

The book does say that goblins are both creative and not very picky. So you can get... you can get rather creative in interpreting the loot if you want.

Rachael:

Okay, I'll roll now. I got a one... a barrel of ale. What kind of... Okay. Okay, so now Daddy, what are you?

Dan:

Let's see.

Rachael:

Nine. You think a knobbly staff of a wizard. Okay, so now, it's what do you desire?

Dan:

Right, because we're each looking for two pieces of loot. The thing we think the goblin ruler wants and the thing that we want.

Rachael:

Okay, so Leah, you roll for what you desire.

Leah:

What do I desire? A mimic? Okay, of course!

Rachael:

Oh, no.

Dan:

How about you, Rachael? What is your goblin hoping for?

Rachael:

To ride a goat home in triumph?

Leah:

A goat?

Rachael:

Why?

Dan:

Do you want that or do you want to pick something else?

Rachael:

I want a sack of ferrets!

Leah:

A sack of ferrets...

Dan:

A sack of ferrets. Okay. Well, I think I want...

Leah:

What about 18 blocks of cheese?

Dan:

You know what? I'm gonna go with the goat. I want to ride a goat home in triumph.

Rachael:

So a goat, a sack of ferrets and a mimic.

Leah:

Easy peasy.

Dan:

We now get to determine the details of the mission. First up, which of these places are we headed to?

Rachael:

A university campus? You'll definitely find a sack of ferrets there.

Leah:

I'm down for the university campus.

Rachael:

I kind of want to do a mysteriously grumpy fishing town.

Dan:

It could always be a mysteriously grumpy fishing town next to a university.

Rachael:

A mysteriously grumpy fishing town has a university.

Dan:

Like a local fishing university?

Leah:

Community college. Yeah.

Dan:

Okay, so we know where we're headed. Now when it comes time to escape, how are we getting away?

Rachael:

I think we should roll for that one.

Leah:

Yes, I think that's... yeah,

Dan:

I mean, I plan on writing my goat, but...

Leah:

The rest of us, who aren't as lucky...

Dan:

Right? All right, what'd you get, Rachael?

Rachael:

A rickety raft ride?

Dan:

That sounds about right for getting out of a fishing village. No offense to the goat.

Leah:

Are you riding the raft but riding the goat on top of the raft?

Rachael:

No, catapult! I want to do the catapult.

Dan:

Catapult. Catapult, it is. Now last, but certainly not least, we get to find out what's happening here. And it looks like we're getting an incompetent goblin catcher competition. Oh, and names! Our goblins need names. Rachael, do you have a name you want to use?

Rachael:

Um, Foot-biter.

Dan:

Got it. Leah?

Leah:

Hmmm. It's a very difficult question. I'm gonna go with Mosquito-bait.

Dan:

And I'll be... I'll be Snotsy. Foot-biter, Mosquito-bait, and Snotsy, the triumphant trio.

Rachael:

Yes, we're the most loyal... loyal goblins.

Dan:

This is... this is sounding pretty good. How about we pull everything together and introduce our characters.

Rachael:

I am Foot-biter, the Doom goblin. And I think that the Goblin King wants a barrel of ale. And for myself, I'd really like to get a sack of ferrets.

Leah:

Alright, I will be playing Mosquito-bait, the fuzzy goblin who can soak up water. And recently I've noticed that the Goblin King has a large lack of court jesters. And also I would really like to mimic.

Dan:

And I'm going to be Snotsy, the dice goblin, who is quite certain that the Goblin King is in need of a wizard staff. And my personal desire is to ride a goat home in triumph. We also know that we're headed to a mysteriously grumpy fishing town with a community college where an incompetent goblin catcher competition is underway. I don't know if that means that the goblin catchers are incompetent, or if they only catch incompetent goblins. But I guess we'll find that out as we play. And finally, we plan to escape with all of our loot via catapult, as one does. Now, we are three goblins in a trench coat. The top goblin is in charge of talking to people and running the arms, which are these little grabber things.

Leah:

You know when people like go walking and picking up trash and they have like those things to pick up the trash with? That's what I'm picturing our arms like.

Rachael:

Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking too!

Dan:

And so when we start out who's on top running those?

Rachael:

I'd really like to be the one in the middle.

Leah:

I guess I'll be on the top.

Rachael:

Yes, yes, I shall be biting your ankles!

Leah:

My feet, not my ankles.

Rachael:

Yes, your feet, your feet. I shall be biting your feet.

Dan:

Okay, so I'm on the bottom. Now, this game doesn't have a set story guide because that's largely the job of the bottom goblin. When you end up on the bottom, you have more... more control over where the story is headed. The thing to remember is that there will be opportunities to switch places so we can all get to play in all of those roles. And speaking of which, we have a pile of tokens here that can be used in a variety of ways. But one thing you can do with tokens is you can spend one to move to a different position in the trench coat. So if you really want to be the goblin at the bottom at a certain point, you can do that. The only catch is that when we're down to our last three tokens, it is time for us to run away with whatever loot we've got.

Rachael:

So we could just spend our entire time switching places.

Leah:

We can just switch places 17 times.

Dan:

Yes, but that would make for a very busy trench coat. Alright, so assuming we aren't spending the entire time switching places, are you ready to arrive at the mysteriously grumpy fishing town?

Leah:

Yeah.

Rachael:

Mmm-hmm.

Dan:

Okay, well, since we're not using the rickety raft to escape, how about we use it to arrive...

Music:

[Cove by Michael Ghelfi]

Dan:

It's late. And the evening fog has started to rise up off of the lake and slide into the spaces between wooden houses and shops that stand on stilts poking up out of the water. Makeshift bridges link buildings in all directions, like a crazy spider web of pathways, and there are several boats tied up along the docks. But there's no one out here watching and so they don't see what... what we're going to call a raft because it's definitely not a boat. But raft is still a pretty generous description. It's... it's some sticks jammed together that somehow manages to float. And there's a single figure on this raft - a tall figure in a trench coat that is somewhat clumsily paddling until the raft bonks up against the dock. The figure briefly argues with itself and then clambers onto the dock and surveys the situation.

Rachael:

Need more cheese!

Leah:

That voice just comes from their like stomach area.

Rachael:

Oh, it's... it's a belt. It's a really modern day talking belt.

Dan:

And the voice from down near the feet says, "Well, here we are. Now what?"

Rachael:

Maybe we go to a hotel?

Leah:

I'm imagining my face covered in like sunglasses and like a hood, and everything to stay like, inconspicuous and just go, "Yeah."

Dan:

Right. So we make our way into the town and we find the only building around with windows glowing brightly against the foggy night.

Music:

[Crowded Tavern by Michael Ghelfi]

Dan:

Going in, we discover that it is not only a hotel, but it's a rather busy one at that. Several people are sitting around the tables, talking loudly and eating lots and lots of what is probably fried fish. So what is it that immediately clues us in that these are groups of goblin catchers?

Rachael:

Oh, I bet there... there's a few bags around that says "Catch the Goblins."

Leah:

They all have like team-colored headbands on.

Rachael:

Like athletic teams, except...

Leah:

Yeah.

Dan:

And do these teams have names?

Rachael:

Um, maybe like, Destroy the Stink? Humans for the Win.

Dan:

And what's the team colors for Destroy the Stink?

Rachael:

Purple.

Leah:

Purple bandanas.

Rachael:

They have a sponsor. I bet their sponsor is like one of those cleaning companies.

Dan:

They're sponsored by a cleaning company?

Leah:

"Destroy the stink" might be both of their mottos there.

Dan:

And dare I ask about Humans for the Win?

Rachael:

I think they should have like orange.

Dan:

Do they have a sponsor too?

Leah:

Papa Steve's Pizza.

Rachael:

Yes! Papa Steve's!

Dan:

Papa Steves it is. So these two groups then are laughing and chatting and telling stories about catching goblins. The good news is that we are getting the impression that maybe, just maybe, these goblin catchers aren't as good at their jobs as they think they are. Why do we believe that?

Leah:

I'm pretty sure the way that they're talking about the last goblin that they caught, we're all pretty sure they just caught a piglet.

Dan:

And they didn't realize that.

Leah:

They did not know. Ever.

Dan:

Excellent. So we're not feeling too paranoid about the goblin catchers just yet. What do you want to do?

Rachael:

Maybe we greet some people?

Leah:

We could try to sneak into their back rooms and see if we can take a barrel of ale.

Dan:

Well, if the top g oblin is saying to sneak into the back room, then speaking as the feet of the operation, I'm going to take a shot at that. That's said, I also only get to roll a d8 so there is no way that I can get a Goblin Success. At best, we are going to succeed with a complication of some sort.

Leah:

Oh, goody.

Dan:

Right. And that's a one. We are off to a great start.

Leah:

Right.

Dan:

So we're going to slyly sneak-sneak-sneak for the back room. But then, um...

Rachael:

Oh, okay, I have an idea. You know what? No, I don't have an idea.

Dan:

Fair enough. Fair enough. Let's see how about to get to the back room, we have to go back behind the bar and then through a door. But our attempt to sneak back behind the bar is blatantly obvious, and there is a barkeep named Rosie who says, "And where do you think you're going?"

Leah:

The top goblin is just yelling downwards, like, "Where are you going?"

Dan:

And Rosie says, "Yeah, that's my question. Where are you going?"

Rachael:

"We're lost," says the belt.

Leah:

I'm just trying to... I'm trying to mouth along with your words like, but I don't know what you're gonna say, so...

Rachael:

Wait, wait. I said WE'RE lost!

Leah:

I mean I'm lost. I'm lost. Just me. Just me. Just me by myself lost. In here.

Dan:

I forgot to mention that on that failure, if either of you would like to switch places with me and be the feet, you can do that.

Rachael:

Uh-uh. Nope, nope, nope, nope. No, no, no, no, no. No.

Dan:

I'm detecting some reticence from Rachael. Leah, does Mosquito-bait want to be the feet?

Leah:

Do I have to?

Dan:

You do not.

Leah:

Okay, I'm good where I am.

Dan:

Alright. Snotsy will remain at the bottom of the pile for now. What would the two of you say to the idea that the task of mollifying Rosie the barkeep is a job for the top goblin?

Rachael:

Yep.

Leah:

Oh no. What do I roll?

Dan:

Top goblin gets to roll a d12, so you've got a good chance of success. And 10 is a full Goblin Success.

Rachael:

Ooo, nice.

Leah:

Okay. All right.

Dan:

Now, we should take into consideration that the top goblin's result can be made better or worse by the middle goblin if the middle goblin feels like it. So what's Foot-biter doing? Are they are they getting involved?

Rachael:

Um, I think the middle goblin is actually kind of oblivious to the whole thing and keeps on chatting.

Leah:

Just talking to bottom goblin.

Rachael:

No, I think I stopped chatting but I start biting. I start biting Mosquito-bait's feet! Ang-ang-ang!

Leah:

This is definitely feeling like a subtraction.

Dan:

Yeah, kinda. So that means Foot-biter needs to roll a d10 to see how distracting they are.

Leah:

I'm just like, "Ow, we're lost, we're lost, ow, ow, we're lost."

Dan:

Alright, and that three brings Mosquito-bait's result down to a seven, but it's still Good Enough. Now, one of the other things we can do with a token is spend it to change any roll to a goblin success. Should we do that for this roll?

Rachael:

No, no, it's more interesting.

Leah:

Yeah, this is... this is good.

Dan:

Works for me. Okay, so what was our goal here? Let's say it was to convince Rosie that we're not a problem, and so she can stop paying attention to us maybe?

Rachael:

Yeah.

Dan:

Alright. Mosquito-bait manages to say just the right things to placate Rosie and she says, "Well, I guess I won't have to throw you out. But you can get yourself unlosted by getting out from behind my bar, you hear?" And then she turns away from us. But because this result was only Good Enough, there's got to be a complication. So before we can slip into that back room, Rosie heads back there herself.

Leah:

Want to just walk in there after her?

Rachael:

What if we hide and wait for her to come out of the store room but hide somewhere where she won't notice us? And then go into the store room?

Dan:

Hiding sounds good.

Rachael:

How do we crouch?

Dan:

Well, the good news is that because we're not really a human sized person, we could kind of like halfway disassemble into a sideways trench coat person and stuff ourselves somewhere really unexpected. I'm gonna offer up that Mosquito-bait, as our top goblin, is in the best position to look around for a good hiding spot. Leah, would you like to roll for that?

Leah:

Oh, all right.

Dan:

Nice. An 11 will definitely do it. You find us a sweet spot to jam ourselves into, and there is no chance that the human peoples will think to look there for someone at least as tall as we were pretending to be. And we are very carefully not talking. After a few moments, Rosie comes back out of the store room with a barrel under each arm and start setting them up at the bar. Now's our chance.

Leah:

Take a run for it. Take a run. Just run!

Dan:

If it's runnin' you you want then that's my job. Everybody jumps back up on Snotsy's shoulders and we go running for the back!

Rachael:

Dun-dun-dun-dun.

Dan:

And on a one I get about two steps - dun, dun - trip, WHAM, bounce off the floor, and then stand back up real quick. And Rosie spins around and sees us there, and does anyone want to switch places and be the bottom goblin right now? I will take that as a no.

Rachael:

Wait, hold on. Would trading places with you save us?

Dan:

Sadly, no. It's just something that can happen when the roll goes this badly.

Rachael:

This is going to go so horribly!

Dan:

It's okay though. It's that kind of game where we get to, you know, go with the chaos. Embrace the chaos. And speaking of chaos, Rosie is all like, "Oh, that's it. I am throwing you out of here."

Rachael:

Can we just run into the store and grab the ale and run out?

Dan:

Oh, let's. The real question is can I roll something that's not a one?

Leah:

Oh, no.

Rachael:

Oh, no.

Dan:

I am stuck on ones. Okay, you know what? I'm going to spend a token to... to say that we run into the store room, spin around just right so that we hit the door and it slams shut behind us and Rosie is stuck on the other side. So there.

Rachael:

Is there a door out?

Dan:

Ummm...

Rachael:

Oh, can I can we switch spots?

Dan:

Sure. We can switch spots anytime we want. We just have to spend a token.

Rachael:

Actually, never mind. I don't want to switch? Actually, yes, I do.

Dan:

We can do that. Which spot do you want to move to?

Rachael:

I want yours.

Dan:

You got it. You drop to the ground and Snotsy clambers up on your shoulders and hefts Mosquito-bait back up to the very top and we're all set.

Rachael:

Okay, so do I... do I get to describe the store room?

Dan:

You absolutely do. You are the story guide.

Rachael:

All right. So there's a sack of ferrets, there's this wand for wizard, there's a bit... (laugh)

Leah:

Is there a mimic, though? And a goat?

Rachael:

Okay, okay, fine. There's not that stuff. Um, so there's one wall that... that's covered in barrels of ale. And there's, I think there's... there's a door. It's a very big door, like if you needed to roll something big in. Um, there's another wall that has a whole bunch of like cups on it. It's really empty, though. It's surprisingly empty. And that may be because I can't think of anything else to put in it.

Leah:

Is there a window in here?

Rachael:

Yes.

Leah:

I mean, that we can just take a barrel, throw it through the window, and then jump out after it.

Rachael:

There's also a very big set of doors.

Leah:

But that's less fun than throwing a barrel of ale out a window.

Rachael:

You know, you've got a point. I guess we try to heft one of the barrels of ale up and toss it through the window.

Leah:

I have the arms, right?

Dan:

Yep. You've got the little... little grabber sticks that we're using for arms. And maybe... maybe there's a smaller barrel of ale? Something really expensive that comes in a barrel we can walk off with a little more easily?

Leah:

Okay. Yeah.

Dan:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, still throw it through the window first. I'm all for that.

Leah:

Shall I roll to pick up a barrel of ale, throw it through the window.

Rachael:

Sure. Yeah.

Leah:

All right. So.

Rachael:

Uh-oh.

Dan:

And that, listeners at home, that's a four.

Leah:

What happens?

Rachael:

You, you... so you try to pick up the barrel. Those little toy grabbers... You can't do it. It's getting really difficult and then you hear the door open.

Leah:

Oh, is this when someone can switch places with me?

Dan:

Yes, indeed. Rachael, would you like to move to top goblin's slot?

Rachael:

Yes.

Leah:

All right. I just picture you like, "I could do a better job than this!"

Dan:

So that means Mosquito-bait is now the bottom goblin and Foot-biter is up top with the grabbers. And as Rosie comes through the door, Snotsy yells from the belly of the trench coat, "This isn't what it looks like!"

Leah:

Smash the window! Smash the window, and then we'll jump.

Rachael:

Oh, no. Okay, so I roll a d12?

Dan:

Yep, yep.

Rachael:

I got a 12! I got a 12!

Dan:

Nice.

Leah:

So I describe what happens?

Dan:

That you do.

Leah:

Right. You apparently are much better at using little grabby arms. And you've got this barrel ale, and you just swing it around and swing it through the window and it just goes smash and glass shatters everywhere. And Rosa is just like, "What is going on? I should not have come to work today. Should have stayed home."

Rachael:

I imagine like, I imagine what happens is, so we launch ourselves out the window but we get stuck midway and the little legs, they're just flailing.

Leah:

And there's multiple voices just arguing with each other from inside the trenchcoat.

Rachael:

Like, "No, move your head that way."

Leah:

Duck and roll. Duck and roll.

Dan:

Do we need a roll to get ourselves out?

Leah:

Probably. That's me, huh? Is that Good Enough?

Dan:

Yep. Six is officially Good Enough: success with a complication.

Leah:

All right. We're out. But Rosa is also out here.

Rachael:

Is it Rosa or Rosie?

Dan:

Could be Rosie Rosa. I mean, seriously, human names are so hard to keep track of. Not like Mosquito-bait and Foot-biter.

Rachael:

Rosie Rosa, the third.

Leah:

Whatever her name is. She wants her ale back.

Rachael:

Time to go!

Dan:

All right. Where are we headed?

Rachael:

Book it.

Leah:

Where are we booking it to?

Rachael:

Um...

Dan:

Snotsy says, "We, uh, we should totally find a place with goats."

Leah:

The farm?

Rachael:

The farm.

Dan:

The farm.

Leah:

Booking it to the farm.

Dan:

Maybe it's the community college farm. Home of the Fightin' Goats.

Leah:

Can I switch with someone? I don't want to be on the bottom anymore.

Dan:

Absolutely. You can use a token to switch with whomever you want.

Leah:

I want to be in the middle.

Dan:

Alrighty, Snotsy is back on the bottom, his little legs chugging away, taking everybody to the farm.

Music:

[Tavern Loop by McRoMusic]

Dan:

We sneak our way around to the barn, which is all closed up for the night. It's got some heraldry on it. Says "Home of the Fightin' Goats." Now we just need to, you know, get inside.

Rachael:

I try to use my clippy-clappers. So I need a roll for that, I guess.

Dan:

Yep. Ah, nice. With an 11, let's say they forgot to lock the door, and so you are able to work it open a bit with the grippers. We sidle in sideways, wrangling our little barrel of ale with us, and inside is a sleepy barn. We can see hay, hear snoring, and smell goat. Snotsy say, "Okay, let's find one big enough to ride and maybe carry our stuff? Because I don't think it's gonna fit under the trench coat."

Leah:

It could be the legs.

Dan:

We could make it an honorary goblin and it could be the bottom goblin.

Rachael:

Ooo, we could paint it green!

Dan:

We could put a little hat on it. Could be the court jester too!

Rachael:

Give it a guitar.

Leah:

Teach it cartwheels.

Dan:

All right, so we are scouring the barn for the most acrobatically-inclined, funny-looking goat we can find. I'm thinking this is a roll for Foot-biter, since they're the one at the top and they can see.

Rachael:

Okay.

Dan:

So a seven is Good Enough.

Leah:

I've opened one button of the trench coat just so I can look out and I'm offering commentary, like, "No, not that one. That one looks funny; that one looks funny! Looks like it's gonna eat us."

Dan:

That sounds to me like Mosquito-bait is helping out, so roll a d10. And that will bring us to a 13: Goblin Success. Alright, so we find the perfect goat. It's funny-looking, big enough to carry some stuff but small enough we can probably keep it under control...

Leah:

Has big like googly eyes...

Rachael:

Gah.

Leah:

A tongue sticking out.

Rachael:

Yeah.

Dan:

Maybe a horn sticking out of it's head?

Rachael:

It's a uni-goat!

Leah:

A uni-goat...

Rachael:

Or it's a goat... corn?

Dan:

I think we're all in agreement that this is one funny-looking goat. And if we're going to make it an honorary goblin, it's a... it's gonna need a good name.

Leah:

Musty cheese.

Rachael:

That's a really disturbing concept.

Dan:

We... we really have an inclination towards bad cheeses in these games. Musty Cheese it is. "Come on, Musty. Let's put you to work. Need... need some way for you to carry our stuff."

Leah:

Saddlebags?

Dan:

Oh yeah, saddlebags. Saddlebags and a leash. Musty's ready to go and is the best goat.

Leah:

Ever.

Dan:

Ever. Alright, so since I'm the feet, I get to decide where we're going next, and I want a wizard's staff. And I... I know wizards are like the smart peoples; they like the books. So we should go find a book house where they keep the books, and maybe there will be a wizard in there who isn't paying attention to their stuff. Come on, Musty.

Rachael:

Baaa!

Dan:

And we trundle off in search of a library. I think the library here is a... it's a very important-looking building, but not a particularly large one. Just... just big enough to be impressive for a village. How about we have Foot-biter roll to check for people in the library?

Rachael:

Okay.

Dan:

A 10. You're looking around, you got your ears going. There's totally people in there, like, a party in the front. We could... we could try to find a way to sneak in or we could just walk in the front door and check out the party. I mean, we do look like a peoples.

Leah:

I would like to point out that the goat does not look like a peoples.

Dan:

There's... there's a pause as Snotsy peers out from below the trench coat at the goat and says, "Maybe Musty could be a pet? The peoples have pets."

Leah:

That is true.

Dan:

Okay, so we're gonna go in the front door with our pet goat just like a real peoples. And we're gonna try to find an oblivious wizard. And I marched us in on... a seven.

Music:

[Town Loop by McRoMusic]

Dan:

We stride in, radiating confidence in our peopleness.

Leah:

Are there any windows in here that we could smash? I'm really... I'm really feeling like smashing another window.

Dan:

Oh, yes. Some amazing stained glass windows. Several large ones.

Leah:

Ooo, okay.

Dan:

And this party, it's got a wizard at it, but we also need a complication, so it's also got...

Rachael:

Rosa at it.

Dan:

Oh, of course she is. So in addition to the wizard holding a staff, Rosa is here providing drinks. Humans for the Win are here with pizza from Papa Steve's Pizza Place as well.

Rachael:

Ooo, ooo. Wait for Rosa to offer him a drink. Wait for him to sit down the staff. Take the staff. Ran away.

Dan:

Oh, that's a great idea. And we don't even have to wait for Rosa to take him a drink. We could pretend to be a waiter and take him the drink right now. And so I walk us over to the drink table so Foot-biter can pick up a drink.

Rachael:

What if we... what if we get two drinks and offer him a drink?

Dan:

Ah, then we could offer him the extra drink in case he doesn't sit down the staff to take the first one. That's brilliant.

Rachael:

Mmm-hmm.

Leah:

Yeah. Both-handed drinks.

Dan:

So we grab two drinks and head over to the wizard before Musty Cheese can get too interested in the pizza table.

Rachael:

Do I need to roll a d12 to convince him?

Dan:

Yes, I think so. If we want him to think we're a waiter.

Rachael:

I'm... Oh, no. Can I use a token?

Dan:

A six is Good Enough, but sure, you can... you can use a token bring that up to a full success.

Rachael:

Yeah, I want to use a token.

Dan:

You got it. We walk right up to the officious-looking wizard in his big pointy hat and his flowing robes and his impressive wizard's staff. And you hand him a drink. And he's like, "Ah, very good." And he takes the drink while still holding on to his staff. At which point you very slyly hand him another drink. And he's like, "Oh, goodness, yes." And he leans his staff against a bookshelf and takes the second

Rachael:

I feel so bad about doing this. Oh, what if this is drink. an evil wizard? Can it be an evil wizard? Make me feel better about it?

Dan:

He's totally an evil wizard. Yeah.

Rachael:

He has a black goatee.

Leah:

Black robes.

Dan:

Oh yeah. Big black robes, goatee, angry-looking eyebrows.

Rachael:

He doesn't even compliment the drinks.

Leah:

It's very greedy.

Rachael:

And doesn't even thank you.

Dan:

Oh, yes, evil wizard through and through. His hat even says "Evil Wizard."

Rachael:

What if it says like his initials, like eww?

Leah:

E. W. Evil wizard?

Rachael:

Yeah, I am Ew. Stay away! (hiccup) I've got the hiccups!

Dan:

Oh, no! Do you want to take a break?

Rachael:

No, it's okay.

Dan:

Okay. You ready to grab the staff?

Leah:

I'm like poking at your feet telling you to grab the staff.

Rachael:

Okay, so I grabbed the staff...

Leah:

Smash it through the window! Smash it through the window! Take the staff, smash it through a window. This is a great plan!

Dan:

Alright, so we're making a run for the window with the staff. Do you want to try to use the staff to do something magical or swing it like a bat, or...

Rachael:

No, I just want to toss it through the window.

Dan:

Alright, so with a 10 you smash out the window with the staff and we leap through.

Leah:

Are they still oblivious?

Dan:

Technically, the... the people at the party still don't realize we're goblins, but we are somebody who just stole an evil wizard's staff, blew out a window, and are leaping out of it with a goat in tow.

Rachael:

Baaa!

Dan:

I think it's... I think it's safe to say that we have garnered a bit of attention from a group of confused goblin catchers, an angry wizard....

Rachael:

And an intrigued Rosa.

Dan:

Yes, and Rosa, who is like...

Rachael:

"You again!"

Dan:

But we are already out and running. Now, we need some place that might have clothes. Like a jester's outfit. Maybe a dress shop?

Leah:

Let's go.

Dan:

Okay!

Music:

[Fey Wyrm's Hollow by McRoMusic]

Dan:

We run through the town as fast as Snotsy's legs can carry us and yeah, we find a dress shop. It... it looks closed, but it has a big window out front so that you can see all the outfits.

Leah:

Ooo, big window. I am not thinking anything about what to do with this.

Dan:

Yeah, I thought not.

Leah:

Are we trying to like legally purchase this outfit or are we just... can we just bust in and take it?

Dan:

I got no money. Closest thing I have to money is a goat, and I'm not giving up Musty.

Leah:

Alright, I was just thinking, legally purchasing something... then busting through the front window might not be the best first step of doing that.

Dan:

That's fair. That's fair. I... I think in this instance, we are going to have to resort to a life of crime. Oh, what do you think Rachael? Is Foot-biter going to take out the window.

Rachael:

I just rolled a 12.

Dan:

Right. Well then, Foot-biter swings the staff but before it reaches the window, it flares with light. And the window collapses into pieces, but every piece is a snail shell.

Rachael:

Is there like jester suit in (hiccup) there?

Dan:

There is all kinds of stuff. There's probably something here that we can work with. Do you want to roll to look around?

Rachael:

Okay.

Dan:

So with an eight...

Rachael:

Leah, do you want to help me?

Leah:

I can peep out the buttonhole.

Dan:

Okay. Whoa, so eight plus eight is a 16. That will definitely work. We can't actually get a... can't get a score higher than the number of tokens we have left but this is... this is still absolutely a success. We are fine. There is inexplicably, what is absolutely a jester's outfit here the size that you'd put on a goat.

Rachael:

Why? Why do people stock things like that?

Leah:

Small child Halloween costume? With four legs?

Dan:

For a kid dressed up like a goat who also wants to wear a jester costume.

Leah:

As do we all.

Dan:

As do we all. Alright, we put that bad boy on Musty. There's a... there's a hat with bells ago jing-jing-jing. Looking good, Musty. Looking good. And we hear from outside, "Maybe he went this way."

Rachael:

Let's get on Musty and ride out.

Leah:

What else do we need? I need a mimic.

Dan:

A mimic and a sack of ferrets is all that's left.

Leah:

Is there a pet shop in town?

Dan:

There is now.

Leah:

Okay.

Music:

[March Through Wildwood by McRoMusic]

Dan:

So with Musty jingling alongside we set out for the pet shop. But before we get there we realize that Humans for the Win and the evil wizard are making their way through the fog and they are headed our direction.

Rachael:

Okay, I just wave the spell... the wand at them. The staff.

Dan:

Oh dear.

Rachael:

Help me!

Leah:

I can't do anything. It's your wand. Shout encouragement. I could tickle your feet.

Rachael:

Oh my gosh, that's not gonna help.

Leah:

It would be fun, though.

Dan:

How about we, uh, we spend a token to just bump it up to a success. What happens when you wave the staff?

Rachael:

It makes us levitate.

Dan:

So we all start to float and we go up and land on the rooftops. From here we can hop from roof to roof to get to the pet shop. Now, the pet shop must have a big window out front. Or we could try to sneak down the chimney or find a backdoor. Any preferences?

Leah:

We can sneak down through the chimney and then we can have a grand exit as we leap through the window.

Dan:

That good with you, Rachael?

Rachael:

Yeah.

Dan:

All right. Since I am still in charge of movement, I will move us down the chimney. And I will take that seven. Three goblins jumping down the hole... plus a goat. There is an explosion of ash and, and maybe some coals, as we come crashing down through the chimney. And we are successfully in the pet shop. That is maybe ever-so-slightly catching on fire.

Leah:

Oh!

Rachael:

Let's try to free all the animals.

Leah:

Every single one.

Dan:

Oh look. They have ferrets.

Rachael:

And a mimic.

Leah:

Just shove everything single ferret they have into a bag.

Dan:

Let's get some rolls going. First up, a roll to free all the animals.

Rachael:

Can I do that? Cuz I have the arms.

Dan:

Absolutely.

Rachael:

Leah, can you help?

Leah:

How am I gonna help?

Dan:

Maybe you could shout instructions?

Leah:

Right. Helpful instructions like, "Don't get bitten by the snake."

Dan:

Very good. That brings the six up to a 12. Okay, cages are flung open. The tops are being taken off a tanks and fish are being scooped up into...

Leah:

Like plastic cups from the water fountain.

Dan:

Oh, nice. Yes. And the ferrets get bagged.

Leah:

Yep.

Dan:

And in all the hustle and bustle we notice like a terrarium. But what's inside is a tiny model of a dungeon with little stone floors and a hallway. And there's something in it that is a mimic. What does it look like?

Rachael:

Is it a torch?

Dan:

It is. So in this dungeon diorama there is a single torch on the wall. It's not lit. And when you reach in with your... your grabber, you bump it against the torch and the torch suddenly latches onto it with little tendrils. It is totally a mimic.

Leah:

Stick it in the bag with the ferrets.

Rachael:

I don't see how that could go wrong. Nope. Me neither.

Dan:

Thoop! Mimic in the bag. The ferrets all suddenly go still. It's all good. We've got what we've come for. And all the animals have been released. All we need now is a way out. There is a door.

Leah:

There's also a window.

Rachael:

Well, wizard staff to the test.

Dan:

I don't think this dice roller likes us.

Rachael:

Can I have help?

Dan:

We've also got tokens because apparently we've not been going through those fast enough. You want to use one?

Rachael:

Yes.

Dan:

And what happens when you gesture at the big window with the staff? Does it... does it shatter?

Rachael:

No, the window just completely disappears.

Dan:

Awesome. And out we go, followed by an entire menagerie of creatures. Plus we've got two plastic cups with fish in them.

Leah:

Okay, question. Where are we going to get a catapult?

Rachael:

On the docks. Just in case they're ever attacked, the village has catapults.

Leah:

Obviously.

Rachael:

Ob-vi-ous.

Leah:

Sounds good.

Dan:

Okay. We run for the docks!

Music:

[On Til Morning by McRoMusic]

Dan:

Along the way we notice down one of the alleyways that the wizard and the goblin catchers are still wandering around in the fog. We tear by the dress shop with its missing window, dash past the library, scurry past the inn, and reach the docks where our rickety raft has apparently sunk in our absence. And there is the catapult. In goes our stuff. In goes Musty. Do we keep the cups of fish?

Rachael:

Oh, we put them in the water. Put them in the water.

Leah:

Pour him in the water. Yeah.

Dan:

You got it. We released the fish - plop, plop - and trigger

the catapult:

Ka-CHUNG!

Music:

[Shooting Stars by McRoMusic]

Dan:

Quite some ways away, we start dropping out of the air. Things could have gotten a bit messy but we use the wizard staff one more time to levitate ourselves just enough that we land nice and gentle. We ditch the trench coat and Snotsy hops aboard Musty Cheese for the ride back home.

Leah:

I'm gonna play a fanfare except I don't have a trumpet.

So I'm just tooting:

doot doo-doo doo!

Dan:

And what about Foot-biter?

Rachael:

I'm playing with my ferrets.

Dan:

And the mimic?

Rachael:

Yeah, the mimic is in the bag.

Leah:

It's like a less friendly version of a ferret.

Dan:

That sounds... bitey... And that's our show on Stacks of Goblins. If it sounded like fun, don't forget to check them out on itch.io or you can find Cobble Path Games on Twitter as @CobblePath. Our intro and outro themes were created by McRoMusic. This episode also featured additional pieces by McRoMusic, as well as ambient soundtracks by Michael Ghelfi. A list of specific tracks and links to their work are available in our show notes. Thanks again for listening and have a good night.

Music:

[Almost Bedtime by McRoMusic]

Dan:

It has just occurred to me that this... this Community College, which is on a lake, in a fishing village, and apparently has a focus on fishing, has a goat for a mascot.

Rachael:

Or is it a mer-goat?

Leah:

A mer-goat...

Rachael:

A goat-maid!

Music:

[Almost Bedtime by McRoMusic]

Intro and announcements
Game review
Actual play: character building
Actual play: the adventure