Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lowknobbin Goldstock, Oil Merchant [RPG]

Lowknobbin Goldstock was my PC in a fun D&D 3.0 campaign set in the world of The Way of Thorn and Thunder (and directed by the author).  Along with the druid Malcolm, the bard Laurel, and the sorceror Seketh, Lowknobbin adventured and encountered many enemies along the way, such as the evil Thrall, the witchhunter Vergis Thane, and more.  Although I kept notes of what happened plot-wise, they are (from a vantage point a decade later) quite incomprehensible.  My two main recollections are:  (1) a huge fight at the end of the campaign in a swamp that involved a dramatic airship assault; and (2) the hilarious "beating a dead horse" incident, which still brings a smile to my face today.

The concept behind Lowknobbin was: what would it be like to be a normal merchant thrust into a life of adventure?  He was an enjoyable character to play, though probably one that would have worked better in a fantasy game with an urban setting rather than a wilderness one.

Lowknobbin Goldstock

Lowknobbin Goldstock Drawn by Daniel Justice
Lawful Good Goblin Rogue4/Fighter1  (XP: 13,070)

Size: Small (Height: 4'5, Weight: 50 Lbs.)

Languages:  Goblin, Common, Kyn, Gnomish

Abilities:  Strength 6(-2), Dexterity 17 (+3), Constitution 10, Intelligence 15 (+2), Wisdom 11, Charisma 11

Hit Points:  25

Initiative:  +7, Speed: 15 feet

Armor Class:  17  (+3 armor, +3 dexterity, + 1 size)

Base Attack:  +4

Attacks:  Fastdraw (magical crossbow):  +9 (+10 PB), d. 1d4+1(1d4+2 PB), Crit. 19-20 (x2)
Shortsword +8, d. 1d6-2, Crit. 1-20(x2) (+2d6 Sneak attack)

Saves:  Fortitude +3, Reflex +7, Will +1

Skills:  Appraise +5 (+7 using scale), Craft: Locksmith +4, Craft: Gearwork +4, Diplomacy +3, Disable Device +8, Gather Info +3, Hide +10, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Open Lock +9, Profession: Merchant +3, Search +6, Sense Motive +3, Use Magic Item +2, Decipher Script +3, Spot +1, Knowledge: Goblin History +4, Knowledge: Engineering +4, Ride: Mule +8, Handle Animal +5, Knowledge: Oils +4

Feats/Traits:  Point Blank Shot, Improved Initiative, Precise Shot, Weapon Finesse: Short Sword, Darkvision, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge

Equipment (on person):  Backpack, Goblin Mail Armor, Leather Helm of Levitation, Sunrod, 10 sp, 4 gp, 35 pp, 3 diamonds, 2 rubies, smokestick, mechanic's tools, Fastdraw, 16 bolts, thunderstone (x2), shortsword, Oils to sell (crossbow, firearm, bow, gear, leather preservative)

Equipment (on mule):  Saddlebags, artisan's tools, rations, merchant's scale, ledger, light crossbow bolts (x70), light crossbow, smokesticks (x2), thunderstones (x3), sunrod, tanglefoot bags (x2), healing supplies, coldweather gear, 75 pp


Lowknobbin Goldstock is a young goblin, just barely pass the age of majority (55 years).  He's the son of Highknobbin Goldstock (nee Woodbrick) and Wilhemina Goldstock.  Lowknobbin has led a rather sheltered life, and has been greatly influenced by his parents' vocation.

Until very recently, Highknobbin Goldstock was the nominal head of a goblin trading coaster which operated along the Great Way Road from Harondin Holt to the west and Chalimor to the east, as well as several small villages slightly off the Road to the north and south.  Before meeting Wilhemina, Highknobbin operated his own little merchant stand in Northern Morvag, selling firewood to fuel-hungry settlers.  When he met Wilhemina, the two fell in love at first sight (according to his version of the story), and she helped him expand his pick-up-and-go street business into the twelfth largest goblin merchant coaster in all of Peridir.

Wilhemina is the only remaining descendant of the proud Goldstock name (the others having disappeared during ill-timed visits through the old Everlands and Pei-Tai-Pesh).  Wilhemina's mother was a goblin matron of real renown: she was not only head of a successful trading coaster, but also one of then-Chancellor Silverpike's closest advisors.  Accordingly, Wilhemina grew up in a wealthy and aristocratic home.  She moved up the social ladder quickly, and rumors circulated throughout the Swarm that she would be named to the First Pillar someday (and possibly even be a future Chancellor).  Howeer, Wilhemina's place in the First Pillar was stolen (in her view) by a member of one of the Goldstock family's longest and most-hated rivals: Tregaron Darksreak, of the Darksreak family.  Feeling humiliated, Wilhemina left her comfortable trappings and wandered much of northern Peridir.  It was on these travels she met Highknobbin and either fell in love (his view) or found a malleable partner (others' view).

Determined to rebuilt what she lost, Wilhemina has enabled a goblin of non-so-great talent into becoming head of a merchant coaster.  Calling upon her old contacts, she has recently arranged for Highknobbin to be named to a minor diplomatic post as Second Ancillary Ambassador to Sarvannadad.  She's largely remained outside public perception, and rumors circulate that she's either planning her long-awaited revenge against the Darksreak family or writing a tell-all memoir about her life.

Lowknobbin grew up on the Goldstock family estate on the southern coast of Artoran (the estate consisted of a small house, two factories, and four warehouses).  He worked as a gearsmith and springloader in one of the factories on all different kinds of devices: water clocks, mechanical door-bells, crossbows, children's toys, and more.  He loves his father dearly, and is terribly proud of his appointment to the diplomatic post.  Lowknobbin rarely sees his mother, and she is somewhat of a recluse, even to her own family.  He has no brothers, but he had companionship as a youth from his seven cousins who visited the estate frequently.

When his father heard about his diplomatic appointment, he wanted to instantly name his son as head of the Goldstock Trading Coaster, Ltd.  However, Wilhemina thought the boy was not ready, and instructed Highknobbin to slowly groom the boy to take over.  Accordingly, Highknobbin named his associate, Loomkor, as head of the coaster and has named Lowknobbin as District Manager for Fine Oils and Liquids.  Highknobbin thought the best way to get Lowknobbin familiar with this aspect of the business was to have him travel the sales route for a few months to get him acquainted with the customers and their demands.  After placing the ceremonial goldcap on Lowknobbin during an elaborate ritual, Highknobbin had his son and some merchandise transported by airship to a tiny village along the sales route named Verdant Grange.

And thus the story begins . . .

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