what is Norindaal?

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Andrea Sfiligoi
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what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Andrea Sfiligoi » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:27 pm

Norindaal is the "official" (but optional) Song of Blades game world. It's a large fantasy world where 36+ gods, some of which asleep or presumed dead, compete to create the perfect servitor species, thus creating a world where lots of fantasy races, such as humans, goblins, kobolds, dwarves, elves etc must coexist.
For more info on Norindaal, check the Norindaal wiki site https://sites.google.com/site/norindaal/




Jcrozier
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Re: what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Jcrozier » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:25 pm

One thought on the hobgoblin text, both on the Norindaal wiki and in the Hammer and Forge book: it's a little odd that there's nothing to link hobgoblins to goblins. Why are they thus named? Are hobgoblins some god's attempt to improve goblin stock? Are they in fact unrelated but superficially similar? Is on the ur-form of the other?

I think we should be told!



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Re: what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Andrea Sfiligoi » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:49 pm

No they are completely unrelated, humans and dwarves use the "hobgoblin" word as a slur. Goblins (Gobelar) were created by the Trickster God. Hobgoblins -- nobody knows, although some demon worshipping ones like to believe they were created by a Demon God.




Jcrozier
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Re: what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Jcrozier » Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:32 pm

I think it would be good to have something to that effect in the text - though it leaves me wondering what the "hob-" element of the slur means.

(As an aside, etymologically - in the real world - it's probably a diminutive of "Robin", as in Robin Goodfellow; the discovery of this caused Tolkien to abandon the term altogether, on the grounds that folkloric hobgoblins were smaller/tamer than goblins! This is an example of the "etymological fallacy", though, as "hobgoblin" had been used to denote a particularly frightful creature since at least the Jacobeans.)



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Re: what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Andrea Sfiligoi » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:16 pm

Interesting. yes I knew the etymology. Unfortunately, when designing a high fantasy game world, we are bound to make available what is already known and usable what is already owned. I mean, we can't dismiss the importance of the "D&D" hobgoblin, because that's the image that most people will have, and some will already have miniatures that they can use.

So a "kitchen sink" approach is the only way that we could go with Norindaal.

We give each culture a name in their own language, and make it so it echoes a bit the common English name (Gobelar= Goblin, Eliphas = Elf) or at least starts with the same letter, so it's easier for people to remember that D'Harris are the Dwarfs, and so on. The English name is either a bad rendering of that name in Trade language, or an epithet/slur used by others.




Jcrozier
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Re: what is Norindaal?

Unread postby Jcrozier » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:16 pm

I entirely agree! I think the "kitchen sink" approach is vital - unless you plan to put in decades of work and hope that you end up with a Glorantha or a Middle Earth! And I think an important point is that a fantasy gaming world should have many more species than a literary one: tabletop variety trumps convincing ecosystems and the like!

My point is really that while the "meta-game" background for the hobgoblins is very clear, it would be nice to have a (brief) "in-universe" explanation linking the terms. As I see it, the "meta-game" genesis is something like this:

Tolkien's hobgoblins/Uruk-hai (a bigger, fiercer sort of goblin) > D&D hobgoblins (a bigger, fiercer sort of goblin - now sometimes orange and with an eastern look) > Warhammer hobgoblins (a bigger, fiercer sort of goblin - also sometimes orange, and with the eastern look specifically a steppe-nomad one) > Norindaal hobgoblins (orange and "eastern"/steppe nomad, like their gaming forebears, but without the connection to goblins that's always been part of the core concept).

So I think it would be good to have some nod to that in the game - something like this: "Dwarves and humans generally call the Hurras "hobgoblins", a disparaging term suggesting kinship with the Gobelar. But although the two races have certain physical similarities, there is in fact no connection between the proud nomads of the plains and the scuttling goblin-folk of the [wherever goblins live]."

It may well be that no one else thinks this of any consequence, though! :D




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