Goblin sap is the ‘blood’ of the sentient plant that is commonly known as a goblin. These humanoid creatures, spawned from the seeds dispersed by the pods of the púca tree, are driven to survive and spread their seeds across the world; their seed being their ‘hearts’, or at least what would be heart in a human. The ‘blood’ of these goblins is a sap that becomes highly volatile upon their death (some alchemical reaction caused by the sudden cessation of life), often causing a deceased goblin to exploded violently, thereby helping to spread their heart-seed. They tend to live in forests or underground, in caves rich with moisture of minerals, which the young púca tree can use as nourishment when sunlight is not avilable for photosynthesis. The seeds grow into fully grown, aware and inherently hostile, intelligence creatures in the space of several days, and have adopted customs of others races, especially the use of armour and weapons to defend themselves from those who seek to harvest their sap.
Goblin Sap & Its Uses
The dwarfs discovered the volatile nature of goblin sap when they fought against the encroachment of the invasive plants, in their underground realms or hill forts. The explosive sap was first used to create bombs, which aided the dwarfs in their war against the elves; the term sappers was invented when dwarf engineers used the sap-bombs to destroy walls and buildings, undermining battlements and foundations. In the last decades of the war they invented projectile weapons that fired small lead pellets from a rifled barrel, propelled by capsules full of sap that were crushed under a hammer attached to the weapon’s stock. The explosion made the pellet fly through the air with deadly accuracy and force, capable of killing an elf– or a man, and other such creature– instantly. These weapons were soon copied by other races, and their use and manufacture spread.
Harvesting Goblin Sap
The easiest way to harvest the sap of a goblin is to grow them in a special farm, where their growth can be controlled and the goblins culled before they can rebel or outgrow the farm. Intact goblins are the best source of the sap, and when the time comes to harvest them, the goblin is strung upside down and their throats slit, allowing the sap to ooze out into containers lined with alchemical silver that allows the sap to be transported without exploding– something about alchemical silver prevents the sap becoming explosive. The sap can also be collected from dead goblins, after they have exploded, although there is less to collect as the sap is quickly absorbed by the surrounding environment. In any case, live goblin sap is useless as an explosive, but can be used to aid in the creation of healing poultices or fermented to brew a particularly potent dwarven-mead that dwarfs are partial to.
Due to the rarity of successful goblin-farms, goblin sap is a highly prized and thus expensive commodity, and fetches a high price, even for the sap collected from wild and deceased goblins. A standing bounty on goblins exists in all civilised lands, and there are numerous hunting lodges that specialise in tracking down goblin sporing grounds.
Below are the guidelines for goblins and their explosive, valuable sap:
- Goblin statistics (based on ACKS goblins, compatible with similar games);
- Harvesting goblin sap (how much it is worth, rules for collecting it);
- New weapons and ammunition (sap-rifles, –capsules, and –bombs);
AC 3 (leather, size), Move 60′ (20′), HD 1-1*, #Ats 1 (weapon), Dmg 1d6 or weapon, Sv 0-lv, ML -1, XP 10; when slain by a slashing or piercing weapon, fire or explosive magic, the goblin sap explodes, spreading the dead goblin’s remains over 20′ and inflicting 1d4 damage to anyone within melee range of the goblin– save versus breath or blast to avoid– and leaving sap all over the place. Goblins slain by blunt weapons or non-volatile magical attacks only explode on a 1-in-6 chance.
Harvesting the Sap
An intact and properly bled goblin produces enough sap to create 10 sap-capsules or a single sap-bomb; worth 50 gold pieces. A live goblin can be sold for ten times as much, since their carcasses can be further used to spawn new goblins.
A slain goblin that has exploded can have the resultant spread of sap collected in a suitable container, but only a small amount: for every hit point the goblin had, a single gold piece worth of sap can be collected. Five of these is enough to create a sap-pellet, but there is never enough to make a bomb. Sap from different goblins can be combined, but if an unskilled collector attempts to do this, there is a chance that the sap reacts and explodes for 1d6 damage for every capsule worth combined, a save versus spells allows the unskilled collector to avoid such a hazard. Skilled collectors (anyone with a suitable craft proficiency) have no such problems.
Sap-rifles, -capsules and -bombs, and lead pellets are now manufactured by different races, but the dwarfs are the original inventors. The weapons listed below represent the generic designs; there are also items such as alchemical silver containers, and collection jars.
|Sap-Rifle||150 gp||Range as longbow, 1d8 damage (‘explode’ on an 8)*|
|Sap-Bomb||50 gp||Range as spear, 2d8 damage to all in 10′, 1d8 to those 10-20′ distant (save versus breath for half)|
|Sap-Capsule||5 gp each||1d6 damage is detonated|
|Lead Pellet||1 sp each|
|Lined Container (large)||10 gp||Holds 20 capsules worth|
|Lined Container (small)||5 gp||Holds 10 capsules worth|
Rifle & Bomb Misfires
Due to the volatile nature of goblin sap, there is a small chance that the sap can explode prematurely. Whenever an attack throw rolls a natural 1 a misfire occurs: roll 1d6 on the table below for rifles, 1d8 for bombs.
|1||Damp Sap: burns out without effect|
|2||Pitiful explosion, shot fails and pellet falls 1d6 feet from firer (can be recovered)|
|3||Skewed explosion, fires at a random target instead: roll to hit as normal|
|4||Sap burns through rifle, ruining it|
|5||Explodes, ruining rifle: deals 1d6 damage to user|
|6||Explodes, taking rifle with it: does damage to user|
|7||Explodes prematurely: deals damage to bomber|
|8||Immense explosion: deals double damage to bomber and normal damage to others in range|