Monday, October 12, 2009

Intro to Goblinoid, part I

back in 1995 I think it was, a KB toys opened right down the street from where I lived. Now, being all of 10 years old, I didn't have much in the way of income beyond the $0.50 a week allowance I was given, and the very rare $1 my grandfather gave me when we went to up Ballston Spa to visit him. So every few weeks I'd agonize over one of the boxed sets that little store carried(it was the closest thing my area had to a FLGS) and had to choose between one of the Dark Sun Adventures(it would be another 10 years before I got the Dark Sun Boxed Set, as it never occured to me to ask them to order anything) and one of the Mystara/Red Steel boxed sets. I already had Dawn of the Empires Gazeteer, Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure, and Glanti: Kingdom of Magic, so my choices were down to "The Road to Urik," The Red Steel campaign expansion, various D&D rip off board games, and a supplement for Red Steel called "The Savage Baronies." I ended up choosing the Savage Baronies(it had a picture of a dragon-headed-gun, a swashbuckler, and what I thought was a dragon at the time on the cover of the box[turned out to be a bulette using the flight legacy] so how could I possibly resist).
Inside I found out about a strange new place I hadn't heard of before. Heard of strange new creatures like Lupin, Rakasta, and Tortles. While the setting information was pretty cool(D&D meets the wild west), the real gem of supplement was in the front of the adventure booklet. It described the goblinoids of the Yazak steppes(Ogres, Hobgoblins, Orcs, and Goblins as living in a fashion similar to Native American tribes). More importantly, it offered the bare bones of what would become my on and off obsession with creating a viable goblinoid language. It was just 50 syllables that I later turned into a table.
The language did have a few issues however, and the racial names were incomplete(missing bugbears and kobolds and the goblinoid words for standard PC races such as Humans, Elves, and Dwarves). Having recently found my old word file I'll be posting parts of it on the blog from time to time.

Goblinoid Writing
Goblinoid writing is similar to that of japanese alphabets like Katakana or Hirigana in that they use a character for a syllable rather than for each sound like western languages. There are currently 56 characters in the goblinoid language, though most goblinoids only know enough of these characters to spell out their race name and tribal name(3-4 characters total)
At this point, the alphabet I have is still in physical form, and I'll try to get it scanned as soon as I can to post.

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