“ Come buy, come buy.” When they reached where Laura was They stood stock still upon the moss, leering at each other, brother with queer brother; Signaling each other, brother with sly brother…”
Goblin Market Christina Georgina Rossetti
- +1 Mobility
- +1 Ability
- -1 Awareness
- -1 Persistence
- Dwarf: “Goblins are a pack of no-good, lying cheats! They only honor contracts that are written in their favor.”
- Elf: “Goblins are boring. They are constantly fighting over table scraps and ignoring what is important in life.”
- Giant: “Goblins are economical. They find creative ways of making old items and ideas provide value again.”
- Gnome: “Goblins are thieves! They steal all our best ideas and sell them to other people before we have ever made the prototypes… what a waste!”
- Goblin: “Goblins are the best because we always have what you need and we will give it to you… for a price, of course. That goes without saying.”
- Halfling: “Goblins are fun! They always have some new shiny bauble to play with. It’s just hard to get them to let us play with them.”
- Human: “Goblins are effective. It’s always nice to know you have someone to go to if you really need something in a pinch.”
- Orc: “Goblins are annoying. They get in the way and talk too much!”
- Troll: “Goblins are useful. Every organization needs someone to watch the books… and cook them if necessary.”
The diminutive stature of goblins is deceptive. They are cunning businessmen and passionate bargainers. Goblins are able to quickly assess the given situation and figure out how best to leverage it to their benefit.
Goblins trade in whatever happens to be available- information, commodities, favors… whatever Born traders, goblins seek out things that other people desire and then create a market for it. Their entrepreneurial talents help them support their quickly growing numbers and ever growing need for resources.
Goblins are highly adaptable and function equally well in pristine offices or back-alley speakeasies. They learn how to endear themselves to others and turn these long term relationships into lasting profit.
1. Twisted Speech
Goblins often speak quickly and in riddles. They are almost always working on some angle or agenda and can usually talk people into knots until they get it. It is important to take time with goblins and understand exactly what you are getting yourself into with each exchange.
Goblins are not inherently the best craftsmen, but they have an extremely keen eye for quality. This enables them to barter the best price for items while being immune to being fooled by fraud. Contrarily, goblins make excellent forgeries, viewing it as the buyer’s responsibility to know what they are getting. Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware.
3. Out of Reach
Goblins tend to operate indirectly and through subterfuge. They view getting caught in direct confrontation or combat as extremely distasteful, not to mention bad for business. If something is discovered out of place, chances are a goblin is to blame… and nowhere to be found.
4. Calculated calculation
Goblins are excellent at making lightning-fast calculations on probable outcomes. This survival mechanism keeps them out of tough situations and help them gain the advantage in an exchange. Be very wary if a goblin agrees with you too quickly.
5. First to Finish- Speedy
Goblins are fast with everything they do. They build fast, talk fast, and move on fast. Most goblin craftsmanship is designed to be sufficient for now with little thought for the future. Single application business models are sufficient for the sale, and that is usually all they are after.
1. Fluidic Entrepreneurs
Goblins move with the times, watching trends and taking advantage of popular opinion. They will never get themselves into a position that they can’t easily abandon. This makes them especially effective at starting fad-based entrepreneurial activities. They are unlikely to develop solid long-term business strategies, however.
2. Tunnel Network
Goblins always have their ear to the ground… or tunnel, or door, or unattended window, as it were. They are instantly aware of rumor and active in the gossip trade. This organizational trait allows them to keep each other informed, gather dirt on marks, and avoid detection.
3. Enlightened Self Interest
A goblin is aware of his place and always looking to leverage himself into a better position. Goblins organize into guilds and corporations, because they know that joining together will be more beneficial than trying to profit singly. Organizations that grow large enough may even develop equitable business practices, but only because they find it more profitable to do so at the time. This is not the norm, however.
4. Cannibal Climbers
Goblins are aware that there is always another goblin to take their place. As a result, they are aggressive opportunists who are willing to climb over each other to get the job done. Cannibalism is a cost-effective way to utilize goblins that can’t keep up with the pack.
5. Favorite Favors
Goblins keep a book of favors much like dwarves keep their book of grudges. The book is not contained all in one place, however. It would be too valuable to be left in one place and would find itself the target of frequent burglary. Instead, goblins trade paper slips of owed favors with one another like currency. This holds the their culture together as no one knows who might ever come to collect on a favor.
1. Locked Storeroom
Goblins trade and barter with whatever they have available. This could be information or mysteriously “acquired” inventory. Keep all sensitive inventory carefully locked away when goblins are around.
2. Bite the Coin
It is important for managers to test the quality of the work product that goblins turn in. It’s not that they want to deliver substandard work; they just want to test their limits. If managers make a habit of accepting work without inspection, expect for its quality to decrease over time.
3. Street Rat
Goblins thrive in areas where people interact for goods and services. They enjoy finding opportunities and exploiting them for their own benefit. Set goblins loose wherever bargaining or interaction takes place, and reap the benefits of the exchange.
Goblins can get anything done…for a price. They can leverage contacts, bribe officials, and find the shortest path to completion. This can be extremely valuable to a company, as long as goblins are not constrained by rules or particular methods. Managers should isolate goblins from structured and overly-principled characters who don’t appreciate the goblins’ checkered talents.
5. Leveraged lending
Goblins are extremely adept at creating profitable systems. They understand and navigate around constraints and find ways to make a profit. Carefully consider the advice of goblins when the company is struggling. Goblins have absolute clarity on which sacrifices need to be made to make the company successful.