Boggles are specially bred and magically engineered goblins that excel in all things magical and mechanical. Originally from slave stock of an ogre mage, these small green humanoids appear a bit different from their ancestors. Nearly a century of selective breeding, magical experimentation and subjection to special serums were designed to turn the common goblin into an expert builder. However, with intelligence came cleverness and independence.
With intelligence came a conscience as well, and most boggles turned away from evil and treachery. The majority exist as beneficial artificers, spreading works of genius and magic throughout the land. They abhor slavery, and still harbor a grudge towards the ogre magi. Occasionally, an older boggle will go crazy from lack of boggle brew, which is something that the race has trouble being open about.
While goblins have been around since the dawn of time, boggles are a fairly new race to the world. In any campaign that includes goblins, boggles could easily be their descendants or subrace. If such is the case in your campaign setting, the boggle race requires almost no adjustment to your world to begin play immediately. Because they do have a lineage that they can trace, boggles do not lack tradition, language, and history common to other PC races.
In most games, goblins have a terrible reputation for being stupid mischief makers or dangerous pests. Boggle PCs may need to overcome this stereotype. If boggles are introduced as a brand new development in you campaign world, boggle PCs may have a slight disadvantage during social encounters. Though they also might have a slight advantage when dealing with other goblinoids, who may not realize whose side the boggles are on. In any case, it will be a surprise to all when the apparent goblin is the one who solves a complex puzzle, disables a deadly trap, or gives sound engineering advice.
If your campaign setting does not include goblins, for whatever reason, boggles could still be possible in your game. Perhaps they were a relatively unknown race until they entered a spontaneous industrial revolution. Maybe they are from another world, which just happens to be more technologically advanced. Yet another possibility is that they were magically created from scratch—the result of a powerful wish gone awry.
Whatever the case, the boggle would make a welcome addition to any game as the resident tinkerer, an unusual option for the player who is great at puzzle solving, a challenge for the player who has played everything, or just a good match for those that like to use their engineering talents.
Physical Description: Boggles are Small- sized, green skinned, hairless humanoids. Their faces are particularly goblinoid, though they feature fairly large noses. A boggle’s eyes are generally red, but may also be orange or violet. These goblinoids are known for their long, donkey-like ears that move according to their mood. This race has short legs and long arms that end in four digits—three fingers and a thumb.
Boggles look very similar to goblins with larger, longer ears, more proportionate heads, and no hair.
However, the similarity is skin deep. This race is highly intelligent with a mind for solving puzzles, crafting devices and unlocking magical secrets. Many who are used to their less refined cousins find a boggle’s appearance and mannerisms a bit comical; a mistake that they are quick to forgive.
Boggles dress in mismatched and patchwork clothes that are cobbled together more for functionality than fashion. The typical individual of this race has a hodge-podge of pouches, tool clips, and other bags placed conveniently around their body. Some boggles even sport mechanical appendages; a specialty of some boggle craftsmen.
Ecology & Society: Due to lack of hair and fashion sense, males and females are hard to tell apart by a non-boggle. They tend to share all roles, and make few distinctions. Males are a bit heavier-set than females, but this is not a definitive indicator.
Boggles have children like most humanoids, with a large proportion of twins and triplets. They mature quickly, reaching adulthood at the age of 10, but have tragically short lives, living only to their mid-thirties. Old age comes on sudden, and is marked by the onset of Boggle Madness (see disease entry on next page). Their demise is almost always violent.
Though most know about it, few approach the subject, elderly boggles need a daily elixir to keep from going mad. A mixed-up and unnatural biochemistry requires a constant infusion of special herbs and other ingredients to keep the boggle’s finely-tuned mind from slipping gears. On the 25th hour of not having this boggle brew, the poor creature becomes subject to the Boggle Madness. This is likely to culminate in an older boggle becoming a raving lunatic, capable only of attacking every moving creature or object. Without a dose of this serum, only complete immobilization, luck, or death will stop this boggle’s rampage. Some particularly destitute boggles procure special garments that can be fastened into a straitjacket, in a pinch.
Relations: Boggles get along well with most humans, dwarves, and half-orcs. Dwarves and boggles will even work together on engineering projects, each admiring the other’s expertise. Halflings find these fellow small folk fascinating, though boggles often misinterpret the halflings fascination for nosiness. Elves and gnomes tend to view boggles as dangerous and unpredictable hybrids and have trouble trusting them. In return, boggles often keep their distance to avoid confirming the stereotype. Gnomes and boggles harbor an instinctual dislike for one another, and even when they share a common goal or even personality, they will still find it hard to work together peacefully. Goblins fear boggles terribly, believing that they might catch whatever it is that the boggles have. Boggles look at goblins like humans look upon mahrogs; they consider them to be primitive ancestors.
Relations to Remarkable Races: Boggles are intrigued by relluks, and will often aid them in the creation of new forges. They enjoy the philosophical ramblings of the xax, and will often seek a xax for inspiration. For more potent inspiration, nothing beats a muse, and boggles will often donate large sums of money to a local temple just to gain the favor of a muse that frequents that establishment. Boggles and mahrogs mutually despise each other, and see each as an affront to their core philosophy.
Alignment and Religion: Boggles are almost always lawful as their minds work well in conjunction with law and order. Many find that self-discipline leads to a long life, and have been able to combat the onset of boggle madness for a short time though sheer will. Chaotic boggles almost always perish early, as their minds interpret lawlessness as carelessness.
Boggles often worship gods of craft, invention, and progress. Occasionally, a boggle may have a faith based on magic or creation. They avoid nature-based religions, as many view the boggle race itself as unnatural. Some temples have even branded the race as an abomination and actively condemn them and their works.
Adventurers: Boggles are born with a mind for mechanics and magic. They have an uncanny and instinctual knack for problem solving and repair. For some, this is simply a lifelong hobby. For most, it is an obsession, driving most boggles directly to the profession of engineer. They enjoy crafts such as blacksmithing and alchemy. Many boggle alchemists are in search of a better boggle brew, or to eliminate the need for the solution entirely.
Of the adventuring boggles, most are drawn to the wizard class. Fighter boggles are also known, as well as rogues specializing in gadgetry, trap dodging and lock picking. A few clerics do exist, often extolling the virtues of inventor gods. Beyond that, boggles of other classes are exceedingly rare or unheard of, but not impossible.
Boggles most often adventure for knowledge, to test their creations, and to gather materials or gold. Some fight slavery or oppression, while others simply work for the good of the world. Another major cause of boggle adventuring, especially the most dangerous sort, is their extremely short lifespan and potentially disreputable demise. When faced with losing one’s mind to the insanity that is virtually guaranteed in old age, most boggles would rather die violently for a good cause before it gets that far.
Male Names: Clasp, Clutch, Cog, Gear, Glock, Grind, Gyro, Hammer, Hank, Junk, Slag, Ticker, Tin
Female Names: Bik, Brew, Bubs, Chainer, Forge, Gree, Jundle, Kiln, Lox, Pete, Sander, Vilt
Onset venerable age; Frequency 1/hour
Boggle Madness is a genetic condition that all boggles have. Symptoms do not typically appear until the boggle is of venerable age. It cannot be passed on to a non-boggle, and even goblins are immune. The disease cannot be completely cured, magically or otherwise. Instead, any effect that would remove disease removes only the symptoms for 24 hours.
This small vial of bright green bubbly and
bitter solution prevents older boggles from entering a murderous
rampage. After imbibing one dose of this solution, a boggle is immune to
the symptoms of Boggle Madness for 24 hours. This does not prevent
further mind-altering effects. This potion has no effect on non-boggles.
Boggles rarely drink this concoction straight, as it is quite bitter and unpalatable. Often, the brew is mixed with some other drink or added to food. Boggles will often purchase or create large quantities of this substance at one time; keeping it in bottles or even small casks. To create boggle brew, it requires a Craft (alchemy) skill check, DC 20.
The following feats are available to a boggle character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to a boggle character who meets the prerequisites.