A goblin ambush is probably a very clichéd situation for seasoned tabletop role players. But somehow, this type of early encounter defines our first steps into the world of fantasy role playing games.
My own experience did not involve goblins in a forest but a kobold and a rat in the basement of an abandoned house. I was a seasoned Fighting Fantasy reader but this was the first game I ever played a tabletop role playing game. The rules and settings were that of The Dark Eye, which has enjoyed a popular french language print run in France and Switzerland when I was growing up. I believe a new edition has made its way to North America, in English. A reason for its popularity back then in Europe was that it was anchored in Germanic and Scandinavian folklore. It was a simple and easy system to get started with, just like the games which it heavily drew inspiration from; namely Dungeons & Dragons and the Fighting Fantasy book series.
Back to the goblins. The idea for this piece grew over time as all its separate elements slowly came to be and assembled into one final illustration. Eventually it unfolded like this:
Many Meetings - Part 1
As I was packing up and warming up some soup above the coals of my campfire, a local farmer rode by with his workhorse and carriage. After a friendly chat, he took his leave insisting I help myself to a few apples from his tree. The fox, which had been observing me for a good part of the morning, pricked up his ears at the mention of apples! His week was, like mine, giving signs of a good start!
Many Meetings - Part 2
The soup was almost ready, but not quite. It’s fragrant smell attracted the furry companion of a ranger. She asked if a dwarf had made his way in these parts sometime during the night. “Aye!” I responded and explained we shared supper yesterday evening before he set off into the night. “Something about a meeting he did not want to be late for!”
Many Meetings - Part 3
A little while later, an odd looking man - the fox seemed to agree - came to greet me. This wizard was looking for a dwarf as well, possibly the same one whom I shared my evening meal with. I filled one of his empty potion bottles with hot soup for the road and he was off!
Many Meetings - Part 4
After a tasty cup of soup, I followed the farmer’s advice and enjoyed one of his apples. I consulted my map - I draw maps of the places I have travelled to - to advise a young family on how to get to the lake. They were going there for a picnic which sounded like a great thing to do on a beautiful day like today!
Many meetings - Part 5
I started to think that I must have camped at popular crossroad when another adventurer stopped by to ask for the whereabouts of this mysterious dwarf. He was a knight in armour riding a magnificent steed. I was not familiar with his colours and crest but he wore them with pride.
Many meetings - Part 6
Now these two most certainly were from out of town! They were obviously asking for directions but where to? The tall one tried to explain what it was there were looking for. He seemed a little frustrated at the strange device he was holding and which did not seem to work as intended. I gave them the rest of the soup, that seemed to brighten up their day!
Many meetings - Part 7
The parade continued: two very impressive barbarians came from down the road. As they approached, their faces brightened and cheered up! The big fellow gave me a hand and we chatted about the whereabouts of… yes, you guessed it: a dwarf who might have travelled by here!
I told them about the ranger, the wizard & the knight and they seemed content. He took leave of both of us and went back the way he came, whereas the woman pressed on in the same direction as the other adventurers!
Many Meetings - Part 8
The half-elven ranger, the wizard, the knight and the barbarian did indeed meet up with their dwarf cleric friend in the deep forest north of where I came across them all. Little did they know that a band of goblins was about to sneak up on them as the night grew darker!
Goblin Ambush poster
I have made this illustration available in the shoppe in two flavours:
- A full colour mini poster which can be ordered here. It comes in four sizes, all square.
- A free colouring page version which you can download in PDF format from the Treasure Box.
I am planning to make more of these in the future, making them all available as free downloads for you or your little and less little ones to colour on a rainy day. If you have ideas of RPG related situations that you would like to see our party in, let me know and drop me a line using the suggestion box!