No Thank You, Evil! for Goblins

I’ve written before about how I love the Cypher System kids’ game No Thank You, Evil! and it’s ability to be whatever sort of game you want. My own son, Little Mephling, is currently obsessed (obsessed) with Mouse Guard and so I wrote some new nouns for NTYE to play mouse characters. Today I’m back with some options for that other classic icon of mischief: goblins.

Little Mephling is also in love with the book Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke. It’s a wonderful book that flips the typical dungeon crawl on its head: a lone goblin is friends with an animated skeleton, and when rude adventurers steal everything he has to go find them and rescue his friend Skeleton back from them. I’ve tried to instill some empathy by keeping this up and goblins are usually the protagonists in the stories we make up (or “RPG training sessions” as I call them in my head).

Goblin characters can be any sort of character from No Thank You, Evil! so the nouns and verbs in the book will work just fine. The adjectives should as well, but I saw a niche for adjectives of a slightly sillier bent. Sure, a “super-smart” or “cool” goblin is completely within the realm of possibility (personally, I think Ben Hatke’s goblin lead is best summed up as “kind”) but in case you wanted a goblin story that’s a little more zany you might want to try out these options.

Nobody Likes a Goblin
Cover by Macmillan Publishers

New Adjectives

These adjectives work just like the ones presented in Part 2 of No Thank You, Evil! and you can use them right alongside those other adjectives. These ones are just a little more slapstick if that’s what you’re after!


You can’t sit still. You’re always picking up something, climbing a tree, pushing big red buttons, or just bouncing in your chair. It can be annoying to other people and you’ve been told to “sit still!” a whole lot. Still, you discover a lot of cool stuff by poking around and you know your friends appreciate your fidgeting.

Add 1 to your Fast pool.


You just can’t leave things alone. When you find a question you need to look for the answer. When you see a device you need to crack it open and see the gears inside. When you find a strange and monstrous footprint you need to follow it into the deep and dark woods. Sure you get into trouble sometimes but you also find exciting stuff!

Add 1 to your Smart pool.


It never fails: when you pick something up or try to toss something to someone else, it shatters all over the ground. It’s not your fault! That thing was slippery! On the plus side, it’s funny for your friends (unless it was expensive) and you’ve learned to roll with it and come out alright on the other side.

Add 1 to your Tough pool.

Goblin Playing Dice
Image © Ben Hatke


Life just isn’t fun when you’re acting normal. Better to be wild and crazy! You aren’t actually insane, you know what you’re doing, but you like to try things other people wouldn’t and generally act weird. Don’t do anything that is going to make your friends angry, but if you want to wear a pumpkin as a hat, keep a pet chicken on a leash, or refuse to eat anything that isn’t yellow then that’s your business!

Add 1 to your Fast pool.


Some people are brave, charging into danger without a second thought. You’re the same but you charge in because you haven’t necessarily thought it through yet. Lots of times you’re surrounded by bad guys and dangling over a tall cliff and you suddenly think “huh, maybe I shouldn’t have run out here without my friends.” Oh well, better make the most of it while you’re here!

Add 1 to your Awesome pool.


Man, you’re hungry. Even when you’ve just had something to eat you’re thinking about your next snack. Who knows where it all goes, you just keep eating! You’re hardly without some sort of snack, but you’re definitely willing to share your candies, apple slices, or nachos with your friends. You’re also a pretty adventurous eater and when you come across a new kind of food you can’t wait to give it a try!

Add 1 to your Tough pool.

Goblin Gorble!
Image © Ben Hatke


You love making noise, singing while your friends are walking together or playing loud games around the campfire. You can be quiet when it’s important but that’s just so boring. Why not do something fun to fill the silence? And when there are bad guys out there trying to be scary you know how to shout them down and scare them away. Then you start to sing a victory song at the top of your lungs…

Add 1 to your Awesome pool.


You love you joking around and having fun. When you and your friends are backed up against the wall with bad guys coming in from all directions, that’s when you crack a joke to make everyone feel a lot better. You also love playing pranks on people, just innocent things that will make them laugh, and there’s nothing better than taking some mean and strict person and making them look foolish. The world is much better when it’s filled with silliness.

Add 1 to your Smart pool.


2 thoughts on “No Thank You, Evil! for Goblins

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