The world of Feonora has Goblins and we have a pretty good idea about what they're like. A bit comical, somewhat like a collective group of hapless misfits with delusions of grandeur. What kind of picture comes to mind when the party encounters these guys? Well, that probably depends on what part of the boundless pool of reference each person might be drawing from his or her own exposure on the topic. We have definite ideas about it, and thought we'd share a little bit about our own points of reference and sources of inspiration.
A proper starting point would probably have to be those well-known Goblins depicted in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Most people would already have a mental image of these unsightly minions just by citing the title of the film. But in a similar vein of interpretation something like the wicked assassin in the [now iconic but] lesser known film "Legend" (1985) may also come to mind. Put them together and these could easily exist in the same world, both being visceral sorts of creatures, realistic in their design and manner.
But as we move along the spectrum, making our way toward the other end, you find interpretations of a less sinister nature. It is these that have most informed our own vision of the sort of Goblins that might inhabit the wild lands of Feonora.
At least, they have tended to influence how we imagine our encounters with them.
Jim Henson's 1986 production of the film "Labyrinth" has come to embody what many of us who grew up watching these films probably now think of when it comes to silly Goblins and goofy mayhem. Conceptual Designer Brian Froud gets credit for his original work on these characters along with the many artists at the Jim Henson Creature Shop and puppeteers who brought them to life. So grateful such films were made before the advent of CG as there is no replacement for practical effects (it's part of the wonder that makes them special).
Another source of inspiration hearkens back to a cartoon show from the mid-to-late 1980s that many out there may never have heard of (it was later eclipsed by more popular series). Now, for the subject of this post we are talking about those wacky misguided Goblins who trouble Feonorans but (in fact) the characters that come to mind from that show are not "Goblins" at all but rather, strictly speaking, referred to as "Ogres." The Disney Afternoon "Gummi Bears" cartoon series introduced us to the wonders of Gummiberry Juice and a trio of inept Ogres always looking to get their hands on it by whatever means. They are led by Toadwart, a miniature Ogre who always did the bossing around and subsequently took most of the punishment when their schemes were thwarted. Always funny. So very memorable. Maybe he really was a Goblin who only thought he was an Ogre... (?)
The show is perhaps most famous however for it's catchy theme song.
For those who remember you may now join along,
"Gummi Beeaars! Bouncing here and there and everywhere..."
But that's the wonder and magic of roleplaying, especially when things are left to the imagination. We can draw upon various points of reference and then blend and re-imagine things to compliment our own ideas about the kind of fictional world our characters find themselves exploring.
Oh. And when we picture Orcs?
Yeah; we tend to think of those menacing guys from Lord of the Rings.
Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) Directed by Peter Jackson
John Howe, Conceptual Design
Alan Lee, Concept Artist
Richard Taylor, Costume Design, Makeup and Visual Effects
Legend (1985) Directed by Ridley Scott
Alan Lee, Visual Consultant
Assheton Gordon, Production Design
Labyrinth (1986) Directed by Jim Henson
Brian Froud, Conceptual Design
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1989)
Theme music written by Michael and Patty Silversher
Toadwart was voiced by Bill Scott and Corey Burton
With respect to Production Design credit typically goes to Disney Television Animation but may also belong more specifically to Jamie Mitchell and David Block on account of their role as Character Designers for the original series
Sources: Wikipedia and imdb