One of my other passions, aside from writing and loving my partner/family/friends, is playing the table-top game of Magic the Gathering. I’ve been playing it for a while now; I think for about 10 years or so, on and off. Before I played that, I was a Dungeons & Dragons boy since a young teen – oh, the 80’s, my sort of real life Stranger Things!
But from this diet of fantasy gaming I learnt to appreciate how things worked when it came to writing my own stories. And more importantly, how magic works, it’s limitations (because magic systems should have limitations), and what it can and can’t do in given situations. I also came to appreciate the monsters. So many monsters! I love ’em.
Because without monsters, and let’s face it, there isn’t much fantasy, is there? And I’m also talking about those inner demons within characters as well here. The bad guys, as it were. But for the visible kind of monsters, the ones you stick your sword into because otherwise they’d claw your face off, I think you can’t beat the good ol’ goblin! The large numbers of which can overwhelm in a bloodlust frenzy. What fun to write, that’s for sure.
And in Magic the Gathering (see how I’m going back to my original line of thought here) goblins have sure undergone a wonderful artistic change. Let me show you some examples.
From the “Alpha” set (the first Magic set played for public consumption, I believe) there are these two baddies:
I must say, if you have one of these two cards from the Alpha set, you’re not rich but you’ve certainly got some coin there. A quick search on eBay puts “Goblin Balloon Brigade” from this set anywhere between AU$300 – AU$1000 depending on condition. Wow!
Next up is the goblins of “Portal,” so let’s look at them:
I don’t know what it is, but I love this sort of artwork. To me, it holds an innocence, a naivety, if you will. I love the old style borders as well. I have a few of these in my collection. But no, I won’t be holding my breath about what they’re worth. Unless it’s a rare card, most common and uncommon goblins from this era will sell for about AU$1.00 – AU$10.00. So no Ferrari for me, then! Darn it! LOL
We now move on to the more modern goblins. The shiny art. The slick design. The neatness of it all. Here are a few of my favourites:
As you can see, things have got very sophisticated when it comes to goblin art. In the more modern sets, goblins can fetch anywhere between AU$1.00 – AU$150.00, again depending on rarity.
I also love the “Flavour” text at the bottom of a lot of the goblin cards (the lines printed in italics as seen in some of the cards above). From other cards (not shown) there are also lines like: “We can take ’em – you go first.” and “With great power comes great risk of getting yourself killed.” and “Does it matter what it is? Take it and be grateful!” and finally, “I found a new toy. Wanna play?”
Lines like that crack me up every single time. I love it!
But the best goblin flavour line of all is: “Never underestimate the power of overwhelming stupidity in overwhelming numbers.”
And with that, I’ll end today’s post! Thank you for reading my ramblings.