Rat Master Redux

 I'm in the process of setting up a generic fantasy game using the GLoG for some friends, most of whom are new to the TTRPG scene. One of which wants to play a Rat Master. Not a problem, I love that class, however the trouble lies in that it's not exactly a GLoG class, as it's laid out over a span of nine levels, rather than four templates. 

So, I took out my files and started removing serial numbers. 

What's presented below is a combination of Arnold's original class, some parts from Knock's Swarm Master (word for word in a large amount of places), and a few of my own addons. 

Rat Master

For every template taken, your Horde Die (see below) increases one step and you gain +1 on Save vs Disease. 

Starting Equipment: Dang rags, bottle of high proof low quality hooch, cool looking rock
Starting Skill: 1) Locksmith 2) Pickpocket 3) Mucklurker

I was told I needed to use more pictures. So here's a rat.
A. Rat Friend, Summon Horde
B. Transfer Affliction
C. Guest of the Rat King
D. Rat Apotheosis, Embrace the Rat

Rat Friend
You can speak freely with all rodents. All rodents recognize you as a beloved of the rat god, and will improve their starting attitude toward you one step. This protection does not extend to your friends.

Additionally, you know that rats love to gossip. When gathering rumors, you gain an additional template amount of rumors. 

Summon Horde
You call forth a horde of rats to your current location, which will serve you faithfully, though not always without complaint. 

You gain a Horde Die, starting at d6, and may increase it up one step by taking an exploration turn (10 minutes), up to your maximum die, starting at d6 at template A to d12 at template D. 

Taking risky actions (noted in Horde Moves below) can potentially cause the Horde to reduce in number. When performing the action, roll the Horde Die. On a 1, the Horde is reduced a step. 

Transfer Affliction
Once per day, you can transfer a disease, poison, or curse onto a willing rat. Rats of your horde always count as willing, but prepare for complaints. Also, there is potential for it to spread any disease it bears for you. It’s a rat, after all. 

Guest of the Rat King
Should you find a Rat King, you’ll be welcomed into it’s “court” as a guest. This mostly means you can come and go freely, receive one secret for free per visit, and won’t be eaten if it knows you’re alive. 

Rat Apotheosis
You can establish a stronghold in the sewers beneath a city. You attract the local Rat King, 2d6 loyal wererats, 1d3 paladins of the rat god, and an insane cartographer. 

Embrace the Rat
At every level above 4, you have the option to take a template of rat based Lycanthropy as an Ω template, rather than a Curse Template. 

Dice Step

1 < d4 < d6 < d8 < d10 < d12

Horde Size

Number of Actions











Where we going today, Boss?

Horde Moves Based on the size of your horde, they can perform a number of moves at once (see above)
With at least a turn, hordes may be commanded to…
  • Perform Domestic Services - as they’re able, by combining their tiny strength
  • Perform Manual Labor - Tunneling, burrowing, clearing rubble, gnawing corpses into oblivion, etc. This is a risky action and many tiny bodies could be crushed.
  • Forage and Scavenge - The horde can produce enough food for individuals equal to the result of the horde die. It will not be gourmet.
  • Bear Burdens - Individually, they are weak, but together the horde is strong. They can carry up to [Horde Size] worth of inventory space
  • Carry Their Master - Using their combined strength, the Rats hoist their master upon their tiny rat shoulders and carry them at Move equal to 10 + [Horde Size]
  • Search an Area - The horde can find traps, hidden doors, and other secrets in an area with a roll of the horde die of 3+. If traps are found, the horde has a 3-in-6 chance of accidentally triggering them. This results in the horde die being reduced one step.
  • Scout Ahead - Rats are stealthy and observant. I mean, they’re rats. You can send them out 30 + 10 ft/template from you, where their keen senses allow them to avoid surprise and spot ambushes on a horde die roll of 3+.
Within a round, the Horde can act quickly to…
  • Protect their Master if they are unarmored - If commanded to protect their Master, improve Defense by a roll of the Horde Die. This is obviously risky.
  • Attack their Master’s enemies, if the Master is unarmed - Inflicts Horde Die in damage to all enemies within 30 ft. This, too, is a risky action.
  • Sacrifice Themselves for Their Master - If struck, the swarm will sacrifice itself without being commanded to. Reduce the Horde by one step, then subtract a roll of the swarm die from the total damage suffered to the Master this round.

For the life of me, I'll never know why Google Drive and Blogger don't work well together when they're owned by the same company.

1d10 Gangs of MegaEast

The mofia, Yakuza, and the Irish mob are all alive and well in the year 20XX. Really well. They've moved into politics and have themselves a senator or three. That's good and all for when you get mixed up in corporate business, but until then, here are some lesser gangs of MegaEast.

There are some who, while enjoying the rockabilly aesthetic, realize what a pain in the ass the upkeep of it is. I then They then give it up and move on with their life. There are others who double down on it and blend it with the modern day cybernetics. Then, obviously, they form a street gang. One with flames on their prosthetics and who chooses their leader based on largest pompadour.

Style: Large Pompadours, Leather Jackets, and Hot Rods.
Wants: Smoke cigarettes, Listen to neuvo-rockabilly, Get money for their hot-rods - sorry, "cyber hot-rods." 

Typical Member
HD 1  AC Medium  Weapon Light Melee 1d6 
Move 12  Int 10  Moral 8

Dead Rabbits
In 20YY, a damn strange and rare thing happened: a teenager opened a history book. Not a vid, but an actual codex full of history. They probably found it in an old dusty, burnt out bookstore, forgotten after the Collapse. Not important. What is important, is the book was on the history of gangs of New York City. And with that, the Dead Rabbits were reborn. Sort of. The thing is the kid didn't actually know what a rabbit was - just thought it sounded cool - and there was no follow up.

Swearing off modern fashions and cybernetics for re-creationist pieces of the 1850's, they're the fanciest, old school lads on the block. But don't let that fool you, these boys love violence, mostly for the sake of violence. You'll note that you're in their territory by the presence of their battle symbol (a hare on a pike) decorating the area. It's rumored the original book that started it all is still kept in their headquarters in New York City.

They also have a Lady's Auxiliary.

Style: Clockwork Orange meets Gangs of New York, but described second hand by someone who read it out of a book they weren't really paying attention to.
Wants: Sex, Drugs, Violence, Defend their turf, Violence and Good times (violence)

Typical Member
HD 2  AC Light  Weapon Medium Melee 1d8/1d10
Move 12  Int 10  Moral Special
*Moral is based on the number of Dead Rabbits still in the fight

Jazz Rabbits
Any large organization has internal arguments. It's just sort of what humans do. The Dead Rabbits were no different. At some point an argument broke out (possibly over what a rabbit was) and almost half took offense and left their ranks. Unlike the Dead Rabbits, however, they mix their fashion with more modern design and will use cybernetics.

Where most gangs look to increase their status and riches, the Jazz Rabbits look to reunify with the Dead Rabbits, mostly through force.

Style: Like Dead Rabbits, but more modern and cyberized.
Wants: Same as Dead Rabbits, but also to take over the Dead Rabbits and reunify

Typical Member
Same as Dead Rabbits, but Melee weapon is 1d8 and immune to disarm

Chad Boys
What do you get when you mix a world that idolizes violence and a bored fraternity that has nothing to do as college is out from the constant plagues that sweep the world? A gang that thinks they're top shit, but clearly out of their league. Not that that'll stop them. Fueled by daddy's money, or their own trust fund, they carry top grade gear but lack the training to actually use it effectively. While they act touch and flashy in numbers, they're quick to flee should the fight turn against them. Fully expect litigation afterwards.

Several will carry a vape on them. If given a full round to inhale, they expel a cloud that provides total cover in the area for 1d4 rounds.

Style: Polos (collar popped), Khaki cargo shorts, Socks with sandals
Wants: Cheap beer in copious amounts, Drugs, Hit the kegger on Friday night

Typical Member
HD 1  AC Light  Weapon Medium Pistol 1d8 (+1 Slot)
Move 12  Int 10  Moral 5

The Sentinels
'Roided up, drug fueled masculinity doesn't call it quites at the end of the shift. This is especially true for Zen Security officers who, per company policy, are required to take a concoction of stimulants and mood enhancers at the beginning of their shift. A continued usage of which rots your already diseased mind. So what's a feral pig to do? Take off your badge and put on your gang jacket, apparently.

The Sentinels are a collection of off duty, retired, and administrative leave Zen Security officers who continue to play warrior off duty. Wearing armor and wielding arms they "borrowed" from work, they usually extort a high price for "protection" in the neighborhoods they operate in, and easily meet the most meager of slights against them with an over the top response.

Remember: ACAB.

Style: Tacticool gear, Big guns, Buzz cuts, Shooter glasses
Wants: Shoot shit, fight other gangs/assumed degenerates, compensate personal inadequacies through extreme violence

Typical Member
HD 3  AC Heavy  Weapon Medium Rifle 1d10
Move 12  Int 8  Moral 7

In a world where the 80's never ended, all the worst stuff remained in fashion: unchecked greed, massive fraud, in-line skating. The In-Liners are the raddest cool-dudes on the boardwalk, with a taste for thievery. Specializing in snatch-and-grabs and skate based parkour, while not specifically dangerous, they can be powerfully annoying.

Given their proficiency with in-line skating, they can move-attack-move every round.

Style: Bright neon tank tops, Skating saftey gear, Jean shorts, Roller blades, Sunglasses from back to the Future 2
Wants: do some sweet moves, crime (while doing sweet moves)

Typical Member
HD 1  AC Light  Weapon Light Melee 1d6
Move 24 (splitable)  Int 10  Moral 5

Script Kittens
Decked out in neko themed clothing and a vast array of wearable devices, every member has a headdrive paired to their, and other's, devices. Should you encounter them, you'll not likely meet their full force, as they often leave one or two off to the shadows monitoring the situation and hacking as need be.

Style: Neko themed attire mixed with wearable devices.
Wants: Your personal data, Sex, Drugs, General techno havoc

Typical Member
HD 2  AC Medium  Weapon Medium Pistol 1d8
Move 12  Int 14  Moral 5
*Headdrive augment

Dead Boys
Some grow bored with life and turn to drugs and alcohol. I sure do. It works. BUT there are some that crave more. They crave thrills, excitement; near death experiences and glimpses of the Otherside. They don't wanna die outright or permanently, they just want to see That Which is Kept From Us and Unknowable. And what good is knowledge if your dead-dead? To that end they install Jump Start units near their heart. These are expensive. They don't care. They'll probably be dead before it gets repossessed.

When reduced to Dead, perform a Con check. On failure, the Dead Boy stays dead. On success, the Dead Boy regains 1/3 of their overall HP. They'll be ecstatic and beside themselves with what they saw on the Otherside. They'll be neutral for a couple of rounds, before they remember the situation they're in.

Style: Cheetah print and chrome, Day of the Dead themes
Wants: Near death experiences to glimpse the Otherside

Typical Member
HD 2  AC Light  Weapon Light Pistol 1d6
Move 12  Int 10  Moral 5
*Jump Start augment

Aweh, me bruh. Howzit? You tired of these doosbrein, no? I is. Listen, you want the best, you come see the Maansiekes, mos. We got booze, buttons, dagga, guns, and the dopest beats. You need a place to hide? We serve you breakfast in bed. You got a job? We'll do the skop, skiet en donner, like in the movies. As long as you got the money.

Maybe you want to join us, mos? Hey tjommie, skiet my een van jou pyle daar myne is skraal. Dankie. Okay, listen, to be Maansiekes - true Maansiekes - you need two things. One: hounding; attitude. You've got to be the meanest roofpoes on the street. You need to shoot first and kick ass. Second: You need style; aesthetics. This arm of yours, carbon fiber. Boring. You need gold plated, or hot pink. Something make you stand out. Something make them 'member you. You get these, then you come see the Maansiekes, we give you the Tests, see if you make the cut. And, oh yes, it will get weird.

Style: Zef, 
Wants: Honestly, who the hell knows. Just give them all the money and drugs you have on you and maybe they'll leave.

Typical Member
HD 3  AC Medium  Weapon Medium Pistol 1d8
Move 12  Int 10  Moral 10

Zealots of the Neon Lady
Life on the street in current day is beyond difficult. More so in the hell of 20XX. Double all that for an orphan. Scared and alone, wandering the neon lit streets, they sought out others like themselves, forming their own society in the hidden places of the busy streets. They traded with each other, with what little they had: food, clothing, and, most importantly, stories. Stories taken from stolen bibles and the occasional comicbook. From these the myth of the Neon Lady was formed, giving the children something to form a community around. Something to give them a purpose and meaning. 

Then, the children grew up. And the Church of the Neon Lady was formed.

Headquartered in what remains of Miami, they operate as a religious institute to the public, and as an armed force in more private matters. They over see both the homeless shelters and orphanages around the city. Their doctrines are ever evolving and their scholars, as they are, continuously seek the Truename of the Neon Lady, believing it will call her forth to end the decay of the world and restore it to it's former paradise.

Style: Catholic priests mixed with dia de los muertos body art, favoring bright neon coloring.
Wants: Help the needy, Give shelter to orphans, Find the Truename of the Neon Lady

Typical Member
HD 4  AC Heavy  Weapon Heavy Melee 1d12
Move 12  Int 10  Moral 7


Kurtful of Russells

 Get drunk, make RPGs. 

Play tested 100 hours. 


Adventure Scouts!


I've had a little setting/system I've been referring to as Adventure Scouts! knocking around in my head for a bit. As I've been yelled at for not posting, I figured I might as well put down actual notes and see if this becomes anything. I've a few other entrees in editing hell at the moment, but this seems to have jumped the queue for some reason or another. 

The basic premise is the PCs play teens, some where between 14 to 17, doing outdoor activities and learning life skills, as one would do in real life scouting programs, like the Boy Scouts. Just like those scouting programs, the characters set out into the world on light-hearted, daring adventures of exploration and discovery. Through various motorcycle related head injuries, I only have vague memories of this time in my life, so I'm going to assume my experiences were somewhat like this. 

Why light-hearted? Because I need a break from the grimness of cyberpunk for a minute. 

Players start off at rank Scout and through the collection of Merit Badges, climb through the ranks to Raven Scout, gaining abilities as they go. 

Core System

This part really doesn't matter. Or, rather, it can be swapped out for any other resolution system you prefer. I'll probably eventually use Tunnel Goons, because it's light and quick, but with some minor adjustments there's no reason other OSR-like (the hell does this even mean anymore?) systems couldn't work. GLoG v1? Easy. GLoG v2? I mean, maybe, I ain't looked at it too hard. Polymorph? Yep. 

Anyway, the advancement system you're using, and any sort of classes, are gone. Using kills to gain XP? Murder is against Scout code (probably). Using Gold as XP? Who needs gold when you can get those sweet, sweet Merit Badges?


Advancement is done through the earning of Merit Badges, with each rank requiring a certain number of badges. To earn a merit badge, you must go out into the world and successfully perform actions related to the badge. In turn, the badges provide certain benefits. An ever increasing list of merit badges, how to earn them, and their benefits is provided here. 

The long and short of it is: You do a thing enough times, you get better at doing the thing. But, also, sometimes weirdness. Some badges you'll naturally gain as a group, others you'll pick up on your own. Kind of like actual scouting. As such, badges naturally gained as a group (like Hiking) offer less benefit than those gained individually (like Hexcraft). 

Mind you, other scouts (NPCs) will probably find your actions entirely strange, as they usually just do reports for their badges. You, however, are an Adventure Scout! You go above and beyond. 

To officially receive the badges, and access to the benefits, you must return to the city after completing the requirements and spend a City action there. 

After a certain number of badges, you gain a rank. The ranks represent and show your hard work and dedication to the Adventure Scouts, and certainly isn't designed to reinforce paramilitary bullshit in the minds of the youth. 

The ranks (and the number of badges required) are as such:

  1. Scout (0) - All characters start off as this. 
  2. Fledgeling (5)
  3. Twoth (10) 
  4. Sidekick (15)
  5. Wanderstar (20) 
  6. Hildewulf (25)
  7. Raven Scout (30) - Highest of the Ranks

Example merit badges


  • Requirement: Travel 20 Hexs with a full inventory

  • Benefit: Gain an additional inventory space per level. 


  • Requirement: Document 20 beasts encountered
  • Benefit:  Gain ability to Speak with Animals


  • Requirement: Combine strange found chemicals and discovered their effects through usage 5 times

  • Benefit: Generate one extra dosage of any potions made, gain a copy of the chemicals/reagents list.


  • Requirement: Retrieve 10 beers for the GM (When they need them, not all at once)

  • Benefit: Personal rations gain an additional usage


  • Requirement: Find and meet the elves on good terms, and complete 3 quests for them

  • Benefit: Count as “Elf”


  • Requirement: Successfully use 10 scrolls

  • Benefit: Invitation into Order of the Green Spiral; No longer need checks to use most scrolls

The list certainly continues from there.


At some point in your career, I imagine you'll be able to bribe other scouts to assist you, using Scout Script (in game currency). Thinking on it just now, I'd say you'd probably be able to hire scouts of your current rank or lower, with higher levels having more abilities, but also costing more. You know, like hirelings.


With so many scouts in such a large organization, it's only natural for groups to form based on interests. Order of the Green Spiral (for those into magic), Guild of the Void Horizon (for thems that have been to the Wandering Stars), Order of the Carburetor (for the weirdos into automotive) - jut to name a few. Each can provide various resources for their members the others can't, and each have their own membership qualifications. I assume. I'll be honest, I just thought of this.

Death and Dying

Being a light hearted game, whatever system you're using would also have it's Death system removed. Instead, when a scout would enter the "Dying" or "Dead" condition, they enter the "Not Fun Anymore" condition, in which they find the current situation no longer fun, grow sick of it, and proceed to call their parents to pick them up. It's possible the current party might get yelled at on return to the City.

If you're using Cool Scars, they could probably stay.


Under Hill, By Water

YOU! Adventurer! 

Do you tire of constantly risking your life for ancient trinkets that are most likely cursed? Do you long for a pastoral life where you have a moment to just sit? Where your biggest concern of the day is finding where Old Man Ruther's bastard goose went, rather than if you've gotten the right phylactery for the lich currently threatening the world?

Of course you do! Those other things are a H A S S L E. Also DANGEROUS. 

Well, you're in luck! I've got just the replacement life for you!

Under Hill, By Water

Click It

Under Hill, By Water (by Josh McCrowell) contains everything you need to live out fantasies of being a halfling with little to no responsibilities - it's a full game unto itself, from character generation to tips for running the game to a poem by T.S Elliot. With generators for just about everything, no two iterations of the game are likely to be the same. 

But, most importantly, it's got those darlings of the woods, without which no OSR-esque game is complete: Gorcrows. That's right! You too can experience the thrill of waving your arms helplessly at a dog-sized crow, who's bent on stealing your shiny objects. Feel complete in knowing that your things will soon be theirs. What do they even do with them? They're birds.

With art by BOTH Isaac Podyma and Evlyn Moreau, it's easy on the eyes. 

So, get out there! Win a blue ribbon at the Harvest Festival. Visit every tavern in the Commonwealth. Wrestle a goat. Steal a pie recipe. Look at an elf. Learn how to spell "Aloisius." These are things you could be doing. 

Click above to go to where you can get it. 



The original intent for the setting description was to work west around the world, just to keep it orderly. Ennui and has decided I'll jump ahead a few time zones. 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
For stretch of time, things were looking rough for the USSR, having grown stagnant in Stalin's state capitalism. However, in the early 1990's the failed August Coup reignited the flame of communism in the hearts and minds of the populous. Under the leadership of Gorbachev, and later Putin, the country took additional leaps towards communism. 

While the Cold War ended after the Collapse, the war of Capitalism vs Communism continues between the USSR and the Major Corporations, as a proxy war rages in South America through the corporation backed Contras. 

With the Space Race won by default (though, admitted surpassed by Japan after the race was over), the Republics were the first to have a permanent space station in Earth's orbit (Cosmograd), on the moon (Lunagrad) and just recently on Mars (Perungrad). 

The Sights
Constructivist architecture remains popular, along with Socialist Classicism

Socialist realism statues and monuments can be found in most public spaces, glorifying the triumph of the proletariat. 

Monolithic housing blocks ensure no comrade is left homeless. 

House of the Soviets, once the world's tallest building (now second to Tokyo Skytree superstrate), beams nightly fan fair into the Russian night sky.

KGB cameras are not seen, despite what Western propaganda will have you believe. They are better hidden than that. 

The Sounds
Sovietwave and Russian Surf echo from the discotheques.  

Vladimir Vysotsky and Tsvety can still be heard on radio stations. 

The steady hum of industry and prosperity fill the work days. 

The Internationale can be heard sung in factories at the start of shifts. 

The Smells
Papirosy, strong cardboard tipped cigarettes, are smoked everywhere. 

Grease and burning smells hang in the air around factory towns. 

Alcohol is on everyone's breath. 

Camomile and Carnation aromas fill the air in town centers, as the two flowers have grown popularity. 

The Tastes
Alcoholic drinks are common in day to day life. Anything under 6% is classified as a "soft drink"

Gregorian and Estonian cuisines have gained in popularity as of late. 

The KGB has noted Soviet citizens have a significantly healthier diet than those of the former USA. 

The Touches
Cold, cruel, and crushing winters. 

Warm and mild summers. 

Stiff and itchy canvas is used to make the mass produced popular work shirt.  

In the News: 
They've recently annexed Afghanistan, to which Iran takes a paranoid view of, and are currently in a land dispute with Maoist China over Mongolia. 

There's also some trouble from nationalists in eastern Europe. The Iron Curtain has become a hotbed of terrorist activities, to the point of bullets becoming a secondary currency. 

Not in the News: 
Multiple ZATOs (closed administrative-territorial formations; "closed cities") are active, mostly dealing with nuclear or alternate energy research, naval/air force administration, and cosmodromes. There are some less boring ZATOs in operation, however:  
  • Majak (City 40) - Focuses on research into and using "strange matter"
  • Uglegorsk - Serves as the cosmodrome managing terrestrial side operations for the Hinderland station. 
  • Gorky - Mass production of the nuclear capable KM ekranoplan
  • Mailbox #4276 - Secure facility in Mezhgorye performing research in theoretical quantum realms and entanglement. 
  • Krasnoyarsk 26 - Researches ancient viruses discovered in the ever thawing tundra. 
It's also been rumored the USSR has provided nuclear missiles to the Republic of Cuba. Detection and confirmation by outside observers has been made difficult due to background radiation from wide spread contamination after some jackass thought it was a good idea to nuke a hurricane. 

New Class

People's Champion

For each template gain +1 Save against Fear. 

A. Inspiration, Turn Bourgeoisie 
B. Internationale
C. Neither Gods Nor Caesars
D. Nothing to Lose But Your Chains

The Champion doesn't get this ability, so much as the team gets the ability. This is a pool of points equal to 1 per People's Champion template in the team, and usable on various things (listed below) by anyone on the team. To activate, the player using the point must inspire the target in someway. I'm primarily picturing a short uplifting speech, but if you can figure another way, I ain't gonna stop you. Ways to refill the pool are also listed below. 

  • Restore 1d6 HP to the target
  • Give a +4 to a single test or save. (Traditional assisting only provides +2) 
  • Champion successfully assists someone
  • Champion takes time to repair gear rather than simply purchase new item
  • Champion shows solidarity with the common man at a detriment to themselves. 

Turn Bourgeoisie

When confronted by the Bourgeoisie or one of their dogs (CEOs, cops), you may speak words of revolution (and spend a Conviction point), then roll 2d6, consulting the chart above. If you roll under the number (meet is beat) the target is turned. A "T" means the target is automatically turned, "D" means the target is destroyed, and "-" means automatic failure. In cases of dual numbers (ex 11/5), the first number is for turned, the second is for destroyed. Turned targets flee the area for 1d6 rounds. Destroyed targets leave the area for good and rethink the choices they made that lead them to this point. 

When meeting members of the Proletariat, reaction rolls are made at a +4. 

Neither Gods Nor Caesers
Adjacent allies may use your Save vs Fear in replace of their own. 

Nothing to Lose But Your Chains
Once per session, by given a grandstanding, uplifting speech, you can give a free Command (as per the traditional spell) to the audience with no Save. 

Variant: Posadist
A. Inspiration, Talk to Dolphin
B. Internationale
C. Neither Gods Nor Caesars
D. Nuclear Football

Talk to Dolphin
You're able to communicate with dolphins, without any additional tools. They are comrades, after all. 

Nuclear Football
You have a miniature nuke in a suitcase. It takes up 2 slots and possibly has a faulty timer. What you do with it is up to you. I certainly ain't gonna hassle the person with a nuclear device. 


On Halflings, Goblins, and Raccoons

 In the last post, I offered an encountered posed as a question:

24. What if Hydras, but with Hobbits?

And that got me wondering: What IF hydras, but with hobbits? Well, the answer seems pretty clear: Goblins. 

"What? That makes no sense, you drunkard." I hear you say; to which I retort: 1) Ouch. Rude. Jesus. and 2) I can show my work. I just gotta do a little information dump to get you on the same page. It'll seem unrelated at first, and it largely is, but the concept it presents will be what's important. 

Many of the names I'm about to use have accent marks in their proper spelling, but in 20 years of knowing how to type, I've never figured out how to make them, so they won't have them. 

The Story of Fafnir

Fafnir, a dwarf with a strong right arm and a fearless soul, was the son of king Hreidmar, and brother to Regin and Otr. Known for his aggression, he served in his father's hall as a guard, keeping a close eye on the massive amount of wealth the king of the dwarfs obviously would have. He had a nice life, full of dwarf things, until - as these stories go - the gods arrived. 

You see, Odin, Loki, and Hœnir were traveling when they encountered Otr. Now Otr had the ability to change into any form, and his favorite was that of the otter. And a damn fine otter he was. So much so, Loki (of course it's Loki, it's always Loki in these stories) desired his pelt, which involved killing and skinning Otr. A task the gods made short work of. 

That night they came unto Hreidmar's hall and, pleased with their catch and unknowning it was actually a dwarf or Hreidmar's son, they proudly showed off the pelt they had harvested. Obviously, Hreidmar was displeased by this and at first demanded a life for a life to pay for the murder, however the gods made the argument that the murder was but an accident, as Otr was an otter at the time, and they had no way of knowing. Accepting that it was an accident, Hreidmar instead settled for weregild ("man price", compensation payed to a family over the lose or injury of a member). Otr was the son of a king, so his price was high: in order the gods to leave as free men they had to fill Otr's pelt with yellow gold and then cover it entirely with red gold. Agreeing to this, Odin and Hœnir remained as captives, while Loki went out in search of the gold. 

Instead of returning to the large treasure hordes of Asgard to end this unfortunately situation quickly, Loki hunts down Andvari. Andvari, another dwarf with the ability to shape shift (this time into a pike) who lived under a waterfall, was incredibly wealthy, thanks to his ring Andvaranaut, which helped in hunting gold. Using a net from Ran (sea goddess with an indestructible net; a whole other side quest), Loki was able to capture Andvari in fish form, and force him to give up both his gold and magic ring. Having no other choice, Andvari gives them up, but curses them to bring ruin to anyone who possess them in the process. 

Full of himself, Loki returned to Hreidmar and laid the gold treasure upon the pelt of Otr. The gold nearly covered all of it, save for a single whisker, which Loki begrudgingly used Andvaranaut to cover. With the wereguild paid in full, the gods were released, and go on about their way, exiting out of this story. 

Now, the type of otter Otr was was most likely the euroasian otter, because that's the only Scandinavia has, so we're looking at a pelt up to 37.5 inches (96cm) long, not including the 18 inch (45cm) tail. That's a heap of gold. A HEAP

Fueled by both jealousy and the curse, but probably mostly the curse, Fafnir drew his sword and murdered Hreidmar, taking all the gold for himself. Escaping in the wilderness, left alone with ill gained fortune, Fafnir grew twisted and cruel, his greed changing him into a serpent/dragon which breathed poison into the very land around him. 


AND we see here how Fafnir was corrupted by his greed into a dragon. This wasn't a "Oh, I want this minor material possession to make my miserable life slightly brighter for a moment" nominal amount of greed that we experience everyday, this was "I am fully inclined to murder the man whose enormous amount of gold and gems I've guarded with my life for (probably) decades without so much a thought of snatching one, and also he's my father" amount of greed - the kind you see from landlords and Wall Street. His vice/sin changed him to his very core. 

Besides Dwarf, which other usually playable race is known for a vice, such as gluttony? 

That's right: Halflings. And where as Halfings aren't Dwarfs, they're not going to turn into dragons or serpents. Their gluttony and sloth and all the other vices and sins that were carried out in the depraved bourgeois halls of Bag End would change and transform them into something else. That something else is a Goblin. 

Halflings live in a hole in the ground. To quote: "Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell...it was a hobbit halfing-hole, and that means comfort." (and decadence). 

Goblins, on the other hand, live in a hole in the ground. A nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell. A destroyed halfling hole. 

That's...asinine, but what does this have to do with Hydra?

Hydras are well known for their ability to regrow their severed heads. A goblin's ability to regrow parts is also well documented. I had a link to this documentation, however now that I needed it, it is missing. The long and short of it was that goblin basically breed through violence, quickly regrowing missing parts or even whole bodies. I'll put in the link if I can ever find it again. 

Alright...I guess. And the raccoons?

Look at the following videos. Raccoons are basically Goblins. 

Look at 'em. 

That's clear evidence that the Elves evolved the Halflings from raccoons, much in the same way they made Man from apes, and Orcs from boar. It's just basic science. 

Post Publish Edit (8/11/20): Well kiss my grits. Seems Arnold K already covered this five years ago.  While this only further suggests that I am correct, I will not forget this insult.