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Friday, August 21, 2015

A Gaggle of Geese, a Murder of Crows and... a Shiv of Goblins?

On re-watching (for the umteenth time) one of the live PAX Dungeons & Dragons game sessions*, I was intrigued by a discussion regarding collective nouns; those mentioned in the game were a "tyranny of dragons" and a "blessing of unicorns." My brain lit up just thinking about all of the potential nouns one could imagine for a fantasy setting, and I realized that my future games could benefit greatly from a little creativity in that direction. After all, little things like that are what really breathe life into a game setting.

So, here's my first stab at a few D&D-specific collective nouns:
  • A shiv of goblins
  • A wonder of trolls
  • A bludgeon of giants
  • A storm of stirges
  • A pip of halflings
  • spite of kobolds
  • A terror of wights
  • A glooming of oozes
  • A seed of bulettes
  • A pall of paladins
  • A sparkle of vampires
  • A flex of flumphs
  • A shame of owlbears
  • A howl of ghouls
  • A glare of ogres
  • A drudgery of green slime
  • A whisker of clerics
Added a few more (8/21):
  • A carbuncle of rot grubs
  • A fret of efreeti
  • A gruff of wizards
  • A snigger of harpies
  • A mote of beholders
  • A sweat of yellow mold
And, of course:
  • A flaking of rust monsters
These are just the ones that shambled off the top of my head. As I think of more, I'll add them - but this a great start, if you ask me. I can't wait to hear my players - possibly in the middle of an encounter -  wondering amongst themselves: "Why do we call it a 'shame' of owlbears??" Maybe that wonder (not of trolls, although that's possible, too!) will even inspire them to dig into the origins of one of these terms... oh, the possibilities for interesting adventures abound!

If anybody out there has any suggestions for other collective nouns in the D&D vein, please do share!

*I believe - but don't hold me to it, as I've re-watched all of them at least once in the last two weeks - that it was this game, from 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdAapVZFS1g. (BTW, Aeofel needs to return and resume his internship at Acquisitions Inc. I'm just sayin'.)

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7 comments:

  1. These are pretty good, though I'd probably do something a bit more obvious...a glooming of wraiths for instance (instead of oozes), or a "stomp" of ogres.

    The sparkle of vampires gave me a big-ass grin.
    : )

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  2. Thanks, JB!

    In regards to the "obviosity" of some of these nouns, I tired to have a mix, just as we do in real life; a "gloaming" of cats, "trip" of goats, "pod" of whales - these aren't the most obvious terms to use to describe a group of said creatures. As I said, I think the quest understand the origin of one or more of these terms could be as much fun as a quest to retrieve an artifact or to save a princess. So, another good reason not to make them all obvious...

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  3. A smudge of gnomes
    A leer of succubi
    A smelting of azers
    A brunt of hobgoblins
    An escapade of pixies
    A drone of killer bees

    These are a bit on the obvious side... :-)

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  4. Excellent stuff, Steve C - thanks!

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  5. Cheers, mate!

    And, of course, a schwing of elf warrior-maidens. ;-)

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