July 27th, 2015

Joshua Zaback

Exotic Encounters Archive

                It’s that time again where we introduce a brand new player race, and this time around we feature the gog, a devilish creature bearing some resemblance to an imp, but with a strong association with fire. With fiendish power comes the trappings of a fiendish origin, binding the gog to certain rules that most other characters don’t have to deal with. Playing a gog offers both an exciting array of powers, as well as unique roleplaying opportunities. But don’t just take my word for it—take a gander below and make your own judgements.



                Gogs are a fiend-like race born of smoke and fire. These impish creatures have some power over fire, for which they are feared. They are bound by supernatural rules that govern their interactions with mortal creatures, yet gogs have a not-undeserved reputation for untrustworthiness and wickedness. Though their appearance causes other creatures to consider them monsters, many gogs manage to worm themselves into civilized society anyway, and while some become productive and pleasant citizens, most spend their time delighting in bringing ruin to those around them from just inside the law.

                Physical Description: Gogs appear much like oversized imps. They are short compared to most humanoids, and their skin tones ranges from angry red to dull yellow, with beady black eyes. They have small wings on their back, insufficient to bear their bulk through the air but whose movements are critical to help them navigate as they hop about on their short, powerful legs. Their fingers and toes are clawed and their teeth are sharp. They have large, pointed noses which sometimes hook up or down, giving them an even more fiendish appearance. Gogs are completely hairless, though they have horns on their head which constantly grow, and which many gogs shave or shape in exotic styles. Gogs have voices ranging from guttural to screechy, and many find their speech humorous, a fact most gogs deeply resent. In addition to short wings, gogs have long thin tails ending in a fleshy spade. While these tails apparently serve no purpose, gogs are extremely fond of their tails, with particularly long or beautiful tails being a point of pride for many gogs the world over. Gogs are neither male nor female and don’t reproduce in the traditional manner, instead being born from fire and blood. Many gogs have fluid gender identities, choosing aspects traditionally associated with one gender or the other which suit them and changing those choices with their mood. Among themselves, gogs spurn clothing, preferring the feel of their fiery homes upon their skin. Since many humanoid cultures find the gogs’ fat bellies and warty skin to be off-putting and  consider nudity to be taboo, most gogs wear region-appropriate attire when dealing with other humanoid creatures. Gogs are born fully formed and can live for up to 120 years.

                Society: While many gogs live among the lower planes and fall into the rigid or wild societal structures of those places, some have either escaped from the lower planes or were created on the Material Plane, where they have formed their own society. These gog societies consist of large communities gathered in thriving metropolises situated around permanent sources of heat, such as the pit of a volcano or system of hot springs. These cities are vast and difficult to navigate. Gogs typically live in small homes designed for one individual, as gogs spurn family structures. Each home is unique to the gog living in it, and when one gog dies, its dwelling is destroyed so the space can be used by other gogs. Apart from housing, gog cities feature a wide variety of businesses, few of them honest, which provide services ranging from the everyday and essential to the mystic and complex. The most widely known gog business is banking, as their dread vaults are known to be difficult to breach and gog bankers have no scruples regarding their clients. On the other hand, items stored in gog banks have been known occasionally go missing without adequate explanation. Gogs covet gems and precious stones of all kinds, and their cities boast an unusual number of jewelers and gem artisans who specialize in fine art, as well as in shaving off pieces of gemstones for themselves.

                Gog cities have complex leadership structures that can make it difficult to figure out just who is in charge of what. Every minister seems to hold partial control over various governmental functions, not as a means of ensuring that no one gog has too much power, but to ensure that there is always someone else to blame when things go wrong. Despite having a complex and robust system of leadership, to the outside eye gog cities seem to be plagued by total anarchy. This is due primarily to the unusually unfair and one-sided laws that gog cities abide by. While these laws vary somewhat from city to city, they tend to be very similar in nature. For instance, in most gog cities, stealing is perfectly legal for citizens, and while murder is illegal, so is investigating such crimes for more than 24 hours. Civil trials are common and gogs seem keen to sue each other over just about anything. Trials are elaborate spectacles which occur out of doors in public forums. Among gog communities, the victor of a trial is determined by three factors which are given equal weight: public opinion, the size of bribes given to the arbiter, and evidence. Gogs can sue for anything they want, up to and including the life of their opponent, while the accused can counterclaim anything they want, up to that amount. Trials are considered great fun among gog communities, and rarely are the outdoor trial venues empty.

                It is somewhat uncommon for gogs to travel, as their otherworldly nature puts them at a slight disadvantage to mortal peoples and many gogs are not terribly brave. Still, the greed, ambition, and just plain cruelty of some gogs drives them to seek out lives among other civilized peoples. Gogs living in other societies tend to be mistrusted and marginalized, both because of their monstrous appearance and because of their shady and skittish personalities. Gogs are known for their greed, pride, and destructive natures. Even so, many societies find gogs to be shrewd and productive traders, skilled magicians, and effective businessmen.

                Relations: Many races fear and despise gogs, believing them to be monsters, or worse. Their demonic appearance combined their greedy natures and strange powers mean that only the most open-minded people get along well with gogs. As a result, gogs tend to keep to themselves, but when they do travel, they tend to get along best with other outcasts, such as half-elves and half-orcs. Because they share lower planes roots, gogs and tieflings have a special kinship, though while many teiflings try to separate themselves from their origins, the gogs embrace their natures, leading to occasional clashes between the two. Usually gogs travel as individuals, and while they might choose to endear themselves to a community, greed, mischief, and spite causes many gogs to sow distrust for their race in order to keep more for themselves.

                Alignment and Religion: Gogs are creature of the lower planes and are strongly touched by evil. Though not absolutely beholden to evil alignments, the vast majority tend that way. Unlike devils or demons, gogs have a wide variety of personalities, some being mischievous and chaotic in nature, while others are obsessed with manipulating things to their benefit, and still others are driven entirely by greed.
                Gogs have their own religion, full of demonic princes and all-powerful dark gods. They make a point of building fine temples to these entities in their cities and swear oaths by various evil forces. While every gog claims to be religious, few actually practice any kind of organized religion, and many gogs do not understand or care to understand the exceptionally dynamic and confusing aspects of most religions.

                Adventurers: Gogs have natural magical talents and subtle, tricky natures. While many gogs prefer to live out their lives at home, staying far away from danger and avoiding risks, gogs make exceptional adventurers, being both stealthy and cunning, and able to wield traditional and psychic magic with great ease. Most gogs who become adventurers are sorcerers, wizards, or rogues, taking advantage of their natural talents. Occasionally, an individual gog will find another calling and take up that role, but most prefer to stick to their strengths. Gogs adventure for all kinds of reasons, but typically do so to acquire wealth and power to lord over their fellows. Few gogs have noble callings, and most are purely in it for themselves.

Gog Names: Achor, Balsor, Chorth, Melekor, Nesha, Peshcorik, Resimor, Xardit, Yortal, Zepper.


Standard Racial Traits

                Ability Score Racial Traits: Gogs are clever and charismatic, but lack foresight. They gain +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, and -2 Wisdom.
                Type: Gogs are outsiders with the native subtype

                Size: Gogs are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.

                Base Speed: Gogs have a base speed of 20 feet.

                Languages: Gogs begin play speaking Common. Gogs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following languages:  Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Draconic, Giant, and Infernal.

Skill Racial Traits

                Wicked Cunning: Gogs gain a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics and Bluff checks.

Defensive Racial Traits

                Fire Resistance: Born from fire, gogs are not easily harmed by it. Gogs have fire resistance 10.

Other Racial Traits

                Fire Adept: Gogs are experts at working with fire and treat their caster level as 1 higher for the purposes of casting spells with the fire descriptor. Additionally, all gogs can cast produce flame as a spell-like ability (caster level equals its character level) once per day.

                Deal-bound: Gogs are beholden to the deals they make as part of their otherworldly nature. Any gog that enters into a deal must keep the letter of the deal they make. For the purposes of this ability, a deal constitutes any explicit agreement which is recorded in writing or sealed with a handshake. A gog that willfully breaks a deal made in this way suffers a -4 penalty to each of its ability scores for 1 week, or until it receives the benefits of an atonement spell.