Many cultures feature legends of uniocular people or monsters: the Arimaspi (Greek), Likho (Slavic), and of course, Cyclopses. Japan’s Hitotsume kozō and kasa-obake, both being somewhat cute, mischievous yōkai are closest in depiction and demeanor to these pests, which likely originated the myths of monocular entities. The character of Slimer from the Ghostbusters franchise is a binocular cousin to this strain of goblin.
A one-eyed goblin resembles the semi-transparent head of a little boy with a large single eye and a mouth housing a long, prehensile tongue that generates a displacing shock upon contact. It has a button nose, wiggly ears, untidy hair and brattish grin that sometimes misses a tooth.
These ghostly gadflies are excessively mischievous, which normally presents little cause for alarm but for one tricky trait of theirs—timing. One-eyed goblins have a predilection for working their pranks at the worst possible moment for Investigators, e.g., while trying to sneak up on a cult, deciphering an occult tome to glean the anti-Apocalypse spell, or during a running gun battle with a regiment of Deep Ones.
One-eyed goblins can pass through matter like spirits and appear when they desire. It is unclear if they exist invisibly on this plane or lurk in a neighboring dimension and pop into ours when it’s least convenient.
They seem to proliferate in December and February, especially the eighth day of those months, and favor areas with large human populations full of nooks and crannies to hide within and jump scare the unsuspecting.
One-eyed goblins are affected by all forms of magic, including apotropaic folk traditions: Elder Signs and magical weapons injure them, the Powder of Ibn-Ghazi renders them visible, azuki beans and holly leaves shoo them away, and drawing a witch’s mark like a daisy wheel through the goblin’s incorporeal body upon a surface will pin them to that material, etc. They can only be affected by mundane weapons during the combat round where they lick (attack) someone. Beforehand and afterwards they are immaterial. A Hard Occult or Regular Cthulhu Mythos reveals the weaknesses of these nuisances.
If a one-eyed goblin successfully licks a target, the slimed will be compelled to perform an action (see table below), or, at the Keeper’s discretion, succumb to a Bout of Madness, if applicable. Licked victims suffer two Penalty Dice to all actions until they remove their compulsion—this penalty may or may not apply to a Bout of Madness. An Extreme Psychoanalysis, which can be attempted once a day, removes the compulsion and Penalty Dice.
One-eyed goblins are solitary entities who usually compel only one person at a time. They invisibly follow to see them complete the task or until the Bout concludes. If the target is thwarted for any reason, the goblin attacks the interruptor.
1. Buy an expensive non-essential item.
2. Travel somewhere at least 100 miles away.
3. Break something large or valuable that is not in the immediate vicinity. 4. Have a kissing or petting session with someone they know (Keepers be careful with this and respect player consent).
5. Sing a complete song at the top of their lungs (the character might not know all the words and need to research); interruptions restart the tune.
6. Read a bestselling book in one sitting and give their critique of it to 1D10 people. 7. Eat a pound of grass.
8. Get a complete makeover—new hairstyle, clothing, makeup, etc.
9. Write their memoir from childhood to now.
10. Repaint their home (interior or exterior or both).
11. Convince a famous person whom they have never met that they are their number one fan.
12. Confess all their sins—starting from their latest and going back to childhood—to a stranger.
13. Enjoy tea and conversation with an enemy. The goblin can bring tea and snacks, both scrumptious to humans. This klatch must last at least 1D4+1 hours.
Keepers are encouraged to invent their own. Most compulsions should involve leaving the scene or action they were taking or suffer the penalties until they can get away.
One-eyed Goblins, Complete Hassles
STR: 3D6x5 / 55
CON: 4D6x5 / 70
SIZ: 2D6x5 / 35
DEX: 5D6x5 / 90
INT: 3D6x5 / 55
POW: 8D6x5 / 140
Damage Bonus: 0
Magic Points: 14
Move: 10 (also incorporeal)
Attacks per round: 1
Shock Tongue (lick): 70%, damage: Compulsion (see above)
Armor: None, but immune to all physical attacks except on the same round they lick Sanity Loss: 1/1D4
Aaron has published game material for Pelgrane Press, Miskatonic Repository, Arc Dream Publishing, and more. He teaches games design for middle school children.