Meet the Iconics: Fumbus

Friday, March 1, 2019

Born in Isger's Chitterwood, Fumbus's early life was practically idyllic, at least by goblin standards. The Chitterwood has been largely left to the goblins since the end of the Goblinblood Wars nearly twenty years ago, its goblin inhabitants now free of the militant influence of their hobgoblin cousins, most of whom were eradicated or driven out of Isger at the closing of the war.

Fumbus had the honor of serving as apprentice to the Fire-Eater goblin clan's chief pickle-maker, a position which gave him a fair amount of standing amongst his kin. Unfortunately, Fumbus had a particular penchant for experimentation that led to spectacular failures as often as it led to new delicacies. When a particularly unstable batch of "spicy pickle brine" exploded in the middle of the Fire-Eater encampment, Fumbus fled the Chitterwood, fearing that the reprisal from his fellow goblins for destroying both the clan's precious pickle barrel and a significant supply of cucumbers would be swift and violent.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Fumbus's initial forays into the wider world were truly terrifying. Scavenging from human farms usually ended poorly, as vicious dogs and horrifying horses would bite, chase, or stomp the poor goblin if they caught wind of his presence. The humans themselves were often even more terrifying, and Fumbus found himself fleeing pitchfork-wielding mobs with stolen, smelly shoes (easiest to find without a light and useful as either food or clothing) tucked under one arm far more often than he found a safe place to fill his belly and sleep. Fumbus's life likely would have ended at the hands of one of these mobs had he not encountered a passing half-orc Pathfinder named Droven whose initial reaction to the little goblin was humor, rather than fear or violence. Used to dealing with a certain amount of prejudice and distrust himself, Droven dissuaded the mob from pursuing their vendetta against the goblin and allowed Fumbus to accompany him on his mission.

Droven's heroics entranced young Fumbus, particularly the alchemical fire and other concoctions the half-orc used to defeat his opponents. When Droven completed his mission for the Pathfinder Society, he brought Fumbus back with him to Absalom. Droven helped secure a home for the little goblin in the Puddles district, where Fumbus's presence would be less likely to cause a stir, and shared what he knew of alchemy with the eager goblin. While Fumbus was terrified at the thought of needing to write down formulas, his mind was sharp and he quickly mastered the art of reading; to Fumbus, collecting these foolishly discarded thoughts was no different than surviving off the trash and scraps left on the outskirts of towns and cities. Fumbus came up with his own system for creating and remembering formulas using small tokens engraved with pictographic runes and a series of leather cords, which he would use to bind certain ingredients in specific orders. Together these implements allowed him to practice alchemy without risking his goblin soul or precious thoughts by performing the obscene act of writing anything down. Of further benefit to Fumbus, his new home's location in the Puddles allows the little goblin to experiment with all manner of inflammable and unstable concoctions with little fear of wreaking destruction beyond the building's water-logged rooms.

Droven offered to sponsor Fumbus into the Pathfinder Society, but the goblin was so impressed by Droven that he truly believed he would not be able to pass the Society's rigorous entry exams. Determined to prove himself, Fumbus busily applied his time and energy to creating new alchemical formulas and perfecting his system for recording his discoveries. As Fumbus's confidence grew, he began to believe that perhaps he might find a place in the Pathfinder Society after all. Skulking through the alleys of Absalom, Fumbus made his way to the Grand Lodge. Upon his arrival, Fumbus learned that Droven had left on a mission several weeks ago and was overdue to report in; his ship was believed lost at sea. Droven had left a letter of sponsorship as well as some funds to secure the goblin a chance to learn at the Society's institutions but Fumbus was unwilling to begin his training without the half-orc present.

Months have passed and Droven has still not returned. Fumbus spends his time perfecting his alchemy, seeking news of his lost friend, and looking for opportunities to ingratiate himself to the Pathfinder Society, despite multiple assurances from the Society's members and leadership that Fumbus's welcome was already secured by his half-orc friend. Something in Fumbus's mind refuses to let go of the idea that he must prove himself to be a worthy explorer of the same caliber as Droven, whose heroics and skill are unmatched in Fumbus's view. The little goblin has made a decision that he holds sacrosanct: he will earn his entrance to the Society by either finding his friend Droven and bringing the half-orc home, or by performing a truly heroic act worthy of the reputation Droven holds in Fumbus's own eyes.

Michael Sayre
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Alchemists Fumbus Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
1 to 50 of 123 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Oooooohhhhh! And so the introductions and updates begin!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

adds to the list of characters that do not have any strong feelings for one way or the other.....

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Not a bad intro.


17 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's a good write-up, I like it.

I did have to smile at the reference to the "Society's rigorous entrance exams." I think cheating on that exam must be pretty easy given some of the PCs I've met (and played) :)

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

SO very awesome.

CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT! CAN'T WAIT!

Shadow Lodge

nice story...was really looking forward to seeing how 2e was going to handle the whole goblin-fear-of-writing thing...one thing that confuses me...the story said he had trouble seeing without a light but don't goblins have darkvision?...or is that being retconned?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
nohar wrote:
nice story...was really looking forward to seeing how 2e was going to handle the whole goblin-fear-of-writing thing...one thing that confuses me...the story said he had trouble seeing without a light but don't goblins have darkvision?...or is that being retconned?

They had darkvision in the playtest, I would assume they will in second edition. That said, I think there is a misconception with this ability.

Darkvision is only the ability to see in black and white. Having light on does make it easier to tell things a part. Just mechanically there is no penalty or bonus for the lack of color. In storytelling for Pathfinder (and for D&D) there is still the understanding that having light is better than having darkvision. Meaning you can see better because you have color.

As players who play in the meta darkvision is a great ability because you get no penalty to see AND you have the opportunity to sneak up on others. In most of the storytelling though the opposite is true.

For instance, asking an Orc to cut the red wire because as a human you cannot see any wires due to the lack of light. That Orc is rollin' randomly. I think this is what they are referring to in this intro.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Jhaeman wrote:

It's a good write-up, I like it.

I did have to smile at the reference to the "Society's rigorous entrance exams." I think cheating on that exam must be pretty easy given some of the PCs I've met (and played) :)

It's probably important to keep in mind that those rigorous entrance exams are rigorous based on Fumbus's beliefs; the exact degree to which someone else might consider them rigorous is potentially a matter of debate.


16 people marked this as a favorite.

If you have been brought up to believe that written words steal your soul, just filling out a sign-up sheet can be a harrowing experience!

Hmm


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:

It's a good write-up, I like it.

I did have to smile at the reference to the "Society's rigorous entrance exams." I think cheating on that exam must be pretty easy given some of the PCs I've met (and played) :)

It's probably important to keep in mind that those rigorous entrance exams are rigorous based on Fumbus's beliefs; the exact degree to which someone else might consider them rigorous is potentially a matter of debate.

My "caveman shaman" with an Int of 6 has thrived in the Society, so Fumbus *probably* had nothing to worry about :)


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Ambivalent about all the Pathfinder Society stuff, but dang if this bit didn't sell me on Fumbus entirely:

Quote:
Unfortunately, Fumbus had a particular penchant for experimentation that led to spectacular failures as often as it led to new delicacies. When a particularly unstable batch of "spicy pickle brine" exploded in the middle of the Fire-Eater encampment, Fumbus fled the Chitterwood, fearing that the reprisal from his fellow goblins for destroying both the clan's precious pickle barrel and a significant supply of cucumbers would be swift and violent.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Well done, Mike! This is a great introduction for Fumbus. I especially dig his pickle master background, the relatable desire to learn more stuff, and the open story of looking for his buddy.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice one, Mike!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I smell a Fumbus and Droven book on the wind... Smells kind of briny and sour. Now if only Fumbus could steal a shoe for the other foot.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I, for one, welcome our new goblin overlord.

I also like the distinction between reading and writing he makes...

Silver Crusade

14 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

PSA: a jar of heavily picked salted spicy cucumbers is the best vodka food pairing EVER. You eat the pickled cucumbers as finger food with the booze and in the morning, when you wake up and your head and guts are on fire, you guzzle down the leftover brine from the pickle jar and voila, instant vitamin C recovery.

Trust me, I've done this many times. Maybe too many times...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good to see you here Michael, and heralding the shock of the new too! A fine short intro to a divisive figure, and carried off with apickle...err...aplomb. A bomb?

Ennyway, nicely done.

And now for my critique, which has nothing to do with your story. "Fumbus". Doesn't sound gobliny to me, nor even faux-silly. Not a fan. Then again, I am wholly unfamiliar with the extent of Goblin nomenclative fashion in the Chitterwood nor Golarion generally...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So is Damiel still around or...?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Damiel was murdered and eaten by the *other* goblins.

Silver Crusade

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Damiel insulted Alain's horse and sadly had no relatives or friends caring enough to pony up for raise dead.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Goblins shouldn't be core. Goblins shouldn't be core. (I don't like core alchemist either, but I can far more easily accept that.)

I hope you guys are balancing PF2e with the assumption that people will be banning goblin as a playable race at their tables!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

17 people marked this as a favorite.
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?

I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?
I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....

Zombie is an occupation now? (The new edition is changing more than I thougt...)

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Okay I really like Fumbus now

Silver Crusade

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
emky wrote:

Goblins shouldn't be core. Goblins shouldn't be core. (I don't like core alchemist either, but I can far more easily accept that.)

I hope you guys are balancing PF2e with the assumption that people will be banning goblin as a playable race at their tables!

lol what’s there to balance?

“I don’t allow ancestry/class at my table”... and that’s it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Damiel insulted Alain's horse and sadly had no relatives or friends caring enough to pony up for raise dead.

I see what you did there.


interesting that fumbus basically rationalize the writing part and his fear of his soul in clean style basically he can learn writing and keep his soul since pictography actually valid writing style after few adventures with og crew he might lose his fears thanks to Kyra slowly teaching him the souls and the taboo he goblins have is actually kinda silly then on pathfinder 3rd edition down to road we might have goblin cleric giving lecture in society class about goblin history abut religion. know i want to see this happen.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

PSA: a jar of heavily picked salted spicy cucumbers is the best vodka food pairing EVER. You eat the pickled cucumbers as finger food with the booze and in the morning, when you wake up and your head and guts are on fire, you guzzle down the leftover brine from the pickle jar and voila, instant vitamin C recovery.

Trust me, I've done this many times. Maybe too many times...

Also, vodka is a natural disinfectant, so it's great for your immune system. DM's note: Pillbug's liver groans resignedly.

Vodka and spicy briny cucumbers: The Breakfast of Champions Murderhobos.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?
I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....

I know no one will answer this, but here goes.....

Such as what?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?
I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....

...isn’t the back matter usually where you see previews/ads for upcoming products?

...Is he going to be our iconic Master Chymist?!

(Please?)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

With us intending to use Varisia as a setting it's unlikely, though not impossible that goblins will see time as a pc race at our table.
If Shoanti are victims of prejudice, goblins will suffer 10 times worse on the Lost Coast.
However, I like this background for the latest iconic, so, welcome to Pathfinder lore Fumbus.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

(Crossposted from Rysky's thread)

I hadn't been keeping up with the PF2E beta, so I'm not up-to-date on the PF2E alchemist and abilities, but I am very intrigued by the mental image of a goblin who infuses extracts and bombs into pickles.

Lead NPC Minion: "WTF? A goblin with a bandoleer of pickles?! What are you supposed-"

Fumbus: "Taste spicy pickled DEATH!" {flings pickle bomb}

Edit: Ooh my Cos... if the promethean alchemist gets ported over to PF2E, we could have goblin alchemists who create homunculus companions... from pickles.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Love goblins! Love alchemists! Can’t wait until 2E!!!!!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I can't find the Like button anywhere. This story needs more Likes!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Sayre wrote:
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?
I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....

We also have something in the works that will feature more than a hint at Damiel's profession. Still early days, but he's not dead...yet.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like it, probably wise he got out when he did, pickles are a valuable resource.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
emky wrote:

Goblins shouldn't be core. Goblins shouldn't be core. (I don't like core alchemist either, but I can far more easily accept that.)

I hope you guys are balancing PF2e with the assumption that people will be banning goblin as a playable race at their tables!

lol what’s there to balance?

“I don’t allow ancestry/class at my table”... and that’s it.

Goblins are the new clerics. A party without one is practically doomed.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Steelfiredragon wrote:
adds to the list of characters that do not have any strong feelings for one way or the other.....

How very edgelord of you :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Damiel insulted Alain's horse and sadly had no relatives or friends caring enough to pony up for raise dead.

if this turned out to be true, I might end up liking alain just a little bit more.....

though my elven paladin still cant stand him.....
she claims he was being a peeping tom.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice story. The one quibble I have with it is the mention of cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers? Where are the caterpillars, turnips that probably should have been tossed a week before they got pickled, old socks, puppy tails, ogre toes, pine cones and questionably edible mushrooms? Anything can be pickles to a goblin. Cucumbers just seem like a lack of imagination on their part (or they just raided a cucumber shipment and had tons of the suckers and don't want to eat them non-pickled).

I do think Fumbus sounds like a fun, little guy. The hero-worship and apparent self-esteem issues are nice touches.

Mark Moreland wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
SigmaBunny wrote:
So is Damiel still around or...?
I believe there will be a hint as to Damiel's new occupation in the back-matter of the very last book in the Tyrant's Grasp AP....
We also have something in the works that will feature more than a hint at Damiel's profession. Still early days, but he's not dead...yet.

This makes me think he'll end up undead, or maybe as a flesh golem. Might even do it to himself somehow.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

Hated the idea of Goblins in core when first mooted.

Hated them in the playtest.

Hate them now.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:

This makes me think he'll end up undead, or maybe as a flesh golem. Might even do it to himself somehow.

I had actually thought that Damiel would remain the Alchemist Iconic, and have had some unfortunate accident with a mutagen.


...And then Fumbus crossed roads with a strange, taciturn Human Fighter with a modest armor and a full helm which called himself 'Goblin Slayer'.

Things didn't end well for poor Fumbus.

PS: I'm joking, ok ? I love Paizo's Goblins :D


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yaaaaaaaaasssssss! Welcome to the core races/classes Fumbus!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is the second piece of fully colored art for 2e, other than stuff from Doomsday Dawn and the cover of the Book, right? Really loving his design! ESPECIALLY the Barrell on his back! Might nab that idea for future design stuff ;)

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Looks good to me. As a fan of consistency, I appreciate the continuing acknowledgement of anti-goblin prejudice in the Inner Sea region.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow this Backstory is very similar to one I wrote for my goblin PC. I love fumbus and I love goblins, can't wait till goblins start getting even more love!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Pickle explosions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Now I want him to meet Smink's bunch around Sandpoint...


I like the background.

1 to 50 of 123 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Paizo Blog: Meet the Iconics: Fumbus All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

See Also: