A guide to goblins

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ForgottenBhaal
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A guide to goblins

Post by ForgottenBhaal » Mon May 14, 2018 1:16 pm

So you have decided to play a goblin- Wait! Don't stop reading this! I swear, it's gonna be good.
Goblins, some might think are little annoying creatures that run around and throw excrements at eachother, and speak in broken common. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
This guide will mostly focus on the goblin society and psychology, as well as some of their mythology. I will sadly not cover Hobgoblins and Bugbears in this. (Sorry guys!) Most of this information is taken from a hodgepodge of second and third edition lore.
*Disclaimer this is my views on goblins, and might contradict with what others think.

Alright. Lets begin.

Goblin Mythology
In the beginning, the world rebelled against the olds gods. A war ensued in which the gods killed the world. From the blood of the gods maggots were born, and they burrowed into the corpse of the world. In the darkness, the maggots feasted and celebrated the victory of the gods. When the forces of light arrived, a sun was born in the sky that burned the eyes of the maggots. The maggots’ cries of pain were heard by the old gods. Angry at the light for hurting his children, one of the old gods (Maglubiyet) transformed the maggots into goblins. He told the goblins that the forces of light owed them a debt and that they were always to remember the times of darkness when the gods of old ruled victorious. Goblins consider themselves the first born, spawned from the very blood of the old gods. They believe that other races owe the goblins a debt for ancient wrongs.

Sounds pretty metal right?
Right off the bat, here we have something that makes goblins interesting. They are an ancient race, they hold a grudge, this tale has been passed down through generations in their tribes. They are the rightful rulers of this world (which is even more amusing considering how much of cannon-fodder they are.)
Moving right along.

Goblin culture
Goblin culture is inherently tribalistic. Goblin leaders were generally the strongest, and sometimes the smartest, around. Goblins have little concept of privacy, living and sleeping in large common areas; only the leaders lived separately in their own private chambers. As such, goblin lairs were often stinking or soiled, though easily defended when under assault. Many such lairs were layered with simple traps for such purposes.
From an early age, goblins are taught to rely only on themselves and that to survive, they needed to be aggressive and ruthless. To goblins, it might not seem logical to treat others as well or better than they would treat themselves; rather, goblins believe in preemptively removing potential rivals before they can become a threat.
Because of the violent nature of goblin culture, it was not uncommon for goblins to come under the domination of individuals from a larger, more physically powerful culture, most typically larger goblinoids such as hobgoblins or bugbears. This is also why it's very common for goblins to be minions in dungeons and the like, because something more powerful has taken control of the tribe and demand their obedience. (More information at: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Goblin )

The goblin mind

Goblins, like other goblinoids, had a commonly short temper. Leaders among the race often came to power through betrayal or aggression, rather than by more peaceful means, or as clerics of the goblin gods. However, due to their awareness of themselves being weaker and usually more fragile than most things, goblins who live longer tends to become quite good at fighting against this rage, and let it simmer instead. Letting it fuel their future actions, and take their revenge at a later date, where they would take a sadistic pleasure in the harm they will inflict upon those who have wronged them. The concept of a fair fight is meaningless in their society. They favor ambushes, overwhelming odds, dirty tricks, and any other edge they can devise. (Which shows in their gain of the feat 'use poison' for free.) Goblins tend to prefer to fight battles where the odds are in their favor and will flee if outnumbered or outmatched. There is no use for valor, if you are dead after all.

Goblin adventurers

Goblins tend to favour classes that let them use their cunning and wit to triumph over their foes. As they dont mind fighting dirty, the classes Rogue and assassin come to mind when thinking of goblins. Considering their short fuse, a barbarian goblin might fit thematically as well. As well as fighters, more specifically "Worg riders", as Worgs are one of the few races that's canonically allied with goblins.

Goblin religion

Goblins primarily worship members of the Goblin pantheon, which is lead by the god Maglubiyet which is the one who was worshipped over all. Considered the father of the goblin race, he inspired them with his feats of strength and treachery.
(A quick summary of them below, taken from this site: http://www.candlekeep.com/library/artic ... tm#deities)

Maglubiyet is the paranoid and covetous head of the goblin pantheon. He incites his followers to make war on other races, especially dwarves and gnomes. As the primary deity of millions of worshippers on Toril alone, he is afforded the status of greater god. To prevent potential usurpers from arising within his own ranks, he maintains constant watch on the other goblinoid deities and limits their power. Due to some great service he provided to worgs in the past, he is also responsible for the close alliance between the wolves and goblins. He appears as a huge black-skinned goblin with flaming eyes and his unholy symbol is a bloody axe.

Khurgorbaeyag is the patron god of goblins, subordinate only to Maglubiyet. His portfolio includes slavery and oppression of other races so that goblins can focus their attention on war. He appears as a tall, flame-red goblin with orange and yellow scales. His symbol is a red and yellow striped whip. He is known as Kuro to the Batiri and his manifestations on the Chultan peninsula often involve the forms of dinosaurs.

Bargrivyek is a lesser god devoted to the expansion of goblin territories. He strives to moderate conflicts within tribes so that goblins can direct their aggression outward. He appears as a large, calm goblin with a domed forehead and carries the unholy symbol of his faith, a white-tipped flail.

Known as the "Father of Many", Gapnagurnung is an ancestral god worshipped only among his legions of descendants. He is probably a weak demigod (divine rank 1 or 2) but he does grant his numerous adepts spells, even if none of them are very powerful. His symbol is a stake decorated with polished skulls of small animals, which he occasionally rattles to warn his offspring of approaching danger.

The Iron One is the semi-mythical first ruler of Grodd and is worshipped by the inhabitants of that demiplane. He is either a minor god in the goblin pantheon (perhaps demigod level as his priesthood are all adepts) or is an aspect of one of the other goblin gods. The wearer of the Iron Crown of Grodd is considered to be the mouthpiece for the Iron One.

Stalker is a dark, hungering primal force somehow related to the goblin races. It was driven out of its underground home by the first goblins and has sought vengeance ever since. It sows hate and anger amongst the goblins in order to cause war and death to feed its ravenous appetite for revenge. Stalker is a demigod, but has no priests or worshippers.


So in conclusion, there is much more depth to the goblin race than what have been alluded on Arelith. And I hope that this guide will bring more joy, and fun to the goblin race, alongside with some more excellent goblins to roleplay with. Stay excellent people. I will update this guide in the future, with some more fun tips and tricks related to playing a goblin.

Useful links for more information (You have to sift through it to find what's relevant though.)
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Goblin
http://www.candlekeep.com/library/artic ... m#overview
http://www.traykon.com/divinity/goblin.php

And big thanks to: Ice, Hex and FudgeMuffin for helping me proofread this, and make it somewhat more readable.
Last edited by ForgottenBhaal on Mon May 14, 2018 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ForgottenBhaal
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by ForgottenBhaal » Mon May 14, 2018 1:17 pm

[Placeholder for future posts, such as 'concept goblins, and 'archetypes']

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Iceborn
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by Iceborn » Tue May 15, 2018 7:57 am

While goblins are often regarded as some kind of meme-comedic characters (you can literally say "stop gobbing around!" and people will immediately catch the gist of it), they do in fact have a pretty strong culture when you delve about them. Tragically, it is very rare to see somebody that is willing to play a goblin as a serious character.

Kobolds have pretty much the same issue; strong culture, comedic archetype, and if it's not comedic it is cutebolds.
These are races that people can actually play, and they can make real characters, with real goals and mindsets and actual emotions.
Then again, I guess a lot of players just really want to meme around...
Misc Changes, with the Feats and Skills sublinks.
Available races
Spell Changes
Class Mechanics
Command Guide

Take a look before asking your questions!

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Opustus
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by Opustus » Tue May 15, 2018 2:12 pm

w00t, go go ForgottenBhaal, and go go the gobbokind!

I've always thought that it's cool to think that the perceived weakness or stupidity of goblins is one of their finest methods of survival. Are they underlings to bugbears and hobgoblins because they are coerced or because it benefits them to serve? Hierarchy in itself and being on the bottom rung can, in fact, be a very effective way to survive threats against your kind. Do the paladins often combat measly goblins or seek to smite the chieftain instead? Being a goblin means that you are protected, hidden from sight of the forces seeking to destroy you. Within the tribe, do goblinoids fight over who gets to wash the lavatories or over who gets to wear the crown? As someone of no significance, you may be the object of wanton violence, but at least then your life doesn't hang on the constancy of being the mightiest of the tribe. The powerful live under duress, always being challenged by the newest hero, whereas the goblins might enjoy some security to thrive under.

Weakness is a form of cunning malevolent.
Carry your bag in a sea of stories
To her mainland in Caesarea
Fly the flag of your borrowed glories
Till the west end of Old Sofia

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R0GUE
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by R0GUE » Tue May 15, 2018 2:32 pm

Iceborn wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:57 am
While goblins are often regarded as some kind of meme-comedic characters (you can literally say "stop gobbing around!" and people will immediately catch the gist of it), they do in fact have a pretty strong culture when you delve about them. Tragically, it is very rare to see somebody that is willing to play a goblin as a serious character.

Kobolds have pretty much the same issue; strong culture, comedic archetype, and if it's not comedic it is cutebolds.
These are races that people can actually play, and they can make real characters, with real goals and mindsets and actual emotions.
Then again, I guess a lot of players just really want to meme around...
True but some of that culture is inherently funny. I love both the depictions of goblins in Warhammer fantasy as whirling little maniacs, and in Pathfinder as devious impish little Pufferfish of destruction.

Maybe, I'm looking at it wrong, but if someone got a PC goblin faction going where the goblins really started just behaving like crazed little maniacs it would be a LOT of fun for everyone.

EDIT: Really? B_A_LLS is a curse word on this forum?

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ForgottenBhaal
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by ForgottenBhaal » Tue May 15, 2018 2:43 pm

At the moment im just playing a minion goblin, without a clan. I think thats the best way to approach goblins in the underdark, join an organisation or the like instead. Mostly because racial RP is all fun an good, but tends to limit ones interactions with others.
And goblins make perfect minions, while they are plotting to seize the power for themselves.

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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by WinkinBlinkin » Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 pm

I have to say, I've done tonnes of amazing rp with the Arelith goblins, and the only poo-slinging I've ever seen has been on Discord.

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ForgottenBhaal
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by ForgottenBhaal » Wed May 16, 2018 10:21 am

That's one of the main reasons I made this guide, to alter the perception that people have of goblins. So that we can get an influx of new players to try out the race. Goblins should be numerous after all!

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ForgottenBhaal
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Re: A guide to goblins

Post by ForgottenBhaal » Wed May 23, 2018 2:19 am

Another update with a link thats intresting if you want to get some more lore on Ol Maglubiyet. Not sure how canon it is though, but it has some intresting tidbits.
https://talesofthebloodstonelands.obsid ... maglubiyet

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