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How do I mechanically or lore wise solve inbreeding?


Advice

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GeneticDrift wrote:
Magic McGuffen. Either an artifact is changing people into goblins or the goblin massacre created a vengeful goblin diety......

Actually, there is a Magic McGuffin goblin maker. I picked up a Goblin Bag at Penny Arcade Expo. When you take the McGuffin out of the bag and throw it, it creates 1d3 goblins. Then you hold onto your empty bag for a free resurrection (as thanks from the goblin god for bringing more goblins into the world).

You could have extra fun by forcing the characters that eliminated the goblins have to create more in order to get the resurrection.


How many generations did it take for the three survivors to get back to two thousand?

The biggest problem with inbreeding is that it increases the likelihood of rare deleterious alleles being able to manifest their physical trait when normal mating would in all likelihood mask the physical manifestation. In just a few generations you are very unlikely to see any real negative affects of inbreeding, it isn't until carried out on a longer timeline you start expecting problems....unless of course your starting population happens to clearly have genetic flaws.

One way to solve this would be to occasionally inject some outside DNA. Some kobalds or something giving this predominately goblin race the genetic cloud cover they need for extended generations.

Another way would be to have someone killing off any of the offspring that showed negative phenotypical traits. It isn't unreasonable that someone, maybe even the goblins themselves, started practicing massive euthanasia on their weakest links in order to keep the bloodline strong. Upping the selection pressure to survive and breed would cure your weakening genetic line.......unless of course your original three goblins had some large genetic flaw.


About a 40 goblin generations. Considering that their generations are a hell of a lot shorter in my world. Well most campaigns I imagine.


Mr FuFu143 wrote:

Here's my problem.

My friends want to play goblins. The problem is that in my game universe, the last group of friends I had genocided the goblins down to two brothers and their mother and now they number around two thousand and suffer massive race penalties because of this.

I know what you're thinking, "Why don't you just rewrite the history?" Well I don't just want to rewrite it. What do you guys think?

Any and all suggestions would help.

Goblins, being on the lowest rung of the social breeding ladder, are simply *not* subject to the genetic requirements of other species. Since thier lives are so short, so full of danger, subject to the possibility of disease at every turn, their genetic make-up has developed markers that prevent the issues normally encountered with other races. Any female is perfectly suited to mate with any other male.

plus, it just makes them that much more nasty...


40 generations is enough to expect problems for people to be likely, but I think you could write in either the artificial selection or outbreeding I mentioned earlier to end up with a mechanically superior race for your story.


Sitri wrote:

40 generations is enough to expect problems for people to be likely, but I think you could write in either the artificial selection or outbreeding I mentioned earlier to end up with a mechanically superior race for your story. [/

QUOTE]

That's a very plausible arch I could take but is there a way to do that with the Goblin Vengeance deity? Like that wouldn't be hard would it?


Some things to read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_population#MVP_and_extinction

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_bottleneck

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah#Genetics.2C_evolution.2C_and_classific ation

Cheetah are an example where a population bottleneck does not always lead to extinction if the species is lucky enough so that the last individuals have genetic material that allows them to survive in the long run even after a population bottleneck.

I think I would make tham a race with low reproductive capabilities unless when reproducing with close cousins - which would be a very important strategy for their survivability in the long run. This is, how they could survive without any divine action, of course. I'm no fan of «deus ex machina».


Mr FuFu143 wrote:


That's a very plausible arch I could take but is there a way to do that with the Goblin Vengeance deity? Like that wouldn't be hard would it?

Sure. I thought you said the gods were dead, but it could be possible that any figure hellbent on vengeance, including a god, could demand all goblin infants showing any signs of relative physical or mental weakness to be killed at a young age so that only the strongest and smartest would survive to wreck havoc on those that had previously bested them while they were weak.


Do not solve it. Just say they inbreed back.


In real life, any problems involved with inbreeding usually have to do with negative genetic defects usually occurring more often in phenotype (expressed form) thanks to recessive genes.

The upside: a smart race might be able to use a keen eye to pick out the ones that carry those defects and root them out after a couple of generations. Leaving a mostly static, but healthy set of breeding stock.

From there, all one needs to do, is introduce mutations to a population of fair size, and note whether those mutations are positive, negative, or neutral.

And slowly the selective breeding should allow them to reach a point they are stable again. And possibly a little more evolved than before.


Just because humans and other animals function one way doesnt mean all do. There are species of Bark Beetles that are inbreeding.

Also if they managed to grow to 2000 surviving the evolutionary bottle neck of a population of 3, chances are they are thriving. Could be attributed to a very fast rate of mutation, which sort of fits goblins. Perhaps even considering they live in bad environments, caves, etc, they are genetically disposed for this.

Or Deus Ex Machina, ey why not, it worked for the greeks.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You're playing a fantasy roleplaying game.

You're only obliged to obey your science textbooks until they get in the way.

If you're going to let your science rule your game, defrock every cleric, break the staff of every wizard, ground every dragon, pegasus, gryphon, hyppogriff and countless others, because the genre is chock full of things that literally fly in the face of scientific logic.

Why should Biology be a sacred cow, when you make physicists spin in their graves with every roll of the dice?


Why not throw time travel in there. :)


Sitri wrote:
Mr FuFu143 wrote:


That's a very plausible arch I could take but is there a way to do that with the Goblin Vengeance deity? Like that wouldn't be hard would it?

Sure. I thought you said the gods were dead, but it could be possible that any figure hellbent on vengeance, including a god, could demand all goblin infants showing any signs of relative physical or mental weakness to be killed at a young age so that only the strongest and smartest would survive to wreck havoc on those that had previously bested them while they were weak.

Goblin Spartans, here they come!


LazarX wrote:

You're playing a fantasy roleplaying game.

You're only obliged to obey your science textbooks until they get in the way.

If you're going to let your science rule your game, defrock every cleric, break the staff of every wizard, ground every dragon, pegasus, gryphon, hyppogriff and countless others, because the genre is chock full of things that literally fly in the face of scientific logic.

Why should Biology be a sacred cow, when you make physicists spin in their graves with every roll of the dice?

Ever watched a fantasy/sci-fi movie that does something outlandish regularly like levitation or mind control and you can stomach it, but all of a sudden they do something like have a baby fall 1000 ft and caught by the same previous super creature and you think WTF? Just because the other guy has mental powers doesn't mean that stopping a baby from falling at terminal velocity seems realistic. It is because the science is important to us.

We can make exceptions to the rules, and we generally try to explain those exceptions somehow, but these exceptions must be so clearly part of the fantasy that we can suspend disbelief. If we aren't somehow rooted in the real, we might as well have our blind, half-ogre, half-mouse, killing dragons with two strands of spaghetti.

Now is the whole goblin genetics thing big enough for us to buy into as part of the fantasy? I am willing to bet yes, but it never hurts to make it feel more real.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mr FuFu143 wrote:


Here's my problem.

My friends want to play goblins. The problem is that in my game universe, the last group of friends I had genocided the goblins down to two brothers and their mother and now they number around two thousand and suffer massive race penalties because of this.

I know what you're thinking, "Why don't you just rewrite the history?" Well I don't just want to rewrite it. What do you guys think?

Any and all suggestions would help.

Inbreeding, as a problem, relies on negative recessive genes. If you want to go all scientific. You could skip the science and go all magical instead. Solves many problems. Inbreeding, gunpowder, internal combustion engines. All solved in my game by magic replacing science as an explanation for the world (inbreeding = a propensity for evil in my game btw). As for science... maybe they had no recessives (negative ones anyway -- might have improved the race as a result). Good genes escapes the issue. Cleopatra was the result of several generations of brother / sister marriages. She was intelligent, beautiful, ruthless... a perfect ruler. Oh, and she was Greek. The Ptolomaic dynasty were Greek / Macedonian imports to Egypt (courtesy of Alexander the Great).


Heck with it. Let them inbreed. Give them fluff deformities that do not effect the game. Have fun with it. Have the golbin hero named 11 toes.

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