Goblins!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Ever since the goblin song from page 12 of 2007's Pathfinder Adventure Path #1: Burnt Offerings, goblins have been a key part of what makes Pathfinder recognizable as Pathfinder. When we first started looking at what would become the ancestries in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we knew that we wanted to add something to the mix, to broaden the horizon of what it meant to be a hero in Pathfinder. That naturally brought us to goblins.

The trick was finding a way to let you play a goblin who has the feel of a Pathfinder goblin, but who is also a little bit softer around the edges—a character who has a reason to work with a group of "longshanks," as opposed to trying to light them on fire at the first opportunity. Let's look at an excerpt from the goblin ancestry to find out a bit more.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

As a people, goblins have spent millennia feared, maligned, and even hunted—and sometimes for understandable reasons, as some rural goblin tribes still often direct cruelty, raiding, and mayhem toward wandering or vulnerable creatures. In recent decades, however, a new sort of hero has emerged from among these rough-and-tumble tribes. Such goblins bear the same oversized heads, pointed ears, red eyes, and jagged teeth of their crueler kin, but they have a noble or savvy streak that other goblins can't even imagine, let alone understand. These erstwhile heroes roam Golarion, often maintaining their distinctive cultural habits while spreading the enthusiasm, inscrutable quirkiness, love of puns and song, and unique mirth that mark goblin adventurers.

Despite breaking from their destructive past, goblin adventurers often subtly perpetuate some of the qualities that have been characteristics of the creatures for millennia. They tend to flock to strong leaders, and fiercely protect those companions who have protected them from physical harm or who offer a sympathetic ear and sage advice when they learn of the goblins' woes. Some goblins remain deeply fascinated with fire, or fearlessly devour meals that might turn others' stomachs. Others are inveterate tinkerers and view their companions' trash as components of gadgets yet to be made. Occasionally, fellow adventurers find these proclivities unsettling or odd, but more often than not goblins' friends consider these qualities endearing.

The entry in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook has plenty more to say on the topic, but that should give you a sense of where we are taking Pathfinder's favorite troublemakers.

In addition to the story behind the goblin, its ancestry entry has a lot of other information as well to help you make a goblin player character. It includes the base goblin ability boosts (Dexterity and Charisma), ability flaw (Wisdom), bonus Hit Points (6), base speed (25 feet), and starting languages (Common and Goblin), as well as the rules for darkvision (an ability that lets goblins see in the dark just as well as they can see in normal light). Those are just the basics—the rules shared by all goblins. Beyond that, your goblin's unique ancestry allows you to choose one ability score other than Dexterity or Charisma to receive a boost. Perhaps you have some hobgoblin blood and have an additional boost to Constitution, or you descend from a long line of goblin alchemists and have a boost to Intelligence. You could even gain a boost in Wisdom to negate your flaw!

Then you get into the goblin ancestry feats, which allow you to decide what type of goblin you want to play. Starting off, let's look at Burn It. This feat gives you a bonus to damage whenever you cast a fire spell or deal fire damage with an alchemical item. On top of that, it also increases any persistent fire damage you deal by 1. Goblins still love watching things burn.

Next up is one of my favorites, Junk Tinkerer. A goblin with this feat can craft ordinary items and weapons out of junk and scrap they can find almost anywhere. Sure, the items are of poor quality and break easily, but you will never be without a weapon if you have this feat.

We could not have goblins in the game without adding the Razor Teeth feat. This grants you an attack with your mouthful of razor-sharp teeth that deals 1d6 piercing damage. To be honest, the target of your attack should probably also attempt a Fortitude save against whatever you ate last night that is still stuck between your teeth, but we'll leave that for the GM to decide.

Finally, there is the appropriately named feat Very Sneaky. This lets you move 5 feet farther when you take an action to sneak (which normally lets you move at only half your normal speed) and potentially renders your target flat-footed against a follow-up strike!

There are plenty of other goblin feats for you to choose from, but that's all we have time for today. Come back on Friday when we'll look at some of the feats from the other ancestries in the game!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Silver Crusade

TriOmegaZero wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Who's to say they'll be kicking the player though?
Bad players tend to expose themselves very quickly. The community recognizes them, and word travels.

I disagree. All that's necessary is that the bad player be more charismatic or make a better first impression on the event organizer. I could very easily imagine myself getting into trouble because I kicked someone away from a table and they went to the event organizer and lied about it. I ran some games at gencon 50, and I don't see any reason why that couldn't have happened had I gotten an exceptionally bad player who I had to police, but who wasn't so bad that the other players at the table would immediately side with me when the organizer walked over.

I'm not saying that this is a major fear of mine, I'm just pointing out that Society GM's are not as in power to police their tables as GM's in home games. You are, and by the way probably should be, accountable to a third party for your decisions. This means that the player has to be worse before it is worthwhile to take action. It's an increase in players in that zone that I think this decision would cause. People who wouldn't have been problem players if they weren't given a race that they interpreted as instructing them to behave in a disruptive way will be difficult to police unless they crossed certain lines, which means that so long as they don't cross those lines they're free to make the game worse for everyone.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
People who wouldn't have been problem players if they weren't given a race that they interpreted as instructing them to behave in a disruptive way will be difficult to police unless they crossed certain lines, which means that so long as they don't cross those lines they're free to make the game worse for everyone.

Yeah, I don't think that is a contingent that is large enough to be concerned by.

Silver Crusade

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
People who wouldn't have been problem players if they weren't given a race that they interpreted as instructing them to behave in a disruptive way will be difficult to police unless they crossed certain lines, which means that so long as they don't cross those lines they're free to make the game worse for everyone.
Yeah, I don't think that is a contingent that is large enough to be concerned by.

There are three somewhat problematic players at my local Pathfinder Society game store group. All three of them are not bad enough that I could defend a decision to discipline them to the Venture captain, and all three of them are only bad with some of their characters, to the point where if you played a game with them while they were playing one of their non-problematic characters you would be confused when I said that they were problematic at other times.

Hell, I once had to alter one of my characters a bit after the first session I played to them because I got feedback than I had been being a bit annoying. I did so happily, and it's the only complaint along these lines I've ever gotten, but it goes to show that problem players aren't Sinister vandals who are going to behave badly no matter what you try.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean "chaotic evil" was a core alignment in PF1).

Evil alignments were for NPCs in Core PF1, Core Rulebook page 166.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Goblins will not allowed to be evil or engage in PvP in Pathfinder Society. Goblins will still be expected to explore, report, co-operate as the core tenet of the Pathfinder society.
A goblin is no more disruptive than a neutral human necromancer, a half-orc barbarian.

I once played a PFS game with a human alchemist who was intent on doing everything possible to become an intelligent Gorillon, while worshipping Angazhan demon-lord of beasts. Chaotic Neutral is not a banned alignment in PFS. Playing with that guy was the worst experience I ever had in Pathfinder. His answer to every problem was violence, he was a jerk to NPCs and was definitely skirting the spirit of PFS.

That guy didn't need goblins to be a jerk, and you'll find that goblins will not increase the number of jerks in PFS or at table games.

Liberty's Edge

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SUPER PUMPED for this!

As soon as Paizo said that Goblins were going to be core, I was all in for 2E.

I've got the playtest books ordered and have already started developing my Goblin character so I can start making him as soon as the playtest releases.

Lol, I find it absolutely hilarious that some people are so upset at this. Upset at what essentially is more player choice. Seeing some posts that Goblin characters won;t be allowed at their tables. That totally makes you seem like the person I'd want to play with.

Thankfully with Society, nobody will be turned away for playing a Goblin.

I'll be seeing some of you at Gen-con Society games with my Goblin Barbarian when 2E drops.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed a post and some replies to it. I don't know how many more ways this can be said. Stop making personal attacks against other posters. Before you post step away from the thread and take some time to cool off.


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Pretty much all this blog has said is: "Hey guys, sometimes Goblins can be totally cool, and like to go on road trips to be big hero guys."

Even if that was all the justification that was given, and we never get this upcoming lore revelation that Jason mentioned, the above statement is completely fine and reasonable in terms of including them as a player race. This isn't making huge sweeping changes to their currently existing culture. Its a 'sometimes', its a 'recently', its a 'few'. This is not "watering down" the lore.

It's sad that I can almost see why they have to put that "Sometimes Goblins are good" sentence in there. Because otherwise, if someone wanted to play a goblin character they might get told, "You're playing a goblin wrong." "You're not acting goblin-y enough." "Are you sure you don't just want to be a halfling or a gnome instead?"


Wow...no way could I finish this thread...I felt like an extra 400 posts popped up between times I examined it.

That said, while Goblins would not be my first choice, it makes sense to add them. I do hope this means more of a nuanced approach towards playing traditionally antagonists races will ensue.

I also don't see any inherent concern with goblins encouraging the worst of players. Yeah it will bring out the worst in some folks, but those people are liable to find other ways to be annoying.


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Seriously amazed at the decline in discussion here. I feel I've strongly advocated a certain side, or more particularly questioned the advisability of the other side, but that doesn't mean personal attacks are merited, if anything positing how the other side could be implemented in various ways seems a productive approach.

Thank you for update from Jason at Paizo. To clarify my view, I have nothing against more development of Goblins in setting and even rule material, and see why Paizo would want that. That in no way convinces me of their selection for Core Race or accomodation necessary to make that happen. When the implementation is going out of it's way to water-down the flavor in some way (we don't need extensive tracts on how 'exceptions to norm' exist amongst Dwarves or even Half-Orcs), that is indication to me they AREN'T the best Core Race choice. And I would hope Paizo agrees the best choice for Core Race should be the one chosen for the game. Somebody else mentioned how they aren't Core Races or close to it in Starfinder either, and that does ring true to me, when that is trajectory over 1000 of years, should people really expect radical shift to them in Pathfinder timescale? That gets back to problem, which is equally on side of potential disruptive play (more than just 'evil') AND the other side of emphasizing a change which waters-down the trope's inherent disruptivity (the basis of We Be Goblins distinct vibe).

I understand that you have schedule for playtest and it may be unlikely to remove Goblins from it even if you strongly consider that option amongst your other plans for them. I think the best option if that is true, is to let playtesters know that just because they are in playtest does not mean decision is final (which you basically stated here, but should be made to all playtest audience, not just this thread). I have understanding that humanoid Bestiary races would come with Core Race equivalent Ancestry stats and feats like B1 and Core Races are equivalent in P1E, so expect playtesting of Goblins to be relevant even if they end up in B1 and not Core.

Play nice people!

EDIT: Still gotta put in a shoutout for Ratfolk, really the clear choice from monstrous but non-STR build, alchemist appropriate, and strenghtening ties with Paizo's ENTIRE Golarion setting, as well as Starfinder tie-in. Really I am not specially into "furry" stuff, it simply works on setting and gameplay basis. OK, there's a few other good options too :-)


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Some people seem to have difficulty, even though the words seem superficially similar, to understand that core does not necessarily have to mean common.

That said, I’m not a fan of goblin PCs myself, but then I have never been a fan of monster PCs of any kind. In fact I hate the concept of the circus freak party. For me, a bestiary most definitely is not a player resource. If anything, I’d have selected playable kobolds, as the current mechanics for them unfortunately are so pathetic that there is really no point in playing one. I do however understand that the goblin is much more iconic for Paizo.

The thought that “core” automatically means any GM will/must allow it (“no one has ever asked for permission to play a half-orc“), seems ludicrous to me. I’ve played and run campaigns where I would not have allowed so-called core options such as gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, or even druids.


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I'm going to say, I had a recent revelation regarding Starfinder that I feel applies to this discussion, which is now one of my favorite things about that system. In Starfinder era Golarion-verse, the options for races are way more varied and some incredibly bizarre compared to what is playable in PF. Its a giant rapidly expanding interconnected cosmos where more and more oddities are making themselves known, coming to the forefront of society, contributing to the economy, etc. ( See the new Pact Worlds book for some of the crazier things. )

In Starfinder it's incredibly difficult for the GM to do the tropey have NPC's just shoot you in the street for playing something atypical because you're just so weeeeirrd. The atypical is now pretty much the usual. If you haven't seen that alien before on your planet, then you've probably heard about them on the internet, or seen them on a media broadcast.

It's actually so refreshing as a player to not have to deal with constant IC (and occasionally OOC diguised as IC) resistance to your character choices.


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Man, after all this talk about goblin acceptance, I hope I can still get people to cross the street to avoid my goblin PCs.
Oh wait, I can do that with any character that doesn't bathe, smiles madly, and smells of smoke and rotten meat. It even comes with a, "Get Out Of My Inn Free," card.
Also, babies are a delicious snack that doesn't fight back! More people really should eat them.


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I feel like honestly that heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors in Golarion would mean that people in the diagesis would be less inclined to be bigoted against sapient species. I would think that dislike of neighboring countries would be alive and well, but "We are better than Cheliax, since those people are devil-worshipping jerks" is a different animal than "Dwarves are bad."

I mean, just think of all the various parties you've had that completed adventure paths- all of those people are now big darn heroes, the kinds of people that commoners tell tale of. If one of them happens to be some kind of unusual species (we've had like 7 Changelings in these things) then people at least have a very strong example for "well, they are not all bad."


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While I wonder about the wisdom of including goblins as a core race, I do rather hope this trend continues so we can get further "monstrous" races as PCs, something Paizo had somewhat avoided in the past. Perhaps kobolds, gnolls, apallies, mimics, and a properly undead or frankensteiny construct option?


I expect Hobgoblins are coming down the pike.

Hoping for Bugbears as well, but far less certain about that one.


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Since everyone else it putting out there thoughts on the change to having goblins as a core ancestry, I thought I'd talk about my own feelings. I think my biggest issue with goblins as a "core" playable race (and I'm a bit on the edge in terms of playable goblins) is also what I love so much about goblins in Pathfinder. One of the things that has always made Pathfinder's setting what it is for me was my first fight against a band of goblins sacking Sandpoint. As I've learned the game and begun to GM myself, goblins were always my go to first level enemies because of how memorable and well written they were as monsters.

A huge role of a first level monster in an RPG is that it gives new players their first chance at a kill. Often times (in my experience) such players begin the game completely abhorrent with actions that players who would be categorized as more "murder hobo"-like would be totally ok with. That is where goblins come in. Pathfinder goblins as they are often written in the first edition present an important challenge. A being which is cunning, yet both unwilling and unable to speak a common language. They still CAN be good. But they retain enough of those monstrous tendencies that you can be fairly certain they're not charging in for a hug. Having them as a core race seems to throw a much greater moral dilemma for new players who might already be resistant to this game into an encounter like in the beginning of Burnt Offerings, an encounter which made this game for a lot of us starting out (it certainly had an impact on me).

This isn't to say that goblins as a playable ancestry will ruin the game, or hurt it in any way, but it does change a fundamental part of what the atmosphere of that game has meant for me since the first time I cast a magic missile on my first goblin (and thought I was supposed to roll to hit). Goblins are an extremely critical part of the flavor of the Inner Sea, and whenever I think of Pathfinder, my thoughts always go back to that first description of goblins uttered by our GM followed by the words "roll for initiative".


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was planing on playing a dwarf paladin for the playtest. I hope I can get rid of that -2 to charisma similar to how the goblin can get rid of its pebalty to wisdom


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Yeah... I know weed is legal here in Washington but just how much must Paizo have been smoking when they decided to give Goblins a default bonus to Charisma..... Charisma?! Serious... what? *is so confused*

Other then that it looks pretty good though. :)


Arikiel wrote:

Yeah... I know weed is legal here in Washington but just how much must Paizo have been smoking when they decided to give Goblins a default bonus to Charisma..... Charisma?! Serious... what? *is so confused*

Other then that it looks pretty good though. :)

Yeah, +dex +int -wis might have been a better choice.


Process of elimination.

Paizo probably wants a mental ability bonus for each race and Charisma makes more sense than Intelligence or Wisdom


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Wild Spirit wrote:
Arikiel wrote:

Yeah... I know weed is legal here in Washington but just how much must Paizo have been smoking when they decided to give Goblins a default bonus to Charisma..... Charisma?! Serious... what? *is so confused*

Other then that it looks pretty good though. :)

Yeah, +dex +int -wis might have been a better choice.

I dunno, I might have just let Dex be double stat bonused. That might cause some balance issue though. Maybe Con as they seem to be able to eat basically anything?


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You know, my favorite use for babies is as a beach ball. You can just toss them around in the air while you sing about dance based magic.


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So... people actually think they will play goblins, but not be treated like a pest/problem often by pretty much everyone... that is an interesting thought.

Guess better ban the race indeed, players clearly are building up diferent expectations than i would ever GM for the race.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Starfox wrote:

Not read the entire thread.

What worries me about goblins as a core race is that they could become a way for racism to enter the game. If someone plays the goblin, it is suddenly ok for both the goblin PC and others to play the goblin card, either to bully the goblin or to do various "in character" mayhem as a goblin. Both of which raises questions of race I'd rather not have in my game.

Good. Then they out themselves as racists and can be asked to leave the group. I cannot imagine anyone who could stand racism real or roleplayed (given current socio-political climate). This goes both for private parties and PFS.

I question if playing to class would trigger the same issues when Rangers take "Favored Enemy - X" in your games. Or a Dwarven Cleric of Torag who tends to list Goblinoids as the enemy of his people.

The Ranger picked "Favored Enemy - Elves". What sort of horrible upbringing and personality must this person have to have decided to make this choice? Let us shun them away from our tables.

I regularly take favored enemy humans as a human ranger


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Ryan Freire wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Starfox wrote:

Not read the entire thread.

What worries me about goblins as a core race is that they could become a way for racism to enter the game. If someone plays the goblin, it is suddenly ok for both the goblin PC and others to play the goblin card, either to bully the goblin or to do various "in character" mayhem as a goblin. Both of which raises questions of race I'd rather not have in my game.

Good. Then they out themselves as racists and can be asked to leave the group. I cannot imagine anyone who could stand racism real or roleplayed (given current socio-political climate). This goes both for private parties and PFS.

I question if playing to class would trigger the same issues when Rangers take "Favored Enemy - X" in your games. Or a Dwarven Cleric of Torag who tends to list Goblinoids as the enemy of his people.

The Ranger picked "Favored Enemy - Elves". What sort of horrible upbringing and personality must this person have to have decided to make this choice? Let us shun them away from our tables.

I regularly take favored enemy humans as a human ranger

Yeah, it need not be a bad upbringing or anything. Favored Enemy just means the Ranger has a better understanding about them, enough to have an advantage.

If you were raised amongst Humans (or Elves), surrounded by Humans (or Elves), trained by Humans (or Elves), it might stand to reason you're more used to their idiosyncracies and thus, better at manipulating them/fighting them.

Or you just really really hate them. Either way works, really.


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I'd, again, like to point out that anyone in most fantasy settings will more likely be killed by a Human than anything else.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
1. NO decision in this game is final. We have ordered art, its true, but that does not mean that anything is set in stone. We playtest because we want your feedback, we want your ideas, and yes, we want your criticism. Anyone who played through the Alpha and Beta of the first version knows that the comments made significant changes to the game... the fighter got reworked from the ground up, the skill system got replaced. We take playtesting very seriously and we will be incorporating the feedback the surveys and these boards when making our final decisions. This includes feedback on the goblin.
Edymnion wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Lets see how it goes once they start to actually take in feedback during the play test, since apparently nothing should be set in stone.
I honestly don't buy that.

If the Director of Game Design at Paizo says that there is no decision set in stone regarding a rulebook scheduled for release 16 months from now, I am certainly going to believe him.

Entire books have been taken off the schedule because it was decided they weren't ready for release. That pales in comparison to having to reorder a few pieces of art.

Jason is spending a spectacular amount of time and effort getting this playlets ready, and it's all work he'll have to do twice. The entire point of having a playlets a year before release is that anything can be changed if it needs to.

Everything can't be changed. There isn't time to tear out and alter every single element of the game.

But my experience with the Starfinder RPG tells me any given thing can be changed, even very late in the process, if that is what is determined to be best for the game.


MerlinCross wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Starfox wrote:

Not read the entire thread.

What worries me about goblins as a core race is that they could become a way for racism to enter the game. If someone plays the goblin, it is suddenly ok for both the goblin PC and others to play the goblin card, either to bully the goblin or to do various "in character" mayhem as a goblin. Both of which raises questions of race I'd rather not have in my game.

Good. Then they out themselves as racists and can be asked to leave the group. I cannot imagine anyone who could stand racism real or roleplayed (given current socio-political climate). This goes both for private parties and PFS.

I question if playing to class would trigger the same issues when Rangers take "Favored Enemy - X" in your games. Or a Dwarven Cleric of Torag who tends to list Goblinoids as the enemy of his people.

The Ranger picked "Favored Enemy - Elves". What sort of horrible upbringing and personality must this person have to have decided to make this choice? Let us shun them away from our tables.

Favoured enemy is not racism. Going out of your way to hurt an NPC because they are goblin/elf/human/centaur is.

If you HAVE to be evil, be at least equal opportunities evil.


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It is my sincere hope that nothing is going to be changed in the playtest because "people got really mad on the forums" or at least we correct for the fact that people unhappy about a thing tend to be a lot louder than people who are pleased about that same thing.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Edymnion wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Lets see how it goes once they start to actually take in feedback during the play test, since apparently nothing should be set in stone.

I honestly don't buy that.

Their timescales are WAY too short. They will tweak things, but large branches of the ruleset are pretty much fixed.

They say "Oh well we commissioned art, but that doesn't mean anything", but there is going to be more to it than that. They are surely planning adventure paths as well, and either those adventure paths don't have goblins in them in any meaningful way (which is incredibly unlikely, as the push is going to be to legitimize the race as a standard), or they are going to have to rush to rewrite their APs as well.

The fact they made a goblin an iconic character tells me they are already married to the idea. The fact they've already commissioned artwork for them tells me they are already married to the idea. The fact that they keep talking about secret other stuff that is so integral to the system as a whole that to merely mention it would cause everything to unravel tells me that they are married to the idea.

Goblins are PC races, and I don't think ANY amount of negative feedback will change that. They appear to already be too well ingrained to simply chop out and still make those print deadlines.

At most they will change the flavor of the goblin based on feedback, but they're not going to take it out entirely at this point.

In terms of APs and such, Crystal Frasier (one of the principal movers-and-shakers behind the APs) had an interview on the Glass Cannon Podcast last week and she indicated the timeframe for APs was relatively short (like 8-12 months prior to the streetdate). I'm sure they have a loose idea of the first AP (or maybe a few options) but I also think they'll be able to make changes if necessary - I recall that Council of Thieves was written concurrently with the rules - they didn't write it and then bar development of PF1 from straying too far from what they'd put in the adventure.

Owen Stephens also just made a relevant comment elsewhere regarding the evolution of the Starfinder rules:

Owen wrote:

More relevantly, there was a core Starfinder RPG rules subset crucial to every part of the game which we discarded, due to overwhelmingly negative feedback, at the very last possible moment. And by overwhelmingly negative, I mean that in the private out-of-house playlists, and several playlets we ran in-office, and in a blind test we did with people who had never seen any version of the rule, we got a much-more-than 95% negative reaction, and about 2 total defenders.

I liked the original way of doing things. I didn't come up with it, but I strongly backed it as the right answer. We tried three versions of it, because I strongly believed it was the best solution for the game.

But, clearly, I was wrong.

So when we got down to the last day we COULD make a change and still have ANY playtest feedback on it (just internal and blind at that point--the out-of-house stuff was all over), and the feedback of the latest effort to fix it and explain it simply failed spectacularly (in that case, a 100% "I hate this" rating, though admittedly from a smaller group), we (James Sutter, Rob, and I) decided that regardless of what I had thought would be smartest, that system had to go.

So, even though the book was in layout, and we were supposed to be doing things like making sure the text flowed properly and the pictures, and even though this touched on nearly every part of the game, we took the time and effort to hack out the entire whole system (not a drop of which remains in the game), and replace it.

People speaking as if the game is a finished, done deal aren't giving Paizo the credit they deserve. They've run many playtests before and they know the ins-and-outs of timelines far more than any of us do.

They've said that nearly everything is potentially up for change if it will make a better game (they'll obviously guide that debate, but they so far haven't ruled anything out as 'not-for-changing'). There's no reason not to take them at their word.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Well there we are. Better to hear it from Owen directly.

Liberty's Edge

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Wild Spirit wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Starfox wrote:

Not read the entire thread.

What worries me about goblins as a core race is that they could become a way for racism to enter the game. If someone plays the goblin, it is suddenly ok for both the goblin PC and others to play the goblin card, either to bully the goblin or to do various "in character" mayhem as a goblin. Both of which raises questions of race I'd rather not have in my game.

Good. Then they out themselves as racists and can be asked to leave the group. I cannot imagine anyone who could stand racism real or roleplayed (given current socio-political climate). This goes both for private parties and PFS.

I question if playing to class would trigger the same issues when Rangers take "Favored Enemy - X" in your games. Or a Dwarven Cleric of Torag who tends to list Goblinoids as the enemy of his people.

The Ranger picked "Favored Enemy - Elves". What sort of horrible upbringing and personality must this person have to have decided to make this choice? Let us shun them away from our tables.

Favoured enemy is not racism. Going out of your way to hurt an NPC because they are goblin/elf/human/centaur is.

If you HAVE to be evil, be at least equal opportunities evil.

Many human rangers that I have seen in PFS take "Favored Enemy - Human" as they expect to fight human beings, especially bandits. Favored enemy is not about hatred, but knowing the anatomy and fighting styles of enemies.


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Going out of your way as a GM to also make sure your player has the worst time possible because of the fantasy race they picked isn't great. Players generally expect good fun times from tabletop rather than constant judgement that mirrors a pretty extant real world problem.


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Wild Spirit wrote:

Favoured enemy is not racism. Going out of your way to hurt an NPC because they are goblin/elf/human/centaur is.

If you HAVE to be evil, be at least equal opportunities evil.

Clearly we play 100% diferent games, cause being "racist" towards evil races is perfectly normal.

Actually most of these people kill on sight without thinking twice and those are guys with a good alignment, never have i played or GMed a single change due to this.

"Look orcs" *chop their heads off no question asked*

Just a normal day.

Now, killing their defenceless babies, that does warrant a stop.


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Subparhiggins wrote:
Going out of your way as a GM to also make sure your player has the worst time possible because of the fantasy race they picked isn't great. Players generally expect good fun times from tabletop rather than constant judgement that mirrors a pretty extant real world problem.

I generally assume that people in the immediate vicinity have had time to get used to whatever weird thing is in the party, as it has been there long enough for the populace to consider "oh, that one's probably harmless." Most an NPC would ever do in my game is remark how unusual it is for a [whatever] to be in these parts, unless that NPC is supposed to be a jerk and I prefer jerk NPCs to focus on things other than species, ethnicity, gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Unless of course, it's a player's idea that their character be discriminated against as part of the story they want to tell.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:
Going out of your way as a GM to also make sure your player has the worst time possible because of the fantasy race they picked isn't great. Players generally expect good fun times from tabletop rather than constant judgement that mirrors a pretty extant real world problem.

I generally assume that people in the immediate vicinity have had time to get used to whatever weird thing is in the party, as it has been there long enough for the populace to consider "oh, that one's probably harmless." Most an NPC would ever do in my game is remark how unusual it is for a [whatever] to be in these parts, unless that NPC is supposed to be a jerk and I prefer jerk NPCs to focus on things other than species, ethnicity, gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Unless of course, it's a player's idea that their character be discriminated against as part of the story they want to tell.

If it's agreed upon between player and GM, and both parties consent that discrimination be part of the PCs backstory or ongoing story... Thats a-okay, and there is interesting character development to explore there.

Having, "I will make the lives of this race as hard as possible in order to discourage my players from ever picking this option again" is not a-okay. Even "I will let you play this race only on the condition that you allow me to insert very real, heavy, and damaging hardship into whatever character you have planned. Otherwise it's banned." sucks. I've run into that latter one often enough when attempting to play uncommon races.


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I do kind of hope that no ancestry has a feature with a negative title like "Hatred" or "Greed". I figure there has to be a way to refer to "your people have warred against these other people for a long time, and as a result have some insight in how to fight them" than "hatred".


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MerlinCross wrote:
...

Wait, *I* came here to play a game, not to get looked at funny for playing Goblin that loves kittens, or a Lizardfolk that babysits children *because* of some deep seated real life reasons!


Subparhiggins wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
...
Wait, *I* came here to play a game, not to get looked at funny for playing Goblin that loves kittens, or a Lizardfolk that babysits children *because* of some deep seated real life reasons!

Go for it. For as odd as I think it is and all the problems I think it MIGHT cause, I'm not going to actually stop anyone from doing so. Maybe at my own table but I wouldn't have to do much. I have 1 player that might go Goblin Bard. And to be fair I'd like to see that given there's a few magic items basically made for Goblin Bard.


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
If the Director of Game Design at Paizo says that there is no decision set in stone regarding a rulebook scheduled for release 16 months from now, I am certainly going to believe him.

And it seems worth pointing out Jason Bulmahn is both the Design Director and apparent initiator of the Goblin proposal, so him calling it out as potentilly open to revision should be extra meaningful. It's not like if Goblins are the provisional design choice, other team members who hold differing views will just casually suggest it's likely to not happen, because that would be misrepresenting the design team. Obviously the choice is not binary, Core Goblins or No Goblins, so it's not a stretch that the final result could look different, and Mr. Bulmahn seemed to specifically be taking note of alternative Core Race choices.

Liberty's Edge

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With "We Be Goblins" being so popular, this makes sense. It's not like there's a "We Be Orcs" or "We be Tieflings".

There's been a desire to play goblins in Pathfinder for YEARS.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do kind of hope that no ancestry has a feature with a negative title like "Hatred" or "Greed". I figure there has to be a way to refer to "your people have warred against these other people for a long time, and as a result have some insight in how to fight them" than "hatred".

Agreed. Didn't later books have ones with names like, "Ancestral Grudge" that did the same thing? More, "I've read hundreds of elven battle histories, from elf-led forces all over the world, against a dozen different foes! I know all their moves!" and less, well, like some of the upthread responses. Yikes.

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