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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Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:
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.

It may well be that others proposed different additions to the Core races. If so, possibly those choices might be options to the playtest. (I suppose a PDF could be put up with options for race X.)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jester David wrote:

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.

Coincidentally I would play the hell out of a "We Be Orcs" or "We Be Tieflings", especially if the Tiefling one got to use the customizing mutation/ability tables.

Paize, please feel free to publish those books and more once the Goblin issue is put to bed.


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I haven't read every post of this thread, but I've come around a bit. I still think Kobolds are tragically underappreciated, and would love to see them as a Core Race.

My biggest qualm, and I may simply be misinformed/underinformed, but does this mean that the three small races all have Charisma bonuses? Because while that may be suitable for lore, it seems HORRENDOUS for balance and playability. Even with the flexible bonus stat.


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Woo-Hoo!

1000 posts about Goblins as a core race!

(Should this be that important?)


The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
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.

"Rommel, you Magnificent [Curse], I READ YOUR BOOK!" George S Patton.

I suppose I can see such feats, traits working that way. Researching their fighting styles and military tactics.


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Subparhiggins wrote:
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.

100% agreed. If you don't want someone playing something, just come out and have that conversation about what the problem is. Actively punishing a player for some choice they made that you don't agree with (e.g. "People are gonna attack you on sight because you're a goblin") is being a jerk, and if there's one thing a game cannot survive it's "the GM is being a jerk" since the GM's *only* job is to ensure everybody has a good time with the game.

Mostly what I was referring to in terms of players wanting discrimination to be part of their story is stuff like "Changelings who take steps to obscure the fact that they are changelings" (e.g. wearing gloves at all times; dark lenses, an eyepatch, or parting their hair a certain way to hide their heterochromia; doing something about the white streak in their hair, etc.) Which works because Changelings are genuinely rare and there are valid reasons to be suspicious.


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Subparhiggins wrote:
Jester David wrote:

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.

Coincidentally I would play the hell out of a "We Be Orcs" or "We Be Tieflings", especially if the Tiefling one got to use the customizing mutation/ability tables.

Paize, please feel free to publish those books and more once the Goblin issue is put to bed.

I've been meaning to try an All Tiefling Party with the table. Unsure of what AP would be used.

This is way off topic though.


MerlinCross wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:
Jester David wrote:

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.

Coincidentally I would play the hell out of a "We Be Orcs" or "We Be Tieflings", especially if the Tiefling one got to use the customizing mutation/ability tables.

Paize, please feel free to publish those books and more once the Goblin issue is put to bed.

I've been meaning to try an All Tiefling Party with the table. Unsure of what AP would be used.

This is way off topic though.

It would bring a simple (if perhaps predictable) twist to any of the Cheliax trilogy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mbertorch wrote:

I haven't read every post of this thread, but I've come around a bit. I still think Kobolds are tragically underappreciated, and would love to see them as a Core Race.

My biggest qualm, and I may simply be misinformed/underinformed, but does this mean that the three small races all have Charisma bonuses? Because while that may be suitable for lore, it seems HORRENDOUS for balance and playability. Even with the flexible bonus stat.

Both Halflings and Gnomes do have Charisma bonuses in P1E, but we've had no indication that their stat bonuses will remain the same in P2E. Other boardmembers have theorized that we'll see a spread of

Goblin: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis
Gnome: +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Wis
Halfling: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str


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Jester David wrote:

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.

An all goblin module series being popular is not the same as a core rulebook race. Its a false comparison.

Dark Archive

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Rysky wrote:
Nox Aeterna wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I disagree that core is in any way significant beyond "the core options predate the rest of the options."

I mean, a big part of the nature of shared storytelling games is that the world is mutable to fit the needs of the story. If you had wanted to, you could play a goblin PC in every single adventure path to date. Between the GM and the player working together you can fit a hero-goblin anywhere you want if you actually try. However many goblins exist in Magnimar or Westcrown or Alkenstar is up to the GM to decide, depending on the needs of the game.

Sorry, but i disagree with you.

Once again i repeat, the Advanced race guide is a clear example of this.

It directly calls out for GM approval on anything, BUT the core 7, which it already assumes you can make a PC of.

This is a wording issue that could be resolved in 2.0 in the core by calling out GM aproval on everything, which personally i find only logical, but for 1.0 what is core and what isnt have a big diference regarding races.

Honestly if goblins were still called "Featured" or something equivalent instead of "core" and had such direct call it probably wouldnt be such a thing right now.

The ARG can assume that all it wants, if the GM says no, the answer is no.

EXCEPT when the GM's hands are tied.

My opposition to goblins in the core rulebook is based entirety on my experiences and observations from running Society games, the one place where the only real way a GM can say no is by walking away from the table, and ruining several non-disruptive players' evenings. Even segregation of the goblins in the book will not avoid the sort of issues that arose with the legacy races in Starfinder Society. And there is at least one murder hobo player that has shown up a few times that I would not run a table for if they brought a goblin PC.

I have no problems with goblin PCs in general, and certainly would allow HMM to play pretty much any goblin concept she has mentioned. But I'm worried that there are a few reasons why people want to play goblins, one of which will be completely unsuitable for Society play. I would be all for the first supplement being GoG Revised, divided into parts that would support playing homicidal baby-eating Pyromaniacs for home games, and another for supporting Heroic goblins, with the first part being explicitly banned for Society play. But putting them in core could create too many issues for VOs/VCs/Tonya.


Steve Geddes wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:
Jester David wrote:

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.

Coincidentally I would play the hell out of a "We Be Orcs" or "We Be Tieflings", especially if the Tiefling one got to use the customizing mutation/ability tables.

Paize, please feel free to publish those books and more once the Goblin issue is put to bed.

I've been meaning to try an All Tiefling Party with the table. Unsure of what AP would be used.

This is way off topic though.

It would bring a simple (if perhaps predictable) twist to any of the Cheliax trilogy.

Personally I was thinking Skull and Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous.

Scarab Sages

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I love goblins in Pathfinder, but I don't like the idea of them being available as a Core ancestry option. The test I use as to whether something is commonly available is whether or not a group of level 1 PCs all the same ancestry could walk into a town and go about their business. Now imagine a group of 5 level 1 goblin PCs attempting to walk into Sandpoint, or any other small village. They would immediately be met with attack because they are goblins, a chaotic and murderous species of fire-loving dog-and-pony-killers who tend to raid longshank settlements while laughing and chanting. The same would be true for a group of level 1 orcs, drow, kobolds, or hobgoblins. People living in the average settlement have a good reason to fear other people of these ancestries, and to shoot on sight when multiples come walking up the road.

If goblins were to be made a Core ancestry option it would take a significant amount of worldbuilding to make sense. However, I don't think this should be done because I believe that altering goblins sufficiently to fit into the world of Golarion as common allies of other humanoid ancestries would fundamentally change their nature in such a way as to destroy what people have come to love about them the most. Goblins as currently written are the creative and lovable embodiment of the human id; they do what they want, when they want, and if what they want to do is destructive or dangerous they do it anyway while making up songs and setting random fires.

I have played in "We Be Goblins!" three times and run it once, and every time has been drastically different from the time before. The reason for this isn't because it's a one-shot, it's because people are playing goblins, in all of their weird and crazy glory, in the adventure. Given permission to play as a monstrous, crazed psychopaths people stop analyzing the game-state in the same tactical way as they do playing their regular PCs and start being truly creative in ways they normally never would. From Poog failing to ride Squealy Nord and then later spending 3 rounds riding Lotslegs to prove his faith to Zarongel, to Chuffy drinking his Potion of Jump and leaping from the top of the ship's stovepipe 30 ft and falling down 20 to land on top of Cuddles and kill it, to Reta saving the bee's nest after the trap was disabled and later throwing it at Vorka during a surprise round; the players in the games I have been part of have all chosen to ignore tactically sound choices in favor of doing whatever crazy thing comes to their mind first - as a goblin truly would. So what if Poog got burned because Mogmurch was bombing Lotslegs, or Chuffy took enough damage to pass out, or everyone got stung because Reta threw the hive into a room everyone was in? They were goblins and that was the point.

Turning goblins into Core PCs will destroy them by making them banal and mundane. Playing a goblin should be a special opportunity for role play, not something that is available as a standard option. You might as well hand these goblins dual scimitars, because they are all from a traditionally evil culture who have left their people to find their place in the world of humans. Please, let the goblins be goblins and print them as a player option in whatever expanded ancestry book 2E gets. It's where they belong.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Jester David wrote:

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.

An all goblin module series being popular is not the same as a core rulebook race. Its a false comparison.

While correct, you statement makes no sense.

-----
(I will keep defending Goblins for as long as you campaign against them. For the love of both of us, please stop so that we can get some sleep.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Feyliya wrote:

I love goblins in Pathfinder, but I don't like the idea of them being available as a Core ancestry option. The test I use as to whether something is commonly available is whether or not a group of level 1 PCs all the same ancestry could walk into a town and go about their business. Now imagine a group of 5 level 1 goblin PCs attempting to walk into Sandpoint, or any other small village. They would immediately be met with attack because they are goblins, a chaotic and murderous species of fire-loving dog-and-pony-killers who tend to raid longshank settlements while laughing and chanting. The same would be true for a group of level 1 orcs, drow, kobolds, or hobgoblins. People living in the average settlement have a good reason to fear other people of these ancestries, and to shoot on sight when multiples come walking up the road.

The entire party chooses to play goblins, surely the GM has now been flagged that they are interested in goblin content. Why are they walking into Sandpoint instead of Licktoad village?

There is a story hour or PbP somewhere on the boards that is an All Goblin version of Rise of the Runelords.

The party has one or two goblins, the party vouches for them and while they occasionally get into mischief, it's no worse than your average adventurer gets up to when they're in town.


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Actually a Goblin in RotRL has a vested interest in stopping the plot of RotRL, because if the longshanks get organized and come after the goblin tribes that's bad news for the goblins. They gotta stop that crazy lady from getting goblin heads stuck in a tighter pickle jar than they can get it out of.

Liberty's Edge

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Add me to the no Goblins please. I like the Paizo Goblin quite a bit, but I like them on the wrong side of history. Let's keep them there. Kind of liking the way character background so far though. Nice concepts and I always like options even suboptimal ones that keep to the theme.


Revan wrote:
Mbertorch wrote:

I haven't read every post of this thread, but I've come around a bit. I still think Kobolds are tragically underappreciated, and would love to see them as a Core Race.

My biggest qualm, and I may simply be misinformed/underinformed, but does this mean that the three small races all have Charisma bonuses? Because while that may be suitable for lore, it seems HORRENDOUS for balance and playability. Even with the flexible bonus stat.

Both Halflings and Gnomes do have Charisma bonuses in P1E, but we've had no indication that their stat bonuses will remain the same in P2E. Other boardmembers have theorized that we'll see a spread of

Goblin: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis
Gnome: +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Wis
Halfling: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str

That would actually be pretty decent.


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Biztak wrote:
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

Clearly a dwarf can't be as pretty, have as strong a personality or as likeable as a goblin... :P


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Feyliya wrote:
I love goblins in Pathfinder, but I don't like the idea of them being available as a Core ancestry option. The test I use as to whether something is commonly available is whether or not a group of level 1 PCs all the same ancestry could walk into a town and go about their business.

Your entire post masterfully expresses my concerns. But specifically, I think your test there is revealing, "a group of level 1 PCs *all the same ancestry*". Everybody knows exactly how that is different than 1 in group of "accepted" races, a "problem race" in group of "normals" is already reducing their threat profile. This is obvious reason why in the excerpt we saw of Core Goblins, it's clear trajectory is "Goblin PC amongt non-Goblin allies", they are aiming for integrated enlightened Goblin, not We Be Goblins. That has problems not only for policing players' expectations for Goblin PCs, but even success there implies a weakening of the Goblin trope's coherency. Are Demons introduced with extensive discussions about exception to evil rule? No, because doing so undermines the trope. This doesn't mean exceptions can't exist, that's fine, but the trope's existence must be firmly established or else it looses it's power as a trope. Even if Paizo wants to amp up We Be Goblins or related things in that direction, that exists as consciously distinct assumption compared to Core game. Core is not the place for this.

Scarab Sages

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I understand why Tieflings haven't been chosen as a Core ancestry before. They weren't available in the D&D 3.5 PHB, and later D&D added them officially as a starting choice in 4th Edition. But Pathfinder has much better claim to Tieflings being a Core ancestry than D&D ever has. Golarion has had 100 years of the Worldwound spewing demons and corruption into the northern part of Avistan, and Cheliax has been under almost 100 years of rule under a Diabolist regime. Tieflings make a ton more sense because of all of the infernal and abyssal influence on the world.


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Mogo the Goblin wrote:
Actually a Goblin in RotRL has a vested interest in stopping the plot of RotRL, because if the longshanks get organized and come after the goblin tribes that's bad news for the goblins. They gotta stop that crazy lady from getting goblin heads stuck in a tighter pickle jar than they can get it out of.

Maybe.

It would still not stop the NPCs from sandpoint to try to skin them alive if they could.

So it would bring abou the challenge, how would the goblin PC perform all those city parts of the adventure, while running from every guard in the city and being hunted by half the quest NPCs... Interesting conundrum.

Guess if he is also a master of alter self from lvl 1...


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Wild Spirit wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Jester David wrote:

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.

An all goblin module series being popular is not the same as a core rulebook race. Its a false comparison.

While correct, you statement makes no sense.

-----
(I will keep defending Goblins for as long as you campaign against them. For the love of both of us, please stop so that we can get some sleep.)

It makes perfect sense, the fact that a non traditional module letting people play the games usual antagonists did well doesn't mean people are going to flock to having them in their standard games.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
It would still not stop the NPCs from sandpoint to try to skin them alive if they could.

I figure that the people of Sandpoint might realize that the goblin that fought the other goblins to save the people of Sandpoint might not be a goblin they need to worry about. If it helps, you can give the hero goblin a big red hat with a feather in it and the people would of Sandpoint would realize "No, the one with the hat is fine".

Like let's give NPCs some credit and not go out of our way to harass our players.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm just feeling salty because I'm under impression that goblin is somehow the only ancestry that is going to get the treatment of "Oh hey they have better PR now" which doesn't really make sense because kobolds are more likely to be diplomatic than goblins from all modules I've seen :P


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure that the people of Sandpoint might realize that the goblin that fought the other goblins to save the people of Sandpoint might not be a goblin they need to worry about.

Like let's give NPCs some credit and not go out of our way to harass our players.

Yes, im sure if you saw multiple goblins start to tear appart your city and kill your family and friends, you would totally reconsider how you treat goblins because you heard one of them isnt as bad and apparently was killing the other ones. Which ofc based on how insane you heard they were could be simply because they wanted to kill things, even if those things are other goblins.

Ofc, that is assuming you could even tell this one goblin from all the other goblins. Which honestly even i barely can and i have their images printed in the books, they are pretty much the same.

And honestly i wouldnt harass my players, i would outright forbid them from playing ANY evil race at all. House rule 101.

Lucky for my players when they pick an evil race they expect the problems that come with it, so i never banned them.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

Feyliya wrote:
I understand why Tieflings haven't been chosen as a Core ancestry before. They weren't available in the D&D 3.5 PHB, and later D&D added them officially as a starting choice in 4th Edition. But Pathfinder has much better claim to Tieflings being a Core ancestry than D&D ever has. Golarion has had 100 years of the Worldwound spewing demons and corruption into the northern part of Avistan, and Cheliax has been under almost 100 years of rule under a Diabolist regime. Tieflings make a ton more sense because of all of the infernal and abyssal influence on the world.

I mean Jason has pretty much acknowledged that his original words in the blog post were a bit incorrect.

He didn't mean 'they were the most natural fit in terms of the lore of Golarion' because that probably IS in no particular order one of the following: Tiefling (Worldwound, Cheliax), Aasimar (Tian Xia) Kitsune (Tian Xia plus theyre super popular), Tengu (Tian Xi and the Shackles, also super popular), Ratfolk (Rats of Round Mountain), Kobold (Sewer Dragon tribe in Absalom) or Dhampir (Ustalav).

What he actually meant was "which race would potentially drum up the most interest/ be the most fun to play with (possibly from a design perspective as much as a marketing one?)".

And I actually can see that. I would bet that designing goblin ancestry feats is a lot of fun because they have a lot of fun and dramatic characteristics that you can morph into such things.

But there are other concerns like the ones you raised that I believe makes them inappropriate for the Core Rulebook and I think the playtest feedback is going to bear that out.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm just feeling salty because I'm under impression that goblin is somehow the only ancestry that is going to get the treatment of "Oh hey they have better PR now" which doesn't really make sense because kobolds are more likely to be diplomatic than goblins from all modules I've seen :P

Drandle Dreng can apparently just wander into their hideout and give them a mission briefing!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
World of Dim Light wrote:

EXCEPT when the GM's hands are tied.

My opposition to goblins in the core rulebook is based entirety on my experiences and observations from running Society games, the one place where the only real way a GM can say no is by walking away from the table, and ruining several non-disruptive players' evenings. Even segregation of the goblins in the book will not avoid the sort of issues that arose with the legacy races in Starfinder Society. And there is at least one murder hobo player that has shown up a few times that I would not run a table for if they brought a goblin PC.

I have no problems with goblin PCs in general, and certainly would allow HMM to play pretty much any goblin concept she has mentioned. But I'm worried that there are a few reasons why people want to play goblins, one of which will be completely unsuitable for Society play. I would be all for the first supplement being GoG Revised, divided into parts that would support playing homicidal baby-eating Pyromaniacs for home games, and another for supporting Heroic goblins, with the first part being explicitly banned for Society play. But putting them in core could create too many issues for VOs/VCs/Tonya.

In my limited experience, the people who would make trouble at a PFS table will do it regardless of what options they have. My reading of the Community Standards in the Roleplaying Guild Guide is that problem players can be banned.

An individual GM can't ban a player, but the event organizer can. If a player is creating problems, they need to be talked with. If they continue to create problems, they should be banned. This is something that the GM should discuss with their event organizer. It is in the organizer's interest to handle the problem. Failure to do so will make it more difficult to host the event -- if for no other reason than it makes it harder to find GMs.

As an event organizer, it is always good to keep the VLs and VCs appraised of any potential problem players. The players may have caused issues at other locations as well.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

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I acknowledge all of that as true Bretl but its still like can you imagine "Hey there I am new player X and I am just so jazzed to play my new goblin PC" and then having him start playing him as though its We Be Goblins and having to go "no, no you aren't playing your character right".

Like I really HATE being that guy, and goblins create a ton of scenarios who I am going to need to be him.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hostile NPC wrote:

This is just great. First, goblins attacked our flocks in their pastures and set up camp there. Second, we have adventurers come into town. Which, of course, means our economy is going to be absolutely buggered for the coming year and that rotten artificer down on Elm Street is going to be able to buy out another bloody politician.

Now of course we're going to have some bloody adventurer take a shine to one of the goblins we ask them to dispose of and opt to allow it to tag along with the rest of their bunch. No sirree, this is an awful idea and awful premise that in essence emancipates the goblin tribes after they have sullied our land and slain our kinsman. There is absolutely no way that we commonfolk should be subject to the abject whims of the powers that be when they decree that suddenly goblins should be regarded with a sense of normalcy.

This is an outrage. I am outraged. And I shall be petitioning the aristocracy to deal harshly with any suggestion that the goblinoid scum be forgiven or considered welcome on this material plane.

Nicely said. This is pretty much the logical reaction of the common Golarion folk in my opinion.

Also, I read some comments about 10 years being enough for a change. In our 21st century global village, yes, it is. By medieval standards where most people only have legends about what's happening in other countries? Rather think a century or two


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Biztak wrote:
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
Clearly a dwarf can't be as pretty, have as strong a personality or as likeable as a goblin... :P

There is an image of a goblin in a red dragon costume and to be honest it is cute as all hell, no dwarf can compete with that


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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kedrann wrote:
Hostile NPC wrote:

This is just great. First, goblins attacked our flocks in their pastures and set up camp there. Second, we have adventurers come into town. Which, of course, means our economy is going to be absolutely buggered for the coming year and that rotten artificer down on Elm Street is going to be able to buy out another bloody politician.

Now of course we're going to have some bloody adventurer take a shine to one of the goblins we ask them to dispose of and opt to allow it to tag along with the rest of their bunch. No sirree, this is an awful idea and awful premise that in essence emancipates the goblin tribes after they have sullied our land and slain our kinsman. There is absolutely no way that we commonfolk should be subject to the abject whims of the powers that be when they decree that suddenly goblins should be regarded with a sense of normalcy.

This is an outrage. I am outraged. And I shall be petitioning the aristocracy to deal harshly with any suggestion that the goblinoid scum be forgiven or considered welcome on this material plane.

Nicely said. This is pretty much the logical reaction of the common Golarion folk in my opinion.

Also, I read some comments about 10 years being enough for a change. In our 21st century global village, yes, it is. By medieval standards where most people only have legends about what's happening in other countries? Rather think a century or two

Golarian isn't a medieval society. They have instantaneous methods of communication (Animal Messenger, Sending spell, Teleportation, etc), methods of seeking guidance from gods (augury, commune, etc) and a host of other options that no medieval society had. The technology available on Golarian is all over the map in terms of our timeline.

If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.


So like most people, I sorta have a problem with goblins getting a Cha boost. BUT I can think of something that would support that.

DWARVES!

Is a goblin more like a gnomes or a dwarf? Not the look but the temperament. A dwarf is the furthest thing from a goblin and this would make it so there stats are opposite. Just something to think about.

Although a society full of cha would probably get along well and have great leaders idk tho. What do you think?


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BretI wrote:
If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.

Does the local populous have access to those kind of spells though? And would they even know to ASK about goblin heroes? The king knowing about goblin heroes doesn't matter a LOT on the local level.

Biztak wrote:
graystone wrote:
Biztak wrote:
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
Clearly a dwarf can't be as pretty, have as strong a personality or as likeable as a goblin... :P
There is an image of a goblin in a red dragon costume and to be honest it is cute as all hell, no dwarf can compete with that

You and I have vastly different ideas on cute...


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Nox Aeterna wrote:

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.

Mostly I expect that because I'm here to play a game and have fun, not be punished and picked on because a GM declared my fun to be wrong. That's not fun. I'd find another GM and have my fun with them.

...Well, that, and because I usually am the GM for Pathfinder. When I get to play, it's Starfinder, 5e, or Mutants and Masterminds.

At any rate, GM being antagonistic and making a setting hostile towards the PCs isn't fun, generally. I've had like one instance of players wanting people to discriminate against their characters. Beyond that, my home setting is weirdo-friendly, and I try to run Golarion pretty tolerant as well.

Sandpoint, since it's being cited as the most common example, probably would be a rather uphill battle for Goblins, admittedly, considering that particular town's circumstances. That doesn't mean the whole setting, or even all of Sandpoint is going to be "Kill on sight", though.

"Kill on sight" is such a dull way to handle racial tension anyways. I'd rather do something more interesting.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I have to admit, I am really disappointed with the tone of some of the posters in this thread and the way that some of you feel is appropriate to talk to fellow members of this community. I can understand that some do not agree with the decision to make goblins a core part of our game, and that disagreements can lead to passionate debate, but that is no excuse for this sort of behavior.

That said, I want to add a few notes to the discussion.

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.

2. That said, these previews are just that. Previews. We are still in the process of finalizing the book right now (he says with the ancestry chapter open right now). We do not collecting data at this point to help inform our decisions. There will be a time for that once the playtest begins. This is not me trying to squash comments, I just want to manage expectations.

3. There is more to the shift in goblins that I can honestly talk about here. Some of it would be a spoiler for things that are still in the planning phases, making them way to premature to talk about. Even if I could, I would not want to ruin the reveals.

4. Finally, there have been a lot of comments here about more appropriate ancestries to add to the game, and from the perspective of what would make an easier player character addition, you are absolutely right. Goblins are a bit of a challenge, but of all the creatures in the game, there is none that is more iconic to our world,...

Thank you for finally responding. I will admit I found it most curious as to why you or others at Paizo didn't chime in sooner (outside of the "don't badmouth each other" post a little while back). No doubt the lack of staff involvement in this thread might have fueled things a little bit as there was a sense of Paizo watching this thread rather than selling the idea.

I've remained on the fence through this. While I have argued against allowing Goblins be a Core Race, I've also argued for it as well. I want to see what led Paizo to suggest the Goblins as a Core Race, and what we have seen sadly only hints a little rather than give any concrete reasons why Goblins would win out over Aasimar or Tieflings - two races who also have become iconic thanks to how they were portrayed in Rise of the Runelords (along with Goblins).

Now, #2 seems to state that we will be seeing Goblins as a Playtest race. That said, how people react to the Goblins in the Playtest will also dictate if they remain... though I suspect if Goblins got the boot, they won't be replaced with another contender but instead Pathfinder 2 will only have seven Core Ancestries instead of eight.

That said, I would like to ask one specific question on a tangential note (it is in my very nature to go off on tangents, as my username suggests!):

Will there be Ancestry Feats provided with non-Core races in the Bestiary that could be available as potential PC races, much like was found in 1st Edition Pathfinder? I ask because I'll likely be switching over one of my low-level Runelords campaigns to Pathfinder 2 and rewrites of NPCs like Nualia would be necessary as a result (and because there is an Aasimar player as well) to at least hold us over until an Expanded Race Book is released? And also because those of us who modify the existing APs to work under 2nd Edition Pathfinder will run into some hiccups without Ancestry Feats for non-core races currently used as NPCs in various campaigns.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
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.

Bad players will be bad players. Good players will be good players. Golarion goblins will not change that dynamic in any way. Borderline players (of which I've gamed with a fair few over the years) are going to be encouraged to indulge in the disruptive behaviour they enjoy doing. If you don't game with this category of players, that means the change will have no impact for you in your games. Unfortunately the same can't be said for all tables.

Demanding Paizo change their decision because of individual table issues is not reasonable. Expressing concern over the impact a change Paizo is making to the experience of our individual tables is.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
BretI wrote:
If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.
Does the local populous have access to those kind of spells though? And would they even know to ASK about goblin heroes? The king knowing about goblin heroes doesn't matter a LOT on the local level.

I would expect most rulers of countries to have access to something like that, yes.

I would expect them to be able to send out animal messengers with memos informing the people under them of the change.

When I played Kingmaker, one of the things our group did was make sure every settlement had someone who could provide an animal messenger or equivalent. That was done so that we as rulers could stay informed of problems.


Mbertorch wrote:

I haven't read every post of this thread, but I've come around a bit. I still think Kobolds are tragically underappreciated, and would love to see them as a Core Race.

My biggest qualm, and I may simply be misinformed/underinformed, but does this mean that the three small races all have Charisma bonuses? Because while that may be suitable for lore, it seems HORRENDOUS for balance and playability. Even with the flexible bonus stat.

Running off my suggestion earlier that races should get the choice of two different stats to put their -2 into to enable different builds, and that if goblins are going to be in core so should kobolds, as well as a feeling that not every small race should always get +Dex, and knowing from this preview that every race is probably going to get a +2 float now... all that said, my own personal vote would be:

Gnome: +2 Dex, +2 Int, +2 float, -2 either Con or Wis
Goblin: +2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 float, -2 either Int or Wis
Halfling: +2 Wis, +2 Cha, +2 float, -2 either Str or Int
Kobold: +2 Int, +2 Cha, +2 float, -2 either Str or Con

My reasoning on the bonuses: +Dex/+Con for goblins really wouldn't be unbalanced, as Con isn't nearly as important as Str; it also reflects goblins being tough from surviving in horrible places and safely eating horrible things. Gnomes are generally portrayed as slippery, tricky and crafty; +2 Dex/Int reflects this, without giving them Kender Plot Armor in the form of a Cha bonus. Halflings actually shouldn't have +Dex and it is unsupported in the novels they are ripped off from; +Wis is from them being earthy and centered, while +Cha is from having a strong sense of self and being generally friendly and gregarious. Kobolds really don't fit +Dex either, and they can change to fit their portrayal better: very smart, cunning critters with strong personalities and a knack for craft and magic.

My reasoning on the penalties: Gnomes and kobolds are both generally portrayed as kind of spindly and frail, kobolds more so. Gnomes are generally annoying, even in universe, and shouldn't get +2 Cha as a result... however, this is a compromise that doesn't give them or goblins -2 Cha either. Goblins as portrayed by Paizo seem like the sort to fail an IQ test, as well as lacking in basic common sense. Halflings go to fat and usually lead simple lives with simple pursuits, which doesn't encourage physical or intellectual development.

Of course, what I'd really do is just combine halflings and gnomes into one race with them being subraces of each other... But that ship sailed for any kind of major publication back before Paizo even existed as a company.


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LittleMissNaga wrote:

Mostly I expect that because I'm here to play a game and have fun, not be punished and picked on because a GM declared my fun to be wrong. That's not fun. I'd find another GM and have my fun with them.

...Well, that, and because I usually am the GM for Pathfinder. When I get to play, it's Starfinder, 5e, or Mutants and Masterminds.

At any rate, GM being antagonistic and making a setting hostile towards the PCs isn't fun, generally. I've had like one instance of players wanting people to discriminate against their characters. Beyond that, my home setting is weirdo-friendly, and I try to run Golarion pretty tolerant as well.

Sandpoint, since it's being cited as the most common example, probably would be a rather uphill battle for Goblins, admittedly, considering that particular town's circumstances. That doesn't mean the whole setting, or even all of Sandpoint is going to be "Kill on sight", though.

"Kill on sight" is such a dull way to handle racial tension anyways. I'd rather do something more interesting.

Well like i said, clearly a diference from what i expect and many in this thread expect, while also true many clearly see it how i see it.

Fact is, my world isnt focused on being accepting at all, evil races will be treated as an issue on any of the decent places. Solution? The player doesnt play the goblin. He plays the elf/human..., he isnt discriminated against and everyone is happy, all in a good day of gaming.

Ofc, this all depends on the place, most humans wouldnt want to be in Belkzen and pretty much if you arent an elf or gnome, to a point, you are going to be tossed out Kyonin...

But again, to each their own, you are the GM mate, show the world the way you want.


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I can't wait to play a goblin fighter that makes her own weapons... From scrap if needed! With (literal) tooth and nails if those fail!

I love goblins as Core, and hope that the APs or wherever they explain for them being a PC race will be awesome!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Mogo the Goblin wrote:
Actually a Goblin in RotRL has a vested interest in stopping the plot of RotRL, because if the longshanks get organized and come after the goblin tribes that's bad news for the goblins. They gotta stop that crazy lady from getting goblin heads stuck in a tighter pickle jar than they can get it out of.

Maybe.

It would still not stop the NPCs from sandpoint to try to skin them alive if they could.

So it would bring abou the challenge, how would the goblin PC perform all those city parts of the adventure, while running from every guard in the city and being hunted by half the quest NPCs... Interesting conundrum.

Guess if he is also a master of alter self from lvl 1...

Player Goblin jumps into the fray fighting some goblins attacking the town.

Mogo: "Mogo help Longshanks! Mogo not even like this tribe!"

GM: "The guards see you fighting on their side, alongside the other PCs, and seeing actual threats go and fight them instead."

Later

GM as Ameiko: "Here, wear this hat, I know it looks silly, but I'll spread the word that the goblin in the bright red hat is not to be attacked or they won't be served another mug of ale here again."

Later

GM as shopkeep: "Filthy goblin, you might have tricked Ameiko, but you can't shop here."
Mogo: "Mogo understand, shopkeeper not like shiny gold."
Shopkeep: "Goblins killed my family!"
Mogo: "Longshanks killed Mogo family? We gonna play who got more dead family, or can Mogo buy new sword to avenge Shopkeepers tragic backstory?"

____________________________________________________________________

It is not hard to not be a jerk about player choices.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BretI wrote:
kedrann wrote:
Hostile NPC wrote:
[snip]

Nicely said. This is pretty much the logical reaction of the common Golarion folk in my opinion.

Also, I read some comments about 10 years being enough for a change. In our 21st century global village, yes, it is. By medieval standards where most people only have legends about what's happening in other countries? Rather think a century or two

Golarian isn't a medieval society. They have instantaneous methods of communication (Animal Messenger, Sending spell, Teleportation, etc), methods of seeking guidance from gods (augury, commune, etc) and a host of other options that no medieval society had. The technology available on Golarian is all over the map in terms of our timeline.

If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.

I have to disagree. Many of the country descriptions I read are medieval in my opinion, typically for countries like Brevoy. Also, in my opinion, most common folks (and not people in power) have little access to magic and little interest about what happens beyond their village.

Sure, a king can decree, after hearing those stories, that goblins are not to be killed on sight. He may even be able to get it past his councilors who advise him not to take such a controversial decision, but at the cost of nobles immediately using it to plot against him. Even in Andoran, I can see bitter political fights on such a question.

In the end, it's a question of how each of us sees Golarion. My group is mostly composed of people with a background in history and we're probably more cynical about such matters than the average table.


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I'm not one to really get too deep into Stat-Mod debates especially knowing little about over-all system context yet (not to mention it's hard to wrap my head around idea of Goblins as PC-tier race, not sub-par that would have more negatives than normal), but the discussion of them does make me wonder how the posited evolved-PC-Goblin / baddy-NPC-Goblin schism sort of conflicts with the idea of shared stat mods, if their personality tendencies are meant to be truly different. Which kind of gets back to over-all viability of the whole thing.


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LittleMissNaga wrote:
Mostly I expect that because I'm here to play a game and have fun, not be punished and picked on because a GM declared my fun to be wrong. That's not fun. I'd find another GM and have my fun with them.

Not everyone's fun is equal, especially when you go in knowing that your fun is stepping on others fun: if you know the DM doesn't like goblins, it seem odd to want to play one.

BretI wrote:
graystone wrote:
BretI wrote:
If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.
Does the local populous have access to those kind of spells though? And would they even know to ASK about goblin heroes? The king knowing about goblin heroes doesn't matter a LOT on the local level.

I would expect most rulers of countries to have access to something like that, yes.

I would expect them to be able to send out animal messengers with memos informing the people under them of the change.

When I played Kingmaker, one of the things our group did was make sure every settlement had someone who could provide an animal messenger or equivalent. That was done so that we as rulers could stay informed of problems.

I don't think that a king is going to send an animal messenger to every man woman and child in their area... So again, on a local level goblin is still going to equal bad even if the guard captain knows there are some exceptions.

This is assuming that the king passes out this info. What does the king gain do doing so? Does protecting the super/ultra rare non-psycho goblin make sense when it might make the place more vulnerable to the actual psycho ones? This is a series of events that that IMO doesn't make sense: it's a LOT of effort and trouble to let people know there is a VERY slight chance a goblin might not be totally crazy/evil. Does the king REALLY put his kingdom in danger on the off chance one of those aberrations MIGHT visit? Seems unlikely IMO.


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kedrann wrote:
BretI wrote:
kedrann wrote:
Hostile NPC wrote:
[snip]

Nicely said. This is pretty much the logical reaction of the common Golarion folk in my opinion.

Also, I read some comments about 10 years being enough for a change. In our 21st century global village, yes, it is. By medieval standards where most people only have legends about what's happening in other countries? Rather think a century or two

Golarian isn't a medieval society. They have instantaneous methods of communication (Animal Messenger, Sending spell, Teleportation, etc), methods of seeking guidance from gods (augury, commune, etc) and a host of other options that no medieval society had. The technology available on Golarian is all over the map in terms of our timeline.

If Legend Lore starts bringing up Goblin heroes, people with power are going to notice.

I have to disagree. Many of the country descriptions I read are medieval in my opinion, typically for countries like Brevoy. Also, in my opinion, most common folks (and not people in power) have little access to magic and little interest about what happens beyond their village.

Sure, a king can decree, after hearing those stories, that goblins are not to be killed on sight. He may even be able to get it past his councilors who advise him not to take such a controversial decision, but at the cost of nobles immediately using it to plot against him. Even in Andoran, I can see bitter political fights on such a question.

In the end, it's a question of how each of us sees Golarion. My group is mostly composed of people with a background in history and we're probably more cynical about such matters than the average table.

And yet the typical AP could upend huge parts of the world in a couple of months. But 10 years won't apparently make a dent in one particular area to some people, as it somehow strains their view of the world, despite plenty examples of goblin PCs (even by the same people)? I'm finding it increasingly difficult to see any rationality in people's opposition to including goblins in the core rulebook (but apparently not other races, since they, of course, like those better).


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so instead of a -2 penalty to strength for a creature who is barely 3 ft tall ( which makes perfect sense) they are instead giving a -2 penalty to wisdom? while removing the additonal +2 to dex in favor aof a +2 to CHARISMA? for GOBLINS? this makes no sense, and whiel ive had a generally positive opinion about most of the mechanic changes ive read about this is just completely WRONG


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
LittleMissNaga wrote:
Mostly I expect that because I'm here to play a game and have fun, not be punished and picked on because a GM declared my fun to be wrong. That's not fun. I'd find another GM and have my fun with them.
Not everyone's fun is equal, especially when you go in knowing that your fun is stepping on others fun: if you know the DM doesn't like goblins, it seem odd to want to play one.

And if I love Goblins, and I just really want to play one because I have a great character idea? What if goblins are my favorite race? I should just forget about it because my GM doesn't really like them that much. Despite the fact that it is my character, and not theirs. And the fact that I might be the only goblin in their entire campaign. And the fact that I would be perfectly fine with them ignoring the fact that I was a goblin and having an NPCs never ever comment on it.

I actually had a DM who banned Stryx from his table for no reason other than, "he didn't like them". No reason given other than he wasn't feeling them. This wasn't made apparent until I approached with the express purpose of wanting to play one because I thought they were really cool both aesthetically and lore wise. Nope. Banned. Why? I still don't know. To this day, still never gotten the chance to play one.

This same GM also banned Gunslingers because he didn't like them. It didn't keep him from playing them exclusively as GMNPCs though. He liked them enough for that I guess. But hey, not everyone's fun is equal.

Isn't there a story about how Pathfinder almost didn't have Dwarves because one of the developers just didn't like them?

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