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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Grand Lodge

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Concerning goblins and how they fit in Golarion: Times change and so do people's opinions. Goblins as PCs have been a part of our world since the first "We Be Goblins" adventure. Many of the comments here echo those from back during the launch of 3.0 when Half-Orcs returned to the game as a player choice. There was a lot of conflict at first, but the tone of them shifted over time.

We always knew this would be a bit controversial and that there were some who would loudly proclaim "not at my table" and I get that. It's your table and your game after all. We are moving forward, trying to allow players to explore these characters, their culture, and their viewpoint. We are hoping to give you plenty of reasons, both mechanically and story-driven, to allow goblins in your game.

Hope that helps

I can't wait to play one! I'd rather it was the Tengu but I can think of a bunch of character concepts that I can run with Goblins. The first will be the "Tunnel Rat."

SM


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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm just annoyed if Goblins get "Recently they are now okay as adventurers" but Kobolds still get "KILL ON SIGHT NO MERCY" treatment :p

I feel like anything piloted by a player gets an autopass from the "kill on sight" treatment, but you can mistreat your own NPCs as much as you want to.

Dark Archive

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I meant treatment by NPCs, not PCs <_< Like, biggest reason to not play kobold or goblin in 1e is "You can't really go anywhere without NPCs freaking out about it"


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gwynfrid wrote:
I'm surprised how radical the rejection is in many posts on this thread. This is a fantasy game, I get folks are attached to their history (as I am), but are we all really this conservative?

Nothing to do with conservative, if Paizo had narrative-driven rationale for change I think many people would be more open to it. But they don't, they don't even pretend to have one (not to say it is distasteful when motives are concealed). It is simply based on "recognizable Paizo brand" so "naturally" they would use it as new PC race, in spite of it's "recognizability" hinged on anti-PC dysfunctionality.

Paizo themself emphasize their world and narrative is key to their brand, yet expect watering down that flavor to be good marketing move. Obviously, this is their prerogative, and maybe it will work out for them. If it does, that says Pathfinder/Golarion aren't actually strong coherent brands. I'm saying this comfortable with fact Goblins ARE mechanically supported in P1E, and not inherently opposed to people roleplaying them, good or evil. Emphasizing them as viable Core Race is not appropriate choice IMHO, especially when driven by superficial "image recognition" ignoring world role.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. First, I'm not personally for Paizo having Goblins be a Core Race. I, much like a number of people, feel it is not a decent choice for a PC race, especially given the background of the Goblins when compared to the half-orc, which is their closest equivalence race.

That said? We are not in the Playtest yet. Claiming that this bodes poorly for the Playtest that they are not listening to people several hours after they released the blog entry on Goblins with about half of the people posting that they approve of the thought of Goblin PCs.

Hell, I ran a campaign with an insane Goblin who thought he was a gnome and who was raised by gnomes who couldn't bring themselves to slaughtering an infant (and seeing the goblin thinks of himself as a gnome with a skin condition...) and there was nothing really wrong with the concept. It was run for roleplaying purposes. For fun.

There is less problem with having a Goblin PC in my eyes than a good-aligned Drow in a Golarion setting (what with the revelations about the Drow in "Second Darkness"). And hell, Paizo had a "Risen" Succubus running around. Good-aligned Goblins are nothing compared to that. ;)

As someone else pointed out, having Goblins as a Core Race helps distinguish Pathfinder 2 from pretty much most other fantasy roleplaying games out there. You don't have Gobbos as PCs in D&D5 or any of the other FRPGs out there. so this helps Pathfinder 2 stand out and not just be a D&D clone at first glance - especially as it is different no matter what the 4th edition naysayers are claiming.

Silver Crusade

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Kobolds are full citizens of Kyshahn the Kingmaker Kingdom that my players created. In fact beings of any ancestry can be citizens of Kyshahn so long as they obey and respect Kyshahn's laws.

I think GMs who have a kill-on-sight policy for NPCs against monstrous races need to read more Pratchett. Actually, if you want read a book that is specifically about people's racism towards Goblins read Raising Steam and Snuff.


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A part of me expects something of a revelation in either Return of the Runelords or the AP after it. Some big or small event which makes this all much more reasonable. Maybe it'll be the discovery of a hidden subspecies of goblin that aren't ridiculous murderhobos, a la WoW. Maybe some intrepid anthropologist will discern that the goblin tendency towards violent pyromaniacal homocide is a learned behavior, because no one bothered trying to teach them better.


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Tangent101 wrote:
As someone else pointed out, having Goblins as a Core Race helps distinguish Pathfinder 2 from pretty much most other fantasy roleplaying games out there. You don't have Gobbos as PCs in D&D5 or any of the other FRPGs out there. so this helps Pathfinder 2 stand out and not just be a D&D clone at first glance - especially as it is different no matter what the 4th edition naysayers are claiming.

As a sidenote, goblins have been a 5e playable race and even available in the league for some time now.


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fritterfae wrote:
I am excited for the inclusions of Goblins as a playable ancestry. I've never felt comfortable with the idea that certain creatures are always inherently evil.

But guess what? They aren't actually changing that general paradigm. That still applies, to Orcs and others.

They've just used "image recognition" as rationale for Core PC race inclusion, ignoring the details/role of that image.


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CorvusMask wrote:
I meant treatment by NPCs, not PCs <_< Like, biggest reason to not play kobold or goblin in 1e is "You can't really go anywhere without NPCs freaking out about it"

I feel like that's a problem with GMs, not with the races or the setting. My personal rule is "no matter what you are, as soon as the PCs become a known quantity in their vicinity (which can be as soon as 2nd level), people are going to recognize you as 'not a threat' and leave you alone." After all, no part of the GM job is to harass your Players or their characters; in fact it's generally inappropriate.

Worst I'd be willing to inflict on a Kobold PC (who let's face it, are already swimming against the current) is "oh, you're one of the good ones."


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
...should give you a sense of where we are taking Pathfinder's favorite troublemakers.

*sputters*

EXCUSE ME?!?! Favorite pyromaniacal, illiterate lunatics and pickle eating freaks, I'll accept, but "troublemakers"?!?

That tears it!

*walks around blog thread with large placard reading "GREMLIN RIGHTS! USE PUGWAMPIS FOR TROUBLE OR YOUR TROUBLE WILL DOUBLE!!*

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
fritterfae wrote:
I am excited for the inclusions of Goblins as a playable ancestry. I've never felt comfortable with the idea that certain creatures are always inherently evil.
But guess what? They aren't actually changing that general paradigm. That still applies, to Orcs and others. They've just used "image recognition" as rationale for Core PC race inclusion.

So?

The only reason Half-Orcs are a core race is because of Dungeons and Dragons 3.x legacy.


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FedoraFerret wrote:
A part of me expects something of a revelation in either Return of the Runelords or the AP after it. Some big or small event which makes this all much more reasonable. Maybe it'll be the discovery of a hidden subspecies of goblin that aren't ridiculous murderhobos, a la WoW. Maybe some intrepid anthropologist will discern that the goblin tendency towards violent pyromaniacal homocide is a learned behavior, because no one bothered trying to teach them better.

Maybe it's all those goblin babies who were dropped off in human orphanages by soft-hearted murderhobos. Their village has been slaughtered, so they have the standard adventurer backstory down already.


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For people who are saying "its fine if goblins are playable, they just shouldn't be a CORE race" what specifically does "core" connote other than "this is an option in the core rules."

I'm sure in PF1 we've all seen things in later booksmore popular than CRB options- I've seen more Changelings than Gnomes in my games, and more Kineticists than Wizards.

So what difference does it make between "being in the core rulebook" and "being in the first hardback" or even "being in the 37th player companion"?


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People weren't paying attention when the playtest was announced? Back then they said that Goblins would be included as a PC ancestry. Now it seems like that bit has been forgotten by a lot of people.


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Thebazilly wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
A part of me expects something of a revelation in either Return of the Runelords or the AP after it. Some big or small event which makes this all much more reasonable. Maybe it'll be the discovery of a hidden subspecies of goblin that aren't ridiculous murderhobos, a la WoW. Maybe some intrepid anthropologist will discern that the goblin tendency towards violent pyromaniacal homocide is a learned behavior, because no one bothered trying to teach them better.
Maybe it's all those goblin babies who were dropped off in human orphanages by soft-hearted murderhobos. Their village has been slaughtered, so they have the standard adventurer backstory down already.

Parties with paladins, leading source of goblin babies in orphanage instead of cages.


As for the "floating" ability score bonus, being a third bonus, I'd guess that ties in with the increased ability score progression, in an effort to get rid of the previously needed +X items.


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Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. First, I'm not personally for Paizo having Goblins be a Core Race. I, much like a number of people, feel it is not a decent choice for a PC race, especially given the background of the Goblins when compared to the half-orc, which is their closest equivalence race.

That said? We are not in the Playtest yet. Claiming that this bodes poorly for the Playtest that they are not listening to people several hours after they released the blog entry on Goblins with about half of the people posting that they approve of the thought of Goblin PCs.

Hell, I ran a campaign with an insane Goblin who thought he was a gnome and who was raised by gnomes who couldn't bring themselves to slaughtering an infant (and seeing the goblin thinks of himself as a gnome with a skin condition...) and there was nothing really wrong with the concept. It was run for roleplaying purposes. For fun.

There is less problem with having a Goblin PC in my eyes than a good-aligned Drow in a Golarion setting (what with the revelations about the Drow in "Second Darkness"). And hell, Paizo had a "Risen" Succubus running around. Good-aligned Goblins are nothing compared to that. ;)

As someone else pointed out, having Goblins as a Core Race helps distinguish Pathfinder 2 from pretty much most other fantasy roleplaying games out there. You don't have Gobbos as PCs in D&D5 or any of the other FRPGs out there. so this helps Pathfinder 2 stand out and not just be a D&D clone at first glance - especially as it is different no matter what the 4th edition naysayers are claiming.

I mean, the succubus needed a deity (Desna) to step in and help her, so there's a pretty big explanation for that.

I can't speak for other people, but for myself, I dislike the the idea of Goblins as a Core race because to me, a Core race signifies that adventurers from that race are pretty common (with the caveat that adventurers overall are uncommon). Which, for the most part, stems from the fact that those races have stable, large civilisations that can produce adventurers. And have done so for quite a while.

Goblins are numerous, but their civilisation, as presented, is tribal, chaotic and intensely violent and xenophobic. For a goblin to wish to go out and adventure with members of a different race implies a truly extraordinary individual, far beyond the uncommonness of a normal adventurer, thus not fitting for Core. At least, given what information we've been given of Golarion Goblins.

As an aside, goblins as PCs (in core) isn't terribly uncommon. Shadow of the Demon Lord does it and Symbaroum does it, to name but two. I'm sure I could find more but I don't want to go through all my goshdarn PDFs.


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Tangent101 wrote:
There is less problem with having a Goblin PC in my eyes than a good-aligned Drow in a Golarion setting (what with the revelations about the Drow in "Second Darkness"). And hell, Paizo had a "Risen" Succubus running around. Good-aligned Goblins are nothing compared to that. ;)

I think a lot of the sentiment about Goblins being seen as explicitly evil with no chance at cultural redemption somewhat stems in Pathfinder's early history, before Pathfinder as a system itself was around, where the writers wanted to emphasize the grittiness of Golarion.

Spoiler:
In Rise of the Runelords alone, Goblins were dead set murderous arsonists that hid in closets and ate off the faces of fathers, as well as desecrating human corpses with molten glass for the hell of it, while ogres are necrophiliacs who like to rip people in half and make bread out of innards, and have a proclivity to incest. Drow in Second Darkness were revealed to be beings of pure evil and first generation Drow were so corrupted that they were irredeemable.

Paizo's general writing style has, from what I noticed, been straying away from this explicitly edgy approach to Golarion in favor of things like, as you said, it being possible for demons to become good-aligned, but the concept of things being explicitly evil is pretty deeply cemented in Golarion as a setting, and when you're dealing with bringing one of the biggest offenders of the "always chaotic evil" trope into the core-race limelight, you need to break the cement foundation in regards to monster alignment that has been in Pathfinder since before Pathfinder, or you run the risk of having a core race that falls into the Drizzt trap.

Again, I'm sure that this will be explained and justified in Return of the Runelords, but keeping players in the dark over such a controversial subject matter doesn't help ease tensions.


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Allowing a rare few goblins to shirk off their cultural bias while leaving most goblins evil adversaries adds an interesting background story and an effortless reason for why the adventurer left home.


GentleGiant wrote:
People weren't paying attention when the playtest was announced? Back then they said that Goblins would be included as a PC ancestry. Now it seems like that bit has been forgotten by a lot of people.

I imagine people remember; however, there are things in the upcoming edition that are going to push individual's buttons. With the blog post, no one had to make a "why goblins?" thread (or another one) and chose to discuss it here.

I mean, my son will be happy about the goblins as well as people who liked the various We Be series. I'd prefer more in world information about what went on but otherwise it falls pretty low on my list of "Things that bother me about 2E"


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Kobolds are full citizens of Kyshahn the Kingmaker Kingdom that my players created. In fact beings of any ancestry can be citizens of Kyshahn so long as they obey and respect Kyshahn's laws.

I think GMs who have a kill-on-sight policy for NPCs against monstrous races need to read more Pratchett. Actually, if you want read a book that is specifically about people's racism towards Goblins read Raising Steam and Snuff.

I don't think the Goblins in the Discworld books ever staged large-scale raids on towns specifically for the purposes of killing people and burning their houses. In fact, I don't think they ever actually did anything to be despised beyond being considered repulsive or whatever. Which was kind of the point.

Golarion Goblins, on the other hand, have mostly been burning bridges (literally) since their introduction.


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GentleGiant wrote:
People weren't paying attention when the playtest was announced? Back then they said that Goblins would be included as a PC ancestry. Now it seems like that bit has been forgotten by a lot of people.

I didn't forget. I just didn't feel it productive to drag my disagreement with this subject into every thread. Since this Blog is about Goblins, what better place to discuss the issue? If they reconsider and change their mind about Core Races, that is absolutely best outcome for me. Note I have no problem with including Goblin Ancestry stats amenable to PC usage in B1, just with going out of their way to water-down Goblin flavor right in the Core Rules.


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Goblins are one of the most loved traits of the Golarion Setting. So why to take the risk of ruining it by twisting it in this way?

I particularly see reasons to include this into Core. But you can leave them with their current psychology and advise this kind of character should fit only in very particular campaigns. Suddenly accepting goblins in civilized societies is just ruining the image created of them for many of the fans.

The goblin-hero here described remembers me more of the Eberron ones. Which I liked and enjoyed. But this seems to me an unnecessary change to the Golarion Setting that ruins the image and play of one of the iconic, and perhaps more distinguishable, Pathfinder races.

In the end GM's can always overlord in order to fit players' desires, but rewriting official Setting expectations can ruin the atmosphere for plenty of other players and GM's.

Please, reconsider the way it is presented in the Core.


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Alchemaic wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Kobolds are full citizens of Kyshahn the Kingmaker Kingdom that my players created. In fact beings of any ancestry can be citizens of Kyshahn so long as they obey and respect Kyshahn's laws.

I think GMs who have a kill-on-sight policy for NPCs against monstrous races need to read more Pratchett. Actually, if you want read a book that is specifically about people's racism towards Goblins read Raising Steam and Snuff.

I don't think the Goblins in the Discworld books ever staged large-scale raids on towns specifically for the purposes of killing people and burning their houses. In fact, I don't think they ever actually did anything to be despised beyond being considered repulsive or whatever. Which was kind of the point.

Golarion Goblins, on the other hand, have mostly been burning bridges (literally) since their introduction.

Not Goblins fault if Longshanks don't like to share food, and will chase goblins over bridges to get their sheepies and piggos back.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Concerning goblins and how they fit in Golarion: Times change and so do people's opinions. Goblins as PCs have been a part of our world since the first "We Be Goblins" adventure. Many of the comments here echo those from back during the launch of 3.0 when Half-Orcs returned to the game as a player choice. There was a lot of conflict at first, but the tone of them shifted over time.

We always knew this would be a bit controversial and that there were some who would loudly proclaim "not at my table" and I get that. It's your table and your game after all. We are moving forward, trying to allow players to explore these characters, their culture, and their viewpoint. We are hoping to give you plenty of reasons, both mechanically and story-driven, to allow goblins in your game.

Hope that helps

Is this a case though of times change and this is what the people wanted, or a case of times change because Paizo is declaring it to be, and so it is?

Generally the argument of times change is used when society (or in this case, the player base of Pathfinder) has mostly changed their opinion, and laws and prevailing opinions have changed to catch up with where the core set of beliefs has already moved. I'm not seeing that this applies in the case of goblins as a core race.


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Well if goblins can be core, why not let orcs be core instead of half-orcs?

You can always have half-orcs through ancestry feats with humans or orcs;)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Pretty sure the human only had a speed of 25’ or 20’ in the playtests we’ve seen. You have to remember that you can effectively move 3 times a round now. This also doesn’t preclude a Run action that doubles your speed in a straight line and also makes you flat footed.

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I guess not a lot of people read the comics where it was established that Absalom nobles think it's trendy to have goblin servants, huh?


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Orcs are definitely more viable as PC race, IMHO.


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Quandary wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
People weren't paying attention when the playtest was announced? Back then they said that Goblins would be included as a PC ancestry. Now it seems like that bit has been forgotten by a lot of people.
I didn't forget. I just didn't feel it productive to drag my disagreement with this subject into every thread. Since this Blog is about Goblins, what better place to discuss the issue? If they reconsider and change their mind about Core Races, that is absolutely best outcome for me. Note I have no problem with including Goblin Ancestry stats amenable to PC usage in B1, just with going out of their way to water-down Goblin flavor right in the Core Rules.

Is it going to make the game unplayable to you? Is it somehow going to limit the non-Goblin characters that you can make?

I'm seriously not seeing what the fuss is about. All the other races that you had in the PF1 core rule book are still there.


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Seems very... out there i guess.

Well i have nothing against goblins in general, i certanly never played one in PF 1.0 and this doesnt make me at all want to play one in 2.0, but i guess if they are very popular.

On a side note, im not a big fan of "every goblin PC" is a hero that left his tribe cause they are different. Actually what happens if i want a CE goblin?


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I’m fine with it. It’s not like there aren’t real-world examples of ethnic groups of people who were considered “vermin” before public opinion realized how ****ed up that is. On one hand the PRG purist in me doesn’t like expanding the old list of humans/elves/dwarves/halfling/gnomes, etc. but on the other hand I know how popular the little buggers are, and it’s not like Paizo aren’t going to make sure they’re balanced with other choices.

I know my group had some of the most fun playing the first We Be Goblins, and I suspect the popularity of the WBG series had a good bit of influence in this decision.

The Exchange

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Golarion is a huge place with widely differing opinions on things, like undead, religion, magic, various pc races, and on top of that there are already published places where goblins are accepted.


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Terrible choice. This is a core race that will be completely ignored in my campaigns. Completely contradictory to the preceding goblin lore without anything approaching sufficient explanation.

And +2 to CHA...really?

This all causes me to lose a wee bit of respect for Paizo and diminishes my excitement for 2E.

Was this blog-post supposed to occur on April 1?


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I've had my share of Goblin PC's, I'm not going to make a fuss about goblins being a core race.

but Paizo: Please do not inundate 2e with +Dex/+Cha races.


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Thebazilly wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
A part of me expects something of a revelation in either Return of the Runelords or the AP after it. Some big or small event which makes this all much more reasonable. Maybe it'll be the discovery of a hidden subspecies of goblin that aren't ridiculous murderhobos, a la WoW. Maybe some intrepid anthropologist will discern that the goblin tendency towards violent pyromaniacal homocide is a learned behavior, because no one bothered trying to teach them better.
Maybe it's all those goblin babies who were dropped off in human orphanages by soft-hearted murderhobos. Their village has been slaughtered, so they have the standard adventurer backstory down already.

My group has done this more than once.

Killing baby goblins is squicky.
We dump them on the closest Chaotic Good cleric we can find and skedaddle.


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Mogo the Goblin wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Kobolds are full citizens of Kyshahn the Kingmaker Kingdom that my players created. In fact beings of any ancestry can be citizens of Kyshahn so long as they obey and respect Kyshahn's laws.

I think GMs who have a kill-on-sight policy for NPCs against monstrous races need to read more Pratchett. Actually, if you want read a book that is specifically about people's racism towards Goblins read Raising Steam and Snuff.

I don't think the Goblins in the Discworld books ever staged large-scale raids on towns specifically for the purposes of killing people and burning their houses. In fact, I don't think they ever actually did anything to be despised beyond being considered repulsive or whatever. Which was kind of the point.

Golarion Goblins, on the other hand, have mostly been burning bridges (literally) since their introduction.

Not Goblins fault if Longshanks don't like to share food, and will chase goblins over bridges to get their sheepies and piggos back.

Doesn't seem to be the case for The Terrible Tup, a Goblin that has managed to properly insinuate himself into human culture (like a goblin PC might) as a relatively respected entertainer, spellcaster, and secret arsonist who's more likely to burn his "friends" than his enemies.

Cut out the arsonist part and you have a serviceable PC. Cut out the arsonist part and you also have a Gnome instead of a Goblin, just slightly more deranged.


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Charisma? Really? Seriously?

Also, when pathfinder decided to give everyone two bumped ability scores instead of one I sort of got that "everyone's a winner!!!" vibe. I shrugged it off because the additional bonuses were interesting and flavorful. But floating ability bonuses on top of two initial bonuses is just coddling.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Mogo the Goblin wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Kobolds are full citizens of Kyshahn the Kingmaker Kingdom that my players created. In fact beings of any ancestry can be citizens of Kyshahn so long as they obey and respect Kyshahn's laws.

I think GMs who have a kill-on-sight policy for NPCs against monstrous races need to read more Pratchett. Actually, if you want read a book that is specifically about people's racism towards Goblins read Raising Steam and Snuff.

I don't think the Goblins in the Discworld books ever staged large-scale raids on towns specifically for the purposes of killing people and burning their houses. In fact, I don't think they ever actually did anything to be despised beyond being considered repulsive or whatever. Which was kind of the point.

Golarion Goblins, on the other hand, have mostly been burning bridges (literally) since their introduction.

Not Goblins fault if Longshanks don't like to share food, and will chase goblins over bridges to get their sheepies and piggos back.

Doesn't seem to be the case for The Terrible Tup, a Goblin that has managed to properly insinuate himself into human culture (like a goblin PC might) as a relatively respected entertainer, spellcaster, and secret arsonist who's more likely to burn his "friends" than his enemies.

Cut out the arsonist part and you have a serviceable PC. Cut out the arsonist part and you also have a Gnome instead of a Goblin, just slightly more deranged.

I've had plenty of PCs of human origin who immediately jump to the "burn down the dungeon" plan at the first available opportunity.


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ENHenry wrote:

I’m fine with it. It’s not like there aren’t real-world examples of ethnic groups of people who were considered “vermin” before public opinion realized how ****ed up that is. On one hand the PRG purist in me doesn’t like expanding the old list of humans/elves/dwarves/halfling/gnomes, etc. but on the other hand I know how popular the little buggers are, and it’s not like Paizo aren’t going to make sure they’re balanced with other choices.

I know my group had some of the most fun playing the first We Be Goblins, and I suspect the popularity of the WBG series had a good bit of influence in this decision.

The problem with the sentiment of comparing Goblins to racism in the real world (don't get me wrong, though, I 100% agree with you in regards to that sentiment) is that Golarion as a setting has an extremely... odd way of treating alignment. A lot of fluff and elements in adventure paths will try to emphasize the general aspect of how all [insert monstrous race here] aren't inherently evil, but then other aspects will flat out contradict that, IE Goblins in Rise of the Runelords, Drow in Second Darkness, Orcs in Giantslayer, even Hobgoblins in the recent Ironfang Invasion.

It's reached a point where there's a really wishy-washy tone, where the writers seem to want to break free from the "always chaotic evil" trope and emphasize that it's entirely possible for [insert monstrous race here] to be good, but due to the way the setting is structured, every single example winds up becoming an exception to the norm. It's actually one of the few reasons why I wouldn't mind a retcon of Golarion (not even with an in-world event justifying it, just a flat retcon) just so that the writers can make up their minds and decide whether or not they want loose racial definitions of alignments. That way, Goblins can be a core race and nobody will have any qualms with it on grounds of Goblins always being Chaotic Evil.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nox Aeterna wrote:

Seems very... out there i guess.

Well i have nothing against goblins in general, i certanly never played one in PF 1.0 and this doesnt make me at all want to play one in 2.0, but i guess if they are very popular.

On a side note, im not a big fan of "every goblin PC" is a hero that left his tribe cause they are different. Actually what happens if i want a CE goblin?

Then you should probably discuss it with your GM and party first, since choosing to play a chaotic evil character is usually more disruptive than playing a monstrous PC.


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Eh. My problem with this isn't that goblins are a race, they've been a playable race in Pathfinder since the Bestiary.

My issue is that it looks like I'll be needing to houserule the hell out of it just to not have goblins match the golarion flavour I dislike.


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Alchemaic wrote:
Cut out the arsonist part and you have a serviceable PC. Cut out the arsonist part and you also have a Gnome instead of a Goblin, just slightly more deranged.

This is the irony. The iconic recognition/popularity is based on dysfunctionality (above and beyond monstrous appearance/evil). Going out of their way to tell people "no, you don't really need to take that seriously" is undermining the very brand flavor which they purport to trade on. And that is literally the entire rationale given for the move, that it is "recognizable brand image", yet what they're doing with it in Core is watering down that image.


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While I now have certain misgivings about how Ancestry (appears to) work, I can't really say I have any real problem with Goblin's being promoted to the Core book.

They're humanoids (well most of them) and as such, free-willed. Their predilection for Evil is easily attributable to their cultures and just like elves, gnomes, etc PC goblins are, by default, misfits and losers within respectable society

Silver Crusade

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Some more food for thought: Goblins of Purity.

Spoiler:
But note the post date.


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Did you even playtest this? I mean Come On Man, that floating extra 2 points is WAY OVER POWERED!! I mean with that the only race I would play other than a goblin would be an Elf for Wizard.

Example:
10 point buy 1 point from training 18 Max start: (weapon focus and power attack)
ST 18 (2 float, 1 training 5 points) +6 to hit +4 Dam 2D per hit
DX 14 (Racial and 2 points)
CO 12 2 points) (hit points 17)
IN 10
WI 9 (point)
CH 12
Using Starfinder increases we end up at 20th level with these stats:
ST 22
DX 18
CO 18
IN 14
WI 13
CH 18


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Quandary wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
I'm surprised how radical the rejection is in many posts on this thread. This is a fantasy game, I get folks are attached to their history (as I am), but are we all really this conservative?

Nothing to do with conservative, if Paizo had narrative-driven rationale for change I think many people would be more open to it. But they don't, they don't even pretend to have one (not to say it is distasteful when motives are concealed). It is simply based on "recognizable Paizo brand" so "naturally" they would use it as new PC race, in spite of it's "recognizability" hinged on anti-PC dysfunctionality.

Paizo themself emphasize their world and narrative is key to their brand, yet expect watering down that flavor to be good marketing move. Obviously, this is their prerogative, and maybe it will work out for them. If it does, that says Pathfinder/Golarion aren't actually strong coherent brands. I'm saying this comfortable with fact Goblins ARE mechanically supported in P1E, and not inherently opposed to people roleplaying them, good or evil. Emphasizing them as viable Core Race is not appropriate choice IMHO, especially when driven by superficial "image recognition" ignoring world role.

I don't understand a couple of things in your points:

- If you're OK with PC goblins already, then why does this require a special in-world narrative? Do you mean because it implies goblin adventurers become common all of a sudden? But it doesn't have to be so. In a given campaign, there's usually no reason for anyone to be an adventurer except your PCs.
- If you're OK with people playing goblins, why them being a Core race such a huge dealbreaker anyway? I get you might want another race getting the nod. But here, it sounds like you're way beyond mere preference for one over the other.
- Why does the Paizo team's motive matter, whether it's marketing or otherwise?


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Kringress wrote:

Did you even playtest this? I mean Come On Man, that floating extra 2 points is WAY OVER POWERED!! I mean with that the only race I would play other than a goblin would be an Elf for Wizard.

You need to keep in mind that Goblins getting access to a floating +2 is likely indicative that all playable races will get a floating +2, not just Goblins.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:

Doesn't seem to be the case for The Terrible Tup, a Goblin that has managed to properly insinuate himself into human culture (like a goblin PC might) as a relatively respected entertainer, spellcaster, and secret arsonist who's more likely to burn his "friends" than his enemies.

Cut out the arsonist part and you have a serviceable PC. Cut out the arsonist part and you also have a Gnome instead of a Goblin, just slightly more deranged.

I've had plenty of PCs of human origin who immediately jump to the "burn down the dungeon" plan at the first available opportunity.

Yes, and they're usually the exception rather than the norm. I mean, as far as characters who are human in Golarion go. As far as PCs go, that's pretty common.

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