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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Luv9rove wrote:
Goblins rule! And they can read, but according to the lore, it is taboo. It put words in brain.

That's incorrect. Goblins consider the written word to be an extremely dangerous thing. Words can contain dangerous hexes, explosive runes, and philosophies that destroy the mind. Writing words is dangerous because it steals thoughts from your head.

My goblin alchemist draws pictures and numbers instead of writing words in his formula book.

Liberty's Edge

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

I am 100% on board here. I can understand some hesitation on the part of Players, and I recognize that some GMs will simply not wish for this to be part of their table, but ultimately I think this is a smart move and only has upward potential.

I do admit that I am slightly disappointed it's Goblins and not Kobolds, the PFS scenarios where we've got the chance to interact with the Kobold tribes (especially True Dragons of Absalom) were all really great and I always thought it was setting up the story of them becoming legal PFS characters down the road :P


MuddyVolcano wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:


And that, my friend, is precisely why the concept of Goblins being a core race is so controversial right now. The early desire to make Golarion edgy and gritty is now backfiring, as the attempt to make big movements beyond that is starting to result in serious conflicts in the setting's canonical depictions of "always chaotic evil" races.

I see these few goblins are those inspired by heroic, adventuring PCs. That is, they're the result of you or I striding forward and adventuring. That SUCCESS fills their eyes with WOW, I could do that!

Their cousins aren't ready for this, not yet. But, they're the trend setters. The vanguard. APs will explore this further, and the heroic actions of more goblin PCs are now in a position to drive it.

Does that help?

A little bit, yes. My ultimate opinion on Goblins being a core race ultimately rests on how it's explained how Goblin adventurers, as a collective, influenced their people's reputation in the public eye in APs like Return of the Runelords before P2e's release, but this perspective does help make me a bit more confident.


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I remain happy that gobs are going to become a core race, and I continue to have faith that Paizo's developers & freelancers will skillfully balance goblins' existing lore with the meta-necessity of building cooperative parties of adventurers.

By the Cleansing Fires of the Dawnflower! Reforged through Her divine servant, Mi'Kaz the Everdawn Heart!


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Friendly Rogue wrote:
PCScipio wrote:

Some more food for thought: Goblins of Purity.

** spoiler omitted **

"...all while maintaining the rip-roaring fun that being an arsonist or a baby-eater brings."

"- An exciting reworking of the alignment system that allows you to play arsonists and baby-eaters while still being good-aligned"

This is my point exactly.

You do realize that you're making your point with an April Fools Day joke, right? Kinda like quoting the Onion as a factual source.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm perfectly fine with goblins as a core race, why not their cute in their evil ways. If you don't want to play one, don't.

Personally D&D's choice of Dragonborn as a core race was a worse decision. Very cheesy race.


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Cyrad wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

For all the people saying "no goblins in my games" did y'all not have players itching to play some of the weirdest stuff in PF1?

If you can handle PCs who are Androids, Tieflings, Gathlains, Ghorans, Ratfolk, Wyvarans, Nagaji, Tengu, Hobgoblins, Astomoi, Cecaelias, Merfolk, Strix, etc. then you can handle PC goblins.

Frankly "everybody freaks out at the monster in the party" gets tedious fast so you stop doing it if you even bothered to start.

See, part of the problem is that we can't play any of those races because they won't be core.

Yet goblins will be.

Despite the other races being infinitely more commonplace as adventurers and residents of major cities.

Sure, you can't play a Ratfolk in PF2... until they print a book with rules for playing Ratfolk. How long do you suppose that is going to be a problem? A designation of "Core" is basically meaningless, because it's not like Paizo's not going to publish a lot of PF2 books.

I don't think "this thing I like isn't in the core rules, but this thing I don't like is" is the kind of complaint people should really want to voice. Lots of things can't be in the CRB (because of space) and most things in the CRB will have a fair number of people who don't care for them. But someday, in the future of PF2 we will all be able to roll up Gathlain Kineticists again, have no fear.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Race has little meaning in the real world because humans are one race, artificially segregated by skin tone, belief etc. in a fantasy game race is a very real, significant divide.

I disagree with basically everything you said, but especially this. I get what you're going for, but I think it dismisses a lot of people's life experiences.

Also, what of the trope of fighting bandits or rats at level one, instead of goblins, mites, or kobolds? Or skeletons/zombies, which are the player races; only killed and brought back by unnatural magic? Certainly the construct of a game does not need a different race to fight. Plenty of great stories can still be told.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
PCScipio wrote:

Some more food for thought: Goblins of Purity.

** spoiler omitted **

"...all while maintaining the rip-roaring fun that being an arsonist or a baby-eater brings."

"- An exciting reworking of the alignment system that allows you to play arsonists and baby-eaters while still being good-aligned"

This is my point exactly.

You do realize that you're making your point with an April Fools Day joke, right? Kinda like quoting the Onion as a factual source.

The joke was the concept of the always chaotic evil Goblins being elevated beyond that, with it riffing on the fact that they're baby-eating arsonists but now there's alignment options that allows them to be that and still be good!

My point was that the attitude towards Goblins in general has always been a negative one, and the inclusion of Goblins as a core race, what was once so far-fetched that it was a joke in and of itself, is now a reality. It's more like me quoting an Onion article to address the topics that said article is satirizing.


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I wonder if people would be less upset if they gave Goblins a different appellation, by calling the base seven the "Core Races" and calling goblins an "Uncommon Race" which will be supplemented by further uncommon races in future expansions.

And is it true that Paizo is baking the Golarion setting into the core rulebook? I believe that's part of the anxiety, too -- the feeling that people are being dictated a default setting.

If someone is troubled by it, honestly I think this doesn't have to affect your group -- nothing stops you from reducing the prevalence of adventuring goblins in Golarion, or from using your own campaign setting.

Grand Lodge

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I was nervous about this whole idea of Core Goblins when I first heard it, but I wanted to wait and see what the implementation looked like. We haven't actually fit that point yet. I did hope that we would have a better in-world explanation of how the murder-rats would suddenly start to show up in adventuring parties, though.

The explanation given in the article does not satisfy.

I do love Paizo/Pathfinder goblins. I remain unsold on them as a Core playable race.


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Friendly Rogue wrote:
You're missing the point,

I’m not, it’s just not as good a point as some people seem to think it is.

Quote:
and frankly is insulting.

Sorry for not treating all opinions as if they are above criticism? Because they are not? Sometimes people need to be told when they are overreacting.

Quote:
Most, if not all of the people that are being vocal about their concerns didn't mind, if not flat out enjoyed Goblin PCs in P1e. Their inclusion as a core race (as in common enough all around the inner sea so that their presence in the general populous won't be immediately met with aggression) does not fit the same image of Goblins that Players and GMs alike have been given by countless adventure paths and inner sea guides, where they literally eat babies.

Well then they enjoyed them so much then they really shouldn’t have any issue with them being more accessible. One race in the core being less common than the others is not a huge deal, should not elicit such a strong reaction. If Paizo says all of the core races, except this one, are the most common throughout the land, that’s their choice in the game they are making and it really doesn’t hurt anything but some people’s interpretation of how important strict lore abiding should be.

Quote:
Trying to hand wave their inclusion as a core race as "oh they're good now" despite their chaotic evil reputation makes no sense in world, and it does have a negative impact on Golarion-set games, as core races have very distinct implications as to how common and generally socially accepted they are, and throughout Pathfinder's entire run, even before P1e was even released, the image of the Goblin goes against the implications of what classifies as a core race in Golarion.

It really, really doesn’t negatively impact Golarion-set games. They said several times in the goblin write-up that Goblin PCs are the exception not the rule, by no means does their inclusion as a core-race mean that they are suddenly more numerous than before. The people who write the material we are arguing over have decided to shine a spotlight on goblins in the core book, some of you are inferring things that are not actually implied by that move.

Quote:
Also, you trying to frame this as everyone who has issues with this is taking it as a personal affront is extremely inflammatory, and doesn't do anything but make vitriol regarding the subject worse than it already is.

I did not frame this as if all people having an issue with this as taking it as a personal affront, there are definitely a couple users who are acting like it though and my post was directed towards that and the demand that Paizo give a better reason for their decision other than they thought it would be fun for the game is what I take issue with. People who say they personally don’t like it but don’t have a problem with it I get, but everybody who says this is a seriously bad development has not given one single good reason for the strong response this has elicited in them. Hence why it just seems personal.

Grand Lodge

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The Rot Grub wrote:

I wonder if people would be less upset if they gave Goblins a different appellation, by calling the base seven the "Core Races" and calling goblins an "Uncommon Race" which will be supplemented by further uncommon races in future expansions.

And is it true that Paizo is baking the Golarion setting into the core rulebook? I believe that's part of the anxiety, too -- the feeling that people are being dictated a default setting.

If someone is troubled by it, honestly I think this doesn't have to affect your group -- nothing stops you from reducing the prevalence of adventuring goblins in Golarion, or from using your own campaign setting.

Golarion was at least nominally baked into the Core book in 1E as well: the gods of Golarion were in the Cleric chapter.

For what it's worth, if goblins were in Core but were designated as "uncommon" somehow, that would make a difference for me.


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Aren't Adventurers the thing that's uncommon?


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In my opinion the opportunity to play a goblin or DM a group that has a goblin player opens up great roleplaying opportunities. I look forward to reviewing the ancestry in its complete form.


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So compeltely differnet creatures than the 1e goblins then?


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The scene... a sleepy little village where everyone is waking up. The sun rises, songbirds sing, and a cackling goblin shoots one with a sling. Out of nowhere, an orchestra starts up, but oddly no one sets fire to it. Yet.

A skinny female goblin leading a giant vulture walks into the center of town, yawning as she meets her team.

___________________________________

TWITCHY

Licktoad town; It's a raucous village.
Ev'ry day
Like the one before
Licktoad town
Full of Licktoad Goblins
Waking up to start...

TOWNSFOLK

Bonfires! Bonfires! Bonfires! Bonfires! Bonfires!

TWITCHY

There goes Magga with her stick, like always
Waiting to thwack poor Ronk again
Ev'ry morning just the same
Since the Gobfest where we came
To compete in this poor goblin town

MAGGA

Morning, Twitchy!

TWITCHY

Morning, Magga.

MAGGA

And where are you off to, today?

TWITCHY

The contest!
We just finished traversing the earbiter
With nasty wires and cutting bits and mud and -

MAGGA

That's nice. Hey kids!
The tinder!
Hurry up!

TOWNSFOLK

Look there she goes that gob is strange, no question
Plotting and planning, can't you tell?

FEMALE GOBLIN

'Cause her bombs are quite loud

MALE GOBLIN

And her bird's up on some cloud

TOWNSFOLK

No denying she's a pyro gob as well

MALE GOBLIN I

Bonfires!

FEMALE GOBLIN I

They smoke!

MALE GOBLIN I

How they are burning!

FEMALE GOBLIN 2

Bonfires!

MALE GOB 1

They smoke!

FEMALE GOB 2

Come see the light!

FEMALE GOB 3

I need six bombs!

FEMALE GOB 4

That's so explosive!

TWITCHY

There must be more than this combustive life!

GRACK

Morning, Twitchy.

TWITCHY

Morning, Grack.
We're ready for the next part of the contest.

GRACK

Finished already?

TWITCHY

Oh, we couldn't stop ourselves!
Have you got anything new?

GRACK

Not since yesterday.

TWITCHY (to team):

Nothing new?
Let's blow up. . . . . Grack's house!

MEDGE

That one?
But you've burned it twice!

TWITCHY

Well, it's my favorite!
Far off distance, sneaking around, screaming Grack, chaos everywhere -

RONK

If you like it all that much, let's go!

TWITCHY

For reals?!

GURP

Heh, heh. We insist.

TWITCHY

Thank you.
Thank you very much!

TOWNSFOLK

Look there they go that team is so obsessive
(As the goblin chorus we can tell)
With a cunning, sneaking look
And all the tinder that they took
They're off to burn Grack's house to hell

TWITCHY

Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my fav'rite part because --- you'll see
Here's where Twitchy fires the thatching
But Grack won't discover that it's all been done by me!

FEMALE GOB

Now it's no wonder that her name means "fireworks"
Her bombs have got no parallel

MEDGE

But behind poor Grack's facade
Twitchy's tossed a smoking wad

MALE GOB

Much more pyro than the rest of us

TOWNSFOLK

They're pyro like the rest of us
Yes, pyro like the rest of us -- do tell!

GRACK

Your Mighty Girthness!
I'm readying the next challenge, Chief Gutwad!
We'll have the greatest contest in the whole world!

CHIEF GUTWAD

I know.

GRACK

No gob alive stands a chance against you. ---
And no team, for that matter.

CHIEF GUTWAD

It's true, Grack.
And I've got my sights set on that one.

GRACK

The team that killed Squealy?

CHIEF GUTWAD

That's the one - the lucky team I'll be hiring.

GRACK

But they're -

CHIEF GUTWAD

The most pyro team in town.

GRACK

I know, but -

CHIEF GUTWAD

That makes them the best.
And don't I deserve the best?

GRACK

They're burning my house!

CHIEF GUTWAD

Right from the moment when I met them, saw them
I said they're ruthless and I fell
Here in town there's only they
In their pyrotechnic way
So I'm making plans to send them and their beasts as well!

GOBLIN PREGENS

Look there he goes -- Isn't he obese?
Chieftain Gutwad
Oh he's immense!
With all that weight, he's hardly breathing
He's such a short, green, fat and gruesome brute!

FEMALE GOB 1

Bonfire!

CHIEF GUTWAD

It smokes!

FLAMEFINGER

Great day

RONK

The fires!

FEMALE GOB 3

You call this bacon?

FEMALE GOB 4

What lovely flames!

MEDGE

There goes

GURP

The house!

MALE GOB 1

A fire!

GRACK

'scuse me!

FLAMEFINGER

I'll get more fuel

GRACK

Please let me through!

FEMALE GOB 6

Those flames -

FEMALE GOB 7

That smoke -

GRACK

My house!

FEMALE GOB

Ablaze!

MALE GOBS

We're not mistaken.

FEMALE GOBS

Is there more bacon?

TOWNSFOLK

It's burning!
Really burning!

TWITCHY

There must be more than this combustive life!

CHIEF GUTWAD

Just watch,
I'll give that team my knife!

TOWNSFOLK

Look there they go
The team is strange and pyro
A most peculiar set of gobs!

FEMALE GOBS

It's a pity and a sin

MALE GOBS

That they fit right in

TOWNSFOLK

'Cause they really are a pyro team
A bombing, scheming pyro team
They really are a pyro team
Those gobs!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

^ All this is just to say that I’m looking forward to playing my first goblin bard in the playtest.

Twitchy Boom Boom was my very first PBP character in a non-PFS game of We Be Goblins. She sang, she schemed, she set things on fire. She also believed in teamwork and was a secret reader. One of the happiest and most pivotal moments in our set of games was when she married her true love, Ronk, in a ceremony of their own devising.

She would be good on a team with Longshanks, too.

With a boost to Charisma, she could be a bard for real now. What I see is that my conception of goblins and Paizo’s have moved closer together.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing goblins to be core. I am looking forward to GMing all goblin tables in the Playtest.

Hmm


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, goblins were just the perfect enemy where I didn't need to worry about some damn moral conflict when we fought. Real life is so full of realizing that everyone has a reason they act like they do.

This is a game. Sometimes it's nice just to have something f%$@ing evil. No sitting there debating the moral quandary of killing them just playing a damn game. But no, goblins are apparently decently common enough to be good heroic creatures. Drow are not always evil anymore even though there was a whole Adventure path where they firmly established that yes drow are evil no exceptions.

I just want some story justification. Maybe they'll deliver and I will be okay with it. Honestly I'm going to play the game either way I'm excited for everything else, but a good reason that goblins after 10 years are all of a sudden more heroic would be nice.

Weirdly enough rumor has it that they're going to retcon the one area where I love moral greyness: Hermea.


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Cuttlefist wrote:
(Cut for space)

I'll admit, I got a bit overexcited in response to your post. You bring up good points in regards to how their inclusion as a core race likely doesn't make big changes to the common occurrence of goblins in every day life, but I do still remain at least somewhat curious, if not concerned, as to how they will approach the major change that will make Goblins more acceptable as a Core Race, because I remember reading that that was going to be one of the major points in Return of the Runelords (unless I'm mistaken.)

I also still stand by what I said in regards to the lore, but less because of how goblins specifically are changing to be more sympathetic, but more out of worry of how it will contextualize other traditionally "always chaotic evil" races, such as Orcs; will they also be made so that Orc adventurers will be given more support (outside of serving as backstory fodder for Half-Orc NPCs), or will they remain as Belzken raiders with no sympathy for others and a lust for bloodshed? I do retract my statement about how severely it will affect Golarion lore, though.


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I will be honest, I'm quite disappointing to see that this post has not been for the Wizard.

But anyway for the issue at hand it didn't surprise the decision of including Goblins in core given the representation they already have in PF1 I think is a good addition.

Although I will like if Paizo included 4 mores ancestries so you can pick from 12 ancestries along 12 classes, but the word count probably is not going to allow it but who knows. My suggestion for the other 4 ancestries would be Kobold, Orc, Tiefling, and Aasimar.


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If there's a need for something for the PCs to slaughter something with abandon and because it's evil there's no need for one's conscience, fiends start at CR 1 and Undead start at CR 1/3.

A thing we slaughter without worrying about it should probably not be an intelligent creature. So now killing goblins will just have to be a matter of killing specific goblins because of what they did, are doing, or will do, just like how killing elves is a matter of killing specific elves because of what they did, are doing, or will do.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Jokes on you, my players assume anyone they see in the wilderness is going to try to kill them. They are adventurers after all.

Cool. Safe to say we play very different games and I likely wouldn't enjoy playing at your table.

Brew Bird wrote:
Never realized Goblins were such a hot-button issue.

They weren't. They've been consistently portrayed one way and lots of people have enjoyed them in the way they've been portrayed. Paizo are now changing how they're portraying something which is seen as fundamentally Golarion and one of the more enjoyable aspects of the setting. I don't know why anyone would be surprised some of the fanbase would be upset by that.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

If there's a need for something for the PCs to slaughter something with abandon and because it's evil there's no need for one's conscience, fiends start at CR 1 and Undead start at CR 1/3.

A thing we slaughter without worrying about it should probably not be an intelligent creature. So now killing goblins will just have to be a matter of killing specific goblins because of what they did, are doing, or will do, just like how killing elves is a matter of killing specific elves because of what they did, are doing, or will do.

Murder goblins not because they're goblins but because they're bandits that stole the wizard's extremely expensive cigar box


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, is it just me or is this the quietest paizo has been on these blogs? Unless I missed some, looks like there was only one comment where is in the past there's quite a few at this point.


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John Ryan, do you have a problem killing bandits? It is essentially the same thing, except that this evilness is earned by actions


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Goblins do not belong in Pathfinder as a hero. Paizo remove this obscured idea!


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, I saw this line in the April 1, 2011 Paizo blog:

"We're not there yet, but when we send the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook back for another reprint, we'll be adding goblins to the list of core player races. Now everyone can be a goblin!"

Does anyone else recall seeing any other April Fool's postings about things that it turns out Paizo is now doing for real? Change "reprint" to "edition", and suddenly the above quote becomes true!

The Concordance

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I like what I read in the blog. I already have a concept for a goblin bard that got his start by stealing the clothes and backpack from a halfling that was swimming in a river. The halfling must not have wanted it since he left it laying there on the bank. The goblin sure had fun with all the food and the flute he found in that backpack.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Brew Bird wrote:
Never realized Goblins were such a hot-button issue.
They weren't. They've been consistently portrayed one way and lots of people have enjoyed them in the way they've been portrayed. Paizo are now changing how they're portraying something which is seen as fundamentally Golarion and one of the more enjoyable aspects of the setting.

Right. But the most baffling thing to me isn't just a change that doesn't sit well with existing base. They directly told us Goblins' inclusion in Core was motivated by recognizability of existing trope, yet the first thing they do is water down that trope... undermining the basis for their inclusion. That is absolute insanity to me.

If the existing Goblin trope is not Core PC material, is it such a stretch that perhaps another race is more suitable as new Core PC race, without necessitating altering existing popular (but non-Core PC appropriate) tropes? As people have mentioned, their move here even undermines people who enjoy using Goblins explicitly acknowledging their non-Core appropriateness, it undermines unique approach to play exemplified by We Be Goblins.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, my table is full of people not killing bandits. Cause as a group we always go "Why did this person become this way?" Then it's a whole ordeal, we gotta use nonlethal. And investigate their motives, then we got to decide what to do with them. Went since we already have them captured we can't just kill them so no matter what we do it almost always involves a side trip to turn them into local authorities.

Goblins though, they're simple. They're just little happy murder balls and sure for the most part that's going to stay the same. But being one of the base races is going to be enough for we include them into our investigations. Which is usually fun but it's nice having a no guilt let loose brawl every once in awhile.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. I have a question for Paizo's 2nd Edition crew.

What purpose does having Goblins be a Core Ancestry have for 2nd edition Pathfinder?

I have seen multiple extremely valid points as to why Goblins are not a wise choice for a Core Ancestry. So then... why did Paizo choose to have Goblins, of all races, be a Core Ancestry, especially when compared to races that have had specific links to the game since before Pathfinder, including the Aasimar and the Tieflings.

So. What is it about Goblins that makes them a more valid choice for a Core Ancestry than, say, the above two mentioned Ancestries... or other popular choices. Maybe if you provide us with the reasoning behind this choice it may alleviate concerns among a significant part of the fanbase.


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Still nobody has answered why being *core* matters more than "being in a later book".

Like Aasimar aren't going anywhere, they just won't be an option for a few months until the APG2 or whatever is released. I mean, by far the two least popular classes at my PF1 tables were Wizard and Cleric, and nobody ever plays gnomes. So I don't think "core" means much.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
RicoTheBold wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Race has little meaning in the real world because humans are one race, artificially segregated by skin tone, belief etc. in a fantasy game race is a very real, significant divide.

I disagree with basically everything you said, but especially this. I get what you're going for, but I think it dismisses a lot of people's life experiences.

Also, what of the trope of fighting bandits or rats at level one, instead of goblins, mites, or kobolds? Or skeletons/zombies, which are the player races; only killed and brought back by unnatural magic? Certainly the construct of a game does not need a different race to fight. Plenty of great stories can still be told.

Scientifically race is a construct. Humans are one race. It havent dismissed anything, you can imply I have but I made no comment on anyone’s life experience. My commentary is limited entirely to the game, the fantasy game. I know people have experience based on race, good bad or otherwise I don’t presume to comment because social media like this is a very poor platform for discussion of contentious topics.

I would ultimately find every level one adventure boring if I had to use rats, undead, vermin, bandits etc. it doesn’t make me a bad person to want inherently evil sentient races in my fantasy, most novels still employ the device. Should I now phase out kobolds from low level adventure? Evil cults for fear of offending those of religious belief? Demons and devils like in the 80’s?


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Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. I have a question for Paizo's 2nd Edition crew.

What purpose does having Goblins be a Core Ancestry have for 2nd edition Pathfinder?

They gave us the reasoning, right at top of blog, as well as previous mentions. Because the dysfunctional Pathfinder Goblin trope was popular/recognizable.

Problem being, making it a Core PC race apparently compels them to water down the very trope which it was recognized for, which is counter to the rationale for it's inclusion. But not making much sense in the end doesn't mean they haven't given us the reason. Even if it happens to be Goblin logic.


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John Ryan 783 wrote:

Yes, my table is full of people not killing bandits. Cause as a group we always go "Why did this person become this way?" Then it's a whole ordeal, we gotta use nonlethal. And investigate their motives, then we got to decide what to do with them. Went since we already have them captured we can't just kill them so no matter what we do it almost always involves a side trip to turn them into local authorities.

Goblins though, they're simple. They're just little happy murder balls and sure for the most part that's going to stay the same. But being one of the base races is going to be enough for we include them into our investigations. Which is usually fun but it's nice having a no guilt let loose brawl every once in awhile.

Huh.

Well there is always undead and Cthulhu worshipping cultists. It's not hard to find punching bags.


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I can sort of see how goblins as a core race could have Charsima as a boosted stat. Not that goblins will wind up being nice, or likable, but rather that they are intense.

They could be surprisingly intimidating, shrewd in both honest dealings and deceit, and when it comes to magic items and sorcery, they could have a natural talent for both.

Combine all those features and that sounds like a Charisma boost to me. They just don't normally use their charisma in ways that endear them to other folk, focusing instead on crazed intimidation and setting things on fire with their minds if they can manage it.

Also I like the idea of some well meaning human trying to clear a raid on a goblin tribe with the goblin PC.
"Hey, if you want to stay back from this one..."
"What? Why? Those are Lamasthan cultists and I have no love for the Beast Mother, why wouldn't I want to cut them?"
"Well.. they are goblins and you're a goblin so..."
"I've seen you kill humans plenty, do I nag you about whether you want to go bandit hunting?"

Dark Archive

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I'm fine with this. The stat change makes sense, as most races currently get +2 to 2 stats and -2 to 1 as well - the goblin's +4/-2/-2 was odd and a bit unbalancing. General rule of thumb is a bonus to one physical and one mental stat, and Intelligence and Wisdom don't make sense for a race that by-and-large won't read or plan anything ahead and frequently makes very poor decisions. I'm kind of surprised they didn't have a Wisdom penalty to begin with, actually.

I also don't get why people thought the blog post was going to elaborate on setting details. Paizo has already stated that future products address the changing interpretation of goblins in the Golarion setting. What else were they supposed to do, spoil plot elements of upcoming content prior to its release date and ruin the surprise? That's really not a good idea, even if it would alleviate some people's apprehensions in the short term.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I keep seeing "there are other races more common and well accepted as adventurers". But honesatly from what I've read of paizo APs and my understand of goblin "culture"... They're INCREDIBLY common, probably as common or more so throughout the world as Half-Elves or Half-orcs, as far as I've understood through paizo's books.

They're all over, Irrisen, Varisia, they're all over the world on the edges of human civilization. Sounds like the start of Goblin's self domestication is beginning, maybe in a few hundred years they're just another people, like the self domestication of wolves and felines into modern dogs and cats ages ago, with a headstart due to being capable of complex thought, though not all of their tendecies will vanish with time.


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I have zero problems with Goblins as a Player Race.

I understand why folks are upset about them as a Core Race in the CRB; and how years of playing in Golarion will be upset by this retcon/change.

When I was 10 or so, I would DM for my older brother. I loved the outre and strange, and had an Orc Battlelord (homebrewed 1e class) called Br'luk Screltch. He was fairly cardboard, and my brother hated it/him because my brother was fairly Tolkiemistic on his FRPGing.

When I introduced my son to PF when he was 5, our first "campaign" revolved around tokens he took out of the Beginner Box. He chose the Goblin Boss as the leader (a goblin called "Axie" who wielded an...axe) of a crew of three other goblins and an earth elemental and a water elemental.

It was fun. My son is seven now. We (his cousins, my brother) are playing (as mentioned before) through the old Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (finally made it through Part 1 last weekend) - three humans, a half-elf and my son's half-orc. My brother plays the older human wizard who is uncomfortable with both the half-orc and half-elf. Beyond that, we aren't focusing on it a lot.

There were goblins I added near the end of our first session to make for combat, excitement and more dice-rolling. They were baddies. But maybe not all...bad...

Scarab Sages

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Dryxxxa wrote:
I am terrified of what it means for PFS2. Really hope that goblins will be at least behind some boon-wall. I don't mind it for home games though, since many GMs, myself included, will just ban them any way.

I guarantee that if Goblins are legal for PFS2, I won't be GMing for it.


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I played this Goblin Bard in WBG1 here on the boards/PbP. It was "hard" because of the Charisma tax. But I had a lot of fun failing at everything including some Bard stuff.

Happy to see Charisma bonus for goblins.

They can be confident, and enthusiastic, and that force of personality is how I see Charisma working.

I agree with poster upthread who submitted the idea of no penalties, and a floating bonus.


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Stone Dog wrote:

I can sort of see how goblins as a core race could have Charsima as a boosted stat. Not that goblins will wind up being nice, or likable, but rather that they are intense.

They could be surprisingly intimidating, shrewd in both honest dealings and deceit, and when it comes to magic items and sorcery, they could have a natural talent for both.

Combine all those features and that sounds like a Charisma boost to me. They just don't normally use their charisma in ways that endear them to other folk, focusing instead on crazed intimidation and setting things on fire with their minds if they can manage it.

Also I like the idea of some well meaning human trying to clear a raid on a goblin tribe with the goblin PC.
"Hey, if you want to stay back from this one..."
"What? Why? Those are Lamasthan cultists and I have no love for the Beast Mother, why wouldn't I want to cut them?"
"Well.. they are goblins and you're a goblin so..."
"I've seen you kill humans plenty, do I nag you about whether you want to go bandit hunting?"

On the opposite side of the coin, you could have goblins who are keenly aware of the general reputation those of their ancestry hold, and as a result take to learn diplomacy as a method of actively staying on good terms with those who would otherwise be intensely paranoid by their presence.

I hope that, with Goblins getting a Charisma bonus baked in, the Halfling and Gnome get a bonus to the other mental scores to compensate, with Halflings getting a boost to Wisdom due to them being able to say optimistic and hopeful during bad situations, and Gnomes getting Intelligence to reflect their ever-present drive for more experiences and knowledge to avoid deathly boredom.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Honestly, I've GMed for a lot of new players, and goblins definitely catch their interest more than most other critters. I've seen many an intended goblin battle turn into the PCs turning a goblin into an ally or party mascot.

In terms of what interests new players and is iconic to the Pathfinder brand, I can't think of a much better fit than goblins. Even when they're evil, they've proven fascinating to players. I don't think adding aasimar, tieflings, changelings, or what-have-you would serve the game's purpose nearly as much as goblins will.


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Friendly Rogue wrote:
I hope that, with Goblins getting a Charisma bonus baked in, the Halfling and Gnome get a bonus to the other mental scores to compensate, with Halflings getting a boost to Wisdom due to them being able to say optimistic and hopeful during bad situations, and Gnomes getting Intelligence to reflect their ever-present drive for more experiences and knowledge to avoid deathly boredom.

I like this a lot. Both halflings being steady minded optimists with a Wis bonus and gnomes being keen minded sensation seekers. A bunch of little Sherlocks, gnomes are!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. I have a question for Paizo's 2nd Edition crew.

What purpose does having Goblins be a Core Ancestry have for 2nd edition Pathfinder?

They gave us the reasoning, right at top of blog, as well as previous mentions. Because the dysfunctional Pathfinder Goblin trope was popular/recognizable.

Problem being, making it a Core PC race apparently compels them to water down the very trope which it was recognized for, which is counter to the rationale for it's inclusion. But not making much sense in the end doesn't mean they haven't given us the reason. Even if it happens to be Goblin logic.

That does not state why they are more valid a choice than other Ancestries.

For instance, Dragons are iconic for AD&D and D&D. But you sure don't see Dragons as PC races in most games. They just don't work as a valid race in most games, and they are not balanced with the existing races either.

If you ask people what goblins are, they would tell you "murder-hobos who hate and fear dogs and horses, always are eating when they can, and love fire." They might even give out the little list of things from the start of RotRL: and mind you, reading that to my players helped them get right into the mood of the game... and even inspired them to have fun (like using a bag of marshmallows that was a one-up joke previously (for the bonfire ceremony) as a weapon of distraction).

How do you take murder-hobo dog-hating horse-fearing monsters and justify turning them into a player race? It's like letting someone play a Troll or a Gnoll. They don't make sense.

So I want to see the Paizo employees explain this. I want to see why Goblins, and not just some "they're iconic" because dragons are iconic but they sure as hell are not player races!


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Somehow I just end up expecting lots of shortstack goblin bards with a Con bonus, ranks in Profession: Courtesan, and InCase character art. They really seem an odd choice for a core race, plus step on both halfling and gnome toes by being sneaky tinkers. At least kobolds have tended to be reasonable in a couple APs, and would present some neat ideas in focusing on either draconic heritage (whether magical or mighty) or traps, which have always been a bad spot in terms of PCs wanting to set their own.


RogueMortal wrote:
Somehow I just end up expecting lots of shortstack goblin bards with a Con bonus, ranks in Profession: Courtesan, and InCase character art.

Please, not like this...

Grand Lodge

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I like it!
I'm actually expecting to see a fair number of Goblin PCs played as calm, intelligent, erudite, well spoken fellows with impeccable manners, and refined tastes. At least that will be MY first Goblin character. ;-)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Still nobody has answered why being *core* matters more than "being in a later book".

Like Aasimar aren't going anywhere, they just won't be an option for a few months until the APG2 or whatever is released. I mean, by far the two least popular classes at my PF1 tables were Wizard and Cleric, and nobody ever plays gnomes. So I don't think "core" means much.

Actually, it does.

For example, if we go back to the advanced race guide when we get to the featured races, where you find the goblins, one of the very first things said is a call for GM permision before picking any race outside the core 7.

Also ofc it has a very direct line saying for the core 7, races are the main focus of PF 1.0.

Anyway, im hoping they now add very big red letters warning people to go to the GM before they start to create their PC concepts, cause im sure goblins are bound to create far greater disruption than the other 7.

As someone who have played in parties with opposing forces, the most strong being a paladin + necromancer, i can say the direct threats and common arguments, at least for me, get old real fast.

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