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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On one hand, I am all for the addition of an extra race (or more) to the core set, though the goblin is... a surprising choice, specifically because of the style statement of the Golarion Goblin.

In Eberron, where goblins are a (mostly) civilised race that dwell as an underclass in most cities (with reasonable parallels to the Golarion halfling), playing goblins makes perfect sense. In Golarion, where Paizo have been hammering home for around 10 years that their goblins aren't civilised, but are murderous, crazed lunatics with little regard for life, limb or what 'longshanks' consider morality.... not so much.

Frankly, most of the non-evil goblin concepts I've seen come across feel more like a green-skinned bobble-headed gnome with bad hygiene.

Indeed, I would instead like to advocate for the following as more appropriate, narratively useful and versatile alternatives to the goblin.

The Hobgoblin
The hobgoblin is a race with a long history of civilisation, albeit usually a highly tyrannical and militaristic one. Even with the brutality that seems endemic to the hobgoblin peoples, building a civilisation requires communication, diplomacy and negotiation, and as a predominantly lawful society, it means that while hobgoblins aren't always the nicest of peoples, you can still deal with them.

Peace, and cooperation, are possible (unlike most goblins). This makes them a great option for a potential PC race, and by doing so explore options for hobgoblin nations and societies within Golarion. Their alien culture and predilection for tyranny cause them to be feared, but their discipline and (to a degree) honour cause them to be respected.

Ultimately, hobgoblins as a core race would - I think - make for a richer world, greater story potential and provide new and diverse options for characters. More so, in all cases, than the goblin.

The Tiefling
Unlike the goblin, whose presence in a settlement is almost invariably as a form of rabid knife-wielding maniac in the sewers (or trying to burn it down), the tiefling has an established presence in many Golarion cities - especially those within Cheliax and its neighbors. Tieflings are present as named NPCs in many settlements, adventures and adventure paths, and come in a broad variety of alignments, personalities and abilities. Indeed, in my own experience tiefling (non-villain) NPCs outnumber all the halfling and gnome NPCs combined. They are also a fairly popular choice among players.

They are already ripe for being a core race.

Indeed, the main objection that I can see against adding them to the CRB, is that 4E and 5E did it, and Paizo might be accused of copying. That is a pretty poor reason, by my estimation, especially as Paizo have already written tieflings into the fabric of Golarion, and done so in an interesting fashion. No major changes or retcons to Golarion are needed (unlike the goblin); tiefling PCs could easily slide into most locations in the Inner Sea, either as refugees/fugitives from Cheliax, descendants therefrom, or even born elsewhere from unions inspired by the machinations of Thrune.

That's my 2c, anyway.


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+Gets told how Goblins can be adventurers and aren't the nasty ones from the stories of yesteryear, then complains about How can goblins be heroes, when they were the bad guys of yesteryear?

I find the chance to legitimately play Goblins a great and immense addition to the core rules, and it makes sense that these Gobbos have a charisma bonus. They'll need it, to fight the prejudice of yesteryear, but also to believe in themselves are more than savages.

Cannot wait.


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Now people are going to have to say "Core Only, NO GOBLINS!" instead of just "Core Only!"

Tangent, but nothing turns me off of considering joining a game faster than the words, "Core Only."

I'm interested in having goblins added because it gives lots of opportunity to explore their space as characters, and have a lot of fun potentially playing against type.


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I feel this is a misstep for Paizo, at least in part if not primarily driven by marketing. I hate the idea of adventurers letting a goblin into their party.

Silver Crusade

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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.

I mean, the whole joke is that Goblins being a playable race is a joke. That's what made it funny, the unbelievability of it.

It's a joke made reality. Friendly Rogue is just pointing out that even Paizo recognizes the ridiculousness of Goblin PCs.


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I am not a fan of goblins as a core race. I wouldn't allow it at my table, and I absolutely hate being one of those GMs who says "I know it's in the core rules, but no (insert race or class here) allowed." Also, in my experience, playing a goblin only gives disruptive players an excuse to be even more disruptive than usual and then pass it off with the whole just playing my character bit. So can we please not encourage casual arson and opportunistic cannibalism as a core aspect of the game? I already have enough problems with those behaviors in groups that don't include a goblin. Also, as far as their companions finding such actions endearing, under no circumstances would I find a homicidal, carrion-eating, shiv-crafting maniac comfortable to be around, no matter how loyal they are to me. The only way I could see including a goblin in a party that wouldn't result in him being killed on sight would be having said goblin already have some kind of connection to another character in the party, and even that is problematic (seem my previous sentence). I would much rather see tiefling or aasimar get included as a core race and have goblin characters included as an option in the bestiary, but oh no, we just have to satisfy that weird Pathfinder goblin fetish instead of doing something that actually makes sense.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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.

My party has also negotiated peaceful travel with orcs while travelling through Belken’s, characters who had good reason to distrust orcs because of a previous orc attack on their hometown.

Context is everything.

EDIT: Fixed spelling of Belkzen, everyone knows there are no orcs in Belize, that's Gnoll territory.


Laird IceCubez wrote:
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.

I mean, the whole joke is that Goblins being a playable race is a joke. That's what made it funny, the unbelievability of it.

It's a joke made reality. Friendly Rogue is just pointing out that even Paizo recognizes the ridiculousness of Goblin PCs.

I would like to point out that, as a concept, I don't think Goblin PCs are ridiculous, and I don't think that was the intention of that blog post either; I was pointing out that they considered Goblins being a core race was absurd. I'm starting to warm up to the idea, but only because Paizo's writing has been straying away from the "always chaotic evil" trope in regards to monstrous races, and I'm hopeful that they justify it in a way that makes sense.


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You guys are mostly Pathfinder grognards, and are familiar with dozens of potential Golarion-based PC races. I'm barely familiar with Pathfinder; the only PF thing I own is the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I'm familiar with D&D, but haven't purchased any D&D product since the 3E era. So here's a "Pathfinder newbie" perspective:

I must say: The distinct-looking Goblins which I've seen from skimming through Pathfinder books and websites over the years (and which remind me of the Isz from The MAXX comic books) are just about the only Paizo-specific visual meme I recognize. The only other visual memes I recognize: from seeing the cover of the Rise of the Runelords, I remember that Pathfinder stone giants look different (thinner with squarish heads) than D&D stone giants. And that Wayne Reynolds is the main Pathfinder artist. And that Pathfinder covers often have recognizable trade dress (with a single character, framed by horizontal band of art). That's it.

And I heard that PF2 is going to be "Golarion-infused". So, to my limited experience, it makes sense for the Paizo Goblin to be chosen.

Silver Crusade

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Fuzzypaws wrote:


  • Would rape you just because it makes you unhappy without even being horny or attracted to you, right after forcefeeding you your dog.[/list]
  • I think some GMs have been adding stuff to Goblins that just isn't the case.


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    Just to point out that a problem player is often going to be playing a problem no matter what race they are. If you don't trust your players to play a goblin, you've got bigger problems than goblins as a core race.

    I can see how this might be a concern in Society where you are matched up with a table of strangers every session, but if they are disruptive in that case, is there no policy for Venture Captains to eventually weed out bad players? I'm honestly curious as I've never played PFS.


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    I am tremendously excited to see a race of creatures that have such a widespread population and diverse culture be adapted to a 'core' concept race. People talk about things that you had to get DM approval for, or might cause controversy in a game, but that can happen just by having an elven wizard and a human sorcerer in the same game if you are actually ROLE-PLAYING. Conflict resolution within a party is one of the things that make the story interesting.

    I am currently running a campaign - on a home-brew world, with the pathfinder rules. The party - with no goblins - encountered a group of goblins and killed most of them until one of the characters thought to knock one out for questioning. After questioning, they decided that they should let the goblin live, and offered it a place in their party. They now have a goblin 'mascot' that needs reminding occasionally to behave. Their 'mascot' has gained class levels, and assists them in their objective, realizing that it will be taken care of far better as an adventurer with the rag-tag group of characters that let him live than he ever would have been with his own people, just by the vary nature of their culture differences. He still won't ride a stinky horse, but he'll happily scarf down all the jerky they can provide.

    Why is it so difficult to imagine a goblin hero in a world where you can have a dark elf, or tiefling that are 'usually bent towards evil' end up as your party's 'good' cleric?


    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    My party has also negotiated peaceful travel with orcs while travelling through Belize’s, characters who had good reason to distrust orcs because of a previous orc attack on their hometown.

    Oh... yeah... um...


    Quandary wrote:
    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    My party has also negotiated peaceful travel with orcs while travelling through Belize’s, characters who had good reason to distrust orcs because of a previous orc attack on their hometown.
    Oh... yeah... um...

    I think they mean the Hold of Belzken - I could see how autocorrect would change it to Belize.

    Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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    I'm thrilled about goblins as a Core race.

    My first real PF character was a goblin rogue, and I'm jazzed to rebuild that character for the PF2 playtest.


    Friendly Rogue wrote:
    Quandary wrote:
    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    My party has also negotiated peaceful travel with orcs while travelling through Belize’s, characters who had good reason to distrust orcs because of a previous orc attack on their hometown.
    Oh... yeah... um...
    I think they mean the Hold of Belzken - I could see how autocorrect would change it to Belize.

    You mean Hold of Belkzen?

    More seriously: GMs are free to adjudicate things as they see fit. Negotiating safe passage through the Belkzen Holds is... well, a prospect that I suspect most GMs would have be troublesome at least, but that doesn't mean that a GM cannot decide otherwise.

    And while unusual for a harsh land filled with violent and frequently warring tribes of chaotic-evil humanoids to agree to provide unilateral safe passage to a group of (probably wealthy-looking) PCs through the vastness of the Holds... more power to that GM if they didn't want to run all those encounters.


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    Still not accepting Goblins among standard/core playable character races/ancestries... Even with all explanations, just don't make sense.

    There are A LOT of other more interesting races to add. Aasimars, Tieflings (maybe not so much...), catfolks, tengus, kistunes...

    And just think about the elemental touched ones (ifrits, oreads, sylphs and undines). They all would add FOUR races into one ancestry, with much more interesting background options than "something green and little that, for a inexplicable reason, does not wan't to just burn and bite everything"...


    Raynulf wrote:
    Friendly Rogue wrote:
    Quandary wrote:
    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    My party has also negotiated peaceful travel with orcs while travelling through Belize’s, characters who had good reason to distrust orcs because of a previous orc attack on their hometown.
    Oh... yeah... um...
    I think they mean the Hold of Belzken - I could see how autocorrect would change it to Belize.
    You mean Hold of Belkzen?

    Yes. Like I said, Belkzen isn't very autocorrect friendly lmao

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I've already updated the original post.

    Obviously Belize is gnoll territory.


    Goblins of all sorts have shown up over the years in Pathfinder material. I'd like to remind everyone that Rise of the Runelords came out over a decade ago. Feelings and conceptions often change over time, and Paizo has not pulled this move out of nowhere. They have been distancing them selves from 'always evil' for a long time.

    We've had all sorts of characters from all walks of life become heroes in the setting. If there is anything that demonstrates that concept, the Goblins are the best at this as they are the most unlikely.

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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    Definitely still anti-goblins in core. They just don't fit. Still holding out hope they won't be approved for Pathfinder Society.

    But to comment on the actual mechanics those base racial ancestry stats are REALLY thin. I was really hoping that more than that would remain core to the conception of the 'ancestry'because I dunno I think of ancestry as meaning more than just a movement speed and ability score adjusts.

    Like Stonecunning for dwarves or immunity to sleep magic for elves. Not the kind of thing to pitch a hissy over but still really disappointing.


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    I know goblins are the mascot and all, but honestly kobolds would have made MUCH more sense as a size small "typically evil" core race. Lawful, as a society less of a menace to society at large, and easier reasoning as to why they might be good or neutral (follows a metallic dragon, believes the Third Brood origin of their race, etc).

    That said... what's done is done. I'll probably be able to dream up one or two heroic goblin character ideas. And the ancestry feats seem pretty cool - I imagine getting a bite attack is much more balanced now that 1e iteratives are out.

    Honestly I'm more interested in what else was revealed here. 25ft standard base speed is... an interesting change that I'd love to see the reasoning for. It does make halved or other fractional movement (please tell me 1/4 climbing is out) more of a pain. I'm also not super pleased (if unsurprised) to see that racial stats are back, but assuming all ancestries get the flex stat, it's not too bad.

    Liberty's Edge

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

    But, what about me? I'm a good goblin. Hero of the Pathfinder Society in fact :-D


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    Pathfinder Way wrote:
    I'm barely familiar with Pathfinder; the only PF thing I own is the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I must say: The distinct-looking Goblins which I've seen from skimming through Pathfinder books and websites over the years (and which remind me of the Isz from The MAXX comic books) are just about the only Paizo-specific visual meme I recognize. And I heard that PF2 is going to be "Golarion-infused". So, to my limited experience, it makes sense for the Paizo Goblin to be chosen.

    The thing is, you are recognizing Pathfinder Goblins as Paizo brand without them being Core PC race. I don't think anybody objects to a Goblin being on P2E cover, or having heavy re-occurence in their given psycho-gremlin role. Or even the extremely rare occurence of non-psycho gremlin Goblins (which could be mental illness from Goblin perspective).

    But including them as Core PC race is VERY DIFFERENT than their role in P1E, especially when prominently de-emphasizing their traditional flavor, as Paizo seems to acknowledge is necessary if suggesting them as Core PC race. Paizo has developed line of Goblins-as-PC products under P1E, but that specifically was within context of their non-Core-appropriate role, basically as joke territory. Saying "this is now Core" pulls the rug from under that "joke", and weakens the core brand image which they are supposedly motivated by.

    If PC-tier races are given Ancestry stats in P1E Bestiary, we can reasonably assume Goblins will be there regardless of not being Core PC race. So this isn't about people having the ability to play them from the beginning. This is about continuity of flavor and popularly accepted tropes which is what attracted Paizo to considering Goblins in the first place. If somebody wants to play a Goblin that is exception to rule, they don't need extensive discussion about that. All that does by inclusion in Core is water down the trope.

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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    Subparhiggins wrote:


    I checked the wiki and there are around 30 different named Goblin tribes as of right now, including the goblin subspecies like Grindylow and Monkey Goblins. I imagine there is a lot of diversity. It isn't very far fetched to imagine that for how many that exist, there are at least a third as many who are radically different than goblins as presented thus far.

    You could consider Golarion human diversity. On the same continent you will find democracy touting freedom loving Andorens, but on the other hand... You have the Nidalese.

    We are literally introduced to 4 different tribes of goblins in We Be Goblins that all share the same culture.

    We are introduced to two tribes of goblins in different PFS scenarios that pretty much all behave the same way. The reason this backlash is so hard is that the goblins we have come to know and love ARE the homicidal little maniacs. To have to water that down to make them PC-appropriate is to lose something.


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    Hobgoblins I could see. I played a hobgoblin bouncer at the Golden Goblin in the Second Darkness AP. No issues integrating with the party.

    PF Goblins on the other hand...the elements that make them unique and fun are also the ones that make them unsuitable for play. If you needed a new core race that highlighted the improvements the Ancestry approach brings to races, Tieflings would have been much better. Particularly given how prominently Cheliax has featured in the Adventure Paths to date.


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    My people feel under represented! We demand candles and your silver! Also the heads of many goblins!

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Sewer Dragons RULE!


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    To be honest, I don't see how Paizo can back down from this bad idea. If they do, they outrage half of the fandom who are totally in love with the thought of Goblin PCs as a Core Ancestry.

    As for the Ancestry Feats being "weaksauce" or the like... Ancestry Feats are something that the races get IN ADDITION TO Skill Feats and Class Feats. If I remember, it's every five levels they get one? So at level 1 they get one, level 5, level 10, etc., and they ALSO are getting the Class Feat at the same time and so forth.

    So it's not that you get these extra Feats but they aren't worth taking over class or skill Feats. It's that you have these extra racial benefits that you get to expand upon as your character gains in experience. For instance, Bitey. You could write up your goblin PC as sharpening his or her teeth until they are sharp enough to really cause damage, and at level 5 or 10 the Goblin PC now has an additional attack - biting. ;) But this is something you get in addition to other Feats, not instead of.


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    eddv wrote:
    Subparhiggins wrote:


    I checked the wiki and there are around 30 different named Goblin tribes as of right now, including the goblin subspecies like Grindylow and Monkey Goblins. I imagine there is a lot of diversity. It isn't very far fetched to imagine that for how many that exist, there are at least a third as many who are radically different than goblins as presented thus far.

    You could consider Golarion human diversity. On the same continent you will find democracy touting freedom loving Andorens, but on the other hand... You have the Nidalese.

    We are literally introduced to 4 different tribes of goblins in We Be Goblins that all share the same culture.

    We are introduced to two tribes of goblins in different PFS scenarios that pretty much all behave the same way. The reason this backlash is so hard is that the goblins we have come to know and love ARE the homicidal little maniacs. To have to water that down to make them PC-appropriate is to lose something.

    I don't see how any of that is changing. I love those goblins too. We can still play those goblins, we can still use those goblins as a GM. Those goblins in lore aren't going anywhere. But what we love about Goblins doesn't mean there isn't room for growth, especially when it comes to PC options.

    Diversity is not a 'watering down', it's adding another dimension to what it currently understood as the full picture. Racial stereotypes can be useful in a fantasy setting because they can easily let players grasp what they're looking at in a few key words. But stereotypes is all they are at the end of the day. The fact that there might be entire tribes or just single lone goblins of different worldviews makes them more interesting, not less.


    Looks like my first attempt to make this comment got eaten, but I wonder if people would be as upset if goblins were listed separately from the core races and were listed as an "Uncommon Race", the way they are categorized I the Advanced Race Guide?

    Isn't it true that Golarion will be somehow "baked in" to the PF2 core rulebook? I believe that's another source of anxiety: the feeling that the campaign setting is being "dictated" to people.

    Of course, personally I don't really see the issue. If I want goblin adventurers not to be prominent in my campaign setting, my group can decide that is so and voila! Done.

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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    Quandary wrote:


    If PC-tier races are given Ancestry stats in P1E Bestiary, we can reasonably assume Goblins will be there regardless of not being Core PC race. So this isn't about people having the ability to play them from the beginning. This is about continuity of flavor and popularly accepted tropes which is what attracted Paizo to considering Goblins in the first place. If somebody wants to play a Goblin that is exception to rule, they don't need extensive discussion about that. All that does by inclusion in Core is water down the trope.

    I do wonder about this. If all the core racials are as thin as the goblins it may really not be possible to just pluck an aasimar kitsune or Tengu from the bestiary 1 and have it be a fully playable race without them having to do all of the design work for those races right away or forcing the GMs to homebrew some mechanics. And at that point why not just have them all in the core rulebook?


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    Tangent101 wrote:
    To be honest, I don't see how Paizo can back down from this bad idea. If they do, they outrage half of the fandom who are totally in love with the thought of Goblin PCs as a Core Ancestry.

    As to how they back down: They put Ancestry stats in Goblin Bestiary entry (along with other races given similar treatment) so anybody CAN play them from beginning, and the "Core Goblin PC" incident can be written off as April Fool's joke. They don't spend word count watering down trope, because if players want to play against trope, they don't need to have Paizo expound on that at length before they even know what a Pathfinder Goblin is (for new players). "We Be Goblins" continues as-is, and everybody is basically happy.

    And then they crown Ratfolk as the rightful heir to the Core PC race expansion title. The End. :-)

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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    Tangent101 wrote:

    To be honest, I don't see how Paizo can back down from this bad idea. If they do, they outrage half of the fandom who are totally in love with the thought of Goblin PCs as a Core Ancestry.

    As for the Ancestry Feats being "weaksauce" or the like... Ancestry Feats are something that the races get IN ADDITION TO Skill Feats and Class Feats. If I remember, it's every five levels they get one? So at level 1 they get one, level 5, level 10, etc., and they ALSO are getting the Class Feat at the same time and so forth.

    So it's not that you get these extra Feats but they aren't worth taking over class or skill Feats. It's that you have these extra racial benefits that you get to expand upon as your character gains in experience. For instance, Bitey. You could write up your goblin PC as sharpening his or her teeth until they are sharp enough to really cause damage, and at level 5 or 10 the Goblin PC now has an additional attack - biting. ;) But this is something you get in addition to other Feats, not instead of.

    Consider this though - at level one right now in 1e a Dwarf is resistant to magic, has stonecunning, has some anti-kobold and goblin abilities etc etc. Now you have to pick Stonecunning at level 1, learn to resist magic and poison at level 5 etc.

    It feels like they're "weaksauce" because other than stat adjustment and some vision/movement/hp statistics your ancestry isn't granting you anything particularly interesting in comparison to what we have now.

    Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    The Rot Grub wrote:

    Looks like my first attempt to make this comment got eaten, but I wonder if people would be as upset if goblins were listed separately from the core races and were listed as an "Uncommon Race", the way they are categorized I the Advanced Race Guide?

    Isn't it true that Golarion will be somehow "baked in" to the PF2 core rulebook? I believe that's another source of anxiety: the feeling that the campaign setting is being "dictated" to people.

    Of course, personally I don't really see the issue. If I want goblin adventurers not to be prominent in my campaign setting, my group can decide that is so and voila! Done.

    Speaking for myself, if I were to just be doing home games I wouldn't care that much as I could just choose not to acknowledge their mistakes.

    The reason I care is that I am in deep with organized play where a core option is guaranteed to be ubiquitous and I don't really want to see goblins all over the place and because the setting is living I don't want to see goblins becoming watered down into being just another semi-monstrous race like mites.

    Grand Lodge

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    Friendly Rogue wrote:
    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...

    I dunno, sounds fine by me.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    Heck, I'd probably be more enthusiastic for those goblins.

    Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

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    Tangent101 wrote:
    To be honest, I don't see how Paizo can back down from this bad idea. If they do, they outrage half of the fandom who are totally in love with the thought of Goblin PCs as a Core Ancestry.

    The general response is negative so how would reversing their decision be any worse? the playtest is supposed to be about trying out a system to find out what works and what doesn't. Granted the commentary in this thread is somewhat limited, but if 300+ posts in roughly six hours is anything like a sample, it would seem more people are against core goblins that for it. So, maybe this is one of those "radical" ideas they are trying like the new magic item system and vocal feedback from us during the playtest will influence a change.

    It would seem that the most acceptable procedure would be to remove them from the CRB, and into the next supplemental book (monster book? or maybe ancestry guide?) to come out afterwards. They could include goblins and many other "as PC" material including alternate ancestry. That way, the people who don't want goblins in the game and like them the way they are can have it their way. And people who want goblins in their game can too. Since the former seems the more pronounced, it would make more sense to make that the "core" position and the latter the "variant" one. They could even include content somewhere that describes how goblins and other evil races could be incorporated into Golarion as socially acceptable rather than kill on site creatures. YMMV


    Allie Silverstrand wrote:
    Friendly Rogue wrote:
    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...
    I dunno, sounds fine by me.

    Pff, I can get behind this, at least!

    Lets do the same for halflings, I say!


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    My experience with Pathfinder Goblins has been interesting. I have had the luck of starting RotRL twice now with two very different groups. Both times someone in the party "adopted" a Goblin and worked to "uplift" them so to speak. I mean really worked.

    In one timeline the Birdcrunchers are now a "good" tribe that works with Sandpoint and helps protect the region.

    In the other, our group's CE Half-Orc Brawler adopted the last goblin child in Thistletop as his own son. He is every bit the monster Pathfinder makes him out to be he but directed towards saving Sandpoint and the region.

    Maybe it is our group and the willingness to allow "Anti-heroes" be dark as a group that allows me to see the goblin as a viable player class. It feels natural to us.


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    So, gonna have to add my two cents here. I like goblins. I've played goblins before (albeit not in pathfinder.) I want goblins to be an available player race. I do not want them to be in core for several reasons.
    A. It's a major setting change that supposedly takes place in less than 10 years. I'm all for acknowledging that goblins are not inherently evil, etc. etc., but it's incredibly unrealistic to think that a hated dangerous race of pyromaniac baby eaters have managed to not only change their own ways, but so impress the majority of the world as to be somewhat socially acceptable in that short of a period of time. In Starfinder they're still treated as a lower class race, and that's way into the future! The only way I could see for goblins to make the shift would be large-scale deific intervention. A large group of Good and Neutral deities would have to specifically tell their worshipers "Hey everybody, goblins are A-okay in my book now, so stop treating them like vermin to be exterminated!" They'd probably also need a new Good goblin deity to follow.
    B. It absolutely weakens the iconic flavor of goblins by watering them down to only slightly obnoxious.
    C. It makes heroic goblin PCs not special anymore.
    D. It implies that heroic goblins are now so common as to have overtaken the adventuring populations of aasimars, tieflings, and kitsune (all of which have seen far more play in my groups, and according to the survey somebody posted earlier, most groups.) This implication means that it is extremely likely that there will now be a large population of goblin NPCs in Paizo's APs and other adventures in PF2. Goblins are entertaining in small doses. Making them core means they'll be everywhere. Then they'll just be obnoxious.

    So for what it's worth, I'd like for goblins to be in an early race supplement. Or possibly to have a PC Ancestry write-up in the Bestiary. I'd like them, and other "evil" humanoid races to be given a less "predestination"-type write-up. But I don't want them, or any other evil humanoid, to be a core race.

    The mechanical bits they showed looked okay, although the ancestry feats looked weak. I also feel like the goblin presented has too much overlap with the halfling, and the inclusion of a race that pretty much does all the halfling stuff, while also having darkvision, means the halfling just became second fiddle to a goblin.
    Oh, and does the inclusion of gadgetmaking type fluff for goblins not remind anyone of Warcraft goblins? I don't mind Warcraft goblins, but it's rather a different feel from Pathfinder goblins.

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