Pathfinder Player Companion: Goblins of Golarion (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Goblins of Golarion (PFRPG)
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We Be Goblins!

The goblins are on the loose! Unleash the homicidal hijinks of Golarion’s most maniacal menaces with this guide to all things goblin. Infamous for their unpredictable attacks, catchy raiding songs, and fear of horses, goblins blend mischief and murderousness like no other monsters. But there’s more to goblins than dogslicers and games of killgull. Now you can join in the quirky carnage with everything you need to know about goblins, whether you plan to do battle against their unpredictable tribes, or lead them as a goblin hero!

Goblins of Golarion presents a player-friendly overview of the favorite foes of the Pathfinder campaign setting, along with new rules and information to help players customize goblin characters in both flavor and mechanics.

    Inside this book, you'll find:
  • The secrets of goblin life, from their strange anatomy and deranged psychology to their baffling culture and hilarious quirks
  • An overview of goblin homelands across the Inner Sea Region, along with details on dozens of unique goblin tribes
  • New ways to fight like a goblin, with equipment and feats to help goblins skirmish and scavenge like only goblins can
  • Revelations on goblin religion, from their unique worship of Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, to their race’s infamous hero-god
  • Insights into the questionable and grotesque world of goblin arcana, with new goblin-made spells and magic items
  • Rules, traits, and advice for playing goblin characters, giving you everything you need to unleash goblin insanity all your own
  • New goblin songs, games, and tricks, and even more goblin madness!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is set in the Pathfinder campaign setting and works best with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or the 3.5 version of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Still need more goblins? Check out We Be Goblins!, an insane Pathfinder Module designed just for goblin characters!

Written by Richard Pett

Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-362-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Goodness Gracious Goblins!

5/5

There's been a lot of controversy lately over the planned inclusion of goblins as a core race in the second edition of Pathfinder. One side of the debate posits that goblins have been consistently portrayed as little psychopathic murdering arsonists and that's not a good choice for a PC, while the other side says there's always exceptions and predicts some sort of canonical event may happen between editions to explain goblins' newwidespread acceptance throughout Golarion. The debate was definitely in the background of my mind as I read Goblins of Golarion, even though it was just next up in my queue and I'm not here to take sides in the debate.

Goblins of Golarion is a 32-page entry in the Player Companion line of products. The inside front cover nicely summarizes the racial stats of goblins and includes some other useful details for players, such as favored deities, regions, and example male and female names. The inside back-cover is a reproduction (sans text) of the cover, demonstrating quite vividly that goblins like fire and hate horses. The interior of the book is broken into six sections.

The longest section, "Goblins of Golarion" (16 pages) provides a very readable overview of goblins and how the race "fits" in Golarion and what life is like for goblins. There's a ton of great information here, including particular ways (and rules) for how goblins fight dirty (special rules for tossing angry snakes at enemies!), why they hate dogs and horses so much, why they have a penchant for song and a loathing for the written word, the types of games they play and junk they collect (including the introduction of about ten new pieces of equipment, including "pig grease" and "goblin pickles"), and more. Background sections like this in RPG books are sometimes pretty bland, but Goblins of Golarion does it right--tidbits here and there are hilarious, and this is definitely a section I'd recommend to a GM or player looking to get the most out of playing a goblin. There's a useful (and frank) discussion of which classes are suitable for goblin PCs; sorry, Goblin Paladins are right out! The section ends with about two dozen new background traits (Race, Regional, and Religion), and there's some really fun (and useful) ones like Foul Belch and Pustular.

"Goblin Tribes" (six pages) starts with a map of the Inner Sea annotated with the location of almost two dozen different goblin tribes. The section talks about named tribes in Isger, Mediogalti Island, The Shackles, and Varisia, but I really appreciate how it explicitly encourages GMs to make up their own tribes as well and not feel restrained by what's presented. The section is written to show just how varied goblin tribes can be while still staying on theme. The Spelleater goblins of the Mana Wastes were really cool, but I actually even felt a bit sorry for the Isger tribes...

"Combat" (two pages) introduces ten new feats restricted to goblin characters. They have great names like "Ankle Biter" and "Saddle Shrieker" but the great flavour is matched by solid mechanical effects. I will definitely throw some of these on NPC goblins if I get a chance.

"Faith" (two pages) provides short write-ups of four goblin hero-gods: Hadregash, Venkelvore, Zarongel, and Zogmugot. Each entry includes their portfolio, domains, subdomains, holy symbol, and favored weapon along with a one-paragraph description. The section also introduces four new subdomains, some of which would be viable for other (non-goblin) deities as well: Arson, Flotsam, Slavery, and Torture. The powers the new subdomains grant, however, are pretty weak.

"Goblin Magic" (two pages) introduces three new spells attributed to goblin spellcasters and four new magic items. For the spells, Fire Sneeze is hilarious. The magic items are all very weak mechanically but simultaneously far too expensive to really fit the goblin "scavenger" concept. A "Devastating Dog Whistle" *might* do 1d6 points of sonic damage to dogs within its radius, but at a price of 1500 gp it's hard to imagine what kind of goblin tribe would have one.

Last up is "Social: Goblin Player Characters" (two pages), a section that explains that "Goblins are first and foremost villains. They may be comical on some level, but they're also quite evil. Goblins enjoy inflicting misery and causing pain, and a goblin who doesn't isn't truly a goblin--he's some sort of freak's freak. Which is precisely the kind of goblin that makes a good nominee for a player character." The section gives some frank advice on trying to integrate Goblin PCs into a campaign and how to deal with the widespread racial antagonism they would face in civilized areas. At the risk of perceived bias, I do think the lore, at least as presented here, militates against the idea of goblins becoming a common PC race. The section also introduces some new favored class options, but they're not balanced well--gunslingers get a +1 to critical hit confirmations (nice!), while rogues get an extra skill rank that has to be placed in Ride or Stealth, which doesn't make sense since any character of any race and any class can use their favored class bonus to that get one free skill point (in any skill).

Some quibbles aside, Goblins of Golarion is an excellent example of a supplement that's useful for both players and GMs. It has buckets of flavour for running goblin characters while adding depth to their role in Golarion as a campaign setting. I would definitely recommend it.


Definitely Worth Having the Words Stolen from your Head

5/5

I was so absorbed with this book, that I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Having checked out most of the player companions, this was by far my favorite and changed my mind about having goblin PCs in my games. The fluff is absorbing, original and completely entralling with just enough humor to fit the goblin expectations but not so over the top as to make the race a joke. We learn amazing bits of their society from the fear of reading to the hatred of horses all with substantial backstory. And the traits and feats given really help make the race unique and offer some amazing options for fun PC builds.


You Be Food!

5/5

I loved this book. As a GM, it has already seen use in my campaign, and the discussions of goblin psychology and sociology spawned a number of interesting character concepts for semi-heroic goblin pcs for next time I am not the DM.
I go into more depth <a href="http://worldmakers.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/book-review-pathfinder-pl ayer-companion-goblins-of-golarion/">here </a>


Great Material

5/5

Wheter you want to have a goblin PC, flesh out goblins as villains a little bit more, or start your own all-goblin campaign, this book is what you need. It has interesting insights into Golarion goblin culture and tribes, along with various player options. It motivates you to use the annoying little freaks as PCs: we are currently running an all goblin pbp adventure on this board and having a blast.

I have only 1 minor complaint about the editing (a paragraph of the wrong font size in the Feats section) but overall the print quality is very good. A must have if you like monster player races or just can't get enough of those lovable pyromaniac goblins.


Great Resource

5/5

See my full review here.

Goblins of Golarion is a bit of an unusual supplement. As I mentioned in my review of Humans of Golarion, that product is a useful, albeit not particularly exciting book. Goblins of Golarion is the reverse: a fun, interesting read, but not particularly useful to most games. More specifically, it’s not particularly useful to most players. Game Masters are likely to gain much more use out of it, but as a product that is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion line, many people will expect it to be usable by players. Of course, not every product should necessarily be usable by everyone. It makes sense that there would be some niche products. However, it’s important that people be aware that this is a niche product, as there are some players out there who feel that because something is printed, it’s their right to use it, and that’s going to annoy some GMs who don’t want monster PCs in their games. Players should be sure to check with their GMs before making use of this book.

For players with goblin characters, there’s no doubt that it’s very useful indeed. It’s full of information about goblin society, lifestyle, beliefs, and physiology, along with lots of useful game mechanics including goblin equipment, new traits and feats, and even goblin spells. In addition, it’s an engaging read that fully brings across the character and style of Golarion goblins.

For games that don’t allow goblin PCs (or simply don’t have any players interested in playing goblin characters), Goblins of Golarion can still be a useful supplement for Game Masters, who will find a wealth of information. The “Goblin Tribes” chapter, for example presents the most prominent tribes from around the Inner Sea. It allows GMs to keep every group of goblins unique, yet still unmistakeably goblins. From goblin pirates in the Shackles, to freedom fighters in Isger who are devoted to preventing goblins from ever being enslaved again by hobgoblins, to dinosaur riders on Mediogalti Island, there’s a tribe for just about every need. I really like that there are areas of the world where goblins are more common (such as in Varisia) and areas where there are very few, if any. It makes goblins more than just something you roll on a random encounter chart and plunk down anywhere.

Overall, Goblins of Golarion is a fun book that fully fleshes out goblins and makes them a viable race in their own right. Gaming groups that include goblin PCs will find the book invaluable. Game Masters of groups without goblin PCs will still find the book useful for providing interesting encounters with goblins. And even if your group has no goblin PCs and rarely, if ever, encounters goblins as monsters, the book can still provide a fun and interesting read.


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"See, now there is goblin with motivation. Say you don't want a job do ya?"

Shadow Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
0gre wrote:
The Player Companion line has been the subscription for PFS players
Um... who said *that*? I've certainly never had that view on it...

Not sayin' that's what you've marketed it as...

Anyhow. Thanks for your reply. I didn't mean to make a huge stink about this. Be interesting to see how it comes out.


Demon Lord of Tribbles wrote:
"See, now there is goblin with motivation. Say you don't want a job do ya?"

My mindless charred husk shall hunt you through all the realms of the abyss for that, demon! And immolate all those who bend knee to your depravations of writing! I... I...

*Passes out from word loss.*


"Oh goody!" Claps hands with anticipation "I always wanted a vengeful goblin soul of my very own to mold and shape into a terrifying minion!"

Dances around naked with joy


so when will the hobgoblins of golarion be out???

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I like the idea of this product. A lot of Paizo customers have been asking for a book like this and even though Paizo isn't big on monster races they have listened. That response really impresses me.

I felt the same way when they decided to do the magus even though they at first stated that the bard covered that angle.


Steelfiredragon wrote:
so when will the hobgoblins of golarion be out???

They mentioned at GenCon that Hobgoblins and Bugbears would get a (possibly very small) section in this book. Who knows if that will still be the case, but it seems to be as good a fit as any.


Cool... I actually like monsters as PCs (having played a hound archon and a Gnoll fighter/favoured soul and currently playing a tengu shadow assassin ;)). And this is where I come to the point: PLEASE make a "Tengus of Golarion"-Volume, since they make great and flavourful player characters, but need some fleshing out culturally... they are a more viable player option since they seem to live among humans anyway and might not suffer so much from the "Ahhh a monster.... kill it!"-reaction. ;)

(Also there should be something on tieflings and aasimar. I remember the article on tieflings in the CoT-AP. Just make the flaws/boons sytem a point buy system an this would be great.)

Of course there lots of other monster races that would make good PCs e.g. lizardmen...


Gall, Inquisitor of Gargling wrote:

My mindless charred husk shall hunt you through all the realms of the abyss for that, demon! And immolate all those who bend knee to your depravations of writing! I... I...

*Passes out from word loss.*

This may be getting off-topic, but imagine some commoner (non-adventurer) humans whispering to each other stories of evil wizards, doing foul things to make phylacteries to remove parts of their souls and become liches. I always imagined Golarion's goblins whispering to each other similar stories of goblin shamans (or whatever) doing similar things with writing. They would remove words from their head, and when they die, the writing would live on, and...


As a Player Companion subscriber I love this line, but the whole "goblins as characters" leaves me a little cold - smacks of a gimmick one-off game that perhaps would have been better served as a free RPGDay pdf?

Burnt Offerings gave us a ton of "goblin colour" as did the excellent Classic Monsters... now granted we're a few years down the line now... but a whole book devoted to them? Not convinced...

Trying not to be a nay sayer here but there's my 2 runes worth

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Black Dow wrote:

As a Player Companion subscriber I love this line, but the whole "goblins as characters" leaves me a little cold - smacks of a gimmick one-off game that perhaps would have been better served as a free RPGDay pdf?

Burnt Offerings gave us a ton of "goblin colour" as did the excellent Classic Monsters... now granted we're a few years down the line now... but a whole book devoted to them? Not convinced...

Trying not to be a nay sayer here but there's my 2 runes worth

I used to think the same, but then I saw that Mr. Pett is the author.

This means this is gonna be funny, creepy and not exactly taking itself seriously.


Catlion wrote:

Cool... I actually like monsters as PCs (having played a hound archon and a Gnoll fighter/favoured soul and currently playing a tengu shadow assassin ;)). And this is where I come to the point: PLEASE make a "Tengus of Golarion"-Volume, since they make great and flavourful player characters, but need some fleshing out culturally... they are a more viable player option since they seem to live among humans anyway and might not suffer so much from the "Ahhh a monster.... kill it!"-reaction. ;)

(Also there should be something on tieflings and aasimar. I remember the article on tieflings in the CoT-AP. Just make the flaws/boons sytem a point buy system an this would be great.)

Of course there lots of other monster races that would make good PCs e.g. lizardmen...

I was going to snip your post, but I ran into a problem with that idea.

anyway
this is what we still need( player made up tittles)
Oddities of Golarion
covers: aasimar, tieflings, tengu that elemental race in the qadara book, half bloods (ie half dragon) get little mention

and
Darklanders of golarion
covers: drow,mongrefolk, duergar and possible morloch and derro

that said who'd really want to play a derro?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Catlion wrote:

PLEASE make a "Tengus of Golarion"-Volume, since they make great and flavourful player characters, but need some fleshing out culturally... they are a more viable player option since they seem to live among humans anyway and might not suffer so much from the "Ahhh a monster.... kill it!"-reaction. ;)

I'm a big Tengu fan, as my avatar indicates. I know James Jacobs think they "look too weird" to be PC races (at least in Pathfinder Society Games, even though their linguistics abilities and sword skills would make them among the best agents the PFS could have) but at least they're not creepy little baby stealing monsters. So here's a hearty +1 to your request.

Also, Kobold Quarterly recently did an ecology article on them in KQ #14, and a 4 part follow-up web article(found 3 of 4 so far) , so that may help flesh them out a bit for you in the meanwhile.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Reckless wrote:
Catlion wrote:

PLEASE make a "Tengus of Golarion"-Volume, since they make great and flavourful player characters, but need some fleshing out culturally... they are a more viable player option since they seem to live among humans anyway and might not suffer so much from the "Ahhh a monster.... kill it!"-reaction. ;)

I'm a big Tengu fan, as my avatar indicates. I know James Jacobs think they "look too weird" to be PC races (at least in Pathfinder Society Games, even though their linguistics abilities and sword skills would make them among the best agents the PFS could have) but at least they're not creepy little baby stealing monsters. So here's a hearty +1 to your request.

Also, Kobold Quarterly recently did an ecology article on them in KQ #14, and a 4 part follow-up web article(found 3 of 4 so far) , so that may help flesh them out a bit for you in the meanwhile.

Actually, of the "looks too weird" races, Tengus are at the top of the list of "ones that are cool enough to fit in." Furthermore... they already have a place in the Inner Sea region—pirates of the Shackles use them as mascots, thinking that they "soak up" the bad luck. Also, many cities have tengus living in them as well. This, and the fact that there's not an in-world history of tengus waging war or killing humans (such as you get with goblinoids, gnolls, and most other savage humanoid races) actually makes them great PCs.

If the PFS guys came to me and said "Pick one race to add to the allowed core races," I'd pick tengus.


So I don't like or own any of the races of golarion books, but i might buy this one. Pathfinder goblins are my favorite.

I've always been a goblin fan since Tolkien, Who else are my dwarf fighters supposed to smash?

I just want to say, Why such good art on goblins and such ho-hum art on hobgoblins? I wish the same artist did them both, since they are such related creatures.

Scarab Sages

KnightErrantJR wrote:

I'm all for this, as long as there is at least some place where its fairly clear that goblins are best suited for evil campaigns, and that the general assumption in Golarion is that goblins are almost always evil, and almost never good.

Plus, I really don't want to see goblins legal for PFS. For all of the discussion about gunslingers breaking suspension of disbelief, I'm really not wanting to sit at a table with five non-evil goblins working for a scholarly institution. My brain might melt.

Hmmm, makes me wonder what you'd do if you sat down to play PFS with five Goblin Gunslinger/Ninjas!!!

"Wataaaah!!! See flying chicken foot maneuver!!! Now see my reverse pisol blast maneuver!!!" ***Goblin proceeds to blow his own head off***


James Jacobs wrote:
Reckless wrote:
Catlion wrote:

PLEASE make a "Tengus of Golarion"-Volume, since they make great and flavourful player characters, but need some fleshing out culturally... they are a more viable player option since they seem to live among humans anyway and might not suffer so much from the "Ahhh a monster.... kill it!"-reaction. ;)

I'm a big Tengu fan, as my avatar indicates. I know James Jacobs think they "look too weird" to be PC races (at least in Pathfinder Society Games, even though their linguistics abilities and sword skills would make them among the best agents the PFS could have) but at least they're not creepy little baby stealing monsters. So here's a hearty +1 to your request.

Also, Kobold Quarterly recently did an ecology article on them in KQ #14, and a 4 part follow-up web article(found 3 of 4 so far) , so that may help flesh them out a bit for you in the meanwhile.

Actually, of the "looks too weird" races, Tengus are at the top of the list of "ones that are cool enough to fit in." Furthermore... they already have a place in the Inner Sea region—pirates of the Shackles use them as mascots, thinking that they "soak up" the bad luck. Also, many cities have tengus living in them as well. This, and the fact that there's not an in-world history of tengus waging war or killing humans (such as you get with goblinoids, gnolls, and most other savage humanoid races) actually makes them great PCs.

If the PFS guys came to me and said "Pick one race to add to the allowed core races," I'd pick tengus.

I'd pick em too along with the aasimar and tiefling.....

Sovereign Court

I'd pick Octopodes!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:

Actually, of the "looks too weird" races, Tengus are at the top of the list of "ones that are cool enough to fit in." Furthermore... they already have a place in the Inner Sea region—pirates of the Shackles use them as mascots, thinking that they "soak up" the bad luck. Also, many cities have tengus living in them as well. This, and the fact that there's not an in-world history of tengus waging war or killing humans (such as you get with goblinoids, gnolls, and most other savage humanoid races) actually makes them great PCs.

If the PFS guys came to me and said "Pick one race to add to the allowed core races," I'd pick tengus.

I'd like to see tengus added to the list of core races as well. A Tengus of Golarion book would be great.

I've seen them riding axebeaks also. More dangerous then you'd think.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well I reckon this kills my subsciption for this line. Use to be I could learn something useful about Golarion from the companions, though 32 pages was never enough. This just seems like use splat to me.

Have to admit that unless Faiths of Purity is chock full of new material my sub wont make it past April in any case.


Gorbacz wrote:
Black Dow wrote:

As a Player Companion subscriber I love this line, but the whole "goblins as characters" leaves me a little cold - smacks of a gimmick one-off game that perhaps would have been better served as a free RPGDay pdf?

Burnt Offerings gave us a ton of "goblin colour" as did the excellent Classic Monsters... now granted we're a few years down the line now... but a whole book devoted to them? Not convinced...

Trying not to be a nay sayer here but there's my 2 runes worth

I used to think the same, but then I saw that Mr. Pett is the author.

This means this is gonna be funny, creepy and not exactly taking itself seriously.

Agreed 100% and part of me is looking forward to being proved wrong by Mr Pett... but I'd honestly be concerned if the Players Companion line starts becoming a "latest monster PC book". I'd much prefer a "Monster Cultures" series that deals with this a la the "Revisited" books...

Feel pretty crap being a naysayer when all around me is endorsing this whole heartedly - maybe its the constant grey skies and freezing rain that makes Dow a dour Scot :)


Set wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
But there are no half-goblins.

Huh, I always thought a drunken encounter between a human and a goblin explained the existence of halflings perfectly...

Wait, I thought that was where gnomes came from?

More seriously, I do hope this book goes into some detail about hobgoblins and bugbears as well. Especially bugbears -- ever since 'Classic Monsters Revisited' I've been hoping we'd get to see some properly-done monster-under-the-bed serial killer bugbears in an adventure.

Sovereign Court

Eric Hinkle wrote:


Wait, I thought that was where gnomes came from?

Little known fact: True Gnomes are the result of breeding an Elysian Titan with a Rune Giant.


Attack Goblin #23 wrote:
runs through thread with a burning torch and a block of cheese

impales Attack Goblin #23 on his longspear and readies an action to strike Attack Goblin #24 once he is within reach


Tengus aren't something I'd allow in my campaigns, I just picture the bad guys from Samurai Pizza Cats any time someone mentions them. But then again, I prefer not to allow monks in my games. They tend not to feel "Fantasy" enough.

But goblins? Yes, love the Goblins. Goblins as PCs? Allowable, but not without discussion prior.


I love goblins, but I'd be much more inclined to have tengu PCs than goblin PCs in a regular Golarion game. So, bring on the tengu companion!

Sovereign Court

TheeGravedigger wrote:


But goblins? Yes, love the Goblins. Goblins as PCs? Allowable, but not without discussion prior.

Man, you guys must all have groups made up of gaming angels, because I'll need MY players to prove that they should be ALLOWED to play anything except Goblins, based on past performance.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cappadocius wrote:
TheeGravedigger wrote:


But goblins? Yes, love the Goblins. Goblins as PCs? Allowable, but not without discussion prior.
Man, you guys must all have groups made up of gaming angels, because I'll need MY players to prove that they should be ALLOWED to play anything except Goblins, based on past performance.

Same here.

Only replace "goblin" with "jackal."

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Being a fan of browsing the PBP boards here, I have seen a fair amount of goblin characters suggested. In fact, I've probably seen more goblins offered than dwarves, half-orcs, and halflings combined. There does seem to be a call for this peculiar race.

Shadow Lodge

Vic does this mean that will will see more non-standard race books?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

dartnet wrote:

Vic does this mean that will will see more non-standard race books?

Depends on how well this does, to a certain extent...


Again though wouldn't a "Monster Cultures" book with some PC options be a better bet?

I've always perceived goblins, tengus or whatever as the bogeymen of the game world - not the heroes...

There obviously is a real demand for more of this type of materials, and I can see why it would then sit in the Players Companion line - but its not something that I'd want to see or subscribe to...

Want to play something weird or twisted - gnome sorcerer with the Aberrant Bloodline - surely its in the play rather than the crunch? So the desire to play a redeemed goblin or ogre escapes me [as its very played out]

A quirky set of rules for all monster campaigns - which are the novelty exception rather than our established norm - I get.

BD

Dark Archive

Black Dow wrote:
So the desire to play a redeemed goblin or ogre escapes me [as its very played out]

Is it really, 'though? I'm familiar with a certain redeemed Drow, and there's the whole 'nice vampire boyfriend that doesn't kill people anymore' thing that's been going on for decades, but I don't recall a crapload of (or, any, actually) redeemed goblins or ogres in cinema, comics, game fiction, etc.

Hoggle and Ludo, if you squint right, from Labyrinth, might count as 'nice' goblins and / or ogres, kinda sorta, but the notion hardy seems 'played out' to me.

Maybe it's more common in anime? I don't read/watch much of that, so the genre could be crawling with goblin and / or ogre (bakemono and / or oni) protagonists, for all I know...

Silver Crusade

^^^ Hellboy springs to mind as well.

As well as Tolkien's talk outside the books themselves.

Black Dow wrote:
So the desire to play a redeemed goblin or ogre escapes me [as its very played out]

Alternately, many feel the idea of Always Chaotic Evil mortal races is very played out. Not everyone likes that concept, or is even comfortable with it.

Personally, I've always detested it. Along with what Set said upthread, I don't enjoy being in a game where good characters can seriously consider genocide as a decent option.

Besides, isn't Golarion supposed to be the setting where we can have any sort of game we want? So what's the point in solidly shutting out those that want to play a good goblin, orc, drow, or whatever? Does enforcing Always Chaotic Evil races really enable more stories than it stops?

Also can't help but note that the accusations of badwrongfun seem to flow primarily in one direction. It's always the "redeemed evil race" crowd that's having fun wrong, but those that want to play the game with always chaotic evil races never get much grief. The former also rarely get official support for their games, while the latter has largely been catered to over the history of the game.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Too much redeeming makes the antagonists seem less, well, antagonistic.

"Look, orc caravan! Let's tear them a new one!"
"Wait, no! I know an orc tribe that lives peacefully along with humans. They pick flowers and water the fields."
*strange looks from other party members*
"All right, maybe they are not Evil, and I would hate to grab some bad rep with Iomedae. Let's talk to them first!"
A hail of arrows later.
"Well...I...guess...they...were...Chatoic Neutral at best..."*expires*"

In other words: sometimes, when I want to engage in a bit of good old carefully applied hyperviolence leading to genocide of humanoid tribes complete with infanticide and looting, I wish not to worry about the moral repercussions. Too much.

Also, mixing in "not-evil" Evil races dillutes a concept that is actually cool, namely the "looks evil but isn't quite so" (say, Mongrelmen or Svirfneblin to a degree).

Scarab Sages

Since there is a module coming out in which the PCs are Goblins, this book makes sense.

Silver Crusade

Just speaking for myself:

I'd rather have my antagonists antagonism rooted in their actions and goals, perhaps even culture, rather than race first and foremost.

I don't really see "They're X? Let's kill 'em all!" as a precious game feature.

Having non-evil orcs hasn't made kill-crazy Belkzen orc hordes disappear in my Golarion for example. I just means that a good character's reason for killing on has to be something more meaningful than "he was an orc".

And genocide, complete with infanticide, getting pushed as "okay" is exactly what kills the fun for many. If that's how one wants to play their game, fine. But many of us would like options beyond that. If a good PC wants to try and raise goblin children that survived the deaths of their tribe, he should not have it blow up in his face every time by default.

That's one thing I didn't like about Orcs of Golarion. It really piled on the rationalizations for orcs always being evil to the point that it seemed to be more actively trying to discourage anyone doing good or neutral orcs than anything else. It just made me sad that the orc book shut down possibilities for them rather than opening them up.


Set wrote:
Black Dow wrote:
So the desire to play a redeemed goblin or ogre escapes me [as its very played out]

Is it really, 'though? I'm familiar with a certain redeemed Drow, and there's the whole 'nice vampire boyfriend that doesn't kill people anymore' thing that's been going on for decades, but I don't recall a crapload of (or, any, actually) redeemed goblins or ogres in cinema, comics, game fiction, etc.

Hoggle and Ludo, if you squint right, from Labyrinth, might count as 'nice' goblins and / or ogres, kinda sorta, but the notion hardy seems 'played out' to me.

Maybe it's more common in anime? I don't read/watch much of that, so the genre could be crawling with goblin and / or ogre (bakemono and / or oni) protagonists, for all I know...

Mikaze wrote:
^^^ Hellboy springs to mind as well.

Ooh! Ooh! My turn!

Jim Hines' Goblin trilogy!

(I never even heard of it until Wicht mentioned it in this thread.)


Not sure if I'd ever use this but it look soooo cool. I'll make my decision after the "We be Goblins" adventure...


Paizo is stealing words from our heads!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lordofkhybr wrote:
Paizo is stealing words from our heads!

And we're replacing them with our own!

Dark Archive

Mikaze wrote:

Just speaking for myself:

I'd rather have my antagonists antagonism rooted in their actions and goals, perhaps even culture, rather than race first and foremost.

I don't really see "They're X? Let's kill 'em all!" as a precious game feature.

Having non-evil orcs hasn't made kill-crazy Belkzen orc hordes disappear in my Golarion for example. I just means that a good character's reason for killing on has to be something more meaningful than "he was an orc".

And genocide, complete with infanticide, getting pushed as "okay" is exactly what kills the fun for many. If that's how one wants to play their game, fine. But many of us would like options beyond that. If a good PC wants to try and raise goblin children that survived the deaths of their tribe, he should not have it blow up in his face every time by default.

That's one thing I didn't like about Orcs of Golarion. It really piled on the rationalizations for orcs always being evil to the point that it seemed to be more actively trying to discourage anyone doing good or neutral orcs than anything else. It just made me sad that the orc book shut down possibilities for them rather than opening them up.

I agree with the over all point of this post. All but I didn't have a issue with them pushing the orcs to usually be evil. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Are we going to see the possibility of a new goblin t-shirt with the release of this book??? I am dying to see a new goblin shirt as i hate myself for missing out on the limited release before. Please consider releasing a new goblin shirt with this book...

Silver Crusade

Dark_Mistress wrote:
I agree with the over all point of this post. All but I didn't have a issue with them pushing the orcs to usually be evil. :)

Heck, I'd actually be okay with "usually" as long as it wasn't "always".

That's why I latched onto that bit on paladins in that book like a drowning man clinging bits of shattered hull. :)


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mikaze wrote:

Just speaking for myself:

I'd rather have my antagonists antagonism rooted in their actions and goals, perhaps even culture, rather than race first and foremost.

I don't really see "They're X? Let's kill 'em all!" as a precious game feature.

Lots of other good stuff..

+1 to all of this.

Scarab Sages

the Haunted Jester wrote:
Are we going to see the possibility of a new goblin t-shirt with the release of this book??? I am dying to see a new goblin shirt as i hate myself for missing out on the limited release before. Please consider releasing a new goblin shirt with this book...

+1!! I've commandeered my fiance's goblins shirt so many times I'm not sure whose shirt it is anymore. I would LOVE to have another shirt that has anything to do with Paizo Goblins!


+1 to all sorts of Goblin Wear. It would be to cool to have a good quality shirt with all sorts of Goblin mayhem on it :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Here's a thought for goblin shirts: A series of shirts based off the condition cards... could have the Goblin picture and quote on front and the condition(s) listed and described on back. Who wouldn't want a "fascinated" goblin shirt? Oooo shiny!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I am glad there are people sharing in my suggestion. Thanks guys!! A Wayne Reynolds goblin shirt is what I would love to see!! Especially if it had the goblin chant written on it as well. Man, i wish i wasn't so poor when that limited edition goblin tee came out. That shirt was amazing!!

Dark Archive

Limited Ed. Goblin Faction shirts would be awesome too.

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