Goblins as a playable race.


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Goblin Squad Member

I for one would very much like to see a playable goblin race. Part of what caught my interest in the concept of the game was being able to play monster races in addition to the usual playable races.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm all for monster races being playable but I think Golarian goblins whould be a poor choice. As others have said they are basically tiny engines of wanton distruction. Also they are dumb as bricks! (sorry bricks) 99.99999999999% of goblins believe that writing things down steals words from your head.

Orcs hobgoblins kobolds and gnolls? Yes. Goblins? No.


I tend to side with the James Jacobs crowd when it comes to PFO: Monsters should generally be monsters. Goblins should be crazy, kobolds should be crafty, hobgoblins should be cutthroat, orcs should be calamitous, but they shouldn't be the heroes.

That's unrelated to my opinions regarding adding races like catfolk, and my opinions regarding playable werewolves/vampires, for those wondering. It's not a matter of maintaining setting flavor or staying in line with setting lore. I just like these races too much to let them get ruined by clueless players who won't play 'em right. :P

Scarab Sages

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Agreed with Kobold Clever (WAT? yes!)...

Goblin Squad Member

I don't see the difference between playing a dwarf poorly and playing an orc poorly.


Core races are core because they don't tend too harshly towards any alignment—dwarves may be generally lawful and good, but it's not that uncommon to see Chaotic Evil dwarven marauders.

Goblins are treated as being almost always evil. Goblins of Golarion states that while good goblins might exist, they're all but unheard of—like, we're talking "bizarre freaks", such as a goblin raised apart from his kind.

It's just a stronger racial or cultural tendency than any core race possesses. Whole different story for less aligned Bestiary races like the tengu, but there's another thread for that.


Oh, Core races are also Core because they're Core and monsters are monsters. Pathfinder is the sort of setting that simply doesn't usually treats monsters as much more than that. Plenty of people like more lenient approaches, and that's what home games are for. Nothing wrong with it. But this is canon Golarion, and monsters are monsters.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree with Lord of Elder Days that any race can be played poorly - at least when it comes to roleplaying ... and there will always be "bizarre freaks" of dwarves, halflings, or any other races on an MMO as far as role-playing is concerned. I always found poorly role-played elves particularly hard to swallow, but that's just me.

I think it would be interesting to see monster factions or settlements with goblin, orc, hobgoblin, gnoll, kobald, and other playable monster races. I think it would add a lot of depth to the game and it would be fun for the people that are interested in playing those races.

As someone who has DM'd games for many years, I personally think it would be a lot of fun to play a crafty goblin, kobald, or some other monster race. I also think it would be completely reasonable to make those races drastically tend toward an evil alignment. You could force people to start out as evil and give them a way to slowly change your alignment over time toward neutral or good. It would probably be very difficult to achieve, and yes, some other players might just attack you onsite even once you manage to become neutral or good.

I don't see what harm it could do to the game though to allow monsters as playable races. I think it would just add to the open play feel that Goblin Works seems to be going for with Pathfinder Online. It would allow people to build monster settlements and guilds, which I think would be very interesting to see. It would also add a lot of depth to the monster races, instead of just having them be mindless monsters to slay.


See, making someone start out as evil just isn't plausible. You have to give the race its full range of options.

I, On A Related Thread wrote:

A great comparison is Guild Wars' policy on races.

I'd love to play skritt or hyleks. However, they (and several other races) aren't supposed to have great tech. This is in conflict with characters being able to be, say, engineers. In addition, skritt are supposed to behave with hiveminds and be quite dumb on their own.

That's the main reason they aren't currently available: Making such creatures playable would make their lore flat-out laughable. So as fun as a skritt PC might be, it just ain't gonna happen.

Goblin Squad Member

By that logic no one should be able to play elves, dwarves, gnomes, or any other non-human race either. They all have lore that suggests they would behave in a certain way. There will always be people that do not role-play their character appropriately based on that lore. That just can't be helped in an MMO setting unless you implement some way of penalizing characters for not playing in character. That will never happen because everyone should be allowed to play their characters how they choose.

I still don't see any good reason not to make monster races playable, and I certainly don't see why goblins would be any exception to that. Paizo has clearly made an effort to make goblins and other monsters playable in Pathfinder, so why wouldn't they be playable in Pathfinder Online?


That comparison got raised on this very thread, just a few posts up.

I wrote:

Core races are core because they don't tend too harshly towards any alignment—dwarves may be generally lawful and good, but it's not that uncommon to see Chaotic Evil dwarven marauders.

Goblins are treated as being almost always evil. Goblins of Golarion states that while good goblins might exist, they're all but unheard of—like, we're talking "bizarre freaks", such as a goblin raised apart from his kind.

Basically, the difference is that non-traditionalist dwarves are 1:3. Maybe 1:4. There's still plenty of variety. It's kind of like real-world cultures (treading cautiously here)—Caucasians are most prevalent in America, but there are plenty of Hispanics, Asians, blacks, etc—in fact, combined, the "minorities" outnumber the "majority".

A good goblin is more like 1:10,000. Both are minorities that exist, yeah, but one is simply far, far more miniscule.


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*Deep breath*

Gruzjmal wrote:


I still don't see any good reason not to make monster races playable, and I certainly don't see why goblins would be any exception to that. Paizo has clearly made an effort to make goblins and other monsters playable in Pathfinder, so why wouldn't they be playable in Pathfinder Online?

Actually, I find it interesting you say that. In reality, Paizo has made a marked effort to stop monsters from being played compared to 3.5.

Oh, sure, it's still an option. Paizo's not gonna be a d!ck about it. But they are quite happy to discourage it. While core races got boosts, monstrous races were allowed to fall even further behind. Kobolds in particular felt the pain.

When people complained, Paizo firmly stated that the monstrous races are not meant to be played, and that kobolds in particular are supposed to be weak. I know, because I was one of the complainers. Paizo said, if you want to play them, go ahead, but Golarion discourages it.

The Advanced Race Guide exists, yeah, and it makes it more plausible. This is because Pathfinder is both a setting and an RPG, and Paizo didn't want to slam doors. However, in 3.5, good goblins and orcs and hobgoblins were kind of just an, "Eh, it probably happens sometimes." In Pathfinder, it is specifically called out as something that is insanely rare. Hobgoblins were bred for war. Goblins eat each other as children. Orcs are freakin' orcs.

Ironically, of the lot, kobolds are perhaps most often treated as redeemable, with notes occasionally made of how kobolds are more likely to be Good than they are Chaotic.

Now, I've made my peace with all this, because Golarion is its own setting with its own rules. I'm happy letting the rare exception be just that: Rare. It gives it more umph, in fact.

But this is a canon product. I've been open in the past to playable goblins in PFO, but it would have to be rare. And if you're gonna make it rare, what's the point in investing in it?


*Gasps for breath*

Okay, I've said my piece and made my peace. I've already repeated myself once, so I'll excuse myself 'fore I do it again. ;D

And for those saying I'm backing out of this too soon and should stick it out: This is the third thread in about as many days relating to monster races. One thread banished me with the ancient "Let me deliberately misrepresent you" incantation. Another did something weird and now I can't remember what happened. I've done enough racial bickering to last me a while.

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm, if it happens, it comes with no alignment changes or rep hits for character attacks.

Implementation is after all those other "races" which have very large minus votes, after Tiefling, Aasimar, Full Blooded Orc, Drow, Kitsune, Dhampir, Catfolk, Changeling, Android.

Let me suggest that it will be hard to crowd source (are there other features that your fellow players would be more interested int).


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That's actually my biggest "practical" complaint.

For all the talks about "variety" and "choice", I would much rather the graphics department put their energy into more unique character models within the seven core.

Better seven great races than fifty terrible ones.

Goblin Squad Member

Personally I'm quite surprised Goblins were not one of the starting races for PFO. It would have made PFO stand out immediately from other MMOs.

Yeah I know the argument will be made, what if everyone rolls a Goblin?

That same question could be asked of any of the races, or the reverse, what if no one rolls a Gnome?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I don't think goblins will be unlocked until after many of the ACG races have been covered. And even then, there are much higher priorities.

I can see the humour in allowing them, as it would be a huge wake-up call, to players attacking 'just another bunch of stupid gobboes', when one of them turns round and one-shots a PC, and follows up with intelligent PvP tactics that haven't been experienced before from the default dumb AI goblin warriors.

In LARPing, there is often the option to earn free PC LARP gaming time, by acting as the opposition. Turn up, play an orc, get bashed, but win a voucher for a free session as your main character.

Could the same thing work here?

Given the fact that most players will attack goblins on sight, it's going to be difficult to get anything done, as a goblin, except to live in the wilds, far from training.
Any kind of pro-active 'getting your retaliation in first' approach is going to hit your rep hard, and you'll be forever sliding into chaos and evil. We've been told that playing evil PCs will be difficult, it's been described as an intentional 'Funnel of Suck' by the devs, so anyone choosing goblin as their PC race would have to have a thick skin for PVP, and be resigned to an in-game life that like them, is nasty, brutish and short.

So why would anyone put themselves through that? When they could play a human, dwarf, elf, etc, and have the same bandit goals, but without the hassle?
The only people willing to play a PC with a gimped career path are those who get a kick out of playing in hard mode.
In which case, why not let them?

In fact, why not reward them, for helping provide the intelligent opposition for other players to beat?

Goblin Squad Member

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I respect your position Mr. Cleaver. I just feel that while there is potential for abuse there is greater potential for awesome. What evil nation wouldn't want CCs full of goblin skirmishers or orc shock troops? A formation of hobgoblin cataphracts doesn't excite you?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Jameow wrote:

Correct. A fictional world which Paizo has created. So I can see abolutwly no reasoning to your objection to goblins.

Because in this world, they have said that Goblins are insane pyromaniacs who try to destroy towns and civilization?

Jameow wrote:


No one has suggested the construction of a goblin npc town that's some sort of lg utopia where the goblins are all peaceful and loving and given up their cruel ways.
If Goblins are available as PCs, then people will create Goblin characters. Lets assume goblins make up 10% of the player base. After 5 months of early enrollment, there will be 10,000 players in game. 10% of that means there will be 1,000 Goblins in play. Lets further assume that each alignment gets 1/9th of the players. To be fair, I'll even stipulate that 1/10th will be LG, less than the others. That equals 100 LG Goblins, who would be part of a town in order to train. To keep their Alignment, they'll want to be in a Lawful or Good town, or better yet, both. And this is after only 5 months, and assuming only One in Ten players want to play a goblin, and further than only One in Ten players of Goblins are Lawful Good. Care to take that math out to Open Enrollment, with far more characters?

Firstly, as can be proven with a cursory glance at any MMO's player statistics, people tend to not play ugly races, and Goblins are definitely an ugly race. Assuming that 10% of players will go for a non-cute non-sexy race simply "because" is folly.

Secondly, how many of those 100 LG paladins are going to be playing every day or at any given timeframe? The odds are still in favor of only the occasional LG Goblin Paladin ever crossing your path. Even with more players, the amount of Goblins relative to any other race will be small. A population of 10,000 players in a single random settlement in the River Kingdoms is just as contrary to setting as a few more LG goblins than one would ever expect.

Goblin Squad Member

CosmicKirby wrote:
Assuming that 10% of players will go for a non-cute non-sexy race simply "because" is folly.

*gasp* Are you suggesting that these little guys aren't cute? Because I find them adorable, so long as they aren't trying to kill me. :)

Goblin Squad Member

I seem to remember orcs and goblins being very popular in Warhammer online. They weren't the least bit cute. As for sexy they didn't even have a gender.

Goblin Squad Member

Warhammer and cute or sexy don't really go together.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Dario wrote:
Warhammer and cute or sexy don't really go together.

Neither, apparently, does Warhammer go together with player counts.

For quick reference, on just the US realms alone, out of all level 90 characters in WoW, over 30% of them are split between Humans and Blood Elves, and eleven other races try to split the other 2/3rds of that pie.

Shane Gifford of Fidelis wrote:
CosmicKirby wrote:
Assuming that 10% of players will go for a non-cute non-sexy race simply "because" is folly.
*gasp* Are you suggesting that these little guys aren't cute? Because I find them adorable, so long as they aren't trying to kill me. :)

Well, if some would have it they'd be basically forced to try and kill you. Ergo you wouldn't be finding them cute.

Personally I think they can be pretty cute, but the written material constantly says outright that they're ugly and undesirable, so I guess there's some information being lost between the picture and the reality in game. Probably has a lot to do with smell I imagine.

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