Goblins in PF2nd


Prerelease Discussion

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The issue with saying that they are not evil and some are not the usual goblin portrayed in the books. Is that a significant amount perhaps 80% or more as beavois has posted are " razed, simple-minded pyromaniac vandals who fear written words and horses ". Again it's the same issue with Drow in FR. Sure you might have a handful of good or less evil version. The majority are evil through and through. So unless Paizo is ditching alignment it would be hard with the how the race is written in the game world to have them core.

Don't get me wrong it's great to have them in core. Games being run in Golarion the player character would be the victim of hate, racism, and possibly even being outright attacked imo. Unless the race background is written from the ground up. Or something happens in the Golarion to change the race or people attitudes about them.


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So many races I would have liked to be core over goblins. Such as asimar, tiefling, catflok, ratfolk, grippli, suli, etc.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

So many races I would have liked to be core over goblins. Such as asimar, tiefling, catflok, ratfolk, grippli, suli, etc.

+1000

Dark Archive

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Fun fact: There is in Council of Thieves one oneshot super minor Lawful Neutral Goblin npc who considers themselves member of Hellknights.


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A basic fact about PCs is that they are generally iconoclasts anyway, since they have gone off to seek fame and fortune rather than staying home and being a good member of whatever group they belong to.

So like a Goblin who left his people because he's good aligned and curious isn't really any weirder than a Dwarf who left his people because he's chaotic and interested in progress not tradition.

All your book-fearing, horse-hating, incorrigible pyromaniac goblins are the ones who have no good reason to leave their homes. It's the goblins who don't fit in there that become adventurers.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

A basic fact about PCs is that they are generally iconoclasts anyway, since they have gone off to seek fame and fortune rather than staying home and being a good member of whatever group they belong to.

So like a Goblin who left his people because he's good aligned and curious isn't really any weirder than a Dwarf who left his people because he's chaotic and interested in progress not tradition.

All your book-fearing, horse-hating, incorrigible pyromaniac goblins are the ones who have no good reason to leave their homes. It's the goblins who don't fit in there that become adventurers.

...and gets slaughtered by an angry mob at the entrance of the next farming village, because "I ain't never met a gobbo what didn't try burnin' down mah stables!"

The NPCs aren't mind readers, after all, and if every other goblin they've met or heard of has been violently malicious...


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So what I'm seeing is that people are concerned that Goblins will present the same problems as drow and kender at the same time as a core race. Although it may just work out like the goblin on Harmonquest. Then again I've seen a game inplode because a goblin PC acted like a goblin.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Malwing wrote:
So what I'm seeing is that people are concerned that Goblins will present the same problems as drow and kender at the same time as a core race. Although it may just work out like the goblin on Harmonquest. Then again I've seen a game inplode because a goblin PC acted like a goblin.

There's also the opportunity cost of choosing goblin as the 1 added core race instead of many other options which might have a) a larger appeal to PCs, or b) add a combination of mechanics and background which add variety.

I think goblins and halfings in many ways occupy the same space, not sure there's a need for 2 Small sized stealthy races in core.


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Dragon78 wrote:
So many races I would have liked to be core over goblins.
On the plus side, you will be less attached to your low-level goblin PCs when they die horribly, and thus your mental trauma will be significantly reduced?
Dragon78 wrote:
Such as asimar, tiefling, catflok, ratfolk, grippli, suli, etc.

They are all mediocre races, at best. Once you play a pugwampi, you never go back.


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shaventalz wrote:

...and gets slaughtered by an angry mob at the entrance of the next farming village, because "I ain't never met a gobbo what didn't try burnin' down mah stables!"

The NPCs aren't mind readers, after all, and if every other goblin they've met or heard of has been violently malicious...

I feel like most of this "fantasy racism" thing gets handwaved away by GMs in practice. Like if you have a Cecaelia and an Astomoi in the party are you going to have every single person they meet go "Holy crap, an Octopus Lady and a vaguely humanoid void"? Generally after the inciting incident in a campaign, in which the PCs are thrust into the role of heroes, you can make most of that go away with "oh, I've heard about you lot" (since the octopus lady and the ambulatory void are pretty distinctive).

Goblin PCs can just write "how they came to be accepted in whatever city the game starts in" as part of their backstory.


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As long as they don't put their "Goblins are crazied idiots" fluff into the mechanics I'm cool with them being Core.


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Milo v3 wrote:
As long as they don't put their "Goblins are crazied idiots" fluff into the mechanics I'm cool with them being Core.

If they don't put that in there, I'm going to wonder what happened to goblins. Up until now, that's been, to an extent, their defining trait.


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PC Goblins don't remind me of Drow, they remind me of *Kender*.

Kender were the Dragonlance rough analog of Halflings, they were small, stealthy, rogue focused, good types. But they were also comic relief, they stole compulsively, they compulsively denied that they stole, they were utterly fearless, they were basically a walking nightmare in actual play because everything in their design was spotlight hogging self indulgent acting out.

Goblins and Kender are "But it's what my character would dooooooo" made flesh. "We be Goblins" is great, four people all doing silly antics for a one shot is fun. "The Great Cornholio" joining your otherwise serious fantasy epic is going to go wrong far more often than it goes right.


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I have been called many things, but comparing gobs to kender?! Kender? That's an all time low. That actually hurts.


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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

PC Goblins don't remind me of Drow, they remind me of *Kender*.

Kender were the Dragonlance rough analog of Halflings, they were small, stealthy, rogue focused, good types. But they were also comic relief, they stole compulsively, they compulsively denied that they stole, they were utterly fearless, they were basically a walking nightmare in actual play because everything in their design was spotlight hogging self indulgent acting out.

Goblins and Kender are "But it's what my character would dooooooo" made flesh. "We be Goblins" is great, four people all doing silly antics for a one shot is fun. "The Great Cornholio" joining your otherwise serious fantasy epic is going to go wrong far more often than it goes right.

As I said, the problems with drow and kender put together.

But Goblin is a logical choice since Paizo has sort of made them their own. A distinct look, a Gremlins-like attitude and relationship with technology.


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Malwing wrote:


But Goblin is a logical choice since Paizo has sort of made them their own. A distinct look, a Gremlins-like attitude and relationship with technology.

As long as they give a good in game reason as to why they are core with their background receiving a rewrite. Sort of like how they did it with Races of the Dragons sourcebook in 3.5. for Kobolds. Simply putting them in for a coolness factor is nice and all yet they can present a roleplaying challenge for players and extra work for the DM to incorporate at least into the Golarion. Goblins have a terrible reputation in Golarion they should not simply go away because they are Core.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
LuZeke wrote:
(playing a goblin wizard by the book is almost impossible)
I've seen goblin wizards before. As far as races without intelligence bonuses go, it actually works pretty well. It'd be a real shame if there were an artificial limitation there.

because a lot of people, my wife and I included love playing gremlins from the movie..urrmm i mean pathfinder goblins.

there just fun to play


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I would not have a problem with any other iteration of goblins being included as a core PC race, but I am having difficulty reconciling the pathfinder goblin as PC compatible. I know PCs often play against type, but EVERY single goblin PC has to be against type or be nearly unplayable save for a very narrow niche of games.


I guess the question is "are the Goblins we've seen over 10 years of Pathfinder a representative cross-section of all Goblins on Golarion"? Since it's wholly possible that it is not.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess the question is "are the Goblins we've seen over 10 years of Pathfinder a representative cross-section of all Goblins on Golarion"? Since it's wholly possible that it is not.

"Goblins of Golarion" the book would be a pretty major campaign of misinformation if it turns out that they represent only a small subset of Goblins.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The more that I read and think about this, the more convinced I am that the absolute worst thing I've heard about PF2e so far is the idea that goblins should be a core race. It's like a SNL sketch being turned into a movie.


I dont see the problem... half orcs are core.

+2 DEX -2 STR....

Shadow Lodge

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Anguish wrote:

I'm completely okay with inclusion of goblins in PF2.

And while we're revisiting races, that makes it time to remove gnomes. The one think DnD4e got right. <Grin>

I can't agree. Paizo's redesign of gnome appearance and lore is one of the best things they did for the Standard Seven.


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doc roc wrote:

I dont see the problem... half orcs are core.

+2 DEX -2 STR....

Half-orcs have been a staple Core race for years, and the fill in the fourth pillar of the four fantasy races for PCs (elf, dwarf, human, orc) while still allowing for Orcs to be the evil creatures usually depicted in fantasy.

Goblins, on the other hand, have been bloodthirsty, tiny balls of pyromania, insanity, and comedic relief since day 1 of Pathfinder, no exaggeration. Burnt Offerings, the very first adventure Paizo published in the new 'Pathfinder' line, starts off with a goblin raid (spoilers, I guess?) in which they come in, destroy stuff, and set themselves on fire.

Goblins as core PC races is a complete 180-turn for PF, and including them will make PF2 not feel like pathfinder. Imagine playing a game of Call of Cthulhu in which you play a Great Old One as well as a regular human. It simply doesn't work. Or, at the very least, be the complete opposite of what we've come to expect from CoC.

EDIT: Look, Paizo. If you really, really have to include goblins in the core book (which you really don't and really shouldn't), put them in at the end with the note that "this race is unsuitable for most campaigns, but can still be an option for gamemasters who want to include more variety in their parties"

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dαedαlus wrote:
Goblins, on the other hand, have been bloodthirsty, tiny balls of pyromania, insanity, and comedic relief since day 1 of Pathfinder, no exaggeration.

So? Sounds like the perfect fit for a lot of PCs I've met over the years.

Maybe with the exception of that "tiny" part.

Shadow Lodge

Rysky wrote:
Knight_Hammer wrote:
Either Paizo is normalizing evil partues, or they are throwing out alignment. I do not believe they have ever included a non-evil goblin in their setting or adventures.
There is a non-Evil Goblin (who will f~~+ing drop you) in Pezzack who helps a nice lady run a noodle cart.

Which book is this in? It sounds just great.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
shaventalz wrote:

...and gets slaughtered by an angry mob at the entrance of the next farming village, because "I ain't never met a gobbo what didn't try burnin' down mah stables!"

The NPCs aren't mind readers, after all, and if every other goblin they've met or heard of has been violently malicious...

I feel like most of this "fantasy racism" thing gets handwaved away by GMs in practice. Like if you have a Cecaelia and an Astomoi in the party are you going to have every single person they meet go "Holy crap, an Octopus Lady and a vaguely humanoid void"? Generally after the inciting incident in a campaign, in which the PCs are thrust into the role of heroes, you can make most of that go away with "oh, I've heard about you lot" (since the octopus lady and the ambulatory void are pretty distinctive).

Goblin PCs can just write "how they came to be accepted in whatever city the game starts in" as part of their backstory.

Pretty much this.

Mind, I play in a homebrew world with a LOT of races more bizarre than goblins considered "normal", including kobolds, orcs (we don't use half orcs at all), a lizardfolk subrace, a drider-like race descended from a goddess based on Arachne, a humanoid moth race, a lion-like catfolk race, and others. I like my fantasy more on the fantastical side.

And honestly, there's only so many times you can have the crowd drive the Weirdo out with torches and pitchforks before everyone - players and GMs alike - just gets bored of it.


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WormysQueue wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
Goblins, on the other hand, have been bloodthirsty, tiny balls of pyromania, insanity, and comedic relief since day 1 of Pathfinder, no exaggeration.

So? Sounds like the perfect fit for a lot of PCs I've met over the years.

Maybe with the exception of that "tiny" part.

Do we really want to encourage that, though? Just imagine how many times you'll have a goblin alchemist in the party and a scene plays out like this:

Bard: "Oh, great and wise king, we humbly approach you with the request to-"
Goblin: I throw a bomb at the king and start laughing maniacally.
GM: What?
Goblin: What? It's what my character would do. Too much talking, not enough fire!


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
why fear words on the page?

BECAUSE EACH LINE OF INK IS YOUR SOUL TORN ASUNDER AND DRIED ON PAPER FOR ANYONE TO TAKE AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH!

You'd think as many times demons and Devils are after souls long shanks would realize they've been tricked....

Shadow Lodge

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I think the sorts of players who would do that would do so with or without goblins, frankly.


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I can just see the Chaotic """"Quirky"""" chuckleheads coming out of the woodwork now.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Knight_Hammer wrote:
Either Paizo is normalizing evil partues, or they are throwing out alignment. I do not believe they have ever included a non-evil goblin in their setting or adventures.
There is a non-Evil Goblin (who will f~~+ing drop you) in Pezzack who helps a nice lady run a noodle cart.
Which book is this in? It sounds just great.

It looks like it comes from Towns of the Inner Sea. He's CN, and enjoys throwing fish heads at people.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dαedαlus wrote:

Bard: "Oh, great and wise king, we humbly approach you with the request to-"

Goblin: I throw a bomb at the king and start laughing maniacally.
GM: What?
Goblin: What? It's what my character would do. Too much talking, not enough fire!

I've had to make that experience more than once, and not with goblin characters. The problem is that there are disruptive players, and while I'm sure that they will love to take the poor goblin as an excuse for being disruptive, they seem to be creative enough to use anything you allow them to try and disrupt the game for everyone else.

It's not that I personally need goblins as a playable race, and I can easily imagine banning them from my table just for having no use for them. But I don't think that allowing them for my players to use would turn them into maniacal pyromaniacs just because that's "what goblins would do".

Shadow Lodge

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"It is what my character would do" is not the characters fault. It is the player for making a disruptive personality. I've played a lot of goblins. Like, a lot. Know what I've never done? Been an a#$&~#* about it.

Funny how that works for Paladins too, not that I think about my Paladins... and my goblin paladin.


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I really feel like you can solve the "all goblins are maniacal illiterate pyromaniacs" problem by (at some point in the next couple years) highlighting a particular Goblin clan somewhere on Golarion which has been unusually successful in large part because they have rejected certain (backwards and self-sabotaging) traditions, which has made neighboring Goblin groups wonder if maybe those guys are on to something.


Maybe something happens in the new Runelords adventure affects the Goblins.


Malwing wrote:
Maybe something happens in the new Runelords adventure affects the Goblins.

Apparently that AP is going to have time travel in it, so anything is possible.


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I personally think a bunch of chaotic evil pyromaniacs who don't read anything and have an attention span of roughly eight milliseconds around anything shiny is the *most* PC of races.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More Goblinzes!! Love that they are a PC race. Is also one of my altime fave things from Starfinder.... but I might be biased toward Goblins. In all seriousness its a option you can allow or not. Its not a huge deal but they are very iconic to Pathfinder and are quite popular with those of us who love the little blighters. RP wise there is a myriad of reasons why they could be a PC race but im interested to see what they develop as a in game reason.


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shaventalz wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
There is a non-Evil Goblin (who will f~~+ing drop you) in Pezzack who helps a nice lady run a noodle cart.
Which book is this in? It sounds just great.
It looks like it comes from Towns of the Inner Sea. He's CN, and enjoys throwing fish heads at people.

There's a goblin Lew Zealand as canon?! SWEET!


...waits to see what sort of things will transpire going forwards...


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Orthos wrote:
Anguish wrote:

I'm completely okay with inclusion of goblins in PF2.

And while we're revisiting races, that makes it time to remove gnomes. The one think DnD4e got right. <Grin>

I can't agree. Paizo's redesign of gnome appearance and lore is one of the best things they did for the Standard Seven.

I'm with you here. Old school D&D gnomes were just plain boring. Smaller, less interesting dwarves who for some reason liked illusions. The Dragonlance Tinker Gnomes were kind of fun, but a bit too much Chaotic Stupid (kind of like the Kender, although not quite that bad). Piazo's version strikes a great balance, they aren't just a joke race, but they have personality. Their whole goal really is to have personality. Do something interesting or die. But not just "Be obnoxious and dumb." The Bleaching is a great bit of fluff.

Back to topic, I do love Paizo goblins, but also have misgivings as making them a core race. Playable, sure. But core? No, they'd have to dramatically change the setting for them to be standard. They simply don't get along with 'civilization' enough for them to be anything but weird rare PCs. Although I don't think the writing taboo is too much of a deal-breaker for wizards and such. They could use pictographs, or maybe some more exotic system like the Incan quipu. And the occasional weird gobo will disregard the idea and read and write. But being Core makes them a bit too common to write off all of them as being non-conformist goblins.


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Dαedαlus wrote:
doc roc wrote:

I dont see the problem... half orcs are core.

+2 DEX -2 STR....

Half-orcs have been a staple Core race for years, and the fill in the fourth pillar of the four fantasy races for PCs (elf, dwarf, human, orc) while still allowing for Orcs to be the evil creatures

Tieflings were Chaotic Evil once. So were Drow.

I've seen them in game several times.

I know at least one player in my group who WILL play a Goblin once he has the chance, if only because of the comic relief. He loves goblins.


I wonder if 2ed's Ancestries will keep 1ed's format of +2 physical attribute, +2 mental & -2 one other. I do hope it does, but will goblins have to conform to that? Because currently they are +4 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Cha. It would be a shame to Elves if they were to gain Int, for instance. And it would also nullify one of the best Goblins comic stories in which a wizard tries to train goblins into approprietly intelligent servants.

Although I don't want goblins to be as intelligent as elves, I do like the "cunningly evil" trope of goblins. And I was amazed how the "mechanical crazies" goblin trope is as old as Tolkien when I was sifting through the pages of The Hobbit the other day:

Spoiler:
There in the shadows on a large flat stone sat a tremendous goblin with a huge head, and armed goblins were standing round him carrying the axes and the bent swords that they use. Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they had not advanced (as it is called) so far. They did not hate dwarves especially, no more than they hated everybody and everything, and particularly the orderly and prosperous; in some parts wicked dwarves had even made alliances with them.

I hope to see a lot of Ancestry feats for both goblins AND gnomes related to the construction of crazy steam- and magic-powered contraptions.


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"Ancestry" will certainly help the Goblin issue. While "goblin" has a lot of evil connotations, "junkyard goblin from Sandpoint" is a bit more easy to introduce in a game.


Dαedαlus wrote:


EDIT: Look, Paizo. If you really, really have to include goblins in the core book (which you really don't and really shouldn't), put them in at the end with the note that "this race is unsuitable for most campaigns, but can still be an option for gamemasters who want to include more variety in their parties"

I think that's how they should do it. Without requiring a major rewrite of the race background in Golarion.


...wonders if being raised in a niche fundamentalist extremist home would be a fair Ancestry for a goblin.


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The Thing From Another World wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:


EDIT: Look, Paizo. If you really, really have to include goblins in the core book (which you really don't and really shouldn't), put them in at the end with the note that "this race is unsuitable for most campaigns, but can still be an option for gamemasters who want to include more variety in their parties"
I think that's how they should do it. Without requiring a major rewrite of the race background in Golarion.

Well, the book is not just for those who use Golarion, and I saw a surprisingly high number of people asking for a more setting-agnostic approach to the Core Rulebook (myself included). Don't want them? Don't need to use them. Sometimes I think people create these setting/roleplaying barriers that really didn't need to be there. As the very developers said, goblins have no impediments to transit in places like Absalon, and for places where they wouldn't be openly accepted I think that that just makes roleplay more interesting if a goblin is forced to hide or something.


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I'm concerned that they'll gut the Goblin flavour that makes them so popular in order to make them integrate into a party of adventurers. I'm also concerned that certain personality types will be drawn to the goblin and will probably just ban goblins if I have any of those players at my table.

On the other hand I really hope none of the Golarion flavour is integrated into the goblin mechanics so that I can just use the goblin race in an Eberron game (which I'm tempted to try to run if PF 2nd ed turns out how I expect it to).

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