Goblins in PF2nd


Prerelease Discussion

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And I suppose at this point I have to bring it up, fluff is mutable, if you don't want the stereotypical goblin to have personality traits X, Y, and Z in your campaign setting, then they don't have those personality traits.

You want to make goblins in your setting a race of peaceful, serene, navel-gazing spiritualists/mystics? Do that. Nobody's going to come to your house to confiscate your books.


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That's a given Zhayne. It's not about creating your own family friendly goblins though. This is a discussion specifically about Golarions goblins.

And sure playing against type is fun, but then so is playing the archetype and with the current canon that is next to impossible outside of 'we be goblins' type set up.

If you change the canon then they aren't the same Golarion goblins we are familiar with.


shaventalz wrote:

I disagree. The onus falls on the one selling the product and claiming it works.

Anything else is, to a greater or lesser extent, telling the customers to fix a broken system themselves.

I feel like "Goblins are not suited to be heroic player characters" is basically the easiest thing imaginable to fix- just think of one who isn't like the other goblins, who is suited to be a hero. Remember, the average goblin is NE, weak, and cowardly whereas the overwhelming number of PCs of all types are none of those things.


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Zhayne wrote:

And I suppose at this point I have to bring it up, fluff is mutable, if you don't want the stereotypical goblin to have personality traits X, Y, and Z in your campaign setting, then they don't have those personality traits.

You want to make goblins in your setting a race of peaceful, serene, navel-gazing spiritualists/mystics? Do that. Nobody's going to come to your house to confiscate your books.

However, goblins have never been described in such a manner in the setting of Golarion. To the degree that a campaign in Golarion-based, such as Society play for example, they are going to be:

a) bloodthirsty, aggressively ignorant nightmares

or

b) NOT the goblins that Pazio has promoted and described all these years

The decision to make the new iconic alchemist a goblin does not seem like evidence that a big change in Paizo's vision of goblins is in the works.


dragonhunterq wrote:
If you change the canon then they aren't the same Golarion goblins we are familiar with.

Well, yes, that would be the point. The only canon that matters is the canon the GM and his players create.

Let me expressly clarify something that I think might not be well known, in regards to my personal position ...

I don't give two squirts of skunk musk about Society Play or Golarion. I don't find the setting that interesting. I've never used it as a GM. Ideally, to me, the book would be as setting-neutral as possible.


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shaventalz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like all the people saying "that can't work" basically underlines what is perhaps Paizo's point in making goblins a core race- "that we should consider goblins to be as diverse a people as anybody else."

If the *only* thing people can think to portray with goblins is the "maniacal illiterate arsonist", then it's even more important for Paizo to point out the existence of goblins that aren't that.

I mean, in response to "there's no way this can work" - of course it can work; anything can work. It's just that the onus falls on us to make it work.

I disagree. The onus falls on the one selling the product and claiming it works.

Anything else is, to a greater or lesser extent, telling the customers to fix a broken system themselves.

I've always hated this sentiment. For two reasons:

1) Just because the game isn't how you want it, doesn't mean it's broken.

2) This is a game of imagination. Requiring you to actually use your imagination and brain in order customize the game to be how you want it to be doesn't make the game "broken," it just required you to actually use that brain of yours. This isn't a computer game where if one thing doesn't work then the game can actually be defined as broken. It's a game of imagination where you as the user are actually required to use your imagination - and complaining that you actually have to use it says more about you than it does about the game.


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Like it's Golarion lore that elves are kind, friendly, and welcoming, right? But it's not a problem in Society play if someone chooses to play an elf who is a miserable, unpleasant cynic, is it? We can just say "well, not all elves are like that". So why is "well, not all goblins are like that" not equally valid?


Zhayne wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
If you change the canon then they aren't the same Golarion goblins we are familiar with.

Well, yes, that would be the point. The only canon that matters is the canon the GM and his players create.

Let me expressly clarify something that I think might not be well known, in regards to my personal position ...

I don't give two squirts of skunk musk about Society Play or Golarion. I don't find the setting that interesting. I've never used it as a GM. Ideally, to me, the book would be as setting-neutral as possible.

I think your perspective kind of means you don't get the point I and others are making.

What you say is perfectly correct, and changing a races background is one of the easier changes you can make. Paizo however has created a specific character for their signature creature. That character has been well developed and well established. While many hate them, they do have a huge fan base. It will be interesting to see how Paizo establish goblins as a PC viable race and stay true to their own canon - I can't see how they can, but that's why they are in that job and I'm not


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Game Master Q wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like all the people saying "that can't work" basically underlines what is perhaps Paizo's point in making goblins a core race- "that we should consider goblins to be as diverse a people as anybody else."

If the *only* thing people can think to portray with goblins is the "maniacal illiterate arsonist", then it's even more important for Paizo to point out the existence of goblins that aren't that.

I mean, in response to "there's no way this can work" - of course it can work; anything can work. It's just that the onus falls on us to make it work.

I disagree. The onus falls on the one selling the product and claiming it works.

Anything else is, to a greater or lesser extent, telling the customers to fix a broken system themselves.

I've always hated this sentiment. For two reasons:

1) Just because the game isn't how you want it, doesn't mean it's broken.

2) This is a game of imagination. Requiring you to actually use your imagination and brain in order customize the game to be how you want it to be doesn't make the game "broken," it just required you to actually use that brain of yours. This isn't a computer game where if one thing doesn't work then the game can actually be defined as broken. It's a game of imagination where you as the user are actually required to use your imagination - and complaining that you actually have to use it says more about you than it does about the game.

1) It's not a question of "do I want it?" It's a question of "does this fit into the setting well?" It breaks the setting being sold without some serious changes.

2) I can certainly imagine a Lawful Good goblin paladin. I can also imagine a shining example of goodness and light that raises undead for the benefit of all - but if the setting says "that's not how undead work", then my creative vision can and should be the one that is discarded. By rights, in this campaign setting, virtually any town that's had any contact with goblins would have a kill-on-sight policy.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "Goblins are not suited to be heroic player characters" is basically the easiest thing imaginable to fix- just think of one who isn't like the other goblins, who is suited to be a hero. Remember, the average goblin is NE, weak, and cowardly whereas the overwhelming number of PCs of all types are none of those things.

Here's the same sentiment with a few extra words for clarification because some in this thread seem to be struggling with this point: I don't see how it could work while still keeping the flavor of Golarion goblins intact.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "Goblins are not suited to be heroic player characters" is basically the easiest thing imaginable to fix- just think of one who isn't like the other goblins, who is suited to be a hero. Remember, the average goblin is NE, weak, and cowardly whereas the overwhelming number of PCs of all types are none of those things.

Here's the same sentiment with a few extra words for clarification because some in this thread seem to be struggling with this point: I don't see how it could work while still keeping the flavor of Golarion goblins intact.

One could say the same thing about the vioent, xeniphobic Shoanti barbarian tribes. Or the cruel, devil-worshipping, authoritarian Chelaxians.

Until one realizes the individuals within a society don't necessarily confirm to all the sterotypes - accurate or not - associated with an entire people.


The Thing From Another World wrote:
Again I don't think anyone is saying that Goblins should not be a playable race. The issue is that the lore at least in Golarion really makes PCs the exception not the rule. Made worse that the regular Goblins would kill off the PC Goblin as some kind of weird anomaly. Either they race evolves somehow to be less of what they are in the setting or as another poster suggested allow them in core with the caveat that they can and will face stigmata from both goblins and non-goblins.

Exactly. Goblin PCs are just fine, and currently doable as it is. I don't agree with the disruption argument, because that's really an issue with players rather than characters. But being core implies that they're common enough in standard society so that seeing one in town isn't a major surprise. Goblins just aren't that. Any PC goblin would be a unique case. It'd be like having drow as core because Drizzt exists. Sure they can be playable, but they're the exception to the rule, which really doesn't fit being core. Even if you're going setting agnostic, goblins typically are not shown as a group that plays well with others in civilization. And I really have a hard time buying any change from a AP that will overnight make them normal citizens, it just isn't believable.

For a race that actually fits in well enough with the greater society, ratfolk seem like a much better fit for being core than goblins. They're a bit more unusual than the other core races, but having a ratfolk family in your village will just be unusual as opposed to really bizarre like goblins.

I'm all for non-standard PC races. I've played them myself.(1) But to me core means that they /are/ standard. And goblins just aren't. They really are best left to some Ultimate Race Guide style book than be included in core. Hopefully not long after release, although after a class expansion book. Having the options we've gotten used to available in the new addition should be a high priority.

1. I was happy when a playable Darkfolk race was introduced because I've still got an idea in the back of my head for an all darklands campaign where the core races are replaced by their darklands equivalent, Drow for Elf, Deurgar for Dwarf, Darkfolk for human etc. Now to make a playable Derro to be kind of a rough halfling analog and it's all set.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:


Here's the same sentiment with a few extra words for clarification because some in this thread seem to be struggling with this point: I don't see how it could work while still keeping the flavor of Golarion goblins intact.

It's not so much not wanting to see Goblins in the core more to see the Golarion lore on them requiring a significant rewrite imo. If the average average goblin is NE, weak, and cowardly as another poster has pointed out and given how bad a reputation they have Goblin adventurers should be the exception not the norm.

Even Drow still have a hard time on Faerun. Drizzt is fairly well known yet even the average person knows he is the exception not the rule. Some want the benefits of playing a Goblin without the disadvantages attached to it imo.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So for PF2 we're going to have thousands of Poog-clones running around?

...unless of course, the educated ones from Arcadia show up and do a general "WTF! That's not us, that's our inbred relatives!"


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Matthew Downie wrote:
scary harpy wrote:
Threeshades wrote:

...

I think a big reason why goblins are becoming a player race is because they are an iconic part of Pathfinder's identity

They are?

Well, the Pathfinder wide-mouthed goblin is pictured on the front of the Bestiary. It's certainly up there.

And there's no adventure called "We Be Orcs". (Or maybe there is and I don't know about it?)

I'm just going off the fact that goblins are featured in various pathfinder related merch (plush dolls, t-shirt), the "messageboards are down"-error page, a christmas card paizo sent to customers a couple years ago and their own spin-off comic series, as well as a series of adventures published for Free RPG Day. They are essentially Pathfinder's mascot. I think they'd be Paizo's if that spot wasn't already occupied by the Golem.

Silver Crusade

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REVEALED: The real reason behind the site upgrade was a deal struck behind the scenes with the goblins to stop crashing the site, in exchange for being the new Beatle for PF2!

...it suddenly makes so much sense...


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
...unless of course, the educated ones from Arcadia show up and do a general "WTF! That's not us, that's our inbred relatives!"

Maybe what's really going on in Sarusan is that there's this enlightened hyper-advanced goblin civilization there which just wants to be left alone to pursue art and philosophy.

Dark Archive

I look at a PC goblin the same way I look at PC half-orcs, half-dragons, lycanthropes, and either monster race that plays as a PC: it's the exceptional character, the lone wolf trying to find a place in the world. They will have to deal with all of the assumed prejudice, and their life will be difficult, but eventually they will make a few friends and find a place to call their own.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That level of exceptionalism, however, is what made a determined cause for shift away from DrizztClones, though, right?


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I played a goblin alchemist in Skulls and Shackles, and had oodles of fun, but even with that my main reaction to Goblins as a core race is "Wait, what?"

Within the setting, Goblins are literally Kender, but worse. They have all the bad qualities of a Kender (annoying, thieving) but we can also add: vicious, cruel, murdering, arson-prone, illiterate, xenophobic, and worst of all, they hate dogs and horses.

None of this says "Core PC Race" for me, and I don't see a way for it to work without drastically changing Goblins in Golarion as a whole.

Liberty's Edge

Maybe there will be a big event/threat in which the crazy goblins bring their gnashing teeth, dogslicers and FIRE to help save the day (maybe even unintentionally). The other races might not think of them as vermin at that point. Sure the gobbies might take advantage of that here and there for a while, but eventually they might start to integrate.

There are plenty of examples where you don't have to destroy the unhinged, just focus that craziness (the Incredible Hulk being a hero...not always, I know...is a perfect example).

As far as disruptive players ruining a game because *that's what my character would do*, does that mean we should eliminate Rogue as an option too? A-holes gonna a-hole, no matter how air tight you think the system is.

Frankly, if someone can't even imagine how a goblin could be part of an adventuring party; I'd say, try to stretch your roleplay muscles. There are ways and plenty of them. At the very worst, it's how serial killers function in society...they learn when and how they can break the rules and still survive. At the very best, a small group of goblins sees the atrocities of their kin-folk and want to offset that as much as possible by helping others and being contributing members of society.

Do we have all the answers yet? Of course not. Still, I think the points as to why they shouldn't be included have been stated (dozens of times in this thread alone), but I'm personally going to wait until August to see if there's some plan.

In case my post isn't insanely obvious at this point, I love pathfinder goblins, have played them in home games and am completely in favor of them being a core race.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Timothy, I've seen and heard of more a-hole paladin than a-hole rogues, tbh. Whether because their GM forced them to be that way, or they were that way as a player... it's part of the reason there's a bit of discussion on them going on.

It has to be a significant enough population to support goblin adventurers... it can't be a 'red meat' grouping with just the goblins that are joining the ranks... there needs to be a civilization or something behind them because otherwise it remains this horrible problem of 'This doesn't fit the established lore'.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

For me, it comes down to the distinction between an ancestry, and a Core ancestry. The seven existing Core ancestries, even half-orcs, are accepted and treated as normal folks pretty much wherever you go. It's disconcerting to imagine Pathfinder goblins being treated the same way.

Can the occasional PF goblin throw off those evil ways and become a hero? Certainly. Same as drow. But like drow, those heroes are (or at least should be) the exception. It's weird to have a Core ancestry made up of such exceptions. As Order of the Stick described the drow:

Order of the Stick, strip 44 wrote:
Now the whole species consists of nothing but Chaotic Good rebels, yearning to throw off the reputation of their evil kin.

While I understand their importance to the Pathfinder brand, without further information on how they might be integrated into the setting through unrevealed events (a mass mental uplifting caused by the Aucturn Enigma?), I find their inclusion as a Core ancestry rather baffling.


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I've had goblin PCs for years, off and on...

And I won't lie, I'm going to be extremely curious to see how a more Golarion-infused PF core ruleset explains them as a species that gets on the Core pedestal.

I mean, I love them- and I've run scads of non-evil goblins over the years. In Golarion my Way, there's an order of Sarenite monks and clerics trying to rear goblin orphans in Isger to be functional members of society, and so forth... Goblins aren't intrinsically evil, except that their culture is basically a roving dumpster fire.

Without some major societal shift- or maybe there's a bunch of goblins in the Padishah Empire of Kelesh who aren't loons or something?

Point is.

I'm not really worried about the GINO factor- a certain amount of high-speed loose cannon enthusiasm "hold my beer and watch this" building things out of the trash others throw away style still "feels" sufficiently goblin to me... but the setting has spent ten years building them up as primarily dangerously loopy pyromaniacs who hate dogs, horses, writing...

Of those goblin PCs over the years, not one grew up in a standard goblin tribe...

Dark Archive

I don't actually mind idea of occasional tolerated gobling PC(I mean, like I said, Council of Thieves has sewer goblin that considers itself member of Hellknights, wears homemade hellknight armor and is LN. Hellknights use him to guard sewer under their base. Hellknights of all things can tolerate a goblin apparently), but only if same courtesy applies to kobold and other evil races as well :p

Silver Crusade

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

Yep, we already have exceptions, and just like Drow and Gnolls, Goblins have a predominately evil culture but they are not (and this is the most important thing) inherently evil, no Humanoids are.


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Having goblins in core makes sense since they are numerous and known race, but it does not feel right.

I think core races should be "heroic" races.


They can change the fluff! There's no reason that a game's setting can't evolve a little bit along with its rules.

"Goblins are a chaotic race. Many tribes often form warring bands ruled by the strongest and shrewdest Goblin, but others travel as part of mobile entertainer troupes (the Goblin Circus is a thing to behold), and many other industrious tribes build vast cities held together by bridges, tunnels, and whirling contraptions. Goblin cities are a hive of activity, where traders from neighboring kingdoms meet with avid collectors, arenas host popular sporting events, and inventors meet to display their works."

I mean, you could go into much more detail in the actual core book, but it's really that easy. Still leaves room for warlike or wicked goblin tribes, but doesn't make that the default. Voila. No muss, no fuss, Goblins are now varied and usable as PCs without all having to be Goblin Drizzt.


I won't be playing in Golarion primarily, though PbP's seems to keep drawing me in to learn more and more of the setting.

Played three goblins on the boards here - a barbarian Princess who once gave quite a bit of sauce to an Elder Eye/demigod thing and was not killed; a Cleric/Warpriest in an all goblin homebrew in which there was also a goblin called Dogdog and his his Goblin dog "Dog" - Dogdog wielded a goblin dog's skull as a Klar and believed he was a goblin dog too. Dogdog was very primal, and not very evil, while my Cleric was also not very evil, more righteous. And finally I played a Goblin Bard in We Be Goblins, which ended way too early and holds the record for the only PbP I've participated in that actually finished in the sense that the GM didn't disappear suddenly or I left.

All those goblins were/are very fun to play - the Barbarian Princess in particular is/was a blast she's not very bright, but had plenty of royal/noble attitude, and could be by turns brave, opinionated, belligerent, quixotic, foolish, lonely, lovable, selfish, ignoble, annoying, loyal and once almost TPK'ed the party by listening to the whole pre-combat plan and then Leroy Jenkinsing the whole thing.

As Erik Mona said in the Know Direction podcast recently, and as has been mentioned here: a) adventurers are by their nature outliers/exceptional, and b) goblins are iconic to Paizo/Pathfinder. It will be an evolution of the lore and the world, and an experiment. And a brave one.

I get that Golarionophiles are confused and weirded out given the history of AP;s and Companions etc; and I get that non-monster character players are against the inclusion, either because they are taking up the space of subjectively "better" races or because monsters as vile as goblins are known to be makes no sense.

Personally I'm fine with it, and I understand that goblins + alchemists will be the iconic differentiator of PF2 from other RPGs. It could have been anything else really, but for Paizo this is it. It's a little gratuitous, but it is their game.


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Lady Firebird wrote:

They can change the fluff! There's no reason that a game's setting can't evolve a little bit along with its rules.

"Goblins are a chaotic race. Many tribes often form warring bands ruled by the strongest and shrewdest Goblin, but others travel as part of mobile entertainer troupes (the Goblin Circus is a thing to behold), and many other industrious tribes build vast cities held together by bridges, tunnels, and whirling contraptions. Goblin cities are a hive of activity, where traders from neighboring kingdoms meet with avid collectors, arenas host popular sporting events, and inventors meet to display their works."

I mean, you could go into much more detail in the actual core book, but it's really that easy. Still leaves room for warlike or wicked goblin tribes, but doesn't make that the default. Voila. No muss, no fuss, Goblins are now varied and usable as PCs without all having to be Goblin Drizzt.

But that is still a dramatic out of nowhere change for the setting. They've spent years reinforcing the idea of psycho gobos with only a handful of unique cases getting along in civilization. And having these friendly goblins is a bit of a change from the style of them from the ones we've been seeing.

That said, this is probably the best solution. Certainly better than some grand event in an AP suddenly making a ton of non-hostile goblins who integrate into the larger society. ("We used to just like burning towns and eating babies, but because the PCs found a McGuffin we suddenly are good neighbors"). And doesn't change them /too/ much. I guess it's kind of in line with introducing some of the ARG races as having been always been around.

And I do like your write-up. The idea of a Goblin Circus is pretty neat. I can see a lot of fire eaters, some might even survive the show. Although I'd probably change the references to cities to towns. The idea of full blown cities does seem a bit too dramatic of a change (except maybe somewhere outside of the Inner Sea region). But I might be able to be convinced of a few scattered small towns having previously gone unremarked upon.

I still don't think goblins are a good choice to move to core, but they seem set on this and seriously doubt they can be convinced not to. So it's better to find a way to make their integration make as much sense as possible than to simply try in vain to stop it.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
But that is still a dramatic out of nowhere change for the setting. They've spent years reinforcing the idea of psycho gobos with only a handful of unique cases getting along in civilization. And having these friendly goblins is a bit of a change from the style of them from the ones we've been seeing.

Sure, but change happens, especially between editions. This seems like a pretty minor thing to me to have to adapt to, but I'm not particularly invested in Golarion Goblins being purely monsters. I'll admit that some folks might not feel the same. To me, this is a very easy and minor change to add to the setting that opens a few doors and still leaves room for psycho Goblins.

Doktor Weasel wrote:

That said, this is probably the best solution. Certainly better than some grand event in an AP suddenly making a ton of non-hostile goblins who integrate into the larger society. ("We used to just like burning towns and eating babies, but because the PCs found a McGuffin we suddenly are good neighbors"). And doesn't change them /too/ much. I guess it's kind of in line with introducing some of the ARG races as having been always been around.

And I do like your write-up. The idea of a Goblin Circus is pretty neat. I can see a lot of fire eaters, some might even survive the show. Although I'd probably change the references to cities to towns. The idea of full blown cities does seem a bit too dramatic of a change (except maybe somewhere outside of the Inner Sea region)....

Thanks! It was sort of an "off the top of my head" thing, but if I can do that in 30 seconds, then I'm sure the fine devs here can come up with even better stuff. Though now I kinda wanna see a wandering Goblin Circus (the Jerk du Soleil?) and all of the crazy Goblin acrobats, stunt performers, games, alchemical and crazy steampunk inventions, etc.

Hm. I may have to do something with that when 2E comes out! Gah, I really wish it wasn't gonna be so long. I'd love to get designing and setting up games right now.

Dark Archive

Goblin Circus reminds me of gag I did with Tup the Terrible in RotR with rest of surviving Thistletop Goblins(Tup was allied with them for duration of dungeon and afterwards he made random gag appearances whenever players were traveling back to sandpoint or from there). Mostly because I made Tup run a circus with rest of Thistletop Goblins before they got tired of him and kicked him out again :P

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lady Firebird wrote:

They can change the fluff! There's no reason that a game's setting can't evolve a little bit along with its rules.

Thats a big part of the concern either they keep the current background in which case it makes little to no sense or they change it and there not really Golarion goblins anymore. As I mentioned before the things that make Golarion goblins distinct from 3.5 ones are all things that make them terrible choices as being accepted.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Thats a big part of the concern either they keep the current background in which case it makes little to no sense or they change it and there not really Golarion goblins anymore. As I mentioned before the things that make Golarion goblins distinct from 3.5 ones are all things that make them terrible choices as being accepted.

To which I'd say that they are indeed Golarion Goblins. They're just an expanded version of Golarion goblins, but they're still a part of Golarion and everything. You could keep the 1E fluff or go with the revised 2E stuff, but it's not like this is a sacred cow or that more drastic changes don't occur.

Also, Goblins as manic little psychopaths doesn't sound that different from most goblins in general, so a change would (for me) be a welcome one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, it took a couple of days for me to parse this, and I suspect I know part of my disconnect:

It feels like a 'grab' at a different established intellectual property without taking the actual item from it just using the locally available one.

In this case, Warcraft's goblin race.

The PF2 team has made no indication that they are doing this, but one cannot deny a certain thematic feel and design concession to get the Ancestry to 'Player Status' that is going to need to make them about as socially acceptable as goblins were in WoW.

Not saying that's a bad thing, but it's a perspective folks may need to keep in mind going forwards, and also -- it'd make creating character pictures a lot easier for the non-art-inclined using even a trial subscription to that horrifyingly addictive past-time.

Okay, one other thing, calling it now... the reason Aroden didn't show up when expected was because they found a different project to work on... namely inspiring Goblins to a path of order and organization as... the Last Goblin Hero-God...

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

That crossed my mind too, Wei Ji. But I don't think that's more than a tiny percentage of the reason, at most. If it were, I'd expect orcs, tieflings, or especially drow first*. Mainly because Pathfinder goblins aren't nearly as - god help us - sexy** as Warcraft goblins. (And we've seen the iconic, so we know they're not changing the look.) If they were, maybe I'd play one...

*Or minotaurs. 4e was way more transparent about playing off of the WoW races, at least to me.
**I don't know how they looked in the game, because I've never played it, but the art for the CCG (some of which was reused for Hearthstone) made the female characters of monstrous races look really pretty/sexy.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

It feels like a 'grab' at a different established intellectual property without taking the actual item from it just using the locally available one.

In this case, Warcraft's goblin race.

Hello, I'm a LONG TIME fan of the Warcraft franchise, from the days of Warcraft Orcs & Humans, and I don't think that the comparison that you make is the case at all. Not at all by any reasonable stretch. Especially if one looks into the history of their respective franchises. It's not as if goblins came out of nowhere in the Warcraft franchise or were considered scum. They were a highly visible (and playable) part of the franchise back in the days of Warcraft 2 and 3. Even in Warcraft 2, they were considered "civilized" and industrial. They invented gunpowder and built both zeppelins and submarines. In Warcraft 3, their roles expanded more heavily to alchemists, merchants, and engineers. They were even in consideration for a playable race back in the earliest days of WoW's initial development. (Undead were instead selected for a myriad of gameplay reasons.) There was also not much, if any at all, that Blizzard had to do to make goblins socially acceptable either in the world or as a playable race. So, sorry, but I don't buy your comparison at all.

Quote:
Okay, one other thing, calling it now... the reason Aroden didn't show up when expected was because they found a different project to work on... namely inspiring Goblins to a path of order and organization as... the Last Goblin Hero-God...

Of course the solution may simply be that a goblin made it through the Test of the Starstone, becoming a new god figure for goblinkin in the process.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

All those goblin babies!!!

Someone took them home and raised them right. Now we have several generations of goblin babies who have been nurtured and denatured and can contribute to society


A thought I keep coming back to is perhaps goblins are being added to core in order to leverage the distinction between "race" and "ancestry". Which is to say that hating reading and dogs is no more inherent to "having goblin parents" than hating orcs and giants is inherent to "having dwarf parents."

So while they can mention how in infamous goblin clans things are a little outrageous, but mention that the majority of goblins live outside these structures and are more or less just trying to survive and sometimes that requires not annoying one's neighbors.


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I'm calling it - the Goblins will be lifted from their age-long curse as in Return of the Runelords, Xanderghul himself will come down to Golarion, reclaiming his throne as an enlightened goblin-philosopher king, ushering in a new age of prosperity for the humanoids in PF with the clearly largest brain-to-body ratio in the game.

Just you wait!

Dark Archive

In the interview with Know Direction, Erik commented on the fact that Goblins have lived at the edge of human society for a while in some areas, raiding landfills and dumpsters for usable castoffs and the like. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that one or two goblins out of a large tribe might become more interested in the civilization they've been parasiting from, and try to live more symbiotically. This is particularly true for the type of more intelligent goblin that might lean toward becoming an Alchemist.

It's similar to the domestication process of the first wolves. Most of the pack avoided humans, but a select few found benefit in a closer association. It doesn't require a wholesale change in the behavior of wolves, but in time those that do change may become something far removed from their ancestry, even while maintaining similar physical characteristics.


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eldrwyrm wrote:

In the interview with Know Direction, Erik commented on the fact that Goblins have lived at the edge of human society for a while in some areas, raiding landfills and dumpsters for usable castoffs and the like. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that one or two goblins out of a large tribe might become more interested in the civilization they've been parasiting from, and try to live more symbiotically. This is particularly true for the type of more intelligent goblin that might lean toward becoming an Alchemist.

It's similar to the domestication process of the first wolves. Most of the pack avoided humans, but a select few found benefit in a closer association. It doesn't require a wholesale change in the behavior of wolves, but in time those that do change may become something far removed from their ancestry, even while maintaining similar physical characteristics.

I like this, particularly given that "subsisting by raiding nearby communities" is a behavior selected against by the environment, since it seems like every time a plucky band of goblins raids a nearby small town, a group of adventurers retaliates by slaughtering their entire family (except possibly the children, depends on the party).

So you're probably going to get a handful of goblins that, say snuck out of Thistletop before the slaughter was wholesale, and subsisted primarily by scavenging through the refuse of nearby Sandpoint.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
it seems like every time a plucky band of goblins raids a nearby small town, a group of adventurers retaliates by slaughtering their entire family (except possibly the children, depends on the party).

All those goblin babies have been rescued by paladins and have been raised in paladin orphanages. They've been educated and have learned the ways of civilization and are now ready to become members of adventuring parties


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Ched Greyfell wrote:

Having them playable is one thing. Having them core bugs me to no end.

So they used to be a blight on society, now suddenly they'll be in adventuring groups everywhere?

We is good hiders

Shadow Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:

I have to say that I do object to idea of "Either it is x or it isn't x so why you play x" :P You can have goblin spirit in non distruptive character and you can have reason for wanting to play member of race that isn't like stereotype of the race.

Thats like saying "Why would you play a bald bearless dwarf that is smooth talking gardener, you should only play dwarves if you want to play angry scottish stereotypes!"

I have a friend who will go all kinds of 'nerd rage' if I bring up a blog post about surfing dwarves. XD


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Ched Greyfell wrote:

Having them playable is one thing. Having them core bugs me to no end.

So they used to be a blight on society, now suddenly they'll be in adventuring groups everywhere?

Ya know, everything I've ever heard about -- {looks around warily} ok, and everything I've read about -- Chelaxians would lead me to believe they're all evil, devil-worshiping slavers trying to create Hell 2.0 here on the Prime. And yet the rest of you Inner Sea humans haven't banded together and tried to completely exterminate them. It's almost like you are able to discern between Chelaxians that would do you harm and those who wouldn't, that you don't blame all Chelaxians for their circumstances of birth and their cruel society, and you will attempt to see beyond the common tales and "lore" about Chelaxians to judge each for their true qualities.

And yet, you humans still see all us gobbos as inherently evil, murderous lunatics. Kinda makes me think the problem isn't with us gobbos at all...

Silver Crusade

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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Ched Greyfell wrote:

Having them playable is one thing. Having them core bugs me to no end.

So they used to be a blight on society, now suddenly they'll be in adventuring groups everywhere?

Ya know, everything I've ever heard about -- {looks around warily} ok, and everything I've read about -- Chelaxians would lead me to believe they're all evil, devil-worshiping slavers trying to create Hell 2.0 here on the Prime. And yet the rest of you Inner Sea humans haven't banded together and tried to completely exterminate them. It's almost like you are able to discern between Chelaxians that would do you harm and those who wouldn't, that you don't blame all Chelaxians for their circumstances of birth and their cruel society, and you will attempt to see beyond the common tales and "lore" about Chelaxians to judge each for their true qualities.

And yet, you humans still see all us gobbos as inherently evil, murderous lunatics. Kinda makes me think the problem isn't with us gobbos at all...

That is an extremely unfitting analogy. Chelaxians are mostly non-evil and this is common knowledge both in and out of setting. Goblins have always been portrayed as mostly evil in Golarion setting books and adventure paths.

Some choice quotes:

"Their pernicious nature makes interacting with civilized races almost impossible, so goblins tend to adventure on the fringes of civilization or in the wilds." (ARG)

"Wherever goblins travel, they leave a path of destruction and mayhem in their wake." (MC)

"Like cockroaches, once goblins gain a foothold on the fringes of society, they're extremely difficult to wipe out completely. Some communities deliberately look the other way when goblins infiltrate their refuse heaps, but a community that grows too complacent soon finds pets and even children in goblin cook pots." (MC)

"Goblins tend to view other beings as sources of food, which makes for poor relations with most civilized races. Goblins often survive on the fringes of human civilization, preying on weak or lost travelers and occasionally raiding small settlements to fuel their voracious appetites. They have a special animosity toward gnomes, and celebrate the capturing or killing of such victims with a feast. Of the most common races, half-orcs are the most tolerant of goblins, sharing a similar ancestry and experiencing the same hatred within many societies. Goblins are mostly unaware of half-orcs' sympathy, however, and avoid them because they are larger, meaner, and less flavorful than other humanoids." (ARG)

"Goblins believe that writing steals words out of your head, and as a result of this belief, goblins are universally illiterate." (B1)

I'm not saying none of that can change, but I am saying two things:

Some in-universe explanation is needed.

Comparing accurate generalizations about a fantasy race to real-world prejudice is insulting to victims of said prejudice.

Silver Crusade

CrystalSeas wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
it seems like every time a plucky band of goblins raids a nearby small town, a group of adventurers retaliates by slaughtering their entire family (except possibly the children, depends on the party).
All those goblin babies have been rescued by paladins and have been raised in paladin orphanages. They've been educated and have learned the ways of civilization and are now ready to become members of adventuring parties

This really and truly would be an acceptable explanation to me. I hope they make it explicitly true.


eldrwyrm wrote:

In the interview with Know Direction, Erik commented on the fact that Goblins have lived at the edge of human society for a while in some areas, raiding landfills and dumpsters for usable castoffs and the like. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that one or two goblins out of a large tribe might become more interested in the civilization they've been parasiting from, and try to live more symbiotically. This is particularly true for the type of more intelligent goblin that might lean toward becoming an Alchemist.

It's similar to the domestication process of the first wolves. Most of the pack avoided humans, but a select few found benefit in a closer association. It doesn't require a wholesale change in the behavior of wolves, but in time those that do change may become something far removed from their ancestry, even while maintaining similar physical characteristics.

This is another good solution. Goblins are pretty curious and seem to occasionally mimic bits of society. So a few tribes starting to copy a nearby town, Cargo Cult style and then eventually become better neighbors does make some sense. And I much prefer subtle changes like this to new gods or whatnot causing widespread overnight changes to the setting.

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