For those that have played games with goblin PCs, did you find that they disrupted the game?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


With the announcement that goblins will be a Core PC ancestry in PF2, many people have fears that they will disrupt the game.

So I am curious, for those who have experience playing with goblin PCs, did you find that they were disruptive to your experience?

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I have played with (a) goblin PC(s) and I found they were disruptive.


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I have played with (a) goblin PC(s) and I found they were not disruptive.


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I have played with multiple goblin PCs, and found that some were disruptive and some were not.


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I have never played a game with a goblin PC.

Silver Crusade

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I have never played a game with a goblin PC, and still had disruptive players.

Silver Crusade

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I have played a game with a goblin PC, but a different player was disruptive.


Seriously, the only goblin PC I've ever had at the table was a blue, and the only way he was disruptive was his excessive caution and self-protectiveness.

As for normal goblins, I might want to play a goblin alchie... total pyromaniac of course.


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The last time I played a goblin, the guy playing the drow was the disruptive player, to the point where we had to ask him to excuse himself.

The time before that, we didn't have any disruptive players at all.

I've also had disruptive players playing lizardfolk, dwarves, barbarians, and even one time at a meet-up group where the overweight guy missing some teeth played the beautiful big bussomed elf with a tiny waist, and he kept talking about her large chest (in a sexual way) and how hot she was. Also, his kids were right over there playing in the corner of the room while he was doing this.

I've actually never had someone play amonsterous race and we're disruptive because of the monsterous race or their character hoice. It's always been the player that was disruptive, not the PC.

I've seen a guy during our first session start a bar fight in character just so he could start killing NPCs. We had a nice chat about that one. This was do mostly because the guy wasn't really a guy so much as a 13 year old kid, and our friend's son. Told him he had a choice: we could, in character, take his PC to the guards and have him arrested for murder, where his PC would stay while the camera focused on the rest of the group and he would sit there bored, or he could change his PC to someone who wouldn't randomly murder others. His next PC was a pyromaniac, and turned out to be one of the best PCs he ever played for the next four years we all gamed together. He learned his lesson quickly.

I had one player constantly criticize other players for doing the wrong thing, or doing something that doesn't make sense roleplay-wise. He absolutely refused to alter his own roleplay, so if anyone did anything that might possibly make his character want to leave the group, he would get mad at them for not role-playing right. It was entirely hypocritical. The DM was a friend of his and sided with him when we pointed it out, so literally everyone else left the table and the game ended. I do not know if these two ever learned their lesson, but I do know that Mr Problem Player had been kicked out of other groups from acquaintances of mine, for the exact same reason that we left that group.

I had one woman who was a bit of a control freak play a PC who focused on mind control spells, and would cast them on other PCs so she could force other players to do what she wanted. And if that didn't work, she would flirt with the player in real life to get him to do what she wanted in game. And if that didn't work, she got really snappy and increasingly verbally aggressive towards the player until they relented. That was not a fun game, and it ended quickly.

None of the problem players I've ever met were a problem because of their PC.


I have both played as a Goblin and with people who have played Goblins, and the Goblin players weren't disruptive. My experience as a Goblin Hunter was quite enjoyable, and made me want to try another go at Goblins down the line (Maybe a Goblin Rogue, I've been feeling like trying out Rogues after my enjoyment of my skill-focused Bard).

Hell, in our sequel campaign to our longest running game (1-18), one of the players will be a Goblin, coming out of a little Goblin village we helped out at the start of the previous campaign, 200 years in the past.

Nice little bit of continuity there.

Have had some problems on occasion outside of Goblins, but 95% of the time they could easily be resolved with respectful discourse. I really do have a great group.


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It's not the race, it's the player. Some people are disruptive no matter what.


Rub-Eta wrote:
It's not the race, it's the player. Some people are disruptive no matter what.

This.

It's not playing goblin that makes a player disruptive.

Shadow Lodge

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The only thing that having goblin PCs has disrupted is the party's baseline assumption that all goblins can be killed on sight.


I suppose i can chip in my own opinions on the whole matter than just the "who was disruptive game", i assume this question comes around the 2.0 Goblin being core.

First the opinion pieces is that i feel like the Goblin were just put into the whole "core race" without doing much with the world of Golarion as a whole and left a lot of questions unchecked: Have the world of Golarion progressed? Is this in the future? Have the Goblins evolved? Is this maybe a different race of goblins than seen previously? Is these goblins more like "mini-orcs" like the Warcraft ones or are they still the 90% mouth and scrawny looking monsters like before?

Without much of these question answered i just feel they were put into the core section as a "meta-reason" without doing much of the Lore aspect. Otherwise i have actually nothing against Goblin PCs, but it feels a bit awkward to have one around in a setting that dont accept them, like having ratmen PCs.

And for the topic at hand: I actually played a Goblin once, but that was more of the line of the Warcraft looking goblins in a different setting altogether, and when it comes to disruptive characters its 95% its player not the character. In the last 5% when its actually the character its mostly incidents ingame where it had conflict of interests that was either played out or just fixed later among ourselves.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

This.

It's not playing goblin that makes a player disruptive.

Playing a kender is not what disrupts games.

Kender attract people who want to use them as an excuse to be disruptive.


When I'm GMing, anybody asking to play a kender would at once be excluded from my table,


Some people are the "just playing my character" types. If you give them a Paladin, they'll be self-righteous. If you give them a Goblin, they'll burn things for no reason. If you give them a healing-domain Cleric, they'll heal the other PCs and cause no trouble.

However, I suspect the proportion of players who are like this are fairly small, and a lot of them can be convinced to be less disruptive if you take the time to explain the issue.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Omnius wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

This.

It's not playing goblin that makes a player disruptive.

Playing a kender is not what disrupts games.

Kender attract people who want to use them as an excuse to be disruptive.

That's still on the player then, not the Kender, not the Goblin. It's how the player chooses to play them.


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What really confuses me is why this is such an issue now when PF1 had PC ready Goblins available since June 2012.


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There's an assumption in this thread, and the other one in the Playtest subforum, that there are good players and bad players, and there are players who want to be disruptive and those who don't. I see a lot of "bad players will be disruptive no matter who they play" and related sentiments. The world is not that black and white, and people are not that black and white. This logic implies that the game mechanics and game materials have no impact on the game or the person using them. I don't think that's right.

I have seen good players mess up games by playing a kender. Certainly it's because of how they played the character, but we do ourselves a disservice if we stop with "Because they made poor choices." The next question should be "Why is that?" It's unfair to claim that the "why" is because they are bad players. If they are good players in one context and disruptive players in another, then the context must matter.

There's a lot to context. It can be someone's commitment to the game, their relationship with other players, their investment in the particular story, and so on. But the game materials themselves are part of the context, too. Poor mechanics and one-dimensional characterizations can and do lead to poor choices from otherwise good players. Role-Playing is a form of acting, and we've all seen good actors in lousy roles. The source material does matter. If it didn't we wouldn't have a bottomless pit of complaints about Paladins and kender.

One-dimensional mechanics and traits are problematic. Traits and source material that rely on or play up an obvious "hook" to make them unique are problematic (e.g. drow, kender and goblins). Rigid game mechanics that are layered on top of sloppy mechanics which are open to interpretation are problematic (e.g. Paladins and the alignment system). These things are problematic because they are traps. An otherwise good or well-meaning player can be lured in by the hook and sent down the path of "It's what my character would do" by playing the hook instead of the character, because the hook is so big and so obvious that it overwhelms the other inputs. And IWMCWD is one of the big causes of intra-game conflict.

The campaign materials on the goblin emphasize their comically dangerous nature to the point where it's almost absurd. You have a race whose foundation is the recklessness, impulsiveness, and lack of empathy of 2-year-olds, combined with a violent, gleeful blood lust. And its topped off not just with illiteracy but a societal belief that literacy is some kind of heresy. It's a race that literally eats babies. They have zero nuance and zero subtlety. Making that into a PC option is a total minefield. Making that into a core PC option is just plain reckless.

I suspect we're going to see some big changes in goblins for the playtest. If Paizo is going to make the race part of core, then some serious redesign of the race as a whole needs to happen because they way they are written now screams "kill on sight". PC goblins are so far outside what is normal for a goblin that they become Drizzt Do'Urden with green skin and more teeth.


Rysky wrote:
Omnius wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

This.

It's not playing goblin that makes a player disruptive.

Playing a kender is not what disrupts games.

Kender attract people who want to use them as an excuse to be disruptive.

That's still on the player then, not the Kender, not the Goblin. It's how the player chooses to play them.

Violent people will do damafe regardless of what they have at their disposal, buuut having a gun makes its really easy to harm and/or kill. Problem players will be problem players regardless of the options, but some options are more attractive than others.


The "Terrific" Tup (formerly "Terrible" Tup) is one of my players' favorite companions. He's always fun to have around. They laugh at his over the to attempts to set enemies or their possessions on fire with a serious amount of overkill.


I played a goblin only in the free "We be goblins" modules. Since those adventures are light-hearted, going a bit goblin-crazy (and suffering the minor consequences) wasn't disruptive but added to the fun.

In a standard campaign, I guess I'd play a goblin as sometimes awkward and sometimes stereotypical, but overall he'd be loyal to the party - and to the campaign.

Shadow Lodge

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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
What really confuses me is why this is such an issue now when PF1 had PC ready Goblins available since June 2012.

My guess is that it's harder to ban or restrict things in your home game if they are considered "Core."


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Goblins don't disrupt games. People who play goblins do.


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I've never had a problem, but my groups don't tend to cleave too closely to Golarion lore. Our goblins were usually more on the Ravnican Izzet-Warcraft spectrum. Still unstable, still pyromaniacal, but perhaps more capable of cohering with a typical adventuring party.

Really, I see it as a matter of how elegantly the lore can be changed to justify goblin PCs as more than an outlier. Hopefully it's more substantial than "a Goblin PC is One of the Good Ones™"


Rysky wrote:
Omnius wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

This.

It's not playing goblin that makes a player disruptive.

Playing a kender is not what disrupts games.

Kender attract people who want to use them as an excuse to be disruptive.

That's still on the player then, not the Kender, not the Goblin. It's how the player chooses to play them.

That's my point.

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