Goblins.... +2 Dex... +2.... Cha?!


Ancestries & Backgrounds

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+2 Int makes more sense to me than +2 Cha — I agree with most of the arguments made here.

But I can see the argument for +2 Cha, as Goblin songs and thus Goblin Bards are part of Golarion Goblin identity, harkening back to their introduction in Rise of the Runelords.

-2 Wis I completely agree with.

"Goblins chew and goblins bite.
Goblins cut and goblins fight.
Stab the dog and cut the horse,
goblins eat and take by force! ..."


@ PossibleCabbage & Elleth: Really? I hadn't even thought of that. I'm just used to +2 Dex, +2 Cha being the stereotypical Halfling. I'll read the Halfling lore, but if you guys say lore says Wisdom, I'll take your word for it for now. That being said, I believe Gnomes would make the better +2 Dex, +2 Cha race in Pathfinder, for obvious reasons that they need Charisma to prevent the Bleaching.

@ Ramanujan: Haha, I had completely forgotten about that song. Though, while I don't believe Charisma should be their penalty score, I still believe Intelligence would make much more sense to Goblins than Charisma.


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Kerobelis wrote:

I think all small races should have a penalty to strength since they have taken away the small size penalty for weapon damage. I would be okay with no strength penalty if they used weapon size or went the 5th edition route.

I can't see Frodo wielding a two handed sword and doing the same damage as Boromir or Aragorn.

Maybe you're not aware, but Frodo is a halfling, not a goblin.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:

I think all small races should have a penalty to strength since they have taken away the small size penalty for weapon damage. I would be okay with no strength penalty if they used weapon size or went the 5th edition route.

I can't see Frodo wielding a two handed sword and doing the same damage as Boromir or Aragorn.

Maybe you're not aware, but Frodo is a halfling, not a goblin.

And it's not like images of goblins with weapons the size of their torsos don't exist in any other popular fantasy settings.


TheMonkeyFish wrote:
TL:DR - I don't believe Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, +2 Free; I believe that Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Free. It makes more sense with their biography and common background.

Problem with your solution is it's inconsistent with the other non-human races.

They each have ONE Physical and ONE Mental stat bonus. Yours gives the Goblins TWO Physical.
I agree the charisma doesn't fit the rest of the racial profile, but I would suggest Intelligence instead of Charisma.
They may not be charismatic little buggers, but they had the nous to change their ways enough to mingle into larger-folk societies without being killed on site.
Intelligence would be good, and with a Wisdom penalty, it basically gives them the mental equivalent of low Dexterity.


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staticPF wrote:
TheMonkeyFish wrote:
TL:DR - I don't believe Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, +2 Free; I believe that Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Free. It makes more sense with their biography and common background.

Problem with your solution is it's inconsistent with the other non-human races.

They each have ONE Physical and ONE Mental stat bonus. Yours gives the Goblins TWO Physical.
I agree the charisma doesn't fit the rest of the racial profile, but I would suggest Intelligence instead of Charisma.
They may not be charismatic little buggers, but they had the nous to change their ways enough to mingle into larger-folk societies without being killed on site.
Intelligence would be good, and with a Wisdom penalty, it basically gives them the mental equivalent of low Dexterity.

Ah, those minor problems when you can't edit your original post.

I believe everyone has pointed that out least once, and most people seem to agree Intelligence makes more sense than Charisma. Now if only I could edit that post. lol


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I like Charisma, in the sense that they are a strong personality and generally vivacious (though often not in ways deemed pleasant in polite society), and it works for deception, intimidate and performance which I feel are natural areas of goblin aptitude. For diplomacy, not so much, at least for most goblins, but that's fine, IMO. For one, there's no reason that most goblins would be trained in diplomacy, and any goblin PCs aren't 'most goblins'.

I do see a place for a small sized Int-boosted ancestry, but I don't know what would take that place. Maybe they could put out rules in a later supplement for Bleachling gnomes though they've traditionally been more Wis than Int, but I could see it the other way around, if we're making shifts.


TheMonkeyFish wrote:


Ah, those minor problems when you can't edit your original post.

I believe everyone has pointed that out least once, and most people seem to agree Intelligence makes more sense than Charisma. Now if only I could edit that post. lol

I feel your pain. If only I could read twenty thousand posts in one day so I wouldn't end up repeating previous sentiments lol.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The lore has always had them be competent sorcerers. I feel like in this case its force of personality over looks or what others think of them.


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Alenvire wrote:
The lore has always had them be competent sorcerers.

Competent at what level? A cha 12 [14 with the -2] is enough for bonus spells you can cast at levels 1-3. A 14 [16 with the -2] is enough for bonus 1st and 2nd level spells and you can cast up to 4th level spells [up to 9th level]... So, IMO, competent sorcerers is a very low bar. In this new system, we've been told that you don't need more than the bare minimum stat [10: 10 base -2 flaw, +2 class] to be competent.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

Basically, you have to ask yourself "if goblins MUST have a mental ability bonus, where should it be?". It's definitely not wisdom, I think we can all agree that should be their weakest stat; it isn't intelligence either, Golarion goblins aren't known for their intellect in the same way that Azeroth goblins are. That leaves charisma, which while still fairly ill-fitting does mean that goblins make for pretty good bards, which should be their best caster class imo.

I do agree with the OP that Dex/Con is the most fitting distribution for goblins but Paizo seems to be under the impression that would be OP so it isn't an option.

I think making it intellect could be fitting seeing as they are maniacally fascinated with explosions and building things. Intellect doesn't necessarily equate to competence and it makes more sense to me then charisma.

I also agree that making it Dex/Con is more fitting.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:

I think all small races should have a penalty to strength since they have taken away the small size penalty for weapon damage. I would be okay with no strength penalty if they used weapon size or went the 5th edition route.

I can't see Frodo wielding a two handed sword and doing the same damage as Boromir or Aragorn.

Maybe you're not aware, but Frodo is a halfling, not a goblin.
And it's not like images of goblins with weapons the size of their torsos don't exist in any other popular fantasy settings.

LOL

A goblin fanatic. Those are supposed to be on drugs to use those and have no control over their movement, great example!


graystone wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
They need to face it. It should of been us kobolds.

I'd have taken a pet rock race before goblin. ;)

As to stats, I don't think they should get ANY mental stat boost. Give them +2 dex and +2 other and leave it at that if we have to keep that kind of balance.

IMO, they should have a -2 to ALL mental stats but the game doesn't support that. ;)

You know actually the no bonus and no penalty with just a +2 to dex has been the most suitable sounding suggestion I've heard yet that wasn't from a Kobold.

Also of course you would rather have a pet rock greySTONE.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:

I think all small races should have a penalty to strength since they have taken away the small size penalty for weapon damage. I would be okay with no strength penalty if they used weapon size or went the 5th edition route.

I can't see Frodo wielding a two handed sword and doing the same damage as Boromir or Aragorn.

Maybe you're not aware, but Frodo is a halfling, not a goblin.

The movie makes so much sense now!

In seriousness, my point is all small races should have a minus to strength if the do not give the some penalty to size. So goblins should be just like halflings and gnomes. My preference is they have to use smaller weapons or handle it like 5th edition.

Every other edition of D&D had small creatures limited in their weapons. PF2 just created all these detailed weapon rules but chooses to ignore this?


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Yeah I'm kind of sad size matters less.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Felt like the scores should have been:

Elf: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha (agile and wise with age, but xenophobic)

Dwarf: +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex (tough and crafty but sluggish)

Gnome: +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Str (vibrant personalities, resilient with the power of the First World, small and weak)

Goblin: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wis (nimble and curious but highly impulsive and weakminded)

Halfling: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str (brave and quick, but physically weak)

Human: Any, Any


Well... @Cyrad, you have some valid arguments to point out, but there are a few points that I'd like to disagree with regarding the points that you've given.

Regarding the Dwarf bonuses, while they are technically slow and sturdy (Already displayed with their 20ft instead of 25ft movement speed and their Unburden racial ability), I would argue that doesn't make them any less nimble. They seem more like a -2 Charisma than a -2 Dexterity as they are suborn and extremely hard to befriend. Also, I think they're more Profession (Wis based) instead of Crafting (Int based) based on the description they were given.

Regarding the Elf bonuses, remember that these are not the Tolkien mthyos elves which are often portrayed in fantasy. They are emotional and capricious, yet they also value kindness and beauty, so I don't believe they would be a -2 Charisma. It's hard to argue for their -2 Constitution score because of their adaptive nature (adapting to their surroundings), but its easier to describe them as skinny and frail and snaps like a twig.

Regarding the Gnomes, I'll have to agree with you and the book. +2 Con and +2 Cha just are Gnomish to me, and it makes sense.

Regarding the Goblins, I would also agree that they seem more like +2 Dex and +2 Int than they do +2 Cha. I do hope they decide to make this change, considering we're currently lacking a +2 Int small race in the core rules.

Regarding the Halflings, I'll actually agree I've been swayed back towards the +2 Wisdom instead of +2 Charisma like 1st edition, Golarian Halflings aren't as skippy as other mythos.

Just my 2 cents.


Gip for one is gonna loooove being the Diplomacy master :)


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Posting this here from a thread I made on this topic already.

There has been a lot of controversy over Goblins being +CHA.

This is mainly due to many people believing in the "Monster races" concept. Though there are many exceptions, such as those who believe that a race of creatures known for living amongst garbage, with hideously large mouths, needle teeth, and oversized heads should have a bonus to social interaction rather than a penalty.

Whatever the reason for believing the shouldn't have CHA as a bonus, I believe that falls tot he wayside when we talk about why Paizo made goblin a core Ancestry.

It's their unofficial mascot. It has been for a long time, and they've capitalized on this we the We Be Goblins line. However, just because real people find goblins endearing, and enjoy playing them doesn't mean that they should be a +Cha race. Especially when they are noted for how terrible they are to interact with.

Additionally there is very little in their ancestry writeup that makes them appear charismatic.

However there is a decent bit that points towards them being good tinkerers

Ancestry Text:
"Others are
endless tinkerers and view their companions’ trash simply as components of
gadgets yet to be made.

This seems like a key indication that Goblins should be a +INT race instead.

Let's take a look at goblin society for a minute here.
It i stated that goblins fear the written word, and because of this they have maintained a very primitive society.

But, even though Goblin society has an aversion to learning goblins have always been good at picking up new tricks to make things burn, and have made some pretty decent homes out of junk. So while as a society they may not be very smart, as a race they seem to be able to grasp new ideas quite easily.

So if we changes their stat lineup to +DEX +INT -WIS, we have a race that instead of being a cute, likeable bunch of trashmonging, green pyromaniacs who for some reason have an affinity for magic(resonance), we have a race of scrappy scavengers, who despite their dumb decision making that leads often to an early death, have an affinity for making junk do just what they want it to and are very good at figuring out how to make a couple of different powders go boom.

I understand that they start to fill some of the design space as elves, and many people will be worried about seeing goblin wizards.

However I feel that this helps to give them more of their own identify that makes more sense in universe than goblins going from being universally disliked to being naturally endearing.


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@ fearcypher: We welcome you to our fold of +2Dex/+2Int Goblin spokesmen brother! Hopefully Paizo takes notice to our requests.

Actually... I've only seen a few nay-say-ers on the thread. Is there anyone who'ed like to defend Charisma bonuses? Also: Alchemist Goblins seem much more iconic to Pathfinder than Sorcerer Goblins, so I'd think that giving them +2Int would serve Goblins more than Charisma.

Just my 2 cents.


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I am for the +Dex, +Int camp as well!


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I prefer Cha to Int for goblins since I see goblins as literally "little barely cointained balls of personality" and in no way "particularly smart."

I feel like the Int goblins are not the Golarion goblins.


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@PossibleCabbage You do realize that Golarion Goblins stat array as a monster class has them at: "Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6"

and the race guide at:

"+4 Dexterity, –2 Strength, –2 Charisma: Goblins are fast, but weak and unpleasant to be around. "

In no way were Golarion Goblins ever Charismatic. This is a complete 180 from what they were in terms of Cha. If anything they need to become more intelligent and more charismatic to start "fitting" in to society in my opinion which would have had me drop Cha negative and give a Int bonus. Then just adjust Dex down one to balance it.


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I feel that in PF1 the bestiary entry was inconsistent with the lore, which we're correcting by giving goblins as charisma bonus.


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You mean the lore that is published in, core books, monster manuals, supplements, and companion guides throughout 1e? The same lore that also give them negatives to Cha in multiple books and call them out as ugly and destructive, basically a blight to all races? I can't find an inconsistency with the lore and entries in the books. I am actually curious because I never got that from anything published for the Golarion world setting.


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I don't like goblins as core I don't think they are intelligent nor charismatic. However with the storyline of them becoming somewhat sociable which is quite a feat for a race hated and warred against for centuries I would reason that such a feat can only be achieved by the most charismatic among them -> +2 Cha for player characters.

Not fitting for core was always reflected through their non regular stat modifiers so I guess if you want to reign them in you need to go a way like this and charisma is the only modifier that somewhat makes sense for me as I would never see nor depict pathfinder goblins as intelligent or wise.


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Gozer "Bone Splitter" wrote:
You mean the lore that is published in, core books, monster manuals, supplements, and companion guides throughout 1e? The same lore that also give them negatives to Cha in multiple books and call them out as ugly and destructive, basically a blight to all races? I can't find an inconsistency with the lore and entries in the books. I am actually curious because I never got that from anything published for the Golarion world setting.

It’s a retcon. For many reasons:

The desire to add a popular race to improve sales.
The new ancestry rules not allowing two physical or mental stats to be boosted for ancestries with set bonuses (cause then you could get a +2 to all physical stats and be the ultimate warrior).
All races must be balanced (funny, goblins are one of the best now with free dark vision and no penalties for being a small race).

There is probably more....

Edit: this happens a lot in all fiction, I am not trying to make Paizo out to be monsters due to this change.


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The funny thing is? They didn't even retcon anything. They are still the unlikable dog-killing, horse-stabbing, garbage-eating race with the exception that they are only just now beginning to integrate into society. The only thing Paizo has "updated" on the race is how apparently most people think that these are now "enduring" characteristics.

"Aw, look, Tommie the Goblin just stabbed a horse and is now making a tripwire trap out of the gutts. Isn't that so cute?"

That, and their "natural charm" <only referenced in one sentence through the entire history of Goblins> makes them good at sorcery, when they are more commonly associated with Alchemists?

And I don't believe Racial Modifiers should <only> be used to explain PC characters of a given race.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

No ancestry should have bonuses to two physical or two mental attributes and a free attribute bonus, since that opens the way to getting +2 to all mental or all physical attributes.

Plus, Golarion's goblins are funny- they love to sing and tell jokes, why shouldn't they have a Cha bonus? A penalty to Cha in PF1 never made sense to me.

A race could be balanced and have two +2 physical bonuses if they also had a -2 on the the third physical attribute. For goblins this could be -2 str, +2 con, +2 dex.

It is likely that a few of the additional races that are added in future PF2 material will fit very poorly into the +2 physical stat/+2 mental stat/ -2 in one stat. For example Orcs spring to mind. In the PF2 playtest orc monsters have bonuses to all physical stats and minuses to all mental stats. Potentially PC ogres could be even harder to fit into the narrow +2/+2/-2 box.

Finally goblins should not have a charisma bonus because loving to sing and tell jokes doesn't mean that they do it well or that others find them funny.

This radical shift in goblin charisma has consequences that make no sense (to a lot of people) and have already been well discussed.

One such consequence that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that goblins are now more charismatic, intimidating and diplomatic than hobgoblins. Hobgoblins have always been the leadership goblinoid creature, organizing the other goblinoids. By changing goblin charisma the goblinoid social ecology no longer makes sense.


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Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
They need to face it. It should of been us kobolds.

Or Tengu!

('Bolds are good tho)


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I'm really confused why people think Charisma is a bad thing for Goblins.

Charisma primarily represents force of personality. No, not looks or likability, but force of personality. Goblins have a strong force of personality, as they're intense and crazy little buggers (which also symbolizes their twitchy Dexterity and insane Wisdom). Therefore, they get a Charisma bonus to represent their strong and imposing personality.

It's not that difficult, nor complex to understand. You may not like it, but it makes more sense than any other form of balance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, um, Goblins now make the best Paladins? That's kinda... weird.


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magnuskn wrote:
So, um, Goblins now make the best Paladins? That's kinda... weird.

If you look at it from a pure mathematical perspective, then that's true.

But I can't seriously expect a Goblin to properly uphold a Paladin code, of all things.

An Antipaladin code, on the other hand...


TheMonkeyFish wrote:
TL:DR - I don't believe Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, +2 Free; I believe that Goblins should have +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Free. It makes more sense with their biography and common background.

Yes I agree, CHR should not be an automatic ability boost for goblins, but I said it differently here.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I'm really confused why people think Charisma is a bad thing for Goblins.

Charisma primarily represents force of personality. No, not looks or likability, but force of personality. Goblins have a strong force of personality, as they're intense and crazy little buggers (which also symbolizes their twitchy Dexterity and insane Wisdom). Therefore, they get a Charisma bonus to represent their strong and imposing personality.

It's not that difficult, nor complex to understand. You may not like it, but it makes more sense than any other form of balance.

You're wrong. Charisma does effect likability, specifically through the Diplomacy skill use of Making an Impression which on a success raises the target's attitude.

All previously described goblins don't have "force of personality". At best they have unbalanced personalities and have had serious difficulties getting any requests or demands made to other races successfully.

When we put goblins in a line-up with other +1 charisma bonus humanoids, it quickly becomes clear that a bonus to goblin charisma is seriously misplaced.

Let's take a look, which one of these doesn't fit:

drow warrior /doppleganger /gnoll sergeant/ regular goblin

Its interesting to note that many charisma skills are contested by wisdom. I begin to wonder if people who think goblins should have charisma bonuses are not unlike people who have small, misbehaved dogs who think their dogs have strong personalities. Spoiler Alert, their dog doesn't have a strong personality, the owner has a weak will.


Snickersnax wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I'm really confused why people think Charisma is a bad thing for Goblins.

Charisma primarily represents force of personality. No, not looks or likability, but force of personality. Goblins have a strong force of personality, as they're intense and crazy little buggers (which also symbolizes their twitchy Dexterity and insane Wisdom). Therefore, they get a Charisma bonus to represent their strong and imposing personality.

It's not that difficult, nor complex to understand. You may not like it, but it makes more sense than any other form of balance.

You're wrong. Charisma does effect likability, specifically through the Diplomacy skill use of Making an Impression which on a success raises the target's attitude.

All previously described goblins don't have "force of personality". At best they have unbalanced personalities and have had serious difficulties getting any requests or demands made to other races successfully.

When we put goblins in a line-up with other +1 charisma bonus humanoids, it quickly becomes clear that a bonus to goblin charisma is seriously misplaced.

Let's take a look, which one of these doesn't fit:

drow warrior /doppleganger /gnoll sergeant/ regular goblin

Its interesting to note that many charisma skills are contested by wisdom. I begin to wonder if people who think goblins should have charisma bonuses are not unlike people who have small, misbehaved dogs who think their dogs have strong personalities. Spoiler Alert, their dog doesn't have a strong personality, the owner has a weak will.

Doesn't matter, they make strong impressions. If 99% of creatures in PF1 respond to Goblins with "Kill" based on what their impression of Goblins are, then quite frankly that's a very strong impression to be made, since it's done on a global scale. Clearly, if you do stuff that makes everything want to kill you, then yes, you have a strong force of personality.

Drow Warriors have it because they are Drow, 'nuff said. Doppelgangers have it as they are mystical creatures infused with the power to mimic living beings, the Charisma also aiding in its natural infiltration. Gnoll Sergeants have it because they are generally dominant/alpha Gnolls, thereby giving them an edge in the pecking order. Goblins having it are because of as I've described above. Your argument of it being "seriously misplaced" makes no sense, because force of personality exists in all kinds of forms.

Against equivalent enemies, a Goblin is more likely to believe what something someone else says than if someone else is to believe what a Goblin says. Sounds like a standard PF1 feature to me.


I guess goblin alchemists will have an easier time getting the extra resonance feat they need with a racial +2 Cha. It looks like a retcon to me, but those aren't necessarily bad.


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I don't have a horse in the Int vs Cha debase, but I feel something does needed pointed out.

Other races disliking Goblins is a crummy reason for them to not have a charisma bonus. Other races being prejudiced/culturally intolerant/having a dim view of Goblins does not make the Goblin itself less charismatic. If *insert person of a race of your choosing* walks into a town that is strongly racist against that race, that person is going to have a really hard time interacting with the locals. They didn't suddenly become less charismatic when they walked into the town; their force of personality didn't change. The town is just full of racist jerks who dismiss them before their mouth even opens.

Saying that Goblins can't have a charisma bonus because others categorically dislike them is using the prejudiced viewpoints of other races as the definition of what it means to be a Goblin. That makes no sense and is morally...uncomfortable.


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TheMonkeyFish wrote:

The funny thing is? They didn't even retcon anything. They are still the unlikable dog-killing, horse-stabbing, garbage-eating race with the exception that they are only just now beginning to integrate into society. The only thing Paizo has "updated" on the race is how apparently most people think that these are now "enduring" characteristics.

"Aw, look, Tommie the Goblin just stabbed a horse and is now making a tripwire trap out of the gutts. Isn't that so cute?"

That, and their "natural charm" <only referenced in one sentence through the entire history of Goblins> makes them good at sorcery, when they are more commonly associated with Alchemists?

And I don't believe Racial Modifiers should <only> be used to explain PC characters of a given race.

I agree that referring to goblins as charming is an unfortunate word choice, but the idea that people equate charisma score to cute is absurd in both PF1 and 2 (and yes, I realize published adventures do this, and it remains absurd).

Babaus (blood demons in 2) have a +3 charisma modifier. Isn't it adorable how that snot-covered boogeyman just cut into grandma's liver with a spear?

Brain collectors in both editions have a +3, aren't those abominable crab aliens that steal peoples brains and store them in blisters super cute?

Devastators have a +7 charisma, isn't that unholy abomination of metal and dead corrupted angels just the cutest when it turns people into indescribable mush?

Wendigo have a +6 charisma. How delightful it is to watch them as they drive you cannabalistic supernatural madness.

Charisma bonuses don't fit any of these creatures (or goblins) if we use it as a threshold for attractiveness, likability, or cuteness. A moderately high charisma monster isn't necessarily cute, it is frightening. The grey childish monster that killed a horse and turned it into an intestine-based trap? Frightening.


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I'm not a huge fan of goblins as a core race, but I still get the motivation behind it.

However a bonus to Cha? They have always seemed like weak willed cowards to me. They are always getting bullied into some big bads nefarious plans.

I also get that these numbers are in place for mechanical balance and that's a definite challenge.

The only array that makes sense to me is:
-2 str, -2 Wis, -2 int, +4 dex

But that is most likely mechanically out of bounds.

This ancestry is so problematic you might have to step outside the normal attribute bonuses and balance them another way.

I don't know what this is, but I will think on it.


Marakash Arkenrae wrote:

I'm not a huge fan of goblins as a core race, but I still get the motivation behind it.

However a bonus to Cha? They have always seemed like weak willed cowards to me. They are always getting bullied into some big bads nefarious plans.

I also get that these numbers are in place for mechanical balance and that's a definite challenge.

The only array that makes sense to me is:
-2 str, -2 Wis, -2 int, +4 dex

But that is most likely mechanically out of bounds.

This ancestry is so problematic you might have to step outside the normal attribute bonuses and balance them another way.

I don't know what this is, but I will think on it.

"Weak Willed Cowards" is already simulated with the -2 Wisdom penalty. That doesn't mean that Goblins don't have a strong force of personalty, which is a whole different animal in comparison. They are more impulsive than anything.


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@ Darksol the Painbringer

TheMonkeyFish wrote:
"Pathfinder 2e Playtest PDF wrote:
Goblins tend to flock to strong leaders, fiercely protecting those companions who have protected them from physical harm or offered a sympathetic ear when they learn of the goblins’ woes.

That does not sound like a strong force of personality... That sounds like they are easily influenced and controlled. There are more quotes from various sources, but they all pretty much say the same thing. Goblins are followers and not leaders, and it doesn't make sense for a race who is easily influenced with no real personality for themselves to have a Charisma boon.

That being said, they are also not a race whom I would say deserve a Charisma bane. I just don't believe a lapdog race should have +Cha.

(Edit) Almost forgot about this one, sorry.

Paradozen wrote:
TheMonkeyFish wrote:

The funny thing is? They didn't even retcon anything. They are still the unlikable dog-killing, horse-stabbing, garbage-eating race with the exception that they are only just now beginning to integrate into society. The only thing Paizo has "updated" on the race is how apparently most people think that these are now "enduring" characteristics.

"Aw, look, Tommie the Goblin just stabbed a horse and is now making a tripwire trap out of the gutts. Isn't that so cute?"

That, and their "natural charm" <only referenced in one sentence through the entire history of Goblins> makes them good at sorcery, when they are more commonly associated with Alchemists?

And I don't believe Racial Modifiers should <only> be used to explain PC characters of a given race.

I agree that referring to goblins as charming is an unfortunate word choice, but the idea that people equate charisma score to cute is absurd in both PF1 and 2 (and yes, I realize published adventures do this, and it remains absurd).

Babaus (blood demons in 2) have a +3 charisma modifier. Isn't it adorable how that snot-covered boogeyman just cut into grandma's liver with a spear?

Brain collectors in both editions have a +3, aren't those abominable crab aliens that steal peoples brains and store them in blisters super cute?

Devastators have a +7 charisma, isn't that unholy abomination of metal and dead corrupted angels just the cutest when it turns people into indescribable mush?

Wendigo have a +6 charisma. How delightful it is to watch them as they drive you cannabalistic supernatural madness.

Charisma bonuses don't fit any of these creatures (or goblins) if we use it as a threshold for attractiveness, likability, or cuteness. A moderately high charisma monster isn't necessarily cute, it is frightening. The grey childish monster that killed a horse and turned it into an intestine-based trap? Frightening.

The problem with all of the examples provided is as followed:

The Playtest book SAYS that people LIKE what the Goblins do.

Does it say anywhere that people LIKE Wendigo's super cannabalistic nature? No? What about how people adore how Brain Collectors steal brains?

My argument is in the context of chosen wording in the case presented above, not the actual +2 to Charisma.

2E Playtest Book wrote:
. Occasionally, fellow adventurers find these proclivities unsettling or odd, but more often than not, goblins’ friends consider these qualities endearing.

Adventurer: "Oh? You meen Nibbles the Goblin? Yeah, Neighbors don't like it when the Goblin killed their pet dog. I can't see why, I thought it was kinda cute how he danced around with the dogs head on the end of his pike while singing profanities."


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Doesn't matter, they make strong impressions. If 99% of creatures in PF1 respond to Goblins with "Kill" based on what their impression of Goblins are, then quite frankly that's a very strong impression to be made, since it's done on a global scale. Clearly, if you do stuff that makes everything want to kill you, then yes, you have a strong force of personality.

Just because you're a loud mouthed bully with a strong personality, doesn't make you charismatic.

When you see a goblin or the movie Gremlins, are you thinking "charisma"? I know I'm not.

Do you think of them as the best person to use when debating and public speaking?

This is not to say that there can't be charismatic goblins, it just not a racial trend.


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I can see the justification for a Charisma boost for player goblins, but I really think Intelligence fits so much better and is less injurious to the lore.

The ancestry section on goblins should also mention their traditional fear of writing, dogs, and horses, but add that some goblins have been breaking from that norm.

Also, I love that halflings have a Wisdom boost now. It fits the lore so well that it makes you wonder why it took so long to change


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TheMonkeyFish wrote:


Regarding the Dwarf bonuses, ... They seem more like a -2 Charisma than a -2 Dexterity as they are suborn and extremely hard to befriend.

Stubborn and extremely hard to befriend are not signs of a low charisma, they are signs of a high wisdom.

"Befriending" would use the Make an Impression mechanic and having a high wisdom prevents others from making you their friend.

Likewise Low wisdom goblins are easy to befriend or control. And that is separate from whatever their charisma may be


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The problem is that we're trying to make goblins fit into this race paradigm when they've traditionally been -2 Wis, +4 dex, -4 chr, for the past 20 years.

Look, this is the non-debatable goblins stats from PF1.
Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6

You can clearly see, CHR is their lowest stat and now we're arguing like lawyers that it is their greatest stat.


Jason S wrote:

The problem is that we're trying to make goblins fit into this race paradigm when they've traditionally been -2 Wis, +4 dex, -4 chr, for the past 20 years.

Look, this is the non-debatable goblins stats from PF1.
Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6

You can clearly see, CHR is their lowest stat and now we're arguing like lawyers that it is their greatest stat.

PF1 actually had them be +4 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Cha. But sure, I can get it.

I can also understand that the Return of the Runelords AP had lasting consequences that sets the tone for PF2. Maybe the Goblin race had a major role in that AP that resulted in their significant Charisma boost? We already know that weapons and armor having runes for potency and properties (hence Runelords) was something lasting that we've acquired from the Runelords in PF1, persisting and becoming mainstream in PF2, who's to say that this world-changing AP doesn't shake-up what the norm really was back then?


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I think the Charisma and Wisdom should be reversed entirely.

+2 Wisdom and -2 Charisma.

Think about the few things that Goblins are actually necessarily good at..

1) Having keen senses to detect predators or intruders.
2) Being good with animals, particularly the ugly, nasty animals
3) Being at home in the wilds where other races struggle to survive
4) Figuring out the motives of others and how trustworthy (or not) they are.

Those are all Wisdom skills, aren't they?
Sure, I would agree that they were also weak-willed, as well as their unfounded superstitions and irrational fears, and giving them a bonus to Wisdom would give them a bonus on saves that one would expect them to be weak to-- but that's always going to be an issue so long as we have base attributes dictating a lot of kind of unrelated stuff.

I don't know that there is a good solution to this. Goblins should have a bonus to the skills bundled under Wisdom, but should have a penalty to the Willpower save.

But, Charisma? Sure, there have been some depictions of Goblins in some media where they would be smooth-talking, tricksy liars, but that idea just doesn't fit with all the other things Pathfinder Goblins are defined by.

Charisma doesn't work because they are supposed to be a people that is kind of hated and despised by everyone, seen as no better than vermin and automatically doubted on anything they would say even if one was inclined to listen.

So Charisma really doesn't seem to fit at all.

In terms of archetypes?

Well, a Goblin Druid or Goblin Ranger or Goblin Cleric ("Shaman") all sound quite right to me. I am not sure a penalty that makes these combinations off limits makes any sense at all.

Granted... a Goblin Sorcerer does seem like something that could happen and... maybe the idea of a Goblin Bard could also be entertained, so then... yeah, I suppose a Charisma penalty is still going to cause issues.

In terms of Archetypes, the attribute that seems more unfitting would be Intelligence, because Goblins just don't live long enough nor have the necessary attention span for me to see them becoming a good Alchemist or Wizard.


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The OP certainly convinced me. I think not having a bonus or penalty is perfect.

The idea that, once you get to know them, goblins can be very endearing, definitely feels like an element of charisma.

On the other hand, having everyone distrust them until they know them, and them being described as followers rather than leaders, are the opposite of charisma.

Even the point about prejudice not being their problem only matters so much. You'd end up with a penalty against someone who is that prejudiced against you anyway, and if that includes everyone in the world except your companions, you might as well never have the bonus.

The plus charisma thing does feel a bit meta. Goblin antics are popular and fairly memetic in the various settings in which they're portrayed that way. I've laughed at my share, and I wouldn't typically consider myself a goblin fan. But it's a lot harder to laugh at someone who gets into potentially fatal mischief and accidentally makes things explode all the time when you live in a universe where you have to worry about being within range.

I'm not too keen on the balance between physical and mental stat bonuses either. That goes along with my point in my thread about the loss of fantasy. If the stats are balanced at the cost of the game mechanics blatantly contradicting the lore, then what's the point? It reminds me a lot of the issues a lot of people have with the ancestral feats, which lead to strange lore questions due to the contradiction between the mechanic and the character's background.

Like I said over there, I'm not saying they should be flippant about balance, but keeping the magic is more important to me than a meta rule about which stat bonuses can be given out.

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

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Goblins are pretty hateful and spiteful creatures of wanton cruelty - they might have a cute but deadly thing going for them, but they're not endearing or people you want to be with. A bonus to Charisma doesn't fit their in world lore, before or after the retcon. Even other goblins aren't often friends with goblins. Keeping your children in cages doesn't exactly create robust social skills.

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