Goblins and disruptive play


Pathfinder Society

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Dark Archive 4/5

Anybody else seen an uptick in disruptive play from players who are playing goblin characters? Maybe it's just that my play style differs greatly from the style in my new location, but I don't find it particularly enjoyable to spend my time cleaning up after a character that, in pf1, would've been arrested in the first act.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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It may be a regional difference. The four goblin characters that I have seen so far have gone out of their way to prove that they are worthy of being included in the Society... Even if one of them had a nervous habit of gnawing on furniture.

I have seen a Goblin Paladin of Sarenrae, an alchemist Arson Investigator, a toothy yet sweet barbarian, and a newly-literate wizard who was convinced that reading is the biggest superpower of all and should be shared with everyone. So far, the goblins have all been recognizably goblin and yet recognizably Pathfinders as well. Maybe your player just needs someone to show them a good example of how to cooperate?

Hmm

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Finland—Turku aka Tomppa

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I would assume "Don't be a jerk: 'It's what my character would do' is not an excuse for bad behaviour" is still part of the organized play rules?

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No problems with Goblin PCs so far. Elves, yes.

Dark Archive 4/5

Maybe it's just my new locale. I recently moved, and maybe the area just has a different style of play.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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Disruptive is a function of the player, not the character.

A person who wants to play a disruptive character will choose the character options that best let them use the excuse of “it’s just my character.” In 2E that means goblins. In 1E, you could find plenty of complaints about the “only CN because I can’t play CE” rogues. Banning goblins would just mean those players find a different excuse.

2/5

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Many of us foresaw this happening when goblins were announced for 2E, raised concerns, and were pooh-poohed. Now that it is happening, we are still pooh-poohed.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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All the goblins I've encountered have been the best behaved members of the party, the players going to extra lengths to avoid old goblin stereotypes.

I'm sure that won't always be the case, but it's pretty low on my worry list.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I was worried about it, but it wasn't a problem at GenCon and hasn't been a problem at local venues.

4/5

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Regardless of ancestry, one would assume any PC will be awarded Infamy for the usual reasons.

3/5

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As in PF1, the GM can throw a PC in jail and declare him DEAD. (The GM has to report it and the player can appeal it.) Also, a PF2 GM can give out Infamy like in Starfinder.

Dark Archive 4/5

Yeah, it's almost always the player, I know. I just needed somewhere to vent today. Been around since season 5ish, and today was the WORST day of gaming I've had in a long time - on either side of the screen - and I needed
somewhere to lay blame. (Though I will say actually dealing with it from the other side of the screen is also unpleasant. But at least you have that option.)

Just frustrating.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Time to talk to the VL and VC. Also talk to the GM, at the table if you have to, that the play is disruptive and violates the "Don't be a Jerk" rule.

It is not the race, it is the player.

5/5

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I have seen goblins played from both sides of the table and have two myself. So far they have gone to great lengths to demonstrate they are pathfinders while remaining identifiably goblins. This is a player issue not a character one.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Finland—Turku aka Tomppa

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I'd emphasize that it's MAINLY a player issue, but giving these players access to what has been, for the last 10+ years, a mostly neutral evil or chaotic evil race of...

"Goblins are greedy, capricious, and destructive by nature"
" Goblin adventurers are usually curious and inclined to explore the world, though they are often killed off by their own foolish misdeeds or hunted down for their random acts of destruction."
"Their pernicious nature makes interacting with civilized races almost impossible"
"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. "
" Most other races view them as virulent parasites that have proved impossible to exterminate."

... is certainly giving them a strong excuse in the "that's what my character would do" category.

(sources: ARG, Innersea races, and bestiary)

... I suppose it's nice to hear that some players manage to play goblins against their age-old stereotype.

EDIT: Obviously, "it's what my character would do" is not an acceptable reason, it's just an excuse, and it should be met with a firm "Fair enough, your character has now been kicked out of the society IG, marked as dead to paizo, and your behavior has been reported to the VO. Please roll a new character that's suitable for society play."

5/5 ⦵⦵

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This was one of my main concerns going into PF2. I came up with a character concept that I would through role playing put goblins in their place. I played 2 scenarios both Goblin characters behaved normally and my only character concept for PF2 got blown up as nothing to role play.

So, now I'm back to not a single character concept that interests me and I would rather play other games at this time.

Silver Crusade

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

... because you didn't get to roleplay being a jerk? I'm confused.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

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Well of the goblins I had at my table 2 were pyromanics that got an infamy warning during the session and one was a "mechanical character" so the race was choosen for purely mechanical reasons and did not come into play.

I still think it was a BIG mistake to make goblins player characters without a lot and well written in world reasons as to why they are no longer kill on sight. It does not help that my first contact with Goblins in Pathfinder was Rise of the Runelords 1 aka "Why we have to kill goblins".

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I rather enjoyed playing the Fumbus pregen in Origin of the Open Road.

He has a good backstory for coaching players to be quirky but constructive members of the team. Sadly, the pregen sheets don't include the backstories.


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Jhaeman wrote:
Many of us foresaw this happening when goblins were announced for 2E, raised concerns, and were pooh-poohed. Now that it is happening, we are still pooh-poohed.

Having Goblins available as player characters after over a decade of displaying goblins as a direct source unrepentant, destructive, and above all, silly evil in every official product is not one of the greatest idea Paizo has come up with.

Scarab Sages 2/5 Venture-Agent, Oregon—Portland aka TomParker

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There was a sympathetic goblin character at least as far back as Season 4. She wasn't killed in the session I played or the couple times I GM'd the scenario.

Sovereign Court

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

I've only played at a table with a goblin once so far, and the goblin was just gobliny enough and didnt harm play. But there was a point where he annoyed an important npc, so the goblin fixed things by excusing himself from the conversation and waiting outside. The player had fun being a goblin without hurting the investigation. That said, I could see a less responsible player really sabotaging the same situation.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Its gonna be a learning curve like many of the new rules. Fortunately, I have not experienced any disruptive goblins in any of the 2E games I've played, but I'm also of the group that would have preferred they not become a standard PC race. I liked the way goblins were portrayed throughout 1E and I'm a little disappointed how they had to adapt to become socially acceptable.

All we can do is be on the lookout for players who will use the nature of a goblin to be disruptive. It has been said numerous times, if those players didn't have goblins, they would just find the next option available that lends itself to being disruptive. Treat the source of the problem and you should be fine.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Only goblin I have seen so far was a Paladin, raised by a doting mother. Kind of reminded me of Izuku from My Hero Academia.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Rysky wrote:
... because you didn't get to roleplay being a jerk? I'm confused.

lol, yep I was going to role play being a jerk to jerks, You got it. But i didn't experience any jerks.

It's a long story maybe for another thread. But in essence nothing excites me about pf2. nothing at all. I've played 2 scenarios and found the rule mechanics slow the game down to a drag for my tastes and the whole idea of a re-hashed pathfinder society doing the same things with similar stories as before built on a more family friendly environment to be rather old and stale for my tastes. I've done it 350 times already.

If the opportunity presents itself I'm still willing to try modules for PF2.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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roysier wrote:
nothing excites me about pf2. nothing at all.

Then why bother playing? Life is too short to waste your time on something intended to be entertainment that isn't entertaining.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
roysier wrote:
and the whole idea of a re-hashed pathfinder society doing the same things with similar stories as before
It's a tad early to be making these assumptions I'd say.
Quote:
If the opportunity presents itself I'm still willing to try modules for PF2.

Do so, if you're interested, AoA and TFoP look fun.

5/5 ⦵⦵

To get this thread back on track:

A - I anticipated annoying Goblins in many sessions
B - I created a character concept to push back on this anticipated game annoyance. I thought the concept would help me find PF2 interesting.
C- The goblin characters I played with acted norally. Honestly they could have been humans or anything else. So they were not annoying but also not role playing IMO.
D- Because I've already made 40 PFS characters coming up with interesting new concepts in the same PFS setting is difficult. So just replacing the concept of being a anti-goblin concept with something else is not easy. I guess I'm just not creative enough to find a 41st character concept that I find interesting.

Conclusion - In my experience most people playing goblins are not being disruptive.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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After hearing about the doom scenario of goblin PCs wrecking everything we've held dear for months, I'm kinda tired of it. If you're worried about goblin PCs being used as a vehicle of disruption;

* Set a positive example. Play a goblin yourself that's recognizably a goblin but isn't unpleasant to play with.

* Be clear and firm about what kind of play you will not tolerate. Just be abundantly clear that "that's what my character would do" is not an acceptable reason for being annoying.

And that's all there is to it really.

Dark Archive 4/5

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

After hearing about the doom scenario of goblin PCs wrecking everything we've held dear for months, I'm kinda tired of it. If you're worried about goblin PCs being used as a vehicle of disruption;

* Set a positive example. Play a goblin yourself that's recognizably a goblin but isn't unpleasant to play with.

* Be clear and firm about what kind of play you will not tolerate. Just be abundantly clear that "that's what my character would do" is not an acceptable reason for being annoying.

And that's all there is to it really.

rubs cheek and blinks incredulously

Sorry...?

I may build a goblin character. A champion of shelyn I think. Maybe I can overturn some stereotypes.

Radiant Oath 2/5

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Smoog, Champion of Sarenrae
-former slaver (who was downsized when Absalom abolished slavery) and former disciple of Zarongel (who Sarenrae has led into the light)

He still likes to set things on fire:
With both the Deity's Domain (Fire) and Sorcerer Dedication (Elemental Bloodline-Fire) feats

He still sings goblin songs:
Saren-Rae is the Best
Smoog is her bless-ed Pest
Smoog the Goblin, you the prey
Torch you good the goblin way!

Yes, he's a mischievous scamp (think Disney's Stitch) - but he's also cute and fluffy! (Intimidation +7 & Diplomacy +7)

But as a member of the Radiant Oath he's trying to repent and teach others that there's a better way to treat people.
That those weaker than you should be protected, and that the wicked are the ones who make the best prey.

Helpful vs. Disruptive is all about the player (and the character concept) - it's NOT about the ancestry!

5/5 ⦵⦵

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A pot-bellied goblin enters the discussion while dragging a blood-stained sack of gore behind him that smells quite ripe in the midday heat.

"Goblins? 'Disruptive'? No, no. Thorax was 'Early Explorer'. And let me tell you. Most disruptive race clearly was 'Aasimars'!"

He then sets to work slicing up some lunch.

2/5

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Tom Parker wrote:
There was a sympathetic goblin character at least as far back as Season 4. She wasn't killed in the session I played or the couple times I GM'd the scenario.

Season 10 has at least one adventure, and IIRC a RSP boon, that emphasized that some goblin tribes were making an effort to peacefully co-exist with their neighbors, and just needed some guidance from the Society to make it work. So the goblin's transition from "kill-on-sight vermin" in PFS1 to "potential loyal Pathfinder" in PFS2 was not quite as abrupt as some posters here make it out to be.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

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Personally, I've always found it extremely problematic that some intelligent races were deemed to be "vermin" and that it was morally acceptable to kill them without any cause. I am glad to see that PF2 is moving us past that.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Depicting a cannon-wide, world-affecting change in a scenario is not going to be very effective given the somewhat narrow audience and the very real chance people won’t get to play it for many months or perhaps even years. The change in goblins is such a huge change it really needs a significant write-up somewhere in the Lost Omens product line. After centuries, perhaps millennia of goblins being terribly chaotic destructive anti-social vermin that most societies would kill on sight, changing that condition in what amounts to a year’s time plus or minus really deserves a bedtime story, IMO.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

Freehold DM wrote:


Having Goblins available as player characters after over a decade of displaying goblins as a direct source unrepentant, destructive, and above all, silly evil in every official product is not one of the greatest idea Paizo has come up with.

Especially in Pathfinder Society there are numerous goblin tribes who have worked with the Society for the betterment of all over multiple scenarios through many seasons, there's even a boon celebrating it. The Emerald Spire also has a group of goblins who effectively live in town and are tolerated because it's either more effort to kill them than it's worth or they're of value to some people. I suspect anyone wanting more examples of goblins working with people and the Society could easily find them with some effort, if they cared enough to.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

If the references to those events is so obscure that someone has to expend "some effort" effort to find them, they are probably not visible enough, especially not to casual players who don't own every single book Paizo has published or played in all the APs, modules, and scenarios to get the info more organically. Paizo updated a decade plus of cannon in Lost Omens. It shouldn't be much of a stretch to ask for some narrative cannon that definitively explains how goblins made such a significant change in such a short period of time compared to how long they have been viewed as kill on site.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
If the references to those events is so obscure that someone has to expend "some effort" effort to find them, they are probably not visible enough, especially not to casual players who don't own every single book Paizo has published or played in all the APs, modules, and scenarios to get the info more organically. Paizo updated a decade plus of cannon in Lost Omens. It shouldn't be much of a stretch to ask for some narrative cannon that definitively explains how goblins made such a significant change in such a short period of time compared to how long they have been viewed as kill on site.

They have, and it's even in the CRB.

Quite simply, compared to Tar-Baphon, goblins are not the thing people are worried about. In fact, the goblins are worried about Tar-Baphon too.

---

That's the big change, but there's also several smaller vignettes that coach goblins into a more nuanced position.

In one PFS adventure you get this cute goblin sidekick that helps the PCs. Turns out there's a whole goblin underground in the city that's actually pretty okay.

In another one it turns out the goblins have been practicing forestry through periodic burns. That's a real-world forestry technique that upsets many (uninformed) people, because we're trained to think that all forest fires are bad. But periodic controlled burns are a way to prevent larger wildfires. I thought it was particularly clever to cast goblins in the role of using fire in a constructive way that the humans didn't understand.

Fumbus, the goblin pregen, has a backstory that also plays with the funny side of goblins and shows how an individual goblin can be "redeemed".

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
If the references to those events is so obscure that someone has to expend "some effort" effort to find them, they are probably not visible enough, especially not to casual players who don't own every single book Paizo has published or played in all the APs, modules, and scenarios to get the info more organically. Paizo updated a decade plus of cannon in Lost Omens. It shouldn't be much of a stretch to ask for some narrative cannon that definitively explains how goblins made such a significant change in such a short period of time compared to how long they have been viewed as kill on site.

I'm not sure that 'some effort' translates to 'so obscure' for many people, rather than to 'a quick google search' for example. Just off the top of my head there is an entire series of incredibly well known free RPG day modules that portray them in a generally sympathetic (or even heroic) light, there are scenarios in Season 3, Season 4, two in Season 10, a boon, all about them working with the society and other groups.

If people are new to Society play and don't know the backstory of how goblins have become interwoven with the Society and helped them then... then why do we assume that they also think goblins are any more kill on sight than half-orcs for example?

I wouldn't object to more lore and story about them, I'd be happy for more about many things, but given the living are now dealing with the necromancer who tricked Aroden into killing him, outsmarting a god, plus the legions at his command and with 1000 years of planning... I think a lot of places have bigger worries, standards for allies have probably dropped significantly to "Are you living and will you fight undead?" for some no doubt.

It actually makes me think about a similar point but not one I've seen anyone complaining about... the Aspis Consortium. We have a former Aspis Agent background in PFS now, yet the Society has fought them for around 100 years and they have been essentially kos to Society Agents most of the time. How did they suddenly become okay to work with? Do we have an Aspis Relocation Program running that no-one knows about? For Society games this seems as big a change as goblins are imo, perhaps even more, goblins never attacked the Grand Lodge and murdered important Pathfinders... and the exact same thing that applies to goblins also applies here, we've had scenarios where we've worked with Aspis who want to leave, with Aspis who defect, etc. We've seen change and that offers up reasoning for why things are different in a new edition, has that change been magnified so that it can be codified into the rules? Sure. Is there no doubt a marketing element to it? Sure. But it's far from entirely hidden or not telegraphed in both cases.

Radiant Oath 4/5

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A sober-looking Goblin wearing simple robes approaches.

"I have taken a vow to be loyal and trustworthy to my brothers and sisters of the Radiant Oath. As the master says, 'I am not bothered by the fact that I am not understood. I am bothered when I do not know others.' May virtue and wisdom guide our steps."

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Gold Coast aka DanielB

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roysier wrote:

To get this thread back on track:

A - I anticipated annoying Goblins in many sessions
B - I created a character concept to push back on this anticipated game annoyance. I thought the concept would help me find PF2 interesting.
C- The goblin characters I played with acted norally. Honestly they could have been humans or anything else. So they were not annoying but also not role playing IMO.
D- Because I've already made 40 PFS characters coming up with interesting new concepts in the same PFS setting is difficult. So just replacing the concept of being a anti-goblin concept with something else is not easy. I guess I'm just not creative enough to find a 41st character concept that I find interesting.

Conclusion - In my experience most people playing goblins are not being disruptive.

If i can make a suggestion pick your favourite PF1 character and make there child a lonf g lost illegitimate child or there kid who was raised on legends of there parents adventuring tales they can be of similar class but have a new identity, a local player has been creating these for all his PF1 characters his Bloodrager characters child is a barbarian

Just cause you have to make new characters doesnt mean the legend/tales of your favourite characters has to end


On a not entirely unrelated tangent, in one of my online games, I've definitely had disruptive goblins players while running first edition. Not sure why they wanted to play goblins and then just hide from the group and steal from everyone the entire time, but that's what happened until I brought it to an end.

I am a big fan of the We Be Goblins series, though, and feel like this is largely responsible for goblins inclusion in 2E. The in-game lore for the change should be related to that We Be Goblins group, because that would be cool.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I have seen a number of people with the agenda to 'prove goblins arent disruptive' which is more or less what I expected, a thousand tiny green drizzts.

That said, I suspect over time once this particular 'controversy' has died down some we will see more and more people wanting to play as Not-Reta Bigbad because that's what goblins are to most folks and is the cost of having them as PC options.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

I would say, let time make its course, rather than pushing the " we're not bad " agenda. The goal is very commendable, but it's not needed.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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It takes a goblin 5 years to reach maturity.

"Yes, it is true that goblins tried to burn down Sandpoint, but that was two generations ago! You can't blame me, even my parents weren't born at that time!"

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

NielsenE wrote:
I was worried about it, but it wasn't a problem at GenCon and hasn't been a problem at local venues.

I mean it has been a problem but it has nothing to do with 2e and predates it by a good fivish years. The hilarious part being it's not even the two people with the second rarest boon goblin 1e boons.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Auke Teeninga wrote:

It takes a goblin 5 years to reach maturity.

"Yes, it is true that goblins tried to burn down Sandpoint, but that was two generations ago! You can't blame me, even my parents weren't born at that time!"

Plus, it's not like they have a rich written history to use as a reference.

I've already seen my share of "nice" goblins: a daring swashbuckler, a verbose politician and a pious spellcaster. I recognize the desire to play something unique or different that breaks the mold. If that's what you enjoy, then enjoy.

For me, I'm looking forward to playing my unhygienic, uneducated, pyromaniacal glutton. Any combination of those qualities could already be the basis for a character of any race, but it's more the nature of a goblin.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I have yet to hear of any disruptive goblin players.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

^ this guy. Lmao.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Damn it, I can't even claim that was intentional. :P Caffiene, help me!

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