Goblins as a race


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Helmic wrote:
Paizo has been moving away from universally evil sapients for a while now so it's not even worth debating, always-evil goblins were always a symptom of bad and lazy writing, something even Tolkien himself regretted with his orcs.

I once partially redeemed a lamia matriarch. These creatures are not just chaotic evil. Their description (Lamia Matriarch) says, "The queens of a race consumed by bitterness and predatory instinct, lamia matriarchs mastermind all manner of foul plots in hopes of breaking the bestial curse that afflicts their race. They move with shocking ease from silken-tongued temptresses to dervishes, striking with all the deadly precision of vipers. Quick to covet, enslave, and overindulge, lamia matriarchs luxuriate in gory feasts, violent trysts, and bloody entertainments, reveling until their playthings are broken or until they tire and move on."

Spoiler for D&D 3.5 Rise of the Rulelords:

The villain at the end of the original D&D 3.5 version of The Skinsaw Murders was the lamia matriarch sorceress Xanesha. She lost to the party on the rematch (how the party survived the first match is another story), but she escaped via Dimension Door. The module said that she would never return again.

However, two modules later the party was returning to Sandpoint, their hometown in the first module. The party had some new players who had never seen Sandpoint, so I decided to run a little side quest to reintroduce them to the town. I had to run side quests occassionally, because we had chosen the medium level progression for this adventure path when we adapted it to Pathfinder, but really we should have selected the fast level progression. I returned Xanesha for that side quest.

Xanesha gained a new level and had put her skill ranks into Disguise. She had worn a mask in the battle against the party, so a mundane disguise was enough to fool the party and less detectable by magic. She also work a Ring of Youthful Appearance that she said was for vanity. She introduced herself to the party as Deedee Baythorne from Korvosa, there to deal with the Foxglove estate for the heirs of Lord Foxglove. She knew that the party had survived the haunts at the estate already and she wanted to hire them to permanently remove the haunts. She told them that Ghostbane Dirge on the main haunt would give it physical form so that the party could kill it permanently.

Oh, Deedee radiated evil. She explained to the party that she was the black sheep of the Baythorne family, taking care of the dirty work for them. She also drank to excess and seduced the party's rogue. She admitted that she was not going to Foxglove Manor because she was afraid of the haunts. The party liked her because she seemed so open about her underhanded goals.

However, she had been friends with Lord Foxglove and knew the secrets of the haunts. The main haunt was a disembodied lich. She figured that the lich would kill the party and she would get her revenge.

The party was clever enough to figure that out themselves. They carefully surrounded the lich where it would appear and killed it quickly before it could respond. They claimed the valuable treasure it materialized with. And Deedee Baythorne paid them (with money stolen elsewhere).

Deedee appeared again. She secretly helped the giant raiders in Fortress of the Stone Giants and openly helped the heroes. She decided to play the heroes against her boss, leader of the stone giants, so that they would defeat him and she could step into the power vaccuum. The evil lamia matriarch became a double agent serving the good guys.

The party figured out her secret identity (and the rogue was very embarrassed at his tryst with her) and took her along with them to the Fortress of the Stone Giants to prove it. She deserted the party to go to the fortress, but left the party with a map showing the secret entrance to the fortress. The party used the map, but were scared when the alarm was raised and retreated. After a few more sorties and retreats and the giants tracking them to their camp, the party took to retreating by teleporting back to Magnimar. The wizard leader of the giants figured this out and scryed the comfortable inn where they stayed in Magimar. He had his supposedly loyal minion Xanesha teleport a commando party to the inn before the party wizard prepared his teleport spells. The party won legitimately, but Xanesha was prepared to sabotage her own assignment if necessary to maintain the rivalry between the party and the giants.

The party met her again in Xin-Shalast during the final module. Finally, she had to choose sides. She sided with the party, because if they disapproved of her, then they would merely lock her up. The big boss would kill her for a petty failure or perceived disloyalty or as a whim. When the party became the conquerers of Xin-Shalast, the party made her regent of Xin-Shalast in their absence (they were still adventureres, after all). Xanesha was still evil, but she loyally kept to their standards of good (except for her secret police). She needed the party to keep her safe from ambitious political coups and was not going to risk her high position by earning their disapproval.

That lamia matriarch stayed evil in her heart, but she had joined the party to kill her boss before he killed her for failing her mission. She became disciplined, civilized, and loyal to the party as they kept a watchful eye on her. The players were fascinated by the flavor of that NPC, though some characters did not fully approve of her. And she allowed me to add more intrigue to the campaign, which the players wanted.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
The way you've phrased it (players who want to play ancestries you don't like need to remove themselves from the Pathfinder setting entirely) is pretty offensive.

Apologies for giving offence. That was not the intent. My intent was:

Problem: GM doesn’t like goblins and other monstrous races as PCs in Golarion.
Problem: Players want to use the full suite of ancestries that Paizo produce as PC appropriate content.

so we have a few solutions:
1) GM let’s players play what they want but has NPCs act in accordance with how he thinks they should and completely derails every campaign by refusing to let monstrous races in cities.
2) GM changes the setting to something he dislikes.
3) Players are banned from using the rule content they want
4) GM finds a setting that better handles monstrous races.

I think option 4 is best for any group that has this dilemma.

CrystalSeas wrote:
Perhaps you could rephrase it as "my group and I are going to limit ourselves to traditional ancesteries in our home games".

I could. But that would just be an outright lie. So I won’t be.


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Ruzza wrote:


Why would the demographics of cities change drastically? These are races that already exist in the world. Making a new ancestry in a TRPG doesn't *pop* them into the world like an MMO expansion.

I prefer games where players play races appropriate to the region that the game is taking place in. So either you make the ancestry appropriate to the place or you ban it from the game. I prefer not to ban countless options from a rule set. I consider that working against the game and would just play a different game instead.


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You can tell a story about how any kind of person ended up anywhere. I see no problem with letting PCs play goblins, orcs, lizardpeople, ambulatory voids, or whatever provided that's the story they want to tell.

Like "player characters" are exceptionally rare. There's probably like 100 of them in the world at any given time. If a dozen of them are goblins, 6 of them are changelings, 9 of them are planar scions, etc. that's NBD as far as I see it.


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Ruzza wrote:


That said, if it's coming down to table preference, then this whole thread is just rather silly. I mean, this whole thread IS rather silly.

Its always great when people throw around labels like racist because of how they like to play board games.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

You can tell a story about how any kind of person ended up anywhere. I see no problem with letting PCs play goblins, orcs, lizardpeople, ambulatory voids, or whatever provided that's the story they want to tell.

Like "player characters" are exceptionally rare. There's probably like 100 of them in the world at any given time. If a dozen of them are goblins, 6 of them are changelings, 9 of them are planar scions, etc. that's NBD as far as I see it.

I completely agree with you, but remember that JL106 is talking about THEIR preference in a game. So I can see them making the appropriate changes to their home game.

That said, if it's coming down to table preference, then this whole thread is just rather silly. I mean, this whole thread IS rather silly.


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Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?

They wouldn't. They might, however, turn to the elf, dwarf and humans accompanying the orc. If the other party members can vouch for the orc, or at least promise to keep him in line, then the town might, reluctantly, put up with him.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?

They wouldn't. And therein lies good roleplaying and problem solving.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?

Because a town that is regularly attacked by human bandits aren't going to attack every human who wanders into town?

Like "one lone anything" isn't much of a raid, so you're probably just going to keep an eye on them.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?
They wouldn't. They might, however, turn to the elf, dwarf and humans accompanying the orc. If the other party members can vouch for the orc, or at least promise to keep him in line, then the town might, reluctantly, put up with him.

Yeah. I find going through that process each and every time the PCs go somewhere new to be quite obnoxious. I mean, I’ve done it. I played Living Forgotten Realms for crying out loud where almost no one played a PHB1 race.. I’d just rather play a game where orcs (and other races)have a completely different culture/attitudes towards the playable ancestries Paizo is producing.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I think option 4 is best for any group that has this dilemma.

I mean, if a GM hates monstrous races, they won't suddenly like monstrous races more if you change the paint job on the setting.

Option 4 only really applies if someone very specifically hates monstrous races in one specific context but is otherwise fine with them for whatever reason.

Which I know is your circumstance, but it's also a really specific one and so I'm not sure is really generally applicable.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?

Because a town that is regularly attacked by human bandits aren't going to attack every human who wanders into town?

Like "one lone anything" isn't much of a raid, so you're probably just going to keep an eye on them.

And when the party is a goblin, hobgoblin and 2 orcs? Or god forbid just four orcs? Hardly a lone orc then. Certainly looks like a raiding party to me.


It's like you said earlier, it doesn't sound like a game YOU want to run. And that's okay! But it sounds like a game that those four players want to play. And I'm not speaking for every GM here, but I know that I've run those sorts of games plenty of times in the past (in PF1 and others). I don't see how goblins being core is still suddenly awful.


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Ruzza wrote:
But it sounds like a game that those four players want to play...I don't see how goblins being core is still suddenly awful.

1) That’s why I’m facilitating that play by giving them a setting where they can choose whatever mechanical benefits they want.

2) If they want to play a PC that is distrusted in every town I can facilitate that play as well (most players in my experience don’t want that sort of play.
2) I have not said once in this thread that goblins as core is bad :)

Liberty's Edge

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If everyone is playing orcs somewhere in Avistan, I'd expect that dealing with and overcoming such prejudices are major things they are interested in.

Of course, as has been established for years that's not their reputation at all in the Mwangi Expanse, which is also part of Golarion, and one where orcs are seen in a much more positive light. Likewise, a game set in Katapesh or Nex nobody's gonna look twice at a Goblin, Tiefling, or just about anything else a player might play.

There are certainly places in Golarion that being a goblin will get you looked at funny, and others where it might get you dead, but that isn't nearly as universal as people seem to be saying it is.


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Goblin entry in Inner Sea World Guide (dont have the page number. Its just a couple of sentences) plus the overwhelming praise that goblins got for their portrayal in the first book of Rise of the Runelords and the first We Be Goblins module might have something to do with that perception, no matter how much Paizo might have tried to walk it back in the years since.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Goblin entry in Inner Sea World Guide (dont have the page number. Its just a couple of sentences) plus the overwhelming praise that goblins got for their portrayal in the first book of Rise of the Runelords and the first We Be Goblins module might have something to do with that perception, no matter how much Paizo might have tried to walk it back in the years since.

Certainly. But that doesn't mean it's actually a universal impression in-universe. And, indeed, there have been several ongoing things that indicate it isn't.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
But it sounds like a game that those four players want to play...I don't see how goblins being core is still suddenly awful.

1) That’s why I’m facilitating that play by giving them a setting where they can choose whatever mechanical benefits they want.

2) If they want to play a PC that is distrusted in every town I can facilitate that play as well (most players in my experience don’t want that sort of play.
2) I have not said once in this thread that goblins as core is bad :)

1. Great! But this isn't a thread about your Eberron campaign.

2. Also great!
3. So wait, what is your concern?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why would a town that routinely gets attacked by orcs and the only orcs they’ve ever known are “rough and savage humanoids ... surviving primarily by raiding other races” turn to an orc PC they’ve never, ever met for help?
They wouldn't. They might, however, turn to the elf, dwarf and humans accompanying the orc. If the other party members can vouch for the orc, or at least promise to keep him in line, then the town might, reluctantly, put up with him.
Yeah. I find going through that process each and every time the PCs go somewhere new to be quite obnoxious. I mean, I’ve done it. I played Living Forgotten Realms for crying out loud where almost no one played a PHB1 race.. I’d just rather play a game where orcs (and other races)have a completely different culture/attitudes towards the playable ancestries Paizo is producing.

Remember comment #21 I made yesterday, where I described the goblin character that would join the party in my upcoming Ironfang Invasion campaign? The rest of the party's characters will be a halfling, elf, gnome, and lizardfolk. The town of Phaendar consists of 305 humans, 32 half-orcs, 21 dwarves, 17 half-elves, and 28 other. The goblin is an outsider, but the other PCs are part of the "28 other." They are the town's newest and strangest residents: a halfling animal-whisperer scoundrel rogue who herds goats for the blacksmith Blondebeard, an elf Chernasardo-hopeful flurry ranger training under retired half-blind Chernasardo ranger Aurbrin, a gnome herbalist stormborn druid Stormdancer on one of her many visits to town, and a lizardfolk world-weary liberator champion who lives upriver.

That offers potential for a great story. Aubrin will send her apprentice to guard the refugees because Aubrin wants to be in town fighting the hobgoblin raiders rather than babysitting the most helpless townsfolk. The new residents will be told to stay out of the way and guard the helpless because they are strange. And that will put them in the right place to begin the first module, Trail of the Hunted, as written with no dishonor on their part.

And when the goblin refugees mix with the human refugees, they will have friction and conflict for the PCs to resolve. I love a moral dimension to my campaigns.

Why would I want the PCs to fit a standard mold for standard adventures? The histories of the different ancestries of the PCs will matter and will make the campaign unique and memorable.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
So you don't find it realistic for a person who has suffered atrocities at the hands of a group of beings, a group of beings that is well known for perpetrating atrocities mind you, to want to wipe them out?

You're attempting to normalize and rationalize genocide. Take a moment and try and think about that being 'good'.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


Also, "If you want to play an intolerant vengeance driven character you must be a racist irl" is kind of a ...strong.. statement to make.

It is sort of a strong statement to make. The flip side is "Why do you WANT to play a racist character". There's 'exploring aspects that we don't live', which is why the White wolf games made mad bank overall. But there's also "You're a raicst as your hobby" and 'where/how's that get fun'??

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


The point of a roleplay game, imo, is to play something other than what you are.

In general, I agree. Strongly. I'm the one that never plays human. I -always- play something else (Often Goblin or the like)

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
It might be only slightly different, like a brave heroic daredevil played by an average timid nerd like me, or it might be completely different like a utterly self centered, unsympathetic killer played by someone who cries at anime(also me).

Again. I get that. Sometimes we like playing out dark aspects and reveling in being the villain.

That said there's a difference between playing an unsympathetic killer... a 'bad guy' a 'murderer' and..... playing a Rapist.

While I can say that MANY if not a MAJORITY of Roleplayers sometimes play bad guys or even murderers. That cannot be said for 'playing a rapist'. Because that circles back around to "Who thinks THAT is fun?"
And if there's a person that DOES think that rape is fun to play out.. well at the very very least, they're not welcome at MY table. And that's the -best case- sort of response. It's likly to invoke a much more hostile reaction.

So while Racism isn't the same level of universal revulsion that rape is, it's in the same category to a lesser extent.

And trying to play a rampid racist that is 'ok' with Genocide. Well you can make one, but don't try and sell it as a good guy.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


And since this convo seems to have swerved into the subject of alignments, don't forget that alignments aren't expressed in a narrow band. There's plenty of wiggle room for someone to be of a particular alignment but skirting slipping over into another.

There is some wiggle room.

"Genocide" is a bit beyond the wiggle.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
One unsympathetic act does not a Chaotic Evil character make.

Depends on the act. Rape/unmidigated murder. Yeah.. yeah it does.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


A person can well be a Lawful Good person with problematic views.

They most certinly can. Fighting one's own views and nature in such a case can lead to good RP. Especially say if a lawful good person was brought up in a bad society that said such things as blanket racism is ok, and he's fighting that in himself to be 'better' than that BS.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:


A dwarf who is Lawful Good can very much see goblins/orcs/whatever as pests
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
to be exterminated

No. see this slips back into trying to hand wave genocide as being socially acceptable or some such.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
and retain his LG alignment. After all, he'll still act LG in every other circumstance and towards everyone else.

you don't get to be "lawful good" In everything EXCEPT Genocide of an entire species, or "Except" for being ok with raping people or "EXCEPT" _____ or _______

Liberty's Edge

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Attitudes don't make you Evil (though they can be indicative of it), but actions do even if they're 'out of character' (ie: you're LG all day every day except for all the genocide).

A LG Dwarf can indeed be racist, and might even call orcs and goblins pests and the like...but the moment he actually tries any extermination efforts (rather than just having an unpleasant attitude), he's crossed a line and is pretty much not Good any more.

A LG racist may have unfortunate attitudes, but is still the sort of person who, if they saw an in injured member of the race they're prejudiced against lying in the road, would stop to help them. That's the part that makes them Good.


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

So we’ve wandered a bit off topic, so to summarize the progoblin viewpoints:
While the PF2 take on goblins can feel like a retcon, it is probably more accurately described as a continuation of how goblins have been presented in cannon throughout the course of PF1
It is also a continuation of how Paizo seems to have moved as a company, with their noticeable efforts to make every ancestry less “kill on sight” and more “frowned on” at worst.
No matter how much it has or had not been justified, it won’t work for every table and player. That’s okay. I personally would hope you’d at least trust Paizo far enough to not demand the retcon it all away at THIS point, but rather let them tell the stories they want to tell, even when you aren’t the audience for them.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, where did the OP go?


Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?

Off to set more fires and run away cackling, I suppose.

Dark Archive

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Most of what this thread has evolved into is why I’m happy Paizo chose to include that beginning information on inclusion. I’m completely in agreement that committing genocide or even being okay with genocide would allow someone to be good (as a real world example, a group of people believed that they were doing God’s work, being the epitome of good, and saw another group of people as the cause of their social, political, and economic downfall, and as such these people were forced into labor and murdered in vast numbers: this describes the Nazi extermination of Jews, the Transatlantic Slave trade, the genocide of Basque people, and the Hutu and Tutsi genocide, as well as many other cases throughout history). I don’t know of anyone in their right mind who would believe that any of these were the acts of good people.

Liberty's Edge

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Ruzza wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?
Off to set more fires and run away cackling, I suppose.

There's no need to assume malice here. Checking our OP's posting history, it's long, but sporadic, with only 45 posts over more than 12 years. They likely haven't responded because they haven't gotten back to this thread yet.

Their posts also show basically no evidence of being a troll or anything similar. They've certainly started threads and then not posted further, but this seems to be the only one on a particularly divisive topic.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?
Off to set more fires and run away cackling, I suppose.

There's no need to assume malice here. Checking our OP's posting history, it's long, but sporadic, with only 45 posts over more than 12 years. They likely haven't responded because they haven't gotten back to this thread yet.

Their posts also show basically no evidence of being a troll or anything similar. They've certainly started threads and then not posted further, but this seems to be the only one on a particularly divisive topic.

For the record, I want to be clear that I meant this in jest. I don't believe they started this topic with the intent to get people up in arms against each other.


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Pepsi Jedi wrote:
...

"You're attempting to normalize and rationalize genocide. Take a moment and try and think about that being 'good'."

How did you manage to get that out of what I wrote? Is my english not clear enough? That is not in any way what I wrote.

"It is sort of a strong statement to make. The flip side is "Why do you WANT to play a racist character". There's 'exploring aspects that we don't live', which is why the White wolf games made mad bank overall. But there's also "You're a raicst as your hobby" and 'where/how's that get fun'??"
You kind of answered yourself there. Exploring aspects of life that we don't live or even want to live. It gets fun in the same way acting as the villain is fun. Maybe I'm different because I'm usually the DM, which means I play ALL the bad guys, and I try to understand their motivations and mindsets so they aren't boring cardboard cutouts.

The rest of your post seems like you're trying to equate a character that is somewhat racist with being a mass murderer and a rapist, which I can only say I entirely disagree with. Apologies if I'm mistaken in my reading there.


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"I'm not racist, I swear.... but it's extremely important that I get to be racist and genocidal in my shared-world fantasy roleplaying."

Just another day on the Paizo forums.


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Ruzza wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
But it sounds like a game that those four players want to play...I don't see how goblins being core is still suddenly awful.

1) That’s why I’m facilitating that play by giving them a setting where they can choose whatever mechanical benefits they want.

2) If they want to play a PC that is distrusted in every town I can facilitate that play as well (most players in my experience don’t want that sort of play.
2) I have not said once in this thread that goblins as core is bad :)

1. Great! But this isn't a thread about your Eberron campaign.

2. Also great!
3. So wait, what is your concern?

1) Great. But if I see people with similar problems I'm going to propose similar solutions! And if people tell me that my solution "is bad" for various reasons, I'll point out how I've taken those things into account (and if they point out something I've overlooked, then I'll certainly consider their point). If people don't want to discuss my solution they're more than welcome not to :)

3) I don't understand. I'm not the OP in this thread. I simply came in here to point out a potential solution to their problem.

Mathmuse wrote:

The rest of the party's characters will be a halfling, elf, gnome, and lizardfolk. The town of Phaendar consists of 305 humans, 32 half-orcs, 21 dwarves, 17 half-elves, and 28 other. The goblin is an outsider, but the other PCs are part of the "28 other." They are the town's newest and strangest residents: a halfling animal-whisperer scoundrel rogue who herds goats for the blacksmith Blondebeard, an elf Chernasardo-hopeful flurry ranger training under retired half-blind Chernasardo ranger Aurbrin, a gnome herbalist stormborn druid Stormdancer on one of her many visits to town, and a lizardfolk world-weary liberator champion who lives upriver.

That offers potential for a great story.

Sounds like your a good fit for your group and your going to have a lot of fun games with Pathfinder 2nd edition. That's awesome!

Mathmuse wrote:
Why would I want the PCs to fit a standard mold for standard adventures? The histories of the different ancestries of the PCs will matter and will make the campaign unique and memorable.

All depends on what you want the story of your campaign to be about. If your players want to play a game where they are monstrous races and they have to overcome adversity at every new corner then that sounds like a fun game where that's the focus. If I want to play a game about saving a country from the evil undead cult who are trying to resurrect some evil undead, I'm probably not going to want every single new town to be derailed by the entire town refusing to trust the orc player. But if that sounds like a fun game to you, then you should definitely go for it! I know if every single one of my players wanted to play that sort of game, I'd definitely be able to make it the focus of the campaign.

I personally prefer games where the players start out as ordinary people and become notable for their actions throughout the campaign. So being the "20% other" wouldn't really fit in well with that because the PCs are going to already be special before they've even started the game.

But that's certainly a personal choice. I know when I started playing D&D back in 2008 many people had similar tastes to me. Lots of other people wanted to play superheroes right at level 1 and wanted to be special the moment they made their character. That's certainly a valid approach and I think Pathfinder is broad enough it can cater to both groups :)

Pepsi Jedi wrote:
You're attempting to normalize and rationalize genocide. Take a moment and try and think about that being 'good'.

In most games I've played in certain races (including but not limited to orcs, goblins, gnolls) are typically attacked when met in the wilderness. And if the PC's don't take the initiative and attack them, then the other side will 99% attack them.

Saying someone is playing a racist character seems like a strange way to approach a conversation about what is effectively an old school video game.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"In the there's a race of dark-skinned always-evil humanoids called Giggers, notorious murderers and drug dealers, who are KOS for PC organization, Knights of The White Cross. Giggers used to be slaves to more refined races until some stupid king granted them freedom, and it's been nothing but downhill for the Kingdom of Springfield since then."

Now, did I just describe a completely run-the-mill "normal, nothing unusual about it" fantasy scenario, or did I just whistle the special tune so that fellows Crusaders know that the battle for White Christian Civilization is far from lost?

It's so awfully hard to tell, isn't it?


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Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?

With the number of suggestions getting thrown about whether or not something is racist, I'm not surprised the OP went into hiding.

It's pretty hard these days on the Paizo forums to have a conversation about a D&D game without people questioning whether your playing a racist or are a racist.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Yeah, for example in my game there's a race of dark-skinned always-evil humanoids called Giggers, notorious murderers and drug dealers, who are KOS for my group, Knights of The White Cross. Giggers used to be slaves to more refined races until some stupid king granted them freedom, and it's been nothing but downhill for the Kingdom of Springfield since then.

Now, did I just describe a completely run-the-mill "normal, nothing unusal about it" fantasy scenario, or did I just whistle the special tune so that fellows Crusaders know that the battle for White Christian Civilization is far from lost?

It's so awfully hard to tell, isn't it?

I'm sorry, are you trying to suggest something about people on this forum? or is this just a trademark Gorbacz post that everyone should ignore?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
In most games I've played in certain races (including but not limited to orcs, goblins, gnolls) are typically attacked when met in the wilderness. And if the PC's don't take the initiative and attack them, then the other side will 99% attack them.

Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Yeah, for example in my game there's a race of dark-skinned always-evil humanoids called Giggers, notorious murderers and drug dealers, who are KOS for my group, Knights of The White Cross. Giggers used to be slaves to more refined races until some stupid king granted them freedom, and it's been nothing but downhill for the Kingdom of Springfield since then.

Now, did I just describe a completely run-the-mill "normal, nothing unusal about it" fantasy scenario, or did I just whistle the special tune so that fellows Crusaders know that the battle for White Christian Civilization is far from lost?

It's so awfully hard to tell, isn't it?

I'm sorry, are you trying to suggest something about people on this forum? or is this just a trademark Gorbacz post that everyone should ignore?

More about people who want a Kill-on-Sight race and implement them in their games as GM or try to justify that mindset as Good as a player and all that entails and bleeds into. People ascribe what they see as negative aspects, stereotypes, and caricatures onto things they don’t like so it’s rather noticeable.


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Rysky wrote:
Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?

Nope. The same way I don't question in a Final Fantasy game "should I really be fighting this random encounter. Clearly the enemy has a family and is simply impoverished. I on the other hand have thousands of gil which I could totally spare." Instead I just defeat the random encounter. Similarly in D&D I typically don't question "why are we fighting monsters from the monster manual, a book that is filled with monsters for us to fight, gain XP and progress in the story."

Now, I did make it a key point (as a player) as something I wanted to explore in a very specific campaign. We ended up recreating Azkaban Prison, had worgs on the government payroll and generally created an evil kingdom (which was not my goal. Alas I seemed to keep missing key game nights where these things were occurring). But typically if there's a monster in our way to achieving the goal of the adventure, we're going to consider the best way to overcome the challenge that the monster represents and then execute that plan.

I mean, I get the impression a lot of people here, if thrown into the B1 Caves of Chaos adventure, would try to negotiate a peace between the monsters and the farmers. And they'd probably try to get the farmers to leave because clearly they've displaced the local races and taken over their ancestral lands and are in fact asking the PCs to commit genocide by "getting rid of the monsters in the Caves of Chaos". However I expect most groups would just take a combat oriented solution to the problem (and occasionally try to pit the different factions against each other).


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Rysky wrote:
More about people who want a Kill-on-Sight race and implement them in their games as GM or try to justify that mindset as Good as a player and all that entails and bleeds into. People ascribe what they see as negative aspects, stereotypes, and caricatures onto things they don’t like so it’s rather noticeable.

This seems like it has a lot of dancing around the topic as well. I like things said nice and straight forward as I find it leaves the least amount of room for misunderstanding.

Gorbacz? Rysky? Is there something you want to point blank say about specific people because of how they play a game? Or are you good?


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Rysky wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
In most games I've played in certain races (including but not limited to orcs, goblins, gnolls) are typically attacked when met in the wilderness. And if the PC's don't take the initiative and attack them, then the other side will 99% attack them.
Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?

Nah, I actually like having fun and don't try to look at everything from the perspective of everythings racist/sexist.

The game involves going around killing people, I'm sure I could pull negative implications out of my ass on just about all of it it, if that was the aim.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?
Nope. The same way I don't question in a Final Fantasy game "should I really be fighting this random encounter.

FF random encounters don’t have lore or buildup for their species, they’re just that. Random encounters that randomly attack you, there’s no culture or look into their mindsets.

That’s completely different than a TTRPG where creatures go beyond random encounters and have lore and mindsets and are people, not just a fight mechanic.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
More about people who want a Kill-on-Sight race and implement them in their games as GM or try to justify that mindset as Good as a player and all that entails and bleeds into. People ascribe what they see as negative aspects, stereotypes, and caricatures onto things they don’t like so it’s rather noticeable.

This seems like it has a lot of dancing around the topic as well. I like things said nice and straight forward as I find it leaves the least amount of room for misunderstanding.

Gorbacz? Rysky? Is there something you want to point blank say about specific people because of how they play a game? Or are you good?

I didn’t feel like I was dancing around anything?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
More about people who want a Kill-on-Sight race and implement them in their games as GM or try to justify that mindset as Good as a player and all that entails and bleeds into. People ascribe what they see as negative aspects, stereotypes, and caricatures onto things they don’t like so it’s rather noticeable.

This seems like it has a lot of dancing around the topic as well. I like things said nice and straight forward as I find it leaves the least amount of room for misunderstanding.

Gorbacz? Rysky? Is there something you want to point blank say about specific people because of how they play a game? Or are you good?

I don't want to point blank say about specific people and I'm not good.

I was just pointing out to how very easy it is to blur lines between "normal fantasy" and racism. It's so because Tolkien was an idiot who didn't think through the implications of his writing, it's so because Lovecraft and a bunch of his buddies were flat out racists, it's because hardly anybody paused to rethink some things along the way, Gygax and Arneson included, it's because until recently Americans were gleefully naively thinking that they live in a post-racial society and stuff like this doesn't matter now that Bad Things Are Behind Us.

Turns out, they don't, turns out, fantasy (including gaming) is increasingly dropping the "oh, we're just a hobby for kids, why ask difficult questions" card and confronting them head on. Of course, that's not going to sit well with all the "it's just a game, why bring politics into it?" people but news flash, it was all political all along, you just never noticed that.


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Rysky wrote:
Nope. The same way I don't question in a Final Fantasy game "should I really be fighting this random encounter.

FF random encounters don’t have lore or buildup for their species, they’re just that. Random encounters that randomly attack you, there’s no culture or look into their mindsets.

That’s completely different than a TTRPG where creatures go beyond random encounters and have lore and mindsets and are people, not just a fight mechanic.

Some of them do. FF7 shinra soldiers do. Those totally have lots of lore, culture and mindsets. I mean, they're people who might even be a neighbour! (hard to tell with those informs). Same with soldiers in FF13 (the protagonist is even an ex soldier from memory).

You might consider those protagonists to be mass murderers. But do you really judge the players who choose to play those sorts of games?

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Doompatrol wrote:
Rysky wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
In most games I've played in certain races (including but not limited to orcs, goblins, gnolls) are typically attacked when met in the wilderness. And if the PC's don't take the initiative and attack them, then the other side will 99% attack them.
Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?

Nah, I actually like having fun and don't try to look at everything from the perspective of everythings racist/sexist.

The game involves going around killing people, I'm sure I could pull negative implications out of my ass on just about all of it it, if that was the aim.

So what about when things are racist/sexist?

There’s nothing to pull, are you going around killing people because they’re doing evil things or because of what they look like?


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Gorbacz wrote:
I don't want to point blank say about specific people and I'm not good.

So were your comments not directed at any posters in this thread? It was kinda hard to tell with your post. I find plain speaking tends to help avoid any possibly confusion.

Gorbacz wrote:
I was just pointing out to how very easy it is to blur lines between "normal fantasy" and borderline racism.

I don't think your post contained any nuance whatsoever. I find the gulf between what I've experienced at the gaming table and what you posted to be quite wide indeed. If you want to play a game with that G-race you mentioned (choosing not to repeat your offensive word no matter how poorly you pretended to mask it) then that's on you. I don't think I've ever gamed with anyone who chose to play that sort of way though.

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I'd like to take the opportunity to state on the record that Mikaze Was Right, and it was his/her relentless battle for quit-the-always-evil that made me rethink some things and change my views. Apparently, they also made an impact with Paizo, too. Thanks, Mikaze, wherever you are, you shining cosmic butterfly.


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Rysky wrote:
So what about when things are racist/sexist?

I don't find fighting things in the monster manual to be racist or sexist. There are no african americans in there, australian aboriginals, chinese, japanese or any other type of real world ethnicity. Nor have I ever played with anyone who targeted people because they were female.

Do you regularly play games where your fighting real world ethnicities or people target others based on gender? (okay. I do admit I've played with people who've taken the "I refuse to hit a woman" road. But most people tend to grow out of that).


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Rysky wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
Rysky wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
In most games I've played in certain races (including but not limited to orcs, goblins, gnolls) are typically attacked when met in the wilderness. And if the PC's don't take the initiative and attack them, then the other side will 99% attack them.
Annnnd you never stopped to think why this setup might not be a good thing?

Nah, I actually like having fun and don't try to look at everything from the perspective of everythings racist/sexist.

The game involves going around killing people, I'm sure I could pull negative implications out of my ass on just about all of it it, if that was the aim.

So what about when things are racist/sexist?

There’s nothing to pull, are you going around killing people because they’re doing evil things or because of what they look like?

Then its racist or sexist and my character will react how I've designed them whether its the paladin I played who teamed up with a Goblin tribe to take down invading giants (3.5) or the Hobgoblin I played who considers Goblins an underclass.

Depends on the character.

But it's clear that you've made generalizations about real people if they do something involving make believe characters.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Quote:
Nope. The same way I don't question in a Final Fantasy game "should I really be fighting this random encounter.

FF random encounters don’t have lore or buildup for their species, they’re just that. Random encounters that randomly attack you, there’s no culture or look into their mindsets.

That’s completely different than a TTRPG where creatures go beyond random encounters and have lore and mindsets and are people, not just a fight mechanic.

Some of them do. FF7 shinra soldiers do. Those totally have lots of lore, culture and mindsets. I mean, they're people who might even be a neighbour! (hard to tell with those informs). Same with soldiers in FF13 (the protagonist is even an ex soldier from memory).

You might consider those protagonists to be mass murderers. But do you really judge the players who choose to play those sorts of games?

Yes the Shinra soldiers do.

You’re also not going around killing them just for being human are you?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
So what about when things are racist/sexist?

I don't find fighting things in the monster manual to be racist or sexist. There are no african americans in there, australian aboriginals, chinese, japanese or any other type of real world ethnicity. Nor have I ever played with anyone who targeted people because they were female.

Do you regularly play games where your fighting real world ethnicities or people target others based on gender? (okay. I do admit I've played with people who've taken the "I refuse to hit a woman" road. But most people tend to grow out of that).

Out of the creatures, playable and not, in the Bestiary which ones do you fight not because they’re doing something evil but just because what they look like?

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