Goblins as a race


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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

I typically don't kill goblins or orcs for being goblins or orcs. I kill them because the adventure has given me a goal (save the farmers, get the treasure in the cave) and the goblins and orcs are a challenge that needs to be overcome. Often the easiest way to overcome that challenge is to kill them.

Is that actually okay to 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).

Let's try the last time, plain language:

If you say that there's a race of intelligent humanoids that's OK to be killed because they're always evil, you're enabling and inviting people who, for example, say that they want to kill some drow but what they REALLY want is to play out their fantasy of killing people with dark skin with the society cheering for them and with no repercussions and with phat loot and XP as rewards.

Just as some people play RPGs to play out their fantasies of being knights in shining armour, of being rich and successful or of being accepted in the society, or of being good at something, there are people who want to play out less harmless ideas.

The fact that you've never had them at the table is beside the point. I've never had somebody who was racist (I think), but I've have had my share of homophobes, Islamophobes and misogynists who would in one way or another project their fantasies onto the game. All of them got the boot. At least one of them is now running around screaming about how the disclaimers in PF2 make the game unplayable for him because the game is now tainted with politics. Well played Paizo, at least one idiot less in the playerbase.

Does changing the setting banish such people into nonexistence? No. Does it make them feel less welcome and enabled? Hopefully.


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I feel like the thread, somewhat inevitably, is getting out of hand. The original question is, "What happened to the evil goblins?" And I think the answer is, "Paizo wants to develop nuance in Golarion's depiction of fantasy races, rather than promoting murder hobo-ism as the default." IMO it's totally fine to play murder hobos still, if you're not looking to have a deep conversation with your experience and instead just want to role play a badass fantasy warrior, but realize that Paizo is making an intentional move away from that type of role playing and adjust the assumptions of your game/world accordingly. Probably remove goblins as a core race as well, or otherwise just treat goblins the same as any other race, in that this group of goblins you're fighting explicitly did something evil.


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Rysky wrote:
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?

Is this racist to you: Goblins are a constant problem that threatens the local town. In order to deal with this problem the townsfolk kill goblins who approach the town. They might make an exception for 1 goblin that's got 4 white people to vouch for them, but if a party of 5 goblins approach they will attack.

Is that racist?

What about this? A group of PCs need to approach the Cave of Treasure to get the treasure. A farmer has warned them that the orcs in the area attack people on sight. The PCs find the orcs and going around them will add 3 hours to the trip and there is no guarantee that they won't come upon more orcs through the detour. They decide to attack the orcs and try to kill them.

Is that racist?

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Doompatrol wrote:
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.

You don’t keep a look out for racist or sexist elements but you’ll just know if it’s racist or sexist?

And If they [general] are trying to pass off fantasy racism as a good thing and try to justify it that tells me quite a bit about them.


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Gorbacz wrote:

If you say that there's a race of intelligent humanoids that's OK to be killed because they're always evil, you're enabling and inviting people who, for example, say that they want to kill some drow but what they REALLY want is to play out their fantasy of killing people with dark skin with the society cheering for them and with no repercussions and with phat loot and XP as rewards.

Just as some people play RPGs to play out their fantasies of being knights in shining armour, of being rich and successful or of being accepted in the society, or of being good at something, there are people who want to play out less harmless ideas.

That's easy. I don't play with racists (or at least, I didn't). So I don't need to worry about people playing out their real life fantasies about eradicating all <insert group here>. We also don't typically associate certain fictional species with real life ethnicities.

That was so much easier to clear up :)

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
You’re also not going around killing them just for being human are you?

I typically don't kill goblins or orcs for being goblins or orcs. I kill them because the adventure has given me a goal (save the farmers, get the treasure in the cave) and the goblins and orcs are a challenge that needs to be overcome. Often the easiest way to overcome that challenge is to kill them.

Is that actually okay to you?

In the case of “save the farmers” you’re attacking then because they’re doing something evil, not because they’re orcs or goblins. The same thing would occur with human bandits.


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Rysky wrote:
In the case of “save the farmers” you’re attacking then because they’re doing something evil, not because they’re orcs or goblins. The same thing would occur with human bandits.

Wow. I think the people who feel like they've taken the moral high road, if they agree with Rysky's statements, have vastly misrepresented/misunderstood what people want when they say "I want to be able to kill goblins on sight". Because typically adventures will present players with a scenario and then provide encounters within the context of that scenario. And those adventures will provide the context where "goblins are doing evil things" and so are therefore 100% okay to kill on sight.

G$!#*+n the f!+~ing internet!

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
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?

Is this racist to you: Goblins are a constant problem that threatens the local town. In order to deal with this problem the townsfolk kill goblins who approach the town. They might make an exception for 1 goblin that's got 4 white people to vouch for them, but if a party of 5 goblins approach they will attack.

Is that racist?

What about this? A group of PCs need to approach the Cave of Treasure to get the treasure. A farmer has warned them that the orcs in the area attack people on sight. The PCs find the orcs and going around them will add 3 hours to the trip and there is no guarantee that they won't come upon more orcs through the detour. They decide to attack the orcs and try to kill them.

Is that racist?

Any and all goblins just for being near the town? Yes that’s racist.

Why are the orcs attacking anyone on sight?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
In the case of “save the farmers” you’re attacking then because they’re doing something evil, not because they’re orcs or goblins. The same thing would occur with human bandits.

Wow. I think the people who feel like they've taken the moral high road, if they agree with Rysky's statements, have vastly misrepresented/misunderstood what people want when they say "I want to be able to kill goblins on sight". Because typically adventures will present players with a scenario and then provide encounters within the context of that scenario. And those adventures will provide the context where "goblins are doing evil things" and so are therefore 100% okay to kill on sight.

G@!$~$n the f*+%ing internet!

”I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory.


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Rysky wrote:

Any and all goblins just for being near the town? Yes that’s racist.

Why are the orcs attacking anyone on sight?

But 100% of goblins that town have encountered have always attacked the town. You just established that so long as "the goblins have provided a reason to justify killing" that's not racist. So why is it racist for the townsfolk?

The orcs are attacking on sight because they enslave other creatures (they trade with duergar who sell the slaves to other races including drow). If the PCs are not suitable for enslaving then they want to kill them as they consider the PCs to be a threat that needs to be neutralised.


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Rysky wrote:
”I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory.

Please explain it to me. What you consider self explanatory is completely going over my head. I would definitely appreciate you enlightening me :)

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Any and all goblins just for being near the town? Yes that’s racist.

Why are the orcs attacking anyone on sight?

But 100% of goblins that town have encountered have always attacked the town. You just established that so long as "the goblins have provided a reason to justify killing" that's not racist. So why is it racist for the townsfolk?

The orcs are attacking on sight because they enslave other creatures (they trade with duergar who sell the slaves to other races including drow). If the PCs are not suitable for enslaving then they want to kill them as they consider the PCs to be a threat that needs to be neutralised.

”The goblins are attacking” is a reason.

“The goblin is a goblin” is not.

Then killing the human slavers would not be evil. Or duergar slavers. Or orc slavers. Because they’re slavers.


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Rysky wrote:

”The goblins are attacking” is a reason.

“The goblin is a goblin” is not.

So when the townsfolk see heavily armed goblins walking towards the village they should always wait for the goblins to attack first and potentially cause an increase in the loss of life the townsfolk suffer? Because until that goblin attacks, they can't use past experiences whatsoever to judge whether or not the goblin is a threat?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

”The goblins are attacking” is a reason.

“The goblin is a goblin” is not.

So when the townsfolk see heavily armed goblins walking towards the village they should always wait for the goblins to attack first and potentially cause an increase in the loss of life the townsfolk suffer? Because until that goblin attacks, they can't use past experiences whatsoever to judge whether or not the goblin is a threat?

And they can’t call out to them or otherwise gauge their intentions why?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
”I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory.
Please explain it to me. What you consider self explanatory is completely going over my head. I would definitely appreciate you enlightening me :)

”I want to kill someone because of their skin color or physical features rather than because of anything they’ve done” is bad.


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Rysky wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
”I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory.
Please explain it to me. What you consider self explanatory is completely going over my head. I would definitely appreciate you enlightening me :)
”I want to kill someone because of their skin color or physical features rather than because of anything they’ve done” is bad.

I don't see anyone talking about skin colour. What a strange thing for you to bring up. I see people talking about fictional species.

I think I'll let this conversation drop as you seem quite ready to ascribe motives to people based on very little.

If you honestly think someone is a racist because they like to play D&D where monsters in the monster manual are attacked and killed, then shame on you.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
But 100% of goblins that town have encountered have always attacked the town. You just established that so long as "the goblins have provided a reason to justify killing" that's not racist. So why is it racist for the townsfolk?

Yeah, that is actually racist, and how a lot of IRL racists work, having one bad experience or even just hearing about someone else's bad experience and extrapolating that to cover an entire category of people. The townspeople are making assumptions about all goblins based on the actions of a few, the group that is raiding the town. If they attacked some goblin who's not part of the raiding group just for being a goblin, that's kind of the definition there.

Edited "You" to "the townspeople".

Double edit to add, I don't think the townspeople are necessarily evil for attacking other goblins, just terrified for their lives and livelihoods. But I do think their actions are still racist/speciest (or however you write that).


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BellyBeard wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
But 100% of goblins that town have encountered have always attacked the town. You just established that so long as "the goblins have provided a reason to justify killing" that's not racist. So why is it racist for the townsfolk?

Yeah, that is actually racist, and how a lot of IRL racists work, having one bad experience or even just hearing about someone else's bad experience and extrapolating that to cover an entire category of people. The townspeople are making assumptions about all goblins based on the actions of a few, the group that is raiding the town. If they attacked some goblin who's not part of the raiding group just for being a goblin, that's kind of the definition there.

Edited "You" to "the townspeople".

So 100% the townsfolk should suffer heavy losses everytime a band of armed goblin appear "just in case THESE ones are good!"?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
”I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory.
Please explain it to me. What you consider self explanatory is completely going over my head. I would definitely appreciate you enlightening me :)
”I want to kill someone because of their skin color or physical features rather than because of anything they’ve done” is bad.

I don't see anyone talking about skin colour. What a strange thing for you to bring up. I see people talking about fictional species.

I think I'll let this conversation drop as you seem quite ready to ascribe motives to people based on very little.

If you honestly think someone is a racist because they like to play D&D where monsters in the monster manual are attacked and killed, then shame on you.

We’re talking about people wanting to be able to kill a race on sight. What do you think skin color and physical features are?

And talk about ascribing motives, I think racist elements are racist. If someone is trying to justify killing a humanoid race, not a fiend, a person just because of their race and not because of anything they’ve done as Good, well, that’s racist.


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If you like goblins as a core race, great.

If you don't like goblins as a core race, do what Paizo should have done and make it an uncommon race in your campaign.

Whether you like goblins or not as a PC race, we can all probably agree that Paizo has not yet provided enough information to fully justify this sea-change between the editions. With a handful of exceptions, we mostly only have examples of goblin culture that make them look "monstrous" and generally wouldn't explain why major towns and cities in most adventure paths wouldn't try to drive out a goblin PC. People would probably assume they're evil not because of misguided stereotypes or racism but because goblin society is generally chaotic and evil by most objective definitions based on almost all the information we've been provided over the last decade.

So instead of calling each other racists, maybe we could turn our attention to Paizo and ask for some more supporting material to help players and GMs rationalize this change and integrate goblins better into the setting if that's the goal.

Otherwise we're going to keep having this debate as long as this is what we're working with.

[EDIT]
As an example (intentionally avoiding spoilers), there's a goblin NPC in Fall of Plaguestone. This module is set in Isger, one of the places in Golarion that has probably most acutely suffered from goblins in the recent past. This is a missed opportunity to explain some of the in-world softening to goblins and it's totally glossed over.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
But 100% of goblins that town have encountered have always attacked the town. You just established that so long as "the goblins have provided a reason to justify killing" that's not racist. So why is it racist for the townsfolk?

Yeah, that is actually racist, and how a lot of IRL racists work, having one bad experience or even just hearing about someone else's bad experience and extrapolating that to cover an entire category of people. The townspeople are making assumptions about all goblins based on the actions of a few, the group that is raiding the town. If they attacked some goblin who's not part of the raiding group just for being a goblin, that's kind of the definition there.

Edited "You" to "the townspeople".

So 100% the townsfolk should suffer heavy losses everytime a band of armed goblin appear "just in case THESE ones are good!"?

You keep using this false situation.

Why do the townsfolk not try to call out to the goblins or otherwise gauge their motives?


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Straight up, this thread needs to pull up and get it's act together or get locked.


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Rysky wrote:
If someone is trying to justify killing a humanoid race...that’s racist.

Man! I thought we were talking about playing a boardgame! You guys take this to a whole another level!

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@cavernshark

There actually has been plenty of material put out, and more is constantly being put out as well. There’s a friendly tribe of goblins in Hellknight Hill, the first 2e AP.

They don’t need to explain why goblins aren’t driven out of major cities because that’s never been a thing.


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The biggest thing that's rubbing me the wrong way in this thread is the blanket judgement call that anyone who enjoys playing a setting where there's acceptable KOS races/creatures they're some hand kneading racist just looking to burn some imaginative crosses.

Like it feels in extreme poor taste to say someone playing War of the Ring and ambushing a bunch of Orcs who were off marching somewhere is a problem or Tolkein's a problem for making the Lord of the Rings a setting that allows it. You can insert other such settings besides LotR if you want (Warhammer comes readily to mind which has four(!) common KOS races without dipping into the undead/daemonic side of things), same general principle.

Can a bunch of racists co-opt that and cackle as he slakes his thirst to slaughter british soccer hooligans and be thanked for it? Sure, I guess, but for most of us we're just fighting a bunch of green mushroom people because it's fun.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
If someone is trying to justify killing a humanoid race...that’s racist.
Man! I thought we were talking about playing a boardgame! You guys take this to a whole another level!

I seem to recall you not liking me responding to sections of your posts rather than the whole thing, you quoting a part of mine and cutting a middle section out to make me look like I’m saying something else than I did doesn’t strike you as a smidge hypocritical?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
So 100% the townsfolk should suffer heavy losses everytime a band of armed goblin appear "just in case THESE ones are good!"?

No, I didn't say that at all. For one, I said a goblin, not an armed war band of goblins.

But that's beside the point. I think in their situation the townsfolk may be justified in being racist, if you're an "ends justify the means" sort of person, because being less cautious about goblins may get them and their families killed. But it is nonetheless racist. The "why" doesn't matter as much as the "what" when applying that label; as long as sweeping generalizations of people are made, the reason for making them doesn't matter.
To reiterate, I am not saying the racism itself is a thing where the townspeople are now all irredemably evil, if anything it's more of a Neutral reaction as it's almost an animal instinct to the danger they've been presented. The actions it leads to, however, can very often be evil. Killing innocents is evil even if you didn't think they were innocent, for X or Y reason. At least that's how it is in a world with definitive good and evil like Golarion.


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Has anyone objected to the title of this thread as racist yet? Or maybe even started a new thread on avoiding racism?

If so, I'm sure it was a completely genuine attempt to elevate the level of discussion on the forum, and not just trolling as some would cynically believe.

EDIT: OMG, I hadn't actually read the whole thread before my post. I can't believe it has actually devolved into a racism rant. Too funny.

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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

The biggest thing that's rubbing me the wrong way in this thread is the blanket judgement call that anyone who enjoys playing a setting where there's acceptable KOS races/creatures they're some hand kneading racist just looking to burn some imaginative crosses.

Like it feels in extreme poor taste to say someone playing War of the Ring and ambushing a bunch of Orcs who were off marching somewhere is a problem or Tolkein's a problem for making the Lord of the Rings a setting that allows it. You can insert other such settings besides LotR if you want (Warhammer comes readily to mind which has four(!) common KOS races without dipping into the undead/daemonic side of things), same general principle.

Can a bunch of racists co-opt that and cackle as he slakes his thirst to slaughter british soccer hooligans and be thanked for it? Sure, I guess, but for most of us we're just fighting a bunch of green mushroom people because it's fun.

I don’t care for Warhammer, but then we’re not talking about it or its setting.

We’re talking about Golarion, where goblins and orcs are not innately evil. They’re also not sentient fungi.


Rysky wrote:

@cavernshark

There actually has been plenty of material put out, and more is constantly being put out as well. There’s a friendly tribe of goblins in Hellknight Hill, the first 2e AP.

They don’t need to explain why goblins aren’t driven out of major cities because that’s never been a thing.

That's good to hear. I haven't had any exposure to the AP yet but that's precisely the kind of thing that's needed.

The only other place I'm aware of where goblins as a group aren't portrayed as murderous scavengers with weird idiosyncratic tribal tendencies is the PFS Breath of the Dragonskull scenario and even that deals with extreme tensions and prejudices between goblins and other groups.


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I would also enjoy if we didn't call each other racists. We can have a discussion about the in-game moral implications of shifts to the Golarion setting without doing that. I believe in us.


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Rysky wrote:
I seem to recall you not liking me responding to sections of your posts rather than the whole thing, you quoting a part of mine and cutting a middle section out to make me look like I’m saying something else than I did doesn’t strike you as a smidge hypocritical?

Your right. I took your post and made light of it. Let me see if I can clear this up. According to you "If you play a game where racist things are carried out by your character by your choice then you are racist"? Is that an accurate summary? (to be honest you dance around this issue so much I can't really tell if this is what your saying. Clarity would certainly be appreciated).

BellyBeard wrote:
No, I didn't say that at all. For one, I said a goblin, not an armed war band of goblins.

Well I'd call a party of 5 goblins a warband. But sure. You were talking singular goblin, not a party of goblins.

BellyBeard wrote:
I am not saying the racism itself is a thing where the townspeople are now all irredemably evil, if anything it's more of a Neutral reaction as it's almost an animal instinct to the danger they've been presented.

Well I don't typically go "man! These people who are being routinely attacked by the local tribe of <insert monster here> are racist". Typically I go "man, this town is in trouble. We need to help them! Probably by killing <insert monster here>." But I guess if you want to look at it along the lines of racist, that is certainly a way to play the game.

Doesn't sound very fun to me though.


BellyBeard wrote:
I would also enjoy if we didn't call each other racists. We can have a discussion about the in-game moral implications of shifts to the Golarion setting without doing that. I believe in us.

I wouldn't count on it.


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
I would also enjoy if we didn't call each other racists. We can have a discussion about the in-game moral implications of shifts to the Golarion setting without doing that. I believe in us.
I wouldn't count on it.

Past threads would indicate this is unlikely to occur. But I do like the sentiment.


BellyBeard wrote:
I would also enjoy if we didn't call each other racists. We can have a discussion about the in-game moral implications of shifts to the Golarion setting without doing that. I believe in us.

100% agreed. I have been hearing the "goblin debate" go on since the Playtest, but this has gotten out of control. I think goblins being core is great and cool, but some people don't. As always, GMs are free to ban them at their table, and I don't see MORE content being a bad thing.

On top of that, I think that Paizo has pretty much continually been treating goblins as more than murder machines. I feel like people have been reading different Golarion lore than I have when they say that all goblins are kill on sight. Especially when you consider the cultural variance across the Inner Sea.


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@Rysky

Rysky wrote:
They don’t need to explain why goblins aren’t driven out of major cities because that’s never been a thing.

If that were true, we wouldn't be having these threads every other week and it would be a lot easier to find examples of communities of goblins existing inside major Golarion cities alongside other races.

As it stands most examples we have are fringe encounters between non-evil goblin tribes and small communities. Individual goblin examples notwithstanding. And, unfortunately, most of these examples are buried in the scattered narratives of PF1 scenarios that many players may never experience.

It also doesn't help that most of the goblin traits and feats are direct callbacks to the same cultural features and traits that are used by goblin antagonists.


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Rysky wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

The biggest thing that's rubbing me the wrong way in this thread is the blanket judgement call that anyone who enjoys playing a setting where there's acceptable KOS races/creatures they're some hand kneading racist just looking to burn some imaginative crosses.

Like it feels in extreme poor taste to say someone playing War of the Ring and ambushing a bunch of Orcs who were off marching somewhere is a problem or Tolkein's a problem for making the Lord of the Rings a setting that allows it. You can insert other such settings besides LotR if you want (Warhammer comes readily to mind which has four(!) common KOS races without dipping into the undead/daemonic side of things), same general principle.

Can a bunch of racists co-opt that and cackle as he slakes his thirst to slaughter british soccer hooligans and be thanked for it? Sure, I guess, but for most of us we're just fighting a bunch of green mushroom people because it's fun.

I don’t care for Warhammer, but then we’re not talking about it or its setting.

We’re talking about Golarion, where goblins and orcs are not innately evil. They’re also not sentient fungi.

I don't particularly care if the topic of the day is Golarion when we have such wonderful nuggets of wisdom such as

"I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory."

Setting doesn't matter with that nonsense, that's saying anyone who enjoys KOSing a some fantasy race (say goblins), whether those goblins in question are from Golorion, Tolkein, or Warhammer, and calling that person a racist. That attitude can frankly bog off.

And for the record, WHFB Orcs and Goblins are indeed suspected of originating from spores left by the Old Ones while over in 40k they are explicitly fungal.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Well I don't typically go "man! These people who are being routinely attacked by the local tribe of <insert monster here> are racist". Typically I go "man, this town is in trouble. We need to help them! Probably by killing <insert monster here>." But I guess if you want to look at it along the lines of racist, that is certainly a way to play the game.

Doesn't sound very fun to me though.

Goblins are a player race, so treat it like a player race or you'll have trouble when someone rolls up a goblin PC. If a town of humans was having trouble because a band of dwarf bandits was giving them trouble, and because of that they try to kill the dwarf PC, would that be racist? Sure it would, the PC doesn't even know those other guys and is certainly not associated with their banditry. That's why it's racist. It's not something the PCs necessarily need to think about, unless they happen to be the race in question, but it is something you might consider as a GM when deciding why certain things happen in the story.

I get that this might not be an angle you've tried in your home games. I think it can be a fun way to dig into people's motivations, and can pretty easily generate adventure hooks. I also just like the flavor of the monstrous races better than, say, elves, so I tend to incorporate them as NPCs into my adventures pretty often, so these are things I have to account for regularly if I don't want my players or my townspeople killing my NPCs. Of course, this is all depending on table's tastes.
My current group are not big into asking these sort of questions either, so I might pop one or two scenarios into an adventure to get them to think about their actions beyond their statlines but I won't be making a whole campaign centered around the social issues inherent in integrating a new people group (goblins) into an unfriendly society.

Edited my dwarf pc hypothetical. Sorry I keep ninja editing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I seem to recall you not liking me responding to sections of your posts rather than the whole thing, you quoting a part of mine and cutting a middle section out to make me look like I’m saying something else than I did doesn’t strike you as a smidge hypocritical?
Your right. I took your post and made light of it. Let me see if I can clear this up. According to you "If you play a game where racist things are carried out by your character by your choice then you are racist"? Is that an accurate summary? (to be honest you dance around this issue so much I can't really tell if this is what your saying. Clarity would certainly be appreciated).

My statement before your edit was rather explicit.

Quote:
And talk about ascribing motives, I think racist elements are racist. If someone is trying to justify killing a humanoid race, not a fiend, a person just because of their race and not because of anything they’ve done as Good, well, that’s racist.
Quote:
BellyBeard wrote:
No, I didn't say that at all. For one, I said a goblin, not an armed war band of goblins.
Well I'd call a party of 5 goblins a warband. But sure. You were talking singular goblin, not a party of goblins.

You still haven’t addressed why the townsfolk haven’t tried to call out to the approaching goblins or otherwise try to gauge their motives.

Quote:
BellyBeard wrote:
I am not saying the racism itself is a thing where the townspeople are now all irredemably evil, if anything it's more of a Neutral reaction as it's almost an animal instinct to the danger they've been presented.

Well I don't typically go "man! These people who are being routinely attacked by the local tribe of <insert monster here> are racist". Typically I go "man, this town is in trouble. We need to help them! Probably by killing <insert monster here>." But I guess if you want to look at it along the lines of racist, that is certainly a way to play the game.

Doesn't sound very fun to me though.

At this point you’re intentionally misreading what others are saying.

If group A is attacking group Band and you attack group B to stop it that’s fine. Because group A was initiating hostilities, not because of who group A was.

If a town is being attacked by a goblin tribe going the next country over and attacking a goblin tribe there just because they’re goblins doesn’t help the town being attacked.


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BellyBeard wrote:
Goblins are a player race, so treat it like a player race or you'll have trouble when someone rolls up a goblin PC.

Way ahead of you there buddy. I'd mention my solution but I think people are sicking of hearing about it. See my earlier posts in this thread.

But for the purposes of discussion, feel free to replace goblin with any other bestiary monster you want.

BellyBeard wrote:
If a town of humans was having trouble because a band of dwarf bandits was giving them trouble, and because of that they refuse the PC dwarf entry, would that be racist? Sure it would, the PC doesn't even know those other guys and is certainly not associated with their banditry. That's why it's racist. It's not something the PCs necessarily need to think about, unless they happen to be the race in question, but it is something you might consider as a GM when deciding why certain things happen in the story.

Well typically in games I play townsfolk don't have a 100% negative experience with dwarves. Typically that's reserved for foes from the monster manual like orcs and gnolls and such.

I mean, you can totally call the townsfolk racist. The ones who act the way your advocating though will probably end up dead. But at least they weren't racist. Right?


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Samurai wrote:
Handy Haversack of Hillarity wrote:
Yeah You'll have to wait for the Drow elf as core race flame war. I'll be right their with you for that one.
That would just be copying D&D 5E, where Drow proudly reside along with the half-human Rosemary's babies called Tieflings… :)

I thought the whole idea behind the Cavern Elf ancestry was to introduce a Drowish elf anyone can play without the _evil_ tag.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

The biggest thing that's rubbing me the wrong way in this thread is the blanket judgement call that anyone who enjoys playing a setting where there's acceptable KOS races/creatures they're some hand kneading racist just looking to burn some imaginative crosses.

Like it feels in extreme poor taste to say someone playing War of the Ring and ambushing a bunch of Orcs who were off marching somewhere is a problem or Tolkein's a problem for making the Lord of the Rings a setting that allows it. You can insert other such settings besides LotR if you want (Warhammer comes readily to mind which has four(!) common KOS races without dipping into the undead/daemonic side of things), same general principle.

Can a bunch of racists co-opt that and cackle as he slakes his thirst to slaughter british soccer hooligans and be thanked for it? Sure, I guess, but for most of us we're just fighting a bunch of green mushroom people because it's fun.

I don’t care for Warhammer, but then we’re not talking about it or its setting.

We’re talking about Golarion, where goblins and orcs are not innately evil. They’re also not sentient fungi.

I don't particularly care if the topic of the day is Golarion when we have such wonderful nuggets of wisdom such as

"I want to be able to kill [race] on sight” is pretty self explanatory."

Setting doesn't matter with that nonsense, that's saying anyone who enjoys KOSing a some fantasy race (say goblins), whether those goblins in question are from Golorion, Tolkein, or Warhammer, and calling that person a racist. That attitude can frankly bog off.

And for the record, WHFB Orcs and Goblins are indeed suspected of originating from spores left by the Old Ones while over in 40k they are explicitly fungal.

Setting does matter, and we had explicitly been talking about Pathfinde where orcs and goblins are people and are not innately evil (unlike say Goblin Slayer, where goblins are very much innately evil. Innately very evil).

The only thing I know about Warhammer Orks aside from the spelling is that they’re fungi and Dakka.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Elven_Wizard wrote:
Samurai wrote:
Handy Haversack of Hillarity wrote:
Yeah You'll have to wait for the Drow elf as core race flame war. I'll be right their with you for that one.
That would just be copying D&D 5E, where Drow proudly reside along with the half-human Rosemary's babies called Tieflings… :)
I thought the whole idea behind the Cavern Elf ancestry was to introduce a Drowish elf anyone can play without the _evil_ tag.

Cavern Elves are not Drow so no.


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If what you're doing is causing many people to point out that it's extremely useful for IRL racists trying to normalize hateful ideas in the hobby, then complaining about how people are "calling you racist" comes across as an attempt to just dismiss that serious criticism. Yeah, it sucks to be on the receiving end of that, but it's better to reflect on why that's being brought up than to demand others be "civil" (as in not criticize character concepts that have been known to be problems at other tables and normalizes hateful ideas regardless).

I'm sorry, "you're calling me racist" isn't really a sufficient defense here. Everyone here is being as civil as possible given what's being said, and there's not really been a direct accusation of bigotry. This comes up several times in these discussions because disabling these sorts of character concepts was a motivating factor for the change. There's no need for Golarian to be the setting and PF2 the system where actual racists flock to because it's one of the few that give a reason to justify genocide, and changes that make that less the case are going to be welcome.

There's only so much civility that can be extended here. No one's calling you, personally, a racist, but the idea you're defending has deep racist connotations and that's just unavoidable. And I'm not really interested in watering down my criticism of that idea if that means it will continue in the hobby unchallenged.

As for settings, while it's less on the player for playing a character that assumes all [race] is evil in a setting where that's actually the case, the criticism of the racist overtones doesn't just go away. It then falls on the setting itself, which is why a series like Goblin Slayer gets so much criticism. It invariably falls back on colonialist attitudes used historically to justify genocide, a lot of what the goblins do in that setting have eerie parallels to old racist propaganda. It does not mean that those who consume that media are themselves racist, but the media does make it possible to plant racist ideas in heads that aren't cognizant of its very serious flaws and it invites racists to prop it up as a positive example of their worldview.

I don't blame Paizo at all for getting the f!#* away from that nonsense. That's not what the system, setting, or company is about, and anything in the system like that is either inherited or unintentional and something Paizo is more than willing to make changes to address.


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Rysky wrote:
My statement before your edit was rather explicit.

I can't tell. Is that a yes or a no?

Let me ask again: Do you agree with this statement: "If you play a game where racist things are carried out by your character by your choice then you are racist"?

Rysky wrote:
You still haven’t addressed why the townsfolk haven’t tried to call out to the approaching goblins or otherwise try to gauge their motives.

Sorry. "The local goblin tribe are constant liars and will constantly try to deceive the townsfolk in an attempt to better kill them."

Rysky wrote:
If a town is being attacked by a goblin tribe going the next country over and attacking a goblin tribe there just because they’re goblins doesn’t help the town being attacked.

What a strange thing to say. No-one said anything about townsfolk traveling away from the towns and killing goblins in some other region. I won't say your trying to deliberately misunderstand me and just chalk this up to a genuine misunderstanding.

Rysky wrote:
At this point you’re intentionally misreading what others are saying.
Nope! Read the part I'm quoting. BellyBeard 100% said the townsfolk killing groups of armed goblins who approach their town are racist. Let me quote the relevant part because you seemed to have missed it:
BellyBeard wrote:
But that's beside the point. I think in their situation the townsfolk may be justified in being racist, if you're an "ends justify the means" sort of person, because being less cautious about goblins may get them and their families killed. But it is nonetheless racist.

No deliberate misunderstanding. I hope I've cleared up bellybeard's point for you.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
Goblins are a player race, so treat it like a player race or you'll have trouble when someone rolls up a goblin PC.

Way ahead of you there buddy. I'd mention my solution but I think people are sicking of hearing about it. See my earlier posts in this thread.

But for the purposes of discussion, feel free to replace goblin with any other bestiary monster you want.

BellyBeard wrote:
If a town of humans was having trouble because a band of dwarf bandits was giving them trouble, and because of that they refuse the PC dwarf entry, would that be racist? Sure it would, the PC doesn't even know those other guys and is certainly not associated with their banditry. That's why it's racist. It's not something the PCs necessarily need to think about, unless they happen to be the race in question, but it is something you might consider as a GM when deciding why certain things happen in the story.

Well typically in games I play townsfolk don't have a 100% negative experience with dwarves. Typically that's reserved for foes from the monster manual like orcs and gnolls and such.

I mean, you can totally call the townsfolk racist. The ones who act the way your advocating though will probably end up dead. But at least they weren't racist. Right?

And why do they have 100% negative experiences with orcs and gnolls but not dwarves?

And “racism is justified otherwise we’ll be killed” isn’t doing your stance any favors.


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Helmic wrote:
there's not really been a direct accusation of bigotry.

Is it because they honestly don't think people are racists? Or is it because they're afraid their post will get moderated?

The way some of these posts are dancing around the issue, it definitely seems to be the latter. And frankly I don't care WHY your calling internet strangers racist, it seems pretty poor form to do so simply because of how they play an old school video game. If some non-specific person want to claim I'm enabling racists then by all means that non-specific can do so. I'm still going to think they're a dick. I might not say it on the forum because doing so tends to get you banned, but I'll totally think it.

Helmic wrote:
This comes up several times in these discussions because disabling these sorts of character concepts was a motivating factor for the change.

I genuinely want a citation on this claim. I've seen Paizo staff say they included goblins because it was a no brainer given the goblin has become their mascot. I have seen zero claims they did it because they wanted to root out the racists from the hobby and make sure they knew that they were not welcome among their customers. So you find me a post that says that and I'll give Paizo a little more credit for the inclusion of goblins into the CRB.


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Rysky wrote:
And “racism is justified otherwise we’ll be killed” isn’t doing your stance any favors.

Again I don't have anyone killing people because their ancestors hailed from fantasy Africa or fantasy Asia or anything like that (does Golarion have fantasy Australia?). So claiming I'm justifying racism seems like a really strange thing for you to keep saying.


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I'm getting confused at what's being talked about now.

I don't see anyone defending racism? In or out of the game?

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