Goblins as a race


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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When in Golarion did this happen? I mean, there were stats for them, but... as a serious race? The 2e rulebook describes them like they're some persecuted minority.

I haven't kept up with all the adventure paths, but last I checked they were still psychotic little monsters that were so insane that it bordered on idiocy. And sung about turning babies into stews.
And certainly didn't have a tendency towards GOOD, or a... prove themselves worthy to the world complex.

It's like reading about dryads cutting down forests to make room for parking lots.


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WAit wait wait.. Since when does a core race have to be GOOD? are you saying playing an evil character isn't a core option!?!?!?!


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Jek wrote:
When in Golarion did this happen?

Stats for goblins as a race in Pathfinder were first published in the Pathfinder Bestiary in 2009 and then further codified in the Advanced Race Guide in 2012.

So about 7-10 years, depending on which source you count.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There's been a recent sundering in goblin society. Some goblin tribes have decided that longshanks are not like so terrible and they no longer want to be subjected to random longshank violence. They still like to set fires for fun and sing terrible songs. However, a lot of goblins are still murderous and like to sing terrible songs and set fires for fun. We basically have some Chaotic Neutral Goblins and some Chaotic Evil Goblins.

Individual Player Characters may vary.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, 2018 called, wants the "goblins as core ancestry" flamewar back. You're late over a year.


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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.

Sovereign Court

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… :)


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To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.


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Kind of makes me want to play a Goblinslayer type character. Maybe a survivor of the Goblinblood wars or something.

Could be some good rp opportunities there, trying to reconcile their personal experiences of goblins with the 'new, improved' goblins.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

It's almost like the primary target of PF2 were people new to the game!


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Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

It's almost like the primary target of PF2 were people new to the game!

Right, because the goal of PF2 is to bore those people! WTF, Gorbacz?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

It's almost like the primary target of PF2 were people new to the game!
Right, because the goal of PF2 is to bore those people! WTF, Gorbacz?

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that it's "boring" is not universal. Honestly, for me, the "evil culture that has occasional do-gooder who rises above" was boring long before Drizzt was a thing, and now it's so overdone that I don't find anything appealing about the "rare good boi among his evil kin" trope. That's what's boring.

*Moriarty*

Bo-ooooring.

*/Moriarty*


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil".

They're not. They're bothered that the tradition of goblins being evil maniacs is over. And further, because that's true, there is no tension involved with playing a "heroic" goblin and they are not more heroic because of it.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with the knapsack. I don’t want to encourage another army of Drrzts that are chaotic good rebels against their baser urges. We have Teiflings after all. And their Aasimar mirrors face a similar issue.

I also would find a goblin-hating or goblin-hunting character, whose primary motivation is wanting to see an entire player ancestry dead, as worth leaving a table over. I get the appeal of it, and I doubt the player would mean anything by it, but I couldn’t play at that table.

I’m not going to argue that the story they did go with, that goblins (and to a lesser extent hobgoblins) are in the process of integrating into polite society, is universally interesting. But I dig it more than the Drrzt alternative.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

It's almost like the primary target of PF2 were people new to the game!
Right, because the goal of PF2 is to bore those people! WTF, Gorbacz?

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that it's "boring" is not universal. Honestly, for me, the "evil culture that has occasional do-gooder who rises above" was boring long before Drizzt was a thing, and now it's so overdone that I don't find anything appealing about the "rare good boi among his evil kin" trope. That's what's boring.

*Moriarty*

Bo-ooooring.

*/Moriarty*

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is your jadedness and world-weariness that is not universal, especially among people new to Pathfinder.


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The Bestiary still describes goblins in the same way as before. Because, as others have said, including the CRB itself, there are different types of goblin tribes. "Though goblins' culture has splintered radically..." suggests there are still large portions of goblin society living as they always have, and maybe the players do not share that point of view.


Midnight Anarch wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil".
They're not. They're bothered that the tradition of goblins being evil maniacs is over. And further, because that's true, there is no tension involved with playing a "heroic" goblin and they are not more heroic because of it.

The prejudice against them still exiiiiisssttsss, and from that there is a great deal of tension.

Besides, my statement about not seeing why people are bothered by an evil ancestry having good members was directed more at people who are saying "they are evil, they shouldn't be a core playable option because of that".

I personally don't believe goblins are culturally evil now, was just picking apart the logic of people who do believe that. (basically, if you believe the majority of goblins are evil, why is it a problem for you to play the exception).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If Drizz't Do'Urden was just an elf no one would've remembered him, much less flood the worlds with his clones.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is your jadedness and world-weariness that is not universal, especially among people new to Pathfinder.

Well new players aren't going to have the preconceptions of the old guard, which is why all these complaints are coming from a few older players who have also somehow ignored the near decade of goblin softening.


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The description of goblins in the PF2 Core Rulebook begins,

PF2 Core Rulebook, Ancestries, Goblins, page 46 wrote:
Goblins have a reputation as simple creatures who love songs, fire, and eating disgusting things and who hate reading, dogs, and horses—and there are a great many for whom this description fits perfectly. However, great changes have come to goblinkind, and more and more goblins resist conformity to these stereotypes.

The first sentence encapsulates the standard goblin culture. It is still widespread in Golarion--which is a mystery in itself. Goblins don't make an effort to preserve their culture, so how could they have a uniform culture worldwide?

I blame Lamashtu. Disgusting, monstrous culture feels like the work of the Mother of Monsters.

And now, the goddess Lamashtu's grip on the goblins is slipping. It had been slipping for the last decade, with the few PC goblins as an example. Today, entire goblin tribes have changed their culture.

My Jade Regent campaign, begun in August 2012, had a goblin fire bomber PC (Adventure Path for a Goblin Fire Bomber?). Though I assumed that the player Will would play him in manic mode, the goblin Sprigg ended up a high-intelligence intellectual who complained that no-one would give a goblin a chance. After the party stopped the raids on caravans of the Licktoad goblin tribe by killing their chief and talking away their fireworks, Sprigg became the new chief of the Licktoad goblins. However, they still get wealth from the caravans, because they opened a Goblinbucks roadside coffee shop on the caravan route. Sprigg in his alchemical experiments had discovered how to make a coffee-like beverage out of swamp plants.

The next goblin PC was Harvey Wallbanger, played by my wife Amy during the first chapter of the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest in August 2018. Harvey was a goblin mindquake-survivor paladin of Alseta. As a boy, he had been a garbage picker in Magnimar and had encounters a dangerous artifact in the garbage that gave him a mindquake. An elvish hospice of Alseta tended him, and he became a loyal servant of Alseta, goddess of doorways and transitions. He believed he had a sacred mission to help transition goblins to a civilized people.

The third goblin PC is in my upcoming Ironfang Invasion game. The start date of that campaign has repeatly been pushed back due to my health problems, so the players have already created their characters. My friend Hildy made a goblin bomber alchemist of a peaceful tribe that usually has chirurgeon alchemists. I worked out a background for the tribe that explained how they lost goblin culture. They were the descendents of goblin deserters from the Ironfang Legion and escaped goblin slaves of the hobgoblins who found a place to hide in ruins outside the valley of Aloi. Their focus on healing was because that was a high-danger zone and they often needed patching together. The tribe had recently been overrun by the advance of the Ironfang Legion, and ten goblin refugees have arrived in Phaendar, the starting town for the campaign. Hildy's goblin is very much a firebug, and I just finished adapting the fireworks from Jade Regent to PF2 rules because she wanted more fire-based alchemy (I will post them in the Conversions subforum once they have been tested in the campaign).

My players are running enthusiastically with goblins as a playable race. That is evidence that Paizo made the right call.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wants goblin PCs to be noble heroes who rise above the evil of their people, yet all they can rise above in the current description is the yuckiness of their culture. That is, nevertheless, rising above and still forms a redemption story. Backsliding is less hazardous to the party, with the failure of the goblin PC being that he lit the tent on fire and ate raw worms rather than attacked a party member.


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I mean, a character who kills people of a different species just because they are members of that species strikes me as an evil character.

Pathfinder has had playable goblins since the ARG and there have always been non-evil goblins scattered in among the printed adventures (there's one in the hellknights FFS, and the most prominent alignment for goblin is chaotic, rather than evil.)


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I'm not sure why so many players want to roleplay as racist serial killers and mass murderers.. and I'm not talking about the goblins.. I'm talking about those that want to execute all goblins for being goblins.. and that accuse all goblins of being evil.. as a pretense to execute them. Same with gnolls, orcs, and others.

I can understand it if you are literally playing an evil character with that shtick.. but not a supposedly good one.

LG Character: I'm going to wipe out all of those "monsters" and "animals" because my culture told me they are all evil.

Just.. doesn't work.


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I sort of hope the "Gods and Magic" book has a discussion of the tension between "the tenets of good" and Torag's prohibition against "showing mercy to 'the enemies of my people'." Specifically I think the way out here is to recognize that no one is an enemy of your people merely for existing, but it's "what they are actually doing" that makes them fall into this category.

I mean, the (predominantly human) Molthuni army laying siege to Kraggodan is more justifiably an enemy to the Dwarven people than a goblin who lives in the Fangwood and largely minds their own business.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Jek wrote:

When in Golarion did this happen? I mean, there were stats for them, but... as a serious race? The 2e rulebook describes them like they're some persecuted minority.

I haven't kept up with all the adventure paths, but last I checked they were still psychotic little monsters that were so insane that it bordered on idiocy. And sung about turning babies into stews.
And certainly didn't have a tendency towards GOOD, or a... prove themselves worthy to the world complex.

It's like reading about dryads cutting down forests to make room for parking lots.

as far as i can tell, it seems like the 2e entry is written from the perspective of non-evil goblinoids and the bestiary and the like do still make mention of there being evil goblins out there. so it's more like they're included because they're very paizo, but there have definitely been many nonevil if chaotic goblins.

bestiary wrote:

Goblin

These small humanoids have green or gray skin and large heads with wide ears. While some goblins are civilized and have worked hard to be considered upstanding members of humanoid communities, most are impetuous and vicious creatures who delight in wreaking havoc. These goblins think nothing of slaughtering livestock, stealing infants, or burning down a building purely for momentary delight. They revel in playing malicious tricks on taller humanoids, whom they call “longshanks.”


There have also always been goblins that haven't been complete psychopaths. They were regarded as pests in Sandpoint before the events of Rise if the Runelords.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
There have also always been goblins that haven't been complete psychopaths. They were regarded as pests in Sandpoint before the events of Rise if the Runelords.

And after.

The reason the attack in Burnt Offerings was as successful as it was was because Goblins raiding cities isn’t a common occurrence. It caught everyone off guard.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Cthulhusquatch wrote:

I'm not sure why so many players want to roleplay as racist serial killers and mass murderers.. and I'm not talking about the goblins.. I'm talking about those that want to execute all goblins for being goblins.. and that accuse all goblins of being evil.. as a pretense to execute them. Same with gnolls, orcs, and others.

I can understand it if you are literally playing an evil character with that shtick.. but not a supposedly good one.

LG Character: I'm going to wipe out all of those "monsters" and "animals" because my culture told me they are all evil.

Just.. doesn't work.

i honestly disagree with this, but just in that Lawful good is "justice for the sake of society", the kind of people who would tear down someones house if it meant the entire city would benefit from the newly constructed bypass. So lawful good can definitely ignore asking questions if expediency would benefit the society.

all of the alignments have a problem and lawful good's is ignoring the little guy. it's a good that is locked in it's ways, because it's trying to support those ways.

lawful good and harsh punishment seem to go hand in hand.

Silver Crusade

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

They can’t if they want to stay LG.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
To be honest, I don't see why people are so bothered by the idea of playing as a heroic member of a culture that is traditionally considered "evil". That is a fantastic source of tension in a character and just makes the characters heroism that much more heroic - doing good deeds in spite of pressures to the contrary (and in spite of societies prejudices against you) is very heroic.

If Goblins were in the CRB2 as "Yes, they're psychotic, evil monsters, but here and there one will rise above that to become a true hero." I for one would love it!

But that's not what Paizo wrote. They're just not described (individually or en masse) as psychotic or evil, only... yucky. If you'd never heard of goblins before and just read the CRB2 entry, you wouldn't even be able to tell that they were once considered evil and exterminated on sight, let alone believe that they still generally are.

It's boring, and the fact that it denies PCs the chance to be what you wrote above is one of the reasons that's a problem.

It's almost like the primary target of PF2 were people new to the game!
Right, because the goal of PF2 is to bore those people! WTF, Gorbacz?

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that it's "boring" is not universal. Honestly, for me, the "evil culture that has occasional do-gooder who rises above" was boring long before Drizzt was a thing, and now it's so overdone that I don't find anything appealing about the "rare good boi among his evil kin" trope. That's what's boring.

*Moriarty*

Bo-ooooring.

*/Moriarty*

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is your jadedness and world-weariness that is not universal, especially among people new to Pathfinder.

I'm not jaded or world-weary, I'm just

*shades, vodka*

European.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Cthulhusquatch wrote:

I'm not sure why so many players want to roleplay as racist serial killers and mass murderers.. and I'm not talking about the goblins.. I'm talking about those that want to execute all goblins for being goblins.. and that accuse all goblins of being evil.. as a pretense to execute them. Same with gnolls, orcs, and others.

I can understand it if you are literally playing an evil character with that shtick.. but not a supposedly good one.

LG Character: I'm going to wipe out all of those "monsters" and "animals" because my culture told me they are all evil.

Just.. doesn't work.

i honestly disagree with this, but just in that Lawful good is "justice for the sake of society", the kind of people who would tear down someones house if it meant the entire city would benefit from the newly constructed bypass. So lawful good can definitely ignore asking questions if expediency would benefit the society.

all of the alignments have a problem and lawful good's is ignoring the little guy. it's a good that is locked in it's ways, because it's trying to support those ways.

lawful good and harsh punishment seem to go hand in hand.

In original D&D, telling the party that treasure lay in the back of the cave system, but first they had to fight past all the monsters that lived in the caves and then they had to fight the stronger monsters that guarded the treasure was a standard dungeon crawl. The adventure said that the intelligent, semi-civilized, living monsters such as goblins, gnolls, orcs, and kobolds was fine; therefore, the lawful good characters could do it without qualm.

Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are combat games. The PCs need enemies to fight. Roleplaying the setting can provide justification for fighting the enemies, but early versions of D&D had less roleplaying.

D&D-style roleplaying is more sophisticated these days. I have run two Paizo adventure paths, Rise of the Runelords and Jade Regent, that began with battles against goblins. In Burnt Offerings of Rise of the Runelords, the neighboring goblins, usually just a nusiance, raided Sandpoint. It was perfectly legitimate to fight off the raiders. Later information allowed the party to legitimately attack the goblin tribes on their home ground because they were preparing for war against Sandpoint. In The Brinewall Legacy of Jade Regent the Licktoad goblin tribe was regularly raiding caravans traveling to Sandpoint. That made some of the tribe bandits and the rest of the tribe accessories to banditry. In theory, the non-bandit goblins did not deserve death, so the module allowed ending the raids by killing the chief--and the warriors protecting the chief--and taking away their fireworks that gave them an advantage in the raids. In practice, the medieval law of Varisia allowed viewing the entire tribe as bandits.

In the Lost Star chapter of Doomsday Dawn PF2 playtest material, a tribe of goblins living in the sewers of Magnimar had been taken over by a hobgoblin and forced to dig tunnels to underground vaults to rob them. My party under the guidance of the goblin paladin Harvey Wallbanger mostly captured the goblins alive, though a few goblins died in combat. But it was considered legitimate to fight the goblins to the death if they did not surrender to lawful authority. And the goblins disloyal to the hobgoblin were already dead or fled.

However, a new GM running a homebrew campaign cannot be as sophisticated as the Paizo module writers, so Pathfinder permits, "They are nasty, evil goblins who have done all sorts of horrible stuff over the years too numerous for me to describe. It is fine to kill them."


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Jek wrote:

When in Golarion did this happen? I mean, there were stats for them, but... as a serious race? The 2e rulebook describes them like they're some persecuted minority.

I haven't kept up with all the adventure paths, but last I checked they were still psychotic little monsters that were so insane that it bordered on idiocy. And sung about turning babies into stews.
And certainly didn't have a tendency towards GOOD, or a... prove themselves worthy to the world complex.

It's like reading about dryads cutting down forests to make room for parking lots.

When I first found out, it felt a little random, yes.

Then I discovered that Paizo goblins were incredibly popular, making them a bit iconic for the company, and that makes sense to me, as Paizo has to "carve out a niche" with respect to other RPGs. The Alchemist class is in a similar state, minus the controversy to their inclusion in Core.

The goblins I have adventured alongside have typically all had in their backstory "So I decided to escape the negative culture of my hometown, and explore different ways of thinking" or somesuch. And the players often sing songs and use phrases with peculiar grammer, such that, I find myself communicating back to them similarly. Indeed, it's fun to speak "Goblin-Common" with a Goblin.

So perhaps it'll take some getting used to, but it hasn't ever turned into a "Goblin ruins adventure acting like stereotypical depictions of evil goblins in past publications" scenario for me personally. And besides, that would probably be a problem with the player (than the character) in such an instance.

Cheers!


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I mean there has never been a dearth of evil humans to fight without having to insist that "evil" is the basic or expected alignment for humans.

Nor have GMs have had trouble historically signposting the difference between "these are the humans it is okay to fight and potentially kill" and "these are the humans you should instead speak with."


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean there has never been a dearth of evil humans to fight without having to insist that "evil" is the basic or expected alignment for humans.

Nor have GMs have had trouble historically signposting the difference between "these are the humans it is okay to fight and potentially kill" and "these are the humans you should instead speak with."

The "Important NPC: Do not KILL!" T-shirts really help...

:)


is that what Lawful Good means? Well.. I suppose it is a good thing I prefer Chaotic Neutral and Neutral Good. I don't have to tear down someone's house and make them homeless in order for an unproven benefit to everyone else to happen.

Sorry, Tanner.. but we really can't have you dropping the property values around here. It will improve the city to make you homeless. And since you being homeless wouldn't be good for the city.. here is a ticket to Cheliax.

Bandw2 wrote:
Cthulhusquatch wrote:

I'm not sure why so many players want to roleplay as racist serial killers and mass murderers.. and I'm not talking about the goblins.. I'm talking about those that want to execute all goblins for being goblins.. and that accuse all goblins of being evil.. as a pretense to execute them. Same with gnolls, orcs, and others.

I can understand it if you are literally playing an evil character with that shtick.. but not a supposedly good one.

LG Character: I'm going to wipe out all of those "monsters" and "animals" because my culture told me they are all evil.

Just.. doesn't work.

i honestly disagree with this, but just in that Lawful good is "justice for the sake of society", the kind of people who would tear down someones house if it meant the entire city would benefit from the newly constructed bypass. So lawful good can definitely ignore asking questions if expediency would benefit the society.

all of the alignments have a problem and lawful good's is ignoring the little guy. it's a good that is locked in it's ways, because it's trying to support those ways.

lawful good and harsh punishment seem to go hand in hand.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Cthulhusquatch wrote:

is that what Lawful Good means? Well.. I suppose it is a good thing I prefer Chaotic Neutral and Neutral Good. I don't have to tear down someone's house and make them homeless in order for an unproven benefit to everyone else to happen.

Sorry, Tanner.. but we really can't have you dropping the property values around here. It will improve the city to make you homeless. And since you being homeless wouldn't be good for the city.. here is a ticket to Cheliax.

more or less, the law doesn't see individual people and so you're good, but often being tied to do things that aren't good to this particular person. and I mean, they'll probably pay for the property, but not have a chance to keep their house. (also it was a hitchhiker's guide reference)

(note i just mean A lawful good could do this and still be more or less lawful good, not that all lawful good acts this way. so one that particularly emphasizes the weaknesses of lawful good, could fairly easily do something like killing an entire goblin village if only a few of them have been attacking, etc)


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Bandw2 wrote:
could fairly easily do something like killing an entire goblin village if only a few of them have been attacking, etc)

No, not really. Killing innocents because it's more expedient than figuring out who's actually guilty is very distinctly evil.

This isn't an issue of alignment being convoluted. There's no way you can reasonably twist the idea of just killing everyone in sight because it's easier as a good action.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean there has never been a dearth of evil humans to fight without having to insist that "evil" is the basic or expected alignment for humans.

This exactly.

Apply the same logic to people who don't look like us that you apply to people who do.

Don't attack the tribe of goblins because they are goblins, attack them because this tribe has captured your friends and ate your pack horse.

Just like you don't attack the human bandits "because they are human" you attack them because they are robbing you.

If your character sees goblins minding their own business and thinks that them existing is sufficient justification to attack them, your character is either evil, a murder-hobo, or a racist (or specist?)

I don't know why this is a difficult concept.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

If your character sees goblins minding their own business and thinks that them existing is sufficient justification to attack them, your character is either evil, a murder-hobo, or a racist (or specist?)

I don't know why this is a difficult concept.

You say "or" here when you mean "and."

The less the game gives actual, IRL racists an opportunity to roleplay their bigotry in the game and pass it off as justified, the better. I want PF2 to be actively unwelcoming to those character concepts, and if we need to bring back that long-winded introduction from the playtest to get that message across then so be it. Bigotry is evil, there should be no Good characters whose primary motivation is the genocide of sapients that aren't literally supernaturally driven by hell or something.

I can get complaints about people finding goblins as core annoying or feel that it's a break in continuity (even if I think they're wrong), but I'll never be accepting of those who want an easy justification to play make-believe racism without having to confront the inherent evil of such a position. 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. It is not something that we should be encouraging in this setting or this hobby, it attracts a very bad crowd that will repel others from playing.

For the less utterly nonsense arguments against goblins, it's the same that's been said elsewhere. It's just regular-ass cultural osmosis, it's inevitable that there's going to be goblin societies that aren't going to fit the goblin stereotype. Even Burnt Offerings had goblin babies to rescue, which implies there's at least some goblins being raised outside of evil societies who aren't going to grow up thinking baby eating is a perfectly acceptable practice. Trade, work, a desire to not be wiped out by pissed-off longshanks, there's so many pressures for goblin tribes to at least attempt to be good neighbors.

The "you can't be goblin Drizzt though" argument is... bleh. That's one concept. One concept not working, especially one that's well-used (not that that's bad in itself at all, nothing is original), is not grounds to declare the change boring. There's many, many concepts that are now more possible that weren't before, and you can do your goblin Drizzt thing by just having your goblin come from a still-evil tribe. For those not interested in the Drizzt thing, that's one less thing a goblin PC has to do to justify their existence, leaving more room to focus on other aspects of the character.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Cthulhusquatch wrote:

is that what Lawful Good means? Well.. I suppose it is a good thing I prefer Chaotic Neutral and Neutral Good. I don't have to tear down someone's house and make them homeless in order for an unproven benefit to everyone else to happen.

Sorry, Tanner.. but we really can't have you dropping the property values around here. It will improve the city to make you homeless. And since you being homeless wouldn't be good for the city.. here is a ticket to Cheliax.

more or less, the law doesn't see individual people and so you're good, but often being tied to do things that aren't good to this particular person. and I mean, they'll probably pay for the property, but not have a chance to keep their house. (also it was a hitchhiker's guide reference)

(note i just mean A lawful good could do this and still be more or less lawful good, not that all lawful good acts this way. so one that particularly emphasizes the weaknesses of lawful good, could fairly easily do something like killing an entire goblin village if only a few of them have been attacking, etc)

I'd point out that, even if you strip out all the parts of this concept you've presented that are definitely super evil, the character in question is probably still not good, and would fit better into Lawful Neutral.

Compassion and respect for the lives and happiness of individuals is part of what defines 'good' in Pathfinder. Total willingness to destroy people's lives or livelihoods for nebulous, impersonal gain is pretty firmly out in most cases, and in general someone who values lawfulness over goodness in most situations where the distinction matters isn't really a good fit. They are not necessarily a bad person (depending, you know, on how many innocent people they will kill just because somebody told them to, among other things), they just aren't really good either.


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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?

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.

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

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.

One unsympathetic act does not a Chaotic Evil character make. A person can well be a Lawful Good person with problematic views. A dwarf who is Lawful Good can very much see goblins/orcs/whatever as pests to be exterminated and retain his LG alignment. After all, he'll still act LG in every other circumstance and towards everyone else.


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I don’t like the idea of Golarion cities filled with orcs, lizardfolk, hobgoblins, tieflings, Dragonborn and whatever else ancestries Paizo is going to churn out (unless it’s a place like Mag Kaera or whatever that city is called). If you have players who want to play those ancestries, just change settings. Eberron is a setting that can easily hold these diverse characters without missing a beat.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I don’t like the idea of Golarion cities filled with orcs, lizardfolk, hobgoblins, tieflings, Dragonborn and whatever else ancestries Paizo is going to churn out (unless it’s a place like Mag Kaera or whatever that city is called). If you have players who want to play those ancestries, just change settings. Eberron is a setting that can easily hold these diverse characters without missing a beat.

Who, do you think should be allowed to play in the Pathfinder setting?


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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
One unsympathetic act does not a Chaotic Evil character make. A person can well be a Lawful Good person with problematic views. A dwarf who is Lawful Good can very much see goblins/orcs/whatever as pests to be exterminated and retain his LG alignment. After all, he'll still act LG in every other circumstance and towards everyone else.

'Mass murder doesn't make you evil as long as all the people who you murder are people who you chose to murder' is... certainly a take.


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Oof, another goblin debate on the threads? These always end well.

I'm hear a lot of people saying that Paizo has changed goblins, but I don't see where that's happened. I'm still running goblins the same as always. I have a player with a goblin at my table now who is doing a great job of being the "clueless outsider" asking questions like, "But which of your children would you eat if you had to?" and "I'm sure we could just burn our way out of this, right?" And people are appropriately horrified by him. That doesn't mean he isn't learning and growing as anyone would do once they're outside their "bubble."

We even had a wonderful roleplaying experience with him and the AoA goblin NPC on the definition of "power."


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CrystalSeas wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I don’t like the idea of Golarion cities filled with orcs, lizardfolk, hobgoblins, tieflings, Dragonborn and whatever else ancestries Paizo is going to churn out (unless it’s a place like Mag Kaera or whatever that city is called). If you have players who want to play those ancestries, just change settings. Eberron is a setting that can easily hold these diverse characters without missing a beat.
Who, exactly, do you want to see in Golarion cities?

The races that have traditionally been there. If you use to run a different take on Golarion that's okay as well. Personally my group didnt and that's the version of Golarion I prefer.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
swoosh wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
could fairly easily do something like killing an entire goblin village if only a few of them have been attacking, etc)

No, not really. Killing innocents because it's more expedient than figuring out who's actually guilty is very distinctly evil.

This isn't an issue of alignment being convoluted. There's no way you can reasonably twist the idea of just killing everyone in sight because it's easier as a good action.

imprisoning them isn't an option either(for the purposes of a trial), and so at the very least you drive them out. if a town is consistently harboring individuals who are threatening the safety of people from your town, the town is a threat. and well you can't really force people to leave if you aren't willing to rough people up and burn down some homes; or atleast beat them down until they are forced to kneel before the laws of your city.

the point is there are no good options generally in city v city conflicts as the burden of upholding habeas corpus is simply untenable.

the lawful good's options would be to ignore the threat or punish the threat, and i don't think a truly lawful good individual could let a crime go unpunished.

a neutral good individual would choose to find a way to create an end to the violence by forgiving crimes.

and so i think a lawful good individual would conceivably believe their only just option is to attack and possibly kill people from the town, they of course want to limit it, but will do what needs to be done. because they're not attacking the people, they're trying to attack the town, the society.

this is because to them, their current beliefs and society are more worthy of their good deeds than everyone equally. this is what separates someone who is lawful good and neutral good in my eyes.

once again, mind that they could ALSO just as likely think that trying to get a peace treaty going is a good idea, but only if they believe it possible or likely to be upheld. and then if their treaty isn't upheld, what is their only recourse but to attack where they live, they can't merely defend themselves forever.


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

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.

Perhaps you could rephrase it as "my group and I are going to limit ourselves to traditional ancesteries in our home games" without trying to tell the rest of us to leave Pathfinder.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I don’t like the idea of Golarion cities filled with orcs, lizardfolk, hobgoblins, tieflings, Dragonborn and whatever else ancestries Paizo is going to churn out (unless it’s a place like Mag Kaera or whatever that city is called). If you have players who want to play those ancestries, just change settings. Eberron is a setting that can easily hold these diverse characters without missing a beat.
Who, exactly, do you want to see in Golarion cities?
The races that have traditionally been there. If you use to run a different take on Golarion that's okay as well. Personally my group didnt and that's the version of Golarion I prefer.

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.


FowlJ wrote:
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
One unsympathetic act does not a Chaotic Evil character make. A person can well be a Lawful Good person with problematic views. A dwarf who is Lawful Good can very much see goblins/orcs/whatever as pests to be exterminated and retain his LG alignment. After all, he'll still act LG in every other circumstance and towards everyone else.
'Mass murder doesn't make you evil as long as all the people who you murder are people who you chose to murder' is... certainly a take.

I don't know if you honestly misunderstood my comment or are deliberately doing so. I'm going to assume the former.

There is a marked difference between holding a viewpoint and actively n going on a killing spree.

A dwarf who follows Torags tenets will probably be LG. Most of those tenets encourage LG behavior. If said dwarf gets into a situation where he has the choice of allowing an enemy of his people to go free or kill them, and thus protect his people from future evil, and kills said enemy; the dwarf is still LG. That particular act may or may not be lawful or good (depending on the situation), but the dwarfs actions before and after this one act are not instantly and irreversibly negated.

Also take into account that people aren't perfect. An evil person might do good on rare occasions and not change alignment. A lawful person who performs rare acts of unlawfullness does not instantly become chaotic or even neutral.

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