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Author Topic: Using Goblins in the Campaign!  (Read 776 times)

hedgehobbit

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Re: Using Goblins in the Campaign!
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2021, 10:54:26 AM »
These distinctions provide me as the DM with some neat racialized and cultural distinctions for the goblins, as well as a wide selection of character types and styles of play, whether as NPC opponents or some kind of allies for Player Characters. In addition, such flexibility and scope also provides space for a Player Character to have a Goblin character if they desired such a character.

The problem with this approach is one of niche protection. If you have savage goblins living in swamps, what's the point of Bullywugs. Desert dwelling goblins then no need for Gnolls. Etc. I've found that over the years I've been radically reducing the number of type of monsters running around. Ogres, giants, Titans, Ettins, Cyclops, Amazons, et al are one race. Manticores, Chimeras, griffons, displacer beats, et al are type of creature spawned from chaos. And thus, goblins ended up as nothing but runt orcs in the same manner as Trollkin.

tenbones

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Re: Using Goblins in the Campaign!
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 11:48:49 AM »
I admit, I always liked Paizo's refluff of goblins as barely-sapient psychotic eating machines. They were just dangerous enough to be taken seriously, but not without a kind of absurd humor in their disjointed actions.

If you want intelligent humanoid opponents, opt for orcs or hobgoblins.

this is my take as well.

Goblins are a scourge. They consume and breed at frightening pace as survival mechanism to outpace other creatures. They are tribal, they don't give a shit about "civilization" beyond their ability to force others to do their bidding in the search of resources by strength or coercion.


RandyB

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Re: Using Goblins in the Campaign!
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2021, 12:05:26 PM »
I admit, I always liked Paizo's refluff of goblins as barely-sapient psychotic eating machines. They were just dangerous enough to be taken seriously, but not without a kind of absurd humor in their disjointed actions.

If you want intelligent humanoid opponents, opt for orcs or hobgoblins.

this is my take as well.

Goblins are a scourge. They consume and breed at frightening pace as survival mechanism to outpace other creatures. They are tribal, they don't give a shit about "civilization" beyond their ability to force others to do their bidding in the search of resources by strength or coercion.



This resembles my take on *orcs*, frankly. A bit less on the fecundity, combined with a high-enough infant mortality rate, keeps orcs out of the "swarm" category. OTOH, orcs will mate with *anything* humanoid, and with great interfertility.

Wrath of God

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Re: Using Goblins in the Campaign!
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2021, 01:27:00 PM »
Quote
As cannon foder. If I'm being honest I rather preffer human only PCs and everything else is a monster. Just like in the original folk tales that inspired the Brothers Grim.

I'd argue that while in original folk tales non-humans were very rarely PC's - they were also nowhere near of being cannon fodder regular monsters, this was shit you left for dunno wolves or bandits. Fey creatures, faerie, sidhe, Slavic divs, Germanic aelphs, those are vast variety of beings, whose narrative purpose were usually way interesting than KILL IT, and morality was often somehow grey, blue-orangey one. They could be wicked, or helpful, quite often whimsical, and acting in a way of certain irrationality.


Quote
The problem with this approach is one of niche protection. If you have savage goblins living in swamps, what's the point of Bullywugs. Desert dwelling goblins then no need for Gnolls. Etc. I've found that over the years I've been radically reducing the number of type of monsters running around. Ogres, giants, Titans, Ettins, Cyclops, Amazons, et al are one race. Manticores, Chimeras, griffons, displacer beats, et al are type of creature spawned from chaos. And thus, goblins ended up as nothing but runt orcs in the same manner as Trollkin.

Well D&D quickly jumped out of proper PC niche protection, I doubt monster niche protection was ever a thing.
But I agree - trimming your setting, leaving less but more interesting is good way to work.


In my FR I tried to move goblins into more ambivalent race sharing somehow tinkerish tendencies with gnomes, to much less intelectually, but the same I did with orcs and other goblinoids.
In my own attempt at setting I was planning to merge goblins, gnomes and kobolds into one race of suricatte/rodent based small humanoids who are very much inventors and tinkerers, but they were by decision of my players not counted among Races of Empire (I give each choice to add one from longer list, with Hobgoblins/Lion/Bearfolk being must be, as rulers of Empire) so I never put much thought into their overall design. But definitely as all my sapient races - having wide array of moral attitudes.
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