Goblins are small goblinoids that many consider little more than a nuisance. They have flat faces, broad noses, pointed ears, and small, sharp fangs. Their foreheads slope back, and their eyes vary in color from red to yellow. Their skin color ranges from yellow through any shade of orange to a deep red; usually, all members of the same tribe share the same colored skin, though they also come in shades of green. Goblins are typically found in dark leathers soiled by poor hygiene and colored in a similar range of tones to their skin. Goblins usually stand between 3'4" and 3'8" and weigh about 40 to 55 pounds on average.
Goblins breed extremely rapidly compared with many other races, accounting for their large population.
Goblinoids rarely get along with themselves better than their enemies, though they have been known to come together under a common cause on occasion. In such situations, the hierarchy is usually determined by whoever would win in a fight, and it is not uncommon for them to find out through physical methods. To goblinoid thinking, elves and dwarves are particularly nasty arch-enemies, humans are things to kill if possible and run from if not, halflings are perfect targets, and drow are creatures to be feared.
The Goblin Mind
The forces driving a goblin are powerful, deep and haunting. Half-cultural and half-instinctual, these compelling fears, desires and hatreds carry the goblin through a bleak and savage life. Individually and in small groups, goblins are aware of their vulnerability. Goblinoids, orcs and worse creatures inhabit the world, waiting to enslave or slay them; and the good races are ready to commit genocide if ever the goblin tribe leaves the safety of the shadows. This caution has given rise to the idea of "goblin cowardice".
To some degree this is true: a goblin does avoid an open battle on enemy ground and will often flee to the shadows. A simple explanation such as "goblin cowardice", however, fails to tell the whole story. With sufficient numbers and preparation, these creatures willingly face any enemy and will prove a vicious, unrelenting and memorable foe.
In the tribe, goblin fears and behaviors reach their peak. From the earliest moments, a goblin is taught the harsh price of showing weakness, failing, or a misguided allegiance. These youngsters watch their peers be starved, bullied and even killed for minor errors. If it reaches maturity, a goblin is well acclimatised to its environment and has learned to maneuver carefully, obeying the strong and exploiting the weak. They are fully committed to taking any action necessary to never be last, weakest, or slowest.
Just as they are ever on the lookout for another goblin to dominate, they are equally watchful of their leaders. Each of them understands their own status in the tribe can advance when the strong fall. Goblin leaders are typically aware of this danger and keep the tribe busy enough raiding, scouting and fighting among themselves to maintain power.
A seething hatred for all other life, even nature itself, is oft the cornerstone of the goblin psyche. They live to defile, despoil and profane. Their priesthoods are relentless in reciting hateful tenets; and every goblin is eager to murder, pillage, and terrorise the enemies of their gods. If the selfishness and deceit of their hearts did not channel such energy to infighting, there is little doubt these creatures would be a world-shaping force. Few races are as prolific or relentless as goblins; and countless enemies would have been forced from their cities long ago, driven before the unending waves of these cruel marauders.
Goblins can survive wherever there is air, water, and some form of nourishment. They have been encountered everywhere from the arctic to trackless deserts and remote islands. Given a choice, goblins will lair in tunnels; ruins; or underground caverns. As this is not always possible, they have adapted themselves to numerous alternative arrangements. If food is abundant and powerful enemies are scarce, any piece of land can become an ideal goblin habitat.
Cavernous entrances into the Underdark were the first locations settled by goblins following their surface migration. The combination of plentiful resources and easy access to the comfort of the Underdark (into which few races will delve) allowed them to thrive. Eventually, other humanoids - most notably their hobgoblin relatives - began to target these locales with slave raids, causing another wave of goblin migration throughout the lands above and below.
Today, the majority of goblins on the surface inhabit cave and tunnel systems ranging from bear dens to abandoned or conquered mines. Although lazy, goblins are fair miners and can modify even poor locations to accommodate their tribe. The wolf and worg, found among many tribes, have made it possible for them to extend their influence across hills and mountains virtually everywhere.
When it is not possible to locate an underground lair, a tribe will seek ruins or other abandoned structures to inhabit. As a last resort, they will make shelter from whatever is available. Goblins are not overly industrious and such building efforts are poorly conceived, roughly implemented and unsightly. Unlike their hobgoblin relatives, goblins rely primarily on camouflage for defense and will rarely build a stockade or wall around their lair.
The main goal of a goblin is to survive. (Certainly followed by other very important goals like to grow rich and powerful and to be a clan leader some day to get the fastest breeding females…)
All you do to survive (and gaining as much profit meanwhile) is “SMART”! Being “smart” is highly valued, maybe like being “proud” for an orog e.g. To run from battle at the slightest chance that it could be lost: is smart. To lie, to hide, to play tricks – to be a coward – and most of all to obey to stronger ones: is smart.
That does not mean that a goblin accepts everything that is done with him. But he REALLY would feel no big grief in situations, where someone forces him to do something he doesn’t like. Maybe he would even smile, because he loves to think about all the nice ways how he can pay all back. Because he is smart.
Evil tricks are smart. Kill a sleeping human child and get away save is smart (because if it grows it could represent real danger).
All his life worked like this. He was educated like this. He is regarded like this. (Even the best breeding females prefer the “smart” cowards much more than the fast dieing stupid (brave) goblins.)
Most goblins would do very much, that would hurt a humans ego hard, just for some coins, because their self-esteem is not build upon the same concept of pride. Why not obey, if it does not physically hurt (much) and you can gain something material?
The unbalanced power and status between drow and all other “lesser races” demands good RP from both sides (drow and goblin). (As said above: supported by their education, culture, religion and individual values goblins should have no problem to find their own ways and gain in this setting – so shouldn’t have you OOC (as the player of the goblin).)
Some more rp-tips about goblin-drow interaction ("bowing") granted by Dunshine, the player of Oboo the goblin clan chief:
“I … play my goblins according to that idea. Oboo still bows to every drow he meets regardless of level, male or female. In his younger years he would tremble with fear, but that's about the only thing he learned to control over the years. He hates the drow, but fears them more. So my tip for rp-ing goblins would be to rp out the fear you have for the scary drow. It can be highly enjoyable too.
You can do it in different ways of course:
(a goblin that fears them and wants nothing else then to get away)
- *spots the drow and quickly bows almost tumbling over in the process, avoids her gaze and looks at his feet trembling slightly*
(a goblin bully, without brains, but his instinct tells him he should be very careful)
- *spots the drow and looks at her with a dumb look on his face for a while, then all of a sudden does a clumsy bow* Uhm, helloz!
(a more cunning goblin that is excited to meet a real drow, which he knows can kill him on a whim)
- *spots the drow and bows fluently, grinning wide at her* Mez greetz the great drow mistrez!
- *spots the drow and bows to her deeply glancing at the whip nervously* Mez greetz the big mistrez! *remains bend over*
(a drow pet, chosen the life of a drow puppet)
- *spots the drow and bows eagerly* Mez gladz seez mistrez again! Anything mez can doz to helpz mistrez?
(a cunning thief willing to take some risks in dealing with the dangerous drow)
- *spots the drow and bows quickly glancing at her belongings* Ohh, yooz bagz lookz real heaviez! Mez will carriez tiz for yooz! *holds out his little hand eagerly*
You *could* chose to play a goblin that doesn't fear the drow and will never bow to them, but it will make your life very very hard and as explained by Kriket, is very against your races nature. If you still decide to do this, be ready to accept all ic consequences of this: Lots of whippings, torturing, and also punishing by your own race for causing troubles etc. This is something you should be aware of and accept as well. If you can't handle those things, then it's really not a good idea to play a char like that.
Of course, every goblin hates the drow a great deal, but most of them are devious and smart enough to not show it in their faces but in a more backstabbing kind of way. If a drow really pushes a goblin, that goblin won't forget and all kinds of accidents might happen to such a drow in the near feature.”
Creating new character on Arelith
- STR -2, DEX +2,
- Listen +2
- Move Silently +4
- Spot +2
- Bonus Feat: Use Poison
- Special: For every friendly PC goblin (not hobgoblin) within 20 feet, the goblin receives a soft +1 Wisdom, +1 Discipline.
Base race: Halfling
- Favoured Class: Rogue
Usually neutral evil
NWN appearance is not influenced by the selection of head, skin, hair, or clothing.
- About 4 feet height and weight around 50 pounds.
- Skin: Hides range in colour from yellow through any shade of orange to a deep red.
- Eyes: varying in colour from red to yellow
Adulthood: 10 years. Rarely live longer than 40, yet some make it to 60 years of age.
- Bonus language:
- Starting city: Andunor
- Non-Underdark race, As creatures that are often considered hostile by almost all traditional surface races they may fear being exposed, and certainly wouldn't approach a town, but nevertheless have no reason to fear sunlight, or to avoid claiming territory on the surface.