Goblins are mythological creatures of unclear origin and contradicting descriptions. They are small humanoids of a mischievous nature, possibly belonging to the fey family (along with creatures such as redcaps, brownies, leprechauns, kobolds, etc).
The origin of the word "Goblin" can be traced back to the British "Gobelinus" which was the name of a demon that once caused trouble in Normandy. It has been theorized the term began with Kobold, which was a German Fey spirit whose origins can be traced to one of a variety of earlier myths based in Paganism from various other culture. Kobolds also gave their name to cobalt, due to the fact that new advances in mining in Germany during the middle ages allowed access to large amounts of cobalt ore, although the mining was very dangerous and they had no idea how to smelt the metal so as a result the numerous mine collapses as well as the "theft of the ore, with only poison and ash left behind" were blamed on Kobolds. Either way, Goblin myths often involve mischief, mining, and chemistry.
In modern fantasy, the term "Goblin" has been very much determined by the Tolkienian use of the word - as in a species of humanoids in service to evil, with the "Orcs" being another word for the same thing, with Tolkien claiming the etymology for that word being an old English term for demon. Goblin appearance has been further shaped by both video- and boardgames, as well as various artists. They are universally smaller than humans, although the exact size varies, and often have large pointy ears (larger and more animalistic than elf ears) and either long, crooked and pointed noses or orc-esque noseless features.
The typical goblin stereotype is that of a savage warrior and raider that attacks villages and ambushes unwary travelers; being one-dimensionally evil, they can be (and are) killed without remorse in large numbers (unless you read Eberron, G:LTTE, or Terry Pratchett's Snuff). Another Goblin stereotype is that they are a race of unusually technologically advanced and ludicrously smart and cunning race on par if not better than Dwarves such as creating fantasy machine guns or an entire robot army such as those in Warcraft or Dungeon Siege. They act and move in smaller groups as they don't pose a large threat by themselves, and are commonly the first combat encounter for a young adventurer. Goblins tend to live in caves and gang up with orcs and similar races, to whom they are sometimes described as belonging to the same family or species. Their intelligence is usually fairly low, although among dumber and larger brutes will be the clever ones doing the "skilled" work while the bigger ones shout orders.
Because of the comedy potential, players have always liked being goblins, and they were one of the three most-popular races requested for an add-on to 5e as of a recent survey.
Goblinoids include a vast array of species in D&D, ranging from obscurities like the stone-skinned Norkers and the "they heal when you hit them, die if you heal them" Nilbogs to mainstays like the more organized Hobgoblins and the big, scary, pseudo-orcs called Bugbears.
In /tg/ MediaEdit
In the Iron Kingdoms and Magic: The Gathering (sometimes), goblins have a penchant for technology and love to tinker with machinery (especially steampunk contraptions and the like), somewhat propagating the "mad scientist" archetype.
In Kings of War goblins are still a source of evil comic relief. They're often suggested to have been created by the Celestian Garkhan the Black after he finished creating the orcs with "whatever was left," although where exactly they came from is a mystery. They're still engineers as in many settings, but they tend to be very short-term thinking and don't like to test things before they use them.
In Eberron, goblins are quite a bit different than their usual portrayal, described in the d&d section below
In Pathfinder, they're stupid little freaks with all manner of strange quirks (good singing voices, fear horses and writing, like fire and pickles), sort of a cross between Gremlins and a baby-eating Stitch. They are also very funny and (somewhat) lovable, and even have their own comic series. Surprisingly, despite being described as naturally inclined towards a mixture of Chaotic Stupid (easily distractable to the point of stopping combat mid-swing to chase a frog or pick their nose) and Stupid Evil (love of torturing anything smaller than them) behaviors, they have no mental penalties. Pathfinder also has a goblin variant called the Monkey Goblin, which is even stupider than regular goblins, but much stronger and more agile, using a rat-like prehensile tail to aid it in a life in the trees.
In Malifaux, they're noseless hillbillies with very few womanfolk called Gremlins complete with straw hats, jug bands, blunderbusses, and lots of pigs. Also come in an Asian variant.
Tolkien was not consistent on the relationship between goblins and orcs. Initially he said that "orc" was merely the halfling word for goblin. Later works said that goblins were a subtype of orc. Later still works treated goblins and orcs like completely separate creatures, so take your pick.
Goblins and Orcs are given different backstories from Tolkien, although the most prominent one is they are the twisted forms of Elves tortured and beat into submission by Morgoth and Sauron. Other origins are being an Asian group of Elves stolen from their people and bred as slaves by Morgoth and Sauron, just being animals uplifted by M&S, fallen Maiar, men who were corrupted rather than Elves (or a mix of the two, with some interbreeding with humans as another possibility), or slimy rocks transformed by Morgoth's magic into living beings. Regardless, almost all were the backbone of Sauron's armies who have heavily industrialized and produce only ugly things that cause sickness (perhaps as a metaphor for wartime industry).
There are hints that not all Goblins and Orcs were evil, as a few passages indicate no race was wholly united for or against Morgoth; there are independent groups of Goblins in The Hobbit, and a few lines given indicate that Orcs will go to great lengths to avenge their fallen leaders, while in his notes he considered them a race capable of free-choice and thus not the "Always Chaotic Evil" that many modern works paint them to be.
In early Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Goblins were merely a shorter variety of Orcs, which were greenskinned evil humanoids who sometimes bred with humans. In fact, Warhammer Fantasy was the very first depiction of Goblins and Orcs as green skinned, something that has since become a staple of the races in pop culture.
With the creation of Warhammer 40,000, the Goblins became Grots, also called Gretchin, who like the Orks were actually a type of fungus ape. Between their legs is only two bulging spore-sacs which burst upon death and grow into new Grots/Orks in the ground.
After 40k had massive success, this was ported back into Warhammer Fantasy and Goblins along with the Orcs became fungus men. some oldschool Warhammer fans have rejected this, and the term "Orcgina" can make many on /tg/ go into flashbacks about the arguments inspired between the oldfags and newfags on the subject.
In both settings, Goblins/Grots are smaller greenskins who are extremely vicious but extremely cowardly and refuse to attack something unless they outnumber it ten to one (preferably more). Against nonthreatening foes however they enjoy torturing them, and POWs are subjected to horribly slow deaths to the chittering amusement of the tiny greenskins.
In Warhammer Fantasy Goblins are independent of Orcs, many living in their own tribes. A few even have their own gods, like the Forest Goblins who worship the Spider-god. Despite this, many Goblins also join groups with Orcs either to bully the Orcs into doing the manual labor, or where they are bullied into doing the manual labor. While only the Black Orcs are capable of actually producing new goods or learning technical knowledge among the larger greenskins, Goblins produce many things from giant flying ships to chariots. Of particular note is the Night Goblins, master chemists who's biology is bizarre and alien in its fungus nature even to other greenskins. Apart from all this, the main distinction between Goblins and 40k Grots is that Goblins aren't all weak, subservient slaves - Goblins individually are pretty weedy, but they do try and deck themselves out in armor and whatnot and can even take over Orc tribes, if a cunning or vicious enough Boss arrives. Most often this will be a Shaman (for his tricks and ability to scheme) or a Night Goblin Warboss (for being fucking insane), but even a normal Goblin Warboss can be a significant threat.
In 40k, Grots have almost no freedom and are only found alongside their bigger kin. They're not the strongest, quickest, meanest, or anything-est compared to the Orks, except for being better shots and more kunnin', to the point of generally being brighter (though that's not saying much). In most cases they are at best assistants, at worst slaves and moving targets. The only exception is the Gretchin Revolutionary Committee, although that...ended badly. They fare a little bitter in Mek-controlled settlements where their technological know-how and small size are in more demand. They may even be allowed to make their own tanks - small and scrappy, but dangerous at least
In both Warhammers all greenskins speak in a British Cockney accent, with heavy Chav mixed in for variation. Goblins were renamed to Grots in Age of Sigmar.
|Playable Factions in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar|
Dungeons & Dragons did not do anything particularly innovative with goblins. Instead, they are fairly close(ish) to their Tolkien roots - or, rather, to the simplified version of Tolkien's goblins; small, hateful, savage creatures that infest the unwanted corners of the world, constantly squabbling amongst themselves for power and occasionally spilling out to raid and terrorize the neighboring civilized lands when their numbers build up enough. Whilst Tolkien's goblins were actually quite inventive and adept at building things, since they were a combination of the two peoples that Tolkien most disliked (the Central soldiers he'd fought in WW1, and the industrialists he believed were destroying the countryside), D&D's goblins lack that trait due to Medieval Stasis - they're not as primitive as lizardfolk, but are basically just tribal scavengers, in a stark contrast to goblins in other settings being the "chaotic and/or evil tinker race".
In fact, when you scratch the surface, D&D goblins may tap into the same "evil mook" basis as Tolkien's goblins, but actually are deliberately taken in different ways. Whilst originally D&D orcs & goblins are implied to have often worked together, and even interbreed, by the time of Planescape the two were actually bitter enemies - the two races share the same "heaven" of Acheron, where they constantly war in an attempt to drive the other race to extinction. This even persisted into 3rd edition, when the orcs' changed racial alignment of Chaotic Evil meant they shouldn't have been going to Acheron in the first place. This stands in stark contrast both to Tolkien (who initially said that "orc" and "goblin" were words in two different languages for the same race) and to other popular settings, such as Warhammer Fantasy & Warcraft, where goblins tend to be a strong racial ally to orcs.
Some sourcebooks, usually setting dependent, present a more nuanced portrayal of them and give them a deeper culture than that, but for the most part, D&D goblins are your standard generic cannon fodder evil mook race. However, just like the orcs, goblins have a long history of being a potential PC race in Dungeons & Dragons - they've been playable in literally every single edition, with multiple incarnations in 3rd edition. The usual idea is to play them up as "spunky little troublemakers" - either a braver analogue to the halfling or a less annoying version of the gnome. And, for what it's worth, goblin PCs are actually generally quite liked. In fact, goblins were one of the player races most requested for a formal update into 5th edition PC races. Given the second season of Critical Role features a goblin PC as a main character, in the form of Nott (a self-loathing female who wants to become a halfling), and the fact that Pathfinder goblins have such an fandom that Pathfinder 2e promotes them to a corebook race, many are expecting 6e to feature playable goblins in the PHB, just like how 4e added the tiefling and the dragonborn.
The biggest exception to goblins being generic evil baddies in d&d is the Eberron setting, where they're given a nuanced portrayal, with a deep and sophisticated culture. In Eberron, "goblin" is used to refer to bugbears, hobgoblins, and goblins. They are the descendants of the once mighty continent spanning Empire of Dhakaan that collapsed because of an invasion by the Daelkyr, masters of the plane of madness. The invasion was eventually beaten back by an alliance between the empire and the orc tribes called the Gatekeepers (badass men-in-black style druids who protect the world from lovecraftian horrors), but the empire fell afterwards. They're not the savages that you can kill guilt free in every other setting. In the current day they are split up into three broad cultural groups (and a few splinter groups) - the smallest of the big three are The Heirs of Dhakaan, or Dhakaani, which are the badass super disciplined remanents of the empire who preserved their way of life after the empire collapsed by hiding underground or in secluded mountains and would like to bring goblins back to their previous heights. The various goblin races are all equal under the Dhakaani and share a eusocial bond like ants. They specialize in different tasks - the hobgoblins are administrators and soldiers (females are usually bards), goblins are workers, scouts and spies, and the bugbears are shock troopers and heavy laborers - but if you're better at a job outside your cultural role, the empire doesn't waste talent and puts you in that job. Then you have the Ghaal'Dar, who made up the bulk of the descendants of the collapsed empire and had to deal with the fallout. Their culture degenerated into petty barbarian tribes with a might-makes-right mentality, their eusocial bond destroyed by the daelkyr. They are usually ruled by hobgoblins due to their superior ability to organize vs the other two subspecies. However, during the conflict known as The Last War they united and stole a chunk of land from the human kingdoms that they named Darguun. It's their "new goblin Homeland" and they're starting to rebuild their culture from there, but nobody thinks it will last. It's ruled by an alliance of clans with the leader, Lhesh Haruuc maintaining a delicate balance of power between them to maintain stability. He's tried to institute the rule of law and has been mostly successful, but a few clans (mostly in desolate areas where they can get away with it) only pay lip service. The country has been a success so far and their culture is slowly clawing it's way out of the dumps, but many are worried that when Haruuc dies it will all fall apart, so he is desperately looking for a competent successor. The last major cultural group are the city goblins. They're the descendents of Ghaal'Dar goblinoids who weren't killed or fled when the humans conquered the continent, and were enslaved for a few thousand years. They're mostly lower g goblins, and were released from slavery about a thousand years before the current time. They're considered tax paying citizens and have all the rights (on paper) of human or Demi human citizens of the countries they live in. However, they tend to be poor and live as second class citizens in many places due to racism and lack of opportunities. The majority of them are loyal to their country of birth and consider themselves regular citizens, and they often dislike the Ghaal'Dar for commiting war crimes during the Last War and giving goblins a bad name. Most of the ones who were sympathetic to Ghaal'Dar moved to Darguun. Goblins (like 99% of races in this setting) are not naturally evil in Eberron, they have the same range of alignments as every other sentient race. For cultural reasons they do tend towards being lawful neutral, but only slightly.
As a somewhat curious aside, D&D goblins are yellow (mostly) compared to the more usual goblin color of green. These even survived after the popularization of green Goblins in many other fantasy settings, most prominently the aforementioned Warhammer Fantasy and Warcraft. A few settings sometimes portray them as shades of grey, or the previously mentioned colors with a grey tint. They're even portrayed as red in some artwork.
The D&D goblin has a huge family tree, to the point they even coined their own racial name; "goblinoid". The two most prominent goblin-kin are the bugbears - large, hairy, brutish goblins that, arguably, are D&D's attempt to maintain the orcy archetype without making orcs & goblins officially related - and the hobgoblins, who are literally Tolkien's uruk-hai.
Goblin PCs first appeared, alongside many other "classic humanoids", as PCs in the Known World Gazetteer #10: The Orcs of Thar. Under the Basic system, they had the following crunch:
- Goblin Ability Modifiers: -3 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution
- Note: Like all Humanoids from "The Orcs of Thar", a Goblin has racial ability score caps of 18 in all scores bar Intelligence and Wisdom, which are capped at 16.
- Note: Like all Humanoids from "The Orcs of Thar", a Goblin determines its Charisma score for interacting with humans and demihumans by dividing its Charisma score by 3 (rounding down) and subtacting the result from 9.
- Goblin Natural Armor Class: 8
- Can become a Shaman (8th level) and a Wokani (6th level)
|Goblin's's level||XP Required||Goblin's hit dice|
|9||220,000||+2 Hit Points|
|Subsequent||160,000||+2 Hit Points|
Having appeared in Orcs of Thar, naturally, goblins went on to appear in The Complete Book of Humanoids:
- Ability Score Modifiers: -1 Strength, -1 Charisma
- Ability Score Range: Strength 4/15, Dexterity 4/17, Constitution 5/16, Intelligence 3/18, Wisdom 3/18, Charisma 3/12
- Class Restrictions: Fighter 10, Cleric 9, Shaman 7, Witch Doctor 7, Thief 12
- Infravision 60 feet
- Can detect new or unusual constructions in an underground area with a 25% chance of success (1-2 on a d8).
- Goblin shamans have access to the Spheres of Divination, Reversed Healing, Protection and Reversed Sun.
- -1 Penalty to their attack rolls when in bright sunshine
- Monstrous Traits: Appearance (-2 to to reaction rolls), Bestial Habits (-2 to reaction rolls)
- Weapon Proficiencies: Axe, Military Pick, Morning Star Sling, Short Sword, Spear
- Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Handling, Animal Training (Worg), Begging, Chanting, Close-Quarter Fighting, Fast-Talking, Fortune Telling, Hiding, Hunting, Information Gathering, Looting, Mining, Religion, Riding (Worg), Set Snares
Of course the Pathfinder ruleset included Goblins, and tweaked them up a bit from their third edition version by giving them more dexterity. By Paizo's own reckoning, this puts their overall Race Points (RP) on a par with the other PC races, so should be a viable option for players, even if it is a bit uninspired.
- -2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
- Humanoid (Goblinoid)
- Base speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Ride checks
Pathfinder did considerably more to support Goblins as a usable race, for both players and DMs. An entire splatbook was dedicated to their place in Golarion, while they were also included in the Advanced Race Guide and had additional options in the Monster Codex, allowing for a respectable variety in race trait customisations, giving them things like bite attacks, perceptions boosts, weapon familiarity, among others; the ability to create a medium-sized goblin who is not a Hobgoblin; a bunch of racial feats; and a handful of dedicated class archetypes, including Alchemists with flying mount companions.
Like in 3e, the goblin appeared as a PC class in the Monster Manual for 4th edition. However, like all such races in 4e, its statblok there was...serviceable, but underwhelming. However, one of the last sourcebooks of that edition to be published, "The Dungeon Survival Handbook", brought them back as an official race, and boy were they beefy!
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom OR +2 Charisma
- Speed 6 squares
- Low-light vision
- +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth
- Goblin Reflexes: +1 to Reflex defense.
- Racial Power - Goblin Tactics: At will, as an immediate reaction to being missed by an enemy melee attack, you can shift 1 square.
The biggest boost that the DSHb gave, besides the flexible mental ability score boost, was a selection of racial feats and racial utility powers, both of which really strengthened the goblin's mechanics and thematics.
Goblin Racial Feats:
- Ankle Biter: +1 feat bonus per tier to damage rolls vs. creatures larger than you, +1d6 damage on critical hits against creatures larger than you.
- Desperate Goblin Tactics: When bloodied, Goblin Tactics lets you shift 3 squares.
- Goblin Feint: When you use Goblin Tactics, you gain Combat Advantage against the triggering enemy until the end of your next turn.
- Shadowcreeper: Requires Assassin class. When you use Goblin Tactics, you shift 2 squares and gain Partial Concealment until the end of your next turn.
- Sneaky Stabber: Requires Rogue class. When you deal Sneak Attack damage to an adjacent foe, reroll any damage rolls of 1 until you get a result higher than 1.
- Wrist Biter: When you use Goblin Tactics, the triggering enemy takes 1d4 damage per your character's tier before you shift.
Goblin Racial Utility Powers:
- Fast Filch: At-will. When adjacent to a creature granting combat advantage, as a minor action, you can make a Thievery check to pick its pocket or perform sleight of hand. Level 2.
- Leg Up: Encounter. When adjacent to a creature, as a move action, you can jump your speed horizontally or up to 10 feet vertically. Level 2.
- Little Green Lie: Encounter. If you fail a Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate check, you can re-roll the check as a free action. If it was a Diplomacy or Intimidate check, you can use your Bluff modifier instead. Level 2.
- Living Shield: Encounter. If you are hit by an enemy melee or ranged attack whilst adjacent to an ally, as an immediate interrupt, you can shift 1 square and transfer the hit to that ally. Level 6.
- Unwitting Guardian: Encounter. When adjacent to a Medium or larger creature, as a move action, you can can shift 1 square to enter the target's space, occupying it until the end of your next turn and being hidden from all creatures except the target. Level 6.
- Down and Through: Encounter. As a move action, choose a Medium or larger enemy adjacent to you and shift up to 5 squares to a different square adjacent to that creature; you can move through its space during this shift. Level 10.
Finally, goblins appeared as a PC race in 5th edition's Volo's Guide to Monsters. Like their fellow goblinoids, the kobold, the orc and the Yuan-ti, they were officially described as "unbalanced", which has earned a lot of fan flak, as this is literally an open invitation for more close-minded DMs to refuse goblin PCs - goblin fans are still hoping that WotC will eventually put out a splatbook with a "more official" and/or balanced version of goblin PC stats. Ironically, they were better off than the poor kobold.
Hopes of a reboot were shattered when the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica came out in November 2018; whilst earlier Plane Shift articles had presented an alternative goblin statblock, the GGR simply reprinted the Volo's Guide stats below.
- +2 Dexterity, +1 Constitution
- Speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Fury of the Small: Once per short or long rest, when you inflict damage with an attack or spell on a creature larger than you, inflict bonus damage equal to your level.
- Nimble Escape: You can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of your turns.
Surprisingly enough, after a second reprint in Eberron: Rising, the children’s “activity book” Adventure with Muk gave an alternative playable writeup, specifically for the Dankwood Goblins featured. All this does though is raise +1 Wis instead of +1 Con, and replaces Fury of the Small for the Forest Gnome’s Speak with Small Beasts, letting them communicate simple ideas to Small beasts and smaller. Which is nice for the utility, I guess.
As mentioned above, Plane Shift featured alternative goblin stats first - two separate versions, in fact. Whether they are better than the official versions is a matter of debate, though...
- Zendikar Goblin
- +2 Constitution
- Speed 25 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Grit: You have Resistance to Fire and Psychic damage, your Unarmored AC is 11 + Dexterity modifier.
- Tribal Affinity: Choose either the Grotag Tribe (you have Proficiency in Animal Handling), the Lavastep Tribe (you have Advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made in rocky or subterranean environments) or the Tuktuk Tribe (you have Proficiency with Thieves Tools).
- +2 Dexterity
- Speed 25 feet, Climb 25 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Climber: You have a Climb speed of 25 feet if you are not encumbered or wearing either medium armor or heavy armor.
Given the strong connections between goblins and orcs in some settings, particularly in Dungeons & Dragons' older editions, and the existence of half-orcs, one may ask if there's ever been any love give to half-goblins? Well, ironically, not really; though Advanced Dungeons & Dragons claimed that goblinoids interbred with each other and with orcs all the time, that fluff was lost after the change to 3rd edition, which wanted to try and make the two races distinct. As for goblin/human crossbreeding? Forget about it; they barely gave half-orcs any love, so you can imagine they'd be less than interested in half-goblins.
Except... there was one setting where goblinoids took the place of orcs. In the Dragonlance setting, orcs don't exist, being replaced by goblins and draconians, and so the half-goblin appeared there in 3.5's Races of Ansalon sourcebook. Surprisingly, they're known for both being very self-confident and assured (in fact, their Charisma penalty is described as stemming from coming across as too confident, making them seem overbearing or aggressive), in contrast to the propensity for wangsting endemic to half-orcs and half-elves in other settings, very brave (in contrast to the traditional goblin cowardice) and with a drive to be peacemakers and diplomats, rather like half-elves. Essentially, rather than bitching about being rejected by both worlds (human and goblin) or about the lack of a "true" half-goblin culture, half-goblins are near-universally driven to try and force the world to shape up and make a culture for them, by bringing goblins and humans to work together in peace. Which is actually kind of badass, and certainly a change from the norms for half-breeds. In essence, they're said to combine human ambition and drive with goblin ferocity and mob mentality.
Half-goblins are described as looking more or less like human-sized goblins; half-bugbears might be particularly hairy, and half-"common" goblins shorter than average, but still within the human stature. Although this stature can lead to them being mistaken for hobgoblins, they apparently lack quite as many fangs and have more human-like eyes, which makes the difference obvious enough at a closer look.
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
- Humanoid (Goblinoid)
- Base speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Move Silently
- +4 racial bonus on Will saving throws to resist Charm, Compulsion and Fear effects.
- Favored Class: Any
It should be no surprise that Goblins appear in Magic. Showing up in the very first set, Goblins have risen to be one of the most popular tribes in the game, and boy do they get a ton of support. They are known as the "characteristic" species of red, which means that they show up in pretty much every plane as the default red-aligned race. In fact, the number of planes in which goblins do not appear on can be counted on one hand. In general, when goblins show up, they are shown to be chaotic and unruly. They almost always have green or red skin, and travel in large groups, though this isn't always the case. On Ixalan, they look more like monkeys with white fur and black skin, and tend to be individualistic. They love fire and scrapping together machines and weapons that should by no stretch of the means work, but they do. More often than not, these inventions require the sacrifice of another goblin to get it working properly.
As a tribe, goblins often have small bodies and weak frames. When they show up with high power, it's usually at the cost of toughness. They are cheap to get out onto the battlefield, cheap to search up, and attack fast. They are perfect for aggressive red strategies, and they often come with ways to dump out even more goblins out onto the field. This usually comes in the form of goblin creature tokens, but some of the most powerful goblins let you dump them straight from your hand! If you don't wipe the board, or take out the few key goblins holding the deck together, you can expect the battlefield to be swarming with the little guys, and you'll be losing fast.
Goblins are a staple race in the Warcraft franchise. They have green skin, are very short, have long and strong fingers, long noses, large pointy ears, and sharp teeth.
In Warcraft 2, when the game expanded to more than just Humans, Orcs, Ogres, and Demons, Goblins were first mentioned. They were small mechanically-inclinded lunatics who invented great devices and were god-tier chemists. They offered their services to the Horde since it gave them more opportunities to wreak havoc and the races that would come to be those of the Alliance had ignored them for their entire history. The Goblins mainly performed recon and VIP transport for the Horde via their Zeppelins, demolitions in the form of suicide Sapper squads, the invention of airtight missile-launching capsules that were tied to the backs of giant turtles to use as submarines, and finally experimenting on their Forest Troll allies to transform them into giant Berserkers. In secret they also helped the resident Sauron, an insane evil dragon named Deathwing, in his various endeavors. Goblins were described as insane, sadistic, and greedy for gold.
In Warcraft 3, Goblins became a neutral group. It was revealed only a small portion of the Goblin race actually worked with the Horde, while the others have always provided their services to anyone with gold to spend and after the fall of the first Horde they have enforced that their own race remain entirely neutral to all factions. They did little of importance other than provide transportation for the various power players in this time. When the second Horde was building their capital of Durotar, a small number of Goblins lead by world famous Gazlowe provided them with fair deals (which is itself a big deal for their race) for Goblin services including demolition.
In vanilla World of Warcraft, Goblin lore expanded even further; a small number of Goblins were seen in the Alliance, some among the Horde, while it was revealed almost the entirety of their race dwell on an island called Kezan which has a massive underground city called the Undermine. The Cartels run Kezan, the most powerful of which is the Steamwheedle Cartel which performs the basic services offered in Warcraft 3. They maintain a few cities around the world including Ratchet (Gazlowe's city nearby Durotar), Booty Bay (a port which services anyone who reaches it, mainly pirates although they are just as much at threat from pirate attack), Gadgetzan (a desert city of scum and villainy, plus a small gladiatorial arena), and Everlook (a town high in the mountains of Kalimdor near by ancient magical Elf ruins).
Goblins have a racial rivalry with the other mechanically minded race, Gnomes, although hostility varies from giant robot wars to having a giant racetrack where they see which race can build the best vehicles to next-door neighbors who collaborate with each other on inventions and take any opportunity to try and make the other admit their philosophy is better.
In general, the Goblin philosophy is "Chemicals, 50% chance of explosion is acceptable, make it fast so it makes money!" while the Gnomish philosophy is "Magic and radiation, take your time and spend decades if need be, 10% chance of turning yourself into a chicken or a different color is acceptable, make it for the love of knowledge and invention".
In Cataclysm, Goblins recieved a MAJOR update as they became a player race. One of the cartels which was one of the weaker ones (having their section of Kezan entirely on the surface, mainly producing pop culture, cars, sports, and edibles) joined the Horde after Deathwing set their portion of Kezan on fire (since in the middle of a not-football game a ball was kicked and hit him). Their trade prince sold the entire Cartel into slavery after charging them all their possessions for supposedly safe passage off the island, and the ships were caught in a naval battle between the Horde and Alliance. After conquering the island, they then joined the Horde which was in the middle of becoming a fascist genocidal dictatorship again thanks to shit leaders (also, their trade prince got to keep his job despite the mess he caused). They quickly upgraded the Horde from catapults to giant robots and from bow and arrow to machineguns, then created their own new capital by completely renovating a huge chunk of the continent into the symbol of the Horde complete with a Mount Rushmore of their racial leader. During the Kezan levels it was also revealed that Goblins have become multicultural, taking on things previously alien to them like worship of the light and shamanism (although the former is seen as a combination of medic and television evangelism, while the latter is perceived as cutting deals with nature). Kezan is very modern and has television, pop stars, sunglasses, champagne, fancy cars, neon lights, not-Chinese food, electricity and lightbulbs, and many other conveniences not seen elsewhere in the rest of the Renaissance setting outside the homeland of the Gnomes.
Goblin origins were also explained. In ancient times, Goblins were an semi-intelligent race of monkey which was enslaved by Island Trolls and forced to mine a substance called Kajamite. Kajamite has a side-effect of causing a huge boost to intelligence (although not coherent thought) in anyone who imbibes it, and one day the Troll slavemasters entered the mines to whip their tiny laborers and were disintegrated with laser beams. Since then, the Goblins have mined Kajamite and used it as an ingredient in ingestibles of all kinds (including "Kaja-cola") although their supply was beginning to run out, and there was fear they may regress back to being mere monkeys without it. Like most Cataclysm plots, this was never brought up again although there was hints that with the Kaja-cola that was left everywhere they go that monkeys drinking it have begun becoming intelligent as well.
Goblins in Warcraft 2 had extremely squeaky, high-pitched voices and tended to babble or shriek. In Warcraft 3 the shrillness of the voice was lessened, and they became more calm and coherent. The Goblins in World of Warcraft still have a voice that is higher-pitched than a human, although only slightly more for males while gaining something of an American Brooklyn accent. The non-Bilgewater Goblins still speak in their Brooklyn accent or a general American accent, Bilgewater Goblins speak like they're from New Jersey both in accent and expression.
The said goblin in this manga while being a weak, tiny and barbaric humanoid is capable of many unorthodox tactics and teamwork that they could outplay and murder low level adventurers numerous times, whom the said adventurers underestimate the cunning goblins. They are barbaric primitives so they have to loot tools. However, they are capable of some degree of intelligence, like using signs like totems to create distractions as well as cover their weapons with urine and poisonous herbs to not only prevent adventurers from healing themselves, but also mark them with scents for goblins have an acute sense of smell. While they use mercenaries and pets such as wolves and orcs to further boost their effectiveness, the biggest contributors of their horde are their red shirt goblin goons, who are weak, small, but expendable and effective while attacking in groups. The horde is often led by a goblin mage that is capable of casting spells like fireball.
Oh, and this being Japan, they're sadists native to the moon who have only one gender and use females of other races to reproduce; given their brutal nature, it's done via rape. What the hell else would you read this shit for?
Goblins (The Webcomic)Edit
|This is a /co/ related article, which we allow because we find it interesting or we can't be bothered to delete it.|
Goblins are the stars of a webcomic called Goblins created by a man known as "Thunt" (real name Tarol Hunt, though in 2019 he announced that he is transitioning to female and is changing his name to Ellipsis Hana Stephens) in 2005, which claims that #GoblinLivesMatter and all the bad stuff comes from evil clans but most monsters are totally bros and it's all just a misunderstanding or a result of the ignorant sadistic humans, with those of the monster who ARE bad only being a product of human oppression.
Even so, only half of the arcs even have goblin protagonists - the other focuses on two adventurers, the, well, min/maxed human named Minmax and his dwarf cleric partner Forgath. Originally they were in an adventuring party (back when the comic was actually still a parody of an RPG world, complete with characters confusing the first person and meta as well as the cleric praying to the DM) who were at first all Drizzt clones then a bad weeaboo crew although the joke of the characters all dying at the same time due to their incompetence shortly after being rolled was dropped after the second time, and the parody plot was entirely dropped later on as well.
The supposed main characters are a group of goblins who were supposed to be just your average quick skirmish that was guarding a treasure chest full of magic gear they weren't allowed to open for reasons none of them knew. After surviving the attack by Minmax, Forgath, and their idiot friends that suffered a TPK, the Goblins decided to commit the ultimate act of heresy against their race and become player characters by adopting classes.
Then the story starts getting convoluted, going through a human city that is mostly just built on torture-killing monster races, having Minmax and Forgath go on a subplot that involved a Yuan-Ti that lead into a seemingly unending dungeon arc involving parallel realities before a misunderstanding forced the two characters to separate with her, while at the same time the Goblin group attempted to escape from a paladin who has taken the Lawful Good definition into "an omnicidal maniac who enslaves the souls of those he has killed while maintaining a personality straight out of a Warhammer 40000 fanfic". While having side stories involving ANOTHER insanely complex dungeon. While a third group, made up of one of the Goblins plus an evil Goblin who's really tragically misunderstood product of her situation going through ANOTHER unending dungeon.
The common points that are inevitably mentioned on /tg/ when Goblins is brought up are both the lack of an improvement of art over the course of the comics decade of history and the meme "IMSAD", the latter of which is a good summary of most of the plot of the comic. After a small breakdown caused by backlash from SJW fans taking issue with the torture-rapist ex-adventurer governor villain, the creator revealed that the reason the villains are written so absolutely edgetastically hammy in their evil is he was using the comic to work through some emotional trauma caused when some men raped his mother before he was born and the story of it scarred him. He also later revealed he had a history of domestic abuse. Somehow he thought this would make things better.
Thunt is currently supported exclusively through the webcomic, which goes on hiatus from time to time.
Thunt has also been working on turning his comic into an animated series which he funded on Indiegogo. Somehow, he managed to get several famous voice actors on the project.
A piece Thunt made during his breakdown, which they later blamed on their gender issues. Feel free to insert your own reference to Chaos corruption here.
|This article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.|
Traditionally, the idea of goblins being monstergirls was something of a niche, at best; most thought of them as just hideous, stupid, filthy little monsters - who would want to put their dicks in that?
Ironically, it was Warcraft that probably first sowed the seeds of female goblins being fuggable; whilst the attractiveness of female goblins in that game is contentious, people must admit that they were better-looking than the tumor-riddled, snaggle-toothed, scarred abominations that make up the canon depictions of most goblins prior to that. They were certainly attractive enough to start scoring Rule 34 artwork, and this became a revelation to fa/tg/uys: that goblin-girls did not have to be fugly!
From there, goblin-girls became an underground sensation, slowly developing and evolving in the steamier underbelly of /tg/ and on /d/ (or at least its "western counterpart" /aco/) until they have become as mainstream in the /tg/ fandom as any monstergirl has a chance of being.
Because goblins vary so widely in their depictions, it shouldn't be surprising that goblin-girls likewise have been a particularly fertile ground for interpretations. There are five "mainstream" depictions of the goblin-as-monstergirl you will probably encounter on /tg/, and many different sub-forms and cross-pollinations. All depend on which of various "goblin aspects" that a creator deigns to focus on; tinker skills, short-sighted hedonism, mischievousness, raw sexual appetites, and fertility:
- The "Pervy Tinker" archetype directly traces its roots back to Warcraft's Rule 34'd goblins: this envisions goblins as a "techy" race with a strong lewd streak, leading to them focusing their mad science skills on coming up with newer and more deviant ways of getting off. Depending on the fundamental tech level of the setting and the creator's own tastes, this can range from aphrodisiac gas grenades and automated dildos to golems built as living sex engines and bimbofying/transforming magitek rayguns. Rule 34 interpretations of World of Warcraft lore can be counted as this, as well as rare goblins in Corruption of Champions that are mentally stable enough hold their panties on.
- The "Shameless Slut" archetype likewise has its roots in Warcraft goblins, vis a vis their canonical obsession with money, but is perhaps one of the more widely known "generic" archetypes as well. These goblins are hedonists who take a great deal of pride in their libido and their love of pleasure, integrating with the other races and usually gravitating towards roles based on "entertaining", from barmaids to outright prostitutes. In fact, they are often depicted as actively enjoying whoring themselves out, as it ensures a steady stream of partners and profit, whilst sating their perverse and degrading sexual desires. These goblin-girls are often size-queens, specifically choosing partners based on the stature of their masculine organs. The adult comic artist Incase is focused on this one, and might as well started it with his drawings.
- The "Mischief Maker" archetype is the most innocent of the archetypes, portraying goblins as just playful, fun-loving hedonists whose greatest aims in life are pranking, partying and making love, not necessarily in that order.
- The "Savage Slut" archetype is perhaps the oldest of the archetypes, for it owes its origins to the original interchangeability of goblin and orc. These goblins are basically sexy "savages", wild and primal little monstergirls who live a primitive lifestyle centered on hunting, playing, and of course capturing & having sex with men. Essentially, this depicts goblins as shortstack or "a loophole for masturbating to underage children" orcs. Kenkou Cross' Monster Girl Encyclopedia is focused on that.
- The "Breederphile" archetype is, in comparison, probably the youngest of these archetypes. These goblins are defined by their racial pregnancy fetishism, and by having bodies almost literally built to breed. Being impregnated is intensely orgasmic, pregnancy either fills them with ecstasy, makes them incredibly horny, or both, birth is a series of some of the most intense orgasms in their lives, and social standing often revolves around how many daughters they have to boss around. +++...SCANNING...+++ +++Congratulations Neophyte, you have just weathered the single worst psychic assault a slaaneshi daemon is capable of unleashing; you may now be promoted into the ranks of the Grey Knights+++This archetype does make some sense if you think about it: after all as a 'cannon fodder' species for PC, where do all the Goblins come from? Corruption of Champions might as well started this archetype.
More recently, moreso than even the Breederphile, a variant of goblin-girl portrayal native to Urban Fantasy settings has come to /tg/'s attention from our shortstack fetishising kinsfolk on /aco/. Combining parts of the "Shameless Slut" and "Breederphile" stereotypes, paired with some occasionally-awkward racial coding, the so-called "Ghetto Goblin" tends to be used as an less-racially-offensive imitation of the "hot-blooded Latina" or "Ghetto Black Girl" racial stereotype, in that they are sexually open, tend toward foul language and fiery tempers when angry and lewd vocalizing or body-language when aroused or teasing others, and frequently dress provocatively. While breeding for the Ghetto Goblin isn't usually as erotic as with the Breederphile, the social status of the Ghettoblin is often measured by how many offspring they have, how often they have sex, and how early they first had sex. They arouse easily, to the point that human men in their stories often need to talk Ghetto Goblins out of outright molesting them openly in public.
Whilst these archetypes are certainly well known, there are also two specific depictions of goblin monstergirls that have achieved enough recognition to be recognizable by name; the MGE Goblin and the CoC Goblin.
The Monster Girl Encyclopedia depiction of the goblin is essentially a mashup of the Mischief Maker and the Savage Slut archetypes. These primitive mamono live in tribal clusters, entertaining themselves by playing pranks on each other or the races around them, hunting game, and conducting banditry for fun, profit and boyfriends. In appearance, they resemble pointy-eared human lolis with horns and superhuman strength, allowing them to fight with weapons that only a strong human man would normally have a chance of lifting. Simple-minded and carefree, they have no intention of giving up the lifestyle they so enjoy.
The CoC Goblin takes its name from Corruption of Champions, a hentai fantasy text adventure game that was popular on /tg/ for a while, before the fact that furries are much more willing to put money where mouth is when it comes to getting fetishistic shit done led to the inevitable flooding of the game with beastfolk waifus and encounters and /tg/ promptly banished it. Still, before it went under, it had a significant impact on the goblin-girl arena: CoC may not have created the idea of the Breederphile archetype, but it certainly brought it to the attention of what passes for /tg/ mainstream. CoC's goblins are Breederphiles who became a pregnancy-obsessed all-female race due to corruption of their water supply. Once a brilliant race of alchemists and inventors, they have since devolved into a Savage Slut culture, living in crude tribes based on a massively curvy matriarch, her husband(s), and as many daughters as she can make who are willing to stick around - whilst goblins are fiercely competitive with each other, there is also safety in numbers, keeping them from being eaten by hellhounds or raped/beaten to death by minotaurs. Such clans are often notably inbred, for their corruption means they have little sense of objection to incest, with only the matriarch's jealous possessiveness in regards her husband keeping her daughters at bay. They're also examples of the Pervy Tinker archetype, using what remains of their former knack for invention to create sex toys and perverse alchemical concoctions for use in subduing husbands and molding them to their liking.
- Unified Setting/Goblins Yet another take on a classic concept.
- Goblin Slayer, a man with a serious beef against goblins.
- The most common reaction to Goblins
- Goblinoid, for the extended goblin family.
|Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Races|
|Basic Set:||Dwarf - Elf - Hobbit - Human|
|Creature Catalog 1:|| Brownie - Centaur - Dryad - Faun - Hsiao |
Leprechaun - Pixie - Pooka - Redcap - Sidhe
Sprite - Treant - Wood Imp - Wooddrake
|Creature Catalog 2:|| Faenare - Gnome - Gremlin - Harpy |
Nagpa - Pegataur - Sphinx - Tabi
|Creature Catalog 3:||Kna - Kopru - Merrow - Nixie - Triton|
|Dragon Magazine:|| Cayma - Gatorman - Lupin - N'djatwa |
Phanaton - Rakasta - Shazak - Wallara
|Hollow World:|| Beastman - Brute-Man - Hutaakan |
Krugel Orc - Kubbit - Malpheggi Lizard Man
|Known World:|| Bugbear - Goblin - Gnoll |
Hobgoblin - Kobold - Ogre - Troll
|Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races|
|Core:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Dark Sun:||Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen|
|Dragonlance:||Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur|
|Mystara:|| Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak) |
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
|Oriental Adventures:||Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk|
|Planescape:||Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling|
|Spelljammer:||Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil|
|Ravenloft:||Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope|
Book of X:
| Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar |
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
|Dragon Magazine:||Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart|
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Races|
|Player's Handbook 1:|| Dragonborn - Dwarf - Eladrin - Elf |
Half-Elf - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
|Player's Handbook 2:||Deva - Gnome - Goliath - Half-Orc - Shifter|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Githzerai - Minotaur - Shardmind - Wilden|
|Monster Manual 1:|| Bugbear - Doppelganger - Githyanki |
Goblin - Hobgoblin - Kobold - Orc
|Monster Manual 2:||Bullywug - Duergar - Kenku|
|Dragon Magazine:||Gnoll - Shadar-kai|
|Heroes of Shadow:||Revenant - Shade - Vryloka|
|Heroes of the Feywild||Hamadryad - Pixie - Satyr|
|Eberron's Player's Guide:||Changeling - Kalashtar - Warforged|
|The Manual of the Planes:||Bladeling|
|Dark Sun Campaign Setting:||Mul - Thri-kreen|
|Forgotten Realms Player's Guide:||Drow - Genasi|
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
| Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:|| Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:|| Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|