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Goblins were a race of small and numerous goblinoids common throughout Toril, often living in underground caverns near the surface known as lairs. The race was often, though not always, dominated by other goblinoids, most commonly hobgoblins. Goblins may have, in fact, been initially created by this related race to serve as scouts and infiltrators.[11]

Description

Goblins usually stood between 3′4″‒3′8″ (1‒1.1 m) and weighed about 40‒55 lb (18‒25 kg) on average.[12] They had flat faces, sloped back forehead, broad noses, pointed ears, and small, sharp fangs. and their eyes varied in color from red to yellow. Their skin color ranged from yellow through any shade of orange to a deep red,[10] though they also came in shades of green.[13] All members of the same tribe normally shared the same skin color[10]

Goblins typically dressed in dark leathers soiled by poor hygiene and colored in a similar range of tones to their skin.[10][5]

Personality

Like other goblinoids, goblins often had a short temper,[7] and were more easily provoked than individuals of most other races. They often found it difficult to overcome this short fuse, and had a sense of greed that made it difficult for them to act altruistically.[14] They also generally took sadistic pleasure in exacting revenge once crossed.[14]

Young goblins were taught from an early age to rely only on themselves, and that to survive, they needed to be aggressive and ruthless. To a goblin, it didn't seem logical to treat others as well or better than you would treat yourself; rather, they believed in preemptively removing potential rivals before they could become a threat. Expatriated goblins would sometimes try to recreate the circumstances of their culture, preying on the weaknesses of others in non-goblin communities.[9]

Despite their generally poor reputation however, not all goblins were dim-witted or evil. Some goblins have risen to become heroes, gaining enough renown to be accepted into the civilized world of other, more commonly good races. Those goblins seeking this path may have found it difficult to overcome their temper and greed, as well as the cultural influence of their brethren, but those who did often found it could be more rewarding, in the long run at least, to serve good rather than to serve evil.[14] Those that did often made use of their ill-gained talents as rogues or fighters.[7]

Combat

Being bullied by bigger, stronger creatures had taught goblins to exploit what few advantages they had, namely sheer numbers and malicious ingenuity. They favored ambushes, overwhelming odds, dirty tricks, and any other edges they could devise, the concept of a fair fight being meaningless in their society.[15] They were an elusive and nimble race, which enabled them to slip away from danger more easily than most. In combat, goblins often used this advantage to sneak up on enemies and deal them a blow from hiding and then slip away before they could be retaliated against.[12]

When they had superior numbers in battle, goblins would attempt to flank lone combatants.[16] Retreat or surrender was their general response to being outmatched.[15]

Goblins were often known to fight with military picks, morningstars, short swords, slings, and spears.[5]

Society

Goblins were not known for having their lives valued.

Goblin society was tribal by nature, generally led by the strongest (and sometimes smartest) around, who normally had access to the best weapons.[5][9] Leaders among the race often came to power through betrayal or aggression rather than by more peaceful means, or as clerics of the goblin gods. Because of the violent nature of goblin culture, it was not uncommon for goblins to come under the domination of individuals from a larger, more physically powerful culture, most typically larger goblinoids such as hobgoblins or bugbears.[7]

Goblins had little concept of privacy, living and sleeping in large communal areas with only the leaders living separately in their own private chambers. As such, goblin lairs were often stinking or soiled, though easily defended when under assault[9] and layered with simple traps for such purposes.[15] The innermost chambers of goblin lairs were usually the most densely-populated and well-defended.[16] Goblin settlements were often filled with young goblin children, partially due to gender roles, though young goblins did not outnumber adults since their lives were often at least as dangerous as their forebears.[9]

A pair of goblins torturing a dwarf.

The gender roles of goblin society had the dominant males sustain the community through raiding and stealing, sneaking into lairs, villages, and even towns by night to take what they could (and if supplies ran short they were willing to eat sentients, including each other).[9] Goblin females meanwhile were expected to birth as many children as possible to sustain a population constantly driven down by violence. Many goblins who left for a life among other races were females, driven away by the rigidly structured role they were expected to play.[9]

Some goblin tribes were not above waylaying travelers on the road or in forests and stripping them of their possessions.[17] Goblins sometimes captured slaves to perform hard labor in the tribe's lair or camp.[5][18]

Homelands

Goblins often inhabitated temperate plains,[3] though many were also known to live in caverns or underground.[5]

Languages

Besides the Ghukliak,[10] some goblins were known to be capable of speaking Orcish or Yipyak.[5]

Religion

Goblins primarily worshiped members of the goblinoid pantheon, such as Maglubiyet in particular, who inspired them with his feats of strength and treachery.[6] Following the Spellplague and prior to the Second Sundering, however, the power of the Black Lord Bane grew and extended his power over Maglubiyet, making the goblin god one of his exarchs.[19] Following the Second Sundering, goblins again worshiped deities such as Maglubiyet and Khurgorbaeyag.[20]

Relationships

Goblins were often considered little more than a nuisance.[10] They did not get along well with most other races and were particularly suspicious of other goblinoids. Goblins had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with orcs and half-orcs, whom they'd work with on occasion, but the only true allies of the goblin race were worgs, who often acted as mounts and fighting companions for goblins.[6]

Goblins had particularly adverse relations with dwarves, gnomes,[5] and Tel-quessir.[6]

Some were known to domesticate huge wolves.[6]

Biology

Goblins bred extremely rapidly compared with many other races, accounting for their large population.[21]

Sub-Races

Notable tribes

Appendix

See Also

Gallery

Appearances

Adventures
Treasure HuntThe Tomb of DamaraThe Accursed TowerHellgate Keep (adventure)Lost Mine of PhandelverStorm King's ThunderTomb of AnnihilationWaterdeep: Dragon HeistWaterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Novels
The Ring of WinterThe Paladins
Video Games
Gateway to the Savage FrontierDescent to UndermountainIcewind DaleBaldur's Gate: Siege of DragonspearNeverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the MoonseaBaldur's Gate III
Referenced only
Baldur's Gate
Board Games
Faerûn Under SiegeDungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsDragonfire
Gamebooks
Spawn of DragonspearTo Catch a ThiefEscape the Underdark
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Silver Lining

Further Reading

External Links

References

  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 133–134. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 163. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 47. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  8. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  11. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 278. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  13. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Bruce R. Cordell (September 2000). “Vs.: Goblins”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #275 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106.
  17. Wizards RPG Team (July 2014). “Lost Mine of Phandelver”. Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 3, 7. ISBN 978-0-7869-6559-5.
  18. James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Stonelands and the Goblin Marches”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), pp. 11, 13. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  19. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  20. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 46, 50. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  21. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  22. Rick Swan (July 1990). Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-88038-851-X.
  23. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  24. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  25. Sean K. Reynolds, Steve Miller (2000). Into the Dragon's Lair. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-1634-6.
  26. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 182. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  27. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  28. 28.0 28.1 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Cormyrean Marshes”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  29. Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.

Connections

Goblins
BakemonoBatiriGrodd goblinNilbog
Miscellaneous Goblinoids
BugbearDekanter goblinGoblin ratHalf-goblinHobgoblinKoalinthNorkerSnow goblinVaragVerdanWorghest
Related Creatures
BoggleGremlin
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