Goblins As Heroes in the Fifth Age

In the Fifth Age boxed set, a variety of hero races were provided. While they provided rules for all the traditional Dragonlance player character races, they only scratched the surface of the many options available.

In an upcoming product I’ve written, the gully dwarves get restored to their status as a player character race. I had also created a new player character race–goblins.

Space reasons, however, dictated that the goblins get cut. However, unlike the draconians, I doubt there will be another chance to print the goblin rules. So, I decided to post it here in the newsgroup. SAGA players and Narrators can use this stuff in their personal games if they like.

Note:¬†This is pre-edited, first-draft stuff… kinda like my posts.

Race Description

Goblins are short, flat-nosed humanoids with bright red skin. They stand about 4 feet tall and weigh about 80 pounds. Their hair is usually black or brown, although goblins with white hair are not unheard of. Most goblins exist in tribal societies at the edges of Ansalon’s civilizations preying on the weak and unsuspecting, taking what they need to survive through force or guile. Theirs is a nomadic existence, abused as they by their larger cousins–bugbears and hobgoblins–and hunted by humans, elves, and dwarves.

Goblins are found mostly in the mountains of Krynn. This is both because the climate there suits them, and because it’s one of the few places they can live unmolested by other races. Most Ansalonians form their opinions of goblins based on the creatures who dwell in Taman Busuk and around the Khalkist mountains. Without a doubt, these goblins are honorless brutes who only want to kill, eat, sleep, and pass gas. However, more civilized goblins do exist, particularly on the island of Northern Ergoth.

Role-Playing

Through millennia of persecution–some justified, some not–goblins have developed certain universal racial traits that help them survive.

First, goblins have no shame. They will lie, cheat, steal, flatter, deflect blame, and suck-up in order to avoid a fight. They have long since learned that the world operates is geared toward the survival of the fittest, and when they’re not the fittest, they just need to focus on surviving.

But, if groveling, cheating, and lying doesn’t get them anywhere, goblins are fearsome opponents. They are vicious fighters who revel in glory and reject cowardice when it battle. When a goblin is pressed to combat, there is a very good reason for giving ground when he retreats. Although each goblin tribe has its own quirks, there are two distinctly different types of goblins that can be used as heroes, Mainland goblins and Sikk’et Hul goblins.

Mainland goblins generally fit the stereotype of their race. They are brutal scavengers who roam the land like a plague of bandits. They are invariably rude, crude, and highly ignorant about anything but doing battle. When not in battle, they are sniveling and whining and trying to ingratiate themselves with the most powerful figure around.

Sikk’et Hul goblins have changed through their isolation on the sparsely populated island of Northern Ergoth, and through a continued exposure to the outgoing and friendly kender neighbors, the kender. Sikk’et Hul goblins live in the badlands on the island’s southern tip, in a fairly orderly society, and are in the process of defining their own civilization instead of existing on the bones of others. While they still have a love for battle and consider it one of the highest glories, they are far less abrasive, are open to using diplomacy in attempts to settle differences. If mistreated, they will first attempt to resolve the situation by convincing their abuser that he is wrong. If that doesn’t work, then they will usually attack foes who are their equal. If they don’t think they can win, they will resort to more underhanded methods, such as killing the offender in his sleep or turning friends and allies against him somehow. However, they never treat friends and allies in such a way unless sorely provoked.

Requirements

The goblin race has been forged through hardship and persecution at the fringes of Ansalon civilizations. As such, they are a hardy race, despite their small stature. Heroes must have an Endurance score of at least 5 in order to qualify as a goblin.

Goblins are also very agile creatures, and as such must have Agility and Dexterity scores of 6.

Advantages

Goblins seem to have a nose for trouble and treasure. When serving as a party’s scout, goblin heroes are trump on any Perception Actions that are related to detecting ambushes, hidden trails, and concealed or secret cave entrances and doors.

Disadvantages

The vast majority of Ansalon’s people see goblins as disgusting creatures of Evil who are blights upon the world. As such, goblins have a difficult time interacting with other races, both because of the way they are treated, and the way they expect to get treated.

Goblins are never trump on socially oriented Actions when interacting with other races (Presence and Reason Actions, most likely). The exception to this rule are goblins from Sikk’et Hul and kender from Hylo on Northern Ergoth. These two peoples have leaned to accept each other.

About Steve Miller

Steve Miller lives, writes, and watches way too many movies in Washington State. He started his professional writing career doing feature articles and reviews, but soon detoured into writing roleplaying games. With a little luck, he’ll be balancing criticism and more creative writing in the years to come.

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