5E Why does no one play Goliath?
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  1. #1
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Why does no one play Goliath?

    I've DMed for 30+ and played with another 20+ different people over the past year and no one even considers rolling up a Goliath. Before I inject my own preconceptions/prejudices, I'd like to hear why others think they are so rarely played.

  2. #2
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Probably because they're not in the core three books. Still, I'm sure there are people playing them somewhere.

  3. #3
    Potassium-Rich Moderator
    Hydra (Lvl 25)

    I'm A Banana's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    The short answer: mountain dwarves.

    The longer answer: Big Stong Guys aren't a rare racial option in 5e. In the PHB you've got Mountain Dwarves, Dragonborn, and Half-Orcs already, with Humans coming in close. Goliath just aren't part of the story as often, not woven as deeply into the fiction as these. Mechanically, stone's Endurance is nice, but because you've gotta get whacked to trigger it it can feel a little like a band-aid, when Mountain Dwarves are getting a bigger CON bonus and better armor. "I negate damage 1/rest!" isn't as awesome as "My AC is nigh-unhittable" most of the time (and doesn't nearly reward character-building as much). The other abilities are mostly fluffy (cold climates, high altitude, and detailed accounting for encumbrance are not exactly common play features).
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  4. #4
    Pit Fiend (Lvl 26)

    Sacrosanct's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Aloha, or
    I played a goliath paladin up to level 5. I can't speak for anyone else, but all the gamers I know choose a race because it fits their role-playing theme; rarely are mechanical features factored. And what is essentially a half ogre just isn't something people have on their list of archetypes they want to play. It's more of a one off race.

  5. #5
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    I feel they should get a +2 to CON and change their Reaction damage-reducer into Short Rest. Would make them on par with half-orcs. I don't know why WotC was so timid with them.

  6. #6
    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    New York
    If they ever release a sanctioned Dark Sun setting guide or adventure, then I would imagine the Goliath would sub for half-giants, and you'd see a lot of them as PCs. Especially if the setting restricted some of the other core races.
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  7. #7
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Colorado, USA
    I blame that David guy for the bad PR Goliaths are saddled with.
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  8. #8
    Defender (Lvl 8)

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Here is my proposed Goliath change:

    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 2.
    Age. Goliaths have lifespans comparable to humans. They enter adulthood in their late teens and usually live less than a century.
    Alignment. Goliath society, with its clear roles and tasks, has a strong lawful bent. The goliath sense of fairness, balanced with an emphasis on selfsufficiency and personal accountability, pushes them toward neutrality.
    Size. Goliaths are between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 300 and 400 pounds. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Natural Athlete. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.
    Stones Endurance. You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you cant use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift. In addition, when making Strength or Strength-based skill checks against creatures of Medium or smaller size, you have advantage.
    Mountain Born. Youre acclimated to high altitude, including elevations above 20,000 feet. Youre also naturally adapted to cold climates, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Masters Guide.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.

  9. #9
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I played a Goliath Fighter in a party with a Goliath Barbarian. I didn't stay in the group long enough to contribute much, but I enjoyed challenging foes to honourable duels and declaring myself the Lord of the Lance Rock after the previous one was killed by a stray Halberd to the neck.
    Last edited by flametitan; Sunday, 6th March, 2016 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Cut out a section that was seemingly addressed already
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  10. #10
    Scout (Lvl 6)

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA

    There is nothing mythic or legendary about a goliath. In mythology, Goliath was just a really big guy. A human guy.

    There are no modern books of note about 'goliaths', who at best feature in books commissioned by rpg companies.

    There are other totally made up races, like dragonborn and tieflings, but these are the next best thing to playing a real dragon or demon, who are simply too cool to be PCs. /2

    Goliaths exist only to pad rpg supplements.

    Without awesome mechanical features, why bother?

    Even with awesome mechanical features, why bother? (Ok, to get those awesome mechanical features!)


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