D&D General Goblin Campaign Ideas

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
I will soon start a campaign where the characters are all goblins and look for ideas for it to stand out from more traditional campaign.

So far their homebase will be a goblin lair where they launch raids on nearby roads and settlements, explore nearby notable features of the land such as caverns and ruins and often get raided by NPC adventuring parties.

What else would you look for in a goblinoid campaign?
 

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Grantypants

Explorer
Depends on how serious/silly you want your goblins to be. I assume Pathfinder's goblins are a big influence, but you don't have to take that route.
You might have pitch meetings where various traditional BBEGs try to sell your goblins on joining their evil army.
You definitely want an adventuring party or quest giver as a recurring enemy.
If you want to make your campaign feel distinctly different from a normal one, you could try changing how your players get xp. Maybe goblin players get xp only for how much they steal, instead of just for whatever they kill?
 



Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Depends on how serious/silly you want your goblins to be. I assume Pathfinder's goblins are a big influence, but you don't have to take that route.
You might have pitch meetings where various traditional BBEGs try to sell your goblins on joining their evil army.
You definitely want an adventuring party or quest giver as a recurring enemy.
If you want to make your campaign feel distinctly different from a normal one, you could try changing how your players get xp. Maybe goblin players get xp only for how much they steal, instead of just for whatever they kill?
It will be somewhaat serious evil align party of goblins

XP idea is nice
 

Mister_Fish

Explorer
My wife and I are mid gob campaign right now in a one-on-one game! The PC is a "chill" gob who lives with other chill gobs and is tasked with going out into other warrens and trying to find other goblins that are, inexplicably, not inclined toward violence. Lots of mystery on what's causing goblins and other "monsters" to be this way and trying to figure out a better way to get other goblins to do the same without waiting on dumb luck.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
So far the campaign will feature larger goblinoid like bugbear and hogboblins dominating and various other allies or villains, such as clans of kobolds, a hag druid nearby, a pack of wolf or worg, barghest hiding in clan etc..

The clan will be lawful in nature, and evil at its core, having a certain honor code where they're loyal to one another in the clan, but not as much to non-goblins. The clan will be in constant conflict with dwarves gnomes and halflings from the nearby hills and mountain, as well as elves from the forest and humans from nearby communities.

Since goblins don't have easy access to human town's marketplaces like in a typical campaign, trade will be conducted via barter, trading various previous metal, objects, weapons and armors for other needed materials.

During larger raid, i may have volunteer players also run 1-2 goblin monsters each on their initiative in addition to their own character, and as the tribe loose goblins to attack launched or suffered, i will emphase goblin clan member being refilled due to faster birth rate and growth of goblins compare to humans that take much longer to mature.

Slavery will be featured in the campaign. Goblins will collect slaves, mainly humanoids, demi-humans and kobolds, for food or mining work.

Goblins will regularly watch or patrol inside and around the lair, hunt or gather food for the tribe, explore their surrounding, and pillage nearby farms and settlements for ressources, livestock, slaves, prisoners or food.
 
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jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
The PC goblins are travelling devout and pious followers of The Reformed Church of Maglubiyet who are on a mission to reform the public image of their god by working good deeds in his name. Non-goblins are, of course, skeptical and other goblins of the Traditional Church of Maglubiyet (who worship Maglubiyet as an evil deity) are out to thwart the goals of the PCs.
 

LadyElect

Explorer
Depending on your appetite for or aversion to stream D&D: there is a Twitch DM I enjoy, BrettUltimus, that ran an all goblin campaign set in a primarily goblin region that takes a more light-hearted tone. It starts with the players coming together as a wandering circus and almost immediately descends into slapstick chaos as the PCs pursue their various interests and goals.

He has his own setting, though, that drifts further from most goblin tropes than what you have described so far so your mileage may vary.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Since goblins don't have easy access to human town's marketplaces like in a typical campaign, trade will be conducted via barter, trading various previous metal, objects, weapons and armors for other needed materials.

So maybe there is a human petty merchant who's selling supplies to the goblins - they have an understanding - he gets to unload subpar or stolen goods for a good price, the goblins get access to things they need.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Its a possibility but dealing with human merchants won't be the norm, i really want to emphase the monster aspect of the campaign and highlight differences with more traditional campaign. They will obtain most of their gear and treasures through pillaging and will barter with other tribe of humanoids for things they look to acquire or get rid of.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Goblins are scavengers, often bullied by others, who use wits and dexterity to survive and find a place of their own.

so make it a sandbox with the goblins finding themselves in the middle of a whole lot of competing demands which they need to negotiate eg Winter is coming and the goblins of bog hill need to go and gather in food stores before they get hit by snow, problem is that - human colonist have arrived and want to clear the Bog hill to build a town, the ogre mountain king is demanding more tribute, the elfs have put a bounty on goblin ears, orcs keep raiding the gobbo lair for slaves, a dread necromancer is building an army and there are owlbears in the hunting grounds. How do the PCs respond?
 
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Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
The Goblin campaign will definitly be sandboxy and the tribe will have to constantly manage basic ressources like food and water to survive since they don't earn coins and buy from food market.

They could rely on mushroom gardening, game hunting, fruit gathering and humanoid slavery for food ressources. And a stream for source of fresh water. Alcool could be either seized through pillaging or they could produce wine with fermented fungi.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Its a possibility but dealing with human merchants won't be the norm, i really want to emphase the monster aspect of the campaign and highlight differences with more traditional campaign. They will obtain most of their gear and treasures through pillaging and will barter with other tribe of humanoids for things they look to acquire or get rid of.
the way I see it, the vast majority of merchants would not do it because of the dangers, but also because it's a "betrayal" to be arming goblins - from the human perspective, this merchant is a minor villain, and would be in a lot of trouble if he got caught.
 

jgsugden

Legend
What is important about the scenario? Goblinoids, or bandits? Could you get the same benefit from having it be a group of humans, elves, goliaths, orcs, kenu or other heritages that launch raids on nearby roads and settlements, explore nearby notable features of the land such as caverns and ruins and often get raided by NPC adventuring parties? What is the unique feature of goblinoids that make this scenario best suited to them? If there is no clean cut answer that you like, is the focus too restrictive?

When we tell the players, "you get to pick from amongst these few options for your PC", it tends to shift the game from being a group game to a game that you're dictating to them. This can happen to different degrees, and is rarely a 'black and white' situation, but when I want to run a scenario campaign, I find it better to keep the scenario loose and then let the players help shape it with their PC choices. Here, you could say the group will start as a group living in a cave lair near a settlement/road that is trying to survive, and their group has historically had to resort to raiding others to do so. Then, let the players figure out how the PCs they want to make fit into the roots of a storyline and where they want to go with the story.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
What is important about the scenario? Goblinoids, or bandits? Could you get the same benefit from having it be a group of humans, elves, goliaths, orcs, kenu or other heritages that launch raids on nearby roads and settlements, explore nearby notable features of the land such as caverns and ruins and often get raided by NPC adventuring parties? What is the unique feature of goblinoids that make this scenario best suited to them? If there is no clean cut answer that you like, is the focus too restrictive?

When we tell the players, "you get to pick from amongst these few options for your PC", it tends to shift the game from being a group game to a game that you're dictating to them. This can happen to different degrees, and is rarely a 'black and white' situation, but when I want to run a scenario campaign, I find it better to keep the scenario loose and then let the players help shape it with their PC choices. Here, you could say the group will start as a group living in a cave lair near a settlement/road that is trying to survive, and their group has historically had to resort to raiding others to do so. Then, let the players figure out how the PCs they want to make fit into the roots of a storyline and where they want to go with the story.
The important part is an all goblinoid campaign. I once ran a orcish campaign back in the 90"s with AD&D 2nd edition that was also a different vibe and i feel a group of human, elves or goliath would not be the same, as they're not viewed as monsters that humans tend to distrust and often even attack at first sight! Interactions are not the same with evil races.

I hear what you say but the whole purpose of racial campaign is part unity and its not for everyone, but for those that don't mind or even embrace it, its fun and different. I've run some dwarven campaign before as well. There's something about being all part of the same race or ethnic group that you don't necessarily have when you run a campaign with a group of mixed races, which i tend to run most of the time. I am currently running a GREYHAWK campaign that is mixed, so my goal for this next campaign is to try something different despite being a bit more restrictive.

I will also use Tasha's any ASI +2/+1 to give more freedom to build PCs. Perhaps even Custom Lineage.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
the way I see it, the vast majority of merchants would not do it because of the dangers, but also because it's a "betrayal" to be arming goblins - from the human perspective, this merchant is a minor villain, and would be in a lot of trouble if he got caught.
Totally, there could be evil merchants or even power groups such as the Zentharim and Red Wizards of Thay in FR that may trade with evil humanoids. But i will definitly have trading that we are most often used to in typical D&D campaign that involve bying or selling things with coins from merchants be something unusual and rare occurence. Barter with other humanoids will be the norm to goblins.
 

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