D&D General I really LOVE Stomping Goblins

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Reynard

Legend
Right now I am divided. On one hand, they are humanoids with feelings and so on.

On the other hand they are evil little creatures in many settings.

So probably if you want them to be just cannon fodder, diplay them as demonic little creatures. Maybe have them being reproduced not by getting children, but by spawning them in some other way.

As soon as they behave like humanoids, having children and so on, killing them en masse is no fun anymore.

Right now my students are happy just killing orcs (in the essentials set). Lets see how they will behave when they see, that they are also just some humanoids who need a home.
So, goblins are pretend creatures. They only have the traits we assign them at the time we assign those traits. It seems counterproductive to imbue goblins with humanity (just to use a broad term that gets the point across) right before slaughtering them by the score, only to then worry ourselves about the ethical implications of doing so.

Simply don't imbue them with such traits. If you define them as irredeemable evil but hilariously psychotic little monsters that can only be dealt with by dismemberment, that's what thy ARE.
 

Reynard

Legend
Read it, then see if you feel the same about goblin stomping.
Why? Why would I want to feel differently about goblin stomping?

I have an English literature degree. I know the power of the written word. I have also been witness to and directly affected by one of the most horrific modern tragedies this country has suffered (I'll let you speculate as to which one). I know the terrible power of violence. Neither of those things has anything to do with goblins.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
So, goblins are pretend creatures. They only have the traits we assign them at the time we assign those traits. It seems counterproductive to imbue goblins with humanity (just to use a broad term that gets the point across) right before slaughtering them by the score, only to then worry ourselves about the ethical implications of doing so.

Simply don't imbue them with such traits. If you define them as irredeemable evil but hilariously psychotic little monsters that can only be dealt with by dismemberment, that's what thy ARE.

It seems to me that's fine I'm a world where that's what they are in your world - if they're analogous to, say, the Aliens in the movie of that title, it feels like you don't stop to question them.

Not that RAW is constraining, but which editions have described goblins as such by RAW? They haven't been in 3.5/PF or later, have they? Were there kingdoms of non pure chaos ones in 2e or 1
 

Reynard

Legend
It seems to me that's fine I'm a world where that's what they are in your world - if they're analogous to, say, the Aliens in the movie of that title, it feels like you don't stop to question them.

Not that RAW is constraining, but which editions have described goblins as such by RAW? They haven't been in 3.5/PF or later, have they? Were there kingdoms of non pure chaos ones in 2e or 1
For me, every edition. That's what they are. And all during that time I have always had goblin NPCs with quirky personalities that interacted with the party. That didn't stop them from being inherently malevolent little bastards. How could this be true? Because I declared it so. Just like you could give personality and complexity to, say, an infernal creature like an imp without compromising its nature as an evil entity, you can do the same with goblins or any other creature.

I will concede this: I do not EVER include goblin kids or infirm or whatever. They serve no purpose in my use of goblins, and if there is anything I hate in gaming is stupid DM gotcha moral quandary like asking the paladin if they are going to slaughter a bunch of kids. That doesn't mean I have to make up some convoluted ecology for goblins like they sprout for the spilled blood of trolls or anything (although I did that once just for fun), it just means that part doesn't come into play.
 

Not that RAW is constraining, but which editions have described goblins as such by RAW? They haven't been in 3.5/PF or later, have they? Were there kingdoms of non pure chaos ones in 2e or 1
I know Pathfinder 2E has since made goblins into a player race, but the very first Pathfinder AP's first installment, "Burnt Offerings", featured as its first scenario an attack by goblins who sing the following:

Chase the baby, catch the pup.
Bonk the head to shut it up.
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed,
We be goblins! You be food!

Early Pathfinder goblins weren't just bad guys. They hate and kill animals humans generally like such as dogs and horses, eat babies, set stuff on fire for fun, and then gleefully sing songs about it. They're basically gremlins (movie Gremlins, to be clear) with swords and armor who do evil for the fun of it.
 
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Reynard

Legend
I know Pathfinder 2E has since made goblins into a player race, but the very first Pathfinder AP's first installment, "Burnt Offerings", featured as its first scenario an attack by goblins who made their first appearance by singing the following:



Early Pathfinder goblins were pretty much fairy tale bad guys who hate and kill dogs and horses, eat babies, set stuff on fire, and then gleefully sing songs about it.
Pathfinder 1E goblins are best goblins! Too bad they ended up a victim of their own popularity.
 

The first Tal'Dorei book depicted goblins even more vicious than the early Pathfinder ones, describing them as little more than wicked vermin that only have any sort of communities at all because hobgoblins and bugbears force it on them to use them as pawns.

The new Tal'Dorei book, in contrast, about faces and says that was all lies told by bigots and anyone who has problems with goblins is given a stern talking to, though there is a specific hobgoblin theocracy dedicated to an evil god that uses mind-control magic to make all of its goblinoid citizens evil footsoldiers for the army.
 

Really, though, D&D could just shift a lot of the negative traits ascribed to goblins and orcs and whatever to certain low CR demons and make them more common as low-level enemies. It would also help give dretches and what not more personality.

Demons are pure evil without the civility that devils can have, don't reproduce, are invaders from the Abyss rather than natives of the world, and don't even really die when destroyed unless destroyed in the Abyss. Their presence in large numbers also increases the Abyss' link to a world, so wiping out incursions is also an imperative.

Edit: The only thing is I have the suspicion that putting demons in the goblins' niche might somehow end up making people want to start portraying literal demons more sympathetically, which would be bad optics for the game that once suffered under the Satanic Panic.
 
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ssvegeta555

Explorer
Actually that's an interesting question. Wasn't there a video game where you start doing typical FPS slaughter and then discover you were actually working for the bad guys all along? It seems a common plot so I'd like to know if it was implemented (but it might turn the audience off, so maybe not).
Spec Ops: The Line? Although that was a 3rd person shooter.
 

Reynard

Legend
Really, though, D&D could just shift a lot of the negative traits ascribed to goblins and orcs and whatever to certain low CR demons and make them more common as low-level enemies. It would also help give dretches and what not more personality.

Demons are pure evil without the civility that devils can have, don't reproduce, are invaders from the Abyss rather than natives of the world, and don't even really die when destroyed unless destroyed in the Abyss. Their presence in large numbers also increases the Abyss' link to a world, so wiping out incursions is also an imperative.

Edit: The only thing is I have the suspicion that putting demons in the goblins' niche might somehow end up making people want to start portraying literal demons more sympathetically, which would be bad optics for the game that once suffered under the Satanic Panic.
I think that's exactly what would happen. The real driver is people wanting these beings as characters, because they are portrayed in a fun way. Once they become PX options, "kill them all" gets weird.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Weak justifications are goblins.

I wouldn't have expected such a strong defense from a kobold with plastic surgery.


(Actually I'm just embarrassed that it never occurred to me he might be a goblin.)
 

HammerMan

Legend
This might be an unpopular or controversial opinion in current fandom, but I really love killing goblins -- or orcs, or kobolds, or any other stock enemy meant to die in droves. it hit me last night when I was playing Torchlight 3 (which is a video game and not a D&D one, but bear with me). The goblins in that game are very much the murderous, pyromaniac lit psychos of Pathfinder pre-2E and the feeling of obliterating them on screen filled me with a nostalgia for doing so at the table with dice in one hand and a cold brew in the other. There's just something truly satisfying about the over the top, silly mass murder of enemies designed specifically to die in droves.

I am not saying that is all I want out of D&D, or that I have an issue with a table or a game treating some traditional stock enemy types as not-stock enemy types (except Nazis -- Nazis should always be stock enemy types). I am just saying that killing goblins by the score is FUN.
I have no problem settingup a hoard of kobolds, or Orcs, or even PC races like elves that are invading or conquering (most recently I have been on a hobgoblin kick as a DM) and letting my players cut loose slaughtering them.

I can even in the same session have GOOD kobolds/orce/elves/hobgoblins or neutral ones... setting up hoards to slay can be fun.
 

AnotherGuy

Adventurer
If this had been a +thread, then the every goblin slain had a goblin baby strapped to their back argument would cease to exist.

The beauty of D&D is the table plays however they wish to as can be seen in the published adventures - you can make allies within the TToEE or you can just slaughter everyone.
 
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I think that's exactly what would happen. The real driver is people wanting these beings as characters, because they are portrayed in a fun way. Once they become PX options, "kill them all" gets weird.
I guess they could just really hammer in "no, these guys are for real super evil" by throwing in some edgy 3E Book of Vile Darkness type stuff like demons summoning more of their kind through vats of their victims' gore, force feeding people demonic ichor to turn them into mutants or rutterkin, or brutally slaughtering their own kind on a whim because more will always show up to replace what's killed until an Abyssal portal is closed.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Absolutely! But I don’t think anyone would call the enemies in Far Cry “complicated and interesting.” Which is fine, complicated and interesting isn’t always what you want out of your games. I’m just saying, they can either be complicated and interesting or be faceless kill-on-sight mooks. They can’t be both.
why can't they be both.

I can have a tribe of man eater kobolds that whoreship a red dragon, and in the same adventure have an evil hobgoblin take over a tribe of sneaky kobolds that are way more nueanced, and in the same game have a group of PCs befriend Meepo and his white dragon...
 

So, goblins are pretend creatures. They only have the traits we assign them at the time we assign those traits. It seems counterproductive to imbue goblins with humanity (just to use a broad term that gets the point across) right before slaughtering them by the score, only to then worry ourselves about the ethical implications of doing so.

Simply don't imbue them with such traits. If you define them as irredeemable evil but hilariously psychotic little monsters that can only be dealt with by dismemberment, that's what thy ARE.
exactly. Probably wasn´t clear enough.
 

Oofta

Legend
Well obviously words aren't real. If someone's saying cruel things to you or spreading hurtful rumors, just ignore them! It's not bullying unless they put their hands on you. /sarcasm

Rather than get caught in the same argument loops as usual, let me tell a real life story about how D&D changed a man's life.

About 20 years ago, I was in a campaign with a younger guy, I think in his last year of High School. Messed up home life, angry and edgy, not uncommon for a teenager. Well the DM basically dared him to play against type for this campaign and got him to roll up a Paladin. And then the DM threw a bunch of interesting moral quandaries at him. Not no win situations, but pitting the Lawful solution against the Good solution and accepting whatever the player decided as he struggled to figure out how to best live up to his Paladin code. The player dove all in the way in on working through those dilemmas, actually thinking about what it all meant, he said it was a life changing experience. Ten years later he was a police officer and I don't think that would have happened without him playing that Paladin.

Fiction is the testing simulation for real life. It's where we go to experiment with morality and philosophy under controlled conditions or specific circumstances. And yes, it's also entertainment. But it's not just for entertainment. Because it's not just a mask you can put on or take off at will. It's a training room for how you think about the world. And a lot of us are making the deliberate choice to put aside having groups of people you can kill on sight for reasons of birth, rather than because they're bandits or slavers or demon cultists. That's not who we want to be, and so we're changing how we play.

Sometimes, yes. Other times it's just stress relief and a game. There is no one true way, there is no one reason to play the game. Nowadays I play with adults and we acknowledge that it's just a game.
 

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