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PC Goblins for D&D 5E


This one is still rougher than my Orc write-up. I am not sure the subraces are properly balanced against one another. One gets an ability to affect animals in a way that might be very powerful or very useless depending on what your DM allows you to do with steeds/animal companions. The other one gets a nice +1 to hit so long as you got an active frontline tank in your party.

I have received very little feedback or advice on this so I haven't had the chance to fine-tune it in the face of criticism as I have the Orc.

Hidden away in every corner of darkness, lurking in every corner of the dark forest, scurrying down every back alley and occupying every cave and tunnel they can, goblins are found everywhere. They are perhaps the most common of all the races, the most adaptable and the most varied of them all. Though small and young, the goblins have a remarkably tenacity and cleverness to succeed even in defeat and keep surviving in a world that seems driven to destroy them.

[h=4]Pint-Sized Wildmen[/h]
The first two words that come to people’s minds when one imagines a goblin are probably short and ugly. They are a very small race, standing between 3 to 3 and a half feet tall, no larger than a child. However, they have small, powerful, athletic bodies like large monkeys, capable of surprising speed and agility. They weigh perhaps between 40 and 45 pounds with virtually no size difference between males and females.
They have any number of odd features. Most have very large and long pointed ears, sharp little teeth, long limbs and eyes that gleam in the dark. However, the vast variety in their kind mean that various tribes show other amazingly diverse features—some are nearly hairless, others are nearly furry, some have long and hook-like noses, others have no noses at all. Their skin tone is often tinted yellow, green or gray, but others are possible. The hair they have is almost always jet black, but various other dark colors have been seen.
Goblins usually don’t spend much time caring for their appearance. Often they are filthy, rarely bathing and having terrible sanitary habits. They are often dressed the filthy and torn discarded garments of other races, though those that live in the wild may well skin the animals they kill and wear their hides doing little to treat or tan them properly causing them to rot upon their very bodies. Goblins always carry everything they own on their person, but they also tend to consider no boundary between their own goods and those of their tribe and happily turn over anything they aren’t using, expecting others to do the same.

[h=4]You Only Live Once[/h]
The perspective of a goblin is one that is very difficult for one truly grasp. Goblins have brutally short lives. By ten years old they are fully mature adults and few goblins ever survive a fourth decade. Although goblins are often seen as unintelligent and immature, the truth is that they simply don’t mature emotionally or intellectually faster than anyone else despite maturing physically. This means that they are often left with a very childish perspective on the world.
They world is hostile to goblins. Just about every other race looks upon them as more an infestation than a people, pests that are slaughtered with only the most silly and tender-hearted giving much concern to the moral implications. To stay alive, a goblin learns as soon as they can walk that they must be quick and they must be quiet to live to see tomorrow.
And yet, even at their most wicked, opportunistic or destructive, the youthful vibrant energy of the goblin shines through. They love the illusion of danger, they love the thrill of a fight, particularly when they outnumber the enemy and have the advantage, they love to play pranks, they love to gain power and use it irresponsibly, they love adventure and whatever shiny things they can lay their fingers on. They tend to have little in the way of modesty, they don’t care about privacy, they can be shamelessly lecherous and they have no qualms about being dishonest, underhanded, or treacherous—in fact they take great pride in pulling one over on someone else who was foolish enough to fall for their trickery. So long as one ultimately acts for the good of the tribe, or the party for that matter, nothing else could possibly be wrong.

[h=4]Communal Life[/h]
Goblins live not only in the worst conditions of any race, but also usually live together with a few dozen other goblins. They live, eat, work and sleep with all their kin in communal dens, only the chieftain being separated from the others. To them there isn’t a real separating line between their own good and the good of the tribe. They bond with the others around them on a very intimate level, able to read their thoughts, emotions and feelings without the need of words or actions. Goblin tribes don’t do much to keep their homes clean and it isn’t unusual for the stench to get so bad that other races can no longer stand within them without feeling ill. This stench often clings to goblins regardless of how often others try to clean them.
The chieftain of a goblin tribe is virtually always the eldest of the tribe and usually considered the grandfather of the majority of its members. Sometimes a powerful sorcerer or shaman born among the tribe can amaze the others enough to win over the affections of their peers and seize control, but it Is relatively rare. Even goblins that serve as slaves to another race or for whom an outsider has appointed themselves chieftain still choose a leader among themselves. They are acutely aware of their status and order within the tribe and are always looking to earn a higher status, willing to try anything from heroic to treacherous to achieve this.

[h=4]Sneaky and Devious[/h]
Goblins are hardly a trustworthy lot, they cannot afford to be. They are suspicious of others and tend to look for any advantage they can. They will lie, cheat and steal from others with little regard to the consequences. Although fiercely loyal to their group, they are happy to double-cross anyone outside of it with the littlest of provocations. They look for ways to take advantage of their size and nimbleness in every situation and are quick to run when they cannot find a way to do so, finding it better to give up and spend their energy on something more fruitful or at least try again once they have a better plan.
Dwarfs –Dwarfs are always so angry and serious. And they are always looking to kill you over absolutely nothing! Kill them first or keep clear and unless you outnumber them two to one, be ready to run if you ever see them reach for their axe.
Elves – They are so weird and creepy with their mystical magical stuff! They act all arrogant, haughty and vain, but beneath it all they aren’t much different than us, but—I bet you if a goblin had 400 years to live, they’d be a lot smarter and have done a lot more than any elf.
Halflings –They are so boring! And dumb. At least they usually aren’t out to kill us like everyone else and they can more or less take a joke, but they’ll fall for every trick in the book and still keep that dumb smile plastered on their faces.
Humans – The nicest thing about these big, bumbling oafs is that they make nice places for us to live. Every one of their cities has a dozen different places for us to carve out a den right under their feet. And they throw so much away that we can make use of! Their garbage heaps are full of treasure. Some humans are as quick to kill us as dwarfs, others are as patient as halflings—and the problem is you can never tell which is which. It is better to keep your distance if they are old enough to be bigger than you.

[h=4]Goblin Names[/h]
Goblin names are given at birth and, since Goblins are often born in litters of 3-5, all Goblins born together are usually given similar names. While Goblins try to put a creative flare on the names they give their children, there are so many Goblins born that it is inevitable that there are many with the same names.
Instead of having family names, Goblins are often named after their tribes. The tribe names are often long consisting of multiple Goblin words strung together, because of this goblins tend to only use their given name and then try to earn a title or nickname and start using it instead of their tribe name.

Male Names: Avcı, Azıdis , Bana, Buyuk, Drek, Geko, Gemble, Gizlilik, Guc, Hancer, Jazz, Kan, Kurnaz, Ledak, Mildo, Mızrak, Nos, Ragnuk, Ruya, Tak, Xotz, Yigitlik, Yıldız, Zafer, Zorbin, Zust
Female Names: Asuk, Ayuh, Bahar, Bebek, Bizou, Buyu, Cicek, Civciv, Gercek, Gezgin, Gunduz, Huzur, Isık, Izzy, Kar, Kiraz, Kıs, Lenme, Menekse, Ota, Ruh, Ruzgar, Seftali, Sonbahar, Umut, Yaz, Zambak
Tribe Names: Arankhuisoyeo, Bodintuner, Dogshinkhusuryn, Gashunzagas, Guivjdaivsan, Idegchnibiyema, Kharchikhni, Khuchteibulan, Naidvarjad, Sarnynud, Shonintsereg, Tsustkhutga, Ulanbukh

Your goblin character has some traits in common with all other goblins.
Ability Score Adjustments: Your Dexterity Score is increased by 2.
Age: Goblins mature at nearly twice the rate humans do. A goblin of even 10 years old could be considered an adult. Goblins tend to live fairly short and fast lives, even the lucky survivors rarely make it into a fifth decade.
Alignment: Most Goblins tend towards Neutral Evil. Their general behavior includes some very chaotic elements, but is balanced by their loyalty to their group and putting the needs of the tribe above their own. And yet, their desperate struggle for survival means that there is nearly no limit to the evils they are likely to exercise upon those outside their tribe.

Size: The average goblin is about 3 and a half feet tall and they weigh in at about 45 pounds. Your size is Small.
Movement: Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You are a bit faster than other small humanoids.
Dark Vision: You are used to crawling around in dark tunnels and navigating dark forests in the dim of night, giving you superior vision in the darkness. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were in bright light and in darkness as if it were in tim light. You can't discern colors in darkness, only shades of black and white.
Nimble Step: Opportunity attacks made against you are made with disadvantage.
Sneaky: You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) rolls.
Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and Goblin. Goblins have their own language that they more or less share with Bugbears and Hobgoblins. There are dialect differences, but they can be overcome with some extra effort. However, the races do not share a script. While Hobgoblins use a complicated pictographic script, Goblins use a simple phonetic script using heavily modified Dwarven characters.
Subrace: The two subraces that live on the surface, forest and hill, are more like two broad categories separated by both environment and culture., though some tribes are a mix of the two.

[h=4]Forest Goblins[/h]As a forest goblin, you are at home in the deep woods, whether they be a temperate forest, a sweltering jungle or a dank swamp. Although primitive, you can survive among the many larger and more menacing creatures by your unique kinship with the beasts that also call these places home.
Forest goblins tend towards greener skin and larger ears and noses. They tend to have thin, scraggly black hair and many tribal tattoos. They are usually dressed in the hides of animals that served as previous meals and might wear bones as jewelry. Forest goblins are particularly famous for their fearsome wolf riders and their powerful shamans and druids.

Ability Score Adjustment: Your Wisdom score is increased by 1.
Animal Kinship: You can use Wisdom (Animal Handling) on wild animals as if they were domesticated animals, calming them, controlling them or keeping them as pets. You may also use any animal large enough to carry you as a mount even if it hasn’t been bred or trained for it.
Primitive Weapon Training: You have proficiency with whips, short bows and nets. In addition, when you make attacks with basic spears deal 1 additional damage.

[h=4]Hill Goblins[/h]As a hill goblin, you probably live under the foot or even the heel of another humanoid race. Perhaps you grew up as a slave, perhaps you grew up in the city hidden away in the abandoned structures, alleys or sewers. Or maybe you grew up as a highway bandit. Your life has been one of hiding and slipping out of the grasp of people bigger and stronger than you. You avoid fights unless you outnumber your opponents and at which time you excel at ganging up to beat and rob them.
Hill goblins usually have yellow or orange skin with small pug like noses. They usually have thick reddish brown or black hair and bright red or yellow eyes. They usually dress in scavenged clothing designed for other races and crudely modified to fit their bodies. Despite living in fear of larger races, who constantly seem to seek to slay or enslave them, they also the most open to interacting with other races in a non-combative way—most goblins who work alongside other races are hill goblins.

Ability Score Adjustments: Your Charisma score is increased by 1.
Slippery: You have advantage on Dexterity checks or saving throws to escape grapples, restraints or attacks that impede your movement.
Mob Tactics: Your attack bonus is increased by 1 against enemies engaged in melee with your allies.

[h=4]Goblins of the Underdark[/h]
Down in the belly of the earth lie tribes of goblins that are considerably more successful than their surface brethren, but also more brutal in some ways. The cavern or gloom goblins often live in communities numbering in the hundreds or even thousands in the ruins of ancient abandoned cities ruled over by a king. These goblins are more productive than their surface-dwelling cousins, growing fungi and mining, or enslaving others to do these tasks for them. They occasionally do raids against dwarf or gnome cities or even raiding the surface in the dead of the night, slaughtering many before they know there is an attack and taking away all they can carry, including the weakest, often children, to work as their slaves or even to be fattened and then slaughtered and eaten as lifestock. Among their number are skilled smiths and powerful sorcerers, making defeating these goblins, especially in their trap-laden dwellings, an impossible task. While surface goblins can come across as comical, an encounter with these creatures easily makes one understand the hatred dwarfs and gnomes have for goblinkind.
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I'm really wondering where you got that list of first names from. Nice work, btw!

It's a combination of names used in Lord of the Rings, names used in World of Warcraft and some Turkish names (since their god Maglubiyet has a Turkish name) and some Mongolian ones too. I actually spent considerable time compiling a list of a few hundred and then randomly selected a dozen from the list.


It's a combination of names used in Lord of the Rings, names used in World of Warcraft and some Turkish names (since their god Maglubiyet has a Turkish name) and some Mongolian ones too. I actually spent considerable time compiling a list of a few hundred and then randomly selected a dozen from the list.

Thanks, I just asked cause almost all of them are anglicised Turkish words.


First Post
Very Nice!

I want to convert my home brew setting races to 5th edition format. This sets a high standard to strive for. Well done!


First Post
Very nice! I see you have thoroughly developed the Forest type and probably still need to envisage the Hill type. I will definitely offer them to my players. I see the second type more like Cave Goblins and that is how I will use them for more diversification - ones are brave and bold and live in the open and tame wolves to ride, the others are sleek and hidden and only attack in mobs. ;)


Very nice! I see you have thoroughly developed the Forest type and probably still need to envisage the Hill type. I will definitely offer them to my players. I see the second type more like Cave Goblins and that is how I will use them for more diversification - ones are brave and bold and live in the open and tame wolves to ride, the others are sleek and hidden and only attack in mobs. ;)

Well, the Hill Goblin is meant to be your run-of-the-mill, very typical goblin that you have encountered dozens of times before. The ones running around the town as street urchins, the ones that try to ambush you on the roads, the ones that get rounded up by hobgoblins and ogres into little enforcer mobs that get easily scattered by adventurers, the ones that go rummaging through garbage piles and might come up with some shiny trinkets that they could try to sell.

They aren't meant to be menacing nightmare creatures like the cavern ones or wild nature-attuned savages like the forest ones, but can be considerably more silly and inoffensive. Their greatest strength is that they are prolific and can be found literally anywhere other humanoid creatures can be found. Basically they are straight out of the Monster Manual version of the race.

Anyway, I have updated these. You should check out the Database on this site for the most recent version.


First Post
This is great! None of the humanoid or goblinoid races are universally evil in my setting so this is especially interesting for me, thank you!


Overall I really like what you've done.
Particularly I liked that "Nimble" step *isn't* a copypasta of the "Nimble Escape" from the MM, which means Goblin Rogues synergies with Cunning Action rather than their racial ability being made redudant by it.

My only mild criticism is of:
Sneaky: You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) rolls.

I would instead have it as "You are proficient in the Stealth skill".
This would bring it in line with Elves' "Keen Senses", Half Orcs "Intimidating" and Goliath's "Natural Athlete".

In the playtest elves had Advantage on Perception checks and Half Orcs had advantage on Intimidation checks. This was changed to proficiency when 5E was released and I think I can fathom why:
Having advantage encourages players to sink a skill slot into being super competent at something they are already good at to get maximum benefit, at which point other races can't compete with them.

By giving stealth proficiency and +2 Dex, it means that goblins will make excellent rogues, rangers and similar sneaky types but not to the point where they are flat out better than any one else trying to be sneaky. They instead have a skill they can choose to assign somewhere else, confident in the knowledge they are effortless sneaky by virtue of being a goblin!

I will concur that it will make goblins slightly less sneaky than Lightfoot halfings with Naturally Stealthy and Wood Elves with Mask of the Wild who choose to be proficient in stealth, but not sure this is so much a problem.
For a start halfings don't have dark vision, elves are bigger and Dash+Nimble Step means that Goblins are in the best position to escape when sneaking goes wrong.
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