The Fourth Goblinoid

I had forgotten how much HD size progression came into play. I'd assumed Bugbears and Orcs had the same HD - I guess I'll have to look at that more closely.
Up through at least 3rd edition, bugbears were in that weird 2+HD middle ground with lizardmen and gnolls where they were clearly a bigger threat than the 1/2-1D+1 humanoids, but clearly not as big a threat as ogres. 3E's ability to advance any monster up and 5E's having multiple entries for each (plus each of them having a HD-less PC option) muddies the water significantly.

My main point, though, was that early on, barring some light characterization, most of the enemy humanoids weren't that much different excepting each one being slightly hardier/maybe more deadly than the previous.
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Up through at least 3rd edition, bugbears were in that weird 2+HD middle ground with lizardmen and gnolls where they were clearly a bigger threat than the 1/2-1D+1 humanoids, but clearly not as big a threat as ogres. 3E's ability to advance any monster up and 5E's having multiple entries for each (plus each of them having a HD-less PC option) muddies the water significantly.

My main point, though, was that early on, barring some light characterization, most of the enemy humanoids weren't that much different excepting each one being slightly hardier/maybe more deadly than the previous.
I know I never really paid much attention to Bugbears until 3e, when I compared them to Orcs and was surprised that they were just as strong, but tougher and more agile, with surprisingly good Stealth skills (mostly because goblins in that edition were all given a huge +4 to Move Silently). That's when I realized these guys were terrifying. In 4e, we got Bugbears sneaking around with garrote wires, ready to strangle the heck out of an unwilling adventurer, while orcs were still up front berserkers.

Orcs are savage, but Bugbears are crafty.
 

I know I never really paid much attention to Bugbears until 3e, when I compared them to Orcs and was surprised that they were just as strong, but tougher and more agile, with surprisingly good Stealth skills (mostly because goblins in that edition were all given a huge +4 to Move Silently). That's when I realized these guys were terrifying. In 4e, we got Bugbears sneaking around with garrote wires, ready to strangle the heck out of an unwilling adventurer, while orcs were still up front berserkers.

Orcs are savage, but Bugbears are crafty.
I would agree. And why would you? Until then a bugbear was just an orc which took two hits, a bugbear regular was an orc captain, or however you want to frame it. 3E did a good job of giving each of them distinct identities, that they often were previously missing.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I would agree. And why would you? Until then a bugbear was just an orc which took two hits, a bugbear regular was an orc captain, or however you want to frame it. 3E did a good job of giving each of them distinct identities, that they often were previously missing.
It really makes me wonder why they bothered to have so many different creatures that were basically filling the same niche. To the point that sometimes the rules would say "refer to this other monster stat block for experienced/inexperienced versions of this creature", like how Hill Giant children have the same stats as an ogre, or female Bugbears fight as hobgoblins.

I mean, sure, variety, but if we got goblins, do we also need tasloi instead of just "jungle goblins"?
 

Guang

Explorer
sometimes the rules would say "refer to this other monster stat block for experienced/inexperienced versions of this creature", like how Hill Giant children have the same stats as an ogre, or female Bugbears fight as hobgoblins.
Yet another thing I had forgotten. This is getting more and more interesting. Is there a list somewhere that includes all the experienced/inexperienced referring to other monsters?
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I don't think so, at least, I've never seen such a thing, you have to refer to individual monster writeups.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
It's pretty obvious that the Terrasque is goblinoid. WotC left that little fun fact out because, well, the Terrasque can't be fey. It could be a weakness.

I mean, sure, variety, but if we got goblins, do we also need tasloi instead of just "jungle goblins"?
Um, jungle-anything probably won't fly with WotC.
 


aramis erak

Legend
My understanding of the Goblinoids comes first from Rankin-Bass, and second from D&D; the GW flavoring of 5 (Troll, Hobgoblin, Ork, Goblin, Snotling) was a different take, one I use only in GW games...

For me, early on ('81-'86), I used the pig-faced Orcs in D&D, very Bakshi LOTR '78 influenced, and goblins weren't diminutives, but something else, with hobgoblins being man-sized goblins, and both g and hg being drawn from Rankin-Bass Hobbit.

Once I did consolidate them, circa 1987, in my games, I made the Orks essentially Homo robustus, with hobgoblins being subspecies horribilis, goblins ferox, and orcs robustus. Elves and Dwarves also in Homo, each a separate subgenus, with a diminutive elf-hobbit as the other elf species, and dwarves and gnomes sharing a subgenus. Humans, halflings, and lesser giants being subgenus habilis...

ElfQuest enters around 1986, but wasn't an influence on my game worlds until the 90's.

I didn't encounter Warhammer until about 1988...

Next time I run a homebrew D&D world, I intend goblinoids to be 3 subspecies, but not in Homo. No, they're Australopithecus orcanthorpus. HG as A. o. horribilis, Goblins as A. o. ferox and Orcs as A. o. hominis. Close enough for "good enough in the dark of the cave" in both directions.

But Hobbits get to be small, fast, and vicious... and are H. dimidius...

Elves & faeries get moved to an entire different regime... dwarves to a another one...
And bye bye to the half-things. Save between Orc, Goblin, hobgoblin, human, and halfling... Since they're all tribe Hominini...

But they all got pulled through cosmic rifts from other worlds.
 

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