D&D 5E Wandering Monsters: The Little Guys

MarkB

Legend
I like me a comic-relief goblin or kobold, I really do. They can lighten the mood of a campaign. But then, so can a comic-relief ogre.

Making the entire species comic relief really is missing the point of them.

Personally, whilst I like the way Eberron structured goblinoid society, I think that, in general, lumping goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears together doesn't really do any favours for any of the individual races.

I'd prefer to see goblins out on their own. Yes, they share some DNA with hobgoblins, and yes, hobgoblins will keep goblin slaves when they can get them, but the larger part of the goblin population form a separate society, and hobgoblins, despite their greater strength and martial prowess, know better than to venture into goblins' home warrens in anything less than overwhelming force, else few of them would ever emerge alive.
 

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DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Personally, whilst I like the way Eberron structured goblinoid society, I think that, in general, lumping goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears together doesn't really do any favours for any of the individual races.

I see this opinion a lot and it always surprises me. What's the point of having them be related at all if they're not part of the same society -- even a disjointed one?
 

Dausuul

Legend
They are a bit twisted and capricious. They actually remind me of the gremlins from the first gremlin movie: wanton destruction, malicious glee, and cruel humor all combined into one small bundle of teeth and blades.
Yes, this is how goblins should be. Goblins are not comic relief. You are comic relief... to goblins. And being comic relief hurts.
 
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MarkB

Legend
I see this opinion a lot and it always surprises me. What's the point of having them be related at all if they're not part of the same society -- even a disjointed one?

I never did quite get why bugbears were related to the other two in the first place - neither their name nor appearance particularly says "goblinoid" to me.

And making goblins and hobgoblins part of some larger "goblinoid" society tends to dilute the individuality and uniqueness of both races, but especially the subordinate goblins.

When I meet goblins in a game, I want them to be their own creatures, whether that's the "down, down to goblin town" goblins of the Misty Mountains, the darkly psychotic goblins of Pathfinder, or something made up specifically for the campaign I'm in. I'm not interested in seeing them as the second-class citizens of their own society.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
If they want to put more thought into their encounter, they'll think about how they might tweak the Nentir Vale goblins to be the goblins in their own game. Maybe it's just RPing them differently, maybe it's a re-skin, maybe they'll steal goblins from Harry Potter, whatever. So it meets the needs of the homebrewer by being clear that these goblins aren't the only kind of goblin out there.

So basically...what you are saying is that if a goblin has traits listed in the monster manual and the entry says "from Eberron"... the person will think about how goblins could be different in their own world and create them. But if you had the same exact entry except it didn't say "from Eberron"... suddenly players would not think about how goblins could be different in their own world and not create them. If there was no specific world mentioned, then BOOM, this goblin is the ONLY goblin and no one would/should/could adapt them.

Gotcha.

I think my comment about not giving players enough credit still stands.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Someday I intend to have a game where the Wargs keep the goblins as slaves, just for the occasions where they want hands.

"And who are YOU wearing tonight, Snarrrli?"

"Thanks for noticing, Fangita! Krazz Sourbreath from the Red Hands Clan...I call him 'Krazzy' for short."

"Well, I call him simply deLIGHTful!"

"You'll call him deLISHious after tonight. He's a bit absentminded and he lost the key to my prey-pen. A girl's gotta eat!"
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I never did quite get why bugbears were related to the other two in the first place - neither their name nor appearance particularly says "goblinoid" to me.

I've never quite understood it either; its odd that their design has always been split that way.

And making goblins and hobgoblins part of some larger "goblinoid" society tends to dilute the individuality and uniqueness of both races, but especially the subordinate goblins.

I don't think that is necessarily requisite.

When I meet goblins in a game, I want them to be their own creatures, whether that's the "down, down to goblin town" goblins of the Misty Mountains,

Can I just say how freaking disappointed I was that "Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees" didn't make it into the new Hobbit movie?

I'm not interested in seeing them as the second-class citizens of their own society.

My goblins have acclimated to being the smallest in a caste-based society that venerates strength by becoming the brains of the operation. It's not that bugbears and hobs are stupid, exactly, but they have a cultural bias against mental exercise. That suits the goblins just fine, as all the law scholars are, therefore, goblins.
 


I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
So basically...what you are saying is that if a goblin has traits listed in the monster manual and the entry says "from Eberron"... the person will think about how goblins could be different in their own world and create them. But if you had the same exact entry except it didn't say "from Eberron"... suddenly players would not think about how goblins could be different in their own world and not create them. If there was no specific world mentioned, then BOOM, this goblin is the ONLY goblin and no one would/should/could adapt them.

Gotcha.

I think my comment about not giving players enough credit still stands.

It's actually a really powerful psychological effect that rests on the difference between opt-in and opt-out. It's part of why 4e, despite being so easy to mod and change, is also seen as dramatically changing all the fluff -- no one was MAKING you have succubus devils in 4e, and yet....

The difference between presumed consent and explicit consent is huge in practice, and I think D&D would be a better game for recognizing elements like this are in play, because they are, even if you don't think they are.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I never did quite get why bugbears were related to the other two in the first place - neither their name nor appearance particularly says "goblinoid" to me.

I've never quite understood it either; its odd that their design has always been split that way.
It has to do with the origins of the term in RW mythology- bugbears were a type of hobgoblin.

What I never understood was why- when the same mythological sources use elf, dwarf, gnome, and other similar words (including goblin, occasionally) somewhat interchangeably- ELVES got all the cool niches. Which then helped lead to a marginalizing of the way gnomes were treated...

I mean, I'm no gnomeophile like Whizbang Dustyboots, but C'MON man!
 

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