Goblins, Valshock (3.5e Race)

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This page is part of the

Valshock Campaign Setting



Goblins[edit]

Personality[edit]

The most prominent trait of Goblins as a species is that they are social. Out of all the “civilized” technology using races they are most group oriented. While each Goblin is perfectly capable of functioning as an individual, their psychology seems to be finely tuned to life in close, tight-knit groups. A great example of this is the fact that they have little to no concept of “personal space” or personal property. When left to their own devices Goblins will tend to pile up into tight huddles around their leaders. This is both a defensive tactic, as well as practical custom – anyone in the center of a huddle is also the center of attention and can effectively give orders. Usually such huddles are composed of about a dozen of individuals – sometimes more. When they gather in numbers they still tend to form these non-exclusive huddles, but individuals freely float between different groups carrying messages and spreading gossip.

A Goblin is happiest when surrounded by at least 4 or 5 of his brethren and chattering. Individuals that get left behind or somehow separated from their group and unable to find companionship quickly become bored, depressed, lethargic and moody. For that reason Goblins never work or travel alone – most tasks that would normally require a single individual are done in teams. The smallest group they are comfortable operating in is about half a dozen – but that’s cutting it close. If one or two members of that group get lost or wander off, the remainder will likely abandon the job as most Goblins feel uncomfortable and isolated in groups of three or less to the point they are unable to work or concentrate.

The upside of this social behavior is that Goblins are quick learners. They pick up new skills very quickly, and as soon as a single goblin figures out how to do something the knowledge rapidly spreads throughout entire tribe. Most Goblins don’t learn a single trade skill or pick a life-long profession. Instead they pick up random assortment of skills as needed. When there is a job to be done an enterprising Goblin will simply Gather up his buddies who are not currently busy doing anything else, and they all pitch in. Those unfamiliar with the work pick it up as they go, and as long as majority of individuals in the group have an idea what they are doing things tend to get done. As you can expect, other races consider Goblin craftsmanship to be shoddy. It lacks the attention to detail and perfectionism born out of years of dedicated practice, or single unified vision of a skilled professional. Goblins mostly “wing it” and their creations “mostly work” or get patched and tweaked until they do.

In their natural habitat, given no pressures from the outside Goblins usually form tribal groups of around few hundred members. The exact population varies depending on food supply. Most tribes are opportunistic hunter-gatherers and they have a voracious appetite so usually there is an upper limit of how large of a group they can support. Separate tribes are just as likely to trade as they are to have armed skirmishes and territorial disputes. That said, tribal membership is fluid. Goblins cast out of one tribe are likely to be assimilated and fully integrated by another. Weaker failing tribes are often swallowed up by stronger ones. A Goblin tribal will fight viciously to protect the interests of his kin, but if he is separated from his people he will usually join the enemy tribe and find new life there. This is known as Goblin loyalty – Goblins are loyal to whomever they are hanging out with. Their allegiances are fickle as a candle in the wind, and blood ties or personal history are close to meaningless.

Physical Description[edit]

Working on revised look

Relations[edit]

This section is usually reserved for short descriptions on how races act around or with other races. For Valshock purposes and the RP elements involved in it, or at least for these goblins, this category will be used to divulge some more information on the Goblins in their areas of Questions along with the other races that frequently inhabit those areas.

Relations with other Goblins: Goblins, as social creatures, for the most part, get along with other Goblins, usually helping each other without worry of self worth. Leadership positions in Goblin societies are usually temporary. The strongest, loudest and most persuasive Goblin is usually the de-facto leader that others will defer to. The power stems from their personal popularity and only lasts until someone more intimidating or charismatic shows up. It is not uncommon for an outsider to join a tribe, and become it’s leader in space of a week or two solely based on the strength of their character and their skill at networking. It is also not uncommon for a non-Goblin to “take over” a tribe – as long as they can out-wit or intimidate current leaders and win over crowd, Goblins will happily follow member of another race.

Relations with other Greenskins: The relationship with other Greenskins, such as Orks, Hobgoblins, Trolls or even Ogres is mostly the same as other Goblins. Usually Goblins can become bossed around by a stronger race but they also have the mischievous and ingenuous thinking capabilities their bigger cousins lack. Where most Greenskins fail in mental capacity, most Goblins tend to figure it out. This being said, Goblins are not always the smartest, for they can still make horrible decisions, but being the brainier Greenskin, they are usually thought of as administrators, advisers, or even rulers of the other races for the tactical advantage they possibly can give in battle strategies. Thus, when a Goblin controls OTHER races, the tiny menace is usually not something to laugh at.

Relations with Dwarves: Goblins and Dwarves never really got along together, whether it's because the competition for resources or a Goblin "stealing" a fine crafted battle-axe, they always get into fights. When Goblin tribes compete on resources with other races, they tend to pattern their societies after their adversaries. For example, Goblins that live in the mountains tend to often fight against Dwarves. Well equipped, disciplined and trained unit of Dwarf warriors can easily steam-roll and pacify small tribe of few hundred Goblins without even breaking a sweat. So almost by necessity cave goblins sought protection in numbers. They build vast well defended underground Goblin-Towns that house thousands of individuals. To support their large populations they abandoned hunter-gatherer lifestyle and instead stole subterranean agriculture secrets from their enemies. Because Dwarfs are well armored usually fight in a tight phalanx formation, Cave Goblins started making crude shields and learned to pile up and stack vertically to attack from above. The constant competition for supplies and territory have shaped their lives. As a mockery of their bitter enemies, the Goblin-Town chieftain usually dons a looted Dwarf crown or ornate battle helmet and calls himself the Goblin-King.

Relations with Humans: The situation is completely different in the fertile plains where Goblins must compete with feudal kingdoms of men. Goblins are omnivorous opportunists with no real concept of property. To them an unattended field or an orchard is a plentiful food source not to be ignored. Thus men and Goblins tend not to get along. Men had found that the most effective defense against the Goblin menace is offense. Mounted units could effectively chase down and slaughter foraging parties and armed war parties with ease. As a defense mechanism Goblins learned to domesticate and breed wargs and use them as mounts. Being social sponges the Goblins were changed by the wargs as much as they changed them. Tribes were re-formed as small nomadic packs living off the backs of their animals lead by a alpha male. As wargs, they learned to use hit and run tactics targeting low risk/high reward targets – small poorly defended farms, merchant caravans, shepherds, etc.. This has proven to be a successful strategy, as the pack could effectively free or evade cavalry charge, relocate and strike undefended food supplies at a later time. The Goblin Riders of the plains usually work in tandem – two riders to a warg. One is the driver, and sometimes carries a spear/lance or sword, whereas the other carries a short bow or few javelins for skirmish battles. When raiding human settlements for supplies, the second rider dismounts and proceeds with the ransacking while the driver loads the saddle bags with obtained loot and is on the lookout for potential danger.

Although Goblins in Human ruled plains are usually bitter enemies, the Goblins in coastal regions are usually more understanding. The affluent coastal regions with their sprawling human port cities are more hospitable. The merchants in the region saw the primitive local tribes of diminutive cheerful and impressionable little critters as a resource that could be exploited. Naturally, being the social sponges that they are local tribes have learned how to trade and barter. While still preferring communal living and sharing everything Goblins became pretty apt at recognizing what things human will trade, and how to calculate exchange rates. For example, gold is useless to goblins as its to soft for tools or weapons, and their social pecking order is usually established by yelling and brawling rather than by wealth. But they know that men crave gold above everything else so they trade in it. The coastal tribes usually refer to themselves as trade companies lead by a “Chief Merchant” or “Merchant Prince”. Many abandon their native tongue and adopt local human dialects as their own. Most Coastal Goblins have rudimentary reading skills and pretty decent grasp of basic math. Their niche is that they will trade in anything. Nothing is beneath them, nothing is too illegal or too sacrosanct to be bought or sold. They are smugglers, money launderers and slave peddlers. The criminal guilds and syndicates love them, and local rulers turn a blind eye, especially since Goblin Trade Companies will eagerly pay high taxes to keep their sovereignty.

Relations with wargs: wargs have not always been a part of the Plains Goblins life style, but since it's "domestication," it has been almost synonymous with Goblins. A long time ago in un-recorded histroy of Goblins, a Goblin Big High War Chief made an agreement with wargs to serve Goblins in return for Goblins serving wargs. This pact has shaped many Goblin tribes to what they are today and at least one wargs is in every Goblin tribe... Usually for the Goblin leaders. Therefore, we know that Goblins do not actually own wargs as pets, nor do wargs control Goblins, but it is a mutual beneficial relationship that gathers the two in a always beneficial bond. Both receive food and better odds in the dangerous world of Valshock.

Relations with Elves: Goblins of the dense forest that are ruled by Primal Elves have been nearly driven to extinction by the Primal Elves who could not tolerate their presence in their forest. Fortunately the little adaptable beasts have found that the best way to survive was to live where Elves simply would not go. They made the least hospitable areas of the forest their home. They built floating raft villages in the swamps, and domesticated local water serpents and the giant spiders. Initially their hostile environment took it’s toll, and mortality was high. Over generations however, Forest Goblins built up tolerance to swamp gases, spider and snake venom adapting to their new territory. These days the swamps are teeming with them, and they are once again a thorn in the side of the Primal Elves – too numerous and too well entrenched in their floating towns in the midst of toxic swamp. One would think that creatures living in such hostile environment, taming poisonous beasts would be truly wretched and ugly. But Forest Goblins are actually the opposite. The over centuries the Elven aesthetics rubbed off on them and out of all Goblins they seem to be the cleanest and most well groomed. Their craftsmanship is still rather crude, but their clothing has a simplistic style and elegance to it. Their short bows are nowhere near as sturdy as the beautifully ornate longbows of the Elves, but they have a primal savage elegance to them.

Such is the Goblin kind – it finds a niche and adapts to it, morphing their society and their psychology to fit in. But regardless where they live, Goblins are always their own people. They may adopt customs, technologies or even languages of other races, but in the end they make them their own. They never loose sight of what it is to be a Goblin because… Well, they can’t. Their lack of individualism, their group dynamics and unique mob-psychology makes it almost impossible for Goblins to assimilate themselves into other cultures, but extremely easy for them to live side by side – either as adversaries or as allies.

Alignment[edit]

Goblins are usually Chaotic Neutral or True Neutral. They usually only think of themselves, or more importantly, their tribe. To tell the truth, Goblins can not differentiate from good and evil... or not well anyway. They only do what they need to survive and sustain themselves and their tribe. If ever a goblin were to be anything but neutral it is most likely due to an outside force such as a demon for evil, for example, or a paladin for good. although, on occasion they may deviate from Neutral on their own accord.

Lands[edit]

Goblins are usually regarded as an infestation in most lands, and for good reason! Goblins can survive and scrap by a living ANYWHERE. they are amazing survivalists, able to forage, hunt, and pillage for food and lodgings.

Religion[edit]

Most, if not all goblins worship Bruuk and Braak , the twin gods of war.

Language[edit]

Goblins speak Common and Goblin

Names[edit]

Variations[edit]

Mountain Goblins, are the goblins commonly found in caves or mountains.

Plague Goblins,are goblins who have taken to the pestilence and stench they create and thrived upon it.

Fire Goblins, are commonly found near volcanoes.

Sea Goblins, are the goblins found at sea and often called pirate goblins.

Swamp Goblins, the goblins who dwell in the dark swamps of valshock

Trader Goblins, are goblins who are great a business and trade, but not so much in combat. These creatures are usually the only way other goblins and non-greenskin races can come to terms. They often play the middle man but are always loyal to their brothers and sisters.

Goblitz, are a smaller, less intelligent variation of goblins. They are often used as fodder and swarm tactics. (As if their weren't enough goblins to swarm you already...)

sand Goblins, are goblins who have taken to the deserts of Valshock.

Shadow Goblins, goblins corrupted by Vail and the void. They are forever servants to the god of the void but have gained power from their master.

Common Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Dexterity, −2 Constitution
  • Humanoid (Goblinoid)
  • Medium Size
  • 30ft.
  • Warg Rider: All Goblins have a long and historical alliance and friendship with Wargs. They recieve a +4 to any ride checks, and Handle Animal checks when rolling to ride or handle a Warg.
  • Group mentality: Goblins do not feel comfortable without at least 4-5 others. All Goblins take a -4 to Intimidate when not in a group with a total of at least 4 Goblins but a +4 when outnumbering a foe by at least 4 to 1.
  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Ride checks.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin Bonus Languages: Undercommon, Gnoll, Orc, Dwarven, Halfling, and Void speech.
  • Favored Class: Any
  • Level Adjustment: +0

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Goblin Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
5 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Table: Goblin Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
15 years 30 years 40 years +2d10 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Goblin Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 3’ 9” +3d6 90 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 3’ 9” +3d6 90 lb. × (2d4) lb.



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