Rune of the Riselords
Goblins prefer to dwell in caves, amid large and dense thickets of thistles and brambles, or in structures built and then abandoned by others. Very few goblins have the drive to build structures of their own. Coastlines are favored, as goblins are quite fond of sifting through junk and flotsam in an unending quest to find treasures among the refuse of more civilized races.
Goblin hatred runs deep, and few things inspire their wrath more than gnomes (who have long fought against goblins), horses (who frighten goblins tremendously), and regular dogs (whom goblins regard as pale imitations of goblin dogs).
Goblins are also quite superstitious, and treat magic with a fawning mixture of awe and fear. They have the habit of ascribing magic to the mundane as well, with fire and writing both taking on mystical power in goblin society. Fire is much loved by goblins for its capacity to wreak great destruction and because it doesn’t require size or strength to wield, but written words are hated. Goblins believe that writing steals words out of your head, and as a result of this belief, goblins are universally illiterate.
Goblins are voracious and can eat their body weight in food daily without growing fat. Goblin lairs always have numerous storerooms and larders. While they prefer human and gnome flesh, a goblin won’t turn down any food—except, perhaps, vegetables.
Over-sized Goblins: A few goblins attain a much larger size than their kin. No one is exactly sure why they grow to be giants among their kind, but it’s probably due to a combination of luck, diet, and constant access to food. These goblins are monsters among their own kind, not just in height, but also in girth and in strength. If not cast out for eating all of the tribe’s food, over-sized goblins often become the bosses of their tribes, and the most powerful of them become chiefs.
Over-sized goblins are Medium size, and grow to 4 to 5 feet tall. They tend to be particularly obese, weighing between 225 and 275 pounds. Instead of the normal racial ability score modifiers for goblins, over-sized goblins gain a +2 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Dexterity, and a –2 penalty to Charisma.
Knowledge (History or Local) DC 25 Reveals the following:
Ten Facts About Goblins
- Horse Hate: Goblins excel in riding animals, but they don’t quite get horses. In fact, their hatred of all things horse is matched only by their fear of horses, who tend to step on golins who get too close.
- Dog Hate: Although goblins raise horrible rat-faced creatures called goblin dogs to use as mounts, and ride wolves or worgs if they can get them – goblins are quick to explain that wolves are NOT dogs – their hatred of plain old dogs nearly matches their hatred for horses. The feeling is mutual. If your dog’s barking at the woodpile for no reason, chances are he smells a frightened goblin hiding in there somewhere.
- Goblins Raid Junkyards: Garbage pits, gutters, sewers – anywhere there’s garbage, you can bet goblins are nearby. Goblins are weirdly adept at crafting weapons and armor from refuse, and are fond of killing people with what they throw away.
- Goblins Love to Sing: Unfortunately, as catchy as their lyrics can be, goblin songs tend to be a bit too creepy and disturbing to catch on in polite society.
- Goblins are Sneaky: An excited or angry goblin is a noisy, chattering, toothy menace, but even then, the can drop into an unsettling silence in a heartbeat. This, matched with their diminutive size, makes goblins unnervingly adept at hiding in places you’d never expect; stacks of firewood, rain barrels, under logs, under chicken coops, in ovens….
- Goblins are a Little Crazy: The fact that goblins think of things like ovens as good hiding places reveals much about their inability to think plans through to the most likely outcome. That, and they tend to be easily distracted, particularly by shinny things and animals smaller than them that might make good eating.
- Goblins are Voracious: Given enough supplies, a goblin generally takes nearly a dozen meals a day. Most goblin tribes don’t have enough supplies to accommodate such ravenous appetites, which is why the little menaces are so prone to going on raids.
- Goblins Like Fire: Burning things is one of the great Goblin passtimes, although they’re generally pretty careful about lighting fires in their own lairs, especially since goblins tend to live in large tangled thistle patches and sleep in beds of dried leaves and grass. But give a goblin a torch and someone else’s house, and you’ve got trouble.
- Goblins Get Stuck Easily: Goblins have wiry frames but wide heads. They live in cramped warrens; sometimes they get stuck.
- Goblins Believe Writing Steals Your Soul: The walls of goblin lairs and he ruins of towns goblins have raided are littered with pictures of their exploits. They never use writing, though; that’s not lucky. Writing steals words out of your head; you can’t get them back!!