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Fighter1000
2013-03-08, 07:48 PM
I am a GM working on a campaign setting of my own. I am stumped when coming up with an origin story for the goblin race.
A few ideas/questions I already kind of have:
Who or what created the goblins and why?
The goblins are considered a nuisance by most. They organize themselves into savage hordes and can be found almost anywhere in the world, being very versatile and adaptable, plus the fact that they mature quite quickly and reproduce quite rapidly.

I kind of want goblins to be a player race.

So, fellow playgrounders, if you could help me with some brainstorming that would be great. Perhaps some of you have already come up with an origin story for the goblins before and could tell me it to inspire an idea of my own?

Thanks in advance.

ArcturusV
2013-03-08, 08:21 PM
One thing I've done with some similar races before is Origin. Most RPG Fantasy worlds default to Elves being the "First born" or the first created. Some might have a foggy myth about a "Failed" race that came before them.

Having Goblins be the actual origin of sentient life as we know it can explain why they are just about everywhere and why other races seem arbitrarily "more advanced" than the Goblins, the goblins, as a whole, are not evolved.

Calinar
2013-03-08, 08:47 PM
I have goblins in my world as a servitor race created by the aberrations who ruled the world before the new gods came and kicked the them into another jail dimension. They were not created with much intelligence, but are quite capable at following orders and occasionally rise up in a horde trying to bring back their "gods". They are not quite vermin, but pretty close.

EDIT: Also, as my players found out, a well trained and supplied army of goblins can be quite a threat. Remember, just because they are disposable shock troopers in an army of aberrations doesn't mean they can't hurt you.

Mark Hall
2013-03-09, 12:58 AM
Palladium Fantasy has goblins as a debased race of faeries... some rare goblins still have faerie powers (including some limited shapechanging, and a few natural spells they can cast).

You might also make goblins essentially a subrace of some other race... perhaps they're dwarves or gnomes who got separated from the others, descending into demon worship, and thus becoming twisted.

Perhaps goblins were an early attempt by one of the gods to create life, or the experiment of a twisted wizard.

THEChanger
2013-03-09, 01:08 AM
“Alms for the poor, alms for the poor!”

You look at your feet, and see a small green form, dressed in rags, sitting at your feet. He holds a small wooden bowl, with a few dirty copper coins scattered within. A goblin. Somewhat smarter than most of its kin, it seems, but still just a dirty goblin. You are about to pass by when a group of drunks come stumbling out of a nearby tavern. Jostling each other, the group eventually pushes forward the largest, apparently the ringleader. He stumbles over to the goblin, and picks it up. “Hey everyone, look! It’s Pignose! Hey Pignose, we were talking, and got to wondering. Where do goblins come from? What slime did your filthy race crawl out of?” The drunkard tosses Pignose back into a puddle of mud, and the group laughes heartily. The tiny form stands up, shakily, but with a fire in his eyes. “Oh, you want to know where goblins come from, Gaston? Well, let me tell you.” Normally, this scene would be one to pass by, but something in the goblin’s voice holds your attention, and silences the drunkards.

“Once we were proud, like you. Once, we had cities, and magic, and power. Believe that, if you will.” Pignose spits, his voice growing stronger. “Yes, we were strong, long before the elves. There was an empire, full of goblinkind, and it stretched the entire globe. Every continent, every nook and cranny, was ours. We were blessed by the gods, learned, wise. Believe that, if you will. That’s what my chief told me. Before we were slaughtered by elves in an attempt to take back our ancestral lands.”

“Or, if you like, you can take the story an elvish slaver told me. Once, Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh were doing battle, and Corellon ripped Gruumsh’s eye from its socket. Believe that, if you will. The blood of Gruumsh that landed on the ground rose, and became the orcs. But the urine that Gruumsh leaked in fear of Corellon’s sword, where that landed, it rose up and became goblins. We rose from the fear-piss of a god. Believe that, if you will. That’s what my elf master told me. Before she was killed by an orc in her sleep.”

“Or, perhaps what the orc told me would appeal to you more? According to his people, the goblins were Gruumsh’s first attempt at making life. But the dastardly elf god Corellon Larethian couldn’t bear to see anything outstrip his precious elves, so he poisoned the source from which Gruumsh was making. Thus, we goblins came out sickly and weak, not fit to be Gruumsh’s sons. So he then went and made the orcs instead. But we were still brothers, the orcs and the goblins. We still belonged to Gruumsh! Believe that, if you will. That’s what my orc warleader told me, before I slit his throat and ran for safety in the nearest city.” Pignose screams the last part, his eyes alight with a raging fire. The drunkards cowered in fear, the little green thing frightening them half to death. Then, Pignose smiled a cruel smile, and laughed. “You want to know where goblins come from? The real truth? Well, if you must know, there’s a library under the burial grounds belonging to the church of St. Cuthbert. If you ask any of the priests there, they will deny it to their last breath. But I found it. And there, in a box carved of giant’s bone, is a scroll that tells of the true nature of the goblins. Go find it, if you’re really so curious.”

The drunkards draw closer, and then Pignose screams once more at then. “GO!” The pack runs off, and Pignose settles back into his spot, picking up his bowl. A gold coin clatters into it, and a man in priestly robes kneels by the suddenly much smaller goblin. “So. What did this mysterious scroll say?” Pignose looks up at the stranger, and sighes. “Nothing. There is no secret origin of the goblins. No god made us, no fiend twisted us into being, not even a freak magical accident made us. Turns out a biologist was wandering in a swamp one day, and noticed some frogs were growing much bigger, and had sharp teeth on them. Those frogs grew into the goblins over a few short years.” Pignose shakes his head. “Imagine that. Out of every possibility, and we aren’t even an accident. The secret origin of the goblins is that we have no origin.”

Introducing Pignose, TN Goblin Bard 1 focused on Perform: Oratory, Gaston, NE Human Rogue 1, and the Priest of a Mysterious God. Have a free adventure hook with your answer.

Slipperychicken
2013-03-09, 01:27 AM
I consider Goblins to be related to Orcs, trolls, and Giants. This is similar to the "fair folk" (humans, elves, halflings, gnomes) and their relations to each other. Basically, at some point in the past, there was a branching off between the Fair Folk (ancestors to humans, elves, halflings, etc) and the Foul Folk (ancestors to trolls, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, etc), and Goblins emerged as the Foul-Folk's counterpart to the Gnome.

Here's another: Gnome and Orc mixed long ago, spawning the Goblins. They inherited Gnomish size and cunning, but also Orc savagery and appearance. Faced with racist persecution in the "civilized" areas, (where racists call them an evil/ugly mistake, or as an intentional curse from Gruumsh) Goblins are driven to the fringes of society. They are often found in slums and ghettos (where they mostly live in crime and poverty. Some do rise to mingle with the upper tiers of society, but these are by far the minority) or in the wilderness as semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Some tiny border-towns between Orc and Gnome lands treat Goblins as equals, and records indicate Goblins may have originated there.

SilverLeaf167
2013-03-09, 01:32 AM
In my current setting, elves (yes, I'm posting in the right topic) were originally created by the God of Nature. However, as time went on, the majority of elves gathered into villages or moved into larger cities, abandoning their origins. Goblins and orcs were created to replace the elves in this role and hopefully fill it much better. Everything went well, until Nature's (not his actual name, just using that title for ease of reading) rebellious son, Animal, was corrupted and turned into the Beast. He spread this corruption onto the goblinoids and turned them into what they are today.

Goblins noticed the gradual change rather quickly and were wise enough to seek refuge on a southern island away from the mainland before it was too late. Orcs, however, were too stubborn to follow them and thought they could fight back Beast's influence. They failed and gave in to the rage. They went to war against the other races and were driven into the vast, arid Wasteland.

Today, Beast's evil has begun to fade. Orcs, however, have failed to regain the trust of the other races. The goblins never went to war to begin with, leaving their bridges intact so to speak. While their appearance and relationship with the orcs means that most people don't really trust them, at least they aren't actively hated or automatically assumed hostile. They have some basic trade relationships with ambitious humans who give them common goods in exchange for ancient relics and precious metals they find in their lands.
While most people are somewhat prejudiced against goblins, the little critters are usually rather friendly, though also paranoid and jumpy. They seem to like humans much more than we like them: even the people doing trade with them are doing it just for the money. In fact, there's currently a major catastrophe in action, about to lay waste to the goblin lands, but all the humans are doing is readying to evacuate themselves and abandon the helpless goblins.

Fighter1000
2013-03-09, 02:06 AM
Once again, thank you for the help.
But, there is no more need for it. I came up with a story myself about 3 hours ago.
Still, the posts you have supplied have inspired other ideas for my world.
You guys are awesome
Happy Gaming

JellyPooga
2013-03-09, 03:48 AM
[I]“Alms for the poor, alms for the poor!”

This was awesome! A very enjoyable short read.

I, personally, like the idea that Goblins had an world-spanning empire in times long passed. Maybe it could even be extrapolated somewhat to say that they were also once tall and strong and fair to look upon, but were cursed by the gods for their decadence to be weak where they were strong and foul where they were fair, in a cliche'd turnabout.

Rhynn
2013-03-09, 04:06 AM
One of my favorite goblin ideas (http://falsemachine.blogspot.ca/2012/02/those-things-out-there.html).

My mate spitballed some ideas off of that at me just the other day:
The many kinds of goblins have many kinds of origins (or origin myths): they're spontaneously condensed from swamp gas, crawl out of the trunks of dead trees, hatched for centuries under slimy rocks until someone turns it over and they scuttle away, they crawl out of stagnant swamp water at night, they're carried ashore by the high tide...

JellyPooga
2013-03-09, 04:32 AM
I came up with a story myself

Well...what is it then? I'm curious :smallbiggrin:

Figgin of Chaos
2013-03-09, 04:53 AM
[I]“Alms for the poor, alms for the poor!”
Yeah, I think THEChanger wins the thread.

In my setting that had goblins, they were originally Orcs, children of the Fire Breather. When Death came to the Fire Breather, demanding that the Orcs be silent or suffer the curse of death, the Fire Breather told the Orcs to rage, roar, and make war against Death. "Goblin" is from the Orc word for "coward" and refers to those Orcs who abandoned the Fire-Breather and follow Death.

Vultawk
2013-03-09, 09:40 AM
Goblins in my world (which is mostly dominated by a hobbit nation) are hobbits twisted by the machinations of a dark god.

Asheram
2013-03-09, 11:36 AM
“Alms for the poor, alms for the poor!”

You look at your feet, and see a small green form, dressed in rags, sitting at your feet. He holds a small wooden bowl, with a few dirty copper coins scattered within. A goblin. Somewhat smarter than most of its kin, it seems, but still just a dirty goblin. You are about to pass by when a group of drunks come stumbling out of a nearby tavern. Jostling each other, the group eventually pushes forward the largest, apparently the ringleader. He stumbles over to the goblin, and picks it up. “Hey everyone, look! It’s Pignose! Hey Pignose, we were talking, and got to wondering. Where do goblins come from? What slime did your filthy race crawl out of?” The drunkard tosses Pignose back into a puddle of mud, and the group laughes heartily. The tiny form stands up, shakily, but with a fire in his eyes. “Oh, you want to know where goblins come from, Gaston? Well, let me tell you.” Normally, this scene would be one to pass by, but something in the goblin’s voice holds your attention, and silences the drunkards.

“Once we were proud, like you. Once, we had cities, and magic, and power. Believe that, if you will.” Pignose spits, his voice growing stronger. “Yes, we were strong, long before the elves. There was an empire, full of goblinkind, and it stretched the entire globe. Every continent, every nook and cranny, was ours. We were blessed by the gods, learned, wise. Believe that, if you will. That’s what my chief told me. Before we were slaughtered by elves in an attempt to take back our ancestral lands.”

“Or, if you like, you can take the story an elvish slaver told me. Once, Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh were doing battle, and Corellon ripped Gruumsh’s eye from its socket. Believe that, if you will. The blood of Gruumsh that landed on the ground rose, and became the orcs. But the urine that Gruumsh leaked in fear of Corellon’s sword, where that landed, it rose up and became goblins. We rose from the fear-piss of a god. Believe that, if you will. That’s what my elf master told me. Before she was killed by an orc in her sleep.”

“Or, perhaps what the orc told me would appeal to you more? According to his people, the goblins were Gruumsh’s first attempt at making life. But the dastardly elf god Corellon Larethian couldn’t bear to see anything outstrip his precious elves, so he poisoned the source from which Gruumsh was making. Thus, we goblins came out sickly and weak, not fit to be Gruumsh’s sons. So he then went and made the orcs instead. But we were still brothers, the orcs and the goblins. We still belonged to Gruumsh! Believe that, if you will. That’s what my orc warleader told me, before I slit his throat and ran for safety in the nearest city.” Pignose screams the last part, his eyes alight with a raging fire. The drunkards cowered in fear, the little green thing frightening them half to death. Then, Pignose smiled a cruel smile, and laughed. “You want to know where goblins come from? The real truth? Well, if you must know, there’s a library under the burial grounds belonging to the church of St. Cuthbert. If you ask any of the priests there, they will deny it to their last breath. But I found it. And there, in a box carved of giant’s bone, is a scroll that tells of the true nature of the goblins. Go find it, if you’re really so curious.”

The drunkards draw closer, and then Pignose screams once more at then. “GO!” The pack runs off, and Pignose settles back into his spot, picking up his bowl. A gold coin clatters into it, and a man in priestly robes kneels by the suddenly much smaller goblin. “So. What did this mysterious scroll say?” Pignose looks up at the stranger, and sighes. “Nothing. There is no secret origin of the goblins. No god made us, no fiend twisted us into being, not even a freak magical accident made us. Turns out a biologist was wandering in a swamp one day, and noticed some frogs were growing much bigger, and had sharp teeth on them. Those frogs grew into the goblins over a few short years.” Pignose shakes his head. “Imagine that. Out of every possibility, and we aren’t even an accident. The secret origin of the goblins is that we have no origin.”

Introducing Pignose, TN Goblin Bard 1 focused on Perform: Oratory, Gaston, NE Human Rogue 1, and the Priest of a Mysterious God. Have a free adventure hook with your answer.

Have another coin, friend, so that story lives a bit longer.

GenericGuy
2013-03-09, 03:28 PM
In my setting, Goblins were originally thought to be another “minion/slave” race created by the Elves of the Western Court. After some unknown disaster caused the Western continent to be completely cut off from the rest of the world for 1000 years, some small primitive rafts were coming ashore on the Northern continent containing Goblin families. Because they have no kingdoms or nations, most integrate into human kingdoms/cities, but a few can do magic (which suggest that they in fact have Elfish ancestry instead of merely being a slave race) and the human kingdoms don’t look kindly on non-nobles having access to magic. The ones that have magic become nomads selling their unique services to those who don’t want “lawful” magic users in on what’s going on.