10 Goblins with Personality

There are few fantasy foes a low-level PC can face as iconic as the goblin. These lean, green killing machines can be anything from chillingly psychotic to hilariously inept.

 

While goblins certainly have the potential for a memorable encounter, coming up with a goblin’s name and gimmick on the spot can be tough. Use the table below, to give a little character to your goblins:

  1. Lipless Rord: His lips are just fine; the nickname comes from the jagged scar across his throat that prevents him from speaking louder than a whisper.
  2. Ghalga Many-Whelps: This matronly goblin is never seen without at least four of her babes in tow; she teaches her children how to fight by throwing them at enemies.
  3. Purg Pie Rat: Wearing a black tai-corn hat, with a skull hastily drawn on in chalk, and fighting with two meat hooks he holds in his hands, this goblin fancies himself a pirate, but is only really interested in plundering pastries.
  4. Fongoa Stranglesgood: This goblin has over-long arms which hang down to her knees, and oversized hands. She kisses her victims just as they die, attempting to steal their last breath.
  5. Lork: Having once heard the saying “if you can’t see me, I can’t see you,” his solution to danger is to clap his hands over his eyes and try to scuttle off in a random direction.
  6. Urbla Stewmaker: Her ability to use fire to cook food instead of burn it makes her a gourmet cook by goblin standards. She chops up the bodies of friend and foe alike after battle to cook in her “lovely” stews.
  7. Borgo Dagger-Eye: This goblin has a horrific injury: the hilt of a dagger protrudes from his right eye, the result of a horrific knife-throwing accident. He has never removed the dagger, as he believes doing so will kill him. His preferred weapon remains throwing knives.
  8. Zingers Mudlover: Having loved wallowing in mud since she was a little whelp, once Zingers learned being covered head to toe in the stuff makes her blend in better to her swampy surroundings, she has almost never been without the stuff.
  9. Kibzunk the Licker: While this goblin was named primarily for his love of licking random objects, he is also a metaphorical bootlicker, quick to provide sycophantic praise to the strongest person in sight.
  10. Grout Hobwitch: This grizzled, ancient goblin is renowned for her knowledge of goblin magic, which mostly involves dubious curses and vague parables. She wears a belt of shrunken heads, and keeps a rat in a cage which she claims is her familiar.

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This article  appears in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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Guest Designer


Alex Riggs has been writing and designing content for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game since 2010, when he founded Necromancers of the Northwest and jumped head-first into the business. Since then, he’s been fortunate enough to be able to work with many other great designers, including contributing to several books on the core line of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game products with Paizo, numerous Legendary Games products, and, of course, his work for Raging Swan Press.

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7 thoughts on “10 Goblins with Personality

  1. i totally love this list! hope you do other “personality” lists in the future. not only was i laughing my ass off, i was marking down which ones to use in the future.

    in my urban Planescape homebrew i’ve got a small-time goblin shop-owner named Mr. Wink. he made the wrong planar dentist deeply unhappy, had all of his goblin teeth removed, and now wears a set of wooden dentures with square-shaped “human-like” teeth — but the dentures are three sizes too large for his mouth. he has to bite down furiously to keep them from falling out of his face, causing him to perpetually squint on the left side. hence, “Mr. Wink.” when i role-play him as an NPC i clamp my teeth shut, close one eye, and half-shout everything into the microphone.

    he also has three goblin wives. the women are basically misers, constantly pushing poor Mr Wink to work harder and harder.

    all of the sympathy that generates at the table allows me to pull strings behind the player’s backs as they move forward in the game, never suspecting that the poor wretch they know as the pathetic Mr Wink is really behind at least a fifth of the machinations they’re working against … until …

    • Noted. I’ll definitely consider more personality type posts in the future.

      Mr Wink sounds great (although I don’t think I’d want to be him–three wives sounds a trifle too many for me!)

  2. I was looking for extra info on goblins for a post I have in mind for my own blog. I just wanted to say I like this approach. Rather than the post I plan—giving ways of interpreting what the goblin stats in the Monster Manual mean, general strategy tips for combat, and ideas of how to run them as the DM/GM—you gave ways of adding character and life to the goblins players encounter. I really liked this list, bravo.