Goblin Skulls & Shackles
Making a Goblin Player Character
Goblins chew and goblins bite.
Goblins cut and goblins fight.
Stab the dog and cut the horse,
Goblins eat and take by force!
Goblins race and goblins jump.
Goblins slash and goblins bump.
Burn the skin and mash the head,
Goblins here and you be dead!
Chase the baby, catch the pup.
Bonk the head to shut it up.
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed,
We be goblins! You be food!
Goblins of Golarian is your friend when trying to get into the mindset of a Pathfinder goblin. While there won’t be any class restrictions, there are a few things I would like you to keep in mind when coming up with a character concept.
The most common classes undertaken by goblins are fighter, rogue, and cleric. Sorcerers are the most common magic-using class and alchemists are not unheard of. Cavaliers are not unheard of, but there will be little opportunity for you to ride your mount (and even less space on a ship in which it can live). Goblin druids and rangers are fairly common as well, though be aware of the limitations of ship-board life if you have an animal companion. Goblins hate dogs and horses, so neither of those are viable for animal companions or mounts (a goblin dog is something different). Goblin oracles, summoners, and witches are fairly uncommon, but not unheard of and tend to be viewed with suspicion and fear by other goblins.
Goblins believe writing steals souls
Goblins don’t write. Therefore, goblin wizards are very rare. Sorcerers are much more likely, though if you can figure out a way to hide your spellbooks from the rest of the tribe, you could be a wizard.
Goblins are surprisingly musical
Goblins like to sing. Badly. Goblin pass their history down through the generation via oral tradition, therefore, goblin bards are probably the most common character class after fighter, rogue, and cleric.
Goblins are not disciplined
Monks are extremely rare. If you wish to play a goblin monk, you will need to write up a character backstory that explains why your goblin is so disciplined and how he/she survives in a society that neither encourages nor tolerates such a mindset. “Raised by humans” is a cop-out in this case, because you will start play as a semi-productive member of an existing goblin tribe. By the same token, a goblin paladin will need an award-winning backstory. Inquisitors are likewise rare as the typical goblin tribe would find their rigidness stifling. It also makes goblin gunslingers rare as they are more likely to shoot their own eye out than learn to properly handle a firearm. Goblin maguses are also rare since it takes discipline to master two areas of study at once.
Goblins have a poor sense of self-preservation
Goblins are cowards, but until they actually face death, they are not aware that they can actually die. Therefore, the rarest class of all amongst goblins is: barbarian. Goblin barbarians typically do not survive the first fight in which they rage because they can’t develop their sense of self-preservation while raging.
If you don’t see a class listed here, it’s probably not used in Pathfinder or it is not appropriate for that part of the world (Samurai and other Asian-inspired classes). I highly recommending making sure that you have the base classes (Fighter/Ranger/Barbarian, Rogue/Bard, Sorcerer/Wizard, Cleric) covered before going crazy with the other classes from the Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, or Ultimate Combat. I’m not going to have the time to alter the adventures enough to make an unbalanced party viable.
You can also download the Player’s Guide to the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, but I’ll have a couple of print copies available for table use.
Characters should be created at level 1 using the 20-point Point Buy system as detailed on pages 15 & 16 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rule Book. Alternately, if you want to roll for your stats, roll 4d6, drop the lowest.
New characters may also choose two Traits (page 326 of the Advance Player’s Guide). When selecting traits, you may not select more than one from the same list of traits (the four basic traits each count as a separate list for this purpose). Remember also that traits are intended to model events that were formative in your character’s development, either events from before he or she became an adventurer or (in the case of additional traits gained via the Additional Traits feat) ones that happened while adventuring. Both Goblins of Golarion and the Player’s Guide to the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path have campaign-appropriate traits from which you may select, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions about a trait’s appropriateness.
As an alternative, you can also choose to create a Monkey Goblin character. I’m sure creative players can find all sorts of uses for a prehensile tail on board a ship.
Since the system is new to some people, and the concept of goblin PCs is also new, if by the end of We Be Goblins your character isn’t working out for some reason, you’ll be allowed to re-create your goblin PC.
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