Chapter One: Introduction

Note: The contents of this chapter may, at some point in the future, have to be reduced from that which you see present. If that becomes the case, it will still contain basic information that could be ferreted out from the same sources I used to compile the Project, but not as much gap-filler, unofficial material as is here at present. The reason for the potentiality of removing this information is that a sourcebook that might, just possibly, get published sometime is in development at this time, that may yet (we still don't know quite yet) contain some as yet unofficial information broadly similar to some of that that presented here. Due to publishing constraints, and to keep open the possibility of publishing that information, I reserve the right to remove it from view here in due course.

About this Project

Ok, hands up those of you who have ever thrown a clutch of Goblins at a party of low level PCs as cannon fodder. Yes, you too, the guy in the garish pick suit at the back... Most have probably done it at some time or another (and if I said I hadn't I'd be lying). Having a party of Goblins running away when the going gets tough is probably about the closest the starting GM comes to thinking about the society, culture and psychology behind the Goblinoids.

This project was born when the campaign my current PCs were involved in required them to take a trek across the Darklands and I had little if any material on the Goblinoids to draw on for planning that segment of the adventure (the area hadn't, at that point, been taken over by the Chaos Dwarves yet). The PCs had a especially interesting Snotling companion travelling with them at the time who has been one of the more fun NPCs to roleplay in recent adventures, which combined with my need for some Goblinoid material, made me decide to actually develop some Goblinoid culture and background info. Although coming too late to aid my planning for the epic trek across the Darklands which sparked its writing, this project is the result.

In the writing of this project, inspiration was drawn from a number of sources, however some sources were unavailable to me at the time of writing (most notably, Something Rotten in Kislev and the final two Doomstones books, Death Rock and Dwarf Wars). If you, the reader, do happen to notice any gaping holes, please contact me at . I intend this to be an ongoing project and to be as complete a description of the Goblinoids as possible. Any Goblinoid material you have is also welcome.

This project is intended primarily to cover the WFRP Goblinoid species, and my WFRP campaign in particular, but will hopefully cover the Goblinoids of WFB3, 4 and 5 to a reasonable extent also. It does not, however, attempt to retain compatibility with the WH40K Goblinoids (Orks and Gretchin), although it will perhaps be useful also in this context and does takes some ideas from the WH40K background. Also, it is written in the main to fit into my own campaign and Goblinoid view, which may well contrast sharply with others' views of the Goblinoids, although care has been taken to retain compatibility with the 'standard' WFRP background as far as possible. IMO, however, the Goblinoids are a very subjective area of WFRP and total compatibility with all views is impossible.

In various places in this project, you will find text wrapped in [square brackets], intended as notes to the reader and author both, and possibly [[double square brackets]], intended as developers' notes which shouldn't really be in here if this is the final release version. Also, anywhere you find '%%%' or '%%' this means the section is earmarked for updating - any help appreciated and otherwise please bear with me on these bits, I have other things I have to do besides write this you know...

Also, a note on the terminology I use in this project: I use the word 'species' here to mean, say, Goblins as distinct from Orcs, Black Orcs, etc. 'Goblin' means a member of the Goblin species and 'Goblinoid' or 'Gobbo' means any member of the Goblinoid race, from whatever species. The WFRP Goblins and Lesser Goblins and WFB4 Forest Goblins and Night Goblins have in general been bashed together into the single species of 'Goblins'. Note that I use the term 'species' where the WFRP rulebook uses the word 'race'. Myself I see the Goblinoids as all coming from a common root, constituting the Gobbo race but having several distinct species.

The Origins of the Goblinoids on the Warhammer World

Old World scholars have vastly differing opinions on the Goblinoid origins. Some hypothesise that they were the product of a set of Old Slann experiments, others believe that their unique skin and blood colours point to an otherworldly origin, while another faction believes they are the descendants of Dwarves and Elves twisted by the initial surge of chaos into the world. Others simply acknowledge that the Goblinoids are just plain weird by the standards of the other humanoid races, and don't make any attempt to understand them, turning their attention to bigger fish. Legends of the first Goblinoid contact with mankind tell of the Goblinoids first coming out of the Darklands, though this has never been shown to be conclusively so, a fact proponents of the chaos-born theory of the Goblinoid origins sometimes seem to forget.

Many scholars, not least those zealous Sigmarites among the academic fraternity, charge the Goblinoids with being borne from and of Chaos on general principle or simple Imperial bigotry. Others, mainly those with emphasis on the worship of Verena, try to probe the matter more deeply as far as they are able. Competing theories variously state...

As in all things, there is a small element of truth to all these theories. Few Goblinoids follow the Chaotic path, but some do. Some prove resistant to its effects, and some don't. There is a certain racial adaptability to the Goblinoids to be remarked on, but whether it is borne of Chaos taint is a subject of debate, and such theories often lead the question of human adaptability and possible Chaotic links to that. Usually, all these theories remain simply that - theories.

While few Goblinoids follow Chaos, the claim is made often, and believed easily by the common populace of the Old World. This has led witchhunters to seek out and seek to destroy all of the Goblinoid bloodline - as the saying goes, ten thousand Bretonnians can't be wrong... Some who believe the Goblinoid origins lie in Slann experiments emphasize the all too Human features of the Hobgoblins as evidence to their cause, while others suggest that the Hobgoblins are merely a stable form of Half Orc.

The lore of their origin has, of course, been lost by the Goblinoids themselves and their gods (there's a good reason why Nobles don't employ Goblinoid accountants!) and either the gods themselves have forgotton the truth are they aren't telling... This, of course, does little to stop the hatred, mistrust, speculation and accusation the Goblinoids inspire so well...

Physiology and Psychology of the Goblinoids

The Goblinoids, although varying greatly between species, are internally very similar. All are capable of Night Vision (10 yds in most cases) and their blood is slightly more viscous than that of other Humanoids, flowing that little bit more slowly. As poorly as conventional medical science understands even Human anatomy, however, the blood is thought to play a crucial role in healing (although not all agree about this by any means) and it is hypothesised that something in the Goblinoid bloodstream gives them their unusual healing ability - an ability by no means instantaneous (not fast enough to warrant giving them the Regeneration ability for instance) but faster than ordinary Human healing by any means. In an age where even Human anatomy is little known about, the Goblinoid innards are cause for much debate among scholarly circles.

Psychologically, the Goblinoid psyche is very much shaped by the society in which they live. Most quickly develop the violent, warlike, impulsive, mischievous and sometimes downright evil character the Goblinoids are well known for. The Goblinoids are not inherently evil (or are they? It's up to you, of course) but are predisposed towards this by the culture in which they live, the survival of the fittest. Snotlings (and, to some extent, Lesser Goblins) are an exception to this, being far less violent and nasty unless circumstances make them so, although this does make them rich pickings as snacks by some of the larger Gobbo species...

When you roleplay the Goblinoids, I suggest you play them as violent and possibly evil, as mischievous as you probably were as a kid and portraying them to use (unless it is a gifted individual) very little foresight or planning. On the other hand, if you see them differently roleplay them as you see fit, my view is not the only (or even the best) one after all. You might even like to mail me, letting me know how you see them. Who knows, it might even make it into the text of the project...

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