Lets Not Build a World - Goblins
Ahh, goblins. The bread and butter of western fantasy roleplaying, the creme de la creme of low level PC experience gain, the dudes you killed a bajillion times without even batting an eyelash in almost every video game with a remotely RPG element in it ever made. I have to say, fuck them.
Goblins are bland and overused. All too often they’re an easy out, taking the role of bandits or barbarians you can’t barter with in regular campaigns as well as an experience soak for underleveled players. What’s the fun in using something that literally everyone has experienced already? Especially when they don’t have any personality. D&D goblins are the biggest offenders in this department. While the index writes them as being the darkest, most violent part of a child’s mind, permanently trapped in the body of a vicious forest sprite, most DMs will simply write them into a campaign as a bunch of green dudes you run into in caves or random encounters. There’s no backstory for a goblin. No interest can be generated by a goblin. You see a goblin, you kill a goblin, move on. Lame.
Warhammer and Magic: The Gathering did fun things with goblins. 40K made them drug-addicted, suicidal monster herders that often sacrificed themselves because it was fun. Magic made the goblins dangerously stupid, and dangerously stupid in such a way that when a goblin army marches the collateral damage to every side involved is catastrophic. Ninety-Nine Nights made them a playable campaign race, and anyone who reads Tolkien knows that the goblins are a really fun bunch in that particular universe. Elder Scrolls at least tried: There was a side quest that describes how the goblins war among tribes, right before you kill them all and never use the mechanic again. Either way, they have too much exposure. Though I used them a lot in my early days, I can not and will not involve goblins in my campaigns. Period.