In common parlance, “goblin” refers to a specific sort of small, ill-tempered humanoid, but the word also refers to related beings of various sizes, such as bugbears and hobgoblins. Goblins are as prolific as humankind, but as a people, they’re less creative and more prone to warlike behavior.
Most goblins live in the wild places of the world, often underground, but they stay close enough to other humanoid settlements to prey on trade caravans and unwary travelers. Goblins form tribes, each ruled by a chieftain. The chieftain is usually the strongest member of the tribe, though some chieftains rely on guile more than martial strength.
Hobgoblins rule the most civilized goblin tribes, sometimes building small settlements and fortresses that rival those of human construction. Goblins and bugbears, left to their own devices, are more barbaric and less industrious than hobgoblins. Bugbears are dominant in a few mixed tribes, but hobgoblins tend to rise above their more brutish cousins unless severely outnumbered.
A member of the goblin species has skin of yellow, orange, or red, often shading to brown. Its eyes have the same color variance; its hair is always dark. Big, pointed ears stick out from the sides of the head, and prominent sharp teeth sometimes jut from the mouth. Males have coarse body hair and might grow facial hair.
- Nature DC 15 – Goblins’ bellicose nature can be traced, in part, to their reverence for the god Bane, whom they see as the mightiest hobgoblin warchief in the cosmos. Some of Bane’s exarchs are goblins. Maglubiyet, the Battle Lord, and Hruggek, the Master of Ambush, are the most prominent of these.