Tome Goblin

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Here is one of several variant goblins I have created for the Varathia campaign setting. You'll notice they are all linked by the new "goblin subtype" that I have created but each has a very distinct flavor and place within goblin society as a whole.

Tome Goblins

This short slender humanoid has long pointed ears, long pointed facial features, and light-green skin. It affixes its faintly glowing yellow eyes on you and examines you with an unpleasant scowl.

Tome goblins are a race of creatures that love knowledge, crave facts, and treasure lore and so they are some of the most knowledgeable creatures in the world. Unfortunately they are short tempered, crabby, and arrogant so they are sometimes difficult to deal with. They tend to make their homes in out-of-the-way places and the more secluded the better, as they dislike interacting with people they consider stupider than them (usually this means everyone). Most people find tome goblins to be possessed of a kind of social sadism. They can play nice when they have to but are cruelly insulting and belittle anyone they can, whenever they feel they can get away with it. Many common folk try to avoid tome goblins in general but sometimes however interacting with one is unavoidable because of the many bureaucratic jobs they fill due to their superior organizational skills. These encounters are usually unpleasant as the tome goblin can make it for a person at their mercy, and the more one shows their frustration the more a tome goblin is likely to prolong it out of spite. However if you can get a tome goblin’s mind on their one true love, knowledge, they will typically prattle on for hours about subjects that interest them and prove to be a wealth of valuable information.

Personality: Tome goblins love to learn. It is one of the only true joys they seem to derive from life. A tome goblin is at his happiest when he is slogging though an ancient text or deciphering a badly damaged buy very valuable scroll. Be it on paper, vellum, or stone if it is written down a tome goblin wants to know it. There is a strong social imperative within tome goblin communities to be the most knowledgeable of their group so there is a great deal of boasting and one-upmanship among them that has evolved into a sort of continental information network. Tome goblins that need to know something will readily seek out their brethren to gather facts and can have an answer in a matter of days, depending on the information’s obscurity. Some of the more “civic-minded” tome goblins have been able to turn this to a financial advantage in the form of information brokering for pay.

However the goblin-as-bibliophile reputation sometimes takes a major back seat to one of the races other more unsavory reputations, belligerence. As previously stated tome goblins are generally hard to get along with, but why is this so? It is thought by some that their surliness is a result of their goblinoid racial heritage. Some say that the demon god of despair has tainted them. Others still blame poor diet for their across the board irritability. The truth is a simple one. Tome goblins just communicate that way. Insults do not mean much to them they are just another exercise in observation and quick thinking, mental sit-ups that help them focus.

That is not to say that they don’t think of themselves as superior, quite the contrary. They are raised thinking they are better than everyone else and many of them feel they have every right to let people know it. To them it’s just honesty. They view people who rely on physical solutions to every problem as dangerous barbarians. Moreover, they mistrust and dislike people who rely on good looks or charisma to get what they want. In their mind the world would probably crumble into chaos without them shoring up it’s intellectual defenses. As it should. They look on few people as equals and even fewer with kindness (though they are capable of it), though they do recognize the value of allies in a world where brutes run amuck. Any non-goblin who can stand a good deal of jibes and insults without letting it get under their skin will fast earn a tome goblin’s respect and maybe even its friendship.

Physical Description: Tome goblins are slender and short standing only about 4 and a half to 5 feet tall. They have green skin that ranges in shades from light to dark in their youth lightening to a jaundiced yellow as they age. They are generally clean but rarely cut their hair or sharp yellow nails. Goblins have very long, sharp noses and chins, largish deep-set glowing eyes, long pointed ears (longer even than most elves), and small pointed teeth. They usually have blue-black to slate gray hair that turns smoky gray as they age, goblin males tent to go bald very early. Goblins dress themselves in dark officious looking garb usually related to whatever is the most prestigious job they can get and then accent their outfit with gold or gem encrusted rings, pendants, or earrings. Goblins reach adulthood at the age of 25 and live between 100 to 150 years.

Relations: Tome goblins have a long and productive history as sages and fact-finders for other tolerant sentient races. Humans seem to be their best customers and many small tome goblin communities can be found in human cities. Tome goblins like most goblins have traditionally not gotten along with elves.

Alignment: Tome goblins have very lawful leanings and many of the ones that can overcome their racial social shortcomings go on to be some of the best lawyers in the world.

Tome Goblin Lands: Tome goblins prefer to make their homes in the labyrinthine back streets of large cities or within gloomy woodland settings. They are very paranoid about letting strangers into their homes or even find out where they are and take very confusing routes back to their dwelling if they feel threatened or followed.

Religion: Tome goblins are generally not thought of as being very religious but many have very deeply held convictions and beliefs. Since tome goblins are naturally inquisitive they research most of their early lives till they find a religion that best suits their temperament and worship in private devotionals. They regard religion as a very personal exercise and are generally evasive about what their religious preferences are.

Language: Tome goblins speak goblin, which uses the ancient script of the elven tongue.

Names: Tome goblins have a similar naming convention to other goblins but they tend to choose darker and more theatrically malevolent sounding names.

Tome Goblin Racial Traits

-2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -4 Charisma: Tome goblins have very keen but are weak and have very poor social skills.

Medium: As medium creatures, tome goblins have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size

Speed: A tome goblin’s base land speed is 30 feet.


Goblin Subtype:  Darkvision 60 feet, +2 racial bonus on all Hide and Move Silently checks, +1 racial bonus on all saves verses disease and poison.
Skills: Tome goblins receive a +1 racial bonus to all Knowledge (arcane) and Knowledge (history) checks. Tome goblins prize knowledge and lore of the mystical and mundane world.

Goblin Lore (Ex): Tome Goblins spend their entire lives looking for secrets and hidden cashes of information. As a result of this racial obsession they get exposed to a lot of random facts they can call upon at a moments notice. This ability functions exactly like the bardic lore ability of the bard class only the goblin rolls 1d20 + half the tome goblins hit-dice (rounded down) + Int modifier to make the check. If a tome goblin gains bardic lore or some other bardic lore-like ability it replaces goblin lore but the tome goblin gains a +1 bonus for every two hit dice the tome goblin has (rounded down)

Read Magic (Ex): Tome goblins have the innate ability to decipher magical script without the use of a read magic spell and can even read over (but not activate) magical writings, notations, spellsbooks, and scrolls even in areas of dead magic.

Small Frame: While they are medium size, a tome goblin’s small hands and bone structure give it the ability to use weapons balanced for small creature without incurring the normal –2 penalty for using weapons outside of your size category.

Automatic Languages: Common and goblin. Bonus languages: Any Regional, Elven, Giant, Draconic, Sylvan

Favored Class: Wizard. A multiclass tome goblin’s wizard class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty (see the XP for Multiclass Characters section on page 60 of the Player's Handbook). Tome goblins love the stuffy, book-filled life of the wizard and many tome goblins become specialist wizards simply because they feel it makes them that much more of an expert on a subject.

Level Adjustment: +0.


HATE keeps me young.