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This page describes the information gleaned from the comic and from the D&D literature pertinent to Goblin Culture. For information on biology, see Goblin Biology. Goblins in the comic have a culture all their own, distinct from other humanoids. While much is left unstated in the comic, some elements are made known through visuals and comments.

Thaco

A goblin elder in a typical kind of tribal garment, with atypical weapons.


ClansEdit

Goblins have a tribal society, as opposed to national. This means that each clan is an autonomous political unit led by a clan chief; there is no united realm of goblins. It does seem that Duv wishes to change this by uniting the goblin race with the military strength of the Viper Clan.

It can be inferred that goblin culture is less developed than that of humans. At least, the humans in Brassmoon City are more advanced culturally than the goblin clans seen at this point. It has been stated that human articles, even thrown out articles, fetch a high price in the goblins villages, and we can see that humans in the webcomic develop larger settlements than any goblin settlement yet seen in the comic.

Due to their autonomous nature, clans show differing levels of development in technology, skills, and magic; for example, the Viper Clan has been seen using more advanced traps and magic than the clan of the GAP.

Chief

Chief, shown above, is the leader of the GAP's clan. Note the crown.

LeadershipEdit

Each clan has a chief and a fortune teller. Both positions are gender neutral, although a female chief is usually called a chieftess. So far, we have seen one tribe with a male chief and a female fortune teller, and a clan with the reverse.

The chief is the leader of the entire clan. Each clan may have its own traditions surrounding the chief, notably the manner of succession and the responsibilities of the individual.

The fortune teller's position relative to the chief varies by clan. In some clans, the fortune teller is almost a higher authority than the chief (naming the chief's successor, guiding and directing the clan based on his or her visions) In other clans, the fortune teller may have no authority whatsoever; he or she may be a mere advisor to the chief. In many clans, the fortune teller is responsible for naming the newborns, and the names are often inspired by a vision he or she had. Thus, a goblin may have a name which hints at something which lies in their potential future (e.g. Dies Horribly, Saves a Fox, etc). Even in clans with this tradition, most goblins are named for physical or personality traits.

Because the goblins put so much faith in fortune tellers, it can be reasonably inferred that most Goblins in the comic believe in the existence of fate, and that fate is something that is definite and predictable. Saves-a-fox is an exception, however, as she believes that by killing a fox that she was destined to save, she has escaped her destiny, although it has since been learned that the fox she killed was terminally ill and suffering, so she might have "saved" it by killing it, although that is a rather stretched leap of logic. Regardless, the apparant importance the Gobins place on fortune tellers has enabled those seers to have a high place in the leadership of a given tribe.

War Camps and VillagesEdit

At least one clan (which the Goblin Adventuring Party is part of) establishes a war camp which is physically isolated from the village. The main body of the clan resides in the village, which allows the war camp to be the prime target of adventurers seeking XP. The GAP's village can withstand the loss of its war camp; Young and Beautiful claimed to have been the lone survivor of three previous war camps. Each war camp (judging by the one seen) is comprised of wooden huts, and apparently includes places for storing and possibly producing weapons on site.  Females are   not allowed in the war camp unless they possess magical skills, possibly because losing the females would adversely affect the tribe's ability to replace lost members, and if they were pregnant, the females would not be good combatants. That said, all three goblin females seen thus far (Young-and-beautiful, Duv, and Saves-a-Fox) have combat skills, the latter two having good or excellent ones at that. Thus, we can infer that being female is not necessarily an obstacle to being a good fighter among the goblins, although the three we saw (a fortune teller, female chief, and an "astounding" combatant) are not typical for goblins.


Thus far, we have not seen a goblin village. It is known that the females and children of the GAP's tribe are in their village, and that they grown food their in farms, and make clothing, along with other items, presumably, as the goblins set up war camps apart from the villages, indicating that they would have to have supplies from their village first in order to be able to set up such camps. The readers have reason to believe that Kore, the Dwarven Paladin, is on his way to annihilate the GAP's village. At the moment, the GAP is not aware of the threat posed by Kore. It is strongly believed that the Paladin has far more than enough power to level the village, and kill every goblin in it. 


It was also stated in the comic that the goblins were very good at hiding their warcamps and villages [1]

ClothingEdit

The goblins dress differently than human beings do. Few of the goblins are presented wearing a full suit of clothing, and most of the goblins are barefoot (as are many other "monstrous races"). It is possible that the goblins originally dressed in simple loincloths, like that originally worn by Thaco, and other rudimentary garments, and they adopted bits and pieces of clothing from humans and other more developed races when they came into contact with them. We have seen goblins with more clothing from time to time, often in the background, sometimes, though rarely, clad in shoes, like Duv. While it is likely just a background detail, if it has any significance at all, it would show that wearing "human" clothing is not a taboo among the goblins, and dressing in what would be considered indecent for humans is not a taboo either; many of the goblins are shown wearing little but a loincloth or are missing a shirt, pants, or both (the comic keeps it clean, though.)

It might have been that lightly dressed creatures were easier for the creator of the comic to draw when he began the artwork. The main characters have generally been given more clothing as the comic progressed, possibly reflecting the author's increased skill over time or an increased investment of time into the comic. Or this increase in clothing and equipment could be a part of the author's planned character development. Thaco gained a pair of pants to replace or cover his loincloth, Big Ears gained a suit of magical paladin armor which covers his whole body save his head, Fumbles was given more clothing to make him look like a threat by the authorities in Brassmoon City (much of which has since been removed after the escape from the city), and Dies Horribly gained armor over most of himself as well. Saves-a-fox gained some new clothing as well as well. Complains of Names actually lost his shirt, by contrast (interestingly, this makes him look a bit more like his father.)

Professions and SkillsEdit

Many goblins are warriors, but at least one clan (that of the GAP) commonly possesses skills in fishing, hunting, farming, and basic weapon making (such as spearheads)[2]. It is possible that there is little skill specialization in the goblin clans, with each goblin simply being a "clansman" rather than a tradesman. Goblin weapons skills seen so far include, but are not necessarily limited to, spear combat (up close and thrown), sword skills, proficiency with the axe, and use of a quarterstaff. It can also be inferred that goblins have skill making traps, as many are seen in their camps. This is a common trait among goblins in the D&D source material. The Viper Clan has also been shown to have skill riding wolves and worgs.












Note: Some of this information is inferred, not stated in the comic. It comes from the copyrighted "Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes" Webcomic by Tarol Hunt. All content in this article is subject to revision, and will change if contradicted by the author at any time, as the creator has the final word. I make no claims to ownership of any concepts, characters, or any other copyrighted material.

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