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FIRST LOOK! Goblin lineage and heritage in Tales of the Valiant

FIRST LOOK! Goblin lineage and heritage in Tales of the Valiant

When the Tales of the Valiant Player’s Guide debuts in just a few months, it will contain the classic fantasy people for player characters: elves, dwarves, humans . . . the usual suspects.

This blog series of extra lineages doesn’t appear in the Player’s Guide . . . but if you like these, let us know here and in the Kobold Discord server. There’s potential for them to appear in an official capacity in the future!

Here’s a peek at a lineage and some associated heritages for goblins.


Fecund and adaptable, vast populations of goblins are found everywhere creatures can survive. Despite their numbers, goblins aren’t known for building great cities. Their settlements tend to be small and purpose-built to incorporate the natural environment. A region is likely to have several settlements with dozens of active alliances and rivalries between them.

Goblins are also comfortable living in large cities where they form unruly communities, often in undesirable neighborhoods. They happily work at occupations that others shy away from, such as tending middens or rat catching.

In prior eras, goblins warred with elves and dwarves, often as shock troops for orc or hobgoblin warlords. This history causes them to be viewed with suspicion, if not hostility, by some, though this view is decreasing as goblins prove to be industrious and conscientious neighbors.

Goblins are short and tend to be slim with ropey musculature and slightly oversized heads. They have skin tones range widely from gray through yellow, depending on their native environment, but most tend to varying shades of green.


Your goblin character has certain hereditary traits dictated by their lineage.

Age. Goblins reach adulthood between the ages of 14 to 16. They rarely live longer than 100 years.

Size. Goblins range between 3 and 4 feet in height. They are heavier than they appear, owing to their dense tissue, and weigh 75 pounds on average.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in naturally dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Adaptive Physiology. You don’t suffer from exhaustion due to extreme heat or extreme cold. You can hold your breath for a number of minutes equal to double your CON modifier (minimum 1 minute).

Goblin Hardiness. When you finish a long rest, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your PB.


These heritages are open to characters of any lineage, but goblins are especially found among their numbers.


Characters from this heritage were raised among the captains, crew, and engineers of airship fleets. Though this is a young heritage in the grand scheme of the world, and communities are few in number, they are tight-knit and encourage an adventurous spirit as much as intellectual and physical skill.

Aerobat communities rely on good relationships with air elementals, intelligent avians, and bird-folk. Many methods that they’ve developed to allow their survival far above the ground are derived from these alliances.

Some aerobats claim they feel a constant breeze on their skin or that clouds follow them while they go about their business. Some even claim that they have a protective elemental at their beck and call, going so far as to name this alleged companion and engage them in one-sided conversations.

The first aerobats came from communities of fearlessly curious goblins and smallfolk, but all lineages are numbered among the aerobats. Avian beastkin are heavily represented in the heritage.

Descender. You can cast the feather fall spell with no material components. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again. Your spellcasting ability for this spell is CHA, INT, or WIS (choose which during character creation).

Natural Pilot. You have proficiency with your choice of Navigator’s Tools or Vehicles (Air).

Wind Walker. You have proficiency in your choice of Acrobatics or Athletics.

Languages. You know Common and one additional language of your choice. Typical aerobat heritage characters choose Goblin or Gnomish.


While the worlds of the Material Plane were still young, they fought numerous wars against the Seelie Courts of the Shadow Realm. During these conflicts, untold numbers of mortals were captured and pressed into the service of the wintery immortals. They became strangers in gloomy, tenebrous lands.

Due to their sheer numbers, the goblins of these young worlds were overrepresented among those stolen by the fey. Seeing the opportunities inherent in their new homeland, many of these goblins escaped to establish communities, and once those communities were secure, their leaders extended their hands to other folk who were similarly displaced. Shadowlands communities are patchworks of disparate peoples from across the many worlds of the Labyrinth.

Characters of the shadowlands heritage have adapted to the Shadow Realm and contend comfortably with both its environmental and social dangers. They tend to paler tones typical of their lineage, and are on the tall side of normal.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in naturally dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. If you already have this feature from another source, the range of your darkvision increases by 60 feet.

Shadow Camouflage. You have advantage on DEX (Stealth) checks while you are in dim light or darkness.

Unseelie Grace. You have advantage on CHA checks you make to influence fey creatures.

Languages. You know Common and one other language of your choice. Typical Shadowlands heritage characters choose Sylvan or Umbral.


Wastelander heritage characters have been raised to survive in hostile, magically blasted wastes. They are tough as old boot leather and eschew social nicety in favor of blunt honesty. Characters of this heritage know the value of community and of working together. Despite their general lack of tact, they are effective partners and excellent companions in a tough spot.

Wastelanders credit the goblin gods for adapting their bodies to the environment. They believe in themselves, but they also believe divine powers watch over, protecting them from the worst rigors of the wastes. Characters of this heritage tend to know the stories of their gods, and delight in telling the tales over a shared meal.

While all wastelander heritage characters are marked by the magic that suffuses the wastes, many of the mutations they are blessed with are invisible to the eye. Craggy, rough-hewn features are common, however, and wastelanders often have lank or patchy hair.

Beneficial Mutation. You have mutated as a survival mechanism. Select one mutation listed below, or roll a d6 and gain the corresponding mutation.

1Alien Mind. You have advantage on saves against being charmed, and you have resistance to psychic damage.
2Retractable Claws. As a bonus action, you can extend or retract claws into your fingertips. You have proficiency with your claws, and they have the Finesse property. When you make an attack with your them, you deal damage equal to 1d4 + your STR or DEX modifier. You have advantage on STR (Athletics) checks to climb while your claws are extended.
3Long Limbs. Increase your movement speed by 10 feet. If you use a weapon that doesn’t have the Reach property, you can treat it as though it does.
4Tembler. You have tremorsense to a radius of 10 feet.
5Radiation Eater. You are immune to being poisoned and have resistance to poison damage.
6Thickened Skin. You have resistance to acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage (choose one).

Slow Metabolism. You require half the normal amount of food and water a creature of your size usually needs to avoid exhaustion. You have advantage on CON saves against poison and disease.

Sufficiency. You ether know how to take care of yourself, or you trust the gods to take care of you. You have proficiency with your choice of Religion or Survival.

Languages. You know Common and Goblin.

Looking forward to the Tales of the Valiant RPG? So are we! The Player’s Guide and Monster Vault will be out later this year!
In the meantime, look into our Game Master’s Guide, on Kickstarter now!

about Kelly Pawlik

Kelly started gaming after her second son was born in 2012. She delights in worldbuilding and prefers campaigns that contain an abundance of intrigue and romance. Kelly co-founded Dire Rugrat Publishing in 2015 and has worked on many projects with Kobold Press. In 2021 she released the first three novellas in her middle-grade science fiction/horror/urban fantasy series, The Olympic Vista Chronicles.

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