Posted by: Jess Riley | January 19, 2009

Theme Week NPC Races: I’ve Got What You Need

First of all, a correction; my last theme week post incorrectly cited the Ritual Candle as a good roleplay item. Instead, I would suggest use of the Devout Candle, an item which can be purchased from reagent vendors in The Scarlent Enclave and across Northrend.

When it comes to the goblins, I usually don’t give a lot of thought to them. I don’t know about everyone else. I always raised an eyebrow at the fact that Venture Trading Company quests involved killing such a variety of sentient races, including troggs, ogres, goblins and the occasional gnome, but I assumed that this just meant the goblins were equal-opportunity in their ‘evil’.

Alright; going a little deeper into lore, there’s much more to the goblins than that. For a start, no one could really consider them to be evil, in the way that we would usually use the word – more than anything else, the race could be described as mercenary. Even this doesn’t apply across the board, however. For a start, I doubt there will be many goblins (a few renegades, perhaps, but not as a group) who would take a contract to actively fight the Horde or the Alliance. Keep in mind that the Venture Trading Company is at odds with them – but this isn’t a contract to fight them, this is a money-making venture of questionable ethics and morality, which is quite different, and much more acceptable to the goblins.

However, it can’t be denied that virtually anywhere you go in World of Warcraft, you will find a few goblins there, goblins who are probably trying to make some money. As a whole, they are very neutral, and the implication is that they care more for personal allegiances than for alliances between races. A goblin may be your friend, and a very good one at that, but there is no assumption that this means that all goblins will feel similarly, nor that all of your race will be equally well-received.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the goblins may be an ancient race, with their earliest chronological appearance being in the War of the Ancients trilogy: the Demon Soul was created with the help of goblin artificers. Their early history was as slaves to the jungle trolls, and gained greater intelligence due to their use of the mineral kaja’mite.

All this is very interesting, I’m sure, but their culture is what really interests me. Gaxim Rustfizzle claims that the goblins breed like rabbits; I think in this context that we can take this as a metaphorical claim. That is, that the goblins do not necessarily bear a lot of children, but that they do move in on an area with a lot of goblins, until they become a dominant force. This doesn’t seem too unrealistic; consider Tanaris, where the goblins outnumber the natives.

This is an interesting plan of attack for a race, particularly a race whose overall goals seem very caught up in engineering, technology and trade – it seems to imply a push towards a monopoly on a particular product, so they can alter prices at their whim and take in the maximum amount of profits.

Or, of course, Gaxim may just be wrong altogether. That’s certainly entirely possible.

It is reasonable to extrapolate, however, that with their technology and emphasis on trade – as well as their canonical ‘cunning’ derived from the effects of the kaja’mite – that a market economy is the ideal that they insist upon. For those of you who don’t know, a market economy is basically the system in which the price of goods and services are determined in a free price system set by supply and demand, and often refers to in a capitalist society, where the privately owned businesses choose their own prices for goods without government intervention. Government intervention presetting prices would not be acceptable to the average goblin; it’s very much a matter of, “This is what I have, for these prices, and you can take it or leave it; if you don’t, someone else will.”



  1. Got to love the goblins. Those money hungry cuties, with sinister smiles. And I tell you what, if we could play goblins then they be my second favorite race, with the first being gnomes of course.

    Hell, they could even possibly bump gnomes down. As it be so much fun to play little green monsters. Which is why when I get WAR, the first race I am playing will be goblins.

    “All this is very interesting, I’m sure, but their culture is what really interests me. ”

    When it comes to goblins, kaja’mite was a big deal. It’s what gave them the cunning to free themselves from the trolls, the genius to build machines that rose them to great power in the open market and its eventual lost, caused them to hit commerce full force and become the traders of the world we know today.

    And one could even argue, had kaja’mite not been so finite and the goblins still had been using it to this day…perhaps goblins would of become an empire bent on more than just a mere profit. But no matter what, we definitely would of been privy to much more advance technology. And how much fun would that of been. 🙂

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