Goblin Characters

Bogrod Kogrod

Goblins are an uncommonly clever people, especially when dealing with money and finances. They are also master metalsmiths and produce some of the most prized silverwork in the wizarding world. Along with humans and house-elves, goblins are one of the various types of Being recognized by the Ministry of Magic.

A goblin banker

Society & Culture

To understand goblin culture, one must understand how it came about. In early days, the goblins' small stature and lack of natural weapons made them unlikely candidates for survival. But, like humans, where they lacked natural defences, they developed keen intellect, which exceeded even human intelligence. But they still had to contend with their physical limitations, which humans did not possess. To the goblins, that made humans rivals. Early attempts at diplomatic contact between human and goblin tribes were largely unsuccessful, usually due to humans feeling that goblins required less territory and resources due to needing to eat less. This was the beginning of goblin resentment toward humankind. The goblins being nocturnal by nature didn't help matters, either. Their nighttime movements fueled human fears and fostered suspicion.

As goblin-human tensions grew, outbreaks of violence were inevitable. But in warfare, goblins were at a distinct disadvantage against the larger and stronger humans. More and more, goblins began to retreat into the mountains, seeking out caves and underground places where they could fortify themselves against humans, and live away from the uncomfortable sun. So it was that in the earliest days of civilisation, as humans were developing agriculture, goblins were discovering new deposits of ore and gemstones in the earth, and refining their skills at working them.

Living this way, separate from one another, allowed goblins and humans to each thrive in their own worlds. But while the goblins had to dig slowly into the earth to expand their civilisation, humans had all the world to spread freely into. Humanity expanded much more quickly than goblinkind, and the goblins were plenty smart enough to realise that eventually the humans would want what goblins had, and would have the sheer numbers to take it if they wished. Open conflict was even less of an option than it had been centuries before.

So, the goblins began new tactics for dealing with humans before things got out of hand. They opened trade negotiations with humans. Goblin metalwork swiftly became a prized commodity. But the clever goblins knew better than to arm their former foes without protections in place. By keeping their prices high, they ensured that no human army could be equipped with all goblin weapons and armour. This way, the humans always knew that the goblins had a greater quantity of superior equipment to make up for their lesser numbers. The goblins also began a practice of writing a special ownership clause into their contracts (some say that goblins invented the very concept of written contracts). This meant that any goblin-made goods were to be returned to their creator, or the creator's heir, after the death of the "purchaser", ensuring that humans couldn't stockpile goblin wares.

This practice was already commonplace with goblins themselves. But by enforcing it among humans, it cemented a sense of cultural pride in goblin-made crafts. Eventually it became accepted among goblins that any goblin could reclaim goblin-made items in the name of goblinkind. Naturally the effort would be made to return the item to its original maker, or that maker's heir, and proper compensation would be expected.

Unfortunately, the goblins' contracts weren't always honoured, and a great many goblin artefacts were lost to human clutches. In time, the goblins' fears came to pass as humanity expanded further and desired the riches of the earth. This drove some goblins further underground (and it is said that some "deep cities" still exist to this day, but that may be just a myth), but most decided to try their luck at living among humans.

Goblins Today

The modern goblin has been very much shaped by the race's history. The notion that the creator of an object is the object's owner is now a fundamental belief in goblin society. The failure of so many humans to honour goblin contracts is one of many things that has led to most goblins being rather resentful toward humans, especially wizards. Goblins have long memories and consider holding a worthy grudge (defined as a debt contractually owed) to be a duty, sometimes spanning generations.

Goblin Guilds

Goblins do not place the same kind of value on bloodlines that humans do. This isn't to say they don't love their kin, but that rarely extends beyond immediate family. Goblins do, however, still form tight-knit social groups in form of guilds.

Guilds are economic unions, comprised from as few as three to as many as thirty goblins. Typically they are bound together by a complicated web of contracts; sometimes a goblin is incorporated into a guild involuntarily when a guild or guild member acquires control of a contract. Each guild is controlled by a council of three, though charters allow for a consensus of other members to enact policy or overrule council decisions.

Unlike most human guilds, goblin guilds are not centered around a specific trade or profession; in fact, goblins value a wide variety of skill-sets among their members. The primary reason for a guild's existence is to form a guild treasury. This is an economic entity, recognised by Gringotts, into which guild members can contribute. The funds of the treasury can be used for projects and investments that benefit the guild as a whole, providing returns to the members when profits are made.

Guildmates are considered the closest bonds a goblin can have. Tying one's finances to another is the ultimate sign of trust; it helps that all guild charters are ironclad and have devastating penalties for a goblin that betrays a guild.

A guild is named for one of its members, a privilege earned through a private auction. Although a guild can conceivably change names with a new auction, it rarely happens due to the cost (the goblin calling for the auction is responsible for all associated expenses), and because a guild name can eventually become associated with the guild's prestige.

As the goblins feel that guilds are no concern of other species, they tend to be largely invisible to non-goblins.


Goblins are governed by the Ministry of Magic, under which they are considered second-class citizens. Despite demonstrating an ability to use magic, they are forbidden by law from wielding wands. A number of Goblin Rebellions have taken place when a charismatic goblin leader would arise to stoke the flames of goblin resentment, though there hasn't been such an uprising since the 18th Century.

At any given point in history, there have existed subversive goblin groups working against the Ministry in secret. Sometimes these have led to rebellion, but in most cases they have not been influential enough to make a strong difference.

The real power goblins hold in magical government is economic power. Gringotts can exert considerable influence when desired, though the Gringotts Board of Directors does so carefully, lest the Ministry act irrationally out of fear of another rebellion.

Appearance & Biology

Goblins tend to be rather ugly by human standards. They are rarely more than four feet tall. Their skin can range from white to pink to yellowish, but they are uniformly pale. Goblins have long, pointy ears that stand straight up or straight back, extending well past their cranium. Their eyes are small and black with no discernible iris, and their hair is typically white regardless of age. Their noses, as with their ears, are typically long and pointy, and their heads appear knobby and bumpy. Goblin hands and feet are disproportionately long for their body, with their fingers being unusually slim and dexterous.

It is incorrectly believed by most humans that female goblins are kept out of sight, perhaps tending to domestic matters while the males take care of business. The truth is that males and females share equal roles in goblin society. But the females look and sound so much like the males that humans cannot tell the difference between them.

Goblins reproduce like most sentient being do (though there is a great deal more haggling and negotiating involved), but they aren't the most fertile creatures. Birth rates tend to be low compared to humans. It is actually possible for humans and goblins to cross-breed. But the likelihood of offspring is even lower than it normally is for goblins.

Goblins are inherently nocturnal creatures, and find sunlight uncomfortable. It doesn't actually harm them, though it can make their eyes hurt, and they'll likely be more irritable than normal.

The goblin diet consists of meat, roots, and fungi. Many cave spores are considered delicacies.


Goblin smiths possess some secrets of binding magic into their metalwork, though this is a long and carefully guarded process. They can, conceivably, learn to perform magic like a wizard, but wizarding law prohibits goblins from possessing wands.


Gobbledegook, the language of goblins, sounds sharp and guttural to human ears, heavy with course "g" and "k" sounds. Sometimes this gives the false impression that it is primitive or brutish, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gobbledegook is an ancient and complicated tongue, rooted in arithmantic structures and rife with double- and triple-meanings. Humans learned long ago never to enter into a contract written in Gobbledegook, for it will invariably be peppered with loopholes that work only to a goblin's benefit.


Goblin names tend to have a "rough" sound to them. Many, such as "Eargit" or "Griphook" even sound like they are comprised of English words (but anyone fluent in Gobbledegook could verify that this is mere coincidence). One thing that is true of all goblin names is the use of the letter "g". This sound figures so prominently in Gobbledegook that a name without it would be considered by goblins to be "soft" and ungoblin. Known goblin names include: Ragnuk, Gringott, Urg, Alguff, Brodrig, Ragnok, Bogrod, Gornuk, Nagnok (please do not use these names, as they are canon characters).

Goblins use only one name. Being such selfish creatures, they tend to avoid relying upon the legacy of their forebears, preferring to be recognized on the value of their own name. That is, unless it will be a benefit to them. If trying to impress an old business partner of his father, a goblin might introduce himself as "Gritpuk, son of Ragluff."

RP Notes

By human standards, goblins are selfish, greedy creatures. By goblin standards, to be otherwise is foolish and an invitation to ruin. They amass money and goods because such things aid in survival and can advance one's position. This has led to a culture in which the magnitude of wealth and valuables is a measure of one's status and authority. Goblins are far more likely to aid fellow goblins than any other species.

Character Generation

Name: Choose just one name (no surname). The name must include the letter "g".

Actor: An Actor is not required. However, a convincingly photoshopped image will add a level of quality to your character and wiki page.

Skills: The only Wizarding Skills that goblins may take are Creature Lore and Herbology.

Languages: Take both English and Gobbledegook (the latter language is free for goblins, meaning that you may overspend by 2 points in character generation).

Special Rules

  • Clever: Goblins are incredibly intelligent and wily. Goblins gains +2 to any roll involving reasoning, calculation, memory, or quick-thinking.
  • Heartless: Goblins are immune to any attempt by non-goblins to sway them to compassion.
  • Greedy: Goblins are inherently greedy and selfish creatures, and will never consider the welfare of a non-goblin over themselves. As such, they suffer a -3 penalty to resist attempts to bribe them, as long as the bribe is something of significant value (e.g. a very sizable sum of money, a goblin-forged treasure, etc.).
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