When I wrote up monster entries for some goblin variants I came to the conclusion that it would be a lot of fun to play one in a semi-serious game. Browsing for other people's take on the subject, I found interesting posts on The Treasure Hunter's HQ and Against The Wicked City. Treasure Hunter clearly feels that goblins and thieves overlap, while Wicked's goblin is a vile, mad little scrapper who'll bite you in the unmentionables. I love them both.
I also love Terry Pratchett's vision of goblins as grubby but mechanically-talented scroungers. And I'm unfairly prejudiced against gnomes (twee little shitcakes), so I want to steal that niche for goblins. My vision of the goblin shares elements from all three of those sources. I can imagine one of them leaning out of a steam train cab window, yelling "Show us yer tits!" and laughing evilly around a dog-end cigarette.
My goblin class is a mix of what I found at the two links above and a couple of ideas out of my own brain:
Requirements: Minimum Dex 9
Prime requisite: DEX
Hit dice: 1d4
Maximum level: 12
Allowed armour: Leather, hide or filthy rags
Allowed weapons: Small or normal-sized
Languages: Alignment language, common, goblin, orc
Saves and level as per thief
Goblins are horrible green- or grey-skinned humanoids with pointed ears and noses. They average a height of three feet and live wherever tolerated. They live in bands, but solitary goblins will sometimes strike out on their own. They have a reputation as erratic, thieving public nuisances and vandals who love drink and petty crime.
Darkvision to 60'.
Tinker: Use the cleric's turn undead table for this, where the GM's assessment of difficulty replaces the monster hit dice number.
- Disarm trap
- Success: trap only triggers on 1-in-6. Each character/NPC passing must roll.
- T: trap is inert, but goblin can instantly reactivate it.
- D: as T, or goblin can disassemble trap to gain 1d3 scrap.
- Set trap (requires 3 scrap)
- Success: trap will affect one creature.
- T: trap has an area of effect.
- D: as T, or goblin can refine the mechanism to regain 1d3 scrap.
- Repair weapon/armour
- Success: item is usable, but functions like a similar item one step lower (eg. d6 weapon does d4 damage, plate protects like chain, etc).
- T: item regains full function.
- D: as T, but the goblin adds spikes to it. Item is +1. Spikes have a 1-in-6 chance of falling off each time the item is used. (Requires 1 scrap.)
- Build weapon/armour (requires 3 scrap)
- Success: goblin builds a d4 weapon or a shield. It falls apart at the end of the next fight and becomes scrap again.
- T: item functions normally.
- D: as T, but with spikes on. Item is +1. Spikes fall off on 1-in-6.
Eat anything: A goblin can live on almost anything that isn't fighting it right now. Allows forage rolls in dungeons and cities. If other party members attempt to eat what it finds, make a save vs poison. On success they gain the benefits of a ration. On failure they take -2 for the next turn as they vomit uncontrollably.
Snivel: By slumping and letting their noses drip pathetically, a goblin can appear to be harmless. Opponents will prefer other targets unless the goblin attacks them.
Mock: A goblin's taunting crosses the language barrier. It can say something or make a gesture to offend any intelligent opponent. GM determines how NPCs react.