Goblin Guide 5e
Published on December 11, 2020, Last modified on May 2nd, 2022
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin - Wizards of the Coast - Mark Behm
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the goblin will be right for your 5e character build.
The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your goblin. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.
- Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
- Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
- Orange is an OK option
- Green is a good option
- Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
- Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.
What are Goblins in 5e?
Source: Volo's Guide to Monsters
Originally the cliché monster intended for a campaign’s first low-level combat encounter, goblins became a playable race in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. They are small, evil humanoids that typically live together in caves, venturing out to ambush unsuspecting prey. As self-serving as they are greedy, travelers should always be wary of encountering goblins.
With the addition of goblins as a playable race in D&D 5e, there is a whole new avenue for roleplaying and storytelling that playing a monster brings to the table. If your goblin has had different life experiences, it is completely reasonable to play one as an able member of an adventuring party.
Goblin 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: DEX is an extremely common ASI, but is useful to most builds to, at the very least, bolster AC. The same goes for CON. Together, these ASIs are good for DEX dependent builds that want some durability.
Age: Goblins grow up fast but do not live especially long. Aging magic could be harsh.
Alignment: As expected, goblins lean towards being evil.
Size: A Small size comes with some drawbacks, such as wielding certain weapons and grappling. On the other side, Small creatures are better at hiding and can more easily move around the battlefield.
Speed: Maintaining a standard walking speed is great considering that goblins are Small creatures.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.
Fury of the Small: Fury of the Small is great against single targets. It scales as you level and will work against most creatures since they will likely be larger than you, but sadly it can only be used once per Short Rest.
Nimble Escape: More uses for the bonus action is excellent, especially as a melee or sneaky character. As a rogue, Nimble Escape is completely useless because it is essentially Cunning Action with fewer available actions.
Languages: Speaking Goblin is pretty niche.
Goblin 5e Subraces
In the Monsters of the Multiverse update, goblins are now descended from the fey and have had their main ability, Fury of the Small, reworked.
Darkvision: This is the same as the original goblin.
Fey Ancestry: Advantage against being charmed and being unable to be put to sleep by magic will come in handy in some tough situations.
Fury of the Small: Now that Fury of the Small can be used an equal number of times to your proficiency bonus per day, and the damage is also equal to your proficiency bonus, the maximum damage you can deal would be 6 x 6 = 36 per day when you achieve +6 proficiency bonus at level 17. In comparison, the original Fury of the Small could be used once per rest. The Dungeon Master’s Guide considers a typical adventuring day to consist of one long rest and two short rests. At 17th level, this would mean that a goblin could deal an extra 17 x 3 = 51 damage per day. Not only did the original Fury of the Small deal more damage in a day, it also could do so in far fewer attacks, making it much more efficient. This change is a significant downgrade.
Nimble Escape: This is the same as the original goblin.
Sources Used in This Guide
- Basic Rules
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Monsters of the Multiverse
- Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- Player's Handbook
- Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- The Tortle Package
- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar’s Guide to Everything