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 Goblins - Getting deep in the weeds
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tmcvicar2
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USA
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Posted - 30 Jan 2019 :  17:55:19  Show Profile Send tmcvicar2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was pondering FR Goblins at work because I didn't feel like reading some of the hundreds of emails I am behind on reading.

I guess this exercise could be applied to many other races also, but I was specifically thinking about growth/death rates and population increases etc etc.

Did a little digging around but didn't really have time or access to materials to see if some of these answers are floating around.

Figured I would log in and put this out there for discussion.

I assume Goblins give birth to live babies. But, how many at a time and what is the gestation period?

I came across a figure (Races of Faerun I believe) that states Goblins are considered adult at age 10, so I would assume they begin to reproduce then.

Are male/female birth ratios even? Or do more males (more likely to die in battle etc) get born than females? I assume that females, being weaker, survive to adulthood less often also.

I would estimate that somewhere around 40-50% of babies fail to reach adulthood.

How likely is a female goblin to die in childbirth. I would put this at around 5% or less.

Assuming standard raiding/infighting etc what is the mortality rate for a given population (adults) over a year period. I would say 10-25% for males and 10-15% for females but those are just guesses.

If you had the above figures you could estimate how quick a given population of goblins grows and thats what I was originally thinking about.

All comments appreciated, including those that tell me to get back to work.

Ancestors could hear
What is happening now
They would turn in their graves
They would all be ashamed
That the land of the free
Has been written in chains
And I know what I want
When the timing is right
Then I'll take what is mine
I am the clansman

Iron Maiden "The Clansman"

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2019 :  17:32:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another good question, is the reason for few goblins reaching adulthood because other demihumans eat them? While I don't see hobgoblins eating goblins except during times of extreme need, I could see orcs, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, giants, etc... all appreciating things like "goblin stew". It may be that the flesh of young goblins is tender and tasty to them.

For information on goblin tribes, check out the old Elminster's Ecologies (TSR 1111)
some snippets from that that directly or indirectly correspond to your questions above. They do apparently have litters, and few reach adulthood.

The Tribe
Goblins have no family units. No mating rituals or emotional bonds exist. They simply breed, and whayoung are born get raised collectively by all of the females together. Being selfish creatures, older goblins care for the young only with the idea that babies can grow up to help provide for and protect the tribe. Infirm or weak young are left to die.

Likewise, old goblins that are unable to fend for themselves are also left to die. The frequency with which elderly goblins are abandoned is amazingly low, however. Of course, this statistic paints too rosy a picture of the race#146;s health in the twilight years. Actually, there are so few elderly goblins because individuals are most likely to be killed #151;either in a raid, by some giant predator, or in a fight with their own tribesmen#151; long before they reach a debilitating age.

Males dominate goblin society only because they are physically stronger. Positions of authority are always held by males, and hunting and warfare are their areas of influence. Females have young and care for them#151;. They are responsible for, and allowed to accomplish, nothing else. Invaders attacking a goblin lair soon learn that the females cannot be discounted entirely, however, andthey do fight long and hard in their lair#146;s defense.

<snip>

Although their infant mortality rate is high, goblins reproduce in litters like animals, each female having three to seven young per birth, at least every other year. With the lax mothering, perpetual lair strife, and adult preoccupation with raiding and violence, it is a wonder that any young survive to mature adulthood.

Goblins have no concept of husbandry. They eat anything, as long as it is raw. Cooked food they disdain, although principles go out the window when supplies are short. They prefer fresh meat, and hunt any moving life form in the tribe#146;s territory to virtual extinction (another reason they have become a race of raiders and robbers). They even eat the flesh of other intelligent beings, including other goblins.



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Canada
6824 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2019 :  18:47:50  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"three to seven" seems like a very strange number range to see written anywhere in D&D. Unless there's some way to roll the dice that I'm missing?

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 31 Jan 2019 :  18:58:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

"three to seven" seems like a very strange number range to see written anywhere in D&D. Unless there's some way to roll the dice that I'm missing?



2d3+1 is the best I can figure. Either do the trick of calling a d6 a d3 (1-2=1, 3-4=2, 5-6=3) or get an actual d3. I've got a pretty nifty d3 on my desk right now.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  16:17:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

"three to seven" seems like a very strange number range to see written anywhere in D&D. Unless there's some way to roll the dice that I'm missing?



1/2 d10 + 2

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  16:18:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

"three to seven" seems like a very strange number range to see written anywhere in D&D. Unless there's some way to roll the dice that I'm missing?



1/2 d10 + 2

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Kentinal
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4373 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  17:14:08  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

"three to seven" seems like a very strange number range to see written anywhere in D&D. Unless there's some way to roll the dice that I'm missing?


1d6/2 +1

1d6/2 = if 1 or 2 score as 1, if 3 or 4 score as 2, if 5 or 6 score as three.

This has occurred in other D&D products to get d3 results without having to purchase special dice.

Edit: Did that wrong. the 1/2 d10 + 2 appears to be best answer after all or 2d6/2.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 01 Feb 2019 17:21:38
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tmcvicar2
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USA
20 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  18:54:00  Show Profile Send tmcvicar2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, in 2e Monstrous Manual (I believe) it states for every 100 Adult Male Warriors there would be 60 females and 160 Young. Based on the numbers in Sleyvas' post above, every year there would be between 90 and 210 babies born. If you consider that the ages of Young span from 0-9 (so average of 16 each year group - 160 spread across each of 10 year groups), between 74 and 194 young die every year out of the ones born. That is one hell of an infant mortality rate, but not a surprising one.

Just a small decrease in the infant mortality rate (hunting/raiding success, good resources, no threats around) would lead to a rapid increase in population if more than 16 babies were making it through a year!

Ancestors could hear
What is happening now
They would turn in their graves
They would all be ashamed
That the land of the free
Has been written in chains
And I know what I want
When the timing is right
Then I'll take what is mine
I am the clansman

Iron Maiden "The Clansman"

Edited by - tmcvicar2 on 01 Feb 2019 18:56:07
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  23:13:33  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
good find on the 2e monstrous manual. So, on average, about 150 children born per year, with 160 of them being "in the lair" per 100. Yet, it takes longer than a year for them to become adults. That in and of itself leads me to believe a LOT of infants are eaten by other cultures.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Lord Karsus
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USA
3226 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2019 :  03:41:41  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Not really related at all, but the anime Goblin Slayer really gave me a D&D feel when it came to how Goblins were portrayed.

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