Goblins, the grey menaces of Volo’s Guide to Everything. These little humanoids are infamous for assaulting creatures that can’t defend themselves, burning farms and townsteads via outnumbering their warriors. They have pointed ears, pointed fangs, and daggers ready to loot and pillage. But, does every goblin character have to fall into these stereotypes? Of course not. That said, Goblins have a culture and pretty specific ways to name each other. We’ll show you how, in our Goblin Names Guide for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.
Goblin Names 5E Guide
Goblins have a specific cast system and a pretty stoic history as Toril’s lowest level threat. You may be surprised at how complicated a Goblin’s behavior can be, based entirely on their upbringing.
How Are Goblins Named?
Goblins are rigidly caste-based creatures. The Lashers are the nobility; they are the ones responsible for capturing humans, taming beasts, and putting the other goblins in line. Hunters are the typical goblin warriors, and also hunt game for the others. Gatherers gather food, but are commonly extremely cowardly. As are the lowest class of Goblin, the Pariah, who are the beggars and the cleaners. The Pariahs are only above slaves, which thankfully for them, most goblin tribes have.
Goblins are usually below Hobgoblins or Bugbears, and thus Goblins try to cling to any status symbol they can. This ranges from silly (a frog in a jar) to rather brutal (orc tusk lip piercings) and generally doesn’t mean much in reality. Goblins simply are in a position where they want power, but sometimes can’t quite get it. Especially in the lower castes!
If a Goblin is a spellcaster, they don’t hold much power. Sorcerers are rare and not well cared for, and patrons don’t trust a Goblin with Warlock power. Even in the cases that a talented caster is born, Goblins very rarely care for the “Booyahg users” and they are often outcasted.
During wartime, Goblinoids (Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears) tend to join forces to march. War is important to the gods of the Goblinoids. Unfortunately, Goblins are nothing more than shock troopers and arrow-catchers for the higher-level creatures. They hold this station with absolute disdain; a goblin soldier who leaves their host might be a good place for a Goblin to become an adventurer.
See Also: Firbolg Names Guide
What is a Good Name for a Goblin?
The Goblin’s position as the lowest level of Goblinoid affords them two naming conventions. One, the cast system. Lashers tend to cling to titles, like “Fear Clinger” or “Arrow Snatcher”. This is to get the lower castes under their lead, and to hold their right to chieftain. The names of Goblins become sharper the higher their caste is; a Pariah might have a very short, soft name. A Hunter, meanwhile, needs to have a name that is a near-showmanship of their skill by itself.
Male Goblin Names
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Female Goblin Names
Of course, a Goblin Pariah who wants to leave their station might choose to change what they’re called. Perhaps they even adopt a naming structure closer to the Hunter or Lasher ranks, just to try it out! Think about what your Goblin’s goals are, and what their tribe told them their goals were. That’s what makes a name great!
If you’re making a character, make sure you consider classes that are good for Goblins, like the Rogue class. Then, check out our starting gold guide for more character creating fun!
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