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Urist likes goblins for their terrifying features.

Any location

Alignment: Evil

· Learns · Humanoid

Cannot be tamed 
Birth: 3,000 cm3
Mid: 15,000 cm3
Max: 60,000 cm3

Child at: 1
Adult at: 12
Max age: Immortal
Cannot be butchered

Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.
A medium-sized humanoid driven to cruelty by its evil nature.

Goblins are intelligent, evil, aggressive humanoid creatures that live in mountains, and are the main opponent in fortress mode. They often establish settlements in Dark Fortresses (currently these do not exist) within regions touched by evil, though it may be hard for some to imagine that goblins are capable of building those obsidian monoliths. They are also playable as adventurers. They quickly become a threat to the great majority of fortresses - except some island or mountain forts.

Goblins will start harassing a fortress early in its life, first with babysnatchers and ambushes, and later with sieges. Goblin babysnatchers carry a bag for their purpose. Their soldiers are commonly armed with copper and iron armor, as well copper, iron and silver weapons, generally with no quality levels unless on weaponmasters. These items can be a valuable source of metals for fortresses that embarked on metal-scarce areas (leading some players to refer to the plunder from a defeated goblin attack as Goblinite). Defeating a majority of an attacking force usually sends the rest of them running.


Goblins show the least concern for ethics out of any race in the game, with the sole exception being that treason is punishable by death. It appears that goblins do not enforce punishment, but instead simply ignore crimes and leave any punishment to be determined by the parties involved. It is because of their acceptance of controversial acts that goblins become enemies with nearly every other race. For example, goblins find the torture of animals, the butchering and consuming of sapient beings, oath breaking, and general malice acceptable or consider it a personal matter. Invading goblins are even willing to attack other goblins lounging around at your fortress[Verify].

Goblins tend to inevitably receive a visit from the circus during worldgen, their new ringleader taking over after dealing with the prior ruler. This could imply the reason behind their particular (lack of) ethics, except for the obvious fact that goblins in younger worlds will act the same.


In Adventurer mode, "goblin" settlements will sometimes be completely goblin-free, having been displaced by the descendants of children that were captured in ages past. In this respect, whilst they're a goblin faction, they're populated purely by prisoners and brainwashed humanoids.

While aggressive, goblins are notably cowardly. Although they're brutal and sadistic, they will not hold the line against a superior force and are more than willing to sacrifice their wounded comrades in a badly organized retreat. Their strength generally comes from pure numbers, as they're usually weaker than a dwarf one on one (a notable exception is their weapon lords and masters, who can be VERY talented in warfare.)

If a goblin siege attacks you with mounts and with a flashing goblin "General", it will be the last time they come on mounts. Since generals train all the mounts, there will be no more mounts when they die in an attack Bug:3442 or disappear off the map Bug:2892. (As of v0.34.11 this appears to have been partially fixed: the general will disappear from the goblin civilization leader list even if they were not killed; however, that goblin civilization will continue to use mounts afterwards.)

Interestingly enough, Goblins are effectively immortal, dying only from starvation or conflict. What about dehydration?

Some traitors dwarves like goblins for their terrifying features.

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

Despite their bloodthirsty, selfish, unsympathetic and cruel nature, goblins are also recognized as a benevolent and merciful race in some aspects. Goblin Baby-Snatchers claim moral superiority by rescuing innocent lives from the slavery of making rock trumpets until they are eaten by a giant cave spider. Atrocities such as the so-called dwarven day care institution also spur snatchers to rescue the children from constant abuse. Goblin Sieges are considered to be a form of mass mercy killings, as a fort can die in the most horrific of ways, such as social disagreements, an infestation of parasitic organisms masquerading as dwarves, or worst of all: a visit from the circus.

In addition, dwarven science has proven that the violence between Goblins and Dwarves does, in fact, start on a purely instinctual level. Leaving a goblin and dwarven child locked in a room together will result in them kicking, punching, and biting each other to death the moment they notice each other. Whether this natural animosity stems from centuries of war or opposing viewpoints on the treatment of children has yet to be determined.

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