Gremblin (Almish Goblin)

Pint-sized scroungers, full of community spirit

Gremblin Heritage Traits

Except as specified below, game mechanics for the gremblin are identical to the goblin race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks. For all other mechanical purposes (including feats, paragon paths, etc.), gremblin is simply an alternative name for goblin.

Average Height: 100 – 112cm (3’4″ – 3’8″)
Average Weight: 70 – 100kg (155 – 220lb.)

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity or Wisdom

Languages: Goblin, plus any one

Trash eater: Your remarkable digestion means no food is off limits. You are immune to disease and to consumable poisons.

Goblin Hoard: As long as you are not in combat, you can spend a few minutes to produce a mundane, non-living item of your choice from an unspecified location on your person. The item must be small and light enough for you to carry without exceeding a normal load. The item functions exactly as normal, except it has no sale value and breaks after your next short rest.

Gremblin Scramble: You may choose the Gremblin Scramble heritage power instead of the Goblin Tactics heritage power.

Gremblin ScrambleGremblin Heritage Power
You scuttle beneath your opponent’s attack, leaving them stumbling wildly into under their own momentum.
Opportunity ActionClose burst 1
Trigger: An enemy makes a melee attack that includes you as a target.
Target: The triggering enemy
Effect: You shift into any other square adjacent to the target. Then, you slide the target into the square you vacated.

Gremblins have dwelt in Alm since antiquity, but have spent most of their history being regarded as a sub-sentient race by the likes of Calanshae and Brandeis. Even today, many folk regard them as unintelligent monsters, taking their lowly lifestyles as a sign that they simply don’t know any better.

Looking closer reveals the folly of this thinking. Gremblins have a unique culture that values community and safety, and thrives on the excess of more wasteful civilisations. With no tradition of land ownership, gremblins don’t build nations or even cities, but simply settle wherever there is a safe place. Instead of growing crops or raising livestock, they sustain themselves almost entirely by recovering and re-using items discarded by their neighbours.

Thus, gremblins are everywhere in Alm where nearby settlements don’t deliberately drive them out. If they are not met with hostility, they rarely seek out conflict; however, their values are often misunderstood, leading them to mostly stay hidden in their underground warrens. To those who respect them, however, they can be the most stalwart of allies.

Play a gremblin if you want…

  • to make use of other peoples’ garbage.
  • to surprise those who look down on you.
  • to make your party into your family.

Physical Qualities

Gremblins are small, round creatures with solid bodies, short arms and legs, and stubby fingers. They stand less than half the height of a human, even including their ears, though they weigh far more than one might expect. Their skin might be any shade of grey or brown, from an inky black to a warm white, and is usually scattered randomly with darker or lighter patches.

A gremblin has an oval-shaped head, rather like an overfilled dumpling, topped by rabbit-like ears anchored at the very top of the skull. The ears pivot to a wide variety of angles, making them a key component of gremblin body language. They have a powerful jaw with a pronounced underbite, which reveals their short, thick fangs. Their noses are small and snubbed, barely noticeable from a distance.

With large, wide eyes and small pupils, Gremblins can seem permanently on high alert. However, their eyesight is mediocre, and they rely more on their exceptional non-visual senses to experience their surroundings.

A gremblin actually has a slightly longer lifespan than a human, though frequently cut tragically short. Their biology seems strongly tied to periods of wax and wane, so many gremblings are often born at once during times of plenty.

Playing a Gremblin

Gremblins have a reputation for boundless frenetic energy, but the truth is that most need to be quick to survive. Existing in the spaces left by bigger and meaner creatures, they have learned to be alert, observant, and quick to flee. Even as adventurers, they are rarely at rest outside of their secure spaces, and in response they tend to busy themselves with whatever work they can find.

In gremblin communities, family is more important than anything—and everybody is family. In times of hardship, gremblins think nothing of taking essential supplies from those who have an excess, and in times of plenty they are eager to share. This carries over into the adventuring life, where a gremblin typically views everything as community property, and makes it their business to see nothing is wasted.

With no concerns over disease, most gremblins are very hands-on in social situations. Gremblin culture considers it quite normal to paw, sniff and even lick most everything you come across, including other people—something for which few non-gremblins are prepared.

An adventurer gremblin is new idea to most creatures, so those who choose this life have a difficult road ahead. “Bigguns” often need time to adjust to gremblin values—but once they learn how to share, even humans can make excellent allies.

Gremblins are perceived as… Humble, uneducated, energetic, thrifty, hardy, sticky-fingered, shy, secretive, opportunistic, creative, frantic, wary, gluttonous, cowardly.

Example names: Arby, Banmi, Bao, Brouff, Gumi, Kino, Nodel, Kupo, Maro, Miso, Nacho, Perogi, Poto, Sbubby, Tikel, Zucci. Gremblins collect names like they collect garbage; frequently, and without regard for their original purpose.

Many thanks to the Alpha Flight hosts and chat community of Desert Bus 2021 who kindly contributed their name suggestions for my precious monster babies!—Fox

Significant Revisions

1.0—Original version
  • 5 years ago Update Initial publication
1.1—Gremblin version
  • 3 years ago Update Given setting-specific name to avoid confusion
1.2—Gremblin version
  • 2 years ago Add Folded "Goblin Hoard" feat into heritage features
  • 2 years ago Update Switched around stat bonuses to better balance Escarnum heritage choices
  • 2 years ago Update Switched around stat bonuses to better balance Escarnum heritage choices