Dungeons & Dragons Makes Big Change to Goblin Lore

Dungeons & Dragons has made a distinct shift in its lore in its newest book. Released earlier this week, Monsters of the Multiverse provides players and DMs with a single compendium that collects many of the monsters and player races introduced in various D&D books over the last year. While the D&D design change used Monsters of the Multiverse as a chance to make mechanical revisions to both the creatures and player races found in the book, they also made a handful of changes to the game's lore as well. 

Perhaps the most significant of these changes is to provide the goblinoid races (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) with a new origin story. In Monsters of the Multiverse, it's revealed that the three races all originally lived in the feywild. The goblinoid races all were driven from the Feywild in ancient times by the conquering goblin god Magulbiyet and most goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears have no memory of their past in the Feywild.

In a new video released by the D&D design team (seen below), D&D lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford notes that this change builds on existing lore that dates back to 1st Edition, which framed the goblin god Magulbiyet as a conquering god but never delved too deeply into what the goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears were before they were conquered. Crawford also noted that giving the goblinoids fey ancestry brought the creatures more in line with real world folklore, which often ties goblins to the Realm of Faerie. 

All three races have the "Fey Ancestry" trait in Monsters of the Multiverse as a result of the new lore, with the hobgoblins receiving a new Fey Gift ability that replaces their Martial Training trait from Volo's Guide to Monsters. The three races have other traits which are also explained as having ties to their fey ancestry. For instance, the Fury of the Small ability of goblins is explained as a gift from the Queen of Air and Darkness, while a Bugbear's Sneaky trait is explained as a fey gift as well. 

Given D&D's recent emphasis on the Feywild, it's possible that we'll see more Feywild lore in other books in the near future, especially as Monsters of the Multiverse seems to set the stage for a move away from the Forgotten Realms as the chief campaign setting for the game.

Monsters of the Multiverse is available now as part of the Rules Expansion Gift Set. A standalone version of the book will be released in May.