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Tangerine Goblin


buglips*the*goblin
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i'm not even sure if Tolkien prescribed the orcs or goblins as being any particular colour. If someone can find a (even better the first ever) quote from somewhere that says something like "and the goblins did assail them visciously, and they did have nasty tangerine skin in both texture and colour."

 

Not from the books but (via Wikipedias Orc(Middle Earth) article) he did write "...they are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes"

 

Sallow would be a yellowish green, although he could just mean they had a sickly complexion.

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Indeed buglips! "A sane person to an insane society must appear insane". Also, I've always wanted to go back and paint a bunch of monster minis using the color schemes from the old D&D module covers.

 

One of the things I always thought would be fun/cool (cool in a very focused nerdlike sense) would be to paint my way through the first AD & D Monster Manual. I don't know if I'd ever get around to doing it, as I'm naturally distracted by other shiny metal objects, but the thought is always there. Plus I don't know how exciting it would be to paint ants for example.

 

I'm working my way through. That's why for every PC mini I do, I try to do five monsters. I've got all kinds of crazy crap in my unpainted drawers, most of accumulated with an eye to what represents a 1st Edition Monster Manual beastie.

 

Heck, now you can even get yourself some pig-faced orcs. Now that is some old skool right there.

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So never did get back to this topic, but was thinking about it oddly last night, so I whipped out the most very excellent publication the Advanced D & D Monster Manual, written by Gary E. Gygax, and under goblins, a description: Goblins range from yellow through dull orange to brick red in skin color.

 

Doesn't really go as far as talking about wonderful, tropical fruit, but orange is definitely there as a color option.

 

I know, slow reaction time.....

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So never did get back to this topic, but was thinking about it oddly last night, so I whipped out the most very excellent publication the Advanced D & D Monster Manual, written by Gary E. Gygax, and under goblins, a description: Goblins range from yellow through dull orange to brick red in skin color.

 

Doesn't really go as far as talking about wonderful, tropical fruit, but orange is definitely there as a color option.

 

I know, slow reaction time.....

 

Which brings us back to the question, when did goblins and orcs become green?

 

Personally, I always see goblins (and orcs) as green, hobgoblins as tangerine or slightly yellowish (maybe bronzed skin), and bugbears as yellow and furry... but I started D&D (not roleplaying) with 3E...

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GW made their goblins & orcs green back as they started to create their own product identity back in the mid-late 80's around the time of WHFB 3E and the release of the first 40K rules (40K Rogue Trader). As their games dominated more and more of the market goblins and orcs slowly became green as a standard.

 

Also the DnD standard was never particularly strong because DnD was not selling minis particularly and so no one was busy painting them to match an official scheme really. So as more people get into gaming through GW products (late 90's through to mid 00's) green became the standard by default.

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Your goblinoid color scheme was similar to mine, I started with 3E. Now, I've been following the 4E and next descriptions and love how my stuff turns out. My goblins are ochre, bugbears burnt sienna, I have no hobgoblins but they will be umbre, and my orcs now have a grey-purple-unpleasant-unnatural-not-quite-undead hue to their flesh

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Hello There

 

Ummm. Yes I think GW have a lot to do with the now established colour of goblins. Although perhaps it's not as simple as that.......

 

Back in the day, GW produced a range of miniatures called Red Orcs. Produced around 1980 I think. However, due to the small size of the figurine, and the fact they actually looked like goblins, they were always (in my London based gaming circles) used as goblins. It also helped that the range extended to wolf riders. Naturally these figures were painted red.

 

Also, In the first edition of Warhammer 1983. The Goblin forces listed consisted of the following;

 

Night Goblin

RED GOBLINS

Goblins

Great Goblins

Lesser Goblins

 

The list then contained the note that Red Goblins prefered to ride wolves. The other types prefering boars. I think because of Tolkein most fantasy gamers associate goblins with wolves. At this time most of Games Workshops products were published in Black and White with few photographs. Incidentally,at this time D&D was still played a lot more than Warhammer. Debatebly, GW didn't really begin to produce really good figures until slotta bases post 1984.

 

Now interestingly. Most people I gamed with at this time began to paint Orcs in various shades of Black, Brown and Dark Green. This was really just an accepted convention. Where this convention comes from I don't know. Although I do recall some reference to Orcs being Brown or Black in Tolkeins world. That info may be in the text or the artwork. However, I'm not going to re visit the books just to find out.

 

So perhaps GW are not the reason why goblins are not red. Personally I think where goblins are drawn in most early childrens books; they are green. I think Gygax described them as Red to disassociate them from childrens literature

 

In any event by the second editon of Warhammer the established norm for Goblins and Orcs became Green in all GW's publications.

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So never did get back to this topic, but was thinking about it oddly last night, so I whipped out the most very excellent publication the Advanced D & D Monster Manual, written by Gary E. Gygax, and under goblins, a description: Goblins range from yellow through dull orange to brick red in skin color.

 

Doesn't really go as far as talking about wonderful, tropical fruit, but orange is definitely there as a color option.

 

I know, slow reaction time.....

Which brings us back to the question, when did goblins and orcs become green?

 

Personally, I always see goblins (and orcs) as green, hobgoblins as tangerine or slightly yellowish (maybe bronzed skin), and bugbears as yellow and furry... but I started D&D (not roleplaying) with 3E...

 

This tangerine color description is the same in AdvancedD&D, AD&D 2nd, D&D 3.x, it never really changed.

 

D&D 1st: pale earthly color, such as chalky tan or livid gray

(tan is reddish or not?)

 

D&D 4 don't even think about giving color description, only war stats are important, why should anyone know how goblins look like.

Ok, there is a picture with green goblins, but it is not the first time, that simple descriptions are missing...

 

Sadly, Pathfinder didn't gave a description, too. A green picture is in included.

In the Pathfinder Advanced Races Book is a description: Goblins skin tone varies based on the surrounding environment; common skin tones include green, gray, and blue, though black and even pale white goblins have been sighted.

 

One of the problem was always in the mind of the players. If they heard of goblins, they have small green Orcs in mind...

 

I have a feeling that the cover of this box has something to do with why orcs were considered green, the Grenadier orc box from the early 80's .

 

Orcs are normally green or gray-green.

 

The main problem is with pictures or painted miniatures, that many painters didn't even looked in the description how goblins or orks look like. Another reason is, every game system has it's own Orks and Goblins. Example: In the german "Dark Eye"-RPG the Orks get often the name "black pelt" (Schwarzpelze), because of their thick black hair. But even there I don't know how goblins looked like.

 

The first time I played D&D, my DM, never said the first time there are orcs, goblins, whatever. He gave always there physical appearance as description. Only way to find out, what they are, is to ask them or other people in towns. If they speak the same language as we did, which happend not very often. The Common Tongue was not everywhere common.

 

I can show you exactly why I thought Orcs were green:

 

Gamorrean_Guard_with_Axe.jpg

 

Really? I never understand who hated orcs so much, that they made them pig-faced. In the D&D-Cartoon, they are pig-faced, too.

 

Anyway, I liked this painted orc from buglips*the*goblin, I hope to see more from him... :-)

 

I request from every DM to use the description of a creature more often and not only there is a Dark Elf...

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