Erlkings, also known as Forest Goblins, are a species of Goblinoid presented as a playable race for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the article "Dark Ages" in Dragon Magazine #257. As its name suggests, this article presents suggestions on how to run AD&D campaigns set in Dark Ages Britain.
As their moniker suggests, these goblinoids dwell in deep forests and mostly interact with other races through banditry, seeking to lure travelers into ambushes and traps to scavenge desired goods from their corpses. In terms of build, they are close to hobgoblins, standing around 5 1/2 feet tall on average, with forest green skin (oft mottled with earth brown), deep golden eyes that glow in the dark, with bestial features framed by coarse black hair and dominated by hairless snouts lined with rotting teeth. So, you know, kind of like old-school orcs.
Despite having a culture that mostly sustains itself through banditry, not all earlkings are evil. Some have the courage to defy their superstitions and leave the safety of the forest, exposing them to the perception of the gods whom they believe cursed them into the twisted creatures they are now. Others are possessed of a compassionate streak that induces them to protect the people their tribesmen would typically waylay.
- Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 5/18, Dexterity 10/18, Constitution 8/18, Intelligence 3/17, Wisdom 3/18, Charisma 3/14
- Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, -2 Charisma, -1 Intelligence
- Class & Level Limits: Fighter 12, Ranger 5, Thief 15
- Multiclass Options: Fighter/Thief
- Thieving Skill Adjustments: Find/Remove Traps +10%, Move Silently +5%, Hide in Shadows +10%, Read Languages -10%
- Natural Armor Class: 10
- Infravision 60 feet
- When in forest environments, an erlking can Hide in Shadows and Move Silently as if they were a Ranger of equal level.
- Opponents suffer a -2 penalty to their surprise roll against erlkings in forest environments.
- Nonweapon Proficiencies: Direction Sense, Hunting, Set Snares, Survival (Temperate and Subarctic Forests), Weather Sense