House Goliath is one of the six Hive City Houses of Necromunda, making it one of the six original playable factions for the game when it was debuted.
House Goliath has been one of the two "introductory" gangs in both the original and the relaunch edition of Necromunda. In the original launch, they were paired up against House Orlock, whilst the relaunch matched them up against House Escher, which made for better contrast and played into their established enmity.
Occupying some of the deepest, harshest areas of the Hive and extensively involved in heavy industries, House Goliath has developed a culture defined by machismo; they pride themselves on stubbornness and their ability to endure hardship, looking down on the other Houses as "soft" and "slack" by comparison. Size and strength are the measure of a man, and thus their style of dress emphasizes a preoccupation with physique; chains and massive, spiky metal bracers are the ornamentation of choice.
In the relaunch, House Goliath makes heavy use of stims and gene-tweakers in pursuit of their goals, pushing their bodies to unnatural limits and reaching near-Astartes levels of bulk and savagery; some observers have proposed they may even qualify as abhumans. The downside to these enhancements include a drastically reduced lifespan, even by the poor standards of Hive living. Goliaths also need to wear a chem-leash auto-rig for the rest of their short lives; this item maintains the delicate balance of stims and chems which fuel their enhanced bodies. It also acts as a measure of control by the House authorities, as without the chem-leash the Goliath's bodies will destabilize and die, or go into overdrive and enter a state of uncontrolled growth and lead to eventual death anyway. Either way it acts as a powerful disincentive to rebellion. However, rumor has it a few Goliath gangs have found ways around this, usually via black market remedies but sometimes by using xenos drugs or even cannibalism.
The other Houses look down on House Goliath as barbaric, unsophisticated and dangerously unpredictable - this attitude is especially potent in the members of House Escher, and the two Houses have a centuries-old vendetta between them. Ironically, in the relaunch version, they actually depend on Escher-produced pharmaceuticals to sustain their culture.
Proof that that human augmentation can go too far.
While gene-enhancement and muscle grafts are common in the Imperium, for some members of House Goliath the process of enhancement through drugs, stimms, gene therapy and the simple addition of adding more layers of vat grown muscle pushes far past what might be considered the safe limit, creating a gigantic flesh hulk called a Zerker.
Amazingly, Zerkers are even stronger than Ogryns; and with the addition of combat stimms can be far more savage. While this might sound like the ultimate expression of House Goliath's ideals, the downsides exaggerate the flaws already inherent in the processes the House uses on their regular gangers. Zerkers are forced to live in a state of metabolic chaos, with spontaneous bone spur mutations and uncontrolled muscle growth as common side effects, which implies an even shorter lifespan than most Goliaths. There is also the added drawback of practically eliminating higher brain functions means that Zerkers are little better than living battering rams who can contribute nothing to the further upkeep of their house or gang.
You know the urban legend of alligators living in sewers? Carnivorous reptiles were once imported to Necromunda as pets, then flushed down the toilets when they inevitably became too snappy for the hive nobility to tolerate. Those reptile populations that thrived in the polluted waters of the lower hives were first hunted for food until someone in House Goliath took a shining to them and kept them as pets for the very reasons that the nobility cast them out for.
Give those crocs a few millennia to adapt to their new environment, combined with genetic tweaks and selective breeding that House Goliath performed on them and you get something completely unrecognisable from their original form. A cross between an alligator and a pit bull on steroids.
Legend has it that the original mother of all sumpkrocs escaped House Goliath and still lives somewhere in the underhive even after thousands of years. Though now they have grown to over thirty feet and capable of wholesale slaughter.
In the first edition, House Goliath's specialty is Muscle Skills; every member of the gang has access to them. Ferocity and Combat are close seconds; Juves can't learn Combat and Heavies can't learn Ferocity. However, they have no ability to learn Agility at all - even in House Escher, gang-leaders can learn Ferocity and Heavies can learn Muscle - and their Stealth skills are abysmal, with only Goliath gang-leaders able to learn Stealth.
House Goliath maintains its focus on brute strength and physical domination over all other forms of combat. As such, the Brawn and Ferocity skill trees are available to all gang members (though Juves treat Brawn as Secondary), but Agility is only available as a Secondary skill tree for Juves. No gang member has access to Cunning or Savant trees as standard, which is in keeping with their "Brawn over Brains" philosophy. They specialize in ranged weapons with short range but high firepower, as well as melee weapons that rely on sheer force over finesse. These weapons include the "Krumper" rivet cannons, grenade launchers, and power hammers.