The Grotag are clever by goblin standards, and that hasn't helped them one bit. Smaller and weaker than their cousins, with larger hands and feet, the Grotag have tried to live by their wits - not a winning proposition. Ingenuity is prized among the Grotag, so when a goblin has the bright idea of trying to tame fleshpiercer mites, there are at least a few who are willing to follow that goblin into a nest, to predictably horrible results ... most of the time. While the Grotag seem to have a never-ending supply of bad ideas, and a horrible ratio of bad ideas to good, the Grotag also seem to have a never-ending supply of Grotag. As such, by trial and error (and more error), the Grotag have stumbled across a great deal of knowledge useful for surviving the deep places of Bala Ged and for dealing with the creatures that live there.

Grotag goblins imagine themselves to have a sort of empathy with beasts, and they lose hundreds of goblins each year to ill-advised monster taming attempts. But, every now and again, one of these efforts is successful. Grotag are the only goblins to successfully (at least, sort of successfully) domesticate other animals—namely the lagac lizard, large enough to ride or pull a makeshift cart or sleigh, and the ventcrawler, a slow-moving arachnid the size of a car, which enjoys feeding on the charred bodies of creatures caught in lava flows or deadly steam bursts. Occasionally, a Grotag will come home with a more exotic pet, like a drake or a hydra hatchling. Usually, this results in slapstick slaughter.

Grotag are not as insular as other goblins, and are willing to trade their fungal crops and mineral finds for goods from other races. The infamous Grotag curiosity will also lead many members of the tribe to live among other races, whether those other races like it or not. These "bounders," as they're often called (due to the fact that they often need to run to keep up with their chosen travel companions), tend to be harmless and friendly enough that their "hosts" have a hard time kicking them out of their settlements or travelling bands. However, a friendly group of humans or kor tends to get a lot less tolerant when a Grotag brings home a pet.

Grotag are known for their ability to train beasts - or at least, their willingness to attempt to train them. Grotag goblins will try to tame various creatures. Frequently, these attempts end in disaster, but occasionally the Grotag can control the beast.

"At first I thought I had gotten some kind of screaming deal. The Grotag merchant just handed me the reins and left—forgot to take any kind of payment. My lucky day, I thought: a three-ton geopede, Grotag-tamed, for nothin'. Then I realized I wasn't holding reins, but just some residual entrails hanging from its mouth, the remnants of its last meal. It started thrashing, of course, and nearly took my arm off—and then it nearly killed my whole expedition. Then I understood why the goblin made me agree to 'no refunds.'" -Mitra, Bala Ged missionary


Goblin Roughrider, Grotag Thrasher