Taller and stronger than their goblin kin, hobgoblins are equals in strength and size to humans, with broad shoulders and long, powerful arms.
- Seek out the most effective and practical solutions to any problem.
- Encourage a clear chain of command among any group you travel with, following orders even if you disagree with them.
- Look for opportune alliances with other creatures, even if you don’t fully understand or trust them.
- Consider you dangerous, due to your reputation and intimidating appearance.
- Assume you hate magic and other mystical arts.
- Recognize your incredible endurance, dedication, and discipline.
Hit Points 8
Speed 25 Feet
Ability Boosts Constitution Intelligence
Free Ability Flaw Wisdom
Languages Common, Goblin. Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it’s positive). Choose from Draconic, Dwarven, Gnoll, Jotun, Halfling, Orcish, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).
Traits Goblin Humanoid
Darkvision You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light, though your vision in darkness is in black and white.
Hobgoblins stand nearly as tall as humans, though they tend to have shorter legs and longer arms and torsos. They have the bald, wide heads and beady eyes, and gray skin that becomes steely blue when tanned. Hobgoblins are remarkably hardy; they recover from illnesses quickly and are able to exert themselves for long periods of time with little difficulty.
Hobgoblins mature quickly, and most can walk, talk, and hold a weapon by the time they are 1 year old, reaching adolescence by the age of 8 to 12 and adulthood around 14. Hobgoblins typically live up to 70 years of age.
Hobgoblins structure their society after military hierarchies. Even civilian groups such as farming collectives or trading houses organize into regiments, companies, and divisions. Most hobgoblins fixate on social status, and many constantly strive to advance their social position. Hobgoblin punishments are primarily social demotions, although execution or slavery are common for serious crimes, such as arson or desertion.
Hobgoblin veterans hold a high place in their society, usually becoming leaders or advisors. Magic is rarely practiced and often derided, as most hobgoblins don’t trust it over the strength of their own sword arms.
Their arts tend to have a military bent; many hobgoblins consider stirring marches and weaponsmithing the only artistic endeavors worth pursuing.
Though familiar with the chaos of war, most hobgoblins have orderly minds and prefer to live within established hierarchies. While many hobgoblins consider sentimentality weak, those with mild temperaments have recently found success in diplomacy and international outreach.
Hobgoblin society’s rigid militaristic hierarchy produces excellent adventurers, as hobgoblins reach adulthood trained for combat. Due to their upbringing, many hobgoblins have the warrior background. The laborer, martial disciple, miner, and scout backgrounds are also common.
Hobgoblins raised away from their people often have the criminal, hermit, or nomad backgrounds instead.
Hobgoblins are most often fighters, rangers, or rogues, although hobgoblin rogues approach their class with a disciplined mindset. Hobgoblins hold an ancestral grudge against elves and a distrust of arcane magic, which they call “elf magic.” Hobgoblin practitioners of arcane magic are exceedingly rare and usually shunned by other hobgoblins. Particularly clever hobgoblins usually become alchemists.
As a result, hobgoblin adventurers are usually lawful neutral, with only those rejecting or raised outside of their militaristic society chaotic. Faith has little place in hobgoblin society, as many feel it is impractical, though religious hobgoblins can gain a begrudging modicum of acceptance due to their useful healing magic.
Like goblins, hobgoblin names tend to be simple, though hobgoblin names usually sound more guttural and forceful. On rare occasions, hobgoblins will alter their names, keeping the core but adding aspects, usually in response to an extreme trauma or a life-altering event. Hobgoblins have no surnames, considering them both pointless and presumptuous; an individual’s merits and demerits are to be earned by their actions, not by an association with a particular lineage.
Sample Names Aze, Druknar, Ghargam, Hathkren, Imakra, Kralaeng, Mazkol, Olzu, Rezal, Sivkrag, Volmak, Zornum
Hobgoblins have a wide range of physiological differences based primarily on their family lineage. Choose one of the following hobgoblin heritages at 1st level.
Hobgoblins were engineered long ago from the unreliable and fecund goblins, to be used as an army against the elves. Although the elves ultimately freed the hobgoblins from their bondage, some hobgoblins retain ancestral resistance to magic, which they refer to as “elf magic.” You gain the Resist Elf Magic reaction.
Resist Elf Magic
Trigger You attempt a saving throw against a magical effect but haven’t rolled yet.
Your ancestral resistance to magic protects you. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to the triggering saving throw. If the triggering effect is arcane, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus instead.
You come from a long line of hobgoblins who commanded goblins. You are smaller than other hobgoblins, but goblins still listen to any commands you bellow. You gain the Group Coercion skill feat. If you roll a success on an Intimidation check to Coerce a goblin (but not other creatures with the goblin trait), you get a critical success instead; if you roll a critical failure, you get a failure instead.
Your family have been alchemists, engineers, and scientists for generations, on projects bringing smoke and fire to the field of battle. You gain fire resistance equal to half your level (minimum 1). You automatically succeed at the DC 5 flat check to target a concealed creature if that creature is concealed only by smoke.
You come from a line of wandering mercenaries, constantly on the march and scavenging food on the trail. If you fail, but not critically fail, to Subsist in the wilderness, you can still keep yourself fed with poor meals. When exploring, you can Hustle twice as long before you have to stop.
Your ancestors lived underground. Your ears are larger than those of other hobgoblins and sensitive to echoes.
When you are underground, you can use the Seek action to sense undetected creatures within a 30-foot burst instead of a 15-foot burst. In addition, if you roll a success on an Acrobatics check to Squeeze, you get a critical success instead.
Hobgoblin Ancestry Feats
At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). As a hobgoblin, you choose from among the following ancestry feats.
You learn formulas more easily. You gain four common 1st-level alchemical formulas when you take this feat, and each time you gain a level, you gain a common alchemical formula of that level. You still need Alchemical Crafting to Craft alchemical items.
Special: You can take this feat only at 1st level, and you can’t retrain into or out of this feat.
You’ve studied traditional hobgoblin exercises and fieldcraft, all of which have a militaristic bent. You become trained in Athletics and Crafting. For each of these skills in which you were already trained, you become trained in a skill of your choice. You also become trained in Hobgoblin Lore.
You are trained with composite longbows, composite shortbows, glaives, halberds, longbows, longspears, longswords, shortbows, and spears.
In addition, you gain access to all uncommon hobgoblin weapons. For the purpose of determining your proficiency, martial hobgoblin weapons are simple weapons and advanced hobgoblin weapons are martial weapons.
You are trained to capture deserters, or “leeches.” If you critically hit a foe with a weapon from the flail weapon group, you can wrap the weapon around the target’s legs and then drop it, causing the foe to take a –10-foot circumstance penalty to their Speeds until they or their allies disentangle the weapon, which takes a total of 2 Interact actions.
You’re skilled at beating a foe when their morale is already breaking.
When you succeed at a melee weapon Strike against a frightened foe, that foe can’t reduce their frightened condition below 1 until the beginning of your next turn.
Your physique is robust and can withstand blood loss startlingly well.
Whenever you would gain the drained condition, you can attempt a DC 17 flat check. On a success, you don’t gain the drained condition.
When you terrorize your enemies, you also cause them painful mental distress.
When you successfully Demoralize a foe, that foe takes 1d4 mental damage at the start of each of its turns as long as it remains frightened and continues to engage in combat with you. If you have master proficiency in Intimidation, the damage increases to 2d4, and if you have legendary proficiency, the damage increases to 3d4.
You know how to get the most out of your allies.
While exploring, when you are leading and allies are Following the Expert, you grant a +3 circumstance bonus instead of +2 if you’re an expert in the applicable skill, and a +4 circumstance bonus if you’re a master.
Prerequisite(s): trained in all martial weapons
You know how to fight in formation with your brethren.
When you are adjacent to at least two hobgoblin allies, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to AC and saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 on Reflex saves against area effects.
Prerequisite(s): Hobgoblin Weapon Familiarity
You know how to efficiently utilize the weapons soldiers use in close quarters.
Whenever you score a critical hit using a weapon of the polearm, spear, or sword group, you apply the weapon’s critical specialization effect.
Trigger An ally within 30 feet brings a foe to 0 Hit Points.
With a shout of triumph, you grant inspiration to an ally fight on.
The triggering ally gains temporary Hit Points equal to their Constitution modifier until the end of their next turn.
Prerequisite(s): Formation Training (see above)
You can assemble a formation even with members of ancestries that lack the hobgoblins’ military discipline, and you can extend these benefits to your hobgoblin allies.
When you are adjacent to at least two humanoid allies, you gain the benefits of Formation Training, even if they aren’t hobgoblin allies. Hobgoblin allies adjacent to you and at least one other hobgoblin ally also gain the bonuses from your Formation Training feat.
Prerequisite(s): Hobgoblin Weapon Familiarity
You increase your training in battlefield weapons.
Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons, you also gain that proficiency rank in all weapons you are trained in from Hobgoblin Weapon Familiarity.