Fierce and militaristic, hobgoblins survive by conquest. The raw materials to fuel their war machines come from raids, their armaments and buildings from the toil of slaves worked to death. Naturally ambitious and envious, hobgoblins seek to better themselves at the expense of others of their kind, yet in battle they put aside petty differences and fight with discipline rivaling that of the finest soldiers. Hobgoblins have little love or trust for one another, and even less for outsiders. Life for these brutes consists of duty to those of higher station, domination of those below, and the rare opportunities to seize personal glory and elevate their status.
Physical Description: Burly and muscled, hobgoblins stand a few inches shorter than the average human, and their long arms, thick torsos, and relatively short legs give them an almost apelike stature. Hobgoblins’ skin is a sickly gray-green that darkens to mossy green after long exposure to the sun. Their eyes burn fiery orange or red, and their broad faces and sharply pointed ears give their features a somewhat feline cast. Hobgoblins lack facial hair, and even hobgoblin women are bald. Except for their size, hobgoblins bear a strong physical resemblance to their goblin cousins.
Society: Hobgoblins live in militaristic tyrannies, each community under the absolute rule of a hobgoblin general. Every hobgoblin in a settlement receives military training, with those who excel serving in the army and the rest left to serve more menial roles. Those deemed unfit for military service have little social status, barely rating above favored slaves. Despite this, hobgoblin society is egalitarian after a fashion. Gender and birth offer no barrier to advancement, which is determined almost solely by each individual’s personal merit. Hobgoblins eschew strong attachments, even to their young. Matings are matters of convenience, and are almost always limited to hobgoblins of equal rank. Any resulting baby is taken from its mother and forcibly weaned after 3 weeks of age. Young mature quickly—most take no more than 6 months to learn to talk and care for themselves. Hobgoblins’ childhoods last a scant 14 years, a mirthless span filled with brutal training in the art of war.
Relations: Hobgoblins view other races as nothing more than tools—implements to be enslaved, cowed, and put to work. Without slaves, hobgoblin society would collapse, so reliant is it on stolen labor. An injured, sickly, or defiant slave is like a broken tool, useless waste to be tossed out with the day’s garbage. Not surprisingly, hobgoblin communities count no other races as their friends, and few as allies. Elves and dwarves earn special enmity, and are devilishly hard to break into proper slavery as both races hold blood feuds against goblinkind. Halflings and half-orcs make especially prized slaves—the former for their agile skills and the ease of breaking them to the collar, and the latter for their talent at thriving under the harshest of conditions. Hobgoblins have little love for the rest of goblinkind, though they typically treat goblinoid slaves better than they do other races.
Alignment and Religion: Hobgoblin life is nothing if not ordered and hierarchical, and hobgoblins lean strongly toward the lawful alignments. While not innately evil, the callous and brutal training that fills the too-short childhood of hobgoblins leaves most embittered and full of hate. Hobgoblins of good alignment number the fewest, and almost exclusively consist of individuals raised in other cultures. More numerous but still rare are hobgoblins of chaotic bent, most often exiles cast out by the despots of their homelands. Religion, like most non-militaristic pursuits, matters little to the majority of hobgoblins. Most pay lip-service to one or more gods and occasionally make offerings to curry favor or turn aside ill fortune. Those hobgoblins who feel a stronger religious calling venerate fearsome, tyrannical gods and devils.
Adventurers: Hobgoblin adventurers tend to be iconoclasts, loners who chafe under the strict hierarchy of military life. Others have fled or been exiled in disgrace for showing weakness or cowardice. Some harbor dreams of one day returning to the hobgoblin flock flush with wealth and tales of great deeds. A few serve farsighted hobgoblin generals, who send the most promising youths out into the world that they might someday return as mighty heroes for the hobgoblin cause. Hobgoblins lean toward martial classes, particularly cavaliers, fighters, monks, and rogues. The arcane arts are distrusted in hobgoblin society and consequently their practitioners are rare, save for alchemists, who gain grudging praise and admiration for their pyrotechnic talents.
Male Names: Aronok, Bankanir, Dorduken, Fentanas, Grur, Hagors, Kalmant, Malgroar, Slatark, Talogan.
Female Names: Arinet, Eloqi, Eskani, Horinnia, Korumun, Moranassa, Moritla, Nimanisi, Noranillim, Vortiga.
Hobgoblin Racial Traits
+2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution: Hobgoblins are fast and hardy.
Goblinoid: Hobgoblins are humanoids with the goblinoid subtype.
Medium: Hobgoblins are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Hobgoblins have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Hobgoblins can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Sneaky: Hobgoblins receive a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks.
Languages: Hobgoblins begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Hobgoblins with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Dwarven, Infernal, Giant, and Orc.
New Racial Rules
The following options are available to hobgoblins. At the GM’s discretion, other appropriate races may make use of some of these new rules.
Hobgoblins have access to the following equipment.
Brewed Reek: Animal musk, spoiled meat, pungent plants, and any other foul-smelling substances on hand go into a batch of brewed reek. When boiled, this mixture becomes a thick alchemical slime that adheres to anything it touches. You can hurl brewed reek as a splash weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. A creature struck with a direct hit must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 2d6 rounds. If the target fails its save, it must make a second Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. Creatures in the splash area must make a Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 round. A creature that drinks brewed reek does not get a saving throw and is sickened for 2d6 rounds and nauseated for 1 round.
Fetters: Fetters are manacles fitted around the ankles rather than the wrists, and use the same rules for breaking, escape, and cost relative to size. A creature in fetters is entangled and can only move at half speed. In addition, a fettered creature must succeed at a DC 15 Acrobatics check to move more than its (reduced) speed in a round. If it fails the check by 5 or more, the creature falls prone.
Hobgoblin War Draught: This drink is a foul-smelling alchemical blend of raw alcohol, mashed grubs, and medicinal mushrooms. A hobgoblin under the effects of hobgoblin war draught ignores all penalties resulting from the fatigued and shaken conditions for 10 minutes, after which he must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 hour. Anyone lacking the goblinoid subtype who drinks hobgoblin war draught must immediately make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 hour; success means the drinker ignores all penalties resulting from the fatigued and shaken conditions for 1 minute, after which he is sickened for 10 minutes. Hobgoblin war draught has no effect on creatures that are immune to poison.
Manacle Barbs: Barbs added to these manacles wound a captive who does more than move slowly and with care. A creature secured in barbed manacles takes 1 point of piercing damage if it takes more than a single move action during a round. Rough movement of any kind, such as being struck in combat or falling prone, likewise causes 1 point of damage. Attempting to break out of barbed manacles with a Strength check deals 1d4 points of piercing damage to the captive regardless of the success of the attempt.
Fetters can also be fitted with barbs, but the wearer can avoid damage by not taking actions that involve moving its legs. Hobgoblins often use such fetters to secure artisans to their worktables. Securing a captive with multiple sets of manacles and/or fetters doesn’t cause additional damage.
Unstable Accelerant: A volatile mix of incendiary reagents, unstable accelerant can be thrown just like alchemist’s fire. In the hands of an alchemist, a flask of unstable accelerant can be used as part of creating a bomb, increasing its fire damage by +1d6 points. It has no effect on bombs that do not deal fire damage. If the bomb lasts for more than an instant, the extra damage only applies to the first round’s damage.
|Brewed reek||40 gp||1 lb.||DC 25|
|Fetters||15 gp||2 lbs.||—|
|Fetters, masterwork||50 gp||2 lbs.||—|
|Hobgoblin war draught||10 gp||1 lb.||DC 20*|
|Manacle barbs||+15 gp||1 lb.||—|
|Unstable accelerant||50 gp||1/2 lb.||DC 25|
|* Craft DC 15 for hobgoblins|
Hobgoblins have access to the following feats.
Your bombs explode with deafening force.
Prerequisites: Bomb class feature, hobgoblin.
Benefit: You may reduce your bomb damage by one die to give it the ability to deafen the creature struck by it. The bomb must deal fire, force, or sonic damage. If a creature takes a direct hit from your bomb, it must make a saving throw against the bomb’s DC or be deafened for 1 minute. This deafening is in addition to any other effects the bomb would normally have.
Demoralizing Lash (Combat)
You cow your enemies with the lash of a whip.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +1, Intimidate 1 rank, hobgoblin.
Benefit: To use this feat, you must use a whip (or another weapon in the flails fighter weapon group) to attack a foe demoralized by an Intimidate check. If the attack hits, you extend the duration the creature is shaken by 1 round. This feat has no effect on creatures whose shaken conditions are from sources other than Intimidate checks.
Focusing Blow (Teamwork)
You and your allies work together to shake off mental effects.
Prerequisites: Hobgoblin Discipline, hobgoblin.
Benefit: An ally who also has this feat can deal damage to you in order to break an ongoing mind-affecting effect that allows a saving throw. The ally must cause at least 5 points of damage to you with an attack, spell, or other ability. You then reroll your saving throw, with a +1 bonus for every 5 additional points of damage the attack caused. If your save is successful, the mind-affecting effect ends. Only damage actually dealt counts for purposes of this feat; nonlethal damage and damage reduced or eliminated by damage reduction, resistances, and so on does not qualify.
The presence of other hobgoblins bolsters your resolve.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +1, hobgoblin.
Benefit: While you are within 30 feet of at least two other hobgoblins, you gain a +1 morale bonus on saving throws.
You intimidate weaker allies into reckless ferocity.
Prerequisites: Demoralizing Lash, Intimidate 5 ranks, hobgoblin.
Benefit: As a standard action, you spur an ally, who must have fewer Hit Dice than yourself, to reckless effort. For 1 minute, the ally gains a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and Will saves against mind-affecting effects. However, the ally also takes a –2 penalty to AC and on skill checks. To affect an unwilling ally, you must succeed at an Intimidate check with the same DC used to demoralize your ally.
Special: If you have 10 or more ranks in Intimidate, the morale bonus increases to +2.
Terrorizing Display (Combat)
Your battle prowess frightens friend and foe alike.
Benefits: When you use Dazzling Display, in addition to its normal effects, you can use it to spur allies within 30 feet as if you had used the Taskmaster feat. Use the same Intimidate check to determine the effects of Dazzling Display and this feat.
Hobgoblin Magic Items
Hobgoblins have access to the following weapon special abilities and magic items.
Cruel (weapon special ability): A cruel weapon feeds on fear and suffering. When the wielder strikes a creature that is frightened, shaken, or panicked with a cruel weapon, that creature becomes sickened for 1 round. When the wielder uses the weapon to knock unconscious or kill a creature, he gains 5 temporary hit points that last for 10 minutes.
Deadly (weapon special ability): This special ability can only be placed on weapons that normally deal nonlethal damage, such as whips and saps. All damage a deadly weapon deals is lethal damage. A whip (or similar weapon that cannot damage creatures with armor or natural armor bonuses) with this special ability deals damage even to creatures with armor or natural armor. On command, the weapon suppresses this ability until told to resume it.
Hobgoblin Battle Standard
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 50,000 gp (despair), 60,000 gp (ferocity), 45,000 gp (iron resolve); Weight 3 lbs.
A battle standard is a cloth flag or standard, typically 2 feet wide and 4 feet long, meant to be carried and displayed on a lance, polearm, frame, or staff. It has no effect when not mounted properly or when lying on the ground. Hobgoblin battle standards normally depict the device or insignia of a tribe or nation, and different types of standards grant different effects.
A battle standard may be carried (on foot or mounted) or planted. In the latter case, the standard does not need a bearer, but if it is toppled or touched by an enemy, it loses its effectiveness until reclaimed and replanted by allies of its owner.
Despair: Enemies of the bearer of a hobgoblin battle standard of despair are sickened while within 60 feet of the banner. Any enemy that sustains a critical hit while sickened because of the standard must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 15) or become dazed for 1 round.
Ferocity: Allies of the bearer of a hobgoblin battle standard of ferocity gain a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and saving throws against mind-affecting effects as long as they are within 60 feet of the banner.
Iron Resolve: Allies of the bearer of a hobgoblin battle standard of iron resolve gain 10 temporary hit points and the benefits of the Diehard feat for as long as they are within 30 feet of the banner. The temporary hit points can only be gained once per day per creature.
Horseshoes of Crushing Blows
Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
Slot feet; Price 4,000 gp (2), 36,000 gp (4), 100,000 gp (+5); Weight 4 lbs. (for four)
Horseshoes of crushing blows grant an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls made with hoof attacks; this bonus varies based on the item’s price. Alternatively, as described for the amulet of mighty fists, they can grant melee weapon special abilities so long as they can be applied to unarmed attacks. Horseshoes of crushing blows cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +5. Horseshoes of crushing blows are crafted as sets of four, with each shoe in the set bearing the same enhancements. All four shoes must be worn by the same animal to be effective.
Horseshoes of crushing blows may be crafted out of special materials, gaining the usual benefits. For purposes of pricing, they count as a single one-handed weapon weighing 4 pounds (for example, adamantine horseshoes of crushing blows would cost an additional 3,000 gp). The materials needed to make cold iron horseshoes of crushing blows add no extra costs in and of themselves, but enhancing cold iron horseshoes of crushing blows increases the price by the usual 2,000 gp.
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, creator’s caster level must be at least three times the amulet’s bonus, plus any requirements of the melee weapon special abilities; Cost 2,000 gp (2), 18,000 gp (4), 50,000 gp (+5)
Shackles of Durance Vile
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th
Slot wrists; Price 16,200 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
These masterwork iron manacles sap the will of their wearer. When attached to a humanoid creature as their command word is spoken, they affect their prisoner with a dominate person spell, except that if the prisoner fails its saving throw, the effect lasts for as long as the shackles are attached. Removing or destroying the shackles immediately breaks the enchantment. The shackles can be so used once per day. Shackles of durance vile can only be activated against a helpless, restrained, or willing creature; if attached to a creature still able to resist they function only as manacles, albeit superior ones. Shackles of durance vile have hardness 15, 20 hit points, and a superior lock. They have a break DC of 30 and an Escape Artist DC of 35.
Aura faint conjuration; CL 1st
Slot none; Price 50 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.
Prized by slavers as an affordable way to stop a captive from bleeding to death, a dose of wound paste acts as a stabilize spell when slathered on a dying creature. Applying wound paste is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. A pot of wound paste contains 5 doses.
Hobgoblins have access to the following spell.
School illusion (phantasm) [emotion, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 2, cleric 3, inquisitor 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Component V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 level)
Target one living creature
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes.
With a word and a gesture, you instill such apprehension about attacking you in your target that doing so causes it mental distress and pain. Each time the target makes an attack against you, targets you with a harmful spell, or otherwise takes and action that would harm you, it takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage.