Goblin, Hobnoblin (3.5e Race)

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Author: Ganteka Future (talk)
Date Created: 11 February 2014
Status: Version 1.1
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Hobnoblins are a subrace of goblin and often appear within tribes of goblins or with other goblinoids. While they're not as naturally gifted as stealthy riders as a typical goblin, their other abilities and social perceptiveness allow them to fit into niches around camp.


Hobnoblins like to talk, and they're quite adept at it. However, they're still goblins, so they tend to talk about crude topics and tell stories or jokes in the wrong settings. Oddly, this can make them endearing and charming as curiosities… in the right dose.

While most goblins are greedy for possessions, a hobnoblin is greedy for attention and information. They're more likely to covet books than shiny trinkets, which is fine with other goblins and allows them to get along since there's no direct competition for prizes when they raid or capture intruders.

However, hobnoblins love shiny trinkets with stories attached, like heirlooms and artifacts, and horde such things when possible.

Physical Description[edit]

A hobnoblin differs in stature quite a bit from a typical goblin, but is still immediately recognizable as a goblin creature.

While they run the gamut of fat to thin and athletic to frail, the basic frame remains the same. A hobnoblin grows to around three and a half feet tall and weighs about fifty pounds. Female hobnoblins are slightly taller and heavier than the males. Their bodies are compact and their limbs are long and wiry. Their arms and legs are about the same length (as are their hands and feet).

Hobnoblin heads are large for their size (just a bit smaller than the right size for a Medium-sized humanoid) and sit on short necks, appearing propped right on top of its body. Their ears and noses are long, pointed and angular in contrast to their bulbous heads. Their eyes, bright and large, gleam from the fronts of their faces and come in a variety of common and uncommon colors, with warm tones being most common. A hobnoblin's corneas are a golden-yellow or flaxen hue instead of a typical white, and are often only visible in the corners of their eyes due to their large irises.

Their mouths are wide and frog-like with tight lips, allowing them to project their voices. Some hobnoblins develop a throat bulge and a deeper, richer voice uncharacteristic of small goblins. A hobnoblin's small, multitudinous teeth make taking large bites of chewy material quite difficult. As such, they prefer to eat foods that are either thin or shred easily.

Their hair is often coarse and unmanageable. It typically grows in lighter tones when they're young and gets darker as they age, up until old age when it turns silver or white. Blacks, browns, oranges, grays and dark greens are common hair colors, but other tones are not unheard of. If they let it grow long enough, they usually tie it back. Some hobnoblins are born without any hair and may sport smooth, patterned or pebbled skin, adding to their frog-like (or toad-like) appearance.

Hobnoblin skin is typically a shade of subdued orange or ochre, with mud browns, foggy grays, muted greens, slate blues and twilight purples common among their diverse population. They usually dress in leathers and stitched hides or furs. Hobnoblins tend to take a greater effort in their presentation than is expected among goblins and might even qualify as "fashionable" or "surprisingly not odorous". Most hobnoblins don't reek of rancid onions and foul cheese and in fact give an aroma of squash, pumpkin or damp earth, making them much easier for other races to tolerate.

When traveling, they often keep their side-arms at hand and can often be found riding a suitable beast, such as a trained goblin dog, deinonychus, donkey or boar.

Hobnoblin blood has a purplish tinge.


Most other humanoid races believe the common misconception that goblins are stupid. Goblins are just as intelligent as humans, its just that their social skills make them coarse and they often lack the training and schooling afforded to more refined races. It is a surprise then when folk meet a hobnoblin and find that it can carry on a conversation about topics other than spilling blood and looting bodies.

Hobnoblins get along well with most goblinoids. Though, a hobnoblin's talkativeness can get to be an annoyance if not properly kept in check. A hobnoblin's gregarious nature makes him ideal for goblin tribes to send out on trading deals, scouting missions and as envoys and messengers. Occasionallly, hobnoblins find better treatment, more interesting knowledge and better opportunities outside their tribe and simply don't return from tribe-appointed tasks. Because of the amount of desirable resources to be found in the outside world, hobnoblins possess an increased likelihood of becoming adventurers than other types of goblins.

Individually, a hobnoblin has a better chance of getting along with some of the more refined humanoids than any typical goblin would. However, hobnoblins still associate with the rest of their ilk, and that makes them suspect as a group.

Hobnoblins share a few traits in common with the flintspark goblins.


Hobnoblin disposition is interesting among goblin kind. While most goblinoids lean toward evilness, the hobnoblin leans more toward chaotic inclinations. Their greed affords them little desire to follow rules to obtain satisfaction.

Lands & Culture[edit]

Goblins have long maintained a near-ubiquitous infestation across the continents of many worlds, with subraces dominating the more extreme climes. Hobnoblins though, are found almost exclusively among other goblins. Very rarely will they form communities on their own as their environment often doesn't afford them the safety of self-reliance. Only the most xenophobic tribes of goblins refuse to keep a few hobnoblins among their number.

Hobnoblins, like most goblins, breed constantly to keep up their numbers with their high mortality rate. The young grow quickly, albeit a bit slower than is typical amongst goblinoids. Hobnoblin parents often maintain multiple families simultaneously. Once any children reach four years of age or so, a single parent may take over raising the child so that the other parent can start or maintain a different family. Hobnoblin children (occasionally called hobnibs) often move from family to family. Before they're adults, they're often raised by the whole tribe with "home" only being wherever they happen to bed down at. This helps strengthen them to the community and prepare them for their social function later in life.

Since goblins can also be cruel, malicious creatures, especially when resources run low (which is frequently, as they have little recourse to save for the future), they're loathe to welcome interloping children. In such cases, they learn very young how to steal and deal with bigger, stronger rivals.


A hobnoblin's charisma is thought to be a divine blessing or gift bestowed upon goblinkind. It is thought that a divine nectar was bestowed upon them, from which they gained their social prowess. The responsible deity or extraplanar being is unknown and this origin is speculation. Regardless of the history, a hobnoblin's charismatic nature makes him oddly suited for manipulating magic divinely, lending some credence to the story.

Many hobnoblins worship or revere deities known among goblinkind. Chief among them are nature deities and trickster gods. Some hobnoblins take to traveling as shamans to seek out other goblin settlements and spread stories and dogma to those that will listen. They often have to dumb down these stories and add embellishments to entertain their audiences.


Hobnoblins speak Goblin quite often. It's a language of guttural syllables and chittering sounds. They also speak Common, often adding Goblin words to properly describe the subject at hand. As social creatures, they also speak other languages when they're smart enough to learn them. This usually means learning the languages of the creatures near to where their tribe resides (so they can spy, trade or even surrender if things turn ugly).

While proper etymology is difficult to follow in Goblin at best, the name "hobnoblin" roughly translates as "the rogues who do and don't have" or "the have and not kin". It is thought that the "have" refers to the divine draught that granted them their charismatic potential.

Hobnoblins with a penchant for writing often choose to learn Dwarven, as Goblin borrows the Dwarven alphabet.

Here are some Goblin words that may or may not be slang and are added into conversations in other languages:

Table: Frequent Conversational Goblin Words
Rough Translation and Notes
An's A populous settlement or city. Any large place that invokes awe.
Bikk An insult/racial slur for dwarves or anyone with a beard.
Buggel A talking animal. Used as an insult against some folk.
B'tog A repulsive or disgusting individual.
Chib A tattletale or squealer. A traitor.
Churr A kind of goblin-made whiskey. Distilled from rye, oak bark and various fungi. Brewmasters toss in fey creatures (such as pixies) when available.
Dr'g A breed of riding dog kept by goblins. A stout breed with short fur, long legs and a long muzzle.
Gim A female goblin.
Hin A halfling or gnome.
Kutch A large or dominant male goblin. A leader.
K'wen A servant or slave.
Liss A shapeshifter. A disguised individual.
Nug A desirable female.
Rusk Food scraps.
Skwin An insult/racial slur for elves or other fair/androgynous folk.
Tilter An armed rider. Often conveyed silently with a sideways head tilt/jerk.
Trobgub A relaxed greeting and greeting reply.
Ugrog A boogeyman in goblin culture, often equated to an invisible, demonic, fey ogre.
Under Sir A groveling plea. Often spoken in repetition. Likely a mistranslation of "surrender".


A hobnoblin often goes through a few names in his lifetime and may keep several names at once or drop one when he becomes tired of it (or feels it no longer reflects his personality), which is easier said than done. Their first names are given to them most often by their parents and generally encompass some early childhood behavioral trait or feature that makes them easily recognizable.

As they age, hobnoblins pick new names or titles. If they move from one area to another, this is accomplished by simply picking a new name and telling it to others. Otherwise, he often has to prove himself with his new name, lest he gain a different name granted to him by his others in mocking insult of his choice.

There is no clear distinction between male and female hobnoblin names.

Sample Names: Belter, Booka, Botlord, Bugbat, Chawbone, Crowdretch, Crycrail, Dubjack, Fiddlesavage, Fungfretch, Gilgat, Gorg, Gortch, Lerp, Loutby, Mugdoor, Rekur, Ribsplinter, Skig, Sprel, Toadhorse, Tuddler, Umberash, Whistlecarver, Wugwuk

Racial Traits[edit]

  • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma: While a bit weak and naive to the world, hobnoblins are quite social and sprightly.
  • Humanoid (Goblinoid): Hobnoblins are goblins. 
  • Small: As a Small creature, a hobnoblin gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –4 size penalty on special attack (bull rushes, grapples, overruns, and trips) checks, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but it uses smaller weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
  • Hobnoblin base land speed is 30 feet.  
  • Darkvision: A hobnoblin can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a hobnoblin can function just fine with no light at all. 
  • Extrovert (Ex): Hobnoblins aren't a wise bunch, but they do possess a divinely conferred gift to influence and inspire (or frighten). A hobnoblin can use his Charisma in place of Wisdom as the key ability for a class feature (such as a druid's spellcasting or a monk's unarmored AC bonus.) 
  • Social Function: A hobnoblin is a social creature. From an early age, he trains to fulfill a role of choice within his tribe. Pick one of the following for his social function:
  • Apothecary Healer: After helping out the local brewer and herbalist, a healer knows how to handle and make the tinctures that treat and harm his fellows. He gains a +2 racial bonus on Craft and Heal skill checks. These skills are class skills for all his classes. Additionally, he is trained in the use of poison and never risks accidentally poisoning himself when applying poison.
  • Heavy Drinker: Goblins aren't known for their fine wines and barrel-aged rums. Goblin liquor is a nasty, potent libation. Hobnoblin drinkers love it and have adapted from drinking so much of it. He gains a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves. Any serving of an alcoholic beverage he consumes functions as antitoxin. Additionally, he heals 1 hp per HD per hour while intoxicated.
  • Scrappy Scavenger: A scavenger has gotten tough and resourceful from years of meager living. He gains a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks. Survival is a class skill for all his classes. His lifting and carrying capacities are those of a creature 1 size larger than his own. He needs only half as much food and water to sustain himself.
  • Shamanic Caster: Every tribe has at least one elder or shaman that practices thematic rituals. After an apprenticeship and training, a shamanic caster hobnoblin has accessed his tribe's knowledge of spells. He chooses one domain1 and adds those spells to the class spell lists for any classes he takes which grant spellcasting progressions. 1Reference: Homebrew Domains
  • Steadfast Defier: Goblins are the lowest ranks of goblinoids and are constantly berated and bossed around by their larger cousins and other allied races. Hobnoblin defiers got tired of this. Threats just don't impact them as well anymore. He gains a +2 racial bonus on checks and saves against fear effects (such as intimidation by demoralization). Creatures larger than him gain no size-based bonus to Intimidate against him.
  • Trail Traveller: A traveller needs to be able to stick to a trail when heading from settlement to settlement (or when tracking down intruders). He gains a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks as well as the Track feat as a bonus feat. Survival is a class skill for all his classes.
  • Wild Racer: A racer knows how to handle a mount. However, racing through the streets in his off-time (or fleeing from stronger pursuers) can get him in trouble, so he has to do it as quietly as possible. He gains a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal, Ride and Move Silently. These skills are class skills for all his classes.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Hobnoblin Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
12 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d4
Table: Hobnoblin Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
30 years 45 years 60 years +2d10 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Hobnoblin Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 2' 10" +2d4 38 lb. × (2d3) lb.
Female 3' +2d4 42 lb. × (2d3) lb.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewRaces

AuthorGanteka Future +
Effective Character Level1 +
Favored ClassAny +
Identifier3.5e Race +
Level Adjustment0 +
Racial Ability Adjustments-2 Strength +, +2 Dexterity +, -2 Wisdom + and +2 Charisma +
Rated ByEiji-kun + and Fluffykittens +
RatingRating Pending +
SizeSmall +
SubtypeGoblinoid +
SummaryThese social, charismatic goblin creatures specialize in their tribes with several racial trait options. They make suitable adventurer PCs and disposable NPCs. +
TitleGoblin, Hobnoblin +
TypeHumanoid +