Sublime Hobgoblin (3.5e Race)
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Because stealth is for regular goblins…
Hobgoblins are a militant race that dominates other goblinoids and more savage races through their superior organizational skills, martial abilities, and sheer ruthlessness. They are masters of martial maneuvers, specializing particularly in the Iron Heart discipline.
Hobgoblin society is a thinly veiled parody of fuedal Japan. Every aspect of society is ruled by the military class, who use their might to simultaneously protect and oppress those under them. Honor in battle is tremendously important to the hobgoblin race; often loathe to execute disgraced commanders, they will send them out on suicide missions to redeem themselves in a last blaze of glory.
Hobgoblins are highly respectful towards military figures who have proven themselves in deadly combat, even if these are not hobgoblins. That said, these few are still members of the weaker race, and are only revered as another test for the hobgoblin race to overcome.
Hobgoblins are larger than goblins and even most humans, standing at around six and a half feet on average. Their hair and skin run the gamut of tones, but the former is often dark while the latter is usually some shade of orange. Personal hygiene means little to hobgoblins, but care and maintenance of equipment is much more significant. A common hobgoblin saying upon troop inspection is "Soldiers are dirty, weapons are clean."
Hobgoblins don't know times of peace. There is only preparation for war and then the war itself. That being said, however, hobgoblins do not order invasions rashly, and generations can pass before a hobgoblin leader ambitious enough to declare war will order the army to march. When they do launch a campaign, it is always with a set goal in mind that they do so; once they have accomplished their end, they will often establish diplomacy with the surrounding lands to allow them the rest and refit their troops.
As every male hobgoblin able to wield a blade is a member of the army and every female committed to raising more males, they rely heavily on slave labor to take care of most of the essential but menial tasks so that they may focus on training. These slaves are closely supervised and any attempts to disrupt operations are swiftly and harshly punished, most often by the would-be saboteur being strung up and used as a combat dummy. If the hobgoblins are feeling generous, they may allow the slave a chance to fight back, but such courtesies are usually considered above the privileges befitting a servant.
Hobgoblins dominate even species much larger than they are (such as ogres and other giants) as well as the typical smaller goblinoids by capitalizing on their skill and resourcefulness. Once these creatures are cowed into submission, they learn to fear the crack of the whip and the flat of the sword, becoming docile until set loose upon enemies to vent their anger. Due to the hobgoblins' penchant for personal glory and actual competence in battle, however, the slaves rarely get the chance for such action.
Hobgoblins are, to a man, almost always lawful evil. While they are undoubtedly wicked in their systematic approach to world domination via military conquest, the rigid structure of both their society and military is the envy of leaders and commanders from other races. Their forces are ruthless and efficient, but also highly disciplined and rarely prone to the same acts of barbarism so often inflicted by other common scourges, like orcs.
Unlike their less civilized goblinkin, hobgoblins often establish large, well-defended forts from which they can establish a significant power base. From behind their fortifications, they craft weapons, build siege machines, and train relentlessly at every hour of the day. They are extremely industrious, building roads and mapping territory to survey the lay of the land so that every landmark is as defensible as possible. Every hobgoblin settlement has multiple military facilities, ensuring that it is always ready to defend (or attack) at a moment's notice. The outskirts of their territories are marked by forward operating points, each manned by one or more squads of hobgoblins and possessing the ability to use signal flares to communicate with other outposts. This organization allows for efficient communication throughout hobgoblin lands, enabling troops to be distributed anywhere they are needed.
Hobgoblins worship the typical goblin deities (such as Maglubiyet, or whichever equivalent exists). They also tend to revere the spirits of fallen warriors, whose skill in battle allows them to transcend even the bonds of death.
Hobgoblins naturally speak Common and Goblin, but since they are often found leading other races on the field of battle they have a high tendency to learn various other languages.
Hobgoblins are named in the Goblin language, so their names rarely roll easily off the tongue. The only truly unifying feature of hobgoblin names is the gender-specific suffix added to the the end ("kon" for males and "ken" for females).
- Humanoid (Goblinoid)
- Medium: As Medium creatures, hobgoblins gain no bonuses or penalties based on size.
- Hobgoblin base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision (Ex): Hobgoblins have darkvision out to 120 feet.
- Iron Heart Initiate: A hobgoblin that takes the Martial Study or Martial Stance feat has an effective initiator level equal to their character level (instead of the normal ½ character level for non-adept classes) if the maneuver learned is from the Iron Heart martial discipline. The hobgoblin’s maneuver-like abilities also count as maneuvers known for the purposes of selecting additional maneuvers from these feats.
- Maneuver-Like Abilities: A hobgoblin may use the Steel Wind strike (from the Iron Heart discipline) as a maneuver-like ability, which it may use at will provided it takes a full-round action to refresh after each use. At CR 3, it also may use the Wall of Blades counter.
- Weapon Proficiencies: Hobgoblins are trained to fight from the day they can hold a sword. They are automatically proficient with bastard swords (as though they had taken the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat) and javelins as well as light and medium armor.
- Hobgoblins are often charged with forging and repairing their own weapons as a ritual of initiation. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Craft checks when making weapons and armor. They also gain a +2 bonus to Martial Lore checks.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Goblin.
- Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Infernal, Giant, Orc.
- Favored Class: Samurai or Warblade
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 1
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|40 years||60 years||75 years||+3d20 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5’ 5”||+2d10||120 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||5’ 2”||+2d10||85 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|