All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance

Friday, August 23, 2019

Nearly 20 years after the Goblinblood Wars devastated the nation of Isger, an army of hobgoblins marched toward conquest once more. Led by the formidable commander General Azaersi—who had lost everything in the Goblinblood Wars, as so many others had—the so-called Ironfang Invasion swept across the lands of Nirmathas and northern Molthune with what seemed like an unstoppable momentum. Yet the residents of Nirmathas managed to unite in their hour of need, rallied by a group of militia commanders that proved a match for the Ironfang Legion’s legendary general. In a move that surprised nearly everyone, the heroes of Nirmathas chose to show mercy to the merciless, sparing the general and suing for peace. Azaersi agreed and pulled her armies back to her mysterious base of operations, the Vault of the Onyx Citadel, before officially founding the nation of Oprak in the mountains.

Which is a fancy story, but what does that have to do with playable hobgoblins? General Azaersi might have signed temporary non-aggression treaties with Nirmathas (and somewhat ominously, with Nidal), but that’s a far cry from welcoming the hated Ironfang Legion into human cities. In this case, it’s Tar-Baphon’s fault—the rise of the Whispering Tyrant suddenly has the flesh and blood, living and breathing hobgoblins looking like much more pleasant neighbors in comparison. Some highly optimistic diplomats even hope to convince the Ironfang Legion to help fight Tar-Baphon’s forces. After all, what are hobgoblins without a war?

A hobgoblin alchemist clutching a sharp blade in one hand and a bomb with a lit fuse in the other.

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

That’s the question we’re asking Pathfinder 2E players to help answer while they play in the Age of Lost Omens. Whether Azaersi is simply rebuilding her forces in order to invade again or has instead turned her ambitions toward economic conquest instead of martial, Oprak is currently a nation at peace. For a society comprised mostly of Goblinblood orphans and veterans, who have only known combat and preparation for combat since childhood, this sudden shift has led to a great deal of restlessness, soul-searching, aimless depression… and in some, curious exploration. Where previously the most brutal and efficient hobgoblins were the ones that excelled, less vicious hobgoblins are now carving a place for themselves as explorers and envoys to non-hobgoblin peoples.

Hobgoblins are an Uncommon ancestry. This might seem confusing, as Uncommon usually suggests that something must be found through effort in-game, and PCs can hardly switch ancestries mid-character! In this case, Uncommon is what we use to indicate that a particular ancestry is not necessarily found (or appropriate as PCs) in all areas of the Inner Sea region. A hobgoblin soldier PC would not fit well into the War for the Crown Adventure Path, for example—but that same PC could easily be found in the Eye of Dread meta-region, or even touring the lands of Nidal or Varisia. With that said, Azaersi’s control over the Vault of the Onyx Citadel means a hobgoblin can theoretically be found anywhere, as the general has managed to create magical pathways to regions as far-flung as the hobgoblin nation of Kaoling in Tian Xia!

A Kao Ling hobgoblin in an ornate mask dual-wielding a sword and axe.

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

Hobgoblins get 8 Hit Points from their ancestry, are Medium, and have a speed of 25 feet. A hobgoblin speaks Common and Goblin, plus any additional languages they might pick up. Hobgoblins have incredible endurance and are trained for physical discipline, giving them an ability boost to Constitution, and they possess keen minds, getting another ability boost in Intelligence. Like most ancestries, they also get one free ability boost to put in any score. Hobgoblins were originally created from goblins, however, meaning the two ancestries share an ability flaw to Wisdom. With these traits, hobgoblins seem like they’d be perfectly suited to be wizards… if not for the absolute, bone-deep loathing they hold toward almost all magic. Oops!

In fact, hobgoblins hate magic so much that they can choose the Elfbane Hobgoblin ancestry, which can help them resist spells:

Elfbane Hobgoblin. 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 (reaction). 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.

The hobgoblin ancestry entry also suggests some Core Rulebook backgrounds you might choose that are common for those of hobgoblin ancestry, but be sure to also check out specific backgrounds from the Lost Omens World Guide for other appropriate options, such as the Onyx Trader or Goblinblood Orphan backgrounds!

Eleanor Ferron
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They may have advanced the setting, but saying they advanced the metaplot implies that there's some ongoing story thread tying everything together. I don't wanna get pedantic on this, but it's not like we have to buy supplements every month or so just to follow a storyline hidden within flavor text and artwork, like some of the old World of Darkness stuff. (Not that anyone's saying that, but to my understanding that's what the word 'metaplot' would really mean in this case.)

Dark Archive

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I think metaplot can also mean one of smaller regional or character centric plotlines, like Nocticular's redemption having been foreshadowed for long time.

But yeah, its true that there is no true overarching story line that affects all of Golarion, so there isn't real "metaplot" in same sense as what Shadowrun and World of Darkness has

Silver Crusade

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Hecke wrote:
Seriously, how can you just up and decide that one particular ending of an AP is just categorically wrong?
They're the ones that wrote it.This is honestly one of the biggest reasons I'm not playing 2E. This was an awful, awful way to handle this, and a big middle finger to anyone who played Ironfang Invasion and didn't show 11th-hour compassion for seemingly no reason.

In the adventure itself there is reasons given, it’s not a “just cause” situation.


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VerBeeker wrote:
I feel like the team took what they believed was the likeliest of endings for each AP and worked from there, in my own opinion.

I dunno if they went with "likeliest" so much as "least dependent on a given table's specific, PC names are involved outcome" (Cressida, Tessa, and Anastasia taking positions of rulership that PCs could easily lay claim to) coupled with "most interesting to write about the fallout of."

I mean, just killing the General is definitely a likely outcome, but a new nation of hobgoblins was probably deemed a more interesting concept to play with and one that's possible in the context of the AP, so...


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Rysky wrote:
Hecke wrote:
Seriously, how can you just up and decide that one particular ending of an AP is just categorically wrong?
They're the ones that wrote it.
This is honestly one of the biggest reasons I'm not playing 2E. This was an awful, awful way to handle this, and a big middle finger to anyone who played Ironfang Invasion and didn't show 11th-hour compassion for seemingly no reason. In the adventure itself there is reasons given, it’s not a “just cause” situation.

What alternative do you prefer, a setting that never, ever changes, and Pathfinder tables are still dragging out the venerable Inner Sea World Guide 20 years from now?

The old setting still exists earlier in the timeline. Nobody is forcing you to advance.


I have a solution if your PCs killed Azaersi: A really high-level Doppelganger (or something with similar abilities) took her place very shortly after the PCs left, and has managed to fool all of the remaining Hobgoblins (or at least, all the ones that anyone will listen to, and the PCs aren't willing to help the ones that aren't fooled).

Alternatively, the PCs might even be in on the Doppelganger's plan. Vengeance is served, but Oprak still forms, and as far as all but a few in the know are concerned, is led by Azaersi . . . and the PCs now have a puppet (although probably a rather untrustworthy one) on the throne.

Silver Crusade

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(Ooo, that slip up is gonna bug me, what I get for writing on the movie >_<)


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LOL@Rysky. I read that and was quite confused for a moment :P

keftiu wrote:
The old setting still exists earlier in the timeline. Nobody is forcing you to advance.

While technically true and it will certainly be easier for established groups to adopt this stance. They have significantly raised the barrier of entry for new groups trying to get in on Golarion 1.0.

Silver Crusade

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
LOL@Rysky. I read that and was quite confused for a moment :P

Damnit not again!

... you can tell it's a Monday...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Midnight Anarch wrote:
Quote:
Uncommon is what we use to indicate that a particular ancestry is not necessarily found (or appropriate as PCs) in all areas of the Inner Sea region.
Shame this approach wasn't used for goblins as they meet the same criteria for inclusion/exclusion to campaigns as hobgoblins or other typically hostile or deviant races. At least it would've put control back into GMs' hands which otherwise seems to be the rule Paizo aimed at in these new 2E scenarios. Fantastic idea though, uncommon ancestries, even if a missed opportunity to smooth dissent and table-issues about goblins.

What GM worth anything doesn't already do this. I originally said no goblins for my campaign, but, based on what happened during the early bits of it, my wife was able to make her replacement character a goblin tied into the campaign. She and I worked together until her character idea fit the world better. I did the same thing with almost half my players because they wanted to make their snowflake "just to be different/weird" characters. "Just to be different/weird" is a terrible reason to let players bully the GM into something that doesn't fit their world or would be a little too out there for the region for the GM to be comfortable with. Meeting somewhere in the middle has always worked well for me.

Players that have a problem with that don't last at my table, but my table is always full with other people asking to play. Players are easy to find, decent Gms are uncommon.


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Maliloki wrote:
What GM worth anything doesn't already do this.

Given how much of a focus Paizo has made on empowering GMs, if they were going to go the approach of making some races uncommon it would have been great to have had such expectations set in the Core Rulebook.

Perhaps they considered it but decided it wasn't as "no brainer" as the decision to include goblins in the first place?


Quote:
Quote:
Rysky wrote:
Hecke wrote:
Seriously, how can you just up and decide that one particular ending of an AP is just categorically wrong?
They're the ones that wrote it.
This is honestly one of the biggest reasons I'm not playing 2E. This was an awful, awful way to handle this, and a big middle finger to anyone who played Ironfang Invasion and didn't show 11th-hour compassion for seemingly no reason.
In the adventure itself there is reasons given, it’s not a “just cause” situation.

For a fair while I though Rysky was saying all of this, and wondered why they contributed to the 2e forums so much that I recognised them.

But I think there is actually a missing quote, and the final paragraph was Rysky’s comment?

(This guess is supported by the fact that at the end of the previous paragraph there was a hidden end quote command, that was never opened. - I manually added two open quote commands at the start to make it more readable )

Silver Crusade

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Yep, sorry for the confusion everyone :(


OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:

Fantastic!

I like the art direction (not really a fan of the second pic, a little too real world derivative, even if the first pic relies on the “Imperial Romanesque warmonger” hobs trope) and the kingdom. I had a technologically “advanced” mid/hob-goblin civilisation in a homebrew setting many years ago, so this resonates with me.

As for the Int bonus, it makes sense to me. A certain goblinoid cunning raised to higher intelligence in a much different cultural approach than the elves.

And the elf-bane antimagic - I can see that non-arcane magic users might still take that option, but arcane wizards taking it makes no sense.

To answer your question about "Why an Arcane Caster Hobgoblin will take this?" is because spells you cast on yourself are for lack of a better term HARMLESS, yet it will make them better at resisting ALL of the harm if you ever end up in a Magic Duel as a Draconic Blood Sorcerer/Wizard because lets be honest Mind Control and Compulsions/Fear Effects SUCKS specially if you're a Caster.

but I doubt Hobgoblins where design around the idea of them being Alchemist more than ANY type of Caster since they HATE magic.

Dark Archive

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Honestly more I think about it (and more I re-read the ironfang invasion stuff because I had honestly forgot about things like human skin tents) the more I dislike the way they have gone with it especially the part where they just let her keep the onyx key and the stone roads.


Presumably the Ironfang PCs did not leave Azaersi with all 8+1 of the shards (the things which actually make the portals). If the PCs walked off with 1 (or 2 to give one to Kraggodan) then they have the ability to open a portal to any other Onyx doorway, presumably one of which is in Oprak's capital.

This is the reason that Azaersi had her base of operations on the plane of earth- since the Onyx shards can only connect to other shard doorways on the same plane. So even her enemies got their hands on one of them, they couldn't just "invade her central command" (you need the special one which can cross planar boundaries.)

But now Azaersi has a country, with cities, and a capital and also the threat of "magical invasion" at any point unless she plays nice.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Presumably the Ironfang PCs did not leave Azaersi with all 8+1 of the shards (the things which actually make the portals). If the PCs walked off with 1 (or 2 to give one to Kraggodan) then they have the ability to open a portal to any other Onyx doorway, presumably one of which is in Oprak's capital.

Lotta presumptions there.

Silver Crusade

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Are others not allowed to have them?


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I mean, the basic issue is that using the Onyx keys to transport things quickly (presumably the basis of Oprak's economy) is that there's a lot of security risks involved.

If they wanted to do business in Okeno, for example, they would need to first get someone carrying one of the keys to Katapesh, and since this is a long journey and Okeno is a good place to do business they would want to leave the shard there. Certainly, they can guard the doorway or fold it up and keep it hidden, but it's possible to lose possession of the Onyx Shard at which point whoever has it can just go visit all of the other open doorways whenever they want.

The only reason Azaersi's initial gambit with the Onyx key worked in the first place is that it was a complete surprise and Nirmathas is terminally disorganized.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Maliloki wrote:
What GM worth anything doesn't already do this.

Given how much of a focus Paizo has made on empowering GMs, if they were going to go the approach of making some races uncommon it would have been great to have had such expectations set in the Core Rulebook.

Perhaps they considered it but decided it wasn't as "no brainer" as the decision to include goblins in the first place?

Page 486 of the core rulebook:

"CHARACTER CREATION
At the outset of a new campaign, the players will create new player characters. Part of that process involves you introducing what the campaign will be about and what types of characters are most appropriate. Work with the players to determine which rule options are available. The safest options are the common choices from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. If players want to use common options from other books or uncommon or rare options, through play, review those options to see if any of them conflict with the style of campaign you have in mind or might present strange surprises down the road. It’s usually best to allow new options, but there’s no obligation to do so. Be as open as you’re comfortable with."

Yes, it says the 'safest options' are the ones in the core rulebook, but it doesn't mean they're mandatory.


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Rysky wrote:
(Ooo, that slip up is gonna bug me, what I get for writing on the movie >_<)

What movie? Was it any good?

>:)

Silver Crusade

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"I've never trusted Hobgoblins, and I never will. I could never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the ambassador of Oprak to a peace summit is problematic at best. Ezren says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him, but how on Golarion can history get past people like me?"

Never be afraid to steal.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
They have significantly raised the barrier of entry for new groups trying to get in on Golarion 1.0.

If they're new, they shouldn't have any knowledge of a world-state that preceded whatever book they're using. We've made it easier for them to get into the current world-state by not making them sift through 12 years' worth of products to find out what may or may not have happened in any given part of the world.

If someone is playing the previous edition of Pathfinder (or 3.5 for that matter), then the barrier of entry for them is the same now as it was a month ago. And since all the books supporting that edition of the game don't assume 4719 AR as the current year, they should have no problem deciding for themselves what fate befalls Azaersi and her army.


I'm interested in seeing what they do with hobgoblins going forth. I'm all for more playable character races that get more limelight in the products and aren't just treated as outliers. I never got a change to run Ironfang Invasion, though it was on my list of APs to try if I had kept GMing. I had flavored hobgoblins to be very much like the Qunari from Dragon Age when they did appear in my campaigns (maybe with a bit of Klingon thrown in)--while their society as a whole may be considered evil due to some of their harsher beliefs, it was more about them being extremely lawful and organized (while goblins on the other hand were completely chaotic and had impulse control issues, whether they were evil or otherwise).
Still I wish they weren't as lanky in the new art, but maybe we'll see some other body types as the edition ages.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
If they're new, they shouldn't have any knowledge of a world-state that preceded whatever book they're using.

Except the inclusion of the Lost Omens chapter in the CRB (which excited players are inevitably going to look at out of curiosity) means they have access to spoilers on Golarion 1.0 in a book they cannot play the game without referencing. A GM could say “don’t read that chapter” but people will inevitably forget, get confused as to what the GM meant, have already read the chapter before the GM to.d them not to or simply be tempted to read what’s in the book they own and reference on a regular basis.

Mark Moreland wrote:
We've made it easier for them to get into the current world-state

This is certainly true.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
If someone is playing the previous edition of Pathfinder (or 3.5 for that matter), then the barrier of entry for them is the same now as it was a month ago.

This is also absolutely true. But the context of the post I was replying to was “not advancing the timeline and playing PF2e”. I feel the inclusion of the lost omens chapter in the CRB makes this substantially more difficult ( for the reasons I say above) then it otherwise could be. But you are right in that playing Golarion 1.0 with PF1e is as easy today as it was a month ago.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I just want to point out that Ironfang Invasion is a book chalk full of opportunities to not actually fight a given encounter. It is all about using Diplomacy or Wild Empathy to talk down hostile creatures or even get them to join your cause.

For most of the book, Hobgoblins are the main exception to this, thanks to their ironclad loyalty to their General. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read book 6 to discover that negotiating for peace with said general was an option. It makes sense that you couldn't sue for peace beforehand, because the goblins follow their General (hierarchy being a fundamental aspect of their society), you had no real leverage, and most importantly there wouldn't be an adventure. Once you get to the too though? Let the good talks roll.

I'm really glad that is the canon assumption they went with and I hope my players eventually reach that particular ending.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
If someone is playing the previous edition of Pathfinder (or 3.5 for that matter), then the barrier of entry for them is the same now as it was a month ago.
This is also absolutely true. But the context of the post I was replying to was “not advancing the timeline and playing PF2e”. I feel the inclusion of the lost omens chapter in the CRB makes this substantially more difficult ( for the reasons I say above) then it otherwise could be. But you are right in that playing Golarion 1.0 with PF1e is as easy today as it was a month ago.

Personally I just don't really see "but what if they read new material and get confused" as a compelling argument.

Not that it can't happen, I have a friend who often confuses specific details about FR and Golarion, but characterizing at as "raising the barrier of entry" feels strange.


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Squiggit wrote:
Personally I just don't really see "but what if they read new material and get confused" as a compelling argument.

That is a strange way to characterise my opinion on the issue. My posts on this topic can be briefly found in this post and a more detailed outline of my thoughts in this post.

Given this topic is meant to be about hobgoblins, I'm sure Paizo would appreciate if we went to back discussing hobgoblins. If you would like to continue to respond to me on the topic of running Golarion 1.0 in Pathfinder 2e, I would ask that you direct your responses to me via PM :)

Out of respect to Paizo I won't be responding to any further posts in this thread unless it's about hobgoblins and I have something to contribute on that topic.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Honestly more I think about it (and more I re-read the ironfang invasion stuff because I had honestly forgot about things like human skin tents) the more I dislike the way they have gone with it especially the part where they just let her keep the onyx key and the stone roads.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more it just doesn't sit right with me. It kind if feels like they're assuming the PCs were frankly, really stupid, and inept negotiators. When I first heard about Oprak, I figured is was probably less the less militant people in the defeated remnants of the army that set it up. But Azaersi still in charge and in command of her stolen super weapon? Uh no. By the time negotiation was possible, she has basically lost. She has no leverage, and the PCs have all of it. And she already proved she can't be trusted when she launched an unprovoked invasion with intent on genocide. So why decide to give the store away? Did they pay her war reparations and formally apologize for being invaded too?

Maybe there are more details to it that I haven't seen yet. I haven't read the Lost Omens World Guide yet, so maybe there's something that makes this less of a boneheaded move by the PCs than it seems.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Maybe there are more details to it that I haven't seen yet. I haven't read the Lost Omens World Guide yet, so maybe there's something that makes this less of a boneheaded move by the PCs than it seems.

Alternatively, Paizo has been talking to my players, for whom such an action would not even register on the scale of most boneheaded things they have done. :P


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For those who played the Ironfang Invasion, could you simply replace who the leader of Oprak is with a PC? Or could you have a non-Hobgoblin nation in the same area as Oprak and simply have a note to your players "anytime you see Oprak it's actually XXX that you guys established when we play the campaign. When you see Azaersi simply replace her name with the name of Bob's PC who became the ruler of the nation. And hobgoblins aren't the prominant race of the country. It's <insert whatever appropriate race(s) are here>."?

Were either of those options an intuitively reasonable course of action for the PC's to take?

Actually, what did happen at the conclusion of your campaigns? There might be another way to tweak Oprak for your games to better suit what happened in your own campaigns.

For example my old group saw the Technic League overthrown, a reserve created for the androids to live in peace and solitude as they work towards becoming more human. And we replaced the king with one of our PC's. That wasn't so far removed from what ended up happening in the official campaign setting. So it would have been easy for me to rework those events into whatever material Paizo produces.

Perhaps it's the same for your games with Oprak?


Well, you could just invent someone else in Azaersi with someone else in her circle who, for whatever reason, was not on the Onyx Citadel when the PCs showed up. A key point though- by the time the PCs show up at the Onyx Citadel, they should know that "kill Azaersi" isn't their primary objective.

But having a PC be in charge of Oprak would be weird, since why would a non-hobgoblin rule a hobgoblin nation? The player's guide specifically says "don't play a hobgoblin."


^For that purpose, I proposed (above) the possibility of replacing Azaersi with a really high-level Doppelganger [i]or something with similar abilities[i]. The latter could conceivably even BE a PC with the right build or with the ironic luck to have gotten killed during the campaign and then reincarnated as a Hobgoblin. (And suddenly I am reminded of The Great Dictator, in which by an amazing coincidence, a certain Jewish barber bears an amazing resemblance to the dictator Adenoid Hynkel . . . .)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But having a PC be in charge of Oprak would be weird, since why would a non-hobgoblin rule a hobgoblin nation? The player's guide specifically says "don't play a hobgoblin."

1) A fair few people seem to be annoyed/disgruntled/disappointed/<insert other non-positive word here> about how Oprak is being portrayed. I'm trying to find a positive way in which people with that opinion can still use the Golarion material is putting out.

2) I explicitly said in my post that hobgoblins don't necessarily have to be the dominant race in Oprak or even exist at all in Oprak if it's not appropriate for how the Ironfang Invasion concluded for that table.

I have not played nor read the Ironfang Invasion adventure path. I'm just trying to help people find positive ways to resolve the situation.

If you feel I cannot help you in a positive way you do not need to accept my offer :)


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The only reason Oprak needs to exist is "to have a Hobgoblin nation in the inner sea." If you don't want that, just leave that particular mountainous region that the Nirmathi weren't using as part of Nirmathas.

Both "replacing Azaersi with a different Hobgoblin" or "Wiping Oprak off the map" are really easy edits, I feel.

Dark Archive

I've been trying to avoid too much Ironfang spoilers since I still hope to finish playing it one day, but through people discussing Oprak I've gained little bit impression of what ending of the Ironfang Invasion is about.

It seems to be pretty much about cycle of revenge and about how treating people like monsters makes them into monsters :p

So not sure about this, but:
apparently it involves learning about how Azaersi as kid or young adult was minding her own business in hobgoblin village until group of humans came there and slaughtered absolutely everyone(adults and children and whoever), I think she might have gotten impaled too or something. Anyway, apparently while carving your way to the general, you gather lot of evidence that lots of her higher ranking commanders are/were planning to backstab her which you can use as leverage against her. I think if you succeed at the diplomancy, the final battle is instead taking care of the force that was manipulating Ironfang Legion for their own gain?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

The only reason Oprak needs to exist is "to have a Hobgoblin nation in the inner sea." If you don't want that, just leave that particular mountainous region that the Nirmathi weren't using as part of Nirmathas.

Both "replacing Azaersi with a different Hobgoblin" or "Wiping Oprak off the map" are really easy edits, I feel.

Yeah, those are fairly easy to do. Different hob would be my bet. The big problem is the assumption that they still control the artifact. Having it seems to be a major feature of the country, so removing it is more difficult. That's the part that really requires the PCs to be holding the idiot-ball. "Hey, this invading army has a super weapon that allowed them to take over almost two entire countries in a short span of time and was being planned to be used to nuke-level effect... after we defeat them lets just let them keep it and hope they decide not to be naughty with it. Again." What?

Edit: Yeah, sorry that this has gotten a bit spoilery. But it's basically already being spoiled by the core material. At least it's not like Tyrant's Grasp, the most recent complete AP is spoiled by the core book.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:

For those who played the Ironfang Invasion, could you simply replace who the leader of Oprak is with a PC? Or could you have a non-Hobgoblin nation in the same area as Oprak and simply have a note to your players "anytime you see Oprak it's actually XXX that you guys established when we play the campaign. When you see Azaersi simply replace her name with the name of Bob's PC who became the ruler of the nation. And hobgoblins aren't the prominant race of the country. It's <insert whatever appropriate race(s) are here>."?

[snip]

Perhaps it's the same for your games with Oprak?

Oh, we kicked the general bloody, then actually put her on trial for her misdeeds (Austin 3:16 being the legal precedent we used to justify the trial), with one of the party defending her, another prosecuting, with a summoned Inevitable as judge... things got a little loopy, but she’s been executed in our game (well, kind of a seconded seppuku to buy her people breathing room), while we did sponsor a couple of her lieutenants in establishing a hobgoblin homeland...

But that’s hardly the only hurdle my group has to clear with respect to the PF2 timeline.

Korvosa’s ruler is a male Shoanti cleric of Pharasma named Aram Deadbreaker, who is serving in an elected capacity.

The Hurricane Queen is Asenath Gale, Brineborn Changeling Sea Witch extraordinaire, who vowed to erase the last of Cheliax’s influence from western Garund.

When Sorshen headed to Xin-Shalast, she found a burgeoning settlement founded by my ranger from Rise of the Runelords, and had to work out a power-sharing arrangement.

And so forth.

The impossibility of accurately presenting setting history for every given table has led to Paizo settling on a canon for the new edition, and more power to them.

New groups need a starting point, and old ones have been making adjustments for years now.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
The big problem is the assumption that they still control the artifact. That's the part that really requires the PCs to be holding the idiot-ball.

Here's the fix I would suggest. The Onyx key creates 8 shards that can open doorways and 1 sardonyx shard that can create a doorway to the vault that holds the Onyx Citadel. When a shard is destroyed, it will regrow on the key over time but it will not regrow if the shard is merely "elsewhere" rather than actually destroyed.

So the PCs, in possession of the Sardonyx shard, take possession of the Onyx Key, but some number (>2) of shards are unaccounted for as the artifact never regrows the full 8. Azaersi could have handed off like six shards to lieutenants and sent them back to the prime material plane.

Thereby, the PCs didn't make a greivous error, but then Oprak still has the use of the stone road- they just can't replace the shards if they happen to get destroyed.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
The big problem is the assumption that they still control the artifact. That's the part that really requires the PCs to be holding the idiot-ball.

Here's the fix I would suggest. The Onyx key creates 8 shards that can open doorways and 1 sardonyx shard that can create a doorway to the vault that holds the Onyx Citadel. When a shard is destroyed, it will regrow on the key over time but it will not regrow if the shard is merely "elsewhere" rather than actually destroyed.

So the PCs, in possession of the Sardonyx shard, take possession of the Onyx Key, but some number (>2) of shards are unaccounted for as the artifact never regrows the full 8. Azaersi could have handed off like six shards to lieutenants and sent them back to the prime material plane.

Thereby, the PCs didn't make a greivous error, but then Oprak still has the use of the stone road- they just can't replace the shards if they happen to get destroyed.

That's a really good solution. I didn't quite remember all the specifics how how it worked, so I wasn't sure if something like this could happen. But yeah, one or two shards remaining with subordinates does solve the problem, they were just out of reach, not allowed as part of a bad negotiation. It does limit the potential use of the stone roads, and means that most of the network is controlled by someone else (possibly Kragodan) which may or may not conflict with canon, but also leaves them as a bit less of a threat.


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CorvusMask wrote:

I've been trying to avoid too much Ironfang spoilers since I still hope to finish playing it one day, but through people discussing Oprak I've gained little bit impression of what ending of the Ironfang Invasion is about.

It seems to be pretty much about cycle of revenge and about how treating people like monsters makes them into monsters :p

** spoiler omitted **

This sounds like enough of a set up and justification for Oprak to me.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Albatoonoe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I've been trying to avoid too much Ironfang spoilers since I still hope to finish playing it one day, but through people discussing Oprak I've gained little bit impression of what ending of the Ironfang Invasion is about.

It seems to be pretty much about cycle of revenge and about how treating people like monsters makes them into monsters :p

** spoiler omitted **

This sounds like enough of a set up and justification for Oprak to me.

And then there’s the really big one:
Her girlfriend’s been mind controlling her. That really rattles her if you bring that to light.
Dark Archive

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Rysky wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I've been trying to avoid too much Ironfang spoilers since I still hope to finish playing it one day, but through people discussing Oprak I've gained little bit impression of what ending of the Ironfang Invasion is about.

It seems to be pretty much about cycle of revenge and about how treating people like monsters makes them into monsters :p

** spoiler omitted **

This sounds like enough of a set up and justification for Oprak to me.
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Yeah but as a friend pointed out it's been charm spells and charm wont make you do something you wouldent already be willing to do.

Also Corvus i'm afraid to say your quite off about a lot of the backstory.

As presented in book one of ironfang invasion

Spoiler:
Her past has been deliberately obscured; even her loyal
soldiers—the Ironfang Legion—know only legends and
rumor. Some claim Azaersi (literally “Aza the Immortal” in
the Goblin tongue) is the last surviving hobgoblin general
of the Goblinblood Wars, while others insist she was the
brutal Shrikewood Slayer who plundered Molthune’s great
forest for a decade. Still others claim she cowed a great
god of the Darklands and bent it to her service. A grain
of truth feeds each rumor. A young foot soldier during
the Goblinblood Wars, Aza saw the last true stand of her
kin in the Valley of Iron Fangs. Human soldiers vastly
outnumbered the hobgoblin troops, and 5 days of brutal
fighting killed 8,000 humans and the remaining 2,000
stragglers of the goblinoid army. Aza awoke in a mass grave,
a human spear still piercing her stomach, and limped into
the Menador Mountains as the humans counted their
own dead. Too stubborn to die, she eventually emerged
in Molthune and turned to banditry. Resourceful, clever,
and absolutely fearless after clawing her way back from
the brink of death, Aza rechristened herself Azaersi, and
soon other hobgoblins—many of them fellow survivors
of the Goblinblood Wars or orphaned in the conflict—
joined her banner in the Shrikewood. When her ragtag
force eventually bested a Molthuni regiment dispatched
to end the hobgoblins’ banditry in the woods, the generals
of Molthune took notice.

Dark Archive

Kevin Mack wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I've been trying to avoid too much Ironfang spoilers since I still hope to finish playing it one day, but through people discussing Oprak I've gained little bit impression of what ending of the Ironfang Invasion is about.

It seems to be pretty much about cycle of revenge and about how treating people like monsters makes them into monsters :p

** spoiler omitted **

This sounds like enough of a set up and justification for Oprak to me.
** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Also Corvus i'm afraid to say your quite off about a lot of the backstory.

As presented in book one of ironfang invasion

** spoiler omitted **...

Hmm, if her backstory is basically just "last surviving soldier of an army during previous war" then yeah, that feels bit missed opportunity :p Like its good from perspective of "legend" of a badass, but not really particularly sympathetic.

Silver Crusade

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Spoiler:
It's still mind control, and finding out someone you deeply cared for and trusted was doing that to you would rattle most people to the core, not to mention start to doubt themselves "Is this what I wanted to do?"

Dark Archive

Spoiler:
Again how would that chance the persepctive of the people sent to stop her since the she was charmed excuse dosent cut it because as I pointed out everything that happend are things she would have been willing to do in the first place.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Spoiler:
To an extent, you're mind is still altered.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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While in my current ironfang campaign, i doubt Azaersi will live. I don't mind that paizo chose this outcome.

In every Ap I have played and Run, our group always starts in a fresh iteration of Golarion. Whatever happened in previous APs we have played is not canon for the new game we are starting. Old PCs do not show up.

I suppose if I run Return of the Runelords, my Rise of the Runelords PCs may make an appearance, but otherwise our group's AP results don't carry over to new campaigns.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
i have to agree, a charm could make you very easy to be convinced to do something, when you would have rather done something else.
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