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?
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!
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:
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!
All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance
Friday, August 23, 2019