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!

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Tags: Lost Omens Character Guide Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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I mean, even if your PCs kllled Azaersi, that doesn't mean she's really for sure dead. She's already managed to come back one time out of sheer orneriness when those Isgeri troops impaled her and threw her on a pile of corpses. So who's to say that she won't climb out of that quicksilver lake the PCs threw her "corpse" into.

She's a high level Swashbuckler- she literally has a charmed life.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Hold the phone - where did this idea that charm can't make you do something you wouldn't normally do come from? It's completely wrong.

Charm Person wrote:
The spell does not enable you to control the charmed person as if it were an automaton, but it perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way. You can try to give the subject orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Emphasis mine. You can absolutely get charmed people to do things they normally wouldn't. That's practically the whole point of the spell.


MaxAstro wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

That's the PF1 Charm, it no longer works that way in PF2.

Silver Crusade

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Xenocrat wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
That's the PF1 Charm, it no longer works that way in PF2.

And Ironfang Invasion was a PF1 Adventure Path.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **
That's the PF1 Charm, it no longer works that way in PF2.
And Ironfang Invasion was a PF1 Adventure Path.

Indeed. The events would be the same in PF2, but the specific spells used to enable them might easily differ.


Is the hobgoblin ancestry in Lost Omens World Guide? I'm having trouble finding it.


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necromental wrote:
Is the hobgoblin ancestry in Lost Omens World Guide? I'm having trouble finding it.

It (along with the Leshy and Iruxi ancestries) are in the Lost Omens Character Guide, which comes out in September or October.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
necromental wrote:
Is the hobgoblin ancestry in Lost Omens World Guide? I'm having trouble finding it.
It (along with the Leshy and Iruxi ancestries) are in the Lost Omens Character Guide, which comes out in September or October.

Ah, ok thanks.


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I can see why people are "invested" in a certain outcome for that AP but to be honest me and my group where like huh, cool I guess thats the story they want to go with and moved on. I mean I tie my worlds together, Heroes become figures of legend or importance in the world when they make new ones and our story rolls on. For us this wasnt anything more than a curious speed bump and we moved on. Our group likes that they are weaving a overall story for the world but then we are also fans of settings like World of Darkness & Shadowrun where this kind of thing is common.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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 **...

I'd forgotten that her backstory was obscured from her own soldiers... But I might just change that. I was already planning on revealing it to my players in the form of monster recruitment rally. It feels like a pretty inspiring tale from a monster's perspective and gives the players a better idea why the war is being waged. It also may paint Azaersi as a little more sympathetic and therefore increase the odds of getting the canon ending. Plus, it offsets the absentee final villain syndrome found in many Paizo APs.


^Yeah, her backstory (or a suitably, um, modified version of it) sounds like it would be really compelling for a monster campaign recruitment rally . . . .

Customer Service Representative

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I have removed some off-topic and incisive posts.

Dark Archive

CorvusMask wrote:
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.

Okay, I know this conversation was ages ago, but I was informed that I actually got her backstory right first time around so I feel annoyed I was corrected on stuff I got "wrong" :P So she does actually have sympathetic enough backstory. Unless I was informed wrong again I guess

Dark Archive

CorvusMask wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
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.
Okay, I know this conversation was ages ago, but I was informed that I actually got her backstory right first time around so I feel annoyed I was corrected on stuff I got "wrong" :P So she does actually have sympathetic enough backstory. Unless I was informed wrong again I guess

Again I literraly posted the actual word for word account of her backstory from the book.

Liberty's Edge

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The story you quoted is not the only word we have on the matter. Her actual listed backstory in the bit on her in the final chapter says the following:

Spoiler:
Aza came of age during the fiercest fighting of the Goblinblood Wars. Though bolder and more keen eyed than most, she was little more than a child when humans overran one of her people’s last outposts in Isger and an Eagle Knight’s spear pierced her gut. She awoke hours later in a mass grave—too stubborn to die—and limped away under cover of night while the humans celebrated. Once more among the living, she fled northward into Molthune, carrying with her a seething hatred for humanity.

Those are not mutually exclusive. Taken together they indicate she was about the equivalent of 14-16 or so, and joined the army (possibly not willingly) just in time to fight a purely defensive battle against those trying to exterminate her people.

Which is not to say she's justified or anything, but it's an important bit of perspective to bring to things.


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Joan H. wrote:
I have removed some off-topic and incisive posts.

No more incisive posts! Yoo dum-dums!

Dark Archive

ObsessiveCompulsiveWolf wrote:
Joan H. wrote:
I have removed some off-topic and incisive posts.
No more incisive posts! Yoo dum-dums!

Umm, our conversation wasn't removed from earlier(or at least my post wasn't ._.;) so I think it was alright? I mean usually mods remove comments commenting on the removed posts. (on side note I honestly don't know what incisive means, so umm, sorry again if that counted?)

But yeah, thanks to Deadmanwalking for clarifying. It does seem like two backstories are bit contradictory, though they do seem to refer to same events.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, the "hobgoblin" name really doesn't make diagetic sense unless they have some relationship to goblins that they themselves understood.

My question- who was engineering hobgoblins to fight the elves? Is this known? I imagine it took place pre-earthfall so history of a bit fuzzy.

https://aonprd.com/MagicArtifactsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Cantorian%20Spring

3.5 but that's all I can recall.


CorvusMask wrote:
ObsessiveCompulsiveWolf wrote:
Joan H. wrote:
I have removed some off-topic and incisive posts.
No more incisive posts! Yoo dum-dums!

Umm, our conversation wasn't removed from earlier(or at least my post wasn't ._.;) so I think it was alright? I mean usually mods remove comments commenting on the removed posts. (on side note I honestly don't know what incisive means, so umm, sorry again if that counted?)

But yeah, thanks to Deadmanwalking for clarifying. It does seem like two backstories are bit contradictory, though they do seem to refer to same events.

Dude. Stop it with the incisive posts already! You’ll get the thread locked!

Dark Archive

John Lynch 106 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
ObsessiveCompulsiveWolf wrote:
Joan H. wrote:
I have removed some off-topic and incisive posts.
No more incisive posts! Yoo dum-dums!

Umm, our conversation wasn't removed from earlier(or at least my post wasn't ._.;) so I think it was alright? I mean usually mods remove comments commenting on the removed posts. (on side note I honestly don't know what incisive means, so umm, sorry again if that counted?)

But yeah, thanks to Deadmanwalking for clarifying. It does seem like two backstories are bit contradictory, though they do seem to refer to same events.

Dude. Stop it with the incisive posts already! You’ll get the thread locked!

Aaand I literally can't tell if that was sarcasm or no because you didn't explain to me what incisive actually means D:


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It wasn’t sarcasm, but it was a joke.

For your info:
incisive
/ɪnˈsʌɪsɪv/
adjective
1.
(of a person or mental process) intelligently analytical and clear-thinking.

Almost certainly incisive was a typo (possibly for divisive?)

Dark Archive

Oh, okay. Thank you I guess? :D


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So I'm interested in bringing the stories of people's Ironfang campaigns whose endings diverged from official canon, in line with the state of the world per the LOWG.

So we know-
-Oprak exists and Azaersi is in charge of it.
-Oprak has a nominal peace with its neighbors.
-Oprak has access to the Onyx Vault and the Stone Roads.

The easiest one to fix "We done killed Azaersi" because a) she has a history of not dying when thought dead, and b) resurrection magic is a thing and it's not "elf magic" so Hobgoblins are fine with it. We can just say "some high level Hob cleric who wasn't present in the Onyx Citadel when the PCs stormed it" resurrected her.

The second one isn't very hard to fix either, since it uses the same reason Nirmathas and Molthune stopped fighting- we have the Whispering Tyrant to worry about, let's not waste soldiers and materiel killing each other. Oprak could have been the one to bring it up, and the fact that the Orcs of Belkzen are actively fighting Tar Baphon's army (instead of joining it) probably helps her case.

The last one is tricky. It's conceivable that even if the PCs walked off with the Onyx Key, the Ironfangs could conceivably have a bunch of the onyx shards, but that would only give them access to the Stone Road, not the Onyx Vault itself. So they have to have possession of the sardonyx shard (previously in the possession of our Nirmathi heroes), which raises the question of "how did she get it?" Presumably she could have just stolen it again, since she did it the one time. But I don't have any other ideas.


^Here's another idea (that I posted a couple of times way back): The "Azaersi" that now rules Oprak is actually not the same as the one who led the Ironfang Legion, but very few people actually know this. For the very few who do know, letting the new "Azaersi" have the Onyx Key and associated items might be part of their plan, although it would be a rather risky plan, since real Hobgoblins might overthrow the new "Azaersi" even if they didn't know she wasn't the real one. Alternatively, the replacement "Azaersi" might be an even more proficient thief than the original.


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So here's a theory as to how Oprak got the Onyx key back.

The Onyx citadel has a failsafe which calls the artifact back to itself even across planar boundaries. Even if the PCs killed every single Hobgoblin in the actual Onyx citadel, there might have been others elsewhere in the vault doing stuff. After the PCs left, one or more Hobs went back to the citadel to survey the damage/bury their comrades, and realized that they were trapped on the elemental plane of earth and started trying to figure out how to get back. Eventually they stumbled on the thing the Xiomorns built so they could get their key back if someone dropped it somewhere (the lore is that they had plane-hopping abilities before, they just built the key to make it easier).


I am not really a fan of this art.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I do sorta sympathize with the idea that it'd be cool to have more classes/features that can leverage Int. A martial class that can get mileage out of Int in the same way a Champion can with Charisma or a monk can with Wisdom (or will when they get more ki options) would be really neat.

The tone of that post is absolutely absurd though, bordering on comical.


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And looking at the Archetypes we've seen so far, which tend to feature skill pre-req's, getting that extra Trained skill can be pretty important to building for those, with most classes otherwise not having a large excess beyond the ones they want for normal adventuring usage.

He seemed to pretty much ignore Ranger's Monster Hunter chain, which INT bonus will certainly help you get more out of. I've even seen people use it when they already Hunted that same target and don't care about further Info, just to Crit Fish for it's combat bonuses.

The absurd thing about his rant is if INT really is as useless as he thinks (like CHA actually is for anybody not building for it) then you can go ahead and tank it to negative with Voluntary Flaw (or just take it to neutral so you don't have -1 Skill, and tank CHA to negative) and get Free Boost anywhere you want, for net result of 2 Free (like "Human") + fixed CON boost. That's the thing about Voluntary Flaw, fixed Ancestry boosts are invitation to exploit it by "playing against trope", for only ONE negative stat in exchange for free Boost. Fixed bonuses aren't really about Key Stat, they are about 2nd/3rd priority stats, and Flaws being expensive to "buy off".

Hobgoblins are in fact as good a martial Ancestry as any other,
with ability to max either STR or DEX alongside 16 CON or 14 CON and DEX/STR without even using Voluntary Flaw tricks.
And their Anti-Magic Ancestry Feat more than negates Wisdom Flaw to Will Saves, also applying to Reflex/Fort Saves.
As for magic hatred, that's not a Compulsion effect, and actually Inner Sea Hobgoblins' basis of power is magical planar gates.
All that line about (arcane) magic hatred tells you is a Hobgoblin Wizard would have learned Wizardry outside of Hobgoblin society.


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There is still a massive gap between a trained and untrianed skill, more so than between a trained and legendary one, at least by the time you can have legendary skills.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Plus, playing against type is always a thing, and may be necessary anyway it you want to play a Hogoblin in the same party as a liberator.

Also, the most important hobgoblin in the setting isn't a wizard herself, but she also specifically doesn't share her kin's phobia towards arcane magic.


Perpdepog wrote:
There is still a massive gap between a trained and untrianed skill, more so than between a trained and legendary one, at least by the time you can have legendary skills.

There are several ways to get +level to untrained skills so the gap can be less that that of trained and legendary. And This all assumes you're at a high enough level to care about such things: if you're only going to be using the character at low level, the gap isn't going to open up much even without taking a feat for + level.

Liberty's Edge

The many Dedications that increase Trained to Expert makes having more Trained skills even more valuable.

I so hope they could do something for poor CHA.


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Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but when I choose to play a race, it's because I want to play that race. Not because of the numbers under the write up.

If I have a character concept. I build that character and that concept. The stats are what they are. Are some races 'better' at some things than others? Sure. That doesn't dictate what I play in the least.

If I want to play a Goblin Barbarian I play one. Even if he's not going to be as 'strong' a barbarian as a human. I simply don't care. I have fun with the character I build. If I'm a point or two behind in this aspect or that aspect, I see it as a challenge to overcome through good roleplay.

I do understand the want to maximize your returns during character creation. I 'get' it. But if you don't like a race, choose another race. If you like one. Use it and accept it's pros and cons.

If you're just choosing a race for the numbers and not for the race itself... Well you're not going to get any sympathy out of me. You're not playing a race then. You're min/maxing a list of stats.

I personally play a character. Not the math equations.


Sorry, I also feel like we're getting distracted, and I agree with @Pepsi Jedi here. My previous post will be my last discussing how "dumpable" Intelligence is. The fact is that dumpable or not, I'm still going to play Elves, and I'm not going to pick a race solely based on its stats (mind you, I might have trouble pulling off a dwarven sorcerer...).


I guess my question is- is Int less valuable for people who don't key class features off intelligence in PF2 than it was in PF1?

It seems like the only sense in which this is is true is that no classes are saddled with the 2+Int skill ranks thing.

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