Why weren't Orcs and Hobgoblins also made PCs?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


I know, there's only so much room in a core rule book before things get really much too big. I ask mostly because I was reading the thread on why Goblins were included. It's a valid and interesting take, but the inclusion of half-Orc heritages makes the exclusion of Orcs (and their heritages) only more noticeable.

As for Hobgoblins, I think that's more my sympathy. I really hate when a setting makes a single species the go-to baddies. I like there being more options for sentient beings than hero fodder.

I know that these could be added in some upcoming supplement like the Advanced Player's Guide, but such a tome would not be allowed in certain types of RP - only rules as written in the basic books.

Plus, if it's a matter of separating from WotC, having Orc and Hobgoblin PCs would certainly qualify as being further away from them.


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You kinda answer it in your first sentence. There's only so much room in the CRB and they wanted to include all the classic D&D options and Paizo put a lot of work into redesigning goblins to make them stand out in Golarion so... they went with that.

Orcs and Hobgoblins come later.


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Specifically Hobgoblins are going to be an option in Lost Omen's Character Guide coming out in October and the Orcs are coming out in the APG. I don't know if they are doing just classes in the October Playtest for the APG, but hopefully they also include a few ancestries so we won't have to wait until Gen Con 2020.


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We're getting both as PC options within the year, and both are at least Not Always Evil in the Lost Omens setting, with nations of their own.


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And to be clear, Orcs and Hobgoblins (as well as Goblins) were valid PC races in 1E, explicitly presented as such in Advanced Race Guide's Featured Races. Both already led established nations (which neither Halflings nor Gnomes do), Hobgoblins doing so in Tian Xia before setting update establishing Oprax in Avistan. As mentioned, Core just happens to be limited in space/options, but races like Aasimar and Tieflings were equivalently introduced as explicit player options in ARG Featured Races, with Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Aasimar, and Tieflings all previously having "0 HD character stats" in earlier Bestiary just without explicit framing as PC option although there was no real mechanical distinctin.


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Hobgoblins are in the Lost Omens Character Guide, rules for Orcs will be in the Advanced Players Guide. They only wanted to add one new ancestry for the new edition, and the one they picked is far and away the most iconic for the setting they have built.


Quandary wrote:
And to be clear, Orcs and Hobgoblins (as well as Goblins) were valid PC races in 1E, explicitly presented as such in Advanced Race Guide's Featured Races. Both already led established nations (which neither Halflings nor Gnomes do), Hobgoblins doing so in Tian Xia before setting update establishing Oprax in Avistan. As mentioned, Core just happens to be limited in space/options, but races like Aasimar and Tieflings were equivalently introduced as explicit player options in ARG Featured Races, with Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Aasimar, and Tieflings all previously having "0 HD character stats" in earlier Bestiary just without explicit framing as PC option although there was no real mechanical distinctin.

Being in the ARG really did not mean much for orcs and hobgoblins. They were as much of a "valid race choice" as Gargoyles for how many campaigns would allow them - PFS certainly had little love for the greenskins, offering them as extremely rare convention rewards if they were offered at all.

The fact that Belkzen is apparently like, an actual political entity and not just a collection of low level monsters to fight in PF2 should help matters a bit. Still not confident on PFS legality or the average GM allowing orcs in their games, though.


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I think it will help once Orcs are a +2/+2/+2/-2 ancestry like Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, etc. instead of a +4/-2/-2/-2 like in PF1. Having that +4 was a problem, as was having a penalty to every single mental stat.


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I never saw a game where you could play a hobgoblin either and their bonuses are completely reasonable for a player character; in my experience most GM's take the "I am only obligated to allow what's in Core", and otherwise pick and choose what they want - but that means that there are a lot of games where aasimars and kitsune are considered valid choices and very few where the monstrous races are.


Personally, I'd have included Aasimar and Tieflings in the CRB races.


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Voltron64 wrote:
Personally, I'd have included Aasimar and Tieflings in the CRB races.

The reason you don't do this is that "Aasimar" and "Tiefling" really don't belong to Paizo; they can use them in the RPG books under the OGL but they notably cannot use those terms in the novels, comics, etc. (which is why Radovan is always referred to as "Hellspawn".)

"Goblins" however are fairy tale creatures that no one owns, and Paizo's version of such is significantly different from that of other folks.


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According to Jason Bulmahn at the Paizo 2019 and beyond Gen Con panel, they consider the Core Rulebook, Bestiary, Gamemastery Guide, and Advanced Player's Guide to be the "Core Nexus" of Second Edition that they'll assume everyone has at their table, so that should aid including playable Orcs greatly (less so for poor Hobgoblins, even though Hobgoblin enters Second Edition first).


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Voltron64 wrote:
Personally, I'd have included Aasimar and Tieflings in the CRB races.

The reason you don't do this is that "Aasimar" and "Tiefling" really don't belong to Paizo; they can use them in the RPG books under the OGL but they notably cannot use those terms in the novels, comics, etc. (which is why Radovan is always referred to as "Hellspawn".)

"Goblins" however are fairy tale creatures that no one owns, and Paizo's version of such is significantly different from that of other folks.

I didn't know that. Sometimes words, names, and creatures can be so iconic in the community that you can forget that a fair amount of them are IPs actually owned by people. Though I do wish we had options of playing characters of a "planar touched" heritage ASAP, I can also see why they were not used in the CRB. Especially since D&D also included tieflings as one of core book options in both 4th and now 5th edition.


Mewzard wrote:
According to Jason Bulmahn at the Paizo 2019 and beyond Gen Con panel, they consider the Core Rulebook, Bestiary, Gamemastery Guide, and Advanced Player's Guide to be the "Core Nexus" of Second Edition that they'll assume everyone has at their table, so that should aid including playable Orcs greatly (less so for poor Hobgoblins, even though Hobgoblin enters Second Edition first).

I wonder how many pages those are going to have. Core book and bestiary are exactly 1000 pages together, I'm kind of hoping GMG and APG are also exactly 1000. That just has some nice symmetry, and is a very hefty amount of content. Two kilopages of book! It'll also build strength in players carting those Two Thousand Pages of DOOOM!(tm) to game all the time. This is Paizo doing their part for the health of their community.


If you read the thread you already know the answer.

Neither of those is iconic to the paizo brand like the goblin, bing bam boom

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