Hobgoblin (Dungeons & Dragons)
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An illustration of a hobgoblin
|Alignment||Usually Lawful Evil|
|Stats||Open Game License stats|
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, hobgoblins are a larger, stronger, smarter and more menacing form of goblins. They are smaller and weaker than bugbears, but better organized. Hobgoblins are humanoids that stand nearly 6'6" tall on average, a little taller than orcs. Smarter than other goblinoid races, they are renowned for their brutality and military skill.
- 1 Publication history
- 1.1 Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)
- 1.2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
- 1.3 Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)
- 1.4 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
- 1.5 Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
- 1.6 Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
- 1.7 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-2013)
- 1.8 Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014-)
- 2 Description
- 3 Religion
- 4 Hobgoblin subraces
- 5 Hobgoblins in Greyhawk
- 6 Other publishers
- 7 References
- 8 Additional reading
The hobgoblin was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.
Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)
The hobgoblin was one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game, in the Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974), where they were described as large and fearless goblins.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
The koalinth returns in Dragon #68 (December 1982).
Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)
This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the hobgoblin, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983). The hobgoblin was featured as a player character race in the gazetteer The Orcs of Thar (1989). Hobgoblins were also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991), the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (2000).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
The hobgoblin is detailed as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993). The hobgoblin is later presented as a playable character race again in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995).
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
The hobgoblin appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-2013)
The hobgoblin appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), under the goblin entry, including the hobgoblin grunt, the hobgoblin warrior, the hobgoblin archer, the hobgoblin soldier, the hobgoblin warcaster, the hobgoblin commander, and the hobgoblin hand of Bane.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014-)
The hobgoblin is first detailed in the Monster Manual in this edition (Sept 2014). It has three pages dedicated to them. Two pages contain a summary of the hobgoblin: attributes, reasoning, and their skills. There are subsections for strategic thinkers, beast trainers, conquer and control, and legion of Maglubiyet. There are three different subcategories of hobgoblins. The first is the hobgoblin, the hobgoblin captain, and the hobgoblin warlord.
The Volo's Guide to Monsters gives more details for the hobgoblin (Nov. 2016). It contains the ins and outs of their society along with their lore. It describes the hobgoblins lair and they layout of a typical city. This book also gives the people playing the option play as a hobgoblin. It gives them the size, age, ability scores, speed, and other specialty traits. The Iron Shadow hobgoblin and hobgoblin devastator was introduced in this book.
They have dark orange or red-orange skin with hair that is red-brown to dark gray. Their training has given them a proficiency with a multitude of weapons and armor. They are the strategic thinkers in the goblinoid race and hold an extreme hatred for elves. Their cavalry is known to ride worgs. The hobgoblin fears cowardice more than dying. They start becoming soldiers the minute they can start walking. They have a high military standard, but they are not just a military. They have farms, traditions, and they build. However, under all of this, they are brutal and have "little space for joy or leisure in their lives". They have ranks to obtain through honor and glory. Their lowest rank starts with the soldier and the highest rank is the warlord. They must follow orders, honor their gods, neither suffer nor give insult, never deny advancement, and uphold the legion before their own kind. They have their own secret police force called the Iron Shadows which answer only the priests of Maglubiyet. Lastly, hobgoblins have the Academy of Devastation where there members test young hobgoblins for an affinity of magic and teach them to be a "weapon of war".
Maglubiyet, the god of war and rulership, is the chief deity of both goblins and hobgoblins. However, Nomog-Geaya, the deity of war and authority, is considered the patron deity of hobgoblins specifically. The goblinoid god Bargrivyek encourages cooperation between the goblin races.
An aquatic form of hobgoblin, the koalinth, is a feared predator beneath the seas. They have light green skin, webbed hands and feet, and gills. They are sleeker than their hobgoblin kin. They dwell in shallow fresh or salt water in caves. They detest aquatic elves with the same intensity that hobgoblins hate terrestrial elves.
- The guulvorg ("war worg" in Goblin) is a gigantic black wolf with scythelike fangs, dragonlike spinal protuberances, and a serpentine tail tipped with a macelike bony knob. They were created and bred by hobgoblin spellcasters for combat. They are cunning and ravenous, but reproduce slowly in the wild. Few hobgoblin tribes can afford to keep many of them.
- The varag, or blood chaser, is a feral goblinoid, 7 feet (2.1 m) tall but primarily quadrupedal. They were magically bred with dire wolves to create a creature almost as lupine as goblin. Hobgoblins are very fond of varags, treating them as pets.
Hobgoblins in Greyhawk
Hobgoblins are known as hoch jebline or "high goblins" in the Flan tongue and hochebi in the Suloise language. Many hobgoblins dwell in the western Empire of Iuz, Warfields, Redhand, and the Bone March.
Hobgoblins were among the armies of the Fiery Kings around 3114 SD (-2400 CY). They were hired along with orcs and goblins as mercenaries by both sides of the Baklunish-Suloise Wars. They fought against elves and dwarves in the Hateful Wars. They rallied to the cause of Iuz and played a significant role in overrunning the Bone March and the Pomarj.
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