Hobgoblin Species in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The unnatural creatures born of freakish, unholy experimentation on the goblin and human genomes

Ability Scores: Hobgoblin characters gain a +2 racial bonus to two ability scores of their choice at character creation to represent their powerful heritage and flexible nature.   Size: Hobgoblins are medium-sized creatures and take no penalties due to their size.   Type: Hobgoblins are humanoid creatures with the Goblinoid and Human Subtypes.   Speed: Hobgoblins have a base land speed of 30ft.   Vision: Hobgoblins gain Darkvision out to 60ft and Low-Light Vision. Thanks to their Witch King Heritage, Hobgoblin Darkvision works even in Supernatural Darkness.   Languages: Hobgoblins begin play speaking The Regional Language that reflects their place of origins(Khadagarian or Ssarin for most Hobgoblins, see Languages of Zheng-Kitar), and Goblin. Hobgoblins with high INT scores can choose from the following bonus languages: Abyssal, Giant, Orc, Sylvan, Infernal, Draconic, Mage's Glyphscript, and Ignan.   Vile and Unnatural: Created eons ago via hideous experiments conducted by ancient mages to blend the Goblin and Human genomes, Hobgoblins were never intended to exist - and nature itself reviles at their presence. Hobgoblins gain an Unnatural Aura as per the Universal Monster Rule out to 15ft, preventing any animal from approaching willingly unless the animal's master makes a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or Wild Empathy Check. Hobgoblins always succeed these checks when dealing with their own or another Hobgoblin's Unnatural Aura.   Insidious Extraction: An ability that has its roots in their foul Witch King Heritage, Hobgoblins can, by spending a full-round action and succeeding at a melee touch attack against a target creature, either tear a single language the target knows how to read and write from their heads permanently(Removing it from their languages known), force one language the Hobgoblin knows how to read and write into the target's head(forcibly adding it to their languages known), or both at once. They can assess the languages a creature knows by spending a standard action and succeeding on a melee touch attack against them. When used on creatures that are not intelligent enough to speak or understand a language, Hobgoblins may only grant them the ability to understand a single language(And no more) - as if they had spent considerable time training them.   Hideous Blending: The perfectly abominable blend of the vile magicks of the Witch Kings of Bhorsis-Razghûl and Cao Lu's Ssarin Taint, Hobgoblins have emerged stronger than the sum of their parts - they treat their Strength Score as 10 higher for determining carrying capacity and lifting weight, gain a +2 racial bonus to their natural armor, gain immunity to aging effects, poison, and polymorph effects, and gain a +1 bonus to all ability scores at character creation.   Only the Finest: Hobgoblins can replicate the effects of a Masterwork Transformation spell as an extraordinary ability by spending one hour adjusting, smithing, and crafting using the weapon, armor, or tool in question. This effect requires no material components but may only be used once a day.   Lords of War: Hobgoblins have an innate understanding of battle and all the knowledge needed to maintain the wars they wage - they gain a +2 racial bonus on a Craft Skill of their choice, Knowledge(Engineering), and Survival checks. They gain all as class skills.   Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Once every 1d4+1 rounds, when a Hobgoblin takes damage from any source while adjacent to one or more allied creature(s), they can elect to split the incoming damage evenly between themselves and all adjacent allied creatures - all such creatures take this damage automatically with no save, and without applying any resistances or DR aside from those of the Hobgoblin who used this ability. For each such adjacent ally when this ability is used, the cooldown of this ability is reduced by 1. This ability may only be used at most once a round.   Alchemical Armory: Thanks to countless centuries of experimentation, Hobgoblin Shamans have permanently altered their own bodies - thanks to alchemical brands inscribed on their palms, Hobgoblins can on command store the weapons or shields held in their hands into these brands. When they do so, a graven image of the items appears on their palms inside the brand. They can store up to 5 items in their palms in this manner. Retrieving one or two items to fit into their open, empty hands requires them to touch the image of the item(s) they want, and doing so is a swift action. When an item is retrieved, it appears in the hands of the wearer and any weapons or shields the wearer had in his hands is stored in the gauntlets. If there is no room in the brand for the weapons or shields the wearer is holding, those items are dropped. The brand can only store weapons and shields; other items cannot be placed in them. Any weapons or shields stored when the hobgoblin dies are accessible via their hands for 24 hours after their death by passing a DC 20 Use Magic Device Check - after which they are lost forever.

Basic Information


Created as an unholy fusion in the arcane laboratories of ancient witches, wizards, and warlocks to be the perfect, ultimate combination of the Goblin and Human species, Hobgoblins themselves stand as a clear chimera between the two - a bipedal species standing upright on two legs with two arms attached to a central torso with a head placed atop their rounded shoulders, they resemble Humans closely in this regard.   Internally, however, is where they begin to stand apart from their parent races - with an enhanced musculature and skeletal structure reinforced by the blending of the vile shadow-magicks of The Witch Kings of Bhorsis-Razghûl present in most all Goblins and Goblinkind and the powerfully resilient Ssarin biology present in Humans, Hobgoblins stand as possessing the very best traits of their parent species with almost none of the drawbacks. Possessing the agile reflexes of Goblinoids without the mental and spiritual malaise while possessing the adaptability and drive of Humankind without any of their physical weaknesses, Hobgoblins are superior, enhanced beings who are more durable, more resilient, more mighty, and overall possess higher capabilities than many of their contemporaries.   This is thanks in large part to the genius of their ancient creators - the overwhelmingly powerful fleshcrafting of The Witch Kings of Bhorsis-Razghûl used to create Goblins and their Kin was counterbalanced flawlessly within thier bodies by the inclusion of the extraordinarily resilient and ever-adapting Ssarin Biology straight from the freshest relics of Cao Lu himself; in this way, the two blended together and evened out in a way none could have anticipated - creating a race with the unfathomable power of the creations of The Witch Kings of Bhorsis-Razghûl while being resilient enough thanks to Cao Lu's Ssarin Taint so as to not be enslaved or beholden to those very same vile overlords.

Biological Traits

Though not as varied as their Human ancestors, Hobgoblin physical characteristics are nonetheless quite varied - often possessing of dark and unusual skin tones ranging from green to orange or even light violet depending on their environment(adapting similar to Humans but in different colors), Hobgoblins often are possessed of flat, bulbous noses and sloped foreheads that sweep back from their nose like an angled plane as well as long ears reminiscent of Goblinoids.

Genetics and Reproduction

Hobgoblins reproduce almost identically to Humans - reproducing through sexual reproduction, and possessing of a strong sex drive driven by both their Goblin heritage and the urge of their Human ancestors as well as both's short lifespans - for many Hobgoblins, who consider themselves masters of their own bodies, this does not always manifest as constant sexual couplings but instead often redirected into other avenues of their lives. However, when the time is right for the highly disciplined Hobgoblins to reproduce, they do so with a zeal many find unnatural - and thanks to their flexible Human genetics, are capable of having children with many other races(Though not nearly as many as true, full-blooded Humans).   Hobgoblin females, once impregnated, carry their children to term in a mere 3-6 months, with 4 months being the average. While not quite as numerous as Goblin litters, Hobgoblins have an abnormally high rate of multiple child births - and an even more abnormally high rate of twins and triplets, with exceptionally rare cases of Quadruplets and Quintuplets being uncommon but not unheard of in especially prolific Hobgoblin Couplings. Because of their propensity to make with countless females when the mood strikes them, Hobgoblins can overpopulate almost as quickly as their Goblin ancestors - although the problem is even more severe for them thanks to their Ssarin Biology making stillbirths and miscarriages almost unheard of in their females.   Because of this, Hobgoblin children are born alongside dozens of their brethren, who are often organized into auxilliary units who are then trained and raised to an exacting, almost sadistic standard to weed out those too weak to survive - those who endure Hobgoblin training are then allowed to join the tribe or, if the tribe is already too large, are gifted with supplies and sent off on their own to form a new tribe or carve their own path.

Growth Rate & Stages

Hobgoblins, once born grow to full adulthood by the time they are five - a callback to their Goblin ancestors who mature in scant months.   Hobgoblins reach middle age around age 35, become old around age 50, and become venerable around age 70 and die some years afterwards.

Ecology and Habitats

Hobgoblins are, much like their Human ancestors, more than capable of adapting to any environment with an almost locust-like mentality - expanding and conquering so long as the resources in the area can sustain their ravenous growth(Typically done on the back of a large slave caste).

Dietary Needs and Habits

Hobgoblins are omnivores, and can eat most anything.

Biological Cycle

Much like their Human and Goblin ancestors, Hobgoblins become more and more wrinkly as they age, their skin gradually dulling from their normal bright color as their hair becomes turn grey and eventually white...their bodies decaying and beginning to wither away and their mental faculties sometimes begin to falter as well.


Hobgoblins, for reasons not entirely and satisfactorily explained by modern and contemporary scholars, exhibit unusually strong "Pack Instincts" - they find themselves most comfortable in groups of similarly-minded creatures(Most often their own tribe or kin), and are naturally suited to teamwork and cooperative efforts with a "sixth sense" many describe as almost preternatural. This makes them almost uncanny empaths(though the talent is often put to use in war and violence), and some of the best cooperative workers and laborers any foreman could wish for - though few think to apply these instincts to anything outside of violence, leadership, or similar pursuits.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Hobgoblins tend to be highly organized, disciplined, and pragmatic creatures - making their social structure akin to a military hierarchy with a great emphasis placed on those who can provide use to the Hobgoblin War Machine(And even then, those who can give physical use to it). They often operate in merit-based social structures placing great emphasis on physical and martial prowess, and while they accept those trained in magic(Which they view as Untrustworthy Witchcraft), they primarily organize themselves along these lines.

Facial characteristics

Hobgoblin noses are often thick, bulbous, and sloped downward while their foreheads are often large and unnaturally angled backward - combined with their hairline's tendency to appear abnormally high up atop their head as well as their natural white and grey-toned hair, and Hobgoblins universally tend to appear older than they appear to be. Wrinkled, brutish, and oddly angled, they are creatures with faces few find truly externally beautiful.   For reasons that remain somewhat unclear, it is somewhat rare for Hobgoblins to develop facial hair along their cheeks or around their lips - meaning the facial hair they tend to develop is along their chins and sideburns.   In addition, they have inherited the long ears of their Goblin, which tend to extend from their head straight out and back or sometimes drooping out to the sides.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Hobgoblins can be found basically anywhere across Zheng-Kitar, but are most populous in the lands of the Khadagan Commonwealth - where their typically brutal and violent civilizations have found a steadfast ally in the warring tribes and Khans of the Khadagarian people, who welcome the highly organized and militaristic Hobgoblin War Machine in their eternal war against the metallic invaders of their southern border.

Average Intelligence

Hobgoblins are possessed of a base level of intelligence equal to Humans.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Hobgoblins, created with shards of primordial Blacksong and Voidlight within thier souls, possess Darkvision that allows them to see even in the most crushing and supernatural of darknesses - and eyes that adapt to even the smallest amounts of light in the surrounding area.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Though they ironically work quite well together, Hobgoblins and Goblins do not often get along - Hobgoblins themselves view their smaller, green-skinned ancestors as obnoxious, chaotic gremlins that have uses, but are generally useful only when put beneath a firm lash or within a collar so as to best control their spiritual and mental imbalances(As Hobgoblins often detest anything they cannot fully control or understand).   Goblins, for their part, view their greater cousins as something best described as "Aliens" - they rarely have a good grasp of why Hobgoblins do anything, are continously confused at how Hobgoblin society even functions, and often come to view them as lame and overly fixated on what they view as needless laws and rules. However, Goblins also quite importantly are never above shamelessly mooching off the often much more successful Hobgoblins should they fall on hard times - much as a Human might view a rich, well-off uncle who can be quite tiring to be around but whose house is nonetheless a great place to stay if you fall on hard times.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
70 Years
Conservation Status
Hobgoblins are rather unique among the races of Zheng-Kitar - as they have their roots in the magical fleshcrafting experiments deep in the bowels of ancient arcane laboratories, they remain almost entirely absent from the Cycle of Spawning that gives birth to monsters all across the continent of Zheng-Kitar and beyond. Instead, they maintain active populations predominantly in the lands of the Khadagan Commonwealth, where most of their 'Civilized' populations call home, but isolated populations can be found in the wild all across the land in isolated, xenophobic bastions that typically attack and expand with overwhelming force. As such, their population is relatively stable - though they are by no means one of the most plentiful races of the land. Adding onto this is the fact that they do indeed spawn as monsters from the Cycle of Spawning, albeit very irregularly - typically only in areas especially devoid of monsters or when the cycle is malfunctioning somehow - and Hobglins enjoy a comfortable status as a rarely seen race that many view as more monstrous(And thus things to be killed like monsters) moreso than an actual civilized race to be interacted with.
Average Height
5.1ft - 6.5ft (1.55m - 1.98m)
Average Weight
110.23lbs - 198.4lbs (50 - 90kg)
Average Physique
Hobgoblins, while shorter than Humans on average, are just as heavy if not heavier - though this is due to their bone and muscle density more than anything else. While you will rarely find overweight Hobgoblins, this is not due to a physical limitation so much as a cultural one - Hobgoblins tend to be exceptionally harsh on those they view as misuing their own bodies, and as such thoroughly discipline those among them that let themselves go so as to get them back on track to a healthy lifestyle.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Hobgoblin skin is most commonly orange - which is, pigmentation-wise, equivalent to a fair-skinned Human. Their skin tends to darken depending on climate similar to Humans to darker oranges and even light violets, or lighten to light oranges or dark olive-greens in fairer climates.   Hobgoblin hair tends to be long and flowing(rarely curly), and trends towards lighter and whiter colors such as White, Silver, and Platinum more than any other. Though colors such as black and brown are also common, they are almost always streaked with white or similar colors.   Hobgoblins typically frown on bodily markings as they often view them as needlessly covering up one's physical form(likening them to glory-seeking or excessive individualism), but they otherwise have no biological markings or colorations of note.
Related Ethnicities

This species has multiple parents, only the first is displayed below.
All parents:


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