Monday, July 13, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons - About Hobgoblins

I was a serious fanboy of hobgoblins a while back, so I'll throw the text here for your entertainment


One of the greatest ironies of the Hobgoblin race is in spite of their discipline, organization and martial skills, they are usually never one of the great powers of where they occupy.

This is for several reasons.
1. Lack of Economic Base: Hobgoblins are warriors, not farmers. Even their tradesman and merchants are designed to feed the hobgoblin war machine. This causes their economy to be very specialized and unsuitable for large scale trade. This lack of income often forces them to have less money to work with.

2. Culling of their own members: While Hobgoblins, unlike orcs, usually love their children, they are also ruthless in their upbringing in order to ensure they are strong. They are inspected at birth for any physical or mental deficiencies. If they are discovered to have any, they are killed. Then after 6 years, they are then brought into compounds where they are raised in the ways of war. As a result, child mortality rates are fairly high. 

3. Use of war as an income: While the spoils of war are excellent for a particular group, they are not suitable for long term growth. Besides the obvious loss of personal and equipment in a lost war, hobgoblins find it difficult to adjust after they have conquered a particular area. While a strong chieftain can often implement a fairly effective system of control, conquered territory is usually used to produce material and equipment for the next war. 

However most Hobgoblin are smart and organized enough to compensate for this with the use of slave labor. They often keep races that can produce goods so they don't have to. below are some of the most common races.

Goblins: These smaller brothers are often used as grunt labor and as cannon fodder. However, they have had problems with the fast due to one particular factor: they breed quickly. During peacetime and/or less then harsh conditions, the goblin population may grow to the point where the hobgoblins are themselves heavily outnumbered.

Humans: Humans are quite common in slave labor. They seem to be fairly balenced and often used for specialist skills. Furthermore their quality is better then many other would be slaves.

Wolves: While nowhere near as skilled as their smaller cousins. Hobgoblins respect and often revere wolves. They often have one in their household trained as a "war/hunting animal". Often as a right of passage a young hobgoblin must take down a wolf on his own. They are often incorporated in the hobgoblin war machine for tracking.

Kobold: They see this race as piggy banks that they will use to finance their campaigns. 


I would think that the roles of men and women in hobgoblin society would follow a pattern similar to the samurai cast of japan.

both men and women are trained in warfare.

The men commit raids and provide the "offence" in large scale conflicts.

The women defend their village/fortress/living space, and operate any siege machines and/or direct construction work. The men usually do the grunt work for such projects though.

By some extrapolations, females may be more likely to seek divine and/or arcane training.

the society is a meritocracy. Namely, the best get ahead.

Hobgoblin Slang "Cheat Sheet"

Amongst other talents, Hobgoblin's are undisputed masters of the outraged rants. Below are some of the more noteworthy insults and slang.

Note: the following is based on the goblin language article, but I had to fudge a few things.

Ban Raat (yeah story) - lies
chibkhesh (Big blade) - somebody who thinks he's high and mighty, narcisist.
gaa'rhu (skilled baby) - a rookie.
gaa'taat - Idiot
gaa'volaar (baby words) - "Shut up!"
gath'atcha - Uncultured beast
golin'taat - sneaky midget.
Maabet!: An extremely ancient Goblin curse word still in use today. There is no known translation.
shaat'ma (sweet wax) - a term for excrement.

Tactical Words
these words are able to help in the battlefield to quickly identify what they are up against and give tactical maneuvers quickly.

Duur'dar (dirge people) - undead.
Gan'Vus (eater of flames) - Devils
golin'gaa (quick baby) - enemy moves quickly. setup spears to receive a charge
guul'ma (strong wax) - incoming! get under cover
Khaar'Gan (Blood eater) - the creature feeds on life energy or blood.
marhu'dar (emperor people) - Dragons
Mur'aram (Horned anger) - Demons
Paal'gaa (spell baby) - the creature can only be hurt by magic
Shaarat'Dar (Sword people) - constructs
shaat'ma (excrement)- The creature is insubstantial or can go through walls.
shaat'ma'atchot (Excrement gaze) - gaze attack, don't make eye contact

Banroo: (yeah stranger) - "the place we are in is filled with enemies. Say nothing. Grab your weapons. Meet me at the front door."
tohii****aa! (beware, attack) - "As above, but "The game is up; fight your way out."

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