What is a Hobgoblin Soldier in Pathfinder 2e text over an image of 4 hobgoblins going to war.

What is a Hobgoblin Soldier in Pathfinder 2e?

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What is a hobgoblin soldier in Pathfinder 2e? Soldiers make up the bulk of hobgoblin society, whether that society is a village or a military unit. Even those individuals who serve in non-combat roles in hobgoblin society—blacksmiths, builders, cooks, messengers, quartermasters, and the like—know that they perform vital jobs that support the larger hobgoblin army, though they rarely rise above the rank of a common soldier.

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What is a Hobgoblin Soldier in Pathfinder 2e text over an image of 4 hobgoblins going to war.

Hobgoblin Society

Hobgoblin society is organized along military lines, and every hobgoblin is effectively a member of the army. Each hobgoblin in a community has a rank in the military hierarchy, and individuals are naturally ambitious and obsessed with advancement.

Hobgoblins are constantly expected to prove that they’re fearless, ruthless, cunning, and strong. Demonstrating such aptitudes is an individual hobgoblin’s best hope for promotion through the ranks, but failure leads only to cruel exploitation at the hands of their superiors.

Though brutal, hobgoblin society is a true meritocracy, and all hobgoblins, regardless of age, gender, or birth, wield authority and earn respect from their peers based on their skill in battle.

Hobgoblin Solider from the Pathfinder bestiary book.

The Hobgoblin Soldier Combat Options

They can use an Attack of Opportunity or a Shield Block as a reaction. They also have Formation when it’s adjacent to at least two other allies, the hobgoblin soldier gains a +1 circumstance bonus to AC and saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 to Reflex saves against area effects.

Hobgoblins and Magic

Hobgoblins generally distrust magic, especially arcane magic, which they derisively call “elf magic.” In the absence of magic, they wholeheartedly embrace alchemy, combining it with their natural aptitude for engineering to great destructive effect. They grudgingly accept divine magic, due to a grudging respect for the power of healing magic in times of war.

Living with Hobgoblins.

With few exceptions, the only non-goblinoids in a hobgoblin settlement or army are slaves, or at least regarded as such. Hobgoblins occasionally make use of bugbears as assassins or spies, and most hobgoblin tribes include a small group of goblins who eke out a meager existence on the fringes of hobgoblin society. Remember that everything the hobgoblins due has a military aim so what other beasts could have been captured and used by their captors in a fight?

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Hobgoblin Adventure Idea

Escort the Caravan

The players are hired by a wealthy merchant to escort a caravan through the hobgoblin-infested territory. As they make their way through the rugged wilderness, they are ambushed by a group of hobgoblin soldiers who are intent on seizing the valuable cargo.

The Ancient Dwarven Stronghold

A group of hobgoblin soldiers has taken over an ancient dwarven stronghold, and the players are the only ones who can stop them. But the hobgoblins are armed to the teeth, and the stronghold is filled with deadly traps and puzzles.

Goblin Raids

The players come across a group of hobgoblin soldiers who have taken over an abandoned fortress. The hobgoblins are using the fortress as a base for raiding nearby settlements, and the players must infiltrate the stronghold and put an end to the raids.

The players can choose to do a frontal assault on the fortress or they can choose to sneak. I would put the military commander in room 25, which he has turned into a makeshift throne room.

Hobgoblin holding a short sword and an axe shaped like a butcher knife.

Many of these rooms can be empty or even other entrances as the abandoned fort could have other entrances that the hobgoblins haven’t fixed yet.

Hobgoblins take over an abandoned fort map by donjon.bin.sh

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Dwight Scull

About the Author:

Dwight Scull has been playing tabletop role-playing games (starting with Dungeons and Dragons 3.5) back in 2001. He started being a dungeon master around 2005.

He loves to play many different types of TTRPGs, including Pathfinder, GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension (and other White Wolf Games), Nights Black Agents, and others.

Fan of mysteries, light horror, co-op board games, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy.

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