1,000 Abnormal Hobgoblins

Organised, militaristic and individually skilled warriors, hobgoblins are in many ways the most dangerous of the goblinoid races. Intelligent, fecund and implacable in their hatred of elves, they value slaves and have a keen interest in the sciences—particularly in their application to warfare.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Use the tables below, to add depth and flavour to the hobgoblins encountered by the PCs.

A standard hobgoblin appears thusly:

As tall as a human this muscular, bald, grey-skinned humanoid has tiny, observant eyes and pointed, elf-like ears.


To the basic description above, apply one of the entries below:

  1. A web of scars criss-cross the creature’s head and shoulders. Far from being the result of injuries, they appear to ritualistic in pattern and form a spiderweb of sorts.
  2. The tattoo of a eyeless, rotting corpse covers the back of the creature’s head.
  3. This creature’s armour is clearly old and much used. Obviously much-repaired it is not as effective as normal armour of the same type.
  4. This hobgoblin is a grizzled veteran. He lost a hand in a battle long ago, and has tied a shield to his arm using a clever set of straps.
  5. The creature wears a luxurious purple cloak. Only an old and faded blood stain on its hem mars the cloak, which obviously once belonged to a nobleman or other wealthy individual.
  6. Clad in a balaclava embroidered with an elaborate skull design, this hobgoblin may at first glance appear to be one of the undead.
  7. A bleached skull hangs from this hobgoblin’s belt It is attached by a short length of rope passing through a hole drilled in the back of the skull.
  8. Blessed—strangely—with a full head of luxurious black hair, this warrior stands out among his comrades.
  9. Tall and slender, this hobgoblin stands head and shoulders above his brethren. He is missing his left ear, however; only a jagged stump remains.
  10. Clad in a filthy tartan kilt and knee high leather boots, this hobgoblin stands in contrast to his more traditionally clad comrades.

Battle Tactics

In battle, some hobgoblins fight differently to their brethren:

  1. This hobgoblin fancies himself a leader. He recklessly charges into combat while shouting for this comrades to join him.
  2. This fierce warrior attempts to demoralise his opponent with a dazzling display of weapon skill before enter single combat.
  3. Before he reaches his foe, the hobgoblin stops and hurls his shield at the nearest enemy. While his target is disorientated, he charges into battle.
  4. This warrior loves goading foes into charging recklessly into battle. He hangs back from battle, taunting the nearest foe. If attacked, he backs off from the fight drawing his opponent further and further away from help.
  5. Deeply in debt to some of its fellows, this hobgoblin warrior stops fighting to loot the bodies of any nearby fallen foes.
  6. A burning hatred of all things elvish burns strongly in this hobgoblin’s heart—his father was cut down by an elven champion—and he lusts for revenge. Anyone of elven descent—even a half-elf—is his number one target. If such an individual falls into the hobgoblin’s grasp, a long, drawn-out death is likely on the cards.
  7. A wrestler, this warrior tries to drag an enemy away from his comrades, where he can be set upon and overwhelmed by the hobgoblin’s allies.
  8. Until one of his comrades is killed, this hobgoblin hangs back from battle. Instead of fighting, he bashes his weapon on his shield and sings a song of slaughter and death to inspire his allies.
  9. An archer, this hobgoblin delights in shooting enemy spellcasters—particularly wizards and the like. Cunningly, he waits to shoot until the enemy begins spellcasting.
  10. This warrior howls like a dog before rushing into battle. He tries to trip his foe and if successful dives onto the downed enemy to finish him with dagger thrusts.

Trinkets & Treasures

Sometimes, hobgoblins carry small trinkets or treasures. Roll on the table below, if you determine the individual has an item of treasure or interest:

  1. The creature wears earrings of bone carved to represent teardrops or (perhaps) drops of blood.
  2. The hilt of this hobgoblin’s weapon is marred by a dozen, uniform small scratches—perhaps a record of her kills?
  3. This warrior kept a treatise on siege warfare in a small, waterproof pouch. The battered book, its cover marred by a single sword cut, is obviously old, but well read. It is extensively illustrated.
  4. Enough beef jerky to sustain someone for three days fills a pouch. The jerky has been steeped in brandy and smells delicious.
  5. This hobgoblin’s weapon belt is unusually wide. It has three concealed compartments in which the wily warrior has concealed his wealthRe.
  6. Thick leather gloves shoved through this warrior’s belt are particularly resistant to heat. However, wearing them in battle makes the wielder more clumsy and unable to easily handle small objects such as arrows or potion vials.
  7. This hobgoblin carries his gear in a backpack of excellent design. The pack is segmented into several well-ordered sections making things within easy to find.
  8. The hobgoblin wears a plain golden ring (worth 20 gp) on the middle toe of his left foot. Only a careful search reveals the ring.
  9. A necklace of preserved elf ears hangs around the hobgoblin’s neck.
  10. The hobgoblin’s cloak is of black bear fur. It bulky, warm and worth 10 gp.

More Free 20 Things Resources

For more free 20 Things lists, check out our Free Resources page.

If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.