Members of DnD’s Hobgoblin 5e race are tall, burly, top-knotted goblinoids who – unlike their smaller, sneakier Goblin cousins – embody martial poise and discipline. Stern, imposing warriors who hold honour and military training in high regard, DnD Hobgoblins have been well-loved DnD monsters since 1974, but gained more depth over time and are now a fully playable race. This guide gives you all the key stats and lore you’ll need to include Hobgoblins in your DnD 5e games.
If you’re already familiar with DnD Hobgoblins, you might check out our parallel guides to the Goblin 5e and Bugbear 5e races; though these creatures are all related and often seen together as enemies, they’re all DnD races in their own right, and worth digging into. Alternatively, you could try our guides to other newer Dungeons and Dragons character varieties, like the Tabaxi 5e and Goliath 5e races. Otherwise, read on…
What are DnD Hobgoblins?
Nearly the polar opposite of their diminutive skulking cousins the Goblins, DnD Hobgoblins are tall, muscled creatures who favour rigorous martial training, honour codes, and skill at arms over stealth, skulduggery, and ambushes.
They’re also one of the oldest DnD races, one of the original creations featured in the ‘White Box’ monster manual all the way back in 1974. Hobgoblins made the jump from adversary to playable race with Basic D&D’s release of The Orcs of Thar Gazetteer in 1989. Since then, all manner of Hobgoblin variants have featured in successive DnD editions, such as 3rd edition’s Fire Hobgoblin, or the first edition’s aquatic Koalinth.
The DnD basic rules describe Hobgoblins as “large goblinoids with dark orange or red-orange skin”. “A hobgoblin,” they say, “measures virtue by physical strength and martial prowess, caring about nothing except skill and cunning in battle”.
Beyond that core description, though, the current 5e Hobgoblin race draws much more heavily from its Fey roots, thanks to a helping of updated lore and retooled rules in the 2022 DnD book Monsters of the Multiverse.
Here, we learn that, like their fellow goblinoids, Hobgoblins “trace their origins to the ancient courts of the Feywild”, but were mostly forced out to conquer the multiverse by “the conquering god Maglubiyet, who marshaled them as soldiers”. The DnD gods really have done a number on the goblinoids, it seems.
Like Goblins and Bugbears, though, they retain characteristics granted them by fey magic of old – in this case “an aspect of the Feywild’s rule of reciprocity, which creates a mystical bond between the giver and the receiver of a gift.”
Interestingly, Monsters of the Multiverse tells us this deep sense of reciprocity can “lead hobgoblins to form communities with deep ties to one another”, including huge, tight-knit fighting armies with “ranks of devoted soldiers famed for their unity”. Gnarly.
Hobgoblin 5e race
The Hobgoblin 5e race has the following stats, traits, and abilities for player characters:
|Can see fine in dim light up to 60 feet away as if it were bright light and darkness as if it were dim light, with everything appearing in shades of gray.
|You get Advantage on making saving throws against, and on ending, being charmed.
You can take the Help action as a bonus action each turn, a total number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. All uses recharged on Long Rest.
Starting at level three, you can choose one of these three bonuses each time you take a Help action this way:
Hospitality: You and the creature you help both gain temporary HP equal to 1d6 + your proficiency bonus
Spite: This turn, the first time the creature you Help hits a target with an attack roll, that creature gets Disadvantage on its next attack roll (within the next minute).
Passage: You and the creature you Help both get 10 feet extra walking speed until the start of your next turn.
|Fortune from the Many:
When you miss with an attack roll, fail an ability check, or fail a saving throw, you can gain a bonus to the roll equal to the number of allies you can see within 30 feet, up to a maximum bonus of +3.
You can use this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus each Long Rest.
Best classes for Hobgoblin 5e
Between the Constitution boosts and their new Fey Gift racial ability, Hobgoblins work wonderfully in offensive DnD classes as front-line support combatants. Playing to these strengths will really make your character a lynchpin of the party, so the Paladin 5e or Cleric 5e classes can be solid choices to embody that central, soldiering role.
If you want to lean more into dealing damage, the Barbarian 5e and Fighter 5e classes can work just as well, too – but the key aspect to remember when playing a Hobgoblin is that bond of comradeship: you always want to be where your people are!
Hobgoblin Captain 5e stats
The Hobgoblin Captain 5e monster is a very useful standard variety of Hobgoblin leader that’s great for early(ish) sessions in a campaign.
With the ever-popular Multiattack, and a couple of choice abilities that add tactical challenge to an encounter, the Captain is a lovely go-to ‘mini-boss’ Hobgoblin monster for DMs.
The Hobgoblin Captain 5e stats are as follows:
|Darkvision 60 feet
|Challenge Rating (CR):
|3 (700 XP)
|Martial advantage: Once per turn, deal an extra 7 (2d6) damage to a creature you hit with a melee attack – provided the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the Hobgoblin that’s not incapacitated.
|Make two Greatsword attacks.
Issue a command to a single, visible, non-hostile creature within 30 feet (that can hear and understand you) when it makes an attack roll or saving throw. That creature can add a d4 to the roll.
One use, recharges after short or long rest.
|Melee weapon attack
|Melee or Ranged weapon attack
Melee: 5 feet
Ranged: 30/120 feet
For Dungeon Masters looking for some additional options, here are some other monster recommendations:
- Hobgoblin (Monster Manual pg.186) – for an easier encounter
- Hobgoblin Warlord (MM pg.187) – for a tougher encounter
- Hobgoblin Iron Shadow (Monsters of the Multiverse pg.154) – for a sneaky-roguish type
- Hobgoblin Devastator (Monsters of the Multiverse pg.153) – for a magic-user type
Monsters of the Multiverse really helped out the Hobgoblin with their new Fey Gift ability – and, with the new variants, there’s something here for players and Dungeon Masters alike. Give this Fey-rooted race a good look over next time you’re cooking up a new character!