Hobgoblin Guide 5e
Published on August 31, 2021, Last modified on May 5th, 2022
Mark Zug - Wizards of the Coast - Hobgoblin Bandit Lord
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the hobgoblin will be right for your 5e character build.
The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your hobgoblin. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.
- Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
- Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
- Orange is an OK option
- Green is a good option
- Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
- Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.
What are Hobgoblins in 5e?
Source: Volo's Guide to Monsters
If there is one thing hobgoblins love, it’s war. Even in times of peace, hobgoblin society is rich with military tradition, brutal laws, and a strict military hierarchy. Following orders and honoring the gods are non-negotiable rules in hobgoblin society, and all are meant to help achieve their most important goal – upholding the legion.
Glory is earned by honoring or aiding the legion in battle. Cowardice will not be tolerated. In fact, a hobgoblin would rather die than be called a coward.
Hobgoblins are a playable character race found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Hobgoblin 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: +2 CON and +1 INT is a strange spread of ASI. Of course, INT-based casters need to focus on INT and always like CON for added HP. That said, INT casters usually would rather see +2 INT over CON. For other classes, INT is usually a dump stat.
Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.
Speed: Hobgoblins have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.
Martial Training: Proficiency in two martial weapons and light armor opens up the door for options that many characters who choose the hobgoblin wouldn’t otherwise have access to, namely INT-based casters.
Saving Face: This is a cool trait. The bonus comes after you know you have failed your roll, meaning that you can save this ability for when you think you may change the outcome. Given that choice, being able to use it once per short rest is pretty powerful, especially when used to avoid failing a deadly saving throw. This trait works best the larger your party is (up to five), so if you aren’t playing with that many people it would be a good idea to recruit some NPCs or animal friends.
Hobgoblin 5e Subraces
In the Monsters of the Multiverse update, hobgoblins are now descended from the fey and have had their racial traits reworked to fill the role of a powerful support character.
Fey Ancestry: Advantage against being charmed and being unable to be put to sleep by magic will come in handy in some tough situations.
Fey Gift: This is such a unique way to make the Help action more interesting and really differentiates the hobgoblin from any other race. The most useful option is probably Hospitality to get temporary hit points, as even 1d6 + proficiency bonus is huge at lower levels. Note that Help actions can now be performed as a bonus action, meaning that if your build doesn’t regularly spend a bonus action this gives you far greater action economy on your turn.
Fortune from the Many: Very similar to Saving Face. Though the maximum ally bonus is now only +3, many people play in smaller groups so it may not matter too much. In addition, the number of uses being tied to proficiency bonus instead of once per short rest means you will probably be able to use this more times per day than before at higher levels.
Sources Used in This Guide
- Basic Rules
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Monsters of the Multiverse
- Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- Player's Handbook
- Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- The Tortle Package
- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar’s Guide to Everything