I had some anticipation for the Volo’s guide and the new playable character races it contains, but I must admit that I’m rather disappointed. I may use a thing or two, so not entirely useless…
Here’s what I’m doing instead with two of the goblinoid races: I’m merging them, sort of…
Origin: Two races in one
Hobgoblins and Goblins (Hs and Gs) are in fact two form (dimorphism) of the same species. When a female Hobgoblin (Gs are sterile and asexual) gives birth, it’s generally to a litter of one to five tusky babies at a time (newborn have teeth, don’t ask me how they suckle though). There’s much anxiety in the months to come to see if one of the yellow-eyed cutie will turn out to be a taller, stronger, smarter hobgoblin. A vast majority will be part of the pathetic goblins. The difference of treatment from the family (and entire society) between Hs and Gs, even as siblings, is an integral part of this race’s cultural behavior.
Life is unfair
Goblins infanticide is a rather frequent phenomenon (and sadly for Gs, not outlawed). Hobgoblin mothers can have many dozens of childs in their lifetime, there would be just too many goblins to raise, even if priority was not given to the hobgoblins. That means, that those goblins that are not killed in infancy, have a good chance of being thrown out in the streets (often fairly young).
Into the City
Hs and GS in Legacy are descendants of exiles from a since-destroyed decadent empire (1). These exiles made an alliance with the Last Emperor some years before the founding, betraying their own race in so doing. They are one of the four founding races of Legacy, into the city since the beginning (2).
Hs&Gs have a long tradition of drug manufacturing and usage. It’s said that it began with herbalists that made efforts to favor Hs births over Gs’. And also with the painless poisoning of the unwanted Gs when it (inevitably) failed. Drugs where eventually created for a variety of enhancements (fighting enhancement, focus improvement, pain inhibitor, etc) and for recreative usage.
An unproven data, often cited among elitist circles, has it that the ratio of H/G was once 1 to 2. Which is, of course, alarmingly compared to the current 1 to 10. Furthermore, some would-be savants postulate that the crowded conditions of the City is to blame with a “natural selection” of the less-ressources demanding Gs. This theory doesn’t appease the Hs one bit.
Being so few in numbers compared to the Gs, and having H parents, the winners of the genetic lottery have far more access to prosperity. Averaging six feet tall (both males and females), physically fit and self-conscious of their superiority since childhood, Hs are generally ambitious, arrogant and driven.
Ability score modifier: +1 str, +2 con, + 1 int
Saving face (volo’s guide).
- I have Moorcock’s Melniboné in mind
- Elves, Halflings, Hs&Gs, Humans
- That could well compensate for their shitty ability score modifiers.