Hobgoblin party of 2, advice?

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Hey, gonna be running a campaign for my two roommates who wanted to try playing hobgoblins in an evil campaign. With just two players, using 4e, they were thinking warlord and fighter combo, the fighter doing two hand and warlord is sword and shield. Does this sound like a solid plan? Never ran a small group and just one other 4e campaign. I was also looking for advice on an evil campaign from those that have done it before. I wanted them to start of very heroic and not just doing grunt work but working as the right hand for the chieftan. Thanks!

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They will have horrible times against anything with range.
Search evil campaign.  There's a lot of ideas out there.
This version of D&D already has them as heroic.  The times of killing rats in the basement of the inn are over.  How they are treated is more of a background thing.
Ahh, yeah Im on the road posting from my phone so I didn't get much searching done. The ranged trouble makes sense, and I know there's an archer warlord variant, would that be something to consider or just make sure they have options for range is enough?

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I'd ask them to run dual strikers, or striker leader. Maybe strikers with leader multiclass. 

All strikers makes it run more like splintercell the game. You both use your situational advantage stuff to set up fights, then jump in when you are ready. The fights end quickly and you both are probably capable of running away. 

Fighter/Warlord makes it seem like your planning for traditional combats, and honeslty as evil PCs thats probably a bad idea. As evil guys you will get in a fight with the authorities and it will seem weird when they are always in squads of one or two, maybe three.  

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Ahh, yeah Im on the road posting from my phone so I didn't get much searching done. The ranged trouble makes sense, and I know there's an archer warlord variant, would that be something to consider or just make sure they have options for range is enough?


If they at least both pick up some ranged backup weapons, that will go a long way. Other than that, so long as you scale encounters down since there's only two of them, I don't see any real issues. Fighter (or any defender) wouldn't be my recommended choice with only two PCs, especially when the second one is a pretty hardy character and not a squishy, so maybe he should consider a Slayer or Barbarian, or at least build his fighter as a striker, but it's not a serious issue.
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Everyone should get on the same page about what it means to be a hobgoblin in the game and what it means to be evil. Discuss what sorts of adventures evil hobgoblins will go on. Get player buy-in by using their ideas. Do that before anything else or you're setting yourself up for failure.

Scaling threats will be something you'll have to test as you go along but you'll get a feel for that. Try to always have a "combat out" in every encounter, meaning a condition in which the PCs can win the combat without grinding everything down to 0. (Though that's more general advice for any game, it's particularly useful for parties with less than the expected number of players or missing roles.) 

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Everyone should get on the same page about what it means to be a hobgoblin in the game and what it means to be evil. Discuss what sorts of adventures evil hobgoblins will go on. Get player buy-in by using their ideas. Do that before anything else or you're setting yourself up for failure.


I talked with my players a little bit, basically we're going to run a "prequel" session where it is the two of them and the current chieftan exploring ancient dwarven ruins in a dormant volcano. They plan to settle it as the next hobgoblin civilization, however they'll have to clear out the enraged magma claw or magma hurler as well as the other denizens. Then it will skip to present time where they are the left and right hand of the chieftan, who wants to expand the clan, which will mostly be roleplayed out to determine what course of action they wish to take. It's not so much going to be a loot, **** and plunder campaign as it is just a normal campaign with a hobgoblin perspective (like the orc campaign in warcraft 1). While there will be looting and pillaging and whatnot, they won't be the grunts behind it, they will be the ones leading the attack, storming the castle to take out the king and his guard while the maggots roam the streets gathering slaves. And both the players and I were all pretty set on the idea that it isn't going to be baseless and pointless killing.

 Scaling threats will be something you'll have to test as you go along but you'll get a feel for that. Try to always have a "combat out" in every encounter, meaning a condition in which the PCs can win the combat without grinding everything down to 0. (Though that's more general advice for any game, it's particularly useful for parties with less than the expected number of players or missing roles.) 


That's a good idea. I've never really played with a small group so i'll have to test around with scaling down. Usually I just play out the scenario quickly by myself playing the monsters and pc's just to get a quick feel for the difficulty. For encounter building it says just to multiply the xp value a monster of equal level by the number of players (level 2 encounter then would be 250 xp budget), would that still be advisable or would you still drop it down even farther?

 Fighter (or any defender) wouldn't be my recommended choice with only two PCs, especially when the second one is a pretty hardy character and not a squishy, so maybe he should consider a Slayer or Barbarian, or at least build his fighter as a striker, but it's not a serious issue.

The fighter is built more like a striker yeah. Which book is the Slayer from?

And thanks for the great responses! =)

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That's a good idea. I've never really played with a small group so i'll have to test around with scaling down. Usually I just play out the scenario quickly by myself playing the monsters and pc's just to get a quick feel for the difficulty. For encounter building it says just to multiply the xp value a monster of equal level by the number of players (level 2 encounter then would be 250 xp budget), would that still be advisable or would you still drop it down even farther?



It's a little less formulaic with 2 PCs, so you'll have to test it out. A good way to do that is to unfold encounters in waves. If they're having an easy time and you want to up the difficulty, a few reinforcements come in or a hazard/trap reveals itself. The trick here is that it's easier to add than it is take away once battle is joined (and some players don't like the DM obviously pulling punches).

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

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That makes sense, good advice. We looked at perhaps an avenger (Bane worshipper) and a Rageblood Barbarian?

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After talking to my players and looking online, we decided to go with running companion characters for each player. So far we have a Fighter PC, Warlord PC, Invoker Companion. I let the players come up with the style companion they want (the invoker is a hobgoblin slave from another tribe that the warlord saved/kidnapped to do his bidding), the last one really doesn't have a preference. Should we go for a ranged striker just to fill out that last role?

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You might want to find and download the Pathfinder "We Be Goblins" mini-adventure for Goblin PCs... I believe it's still free, and I absolutely love it. 

The crunch and the plot itself are probably not much direct use for 4E Hobgoblins, but the adventure is brimming with ideas and energy, and I think Pathfinder's fluff is top-notch.
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After talking to my players and looking online, we decided to go with running companion characters for each player.... Should we go for a ranged striker just to fill out that last role?



Look into the Fey Beast Tamer theme under details in the CB. Also, if you want to optimize your team, look into Slayer and Archer Warlord. 

You could consider allowing them to use their Second Wind as a minor action (free action on their  turn if dwarf).