In order to save the infinite hunger of murder hobos for fresh faces to kill and loot from, Dungeons & Dragons have actually produced many, lots of different races. The simple Monstrous Humanoids have long made up the mass of these doomed spirits; sapient adequate to have plans beyond just skulking in a hole in the ground as well as waiting to pounce, yet merciless sufficient to be butchered without the sense of guilt, they are truly the foundation of the classic hack-and-slash video game. And then there are races that haven’t been so lucky. The gnoll is among them.
Birthed way back in Basic Dungeons & Dragons – they were in fact in the White Box, released back in 1974, gnolls were originally a jokey monster, said to be the outcome of crossbreeding a gnome with a troll. But, come Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, individuals understood that this was really as well dumb for words, so they were rather become a hyena-based beast-man race.
They were given a rather slap-dash generic evil humanoid lore, with regarding the most significant points being profound laziness that results in a dependence on enslavement, and also a particular desire for cannibalism. Since nothing makes your adventurers feel more heroic than kicking the crap out of people who completely compel others to work for them up until they drop and after that eat them active.
And also we’re not joking concerning the slap-dash initiatives. Seriously, take a look at the distinction in the AD&D MM manuals for the Gnoll, Orc and also Sahuagin; the Orc and Sahuagin entries are at the very least twice as long.
In spite of all this, gnolls have actually taken care of to claw out a specific niche on their own in D&D; having actually been there in every version, and also even in its Pathfinder spin-off, gnolls do not seem going anywhere anytime quickly. And a couple of settings, most-notably Eberron and also Wicked Fantasy, have at least attempted to round them off a little.
They do not look to getting a lot more conventional any kind of time quickly. The 5e Monster Manual outright claims gnolls, unlike other monster races, are just born poor, due to the demonic influence of their creator Yeenoghu. As well as writers for 5th edition’s “Volo’s Guide to Monsters”, the 5e analog to a Monster Manual 2/Complete Book of Humanoids crossbreed, felt it required to explicitly call out that gnolls will certainly not be a PC race choice, as a result of being “too demonic” … although that they had a PC write-up in the previous version, which is where they stole the “Gnolls are direct developments of Yeenoghu” tradition from.
Large and also strongly built, gnolls appear as a profane hybrid of guy and also hyena that stands taller, bulkier as well as furrier than the guy. The gnoll’s stance is probably its most human attribute; it stands upright like a human though with an obvious hyena-like suspicion to its back.
Their upper body is also more human than hyena, though still covered in the mangy hair and the gnoll’s muscle arms end in clawed, human hands efficient in any control a human could do. Gnolls’ legs have the double-jointed legs of a hyena, this gives them a strange lopping-hopping stride when they operate on their hind legs.
Though efficient in walking upright, a gnoll’s canine-like hindquarters allow it to drop to all fours like a pet for greater flexibility. A gnoll’s head is its most hyena-like feature having the hyena’s brief, candid muzzle, their muscular, bone-crunching jaws, their black eyes, and their rounded ears.