Gnoll (4e Racial Trait Variant)

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Gnoll by TomMartinArt, on Flickr

Ferocious raiders and harbringers of chaos.

Racial Traits
Average Height: 7'0 - 7'6"
Average Weight: 280 - 320 lbs.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-Light
Languages: Common, Abyssal
Skill Bonuses: +2 Intimidate, +2 Perception
Blood Fury: While you’re bloodied, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls. This increases to a +4 bonus at 21st level.
Pack Attack: You deal an extra 2 damage on melee attacks against an enemy that has two or more of your allies adjacent to it.
Ferocious Charge: You can use ferocious charge as an encounter power.

Ferocious Charge Gnoll Racial Power
You lunge toward the enemy and, with a tirade of curses, unleash the wrath of Yeenoghu upon your hapless foe.
Standard Action Melee 1
Effect: You charge, and deal an extra 2 damage on a successful attack. Increase the extra damage to 4 at 11th level and 6 at 21st level. If you are bloodied, double the extra damage and gain an equal number of temporary hit points.

Gnolls are a race of Hyena-like humanoids. This article represents the official Gnoll race as put forth in Dragon Magazine 367.

Play a Gnoll if you want...

  • To be a fierce hunter driven by instinct.
  • To be an outsider in the civilized world—a scion of a race known for its cruelty and brutality.
  • To be swift and deadly, striking enemies with surprising force.
  • To be an humanoid beast with a ferocious aspect
  • To be a member of the classes of Barbarian, Ranger, Rogue, Warden, Warlock, and Warlord classes.

Physical Qualities[edit]

Gnolls tower over humans, with the average gnoll standing over 7 feet tall. Despite their physical strength, gnolls are lean; gnolls are rarely musclebound, and they move with remarkable speed. Their eyes are bright green or yellow, and gleam whenever they catch the light. Gnolls are covered with a thick coat of fur, which generally ranges from light to dark brown; depending on the clan, this might be a uniform color, or broken up by stripes or spots. A number of gnoll bloodlines have members (both male and female) who possess crestlike manes of hair that run from the head and down the spine; these rise up when gnolls are frightened or angry. Although these are general traits, the traces of demonic blood in gnolls can produce unusual features. An obvious example of this are the talons of the gnoll claw fighter, but this can manifest in lesser ways. A gnoll might have gleaming red eyes, or black fur with fiery orange spots; a wide range of variation is possible. Gnolls mature with remarkable speed for intelligent humanoids; some cite this as proof of their demonic heritage and suggest that it is unnatural for a creature to be ready for battle so soon after birth. They have short life spans—in fact, they rarely live longer than thirty years, but they typically remain remarkably strong and vigorous right up to the end of their days. When their strength leaves them, it is a sudden and catastrophic decline.

Playing a Gnoll[edit]

Gnolls are primal creatures, and instinct plays a powerful role in their lives. Pack and family bonds are important to them, and while they might squabble to establish lines of dominance, between such challenges gnolls are steadfast allies. In battle, gnolls are strong team players, and they set aside any thought of personal glory to assist an ally. When separated from their own kind, gnolls seek a surrogate pack and are loyal to those they choose as friends. Gnoll behavior seems aggressive to other creatures; a gnoll is more likely to demand an answer than ask a question. Among gnolls, this sort of intimidation isn’t considered a hostile act; it is a way of establishing strength. Gnolls are natural predators, and they love the thrill of the chase and the challenge of the hunt. Most prefer the wilds to civilization, but some adapt and come to see the city as another sort of jungle. Gnolls are natural scavengers, and they love to collect trophies of their victories and experiences; these can range from grisly remnants to simple objects that remind them of an event. Tales say that gnolls were born of the blending of beast and demon, and this is something that should be kept in mind with any gnoll character. The ferocity of the fiend lies within even the noblest gnoll, and this could manifest in many ways.

Gnoll Characteristics: Aggressive, carnivorous, cunning, feral, fierce, loyal, predatory, primal, swift, tough, wild

Male Names: Dagnyr, Dhyrn, Doryc, Ghyrryn, Gnasc, Gnoryc, Gnyrn, Hyrn, Lhoryn, Lhyr, Mognyr, Sorgnyn, Thyrn, Toryc, Yrgnyn, Yrych

Female Names: Dagnyra, Gnara, Gnora, Gnyrl, Hyra, Hyrgna, Lhyra, Lhyrl, Malgna, Myrl, Sargna, Shyrla, Tarnyra, Yrgna

Gnoll Adventurers[edit]

Three sample gnoll adventurers are described below.

Dagnyr is a gnoll ranger. His clan turned from the path of Yeenoghu and swore themselves to the goddess Melora, only to be slaughtered a generation later by their own demon-worshiping kin. As the last of his clan, Dagnyr opposed all demon cultists—both the gnolls who slaughtered his pack and humans who follow the infernal path.

Lhyra is a gnoll rogue whose strength and speed make her a force to be reckoned with. Taken as a child and raised in the arena, she had to learn to kill or be killed. When her captors finally dropped their guard, she killed them and escaped, living a feral life in the alleys of the great city. Now she has found a new pack in her fellow adventurers, and she has sworn to use her deadly talents to protect her new family.

Hyrn is a gnoll warlock raised in the Butcher’s Brood. Prophecies say that he will become a mighty servant of Yeenoghu and scourge the world, but he has a strange streak of compassion for a gnoll and fled his fate. His infernal powers have continued to grow, but he has sought to defy destiny by using these gifts for noble purposes; nonetheless, he can feel the darkness of the demon roiling within him, and he fears what he could become.

Gnoll Feats[edit]

Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Claw Fighter Your claws are weapons.
Frenzied Rush +1 to speed, defenses against opportunity attacks when using ferocious charge
Paragon Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Pack Tactics
Parrying Claws You are quick enough with your claws that you can catch blades out of the air.
Raking Claws Quick swipes work fine for some, but you'd rather your opponent fall after one good slash.
Serrated Claws Your claws have the high crit property.
Sharp Claws Your claws use d8 instead of d6.
Epic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Deadly Scourge

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